Thursday, March 07, 2013

Where work and play blend together

Well, I have pretty much been a blog-writing bum this past two months. Here's a weak series of excuses for my absence. 



I’ve continued my volunteer work with The Gardens Project and North Coast Opportunities. For months I helped plan the first annual Farmers Convergence, which was an incredible success. It was last Friday (March 1), which ended up being a gorgeous 75 degree day (really can't complain about the NorCal winters), and it was a hit. Lots of people came, met, connected, shared ideas, and went home feeling inspired. We're already talking about doing it again next year.

I'm a mentor!

I also joined an exciting mentorship program which exists in just a few schools in California. Students apply in seventh grade. To qualify they must be high academic achievers from low-income families. If accepted they are assigned a mentor (who ideally sticks with them for all six years until they graduate) and a generous sum of money distributed throughout those 6 years with which to have experiences and buy items that will ready them for college.

What’s the point? Many low-income students who go to college and even receive scholarships often end up dropping out anyway because they feel ostracized, having never been out of their hometown or not knowing how to use chopsticks, for instance. Together, the student and mentor decide how best to spend that money to get them ready for college and beyond. It starts with local things like eating out at restaurants and going to see movies and plays. As the years progress it gets upped: a weekend in San Francisco, a weeklong summer camp, visits to college campuses, even international trips. Mentors also help students prep and apply for college (think SAT classes and entrance essay edits).

I have two girls, one in seventh and one in eighth grade whose mentor couldn’t continue, and I couldn’t be more excited about being part of their lives and helping them achieve their goals. It really is a blessing.

Oh right, work

March 3 was my one-year anniversary of being funemployed. I'm going to keep calling self-employment that since it's essentially like being unemployed; I spend most of my days in sweatpants in my cozy house, drinking tea, baking gluten free muffins, and taking long walks through my neighborhood. (Did I mention how nice the winter weather is here?) 

This probably doesn't convince you that I've been too busy to blog, but I swear I have real work. My baking schedule has been interrupted by a string of new clients - February was a month of new work and March and April will be just as busy. I'm approximating a 30 hour work week and feeling quite professional (despite the sweatpants). 


As part of my new lifestyle I seem to get to spend more time playing than working (if you want to hate me because I'm a lady of leisure, just remember I'm poor). Despite my financial restrictions, I'm still doing ridiculously cool things. Carson and I had the extraordinary opportunity to go to Colorado for 9 days in February, almost entirely paid for in exchange for our work as “hosts” for a ski trip operated by one of my clients. 

More on Colorado in its own dedicated blog. I'm also going to do a photo-only blog soon (with, let's face it, probably some long captions). Because I know how much people love to read long rambling written works with no real direction or purpose...

Is anyone else really looking forward to daylight savings kicking in on Sunday? (I'm not looking at you, Indiana - I know how much you hate it.)

1 comment:

Crab and Bee said...

Ah, your life sounds amazing right now!