Monday, July 23, 2012

Wedding Gifts That Don't Break The Bank

Between engagement parties, bachelorette parties, and bridal showers—not to mention dresses, shoes, a hotel and airfare—wedding season gets expensive. And that’s even before you think about gifts for the bride- and groom-to-be!

If your wedding calendar is full this summer, here’s the scoop about gifts: Yes, you do need to give one for each wedding (and each shower) you attend. But, you don’t need to stock your friends’ china cabinets with $200 glassware off their registries. Decide on the dollar amount you can realistically spend for each wedding, then get creative with one of these five great gifts that won’t leave you broke (or looking cheap).

See the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dealing With Burnout

Some projects can really take it out of you. You’ve been working for 10+ hours a day, brainstorming new ideas as you brush your teeth in the morning, and thinking about the best way to pitch as you climb into bed at night. Your focus, creativity, and problem-solving abilities have been put to the test—for hours, days, and weeks on end.

And now, it’s time for a vacation. Well, that is, if you define vacation as a Sunday afternoon to yourself to do laundry and grocery shop, before it’s back to the office Monday morning.

Unfortunately, you don’t always get a break when you need it most. So, how do you stay sane at work when you’re coming off of a big project or a particularly stressful season? Battle your burnout on those rough days (or weeks) with these five simple ideas.

See the rest of my latest The Daily Muse post here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Part Recluse

It's natural when you meet someone to ask them what they do. It's up there with "where are you from" and "how many siblings do you have" and "who's your favorite real housewife?" (okay, maybe the third is only applicable in certain settings). In my piece for The Daily Muse on moving for a significant other, I gave the advice that even when unemployed you can speak about your skills, what you did, and what you want to do. 

It's different however, in that this is my first move, that while not formally employed (i.e. in the sense of generating income) I'm not actively looking right now. Even though single income households may only exist these days in a parallel universe, I want to take some time to wholly dedicate myself to writing.  In the town where the couple who owns the books won't sell anything " by right wing talk radio hosts, or about the Yankees,"; in so-called Vacationland; in a space where I feel can create - that's what I want to do.

Oh, but as far as the whole, what do you/will you/ would you do question - I don't want to discuss what I'm writing. Not in an aloof way or an insecure way or a distant way, but in an I want this piece to be free to change and grow on my computer screen in this second floor apartment.  Because if I say "I'm writing a book", luckily because the people I know are kind and supportive and not self-centered the next question would be "Oh what's it about?"

I'm thinking about the Princeton senior who upon graduation turned down a great job domestically because her mom told her "she ever have the opportunity to work abroad again". I actually thought that was terrible advice. She'd have lots opportunities: what she faced was not a now or never, but a now or later. And for me, for my writing,  I'm pursuing it in the now. Not because it's all I can do in Maine or it's my only chance, but because when you know, you know.