This is 35 - Invitation to Contribute to a Published Book
Author. Eater. Mother. Reader.
November 7,2018 at 6:14PM UTC
On the eve of my 36th birthday, I'm announcing my next literary project, a compilation of themes tentatively titled, "This is 35." A marker of a milestone that I'm not yet sure even is one, but connected by the uncountable number of times this year I remarked on either my own or a friend/co-worker/acquaintance's situation with that phrase.
Here's the fun part - I'm looking to share YOUR stories, and those of anyone you know who might want to participate by having theirs published (by name or anonymously). Do you actually have to be 35 - no. It's a plus or minus situation, with the general sentiment of this stage of (mid?) life in mind and all of the things that entails - marriage (or not), kids (or not), aging (and aging parents), work (whether it's your job, career or side hustle), etc. And the more diversity of lifestyle, ethnicity, upbringing, location, outlook, the better, so please share with your networks if you will.
Each week for the next 8, I'm going to release a new chapter theme (all are posted on my website, https://www.reneecasteelcook.com/be-featured, along with the full length original inspiration, as edited by my birthday twin Tiffany Harelik) - if it speaks to you and you're willing to contribute your story, let me know (happy to interview those not up for the writing part). Writing will start in January and, if we're lucky, the book will release some time in 2019.
Let's start where it all started for me, with this little musing about a day in the life of 35 year old Renee (and many of you I know):
"When you find yourself cleaning up at least one unexpected mess per day, whether it’s a “critically important” fire drill at work, a random malfunction of some household object or a pile of crayons and cheerios (both soaked in milk long enough to become one, and texturally make it difficult not to gag as you race them to the garbage can in an attempt to avoid drippage)."
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I have a bossy coworker (male) who has usurped by (female) boss's authority previously, and attempted to do it again today.
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I Love Being Treated Professionally - I am Over "Trendy" Companies
When I left my last position at a major company, I never thought I would find something I liked as much.
At my last job, it felt like a family. I was incredibly close with all of my teammates and there was a very jovial, fun-loving atmosphere. I liked the work I was doing and I knew the intimate details of my co-workers' personal lives. We would have Margarita day, Nerf gun fights, and get up to other management-sponsored tomfoolery.
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I didn't want to leave and let me teammates down, even when I knew in my heart it was what was best for my family. I had a very important role that would have been difficult to replace, and that made me feel trapped. Some of my coworkers would joke and say things like, "You had better not ever think of quitting, because we would miss you too much. We need you here and it wouldn't be the same without you!"
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First of all, there are no long "heart to hearts" over people getting their feelings hurt. This was a frequent thing with one of my male colleagues at my old work, who was highly sensitive. I liked him as a person, but he was always getting his feelings hurt and it often felt like you had to walk on eggshells around him.
The HR person was also often moody, and while I liked them it was very stressful trying to communicate with them if someone else had upset them. In fact, there were a lot of people whose "moods" needed to be accommodated, and it was stressful - especially when you liked the person. Then their snappiness was even more upsetting because it wasn't just about work, it was personal.
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And I like that.
I like being treated like a professional. I like people not trying to "figure me out." I like less drama.
I just want to go to work, do my thing, get my paycheck, and go home. I have learned that having my emotions tied up with my co-workers did nothing for me except make leaving harder and stress me out. I don't want to work at another "trendy company" - I want to work at a normal place with normal hours and normal expectations.
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