• #30before30

    #30before30: Learn to make better small talk

    Learn to make better small talk and kiss that holiday party awkwardness goodbyeI hate small talk. It isn’t just that I run out of topics—I don’t have them to start with, thanks to a blend of social anxiety and garden-variety introversion. But somewhere in my twenties, I realized that learning how to make better small talk was an essential life skill that I needed to learn, fast.

    Why? For starters, there’s no magical formula for escaping awkward situations that lead to small talk. You will always find yourself at a work event seated next to someone you barely know, or at a party that’s comprised largely of strangers. No one likes someone who sits silently staring into space, and if you’re supposed to be networking, then it can do you some serious damage. “Quiet” translates too quickly to “standoffish”, to both workmates and potential in-laws!

    And I hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of situations when staring at your phone isn’t just considered rude, it might be physically impossible. (Back to those work events!)

  • books

    Book review: The Escape Room, by Megan Goldin

    The Escape Room, by Megan GoldinThe Escape Room intrigued me because of the premise: four hotshot investment bankers are lured to an abandoned office complex under the premise of participating in a team-building “escape room” exercise. Instead, they’re locked in an elevator, where clues and hints about their pasts create an atmosphere of suspicion.

    Who among them knows more than they’re letting on? Is it Vincent, alpha male and full of secrets? Sylvie, bitter over the unfair assessment of her worth versus that of her male peers? Or could it be Sam or Jules, both cash-strapped and desperate to outshine the competition in a season of small bonuses and large layoffs?

    And what does their plight have to do with a long-gone colleague named Sara, whose POV is intercut with the elevator scenes?

  • #30before30

    #30before30: Explore your passions

    Explore your passions! Selfie taken September 2018 on the beach at the Devils Punchbowl, Oregon

    In last week’s #30before30 post I talked a little about the inspiration for this blog series. It was also inspired by one of my favorite quotes, from the writer Douglas Adams:

    “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

    I definitely haven’t ended up where I thought I would at this age, but boy, have I seen some sights along the way! And looking back now, my view of goals, happiness and success have changed drastically. If I could go back in time and hand my younger self a new #30before30 list, it would look remarkably different from the bucket list of items I originally wanted to accomplish. There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned the hard way over the past few years, and I wish I could share that advice with younger me.

  • books,  Christmas,  Top Ten Tuesday,  winter

    Top ten wintry reads

    This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt (from That Artsy Reader Girl) is all about wintry/cozy reads…so here are ten of my wintry reads for your perusal. All take place largely in winter or in cold climates (or involve a theme of winter or Christmas in some way). FYI: these are best enjoyed with a mug of hot cocoa, a fluffy blanket, and a pet to cuddle, if possible!

    Top ten wintry reads

    The Snow Child by Eowyn  Ivey / The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden / The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell / Abandon by Blake Crouch / A Gift From Bob by James Bowen / The Blue Fox by Sjon / Hold The Dark by William Giraldi / House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy / Voices by Arnaldur Indridason / Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer