Archive | March, 2011

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? Always Wanting More Time?

29 Mar

So Many Things… So Little Time…

It’s been a few days since I was on here and not because I had nothing to say but because I had no time. Every time I turn around lately there is something else I need to do. I often get a little break and get excited I have time, but then I really don’t as something else pops up. And this is partly because I don’t know what to do with myself when I have time on my hands…so I book myself with more. Basically, I am my own worst enemy!

I like to think I want free time and maybe I do but I honestly don’t know what to do with myself once I have it so I ask my friends how I can help them. I find new organizations to be involved in, new projects to work on, etc. And out of the 52 weeks a year I may actually be in the “pulling my hair out” phase about 15-20 weeks a year. All in all, this isn’t too bad considering the amount of weeks in a year but still I am sure some of my friends would appreciate it is I was more available during these 15-20 weeks. And if I wasn’t saying “I just need two more hours in a day!” I always feel like I leave my friends in the dust during my busy times.

More recently I took on a new position, one I am truly passionate about, but my time becomes compromised with this new role as well. I am a professional fundraiser so more often than not I am at events, meetings, dinners, etc. to make new connections and to continue fostering the current relationships I have. I also organize and run three volunteer committees. And my territory to do this in – four counties spanning about half of the state of Massachusetts. What I found though is while this seems like work to many, it isn’t for me. I love meeting people and hearing their stories. I love finding ways I can help and I honestly don’t mind driving. It took a while to get here but I know I finally found my passion and when you find it you too will feel like I do – this isn’t work; it’s part of your mission.

I would be remiss if my friends read this and I don’t mention I am finishing my third master’s degree (a doctorate to come one day), I am an adjunct professor at a local college, a gym instructor, and sit on two boards. An, I even help a friend on occasion with his business. I am not one to toot my own horn, I am oddly humble in that sense but I know my friends are proud of my accomplishments so I am learing to be as well. Frankly, I feel like a “goodie-two-shoe” or an “overacheiver” if I mention all that I do. I don’t want to show anyone up, that is never my intention, I just like to stay busy.

There are many days I leave my house at 4:30 in the morning only to get home between 9:00 and 10:00 pm only to do it all again the next day. I admit, some days this isn’t easy but I do what I do not because I need to stay busy but I love what I do. I have found areas I feel deeply about and have invested my time in to them. When I do have free time I sit on my couch with my dog and inevitably fall asleep; I could waste a whole afternoon napping. Some days, this feels good but to do this every day doesn’t make sense to me; hence the busy schedules I keep. However, my proudest accomplishment in juggling all of the moving pieces – if a friend or family member needs me I make it happen. I may not see many friends or talk to them on a regular basis but if any one of my friends needed me (and my family too) I make it happen because at the end of the day jobs will come and go but true friends will always stay.

My question to you today – are you your own worst enemy with time?

Someone Has to Say it…

13 Mar

…why not me?!

This week I realized how much candor I really have. I find I censor myself with those professionals I need to; however, around my close friends – be it male or female, I don’t sensor myself. I talk about my new tights that suck me in, or being moody because it is that time of the month, and even that I forgot a clean bra for after my gym workout and needed to improvise until I could run to Kohl’s later in the morning. I know I always just speak my mind but during family dinner tonight and sharing a few things they made me wonder ‘should I censor or filter?’

I obviously don’t say these things in a professional setting where it isn’t appropriate but I think it is fine to share these funny comments/stories with friends. It is what makes me, me. Should I filter my comments because I am around a guy who is a good friend? As far as I am concerned the males I am friends with have mothers, sisters, female relatives, and could one day be married – they will eventually catch on to periods and moodiness, tampons, tights and under garments that suck us in and smooth out things which could use a little smoothing out, bad hair days, face masks, etc. So why do I need to censor? It is what it is.

I sometimes think I would love to have a radio show – just an hour or two – where I can talk about all things female and life related. I have had some interesting experiences in my life with dating and just life in general and I am willing to talk about them. They are experiences that have helped shaped me into the woman I am today and they definitely make for fun stories and a good laugh. I have learned to accept throwing myself under a bus (metaphorically speaking) because as far as I am concerned, I am who I am and if I can make someone laugh or learn from my experiences, I am willing to do it and I am willing to make fun of myself at the same time.

My stories might be more relatable to women but my brother laughs when I share female stuff (don’t worry, don’t cross any real personal lines) because it gives him insight into “the ladies” as he says. My brother knows all about Vera Bradley, Coach, colors and styles that makes us women look slimmer, Uggs, etc. And I think it has helped him a few times in knowing this stuff, if you catch my drift. 😉

So while my parents, who at 60, think I share a little too much with the male population I am not sure I do. I don’t get into the nitty-gritty, I do keep it very high level and sometimes my friends can attest I struggle to tell the story in a way that doesn’t scare them off but still manage to tell them what happened to me a few hours earlier, so I do censor a little. But as for me, it is my life and my experiences and if you want to be a good friend of mine… suck it up and deal. This IS me and frankly, it could be a lot worse. I don’t swear a lot, I don’t smoke, I don’t make fun of others … I just share my stories hope to make you laugh…at my expense. 🙂  And if you are offended and don’t want to know…tell me, I can censor for you.

Do You Have a Personal Mission Statement?

7 Mar

It wasn’t too long ago I was sitting in my MBA marketing class when we discussed mission statements. While we learned the four parts of a mission statement our task wasn’t to create one for a business, but worse… ourselves. Do you know how hard that is? To really sit down and think about who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you are the best at it (the four parts of a mission statement)… let me tell you, it isn’t easy. It forces you to reflect on yourself and for someone who puts the lives of others first, this was hard for me.

As mentioned above ,a mission statement has four parts, and the easiest is essentially who you are when creating a personal mission statement. It is as simple as stating your name. But then comes the other three parts and for me, I do a lot. I teach at a college and a gym, I fundraise and plan events, and I am a connector. I am always thinking of who I know and who I meet and how to connect them, if applicable. How do you put this all together? Essentially I help people but that didn’t cut it for my professor…she wanted more.

After doing a SWOT analysis on myself and jotting down a lot of adjectives describing who I was and am, I finally came up with something I am ok with. Kristina Chapell is a dynamic, savvy, results-oriented professional who inspires and motivates by leveraging her energy, knowledge, and passion to help champion those she is connected with personally and professionally. I admit, I don’t have the last part in there – why I am the best at this, but I truly believe a mission statement is always a work in progress.

In fact today I was having a quick conversation via text message with a friend, someone I am helping. He and I had dinner the other night at one of my favorite restaurants where he ended up scoring a business meeting for this week. I am often sarcastic in nature with him however I was oddly sincere when I said “I am glad my social environment benefits your business environment.” Honestly, had he not known me he probably would not have been at that restaurant and wouldn’t have made this potential business contact. By no means am I looking for credit, but had I not made him go to my favorite place… the outcome could have been different.

In what in this text conversation today where I was reminded of my mission statement. I have always had this goal in life – to be wildly successful, but my mission in life is to help others. Whether I am working with someone to meet their fitness goals, learn about social media or event planning, raising money for a nonprofit, or connecting two people who can benefit from one another; I am helping. This is what makes me truly happy in life and I am thankful to be able to help others. I am also thankful for my best friend who knows all I do is help others and makes sure I take vacations where others can take care of me for a change. This is not an easy task by any means, but one I am learning to accept. Apparently at 30 I have learned I need to take care of me so I can take care of others.

Mission statements or philosophies or words to live by… whatever you call it, do you have one? Maybe two? Do you know what it is that drives you every day? If you know, is it written down in a place you can see it? I encourage you to create your mission statement; it might not be easy but it sure is rewarding. Remember – who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you are the best at it. To me, the last part – how you are the best – is always a work in progress. To me, if you have the other three parts you have a personal mission statement.

New Beginnings

1 Mar

June 2008 was a devastating time for me. I was laid off from my job and didn’t know where to turn. At 28 years old I didn’t know what was next; all I had was my part-time fitness instructor job. I spent the summer working out, going to the beach, and looking for a new job.

But somehow it was January 2009 before I knew it and the ten interviews I had in six months went nowhere. It was at this time I was encouraged to go back to school. After a long conversation with my parents, I decided school seemed like the logical answer. I figured if I was unable to join the workforce I would at least find ways to stay competitive and current – working towards my MBA. I also started doing a lot of volunteer work and free consulting work. This allowed me to expand my already large network, but it was in some of these volunteer and consulting jobs where I met my biggest cheerleaders.  

Fast forward to today and I am finishing my degree, final project/paper left, and I two jobs – full-time development officer for a local nonprofit and adjunct faculty member at a local college, the same college I am finishing my master’s. For two years I wondered when I would find a job again, one that fit me, and now I have it. School is no longer my crutch to keep me going or keep me busy. For 20 months it was my be all end all and the light is not at the end of the tunnel. While I am happy to be done, I am sad to see it go. I am shutting the door on a chapter of my life that truthfully made me “me” and opening a new door, one that will only see me continue to grow. Bittersweet…

Looking back I was so bitter about losing my job. While not the perfect fit nor what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was good at what I did; I spent four years doing it. I was well-respected and well paid; I was 28 and making close to $60,000 a year. I don’t think it was until June 2010, about two years later, when I finally stopped being bitter. Up until that time I still wanted to egg the houses of my ex-bosses (so mature I know!).

Very few knew I was bitter because I hid it well and didn’t share my feelings but I knew I was until somehow, one day I felt like a light bulb went off; the bitterness I felt stopped. Instead I was thankful for the time off, renewed friendships, new friendships and new experiences, new connections, and a new sense of self. While I spent my life saying “everything happens for a reason” I was finally able to realize it and accept this time. I finally realized the two and a half years I spent out of work, in school, and in a constant state of show and flux was only to lead me down a better path; one that was meant for me.

I am not going to lie, some days I wish it hadn’t taken me until 30 to figure out the rest of my life but I am glad it finally happened at 30 and not 40! I am also extremely glad I went back to school for my master’s. It was the glue that held me together from March 2009 until December 2010, without it I am not sure I would be here today. If it wasn’t for school I would have laid in bed all day as I didn’t have too many reasons to get out of bed on a daily basis; it kept me going when I didn’t want to. I wasn’t going to hurt myself but I admit I had some days where I just wanted to hide under the covers and never come out. School was my “drug” to keep me from slipping into a depression so it will be weird not have to write a paper or read three books in a week anymore.

While starting ym job in January was a new beginning leaving school behind will also be a new beginning. One filled with time for family and friends and working on new ventures (yet to be determined). All I know is while I am sad to see school go I am happy at the possibilities it created for me as well as the possibilities it leaves me with I have not encountered yet. Here’s to you school for helping me find my way.

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