Five Things I Learned at the Beach

Written By: Kim - Aug• 16•13

This week, my daughter and I spent a few days at the beach. Here are the five things I learned.

  1. If we lived near or on the water, I would ride my bike or walk every day. There is something about a body of water, but especially an ocean, that makes me want to get up and go. While I saw a few people using the indoor treadmills (which made me wonder at their sanity), the boardwalk was more than wide enough to accommodate everyone. This particular beach front even had a separate bicycle path. Maybe it was the constant ocean breeze, but it was a perfect way to incorporate healthy activity in to our day.photo
  2. At the beach, almost anything goes. Where else can you see someone waiting for the bus in a bikini? And holy cow, the trashy t-shirts. We haven’t been to an American beach in three years. I had forgotten about the tacky shops. Really America, we can do better.
  3. Dogs do not belong in baby strollers. If your dog cannot make it down the boardwalk, leave him or her at home. My daughter and I almost fell off our bikes from laughter when a 60-something woman was pushing her purse-size dog in a child-size stroller.
  4. The beach umbrella or cabana is worth the rental fee. It sounds like opposite day, but if I am mostly in the shade, I will stay on the beach longer. As you can see, I am not a sun worshipper. Despite my Italian mother, my fair skin, blue eyes and small amount of natural red tint comes via my German father. After I worked for a year at a cancer surgeon’s office, I am fanatical about sunscreen, hats, and shade. Interestingly enough, I don’t mind tanning my legs, with sunblock of course. So, if you want me to stick around the beach or the pool, then find me an umbrella or cabana.
  5. My daughter makes a great travel companion. Our trip this week was a girl’s retreat. She is enthusiastic about travel and is not afraid to let you see that. She likes to have an agenda. I often wonder if she will end up in meeting planning. The association world could use more people like her. The only complaint I have is that she likes to completely unpack and spread her items everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean within an hour of getting inside our room, the entire contents of her suitcase, backpack and beach bag are in the closet, bureau drawers, desk, bed, chair and bathroom.

Maybe it’s because my children are both teenagers now, but the summer just seems to fly by. My husband and I only have three more before our son goes off to college and five more before my daughter heads to college and we are empty nesters. Maybe then, we will trade the suburban house for a beach front place.

 

 

Five Lessons I Learned Working Retail

Written By: Kim - Feb• 12•13

Like many of you, I worked through college. It was part-time work, but it paid for something that I would otherwise not have had: my car. My parents were not in a financial position to purchase a car for me when I graduated from high school. I could either bum rides (we lived in a small town and there was no public transportation) or I could work. I chose to work.

┬ęSarah Jay courtesy of stock.xchng

┬ęSarah Jay courtesy of stock.xchng

I learned many lessons during those years, but here are the most important ones.

1. You are never to good to (fill in the blank). If the work is honest and you need the job, you will do it. Stocking shelves, cleaning toilets, stomaching rude customers, taking out the trash, running boring reports – nothing is beneath you when you have financial commitments. And, once you become the boss, don’t ever ask someone who works for you to do a task you won’t do.

2. Hard work gets noticed. The truly great bosses I have worked for watch employees and staff with precision. They notice a lot more than we think they do. If you are working hard and smart, they notice.

3. Never, ever think that a “blue collar” job is beneath you. While talents and skill sets vary between industries, anyone who is a good worker is priceless. It doesn’t matter if you are making $10 per hour or $2,000 per hour. Do your job well, people notice and you become an asset to your organization.

4. Just because someone seems to be at a crossroad doesn’t mean they wish to stay there. Everyone has dreams. When you met someone in your life, they may be on the path to their dream. They may not have named or claimed their dream or they may have just realized it. People come in to our lives and either offer us an experience or a lesson. Learn from them all.

5. Never judge someone by their clothes. The richest people in my hometown were the peanut farmers who wore jeans, overalls and hats to the store.

Don’t get me wrong: working retail through college was a great career motivator. Working nights and weekends, which is pretty common for college kids, sucks. Standing on your feet during your entire shift is definitely motivation for a desk job. But, I would not have traded my experience for anything. So if you have children, please encourage them to work a part-time job. The lessons you learn as a young adult will carry you through your life.