Hold Yourself To Your Own Standards

Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Hold-Yourself-To-Your-Own-Standards-e18v9c2

With social media aplenty and everyone else’s best moments on prominent display, it’s hard not to constantly compare yourself. And with each mindless scroll, you could certainly start succumbing to the ‘comparison trap‘ – how does she look so great after having a baby? what kind of job does he have to afford that new car? I wish I had the money to travel like they do.

While I’m all for social media detoxes and reminders that the majority of folks don’t air their dirty laundry, it’s more important to set your own standards and track your goals.

For example, you’re trying to lose weight. You have a baseline and you likely have a goal. Rather than being negatively influenced by Susan’s incredible overnight drop of the baby weight, monitor your progress only. Every incremental step counts and should be celebrated. Better yet, create a chart or use an electronic measurement system so you can visually see your journey. And no matter what Susan posts, don’t let her fool you – I’m sure she has good and bad days as well. If you fall off, get back on the horse and try try again.

A social support system can be validating, on or off social media, but at the end of the day, unless you support you, no one else’s standards matter. Take back control and rest assured you’re doing the best for you.

Our Path Series: Alicia ‘DJ EESH’ Delmastro

Alicia Delmastro (aka DJ EESH) is a local Pittsburgh DJ, a community outreach specialist, an influencer, and a self-proclaimed Hills Carnival survivor. Besides DJing weddings, restaurants, and bars, DJ EESH helps plan and provides the music for many philanthropic events, focusing on youth services, addiction help, humane societies, and lots more.

Find DJ EESH and her events here:

https://www.facebook.com/DJEESH

IG: @dj_eesh

Listen to my full interview with DJ EESH here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Our-Path-Series-Alicia-DJ-EESH-Delmastro-e18ksao

Happy + Sad = Improved Decisions

Listen to the blog here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Happy–Sad–Improved-Decisions-e189sse

Have you ever experienced a circumstance that brought joy and sadness at the same time?

For example, a newly pregnant woman attends the funeral of her father. Or you are informed of your friend’s engagement the same day you are diagnosed with cancer.

While these are extreme examples, a battle of emotions happens quite frequently. The scientific term for this state is called ambivalence.

Let’s look at another example that may be something you’ve experienced, perhaps frequently. By birth, you are likely a part of a family. Whether or not you are happy with your family, outside of disowning or ignoring them, they’re still connected to you by blood. Say you have an aunt that you love, she was there for you as a child and continues to applaud your accomplishments. However, she constantly disagrees with your choice of partner. You feel happy when she is a part of MOST of your life, but are angry when she makes snide remarks about your current girlfriend.

This situation can often lead to heavy negative feelings, either toward the cause of our ambivalence or toward ourselves. We certainly find it difficult to live in this state of constant flux and can become consumed and exhausted by it. We desperately want to figure out what side we are on. Sometimes it can even lead to procrastination and emotional paralysis.

However, there are 2 ways to reframe these feelings to make them more manageable:

  1. Accept our ambivalence. According to Psychology Today, we are complex creatures with complex feelings. Ambivalence is human nature, not to be solved. Life is not meant to be black and white; thus, using our energy to determine our concrete positive or negative emotions on a subject is a waste of time. Lean into the convolution.
  2. Understand that ambivalence boosts our judgement skills. In an article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the authors research groups of people with or without mixtures of feelings. Those individuals who were experiencing happiness and sadness simultaneously accepted alternative viewpoints more easily and made better decisions.

Therefore, although it may seem like your mind is constantly on trial, with the prosecution on one side and the defense on the other, welcome the ambivalence and use it to your advantage. The next time you’re tasked with a tough decision, you’ll likely be more informed and confident if you have a lot of different emotions swirling around in that big beautiful brain.

Our Path Series: Barbara Brutt

Barbara Brutt is a published author, an aerialist, a lead digital content specialist, a local influencer, and a self-proclaimed sugar connoisseur.

Find Barbara and her books here:

https://www.barbarabrutt.com/

IG: @piquelar and @cordiallybarbara

Facebook: @BarbaraBruttWriter

Listen to my full interview with Barbara here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Our-Path-Series-Barbara-Brutt-e17uv0s

I Can Still Go Outside

Snowing Snowfall Blow Snow Woman Cold Winter

Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/I-Can-Still-Go-Outside-e17a206

I have never been an outdoor person. My strong affinity to computers, books, and warmth has tied me to the inside of the house since as long as I can remember. But when I was fortunate to have 2 little rambunctious boys, I realized that my proclivities could no longer dictate our world.

Thus, I am posting this as a way to hold myself accountable.

Meghan – There is such a thing as a coat, gloves, and a hat. Layers are easy enough to put on. The inside won’t be too far away. You can still go outside when the weather turns.

But the snow and freezing temperatures! How can this possibly be enjoyable?

First of all, Meghan, this isn’t about you. You’re doing this for your children – boys who despite the winter months, still need to expel energy and stay active.

Second, while you’re out there, you are also benefiting. Going outside, even in freezing temperatures, can boost your mood, memory, and immune system.

Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with exploration and play. Just because you’re an adult with loads of responsibilities, it is mentally fulfilling to be in nature with no true agenda. Plus, if kids are around, they are expert adventurers and wonderers – follow their lead!

With that, I expect you to at least go outside a few times per week, all year long. No more excuses. Breathe in the fresh air and let the nip of Old Man Winter remind you that you’re alive. Maybe you’ll even have some fun?

*Sigh*…Ok.

Our Path Series: Lindsay Surmacz

Lindsay is an emerging Pittsburgh artist, creator of The Starry Messenger, Punk & Pie, and the Storybook Circus.

She specializes in STEM, literacy, and circus arts as a way to promote children’s education.

Listen to her interview here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Our-Path-Series-Lindsay-Surmacz-e16qpmp

Check out Lindsay:

https://www.facebook.com/starrymessengerpgh

https://www.starrymessengerpgh.com/

https://www.facebook.com/drumclownchic

https://www.punkpiecircus.com/

IG: @punkpiecircus @starrymessengerpgh @starrysurmacz

5 Tips To Improve Your Resume

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Listen to the blog here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/5-Tips-to-Improve-Your-Resume-e16ba33

Finding a job is a job in and of itself. A lot of time and effort goes into searching and applying for the job. After all of that, it is incredibly frustrating to not get an interview. According to Balance Careers, the number 1 reason folks are not chosen for an interview is because they’re not a match for the job. And match doesn’t mean you’re not qualified – it simply means the screening system, whether that be automated or via a hiring manager, did not find the keywords on your resume.

This notion of keywords is incredibly important when you’re composing your resume. With technology and the overwhelming amount of resumes gathered by a lot of employers, it is rare to have your resume screened by an actual human. Instead, it is put through software that scans the document for words that align with those stated in the job application. Once you make it through that screener, it is more likely that a living person will then review the resume in more detail.

Therefore, drafting a resume is a two-fold process. You need to consider the screening and then the detailed review.

Here are 5 tips to help you improve your current resume:

  1. Thoroughly review the job application. Highlight keywords in the job application that could be utilized in your resume. Fully note the requirements for the job. Attention to these details will help craft the resume.
  2. Write your resume using some of the keywords. Your work experience should highlight what you have done previously in a way that is most applicable to the job you’re applying for.
  3. Make sure each item under your list of experience starts with an actionable verb and includes quantitative results. For example, ‘Prospected 20 global clients with an 85% success rate’ instead of ‘Specialized in prospecting clients from multiple countries.’
  4. Keep your resume short (1-2 pages maximum). If you have a lengthy resume, first see if you can reformat to 2 columns to minimize the page count – but don’t reduce the font size to something unreadable. If columns don’t help, remove any experience that is not relevant to the position. A full work history is not necessarily required.
  5. Update and fine-tune your resume for each job application. One resume does not work for all positions. You will need multiple versions to ensure being considered for the job – hiring managers are very keen and can easily spot if you have copy/pasted your resume from another application.

Overall, resume building is quite time-consuming, but it is a critical step to ensuring an interview. Put in the effort and consider asking someone to review it. You can reach out to me – I’d be happy to do so. You’ll also be happy you did.

You Can Only Change You

Listen to the blog here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/You-Can-Only-Change-You-e15m98g

No matter what we may want for another person, we can’t force that person to change. This was a hard lesson growing up, especially when I saw friends and family members not living up to their full potential – at least, in my eyes.

I distinctly remember a conversation about a friend of mine. I saw so many roads ahead – she could go be an engineer, a teacher, a therapist. She has such a great personality and a brilliant mind. Instead, she got a degree but doesn’t work in the field. While there is nothing wrong with her decisions, I see her struggle now to make financial ends meet and I just wonder what could have been.

Many years ago, I would let my own regret for her outcome upset me, even make me angry. Why did she choose this path? I could have helped her.

But she never asked for my help. She chose to do things her own way. And if she’d come to me today with concerns, I would open up and give her polite advice.

But that’s it. I can’t will another person’s life for them, despite every ache and desire to do so.

And that can be a hard pill to swallow.

The only person you can change is you.

You can reframe the entire thought as you only want what is best for your friend, but she is old enough to make her own decisions. You will support her no matter what her choices may be.

But put the focus on you.

Stop dwelling on other people’s decisions. It will leave you nothing but frustrated.

Manage Your Expectations

Listen to this blog here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Manage-Your-Expectations-e15dpne

Do you ever have those days when you wake up already irritated? Maybe your
alarm is the culprit, but perhaps, there is an underlying, invisible barrier
adding to the stir.

A lot of my basal irritation certainly comes from a lack of uninterrupted
sleep – with 2 kids under the age of 6, I have a long time to deal with this –
but another part festers from expectations.

I am constantly expecting and then being let down.

When it comes to expectations of others, I consistently think I know what
the other person will do or worse yet, that they know what I want. I’m an
assumer through and through. I tell myself that I have good social skills and
can read people well; but more often than not, assuming gets me into some sort
of disappointment. I don’t ask enough questions or provide enough context or
blatantly communicate MY wants, and therefore, when the person acts, I’m more
often than not disheartened.

I wish they would have done this. Or wish they could have asked about that.
But if I would just inquire, I could understand where the person is coming from
and overall, better understand who that person is.

When it comes to expectations of myself, I constantly have regrets. I’m fine
when it comes to getting tasks done and goals completed, but my underlying
issues (my temper, my reclusive behavior, my parenting) continue to let me
down. I have an ill-conceived thought that if I just keep doing or reaching the
end of my to-do list, all of the other stuff will just magically figure itself
out. Surely, I’m in control of myself, right?

But these expectations are not realistic. I need to work just as hard on the
things I push to the side as I do on the tangible listed items. I can either
set incremental goals to help with my inner expectations or accept that change
is unlikely.

So, unless I want that cantankerous feeling, as so hilariously depicted by
my adorable niece’s smoosh face (see photo), I’d better get on it.

Bottom line: Inquire, Communicate, Commit, and Accept.

Expectations managed.

The Tube Obsession

people, technology, boy, home, young, sitting, child, television, tv, room, lifestyle, conversation, living, family, children, design, control, learning, watching, display device

Listen to the blog here: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/The-Tube-Obsession-e14mshq

I recently bought a used book called ‘365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child’ by Steve and Ruth Bennett. While I’ve only made it about 10 pages in thus far, my underlying concern with how much my older child watches TV instigated this purchase.

From a parental standpoint, he’s glued to the TV because I introduced it in the first place. Starting before age 1, Daniel Tiger was consistently on the tube. I felt validated knowing that he would possibly learn something from this PBS/educational program; however, he became quite attached quite young. And a relatively same approach with my youngest has not (yet) resulted in the same magnetism.

I’ve beat myself up and continue to beat myself up over his growing obsession. We ask him to play and he’d rather watch TV. We ask him to go outside and there are times he chooses cartoons.

But…the more I think about it, I can’t help but take a human standpoint instead of a mother’s. Maybe he is attracted to it for other reasons?

For example:

  1. He could be using TV to cope. As a budding young boy, perhaps he is dealing with internal stressors – fitting in at school, dealing with all of the new information he is learning, or simply feeling hormonally ‘off’. TV can serve as a nice constant, an escape that is a sure thing and will certainly ground you.
  2. He could view TV as his rest. At the age of 5.5, he has long since given up nap time. While I truly believe he would fair well with some sleep during the day, school and he himself does not agree. A growing kid needs a break. And exhaustion is evident when the whiney voice comes out that is only rectified by 30min watching his favorites. I get it – the days can be pretty long and tiring.
  3. He could get pleasure out of the novelty of TV. As recently studied by a group at the University of East Anglia, certain kids crave new stimulations, mostly because they get bored easy. This is not to say this his attention span is the problem (he would sit in front of the TV for hours if I let him) or that technology has ruined him (he has a tablet and video games he barely touches), but instead, he seeks novel stories, engaging content, and perhaps a challenge here and there. While this may factor into the first 2 examples of coping and resting (since TV can be a great de-stressor), it also paints a picture of a kid with a big imagination.

Thinking back to my childhood, I was similar in my attraction to TV. I couldn’t wait to see the next episode of a drama (back when you couldn’t binge and had to wait a whole week to see what happened between Dylan & Brenda!) or what the latest music video countdown contained. I definitely viewed TV as a warm blanket and still do, to an extent, although the time I get to watch nowadays is limited.

So, perhaps I’m being a little too hard on him. I will continue reading my book of TV-free activities. And I will still make many many attempts to engage him in the room full of toys upstairs or going outside to play, but as long as he is not significantly altering his behavior, mood, health or grades, I need to view it more like a part of him instead of something that takes a part of him. Besides, I turned out ok…right?