Better. Stronger. Faster.

My last couple of posts - some months ago - were about a bit of a career transition I was in the middle of making. For the last seven plus years I've worked in HR in the higher education sector, for six and a half of those years at an urban research university that was part of a statewide system of universities and a healthcare system, this past July I was afforded the opportunity to oversee the compensation function at the system level - this meant working in a different city (still commutable from my home) with a different team at a different level in the organization. The opportunity was everything I hoped it would be, but I quickly found myself becoming more and more involved in items that weren't of a compensation specific nature - more opportunities! I was getting to play a bit in the talent management sandbox along with some areas in benefits, HR communications and others - long story short, we started looking at our organization (compensation being a part of Total Rewards) and in the last few weeks I've found myself promoted to a new role: Director, Total Rewards Operations. 

It's a big change, which got me thinking about change in general. My family is in the process of selling our home and building a new one; my daughters are growing like weeds and becoming their own unique people right in front of my eyes; I've started to think about my personal ambitions in addition to my professional ones. I started a list - not so much resolutions, but rather things I wanted to work on over the next 12 months. It includes:

Be better read
There was a time I'd log 100+ books a year, that number has shrank significantly since the birth of my oldest daughter and even more with the birth last year of our second daughter. I want to get back on track in this respect - I've discovered the joy of audiobooks since last July's transition - and dive back into knocking out a piece of long form fiction every week but also add a piece of business/management/leadership writing to the to read stack each month. That said, be on the lookout for a future site addition highlighting books I'm reading and recently read.

Move more
This one is exactly as it sounds, I'm not the best about taking the time to exercise; something I need to be more cognizant of as I consider my daughters and the future. I own a treadmill and a recumbent bike, I need to make a point of using them... every day. I'm going to take the steps instead of the elevator, I'll park my car further from the door at work,  I'll make a point of simply not sitting so much during my work day.

Be better fed
Nearly two years ago I became a vegetarian, I lost some weight (I really needed to) but over time I started to become one of those vegetarians that consisted on crap meat-free staples. For example, Oreo cookies are technically vegan. I'm going to strive to eat out less, eat more food cooked on my own stove (i.e. less takeout, less processed food, etc.), and watch how much of that food I'm cramming in my mouth. I want to set an example for daughters and be here long enough to keep setting that example long into their own adult lives.

Feed my avocation
I work in HR. I have a BA in Psychology, an MBA, and an MFA in writing. One of these things is not like the others. I love words - part of the reason behind this all too neglected site - and want to get back into the groove of pairing words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into pages. I want to churn out a new article each month (the kind I send somewhere and hopefully they decide to publish it), I want to keep the content on this site a bit more fresh (at least a couple of posts a month along with reviving the 9 Questions series), and I want to finally finish the novel I started as my MFA thesis before 2014 draws to a close.

Become an expert
I'm not a sports guy. I'm not a car guy. I'm not into woodworking. I don't hunt (see Be Better Fed above). I'm not really a drinker - though I do enjoy the occasional whisky when at a social function, I'd like to know more about the amber stuff in my glass, to be able to speak about the differences between Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Irish whisky and so on. I want to start a collection of fine spirits in the way some people collect wine. I want to be literate about a topic that has nothing to do with anything other my own interest in it.

So, wish me luck and I hope you continue to tune in here to see what's the what with the site and what I have to say (for better or worse). I hope that the words I share here, in the occasional article, or the work of others that I push out across my social media hubs is enlightening or at least of interest. Last, I hope your 2013 was great and your 2014 is even better.

Header Photo Credit: My Toy Museum via Compfight cc

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