So, its that time of year when us Struggle Busers realize that it’s almost the Holiday season and that all of our irritating Type A friends have already booked their trips home to visit loved ones, or to exotic locales like the Maldives for a fabu Kardashian-style family getaway. If you’re like me, you’re scouring the internet for deals and coming up empty, but I have a few tips for those of us that are late to the party…
1) Deal With a Little Inconvenience
The cheapest flights for Christmas and New Years travel are, of course, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as well as late afternoon and evening on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Put a bow on yourself and show up at your loved ones door on Christmas Day. Guaranteed, you’ll be their favorite gift. Also, let’s be real, New Years is super annoying. Its never magical and it always costs a fortune. Being in the air instead of the roads with the drunkards on New Years Eve might be plus
2) Look At The Whole Month
Use sites like Kayak to look at how the prices fluctuate over the course of the month. If you take a close look at all of the available flight dates you might be able to find that elusive window when the flights are at their lowest prices.
3) Wait Until January
If you’re doing a Holiday getaway to the sun, wait until just after the Holidays. All inclusive packages and flights are at their absolute lowest and everyone in your office will be super jealous when you extend your Holiday fun for an extra week.
My best tip of the day however, is to check out the fun Virgin Airlines flight safety video posted here. Gotta love, Virgin! Great flights and a great sense of humor! What more can a Struggle Buser want?
So, I just started a new job, which is great BUT… at the end of the day, I’m EXHAUSTED. Needless to say, I’ve been pretty lax in the gym department. I literally have to drive past the gym of my apartment complex to get to my home and the guilt just weighs on me as I watch a 50 year old, size 2 woman banging out an hour on the treadmill, after probably returning from her busy Senior VP job, when I can’t even bring myself to do a half hour run after my work day. Not to mention, I’ve been neglecting my beloved Studio MDR. To add insult to injury my fiancee has widdled himself down to downright svelt in that very gym recently. So what’s a girl to do?
Well, its really a question of motivation, isn’t it? You’ve gotta figure out what will get you there every day. Do you want to cut down on your investment in Spanx? Or maybe you’ve been really honest with yourself and know that going on that week long juice diet that Gwyneth Paltrow went on, isn’t going to get you into that bridesmaid’s dress next month? Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve heard the news that Jonathan Bennett, that hottie that played Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, now teaches spin classes at Flywheel in Los Angeles. Click on the photo for the full story on Buzzfeed.
Struggle Bus Challenge: Figure out what would motivate you to get your sweat on at the gym and share your tips here with your fellow Struggle Busers!
Can we just talk about special agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone)? If you’re not watching NBC’s The Blacklist yet, you should be. Even if only for the simple fact that this woman’s disastrous life will make you feel really good about your own life. Struggle Bus central! Elizabeth is a young FBI agent who on her very first day of work gets roped into the crazy web of insanity that “crazy eyes” James Spader cooks up. He is known as a “terrorist concierge” (there’s apparently a job out there for everyone), and for some unknown reason he has decided to surrender himself only to Elizabeth Keen after being on the lamb for decades. As if that’s not bad enough, she’s got a seemingly perfect husband, with a mystery box buried under the floor, that’s filled with cash, a gun and several passports (things that make you go hmmm!) Let’s not even discuss the terrifying situations that she finds herself in every week as she tracks down all of James Spader’s seriously scary former clients.
This show is fast paced, fun, and I mean….James Spader? Come on! So great! So creepy! Monday is always a Struggle Bus day for everyone, so isn’t it nice that you can come home and watch someone who is inevitably going to have a far worse day than you? I have to say I enjoy it. Also Elizabeth Keen gets major Struggle Bus points for never giving up and always using her head. We can all learn a lesson from that. Agent Keen drives the bus like a BOSS! Blacklist is on Mondays on NBC.
Where is my VP title and corner office? I have been wondering this for a while. I mean, I’m screenqueenb for god sakes! I kick butt at work and gosh darn it…people like me. Will I ever get to the top of my field or will I forever be destined to be somewhere in the middle? I’m sure this is probably a question that a lot of us struggle busers have asked. For many of us that were in college in the 90’s or earlier like myself, there has to come a point when you realize that you got out of school just in time to be behind in the digital world and that that might be what’s tripping you up.
When I was in college, no one was teaching about social media or web analytics and for years I thought I was above it, but when I was really honest with myself, I realized that my entire industry had changed and was nothing like what I had been taught in college, and maybe wasn’t even like what I had learned on the job for over a decade. I’m in marketing, but the reality is that no matter what career path you’re on, or what line of work you’re in, the digital age is rocking it and you need to get prepared if you want to be competitive.
So, as many of you know, I decided to go back to school and get a certificate in social media and web analytics to help along my own career. That pursuit is actually what spawned this blog in the first place. Its a homework assignment, but low and behold I kind of love blogging. I’ve been taking classes at UCLA Extension, and I literally feel like this little section of my brain, that was on the fritz, is now working! I’m thinking in a totally different way and now have an unbelievable amount of new tools to offer up my employer. As we all know, the most valuable player is the one that gets the rewards, so now I feel like I’m a step closer to reaping those career rewards that I’ve sought after for so long.
If you’re on your own career struggle bus, and maybe don’t have the energy or funds to do a Masters program, I highly recommend checking out some of the certificate programs available across the country. Many of them can be completed online, if you’re worried about getting to class when you have a tough work schedule. I can recommend UCLA Extension, whole heartedly. UCLA also has a self guided program called UCLA Empowered that anyone can do on their own with the help of an iPad and a little commitment. Click on the photo above to go right to the UCLA Extension home page!
The last year of my life was literally struggle bus central because the job that I moved all the way to Los Angeles for turned out to be a horrible fit. I had uprooted myself and my fiance for something that just wasn’t worth it. The whole situation literally took me to the darkest place I had ever been. I mean, there were literally days when I sat in bed playing Candy Crush Saga all day. LAME! I don’t know what it was, but one day I went for a walk in beautiful Marina Del Rey and saw all of these perfectly sculpted bodies doing what looked like pilates, inside a fabulously pink studio… and then I glanced at my bootay which now had its own zip code and decided to give it a whirl. Boy am I glad I did. This magical place was called Studio MDR.
Studio MDR teaches a method of pilates called SPX that is performed on a souped up reformer, without rest between movements. It freaking hurts like child birth, but the teachers are the bomb and the owner is this completely inspirational woman, that left a career in the music industry to follow her heart and do what makes her happy. Tell me that’s not a good role model! If you’re in the Los Angeles area, definitely check out Studio MDR, but if you’re not in LA, SPX is becoming popular all over the country. Find a gym in your area that teaches it. You will literally sculpt every muscle in your body in 6 weeks or less. Not saying that exercise is the answer for everyone’s struggle bus woes, but it really helped me out of the ditch that I was in. Give it a whirl.
And for the money deprived like myself, definitely check for deals on Groupon or do a month long sample package and then try something else after a month like Soul Cycle…which will be my next workout experiment. Variety is the spice of life! Gotta mix it up.
So, I’m at home this weekend and I get that gross feeling where your head is a little wonky and your throat isn’t quite sore but you know its going to be and you just feel generally lethargic. So basically, productivity was extremely low this weekend, unless you count the fact that I have now sampled ALL of the new shows on every major network. As usual, many of them sucked, but I did note that there seem to be a lot of shows centered around blondes that are clearly on the struggle bus this season and I have to say, they aren’t too bad!
First, I checked out Trophy Wife on ABC. While I’m not the biggest Malin Ackerman fan, I have to admit I did kind of enjoy her flaky step mom antics. This poor girl has two ex-wives and 3 irritating kids to contend with and I gotta give her props for trying.
Super Fun Night, also on ABC features another SERIOUS struggle buser, played by Rebel Wilson who makes a commitment to doing fun activities with her nerd herd roommates every week. While the premise is a little silly, I love that these characters try something new every week and I find Rebel’s struggle to keep fully clothed on this show kind of hilarious. Any girl that will display her Spanx that openly, is ok in my book.
Also on the new CBS show Mom, Anna Farris gets the award for Struggle Bus Rider of the Month. She’s a single mom with kids by several different dads, struggling with sobriety and a mother that probably ruined her in the first place with her own alcoholism and less than mom-like behavior. She also has an affair to contend with with her married boss and now a pregnant teen. This girl’s got a lot on her plate and it sounds horrible, but somehow this girl is making it work, and who doesn’t love Anna Farris. You go girls! Ride that struggle bus!
If when you get home at night, you often directly insert your head under a rock, you may not know exactly what it means to be on the struggle bus. Being on the struggle bus is when life gives you lemons. At that point you have a few choices. You can grimace at how awful things are, or you can make lemonade which is boring. In my opinion you should take your lemons and make like… a nice chicken picatta or a really stiff cocktail with a twist. The point is, life is what you make it, so even when things aren’t going the best, there are always ways to make things better and have some fun.
I decided to write this blog to inspire you to take your unfortunate situations and make them work for you. For example, when you’re about 10 pounds too heavy to go to the wedding of your high school frenemy and you have about $15 in your bank account, so Tracy Anderson personal training is out of the question. What can you do? I’ve got a solution for that. Or, you just lost your job and you desperately need to figure out how to stretch your unemployment check far enough to get yourself to happy hour, I can help with that too. So keep checking in here and I’ll tell you how to have some fun despite the crap that life keeps throwing at you. Bottom line? Decide if you’re going to be roadkill, or ride along with me on the struggle bus! P.S. – Don’t drink and drive!