Tag Archives: Birthday

Distally Located Social Support / The Best Birthday Gift Ever

18 Sep

Instead of reading a meta-analysis of research on role ambiguity and role conflict (Jackson & Schuler, 1985), I figured I’d write a little bit. This particular topic has been floating around in my head for a little while and I finally have some substance to fill in the skeleton of my thought.

Today marks the 7-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years already. On the other hand, I absolutely can. He passed a few weeks after my 17th birthday, while I was a senior in high school. I miss him from time-to-time, but I know he’d be proud of me. That’s what keeps me going.

Appropriately, this week’s readings for seminar deal with work-family conflict and job stress. If there’s one thing you experience in a PhD program, it’s job stress. However, according to Zellers and Perrewe (2001), certain personality characteristics can mitigate job burnout and strain. Also, they discuss how emotional social support can really be beneficial to those who exhibit extraversion (a dimension of the Big 5). I happen to be one of those people.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who really care about me – even if they’re not in the same time zone as I am. From my sister in Rhode Island who sends me hilarious and sometimes vulgar text messages, to Blian in New Jersey who sends me funny and punny Reddit-worthy stuff, to Sophie in Philly who listens to my bullsh*t and sent me a birthday card with googly eyes, to GSL in Nebraska who shares bitchin’ music and advice about getting through a PhD, to Jake in Cali who never fails to make me laugh hysterically and sent me the most amazing birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. (Note: this list is not all encompassing. There are so many people in my life who are loved and make me feel loved!)

I’ve known Jake for about 5 years now. Holy cow – it’s strange trying to remember how long you’ve known people. About a fortnight after my birthday, I received a package from Jake. I had been out studying and came back to a white package in my mailbox. He said he would be sending me something, but I didn’t expect an actual, full-on birthday gift! I opened the box to find a handwritten note, 7 pictures, and the cutest stuffed owl I’d ever seen. Here’s the most amazing thing: the owl was in all the pictures! Jake had gone around San Francisco and taken pictures of the owl in his favorite locations! I can’t believe how blue the West Coast is.

Of course, this owl needed a proper name. Through the magic of Reddit and some slight modification, my owl’s name is Sir Hooty McOwlface. A noble and fitting name for such an adorable creature. Thank you for making me smile, Jake 🙂

Sir Hooty McOwlface!


August Birthdays Rock

1 Aug

Happy August Everyone!

Whenever I get a new calendar, I flip straight to my  birthday month to see which picture I got. Sometimes I’m disappointed – August is in an interesting spot between the pretty summer photos and the lovely fall ones. No one really knows what kind of picture adequately describes August. It’s the awkward turtle of months. I think it’s the best of both worlds: you still get to enjoy some hot-weather activities and sometimes it’s cool enough to feel the beginning of fall.

I know some pretty fantastic people born in August (Erica, Blian, and Josh, to name a few). If you celebrate an August birthday, welcome to our month!

Usually I’m even more excited about my birthday than I seem to be now – mainly because I’ve been hitting some milestones. When you’re 18, you can vote, buy illicit items and a whole bunch of other stuff. When you’re 19, it’s the last year you’re a “teenager”. When you’re 20, you start your reign as a “twentysomething”. Most don’t remember their 21st birthday – I passed out at 10pm on mine and didn’t make it to the last bar I had planned on hitting. For me, 22 was the start of my new life in grad school. 23 was the beginning of my last year in a Master’s program and when I met Sophie (who is pretty much me, but a year younger – she’s TheBomb.com). 24 is going to be fun because I’m starting a new program in a new city, but I think I’m done with the whole “call all of your friends to go out to celebrate your birthday and go cray” thing. I’m feeling a low-key birthday this year – one that includes homework and writing and reading a crapton of journal articles. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂