14 Things I Wish I Had Told My Young Adult

Our oldest has left the nest for his first real job. He has worked some part time gigs going through school but this will be his first fulltime job in his field of choice. Regardless of where your young adult is heading, there are always things you wish you had told them. You may wish you had that special last moment like parents in the past sending young adults off into the prairie, to college, to the big city, immigrating to the US, going into the military or just heading off on their own for a global adventure.  I think we all want our kids to be accountable, successful and independent. We want to see them get along with others, do well in their jobs, truly enjoy their work, and have long employment life.

Where is your path leading you?

If I could “do-over” our last special moment it would include:

  1. I’m sorry. I wish it was different but life isn’t perfect. But, life is good.
  2. Dissatisfaction can be a motivator.
  3. We encouraged you to dream. Continue to dream big.  Dream jobs do come along but it may not be your first job. That’s OK.
  4. For the most part, bosses are doing the best they can. They aren’t perfect. Figure out a way to get along.
  5. Work helps you determine what you enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. Give everything a try.
  6. Organizations are trying hard to create better work environments for their employees. But you are still ultimately responsible for finding the joy in your work.
  7. Making connections and building relationships will help you just as much if not more than education in helping your career.
  8. You have strengths but use them properly. Identify and manage the “dark side” of strengths. Your strength could be critical thinking but don’t become a critic no one wants to be around.
  9. Everyone has barriers or constraints that can prevent them from success.  Try to find a way to grow outside of your comfort zone.
  10. Be kind even when you don’t feel like it.
  11. Remember people when you make decisions. Try to see things from the other side.
  12. Balance logic with empathy.
  13. The less than perfect job can build important skills and characteristics like patience, flexibility, adaptability, and cool stuff like idea generation and creativity.
  14. Difficulties and disappointments can make you bitter or better. Choose the latter.


Six Staycation Helpful Hints

I honestly never thought we would never be a staycating couple. We’ve generally been able to take time off from work and enjoy at least one true vacation a year.  With our true vacation, we celebrate the nucleus family, “vacate” work, shake off routine and experience the world in some new and interesting manner. But times do change.  Work conditions change. Family situations evolve and you may find yourself needing a break from work or your situation but not your wallet.

We staycated this last weekend and actually learned a lot about our habits and ourselves. You may be staycating for economic or logistic reasons, but staycating can also be a personal learning and enrichment process to reset your Contentment Compass.

My husband and I are pretty structured. We enjoy checklists, project lists and activity schedules.  We prefer not to “fritter” away time, but we do understand the importance of clearing the mind. The thoughts below may not work for everyone, but here’s what we learned:

1)      Define your goal – do you want to recreate your normal vacation routine or create a totally new experience? For example, what do you normally do on vacation? Sleep late? Eat breakfast in? Have a morning or afternoon activity or both? Stay at boutique hotels or the rustic cabin on the lake for seclusion? For a new experience, do you want to create a Tuscan holiday or a spa weekend in the Texas Hill Country or Sedona but just can’t get away?

2)      Define Your Time Frame – Have a specific “departure” or start time and a “return” or end time.

3)      Define some rules – For example, no chores. No reading or sorting mail. No eating at home other than maybe coffee in the morning.  No eating at the usual and customary haunts. Visit locations outside your area code. Learn at least one thing new every day.  No emails other than what you read on your phone.  Computer time is only on the netbook or iPad and only once a day for a specific period of time during the day.

4)      Determine prep work – I personally found a clean car mentally equated to a rental car mentality. I didn’t get distracted with noticing the grass on the floor mats and the dust on the armrests.  Do what you normally do before you go out of town for any period of time. Get your major chores done so you won’t feel compelled to do it during your staycation.  Mow the lawn, water the plants, change the litter box, etc.  You may choose to give away fresh fruits and veggies to your neighbors if you are going to eat out for several days in a row. Then buy only food that you would normally buy on vacation.  It’s hot here in Houston in the summer.  I manually water the garden every day or so and it takes about 20 minutes. It’s a chore however pleasurable it can be at times. After the staycation, I thought about asking my neighbor who normally waters and cares for the cats to come over while we are out and about. Honestly, I would do it for her – so maybe next time. Seems trite but it’s about vacating your routine, your work and clearing your mind.

5)      Create your staycation language – Have some fun with this. Is your home the “hotel room” or cabin? Make your home office or computer the “business center.”  Your kitchen can be the “refreshment center” or “breakfast buffet.”

6)      Celebrate – Add in a special timeframe to celebrate and say “good-bye” to your staycation. My husband wisely included a cocktail time before our “flight departure” return  to relax and be thankful for what we have.  To be truly content.

Have you taken a staycation? What worked for you?

Next: Creating your Staycation Environment