Cleaning House

Today is Labor Day.

And I decided to work. I cleaned out my room and did laundry. I’ve lost count how many loads but in the back of my mind all  I could think of was

  1. when will it end
  2. when did I get all these clothes and
  3. Can I still fit this?

Last week Wednesday I went to the doctor’s office and got news about my health. There’s huge possibility that I may have a thyroid problem.

Growing up my mom used to tell me about all the issues she had health wise. Her thyroid was one of them. She told me how she always had cold feet. Throughout the past years, I’ve had cold feet, or I’m always complaining about how cold I am in the work place office, and everyone just looks at me like I’m crazy.

I’m extremely worried.

And I know I have to make better decisions – otherwise, nothing will change. I’ve found it very difficult to stay committed to working out – especially if I’m going to bed super late.

In the previous years that wasn’t a problem for me.

I had a routine in place – but what’s been difficult is getting a new regimen and routine in place that I could actually commit to.

Currently, I am working two jobs, and taking on freelance clients. I simply need to better manage my time.

I believe this includes eliminating unproductive tasks and events that do not contribute toward my goal.

Today,  I was listening to James Clear on youtube about several keystone habits and how to go about implementing them. It gives me hope again that all is not lost when it comes to health.

I was also listening to a YouTuber when she compared fitness, growth, and contentment. If you plant a seed you don’t get mad that the seed isn;t a plant over night. You know it takes time to grow, and in the same way, weight loss health or anything else for that matter takes time to change.

If you are interested in seeing my fitness journey follow me on Instagram @doniagetsfit

I’ve also been thinking about documenting with youtube…

If you are into health and fitness and know of ways to reverse health issues feel free to connect and comment below.

Passion Projects

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited to create and see what could come of a passion project. Currently, I’m taking an online course and the intro to it has been really good. So far we’ve focused a great deal on ourselves for inspiration. It’s been very eye opening in the sense of being honest with myself, and a subtle awakening that feels like, ”

It’s been very eye opening in the sense of being honest with myself, and a subtle awakening that feels like, ” Hey, you aren’t living life. You are just getting by. ” This is something I said I’d never do.

This week we are tapping into our emotions and feeling the feels – good, bad, happy, sad, and everything in-between.

I really am excited to see what comes of this.

feelings of inadequacy

Before I left for Haiti one of my financial supporters told me about how she felt called to do more Missions work. She was reading,  “40 Days of Purpose” by Rick Warren. I was excited for her because I recall my church going through that with small groups, however, at the time I was away in college.

I decided to pick up the audio book and go through the book. It gave insight about how to find your purpose and even more so why you shouldn’t feel purposeless. Yet here I am feeling like crap and like I’m not working up to my best potential.

I read articles from IDEO and see how they talk about embracing creativity, ambiguity, doing more and talking less – yet I continue to feel inadequate, and far from what they are looking for in a designer.

Especially after having a terrible review from my place of employment that made me feel like my character, and work ethic was less than.

Often times I consider returning to grad school, but I think about the expense that comes with it. I don’t want to be in debt all my life.

As a designer, it’s difficult to be confident when you have people constantly critiquing your work. It’s difficult to get beyond the criticism when it’s done in vain or to tear you down. Ultimately I want to know that the work I create glorifies Christ, and edifies those around me.

And yet I think even more, and I question and wonder am I thinking far too much about myself? I entered design because I believed it could change peoples lives. Yet it seems like such a difficult thing to do. I wanted this journey to take a year but I am seeing that is likely not going to be the case.

I hate feeling that one job can dictate where you head next in your career. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t believe in mixing pleasure with business.

Never have I been so doubtful and fearful to make a move in my life, feeling stuck and without a plan. My ambitions often feel too grand for this life.

Falling Off The Wagon

One of the most difficult things I’ve found is getting back on the wagon after I’ve fallen off.
It’s been a constant struggle trying to get back to a regimen if working out, prepping meals, and taking on client work – all while working a nine to five. It’s practically impossible to do all those things and remain sane.
I think back and try to figure out what my motivation was and where my determination came from – and sometimes it was an upcoming event or a team of people that helped keep me accountable.
I have steadily been gaining weight and have crossed over the 200 mark. I can feel the weight weighing me down. I can say it’s in consistency, that work has been stressful, that I don’t have time to prep meals – but when you have a schedule it’s so much easier to stick to and to make progress. And the schedule has to be realistic.
I’m working on taking each day, one day at a time and making a lifestyle change that can last over the years.
I’m reminded by a good friend who shared some verses she quoted while she was running and walking on the track this weekend, ” The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but those that endure to the end”, and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Let us continue this race and remember it takes time for our bodies to make a difference.

Becoming a better Designer

Around this time last year I started blogging regularly and I wanted it to document my journey from here to there – there being IDEO.

I'm not there yet but a friend of mind posed a really great question. What if the industry still existed but ideo no longer exists? Then what?

This question was posed to ensure I wasn't putting ideo on a pedestal and for me to research and figure out other ways to do the work I'm interested in. It floored me. I had no responses and began to wonder," are there any other companies that do similar work?"

Regardless of the answer, I believe that I first have to become a better designer. I need to be designing for people in need, and to be solving real world problems. They can be small or big- but the best ones are within reach.

Most of design today is based on existing products that are slightly modified, but planned for obsolescence.

I keep debating if it's wise to return to school for a graduate degree or if I can continue in my field to gain additional experience. The field has grown exponentially and it's become competitive in a different playing field. But IDEO.org stands out to me as they focus on designing for people in poverty.

This hits home because my family knows what it means to grow up in poverty and struggling. Ever since I learned the power of design, I've wanted to use it to do good and to service people. It's what drew me deeper into the world of product design- designing products to improve people's lives.

So where does one start to improve themselves as an industrial designer? Especially when access to tools and understanding of engineering is limited- insert me and my scenario. Often you'll hear people say scratch your own itch. But for me, industrial design is all about scratching the itch for other people in need.

Boundaries in sharing

Since coming back from Haiti I've been writing more analog style. I've been digging deeper in my writing and getting more personal. So I haven't been sharing that publicly.

Not everything is made for social media.
We've become so accustomed to sharing everything, that the boundaries have become blurred.

I've felt the need to just come onto here and let you know I'm still writing. It's just been personal writing s that I didn't want to make public as of yet.

Cheers to 325 days of writing.

Subtle switch

There was an immediate yet subtle switch- back to consumption mode.

Yet there's this lingering thought of minimalism entering my mind due to seeing all the waste in Haiti and how it's affecting their environment.

What can I do to make an impactful change? What can we do to teach them to do something more productive and useful? How can we teach them to eliminate waste?

Don't get me wrong Haiti 🇭🇹 is a beautiful country. It just seems that they ought to be much farther ahead than where they are. It's got me putting my design thinking hat on to see what I could do to make a change.

No internet for a week and half

I didn't consume for a week and a half. No phone, no internet, no worries about bills or work or coworkers – non of that. For a week and a half.

Recently I went on a missions trip to Haiti and I was privileged to go and see the area in which my mom grew up.

Many people asked if I was culture shocked – but I didn't go with much expectations. I heard stories from not having access to any water or food, I've heard stories about how crazy the heat is, and how the natives are. I was able to live amounts the people for a week and a day but knowing that I would go back home played a part in the missions service trip.

The enjoyed not having to think of bills, work, or getting requests from people. I was in Haiti serving others full time but let's not make things all peachy. There were moments of frustration and annoyance but they passed daily quickly.

The heat got to me and had me drained and dehydrated so through the rest of the week I was checking my blood pressure. Turns out that it was significantly high majority of the week.

I have to make a doctors appointment and take my health much more seriously if I don't want any permanent issues.

Clean Water in 2017

So this missions trip for me was all about experiencing Haiti from a service standpoint. Yet it’s becoming more than that. If there is one thing I hear over and over again, it’s “do not drink the water”.
Often you hear this from country to country – especially when traveling overseas and in poorer countries.
But why is it that in the 21-century clean water isn’t prevalent everywhere?
Since going to school and studying industrial design, accumulating debt because “it’s an investment” and having a belief that I can change the world through design, I figured I can start with figuring out the best way to get clean water.
I really want to design to improve people’s lives. I understand that having a business requires making a profit – even if its just to sustain the business.
So where does one start?
I can see where a missions trip can have good intentions but we have to bring bottles of water with us. What happens to the waste we’ve brought and accumulated? If there was a better way to help filter water locally – so that foreigners could drink, and not get sick – this would eliminate costs for the non-profit as well as waste added to Haiti’s landfill.