Mondays are for GRACE!

We could all use a little GRACE now and then – I’ve definitely been using my fair share over the last few weeks. Here is your Monday morning reminder that you are capable of so many things! More than you can even being to imagine! Dedicate some time to stillness: close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and listen to your body. Give yourself what you you need, even if it’s a little bit of grace.


Mondays Are for Motivation (and coffee)!

There’s tons of negativity associated with Monday, specifically a Monday morning. I get it – you just had a great weekend and chances are you’d rather be at home than heading into a new week at work, I’ve been there. But Mondays can be about so much more! Monday morning is the jumpstart of your week, giving you an opportunity to set yourself up for success. Mondays are for Motivation (and coffee)!

I hope you take the time this morning to plan out your week ahead, write down things you’re grateful for, and identify what you’re excited about. I guarantee by doing those things you’ll feel a little more pumped to attack this week ahead! You got this!

I am excited for January's blog stats! It is my first month intentionally tracking goals and I can't wait to see this awesome month in numbers! (#nerdalert)-2.png

Don’t forget to share your attitude of gratitude and excitement with me on any of my social media platforms or via e-mail! I’d love to support you as you go through your week!


Fully Commit to the Foolishness

fully-commit-to-the-foolishnessIn an effort for full disclosure, I am stealing a line from a former executive I used to work with. I was standing in a room in front of the entire workforce within our organization, as Ice Ice Baby pumped through the sound system, and I was being forced to run through a tunnel of managers “like a basketball player” as my new “nickname” was announced.

“Emily, sometimes you’ve just got to fully commit to the foolishness.”

It was a groundbreaking moment for me.

I wanted to tell her, and my boss that was making me partake in such foolishness, to go take a flying leap. But I didn’t. I ran out as “Emily, don’t hesitate to facilitate, Paffenroth” was booming over the crowd. Ugh. I’m rolling my eyes even now as I type this on the screen.

She was right though, sometimes you have to let go of the reigns and just commit to the foolishness. Trying to make sense of everything and fold it up into a nice, neat, little box won’t make it any less foolish. The commitment allowed me to let go. To break free of how mortified I was, and how out of control I felt. It no longer was about the foolishness, but about how I was reacting to it.

I find myself, on a regular basis, having to remind myself to pick my battles and sometimes, fully commit to the foolishness. My constant need to fight the good fight can be downright exhausting. Not everything is going to make sense at the beginning, or even at the end, but there’s something tucked within the foolishness, even if it’s just a lesson about yourself, or at the very least, a good story to tell.

I mean, come on, can you picture me running through a crowd of people like a basketball player to Ice Ice Baby, at an all staff meeting!? Of course, you can’t! But it’s funny to think about, isn’t it?

In the midst of a difficult day yesterday, I found myself just feeling like I couldn’t keep up my pace. I couldn’t fully commit to everything going on in my life, I was overwhelmed. It left me in a holding pattern, a freeze, where I literally just sat on the floor of our resource center, padded the wall with bean bag chairs, put my laptop on my lap, and laid my head back. I contemplated just sitting there for the rest of the afternoon, I contemplated taking all of my PTO in the next two weeks, and I contemplated fully committing to the foolishness.

No one was asking me to run around to a 90s rap song in front of every staff member at my organization, so the foolishness wasn’t quite as blatant. The foolishness was me thinking I was failing if I didn’t give everything in my life 100%. That if I let some things go both physically, and mentally, that I wouldn’t be filling my role.

Regardless of my perception of what letting go means, I had to do it. I had to just focus on one task at a time, I couldn’t process everything all. the. time. I had to fully commit to the foolishness of knowing I can’t do it all. At least not by myself. Still, in my head, that seems foolish. I’ve always done it all before, why is this different? And in response to my own question: “it just is”.

This season in my life is just different than any other I have been through before. I can’t assume that will already be equipped to handle everything put before me, because nothing can prepare us for lays ahead for Justin and I. So I took a deep breath, and just tackled my work to-do list at that moment. I finished our February calendar, ran a process meeting, and went through all of my e-mails for the day, and then when 5:00pm came, I shut work down and focused on me. With yoga class at 6pm, I sat at the desk, put my headphones in and listened to the second half of one of my favorite podcasts until it was time to get up and hike it down the hallway. One thing at a time.

Lists & Links

lists-linksA week back into the real world left me with tons of things I wanted to share with you! There were so many times I wanted to drop everything and start typing out a blog post, or posting on Instagram! I didn’t, because, well, I need my job. But I’ve kept a list – JUST FOR YOU! Here’s this week’s Lists & Links!

One of the standard things on my Christmas list (yes, my mom still makes me write out a Christmas list!) is Target gift cards. It’s a store that I frequent and can easily spend hundreds of dollars in so having that little cushion to go and spend specifically for myself helps fill that need to SHOP. This year I walked away with a Kleen Kanteen and Blue Sky Daily Planner. So far I am loving them both!

Going back to work this week was a bittersweet thing. I was excited to come back with a fresh perspective and set some goals, but I also was missing my productive (and cozy) life as a blogger from the holiday break. At our weekly Jumpstart meeting, I walked them through a goal setting process. At the end I asked them to make the last goal about them as a team and they decided to focus on collaboration, communication, and support of each other. I was so pleasantly surprised! I am proud of them for all being open, honest, transparent, and supportive people – they are going to do so well together this year!

I’m not sure about you, but I am officially a Pinterest addict! A friend introduced it to me years ago and I have been using it daily ever sense. Over break, I finally finalized my Pinterest account for The Corner Office! It was so much fun to put together some boards specifically for this community and has been an unexpected source of inspiration as I’ve been thinking of moving forward with TCO.

With Justin’s transplant just a couple of weeks away I am working on simplifying my work life – delegating things I can, and streamlining our workflow so that I will be able to successfully work remotely almost daily. Weekly team meeting agendas – out the window! When I asked my team if they felt their weekly motivational e-mail was something they wanted to see continue, they all said very positive things, even that it sets the tone for their week! So I kept it on my to-do list and sent one later that afternoon. It was very nice to hear that something I came up with years ago, and have been spending hours on every week is worth my time and effort. Maybe I’ll even start writing them for you ::hint, hint::

I have this amazingly eccentric and mature part time staff member that works in my program. She is young, accomplished, hilarious, and just an amazing person to be around. For Christmas I bought her the journal Start Where You Are – I just had the opportunity to give it to her this week and she was so excited to spend some time thinking about her life and setting her self up for a good final year in her undergraduate program.

What are some of your favorite things from this week? Share your lists & links!

Throwback Thursday: My Lost Motivation


I have been feeling a little lost at work lately, unmotivated and aimless. I am going through a time of strategic planning, trial and error, and thinking about how to better structure a program that has been functioning for seven years. Usually, I thrive in these types of transitions. With everything else going on in my life recently, I seem to be weighed down by it. Instead of finding the excitement in my open calendar, office supplies, and brainstorming sessions, I’m finding that I am exhausted by them. I have a desire to be busy, to keep myself moving at a pace that doesn’t allow me to stop and think about what’s going on around me. Apparently, this is what happens when I finally get some time to rest: I miss the chaos.

I’ve been looking for my motivation, desperately looking for some inspiration that would give me the push to get it together. I haven’t quite found it yet, but I remembered writing this post a couple of years ago shortly after I had made the transition from team member to program supervisor. I set off in the early morning hours in search of inspiration and I found it. Here’s hoping the inspiration I’ve been on the hunt for surfaces soon.

I’m throwing it all the way back to October 2013 today with my post A Great Freaking Day!