Take The Damn Nap

Take The Damn Nap

By Kate Kole

My mom says (or if you’d prefer, my mama always said) that as a kid, I’d put to myself to bed when I got tired. Hopped up on Mountain Dew and Dunkaroos, I’d run myself ragged and then climb underneath the covers for an afternoon nap.

Still today, I crave rest when I’m running on empty. But, often times now, I’ll resist the urge. My mind reminds my body of all the things that need doing, and I power my way through the slump. On days when I do opt to lie down, either out of sickness or pure exhaustion, I’m greeted with a familiar, nagging guilt. Do you really have the time for this? Isn’t there something else you could be doing? That you should be doing?   Continue reading

I Hope I Never Forget

I Hope I Never Forget

By Becky Houdesheldt

This weekend Andrew and I were reminiscing about when our son was a baby. I mean, he is almost 13 months. But 13 months is a lot different than 3 months. I miss the early days with him, when he needed to be held all the time, when it was ok to snuggle him as much as we wanted, when there was no such thing as spoiling the baby. When I would wake up and see my husband in the nursery, asleep with him in his arms in our green glider. Getting up with him in the middle of the night, sharing the responsibility, getting bottles and diapers and swaddles ready.

I have fond memories at our little house with our new little baby. The house I bought on my own at 30, because after I took the trip of a lifetime and recognized I didn’t need anyone or anything to live my life, I finally felt empowered and I took the leap into home-ownership. It was an adorable 2 bedroom home with a 1 car garage, a pretty red door and the cutest bathrooms. It had a kitchen with exposed cabinets and that 60s charm. It had an oven in the wall that was so small hardly any of my dishes fit in it, but man did it cook fast. My girlfriend and I painted half the basement right away – a beautiful shade of light blue, with white trim. It felt beachy and relaxing. I broke my foot the day I moved, and she helped me set up the basement so we could watch Star Wars and eat pizza. As time went on, I made more changes to make it mine. I hung pictures from twine in the hallway. I painted the small wall in the dining room a dark purple, and hung an eclectic mix of artwork around the window. It was so decidedly me. I loved it. Continue reading

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

By Kate Kole

Last week, Chrissy Teigen shared on Instagram that her dog had gone to Heaven. Within seconds of seeing her post, I felt emotion begin to rise through my body. The kind signaling that a storm of uncontrollable tears and unspeakable words was coming. I grabbed a roll of paper towels (because I’m classy like that and we rarely have tissues on hand) and told my husband what had happened so that he’d understand why I was curled up in a ball on the other end of the couch crying. (Read: this isn’t our first rodeo of me losing it over random dogs on social media.)

This morning, the tears came again when Teigen posted a picture captioned, “The same day I got you, I told John I was sad. He asked why and I said because one day you’re going to be gone.” Continue reading

There Are No Road Maps. And That’s Okay

There Are No Road Maps. And That_s Okay

By Kate Kole

I experienced my fair share of self-inflicted anxiety over turning 30 last year. That milestone marker into my next decade of life brought all the feels. The age itself didn’t seem old. I just didn’t think I had done or accomplished enough to show for it. I saw former classmates becoming what they’d set out to become – doctors and lawyers, professors and business owners – and I felt measly in comparison. I saw other writers being published on bigger platforms. I saw other yoga instructors traveling and teaching in exotic places. I saw, with decided eyes, what I’d set out to see: other people succeeding, while I struggled to keep pace. Everyone around me knowing exactly what they wanted out of life, while I wondered if I’d ever have a clue. And though I reminded myself often that “comparison is the thief of joy,” it seemed I couldn’t help but get lost in the land of where and how I measured. Continue reading

My Job Isn’t My Passion, And I’m Okay With That

My Job Isn't My Passion, And I'm Okay With That.jpeg

By Becky Houdesheldt

If someone had asked me 15 years ago where I thought my professional life would be at 32, I would not have said: 10 years into a company that my dad worked for my whole life. Yet, here I am. Well, I’ll have 10 years in April, as long as I remain employed.

I work in a field that touches on merchant processing. Yawn, right? Except if you think about it, every day millions of people interact with some of the products and applications we host, own or use. I had no concept of what merchant processing was, or just how big the company was that I was getting into, when I took this job at 22. I can type quite fast, which was really the key selling point to the guy who hired me. I have held four positions at this company and each one has been a slight variation of the last. My current job has a lot of depth to it that I have not had to acquire in my previous jobs, which allows for a more focused goal path. Continue reading

What I’m Just Now Learning About Self-Love

What I_m Just Now Learning About Self-Love

By Kate Kole

I grew up in the era of Freddie Prinze Jr. movies and Nicholas Sparks novels, and you’d better believe that my view towards romantic relationships was skewed accordingly. You know, towards that soul awakening, against all odds, white hot and passionate kind of experience. Which it seems, exists in some form and duration, but isn’t exactly the foundation of every lasting love story.

My journey towards self-love has proved to be equally misguided. It doesn’t look or feel like I thought it would. I firmly believed that once I sorted through my life and perfected myself, then I could accept and celebrate who I’d become. Self-love was a finish line to cross with a million road blocks to overcome and mile markers to get through first. Continue reading

5 Myths About Millennials That Are Too Ridiculous For Words

brooke-lark-194253.jpg

By Isabel F. William

While some might consider us to be lazy, irresponsible, and entitled, millennials have proven to be ambitious and determined when it comes to our work ethic. We have embraced new lifestyles and views on careers that greatly differ from those at the age of baby boomers or Generation X. Millennials fit into the changing world perfectly, and it seems that more and more jobs are tailored to our needs and expectations. Yet, some people still remain blinded by the common misconceptions about us. Ahead, check out five ridiculous myths that need to be debunked, stat. Continue reading

Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead

Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked And Loving Myself Instead.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

First, let me say that it is not difficult to get me fired up about something, especially if I’m passionate about it. Here’s an example. Once, when my brand-new hand mixer broke after 2 uses, I went on a tirade about how my parents have had the same hand mixers since I was old enough to know what they were, and they’ve never had an issue, and how things aren’t made the way they used to be. Yep. I did.

Sometimes I’d get caught up before I had a chance to realize what I was doing, and then profusely apologize. It’s not in my nature to upset the apple cart, as they say. Often, I’d rather just be quiet and let everyone get along rather than speak my truth. The older I’ve gotten and the longer I’ve been sober, the more I recognize that fear has a way of dominating my life. When I am in fear, I make decisions that compromise my core values because I’m unwilling to deal with the potential unknown outcome. Continue reading

A Reminder For When You’re Feeling Lost

A Reminder For When You_re Feeling Lost

By Kate Kole

My first job out of college was working as a photographer assistant for a school portrait business. Our team of photographers and photographer assistants drove across our Iowa and Illinois region to take yearbook photos. In order to get to schools on the other side of the state before the day started, we regularly had to leave our office well before dawn. On one of our 3:30 a.m. wake-up call mornings, the photographer and I got lost. This was pre-cell phone apps and car GPS systems, so our earliest sign that we’d missed our exit wasn’t thanks to Alexa telling us to make our next legal U-turn, but instead was courtesy of a “Welcome to Missouri” billboard.

Luckily, the state trooper who pulled us over for driving well beyond the speed limit was kind enough to give us directions to where we were going (along with a hefty ticket). And miraculously, we weren’t far away. In our frazzled high-speed chase to capture middle school glamour shots, we’d simply overlooked our exit. Within minutes, we were back on the road and even made it to the school on time to take pictures. All’s well that ends well, I suppose. Continue reading

When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead

When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead.jpeg

By Kate Kole

I ran away more than once as a kid. And by ‘ran away’ I mean I packed my bookbag with all the essentials for a one-night’s stay at a friend’s house, headed out the front door, walked half a block down the street, and remembered no friend had actually invited me to come sleep over, at which point I sheepishly began my journey back home to sit underneath the tree in our front yard. Until of course, I got hungry, cold, bored, or needed to use the restroom, eventually waving the white flag and going inside. As the youngest of 3 kids, I’m not sure my parents even noticed my half hour absences.

Sometimes that childhood fantasy of running away sneaks up again. Not in a ‘create a new identity and never look back’ Jason Bourne kind of way. Just in a stressed out, don’t know what to do next, wouldn’t it be nice to go live in a beach house and eat donuts in bed sort of sense. Continue reading