Bike to work- searching for the perfect bag

Hey! How is it going? Things are moving and shaking in my life but you probably already figured that out when I wrote "How to resign from a Job". The month of April has been, well rocky and unstable sound a little too negative for what it has been. I guess it has been out of my routine. In a good way, but I am a "planner" and someone who does well with a routine most of the time. The month or April has been about trying to find things that MIGHT fit in a routine. Because of that all my "normal" things (like blogging and eating!) have been all over the place. I stop training (at the new job) at the end of April so things might feel a little more stable in May, At least on my end.
One thing I have been trying out is biking to work. That is going to be part of my routine for sure! My job is only four miles from my house and I can bike most of the way on the river trail. I have only driven to work twice in the last three weeks. It is awesome. BUT....the bag I use sucks. It is a messenger-ish bag that I picked up from The Gap years ago. It slips a bit. Doesn't fit stuff comfortably and is not working out for me. I think I want a sling bag of some kind. I ordered something from Amazon, but it ended up being too small. I want something that goes on my back, not the bike, and someting that stays put but can care my lunch, water bottle, wallet, and iPad. And ..... maybe something I can strap my yoga mat to for the Wednesday's they offer yoga at lunch!
Any suggestions? Please help! I am looking for hip and comfortable and functional. It must exist, right?


First time beer tasting

I know that it is ironic that the post about beer tasting comes after the post about resigning from a job. In real life the beer tasting came first, but it took me a little while to get this up. So with out furthur ado... I give you: First time beer tasting!

I have some cousins that live near Portland, OR whom I have been seeing a lot more of lately. They have been coming to Southern California for some family events. They are into beer and the Middle Sister said the next time they come down she would organize a beer tasting. She contacted a friend and got the names of three breweries to try. So on a sunny Saturday I went beer tasting for the first time in Orange County with my sisters, Portland cousins, Dad, Uncle, Jan, and A and T. The Middle Sister had rented a car so we could all carpool, but there ended up being too many people so we were in two cars. It was a fun afternoon and I would do it again.

We went to three breweries and started at "The Brewery". The Middle Sister had brough snacks and we each picked different beers to try. You could get flights or pints.

The second place was Bottle Logic. They had a food truck outside and we got some burgers and fires to go with the beer.

The Little Sister is not really a beer drinker and was a designated driver. We called this photo "the D.D.".

The third brewery on our list had a line out the door so we did a google search and found one closer to our house called Barley Forge. This one had lots of food you could order with your beer and I ended up getting a beer float here. The had free popcorn! and Jenga. It was a good place to end the day and I liked that it was so close to our house so we could go there anything for lunch or dinner!

Now I wish I could tell you a little more about the beers I had, but it seems that after a month of time, I can not really remember the details of the day. To be honest, I am not sure how well I was remembering the detail on the next day either... but I had a great time and would do it again. Cheers!


How to resign from a job

Recently I resigned from a job I held for eight years. It was the first time I resigned from a job for the sake of resigning from a job. Not because I moved or was "pursuing educational goals". Nope. This time I resigned because I found something that was "a better fit" and "more in line with my life goals" and maybe also "just an awesome opportunity". Bottom line. It was a "better quality of life" for me and I am very excited for the change.

With that being said, I thought I would document some tips for resigning from a job.

Tip one: Have another job first and make sure everything is lined up for that job. I was offered a position and then had to wait for the position to be board approved. As much as I wanted to shout from the rafters that I was leaving, I held my tongue until everything was official. I had told a few people because I knew it was going to be a shock and I wanted to do everything I could to help get the ball rolling to replace my position after I left. Front loading a few people helped to make my transition out more effective and more peaceful. And it helped to create buy-in when people needed to temporarily take over some of my duties.

Tip two: Keep building bridges. When it came time to send the resignation email to my co-workers I made a choice to keep building bridges. I had two ideas going through my mind while I was waiting for board approval for when it came to letting my co-workers know I was resigning. Either to let the fires of the bridges I burned light my way (and I did think about this for a bit) or to end with grace and try to keep building bridges. In the end I chose to keep building bridges. The evening of the board meeting I waited at work for a text to let me know what my future held. Earlier I had composed an email to my co-workers and I had thought about sending two different emails. One to the people I liked, and one to the other people. At the end of the day (literally) I composed an email that was touching and professional. It built a bridge with people I will see through my profession. It was the right thing to do, and I was kind of proud of myself as I hit send. I then proceeded to be gone for three days (not planned that way) and the dust had settled when I returned to group of people who "where so happy for me".

Tip three: Transfer your job and tie up loose ends. I had a lot of things that I did at work that no one else did. As soon as the dust settled I got to work transferring those things. When you are the person resigning it is hard to take a leadership role on who does what. At this point I was glad I had confided in a co-worker before my announcement so she could take the "leadership" role in transferring my job. It did involve a lot of extra training from me, but that was cool. I made a point of keeping everyone in the loop so there would be no accusations about me after I had left. I went over and above (a norm for me, truthfully) to make sure things would run as smoothly as possible. I also offered my assistance if they needed it after I left, but know a few co-workers would do anything but ask me for help. No problem. It goes back to that "better quality of life" thing.

Speaking of that....

Tip four: Come up with your story. And by that I mean come up with the short reason you are resigning that is in line with your "building bridges" strategy. Sure I had a pro/con list and A LOT of reasons why I chose to resign, but when someone asked I would say; "better quality of life", "closer to home", "I can ride my bike to work". The people who KNOW all the other reasons already know, no need to leave with negativity. And by staying positive a lot of people said really positive things to me as well as I prepared to go. Things that reminded me of the positive things at my former job. And things that I will continue to do in my new job.

There were a few speed-bumps on my way out and I was grateful to pass those over. One thing that was a fluke was how the health insurance works. I ended at the end of the month and started the new job on the 1st. Turned out the 1st was a holiday so my medical benefits would not start for another month. If I had ended in the new month my benefits would have been covered for that month. So then I had to apply for COBRA (expensive!) but COBRA takes 45 days to go into effect and I will be insured in 30 days. I was advised to apply for COBRA but not pay unless I needed coverage. So the check is waiting in case I need it...

There were a lot of emotions I wasn't expecting when I resigned from this job. Relief being one of them. And a sadness for some of the people I had come to care about. Humor as people high-fived me for "escaping" and gratitude to hear how much I had touched peoples lives. I felt like I grew up a little with this experience and really consider it the first time I resigned from a job as a grown up.

And through it all I became an excellent bridge builder through sometimes hostile territory.

At the end of the day I want to like myself when I look in the mirror and when this was over and done with I am happy to report that I did!