Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Knit Blazer

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Old Navy Women's Knit BlazerOld Navy has a nice looking, casual knit blazer. The navy stripe (pictured) is almost entirely sold out, but it’s still available in solid colors red, gray, and navy. I think it looks like the perfect addition to a “working on the weekend” outfit. It’s $34.99 at Old Navy, available in regular, petite, and tall, and you can take 20% off with code ONBIG20. Women’s Knit Blazers

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

(L-2)

 

Comments

  1. anonforthis :

    I think this is cute, but Old Navy always has the wackiest fit. I think the majority of their clothes are made for short, wide people.

    • Yes, I think Old Navy is definitely a shop in person store. And it seems their stuff tends to get significantly bigger after a few wears.

      • Definitely shop in store. Most of my wardrobe growing up came from Old Navy, so I’ll always have a soft spot for the place. They tend to have an amazing clearance rack – it’s great for basic tees, sundresses and shorts.

    • I love Old Navy. I discovered their tall sizes, and though I’m 5’5″ I have a long torso/broad shoulders, and the tall shirts/dresses fit me so much better. I’m quite a fan.

      I buy mostly online, but I’ll return something immediately if it doesn’t work. I would say that I return about 70% of the stuff I buy, but that 30% is awesome sauce.

    • lucy stone :

      I agree! I am short and wide and most of their stuff is both too short and too wide even on me. It’s a cute blazer, though!

      • Houston Attny :

        I am too! And at some point, if a dress is too short on my short frame, is it no longer a dress and now a long tunic?

    • I second the boxy fit. My favorite Old Navy item are their breezy, plaid gauze shirts in fun colors and patterns – so great for a Saturday afternoon.

    • Short & wide :

      This is good to know. I’ve never shopped at Old Navy, but will definitely have to check it out.

  2. Super cute, I could pretty much ALWAYS dress like a sailor.

  3. I like! I have noticed that just a jacket elevates an otherwise OMG casual outfit, especially if you run into management types when you’re not expecting to.

    OTOH, outfit fail for me today. I blame Friday demin. Instead of just swapping out normal pants for jeans in an otherwise biz-cas outfit, I have gone to playground casual. It would be easier in the summer — you can just throw on a dress and go, but it was cold enough today to want a lot of layers.

    And, since I missed the all-cylinders discussion from yesterday, I am a partner in a BIGLAW firm and have a 7 figure book of business and two preschoolers. Pre-children, I had the time to commune with actual people face-to-face, now most of my time is spoken for, so this is my frolic.

    • anon for this :

      I am Biglaw associate (6th year) with a preschooler and a baby and am wondering if it is worth it to stick it out. I feel like I’m stagnating here and haven’t learned nearly as much as my colleagues in small to medium sized firms. Just took my first (and only depo) last fall. But I can run a mean doc review and supervise the heck out of some contract attorneys. Just got back from maternity leave not too long ago so maybe it is the lack-of-work slump that is making me wishy-washy. I used to be considered “highly desirable”– good school, great grades, fed clerkship . . .

      • First, congrats on toughing it out this far.

        It’s hard to say without knowing you, your firm, yourclients, and your city. Could it be time to rotate through a government litigation tour and then lateral back as a counsel with more skills / meaningful contacts? My litigation friends all had govt experience (i.e., so they had eventually first chaired jury trials by the time they went to firms) that seems to have been very valuable in getting the client face time that eventually made a big difference in their careers.

        In the very short run, I’d enjoy your lifestyle during the lull, but maybe try to formulate what you want to be doing in 5 and 10 years. Maybe with the free-ish time during the workday, you could do some informational interviewing or lunches with people who might help you figure it out?

        • anon for this :

          You are right and my main goal for my career to date has been a stint in government service. With budget cuts, very few positions have opened up in the past couple years. I have friends in the agency I’m looking at, made it through several rounds of interviewing last year, and was told I was a top candidate and to keep applying for future openings. Just trying to start thinking about what happens if I don’t ever get there. Thanks for the sage advice; you really made me feel better.

        • Thank you to you both, I’m 1.5 years in and in the same slump/thinking about next steps in litigation as well, so hearing this “to do” which was already on my list of “to dos,” is assuring.

  4. I wearing the grey version of this right now, with skinny jeans, at my office (jeans day at the firm). I ordered the Tall version and it the arms are actually long enough and the button isn’t too high-waisted. I always like sweater jackets like this for the in between a cardigan and a jacket clothing situations.

    On another note, thanks so much to this community a few weeks ago. I’m the commenter that posted anonymously one Friday about my horrible day: work emergency, sick nanny, pregnancy complications. I’m happy to report everything settled down and the pregnancy complications turned out to be nothing. Having a place to vent like this–full of similar-minded people–is so helpful.

  5. I agree with anonforthis that ON has the wackiest fit. It’s funny, I think their clothes are made for tall skinny people! Maybe I should go to anonforthis’s store.

  6. I could really use some advice. I am a relatively new associate working with a much more experienced attorney (not my supervisor) who is undermining and nitpicking me at every turn following a difference of opinion we had. She even highlights my inexperience in front of the entire team, seemingly to purposely embarrass me. And it’s not that I’m not working hard — I haven’t made a mistake or dropped the ball, we just disagreed over a legal issue. She’s been unprofessional to the point that other coworkers have mentioned it to me (ie. “she just has a strong personality, don’t get discouraged”, etc.)

    I feel like this is one of those situations where if I don’t stand up for myself, I will continue being a doormat and being treated like a misbehaving child in front of my coworkers. But I also am aware that I am less experienced and could learn some things from her. Should I try to talk to her one-on-one? If so, what can I say? I would REALLY appreciate some advice here.

    • I have a boss like this, and frankly, the relationship hasn’t improved, no matter what response I have. I’ve responded with interest, I’ve defended myself, I’ve ignored – doesn’t matter. It’s very discouraging. I’m nicely compensated, so I stick around.

    • I’d take the high road on this one. Just do your work and be amazing. Let her nitpick and demean. People’s comments to you suggest that her terrible personality is shining through like hi-beams on a truck, so the risk of her doing actual damage to your reputation seems minimal.

    • I know this sounds crazy but if you’ve proven your worth, and everyone is on your side, and then you cry in front of a supervisor about her, and act super surprised you are crying (genuinely), it will probably be addressed. Not that I know . . . .

      • ?

      • Giraffe with curls :

        I don’t understand the suggestion. She should go to her supervisor and cry and act surprised to be crying? That sounds….awfully risky, to say the least.

      • Sorry I clearly phrased that poorly. I had an experience much like this. I bucked up for a long time, proved my worth, and the whole team could see that the other attorney was being mean to me. Nothing was done about it until I eventually cried when my supervisor asked about it (I didn’t mean to cry! I was totally shocked to be crying) but then my supervisor dealt with it and it has been great since. I’m not saying someone should try this on purpose but that is how it played out for me.

    • Yes, this is STINK-O. When I was in my first year of LAW school, I had an GOVERMENT INTERNESHIP at the Departement of the Interior law department where I was asigned to design an on-line electronic legal data management and entry reppository where ALL of the legal memoreanda and law breif’s that were written either by attorney’s as well as the department’s OUTSIDE counsel could be stored ELECRONEICALLY, and that those memorandas and breif’s could be searched using a compleicated computer program.

      Well I was ONLEY going into my 2nd year of law school so all I was an expert in was the 1st year course’s like contracts, tort’s, criminal law and some other stuff, but all of a sudden, this SENIOR attorney decides that I am NOT compentent b/c I am not an expert on these silly issues which had alot to do with goverment contracting, land law, water right’s and so many other things that NO ONE at my law school knew anything about unless they worked at the INTERIOR department for years. WHAT A FOOEY!

      This senior attorney was a real B****H to me (I think b/c the male attorney’s alway’s wanted to eat lunch with me). She said I was dumb for NOT knoweing as much as she did on all of these issue’s, and there was nothing I could DO or say, even tho she was WRONG. FOOEY ON HER I SAID. (BTW, she did NOT bathe and she smelled badly–FOOEY!)

      My dad said to ignore her and to try and get work from the other lawyer’s who liked me. That realy didn’t work b/c the work was ONLEY for the summer, and I did NOT want to go back any way, but I remember this when I am lookeing to get new cleint’s for the firm and when I am apearing in COURT. The lesson I learned from him (and from Jackie Onasis) is to always work your hardest for peeople that will reward you, and stay away from peeople who do NOT apreaciate you. I admit that I do NOT learn as much, but by being nice to peeople that help me (like the manageing attorney, and a few judge’s who I apear before in Court), I do better b/c they like me and I pay attention to them. YAY!

    • Yes, take the high road, document the hell out of everything (email confirmation of conversations or subtle references to conversations – here’s the analysis you asked for yesterday. as requested, i examined a, b, and c). There’s no conversation you can have here. It sounds like the rest of the office knows she’s awful and they sympathize with you. In all likelihood, they’ve also worked with her and know exactly how she is. I’m so sorry to say this, but talking to her about her poor behavior is going to blow up in your face. She’ll get angry and then intentionally meaner just because you dared to say something.

      • This. Honestly, I”d start finding ways to avoid working with her or start looking for a new job. She’s only going to get worse and she’s already sabotaging your career.

    • lawsuited :

      With regards to pointing out your inexperience to the rest of the team – try not to take it personally. I have a senior lawyer who frequently does this to me, and I used to be so offended. But then I realised – I *am* (comparably) inexperienced, and everyone in the room already knows it, so who cares if she wants to point it out? Pointing out that I’m inexperienced is so obvious as to be meaningless and petty.

    • AnonAttorney :

      I have this same problem with a senior female associate, and the best advice I got was to take the high road and not acknowledge her rudeness because one day she might come around and realize that there’s no need to be a b**** and if you never became an enemy she can still start treating you nicely someday, while saving face. If you DO reciprocate the negative emotions, there’s no way you could possibly be friends later. I’ve also found that people like that tend to have a reputation for being difficult with others (in my case her secretary and the other associates hate working with her also), so at least you’re likely in good company.
      FYI, this is also a great tactic with a mother in law… worked for me anyway! I think my MIL felt a little defensive that her only baby boy was drifting away from her but I acted like I didn’t notice the passive-aggressiveness and back-handed insults and she quickly changed her tune and treats me really well. :)

  7. I will start googling once I summon the mental energy to do it but I figure I’d ask here: is there a place where you can check yourself in and all kinds of doctors converge and try to figure out what’s wrong with you? Like on House the tv show? Or is there a doctor listserv I can access where I feed them lots of amazing food and lull them into diagnosing me (with appropriate health insurance billing, of course)? Cuz that would be awesome.

    • anonforthis :

      Um…a hospital? The ER? What’s wrong with you? Or do you just THINK something is wrong with you? I would start with your PCP and go to specialists from there…

      • East Coaster :

        Clearly not a regular reader of this site?

        • I actually laughed. At both anonforthis and East Coaster.

          It’s amazing how one’s perspective changes after something major. Mostly, I feel happy knowing that there are people in the world who aren’t sick, who feel wonderful, who have that faith in doctors and hospitals and medicine. That must be an amazing feeling.

          • You don’t have to be a smart ass. Your question was cryptic and you shouldn’t assume everyone who reads this site knows who you are.

      • Some of the large hospital systems, like Mayo and Johns Hopkins will set up 1-2 days where they do a comprehensive evaluation. I’m thinking about doing this myself. I haven’t gotten so far where I’ve checked insurance coverage or anything. But their websites are pretty clear that they offer this type of comprehensive exam. Good luck! I know that unexplained health issues can really start to derail everything else in your life, so I hope you can get it figured out.

    • If they’re in the same geographical area, they may already know each other. In my experience you can tell each doctor that you’re visiting the others and they’re more than happy to share notes and come together on a treatment plan. The hope is that different specialists respect each others training. There’s always the issue of egos getting in the way but it’s worth a try.

    • Houston Attny :

      Ru, I know you’ve had a lot of health things, and I truly feel for you. Have you considered the Mayo Clinic? I’ve heard very good things and I really don’t think you’re overstepping if you’ve continued to suffer and the regular docs just aren’t putting all of the pieces together.

      That said, my very best doctor ever is an internist. A very good one who came highly recommended and took the time to put all the pieces together – mental, physical, blood work – and get me on the right everything. I wish you the best of luck.

      • Mighty Mouse :

        Agree–start with a Family Doctor or Internist. Ask them for their business card and hand these out to specialists. Tell them to keep your PCP in the loop. In my experience, specialists (obv) are very system-focused (cardiologists don’t always think about how your kidneys or belly may be involved in a problem).

        That being said, if you’re spinning your wheels locally, try for a second opinion at a tertiary care center. Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, Lahey, or any academic center.

        Finally, a plug for an academic center. Start outpatient. Yes, you’ll be seen by a resident…who will talk to his / her attending…and if your case is really interesting or complex, she’ll talk to other residents, attendings and specialist with whom she’s made connections. Residents see fewer patients per session and have more time for talking, examining and researching! (Full disclosure–I was once a resident and loved being able to do this!)

        • Definitely an internist over a family practice doctor.

          • Mighty Mouse :

            I don’t agree with that—there are lots of great doctors out there (and, of course, lots of not-so-great). But starting an FM vs IM war doesn’t help matters.

          • S in Chicago :

            Forgive me Mighty Mouse, because I was thinking the same thing as B23 and with no slight to family practice folks in any way. I thought the two were basically interchangeable except that the internal medicine MD would be focused exclusively on adult care (and Ru being an adult….) and that family practice could treat all but was basically focused on highschool and under. Maybe somewhere along the way I was getting family practice confused with a pediatrician or something?

            Could you explain roughly the difference between the two? (Not being snarky in any way, shape, or form–just generally would like to know what it is.)

          • I agree with S in Chicago. The training is totally different, and an internist would be better trained for this type of thing. They aren’t always better, but in this case, they are more suited.

          • Mighty Mouse :

            Agree that Internists see adults only. Family docs see infants through elderly. Family doctors are often found in healthcare shortage areas (rural or urban) since a clinic can get “more bang for their buck,” but you may see them anywhere. Same with general Internists.

            Both have three years of post-graduate training, some inpatient and some outpatient. Often, internists have more inpatient training and more outpatient, but that may not always be so. Family doctors can and do take care of hospitalized patients, ICU patients and even deliver babies.

            Both groups may go on to specialize—Internists may specialize in Cardiology, Pulmonology (most of the -ologies, with a few exceptions). Family doctors may specialize in Sports Med, Sleep Med, Women’s Health, etc (none of the -ologies, essentially).

            Both groups are awesome, both have some crossover. But every so often, Family doctors are viewed as “less than competent”—hence my (perhaps unnecessary) sensitivity.

            Thanks for the opportunity to explain a bit more.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            I have a family doc who is an internist, she just practices at a family practice. She is great.

            She has referred me to several specialists to figure out what is wrong with me. None of them can figure it out. They all say it sounds like something that’s in another system. (The cardiologist said it wasn’t heart-related, the ENT said it wasn’t ear or nose problems, etc.)

            I don’t live near an academic hospital or one of those famous clinics.

            I hear you, Ru.

            My last specialist said, “This might be early MS. Or you may have to live with the fact that we may never know what is going on.”

      • I live in MN where the Mayo Clinic is located and in my experience (some personal and some 2nd hand), they are FABULOUS at figuring out “weird stuff” when people present with a collection of symptoms that other physicians haven’t figured out.

    • We have (north of the border) private clinics that do this sort of thing – Mecan being one example: http://www.medcan.com/. Maybe something like that exists near you?

    • Cleveland Clinic. I know you’re in NYC, but at this point it might be worth the travel.

      • That was my first thought, too. I have had relatives go to Cleveland Clinic in this very type of situation, where the diagnosis required several specialists to collaborate. Of course they all live in PA and OH.

        Ru, I’m so sorry you still haven’t gotten relief from this. It just plain sucks.

    • Do you happen to have United Health Care for your health coverage? I believe they have a program supporting this sort of theory, if you do, maybe call and ask for ideas . For that matter, perhaps call your carrier and ask if there are any sort of practioners they have in their network that happen to do this sort of practice?

      • Actually, I do. It didn’t occur to me to call my health insurance, so thank you for that idea.

        I don’t ask these questions lightly. I have head pain for 90 continuous days. I spend my days pretending I’m an engineer. After work, I go to a medical provider. Every day. When I get home, I make my family sad when they see I’m still suffering. I wake up with terrible pain. I have tried lots of terrible medication. I have interesting medical equipment at home. I tried resting at home, doing absolutely nothing – stayed home from work for 3 weeks. Nada.

        I have an internist coordinating my care with neurologists, headache specialists, pain management specialists, orthopedist, physical therapist, and chiropractor. I’ve been to the opthamologist, a few ENTs and allergists, too. I’ve begun the process to be evaluated for neurosurgery. I am told I should consult a rheumatologist and a GI doc. I may start accupuncture soon.

        Just FYI – you can’t admit yourself to a hospital. Hospitals are for emergency care or to care for non-functioning people. I am slowly losing my mind but I can sometimes be productive. If I do go to the ER, they’ll pump me full of narcotics and tell me to follow up with a specialist. Which I’ve done. I thought that living in NYC and having access to “the best doctors” was something.

        I just don’t know.

        • I’m so sorry. Don’t lose hope. It’s probably a good thing that they’ve ruled out the simpler (usually scarier) stuff.

        • If you call, I would also inquire about patient advocacy. I can’t imagine how physically and emotionally exhausting your situation must be. In the spirit of Snowstorm Nemo…just keep swimming.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Ru, I have no idea if this would help you, but it helped my stepmom who had chronic severe migraines. I’m sure I’m going to butcher the explanation of this, but it turned out that she had extra fluid inside her brain so she had surgery to have a tube put in to drain the fluid from her brain into her stomach. She healed from the surgery itself crazy fast, as in up and walking around the house within a few days to a week, and it made a significant difference. She still gets migraines sometimes, but far less often and they don’t last as long as they used to. This is probably way different than what you’ve been experiencing since its been a consistent issue for so long and not something that comes and goes, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Hopefully one of the specialists will be able to pinpoint it and make it go away!

          • this sounds like your mother in law had excessive cerebrospinal fluid, and they placed a shunt to drain some of it. If Ru had this condition, it could be determined by a spinal tap.

        • Oh Ru, I’m so sorry this has been such a frustrating process. Sometimes I think the worst part is the disappointed family members. Just remember it’s not your fault that the doctors haven’t figured it out yet! You’re not disappointing them, the doctors are! Keep you head up and be your own advocate with the doctors as much as you can. I tend to respect them too much and not push enough for answers and low probability possibilities. If it gets too tough to fight while you’re in pain, consider having someone come with you to the appointments where you want to push them a bit more. Best of luck, really hoping you find something that works soon!

        • Question, and I don’t mean for you to take this the wrong way. Is there any chance that by seeing so many doctors and specialists you’ve been written off as someone doctor shopping and seeking pain meds and therefore not being taken seriously anymore? (I don’t believe that – I’m wondering if your doctors do.) My father had severe head pain for several months and after going to lots of doctors (including the Cleveland Clinic, as has been mentioned) and no one being able to find anything, they started to treat him as if he was crazy and/or addicted to pain pills, instead of treating his actual pain or trying to find a cause. It was awful, and eventually the pain went away on its own or one of the many medications he tried worked – but it was hell for my family for a long time. So be sure when you are talking to your doctors that you aren’t being written off as a junkie – I hope for your sake that isn’t the case, but be aware. Good luck to you.

          • Actually, I feel the opposite – doctors in NYC keep pushing lots of drugs on me, hoping that something will work. I have a small pharmacy of drugs I’ve tried and discontinued. I wish I could JSFAMO but my stupid head pain refuses to let me.

        • Having gone through something similar (head/neck pain 90% of the time for the last 9 years), I think the answer is that chronic pain is a funny thing and there aren’t always answers. Like you, mine came on suddenly, and I ran around to lots of doctors, but there was nothing obviously wrong. It seems like the problem probably lies in my neck muscles, and physical therapy helped some, as has taking anti-depressants. The objective level of pain probably isn’t much better, but it seems easier to handle. And while it may sound defeatist to just give up on solutions, it certainly became easier to cope once I stopped going to doctors and constantly worrying about it. After a few years, it became clear it wasn’t going away and I just had to do my best to manage it.

          • Also, as a scientist/engineer myself, I think there’s a very strong compulsion to find the cause of these types of problems and to think there’s a solution for very everything, but chronic pain is very poorly understood, and at least at this point, there just aren’t always easy solutions. I did try various other types of medication, but the side effects were generally worse than the benefits.

          • Solidarity! Have you tried trigger point injections? They’re helping my stiff neck/upper back muscles. Physical therapy alone just isn’t enough.

            I keep trying to accept the pain as my new normal and then my jerk body decides to amp it up. Taking a zen approach to it is probably helpful.

          • Seattle Freeze :

            Pain, I think you’ve articulated this very well. After 20+ years of my own constant headaches, I’ve come to a similar place. Learning to live with the pain and prioritize things that make it easier or more comfortable to do so is far from defeatist.

        • It’s United’s Best Doctors program, and it’s free to you – definitely try it. I hope they can help!

      • We used to have that insurance. The person who coordinated my son’s care was great–very competent at her job and knew enough about his “issue” that she was just a good person to talk to.

    • My sister spent five years trying to get a diagnosis for her hard-to-describe/pinpoint symptoms (debilitating dizziness, vertigo, dramatic weight loss, stomach problems, headaches, etc) and finally got a diagnosis a few months ago. Meds are working and she’s expected to make a full recovery in about six months.

      She kept an excel sheet of every doctor she saw, everything they suggested and dismissed, and kept seeing different doctors until someone tried something that worked. In the end, it turned out to be POTS, which is usually an illness that teenagers will get and is known for being hard to diagnose.

      After we got the diagnosis, we saw things about this disease everywhere (well, once we were looking)–so I would suggest exploring every route possible, going to places like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, and being persistent as can be. Also google your symptoms and read lots of blogs. You may go down some wrong paths, but now that we have the diagnosis, we found all of these blogs of people with the exact same symptoms. I know this must be incredibly frustrating, but know that you’ll probably get a diagnosis at some point.

      • Houston Attny :

        A spreadsheet?!? What a brilliant idea. Just to keep it all clear, to be able to say, “umm, thanks, but I was tested for that in October by Dr. Another Copay.” This is a good idea, and I’m glad your sister has it worked out after much, much work, and I wish her the best in her recovery. I’m hoping the same for you, Ru.

        • Thanks so much. It was really a hard few years for my family seeing her sick all the time.

          Also, one doctor had mentioned her ultimate diagnosis as a possibility a year earlier but they didn’t investigate it for some reason.

        • Thank you Houston Atty =). Batgirl, I was absolutely planning on spending my weekend putting together a spreadsheet to organize my binder full of fun medical facts. I’m happy things worked out for your sister.

          • Thanks, Ru. I really hope you figure out a solution soon. I think she recorded who she saw, when, what symptoms she had then (b/c the list grew as time passed), what tests they ran, what theories they proposed, and who they referred her to. Eventually, she’d bring it to doctors’ offices and I think some found it helpful. Clearly some just ignored her or thought she was crazy, but in the end, the diagnosis matched literally every weird symptom–from having difficulty finding the right word to having worse headaches when the barometric pressure dropped! Good luck!

      • Just wanted to say I sympathize so much with your sister – I was also finally diagnosed with POTS about two years ago after mis-diagnoses of dehydration and vertigo. Thankfully though since I was on a college campus with a large advanced medical facility, it only took 6 months. I also started meds and it’s insane how much higher my quality of life has been – I had gotten so used to feeling constantly fatigued and like I was going to faint (or actually fainting) every time I stood up that I had forgotten what it was like to be “normal.” Changed my life. I hope your sister will soon be doing as well as I have been!

      • I had never heard of POTS until a friend of my daughter’s was diagnosed about a year ago. It only took 6 months or so for them to figure it out….

        • I’m not sure how old the daughter is, but POTS is usually found in teenagers–my sister was 24 by the time she was diagnosed so most doctors weren’t familiar with it (mostly pediatric cardiologists know about it) or thought she was too old for it. The doctor she ended up seeing said she was the worst case he’d ever seen.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Ru, it was a very long time ago but my mom had what you are seeking at the Lahey Clinic in Mass. I’m not sure if they still take that approach or not. My parents were very impressed with the care my mom received and anytime someone mentions an illness of unknown origin my dad recommends they try Lahey. This was pre-HMO days. Not sure what it is like now.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Also, read the book “Don’t let your HMO kill you” and “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” I found both very helpful when trying to get my Crohns diagnosed.

    • Giraffe with curls :

      Did you have any sort of injury–even something incredibly minor–just before you began experiencing the pain? A cousin of mine was finally diagnosed with Reflexive Sympathetic Disorder after she had a bruise that seemed to physically heal but still kept her in constant, extreme pain. It has since affected all of her major systems and has been quite debilitating. There are some treatments that help though. RSD is rare and I really hope that’s not what you have, but it is hard to diagnose and easily missed.
      Good luck – that spreadsheet sounds like a really good idea, and I hope whatever is going on will be figured out soon.

      • My mother has RSD. It took years to diagnose and left me without a mother as I was growing up because she was almost totally nonfunctional during that time. She now has a morphine pump installed in her spine and can live her life again to some degree. My sympathies to your cousin and her family.

        • Giraffe with curls :

          Thanks anon. She has two teenagers and was injured when they were both under 5, so they’ve grown up only knowing her as a sick person. I think she pushes through a LOT but it is so hard for all of us to remember and know what they’ve missed in their mom. I’m glad the pump is even somewhat successful for your mom, and I’m sorry that you and she have been affected by RSD. It’s such a strange, all-consuming, awful disease.

          • I was 8 when my mother was injured, so my experience is similar to your cousin’s children. If I may be so bold, I strongly recommend that the kids get counseling if they haven’t yet. Dealing with a sick mother and the attendant impact it has had on my life has left a lot of scars on me. By my 20s, I was long overdue for a safe place to mourn and be angry without guilt about the fact that I didn’t really have a mother for much of my childhood and was forced to grow up so quickly, even if it wasn’t her fault.

            To be even more bold, I think what would have helped me most of all when I was still a child was acknowledgment from her/my family that she wasn’t doing many the things “good moms” do, like pack lunches or make dinner or help with homework or take 20 minutes to drive me to school instead of making me take the public bus for an hour-plus each way, help with college applications or come to my sports events, that her not doing those things had a serious negative impact on me, and that she was sorry. I was mostly on my own not long after she got sick.

            After she got sick, my mother decided to live in an alternate version of reality where if reality is not actually spoken, it never happened – only her experience mattered, never mine. As an adult, I can see that was just her way of coping with the overwhelming pain – she couldn’t face also being a “bad mother” while she was suffering, and also thought that she shouldn’t have to do all the “good mother” things since she was suffering, so she just gave herself a pass on most things. I can see now that she pushed through on what she could, which wasn’t much, and pretended that whatever she didn’t do didn’t exist or didn’t need doing or wasn’t worth doing because she couldn’t face it. Except I was a child, and I still needed her to do the “good mother” things, I still needed her to actually be a parent. RSD was not fair to her, but it wasn’t fair to me either.

            I’m sorry to have overshared, but being a child of a chronically ill person is a uniquely scarring experience. I hope your cousin’s teenagers are getting the support they need.

          • Giraffe with curls :

            Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to read your post. That sounds nothing short of awful. I am glad that it sounds like you are getting support that you need – I absolutely agree that whether it was your mom’s fault she was sick or not, it wasn’t fair for you to not have a safe place to deal with your feelings of being robbed of a mother (if I may summarize!).
            As far as my cousin goes, she may have less severe RSD than your mom, because she really is there for her kids, at the expense of basically everything else in life – she goes to their sporting events (and they have a ton), cooks as much as she can, drives them all over, helps with homework – and then spends the rest of the day while they’re in school recovering so she can gear up for the next round. I am not close to her kids at all, but it seems like they are fiercely protective of her when other kids make fun of them or her for not being able to move very fast or being in pain just from an open window (which I can’t even imagine people doing, but apparently people do). She also has a ton of family in the area which helps too. RSD is just plain evil, and it’s what I always think of when I see a seemingly-healthy looking person parking in a disabled spot – you just never can tell what someone is going through, and as a person not in constant pain, I cannot judge and should just be grateful for the health I do have and so often take for granted.
            My best wishes to you and I hope you can reach peace with yourself and your mom.

        • I have a very good friend that was diagnosised with RSD. I’d never heard of it before him. I 100% agree with Giraffe, RSD is evil!

    • You want to look for ACOs or “medical home” models. They try to acheive what Kaiser, Intermountain, Cleveland Clinic etc all do. The problem is unless you’re “sick enough” most of the award winning places may not take you on. I can’t remember where you’re located but feel free to post an email and we can talk offline and I can do some digging and suggest some places that may help.

      • My email is hijabeng at gmail.

        I think most of you here know my tumblr but I can also be contacted there. You can read about my whining on there, too – hijabeng.tumblr.com/tagged/hijabeng

    • I’m sorry you’re experiencing such terrible and ongoing pain. I’m assuming you’ve have CT scans of your head, but I knew somebody who had terrible intracranial pressure and it turned out to be a blocked valve of some sort that restricted the flow of spinal fluid to his brain. I don’t know any of the medical terms, but thought I’d throw it out there in case it’s an avenue you/your doctors haven’t explored yet.

      • Thanks, I appreciate it. I was convinced I had extra CSF but the MRIs didn’t show it. So, shrug.

        • AnonForThis :

          Ru – not sure if you’re still reading this. I am not a doctor by any means, but my mom had several months of severe headaches (though was still functioning). She took tons of steps, got MRIs, saw specialists, as you have, and they couldn’t find anything (she’d always gotten migraines). Please know that I am not trying to scare you, but it turned out to be a large aneurysm that later ruptured. She is alive, but is in the process of a years long recovery with uncertain results. My understanding was that neuro-vascular angiography (I think, I’m not 100% certain) may have caught it before it burst. They never did one because it is pretty invasive and they only do it in cases where pain symptoms are extremely severe. Again, I really do not want to be a fear monger, I’m sure the likelihood that it is the same thing is miniscule. However, I would feel awful if I didn’t mention my mom’s experience if it might be at all helpful. I am thinking of you and hope you are back to 100% health very soon.

    • frugal doc :

      I take it you are in New York. Which University hospital/clinics are you being seen at? So sorry but I didn’t see the follow-up posts after I asked you some questions earlier in the week.

      Actually, people do just walk into an Emergency room at University hospitals and sometimes say…. “HELP!!” when they have chronic headache and can get admitted for that. But you want to go to the right place. Also, well established hospitals associated with Headache Clinics have an elective admission process where they do more complete work-ups/reviews of data/treatment trials.

      The best Neurology departments in New York are Columbia and Cornell, but the most famous Headache clinic is at Einsten in the Bronx. The well respected headache doctor is Dr. Lipton, and I suspect his colleagues are good. They definitely have an extensive inpatient and outpatient program for assessing your headache and diagnostic work-up and treatment options.

      http://www.montefiore.org/headache-center-resources-new-patient-information

      Call them, get on their waiting list to be seen as soon as possible. Meanwhile, document everything that has been done already. Get copies of all reports from imaging tests and a copy on CD of any MRIs you have had, as well as all lab test results. Write down all treatments you have tried, for how long, if they have had any effects. Write down anything that has made your headache worse or better.

      I’m sorry this is such a rough process. It certainly is possible that there is something anatomical contributing to your headache, if you really have (?) never had headaches before, so I am hopeful that you have had an MRI of your brain and of your neck with and without contrast. Headaches can be tricky things, and it is true for many people we don’t know “why” they have them or why they start at a certain time (although hormonal changes can sometimes contribute). But a sudden, constant headache that never goes away is not typical at all and deserves and expert assessment. And if I were you I would increase the Neurontin while you are waiting to be seen (under your doctor’s guidance).

      Wishing you better days, and good doctors.

    • Notalawyer :

      The Mayo Clinic?

  8. pregnancy - support band recommendation? :

    Has anyone every used a maternity belly support band? I’m not talking about the bella band, or something to hold up pants, but the more intensive belts/hook/velcro support bands to ease pressure.
    I’m only 25 weeks but every day my lower belly and pelvis feels like my legs used to feel the day after a marathon. It’s becoming obvious at work that I’m in some sort of discomfort, and I’ve begun to adopt this waddle-walk that eases the discomfort. Which, obviously, is not the way one wants to walk towards clients or partners.
    My doctor says everything is ‘ok’ medically speaking, and recommended I get one of these bands, but didn’t have a particular brand to recommend.
    Evidently none of my friends IRL had this issue, so I’m hoping that someone out there has had experience with something like this and a brand they would recommend for or against.

    Here’s what I’m looking at now:
    http://www.target.com/p/gabrialla-medium-support-elastic-maternity-belt-with-pocket-assorted-colors/-/A-13788543#?lnk=sc_qi_detaillink

    • Mighty Mouse :

      I wore this one w over-the-belly maternity pants when I hit 3rd tri. It held up well. The one that you’re considering seems pretty good, too.

      http://m.target.com/p/mini-cradle-adjustable-band/-/A-10535537

    • LackingLuster :

      I haven’t tried the support band but make sure you are wearing over-the-belly type maternity pants. They make quite a difference. I was so reluctant to wear them during my first pregnancy and once I switched over it made a huge difference in leg and back pain. If you already are wearing them, sorry for what you’re going through and I hope the band works for you.

      • What about those bands that are supposed to make your stomach muscles go back after delivery? Have people had success with those?

        • The 2 bands that have been linked here both day they’re for the “fourth trimester”. That might mean post partum.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I’ve not tried it (yet at least), but I’ve heard from friends that the kinseo (sp?) tape that athletes use can also be used to “pull up” your belly and relieve some pressure. Just idea if you’re already an athlete and have some of that lying around.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I used the Medela one, and it was worthless. Then I used the thin one from Motherhood Maternity (looks similar to the mini cradle linked above), and it was good enough. If I am pregnant a third time, I’m going to try more – including one with the over-the-belly strap.

      For post-partum, I got a surgical binder, which is exactly like a belly bandit but cost $8.50 at my hospital’s surgical pharmacy. I had terrible diastasis recti after my second (split ribs to pelvis, could put my whole hand in my abdomen), and support was vital. I really loved the surgical binder. I had more minor diastasis recti after my first and didn’t use a support band, but perhaps it would have been helpful. I also did specific exercises, similar to what’s here, which was enormously helpful: http://www.redbookmag.com/kids-family/blogs/mom-blog/flat-abs-exercises-post-baby Essentially, you want to improve your core strength without doing crunch type of exercises that pull your abs apart.

    • OP to this thread :

      Thanks, guys! I went ahead and ordered the one I was looking at as well as the smaller crib one – if they don’t help, I might try the tape. Even though my belly is relatively small, I can get relief from it by physically lifting it off my pelvis, so I’m thinking these will be helpful. And much less awkward looking at the office.

      • if the bands you ordered don’t work or the pain gets worse as you get larger, see if your doctor will write you a prescription for one – then you can get one from a medical supply store and it will be considered “Durable Medical Equipment” so maybe your insurance will pay or you can use HSA/FSA funds to buy it if you have one.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        So I had the pelvic pain for a huge portion of my pregnancy, and went to a chiropractor for it. Those visits eliminated the pain for at least 3-4 days afterward. Totally worth it. I tried the support band, but found it uncomfortable to sit down with that on.

    • Highly recommend Serola Belt (link below). This thing saved me during my pregnancy (my pelvis separated severely). It is basically the same thing as the Target version you mentioned but way better. I have a LOT of experience with all products related to the pain you described associated with pregnancy.

      http://www.serola.net/New-Belt/new-serola-sacroiliac-belt.html

    • harriet the spy :

      My SIL, who carried twins, highly recommends the Prenatal Cradle. It’s hard-core, but worth it.

  9. I thought the striped version pictured by Kat had potential, so I hopped over the ON site but the seaming on the solid versions is awful!

    My search for a ponte knit blazer continues…. (and I refuse to take this as a sign that sweatpant material should not be worn at the office!)

  10. Anyone else working from home to avoid the storm? My office is closed for the day, so I’m enjoying plenty of tea and watching the snow fall while I work. Only downside, remoting-in takes forever and is so finicky!

    • Me!! Sitting in pajamas watching the snow and TRYING to stay focused. I am awful at working from home though. There’s quite a bit of snow already, and it’s not even really here yet!

    • hellskitchen :

      Yep me too. Office is not closed but it might as well be given that everyone plans to work from home today. I am planning a leisurely brunch at home

    • I wish. DC is just getting rain and slush so I’m in the office. Boo. I could’ve really used a snow day.

      • I know! So jealous of my family in New England.

        • Another thing I don’t like about living in Florida!

          • Very occasionally I miss snow. Things here are Carnival all the time. Everybody’s running around today trying to get things done before the city shuts down for parades. I took today off because I needed to run errands and make food for a parade party tonight. Otherwise, I’m laying low for Carnival.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Me! I have a call to join in a half an hour but I’m planning on doing some serious Blizzard Baking.

    • lucy stone :

      If only. The government never closes!

      • Depends on the government. The federal government here in DC closes all. the. time. Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse shut it down for a week or more. Which, where I come from, is insane.

        • lucy stone :

          I’m in Wisconsin. I think we’d have to be underwater before we’d close. Even then, they might just issue us snorkels and hope for the best.

          • Lady Harriet :

            It’s true! It had to be a -40 wind chill for the public schools to close when I lived there, too. Although I think school-canceling restrictions have eased since then, after the time we had 9 inches of snow and school wasn’t canceled, but the superintendent didn’t go to work. Everyone was so mad and in the next few years we had a lot more snow/cold days.

    • Yay snow day!

    • Stay warm everyone! No snow day here, but a quiet day at the office …

    • Wow. It is 70 degress in Houston. I hope you are all safe in the storm, and wish we had a little bit of winter!

  11. Mighty Mouse :

    Anyone want to update me on bridal showers? I was married more than 10 years ago (as were most of my friends). I haven’t been to a bridal shower in years! But since I’m my baby sister’s MOH, it’s time to start planning. I’m googling all kinds of things on the internets but would love to hear some success or horror stories from recent planners or attendees. Thanks!

    • I’m planning one for my best friend right now (and I have never planned one). I got some ideas from Pinterest– although, I’m limited in what I can do because the guest list {not my my choosing} is 70 people. One thing I’d recommend that I saw at a friend’s shower and that I’m doing for my friend is a wine basket that includes a bottle with a tag labeling when to drink it for the bride and groom– i.e., first christmas/hanukkah/etc, after first fight, first anniversary, first snow, etc. Of course, this is only if the guest of honor is a wine person. You can google “wedding wine basket” or “shower wine basket” and will probably find an example and the printable tags. It’s a really cute idea, I think!

      • I am a Best Lady (I refuse to be the Matron of anything) and am was just beginning to realise I will have to fit planning a shower and bachelorette party, dress fittings and who knows what else into my 70-hour work week.

        I certainly didn’t think I’d had to plan a shower for an indeterminate number of people. Do I have to pay for it too?

        What have I signed up for?!?!

        • Sugar Magnolia :

          I think that the bride’s mother usually pays for most of the bridal shower, you just help plan it and orchestrate all the details with MOB.

          • I’d be careful about assuming this… Traditionally, no one in the bride’s family is supposed to host (and by host, I also mean pay for) showers since you are effectively saying buy my family gifts. And anecdotally, every shower I’ve been involved in has been paid for by the hostess(es) with no input from the bride’s mother.

        • In my experience the bridesmaids (or other hosts – sometimes just friends) pay for the shower. I have never been involved in a shower where the MOB helps.

    • lucy stone :

      I think I’ve been to 10 in the last few years (including two of my own!) and what I enjoyed most was a meal and the chance to socialize with small groups. Both of mine were about 15 people. We played a few games at mine, but nothing cheesy. For one all the guests wrote down marital advice and I had to guess who said it, and we also played a word unscramble at both.

      My SILs all had enormous showers. We played gift opening bingo at them with small prizes for the winners because it helped make 2 hours of watching someone open presents more interesting.

      • How does the bingo work? Interesting idea.

        • lucy stone :

          I’ve seen it done a few different ways. At my SIL’s bridal shower, my MIL carefully cut out little tags with different things on them (veil, ring, garter, bride, groum, pastor, etc.) and taped them to each package. When SIL opened a package, she’d announce what was on the tag and we’d all mark it off on our cards.

          For another SIL’s baby shower, I found a bingo card online that had common baby gifts (onesie, diapers, bottle, rattle, etc.) and printed it off for everyone and they checked it off as she unwrapped the gift. I liked this better because it was less effort on my part. I think I did pay a few bucks to have the bingo card customized with her name and baby shower date, which everyone seemed to like.

      • Jessica Glitter :

        At my shower, everyone was asked to write down their favorite romantic song. Then, at my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids presented me with a CD of romantic music. I thought that was pretty cute.

    • goldribbons :

      At my bridal shower (within the last 3 years), we had lunch but nearly everything was finger food and we played 2 truths and a lie. It was pretty fun.

    • A game played at a shower I went to, that seemed to work well for a mix of older relatives and friends: the hostesses went to Crate&Barrel and bought a bunch of items from the $3-10 bins — like small measuring cups, coffee spoon, lemon squeezer, veggie peeler — and tagged each thing with a number. Then everyone was given a sheet of paper with a line for each number that had a certain number of blanks. You were supposed to fill in the official name of the gadget as used by C&B. So for example, for a cherry pitter, it was #2 ____ ____ _____ ____ and the right answer was “stainless steel cherry pitter.” Good icebreaker as people got to laugh about ridiculous product names. Then after the hostesses announced the answer, the collection of little items was the first gift.

    • I planned my best friend’s a few years back. We did an “around the clock” theme where the guests were assigned a specific time to buy a gift for (e.g. if you have 8am you might get them the waffle griddle for breakfast or if you have 10pm you might get them their sheet set). It worked well and we had a blast.

      The only real game we did was we did a trivia survey of the bride and groom that people had to fill out…

    • The most fun Bridal Shower I’ve been to was at a restaurant that had great food. We played paper games with other women at our table during the downtime, like between courses (quizzes about the couple, what do you have in your purse, etc) and then they periodically read through the answers and gave out prizes. It was better than shower games that take forever and they were good conversation-starters. It was a display shower, where you didn’t wrap anything and only put a bow on it. We still made her wear that ugly bow-hat without making all of the guests wait for hours as she opened presents, which can get kind of boring.

      They also did a newlywed-type game where they asked the groom questions via skype and recorded his answers. The MOH quizzer her live and they alternated between her and playing his responses (they were set up with microphones and a projector). It was really cute.

    • I think less is more with the games. I like the idea of it being a luncheon for everyone to meet each other and chat. At my bridal shower a few months ago the only game was a timer set to go off about every 5 minutes during the present opening. The giver of the present that was being opened when the timer went off got a prize. Make sure someone writes down what gift each guest gave as this is essential for thank you note writing! It’s also nice (although may be impossible with 70 guests) for the bride to introduce each guest. Although no one will remember all of them, it’s nice for people to put faces with names they’ve heard.

    • I threw a pretty casual bridal shower last summer. The only game we played was one I found on the web. Every guest answered this question on a slip of paper: If you could be married to any celebrity, who would it be? Then, in between opening gifts, the bride would pull a slip out of the bowl and guess who gave the answer. It was a lot of fun but partly because the bride made it so hilarious and a lot of people at the shower were… creative.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I just had my bridal shower a few weeks ago! It was at a local wine restaurant on Sunday afternoon. We had a room reserved. We drank wine and ate appetizers. Everyone socialized. My MOH made a quiz about me and the person who got the highest score won a little prize. Then I opened presents.

      It was low key and really fun!

    • Giraffe with curls :

      When I was my best friend’s MOH, I asked her fiance a bunch of questions and wrote down his answers, then I asked her the same questions at the shower to see how well the answers matched – kind of like newlyweds. The guests had the questions on sheets of paper in advance so they could play along. People seemed to like that. I also did a collage of photographs of her throughout her life and people guessed how old she was in the different pictures, which was fun and her relatives seemed to especially enjoy.

    • One of the nicest things that was done for me at my shower was that my friends interviewed my husband beforehand and then asked me the same questions a la: So Parker, we asked Markus what your most embarrassing moment was as a couple – what do you think he said? We had lots of laughs….

    • Mighty Mouse :

      Thank you all! Great ideas and good things to think about. I assumed that I would pay for the shower since I’m more settled in life and career than the rest of the gang (and our Mom passed away).

      I was looking at restaurants and tea rooms, but I’ll have to check out the local winery. Never would have thought—but would be right up her alley.

      Thanks again for all of the creativity.

    • just Karen :

      I was MOH and planned one a year and a half ago – the couple was paying for the wedding themselves, and were on a tight budget. They were also 30 and had pretty well equipped their households, so we had a wine shower – the bride listed the specific wines she wanted to serve at the wedding, and guests brought the wine as gifts – depending on budget, people brought a single bottle up to an entire case. We played a couple of games – one newlywed type (each having to guess how the other had answered a question) and we had a wish tree.
      My own shower was six months later and we had a co-ed book party that I LOVED. There were book decorations, book invitations, and everyone brought us a book they loved to help fill out our library. If you want more details I can flesh it out, but I feel like I’ve already droned on too long!

  12. Thanks everyone for your love support and advice yesterday. I don’t really have a peer group where I live, so you matter so much to me. I have an OB appointment today and will definitely bring it up, but normalizing the experience is so great. Seriously, tears from me.

    • Missed the thread yesterday but just wanted to chime in with everyone else: YOU ARE AWESOME. Seriously, you’re a kick-ass, dedicated surgeon (back at work asap after baby!), mom of two, a thoughtful, kind, and compassionate person (obvious from your comments here, especially when people have medical panics)… so just remember amid all the craziness and anxiety that you are fabulous, accomplishing a huge amount, and there is a community here of international professional women rooting for you. If you need some extra time to rest or just take for yourself, you’ve definitely earned it and more. I hope your doctor is able to help you work through the anxiety and figure out how to address it.

    • Keep us updated!

    • lucy stone :

      Just saw your post from yesterday – ALL my lady lawyer friends went through PPD. I think it’s a high-acheiver thing. I hope your OB is able to help!

    • Greensleeves :

      Also just saw last night’s post. I agree with everyone else – see your OB. I had postpartum anxiety after my last and it was not fun. (I had panic attacks, couldn’t sleep, and was so paranoid I’m lucky I didn’t ruin my marriage. God bless my patient, understanding husband.). Unfortunately, no one (OB, PCP, ER docs) ever mentioned that it could be a hormonal issue like PPD, even though it started within two months after I delivered and I had no previous history of anxiety issues. I didn’t figure out that it was probably a postpartum issue until I read about postpartum anxiety in a magazine months after mine had resolved. good luck!

      • This. I didn’t put it all together and get some help until 6-7 months after the baby was born. The symptoms were likely there all along, but slowly got more unbearable as work stress started to build. I wish I had gone in sooner.

        • harriet the spy :

          Exactly. I thought I couldn’t have PPD because it didn’t kick in until I went back to work six months after delivery, but there was nothing normal about crying every single day and feeling like my life wasn’t worth living.

      • This is basically what I said yesterday – PPD masquerading as anxiety. I’m so glad you’re getting help EC MD. I can so feel you on this. I was flipping miserable, and I kept telling myself I had no reason to be.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      EC MD I am sorry I wasn’t here yesterday to chime in, but I am dealing with similar situation right now, and can tell you that counseling really helps get to the root of the issue and eliminate it. If you ever want to chat about it, let me know. Sending good thoughts your way!

  13. TJ – Handbag color opinions needed from the hive please!
    I am in dire need of a new handbag- something largish and structured that I can carry to work, to an interview, running errands on weekends. My wardrobe/coats base colors trend navy & gray; muted teal, rose pink, eggplant/burgundy; I don’t wear much black and no primary colors. I am willing to spend to buy a nice bag, but only have the budget for one, and I cannot decide what color will give me the most bang for the buck – what is suggested? Brown? Grey? Should I do black anyway? Can’t decide, TIA!

  14. My husband and I are invited to a costume party in a few weeks where the theme is NYC. I’m absolutely awful at costumes so I thought I’d ask here for some suggestions. The simplest thing would be Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) but that may be overplayed.. slash there’s a distinct possibility 3 other brunettes will show up in the same costume. Any ideas?

  15. Have your husband dress like a brooklyn hipster

  16. Has anyone been watching House of Cards on Netflix? I absolutely covet Robin Wright’s wardrobe. The most amazing shift dresses and work outfits–insanely sleek.

  17. Scenario: You have three months to do absolutely anything you want to do with very few family/financial obligations. You want to do something interesting (and fun!) that is the kind of thing people wish they had time to do, the kind of thing where you can still put it on your resume even though it is completely unrelated to your career, just because it is interesting. It can be volunteering , learning something new, etc The only limitations that you have are

    1) the amount of time it take to apply/qualify/actually start- some volunteer programs take an entire 3 months to get approved

    2) cost to some degree… You can spend somewhat (i.e. like the cost of a round trip ticket to Europe but not like the cost of several trips)

    3) you are a female and don’t really like to travel by yourself

    4) Any volunteer suggestions, please try to post actual organizations, etc.

    Ready, set, GO!!!!!!!!

    • Doctors/Lawyers/Engineers etc without borders!! Especially if you already have a passport. Though I don’t know how long it takes to get approved.

    • Does the 3 months start now? If it’s later in the year you could walk the Appalachian trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.

      Appalachian Service Project might have spots where you can go and work on some of their builds.

      Do you have a favorite charity? If so, you might call them and ask what they could do with a volunteer for x number of hours a week for 3 months?

      Follow a favorite band around on tour?

      Go to Spanish immersion school in a Latin American country? Or French immersion school in Quebec? And make sure you take the DELE (Spanish) or DALF (French) afterwards…..

      Write the great American novel?

      Train for a marathon/triathalon?

      Pick up skills that are completely unrelated to your job (like yoga/pilates/zumba instructor or pastry chef or welding).

      • Love the idea of picking up skills unrelated to job (ie. yoga/zumba/pilates/pastry chef).

        Also, I’d start my food cart/truck or go travel in South America/Australia or do that organic farming around the world thing.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      First month will be at Canyon Ranch or Miravalle re-learning how to relax etc…..Then I’ll figure out the next two months….

      {sorry – crabby and stressed}

    • hellskitchen :

      International volunteer programs – Technoserve, FINCA, Playground IDEAS

    • Do a language class in the actual country.
      or
      Get an unpaid internship in a career that’s completely wacka-doodle but that you were dying to be in when you grew up or something completely off the charts glamourous (apply to be an assistant to a Hollywood star, apply to shadow a plastic surgeon, try for an internship at Vogue or something nuts-o like that)

    • Patent Pending :

      put them first . org is a teaching org in Peru. Really great.

  18. Lady Harriet :

    I’m not really looking for advice, since there’s nothing I can do in this situation, but I hate it when incompetent people are rewarded with more responsibility. Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with any of them directly, but just knowing that people who are terrible at their jobs are given extra power instead of being fired gets me all riled up. Not to mention that systems are made really inefficient in order to give these people more power, all in the name of “streamlining” things.

  19. Vent:

    My mom is doing really quite well, given that she’s dealing with accepting moving into assisted living, plus then all the practical stuff that comes with moving and selling a home. AND she needs to have emergency dental surgery in the middle of all this. And I am SO PROUD of her for being so upbeat and rational about the whole thing.

    So when flaky-aunt (who, to her credit, has been far less flakey and actually helping with some practical things) emails me to say “I cannot recognize my sister. What a pity!” (even though my mom has been having issues with short-term memory and focus for over 5 years now – it is nothing new), I get SO FRUSTRATED. Does she think I don’t know? Does she think it hasn’t been heart-breaking for me to watch my mom become a different person from the beautiful, vibrant, brilliant, feisty (well, she’s still feisty!) world-traveller that she used to be? Also, pity is about the last thing my mom wants.

    My aunt is a therapist and TEACHES other people to be therapists. What possible aim can be accomplished by saying those things to me? And if its’ because she is sad and needs to vent, well, I’m sorry, but perhaps I am not the best person for that. She has a BF – maybe she could talk to him, who has no emotional attachment to my mom and can just give support to my aunt? I’m sure it is really hard for her to see her little sister in such a state. ALMOST as hard as it is for me to see my MOTHER in this state. But I can’t dwell on it or it makes me cry. So thanks, Aunty, for starting my Friday off with that bullsh*t. AARGH.

    • goldribbons :

      That’s terrible. Besides being inconsiderate, unloving, and rude, she should know better!!

      As practical advice: I’ve set up Gmail Filters for upsetting family members like that – so the emails don’t pop up on my iPhone. I just have the emails directly put into folders (or labels, as I believe Gmail calls them), and then I can prepare myself and check only when necessary (e.g., in the evening when I’m home and calm).

      • This has seriously been a Godsend for dealing with my mother. I highly suggest it.

        • Nice your mother accepts it. I once didn’t tell mine I was going out of town for the weekend, and I let her calls go to vm. She called my office, my boss, son’s babysitter, and the apartment complex where I lived.

    • Jo, this is amazing progress–look back at the email you posted right after the fire!

      Not to excuse your aunt, but maybe to explain her email, she might be doing what I did in my early 20s when I was angry with my mom for not being more help to me when my grandma died. Until I realized the it was HER MOTHER. Or maybe she’s trying to commiserate. Or thinks you’re too emotionally detached. Or has lost it.

      Do I have your permission to laugh at the news tidbit that no-longer-quite-so-unhelpful flakey auntie is a therapist?

      How much longer til Cuba and when is the signing?

      • Oh, you definitely have my permission to laugh. It is freaking ridiculous.

        15 days till Cuba…My mom signs her contract with the facility next Thursday, and then I’m on to dealing with arranging movers, etcetcetc. I have been preparing everyone for the fact that I will be almost completely unavailable while I’m away. My mom seems ok with it. Lol, she’s joking about how she can use the break! She also thanked me last night for doing all the arranging of things (e.g moving, dealing with the insurance company, etcetc.). It felt really good because another thing the flaky-aunt won’t do is thank me or acknowledge everything I am doing. Even just once. It is so difficult because we really do need her help, but she is SO BAD for my mental health!

        My house closing is May 1. So as soon as I get back from TO and helping my mom move, I can start thinking about my own move.

        And it’s true: my mom has made amazing progress since my first post. Which is why I’m so proud of her and why it makes me extra angry that my aunt can only seem to see the negative things. Of COURSE my mom is a bit overwhelmed right now and is having problems keeping perfect track of appointments. Next week she has: Going to buy an iPad on Monday; Dentist on Tuesday; Dr on Wednesday for flu shot; meeting on Thursday to sign the papers and pick her new apartment; psychiatrist appt on Friday. And she has to set up Wheeltrans for all these things, which she does! On her own! How about she gets some credit for that? Blargh, flaky-aunt, BLARGH.

        • Thank heavens your mother is lucid enough to recognize that you are helping her!

          Are you going to try to calmly explain to your aunt, face to face, what she’s been doing, or stay away from her when you’re up there?

          I just want to say again how much I admire you for keeping an even keel through this and continuing to move ahead on other fronts! We had another “incident” in the family yesterday, which I let entirely derail me from working for the rest of the day, and I spend too much time hating my life and not doing the things that would make it better. You are an inspiration to me.

          • I hope that didn’t sound too stalkerish. I’m not, really!

          • Awww. That is lovely. I have to say, I’m glad I have no kids because it’s bad enough feeling like a sh*tty partner to Professor Bhaer…Mostly I just have gone into “crisis-competency” mode, which is no fun but feels necessary. BUt that is a lovely sentiment and I will reeally hold on to it. It doesn’t sound stalkerish at all!

            I don’t think I will bother trying to explain everything to the aunt. For one thing, once my mom has moved our need for her will be greatly reduced. Also, her daughter (my very favourite cousin) is about to have a baby this weekend, and I really am grateful for the practical help and don’t want to jeopardize the family relationships I DO care about…I think I will just keep sending emails like the one I did this morning (Basically, I know this is how things are, they’re been like this for a while, thinking about it makes me really really sad) and hope she catches on. Ugh.

          • :)

          • Just for the record: I’ve been pretty darn unproductive at work. Thankfully, it was a slowish month, and my boss has been unbelievably amazing and understanding about the fact that even though I’m physically here every day, I’ve been pretty frazzled and distracted. He actually told me that clearly work was not my first priority right now, and that was the way it should be. So that has helped a lot, not having to worry about getting in trouble for being mentally somewhere else half the time…

    • I’m sorry. You should straight up email her back and say Aunt, I am fully aware of the change to mom. I don’t know why you feel the need to point this out when it is obvious and upsetting, but I do not want to receive emails like this from now on. As a therapist I’m sure you can understand that these comments are not productive to mom’s emotional well-being; I’d suggest you can explore these feelings with a colleague instead of with me.

      • That is the perfect response. In fact, I am going to copy it and paste it into a draft for next time my aunt sends an emai llike the one she sent this morning…

        • Glad I could help! Too many years of putting up with family’s passive aggressive bs. You get a pass the first time or two because you’re family (and I’m not always a gem to deal with myself), but I see no reason to let anyone continue to treat you like crap when you don’t deserve!

  20. Violet's Fan :

    Ladies, I’ve had a surprising development on the relationship front and thought I’d get your take on the situation since you are all objective third-parties. My boyfriend of five months and I love each other and are talking about a future together, but we need to take our time because I’m a single mom to three fairly young kids and I need to make sure I’m doing what’s best for them, too. He’s a single dad to a teenager who doesn’t live with him. He knows my history – reasons for my divorce, a sketch of my significant relationships before my marriage, etc. And he’s shared with me what I thought were the important things about his past relationships (ex-wife and serious girlfriends).

    BUT, last night we were talking on the phone and he mentions that he was engaged to a woman who had three kids. Not only that, but they lived with him for a while. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to talk for long, and I was actually pretty shocked that this had not come up before, so I didn’t get much information besides that. Obviously they didn’t end up getting married – why that is I have no idea yet.

    My gut tells me that he knew that this is something I should know but was worried about telling me – hence the not mentioning it until now. I fully intend to raise the issue when we have more time to talk,which unfortunately won’t be until the end of the weekend.

    In the meantime, I’m freaking out a little bit. Does anybody have some thoughts on this? (I ask, knowing fully well that I will get some very honest feedback!)

    • I am a banana. :

      I’d try to relax and ignore it until you have a chance to talk to him about it over the weekend. It isn’t like you found out about it by yourself – he brought it up. There is also that awkward timing issue where you don’t tell someone about something like that at the beginning of the relationship and then don’t know when to tell. Five months doesn’t sound like way too long to me. Good luck!

    • goldribbons :

      It’s great he told you. It’s pretty fair that he didn’t tell you until now. He didn’t want to scare you off, he didn’t want you to think it’s his “thing” (he got very serious with two different women who each had 3 kids… seems like a thing to me). Sounds to me like he’s ready to talk about it with you, and I would ask him all the questions you want about it. Are you freaking out that he should have raised it earlier? (Don’t think this is necessary at this point) Or are you freaking out that he has a pattern? (This might be valid and weird) Or are you freaking out that he doesn’t want to talk about it? (If he shut down any response from you after telling you, this is extremely valid and a huge red flag, IMO) I think you can and should ask why he didn’t bring it up earlier, but since you’re still in the first 6 months, I think it’s kind of fair he waited. Hearing, “hey I used to date someone who is strangely similar to you” is not how you want to start a relationship.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I would actually take this as a good sign. You both have children and major relationships that have not worked out. He could be sharing this with you because you are moving onto a deeper stage in your relationship.

      I am not too worried about this. I have a complicated personal history; it is too much to describe to someone all at once. Plus, much of it is fairly sensitive so I do not share all of it too early in a relationship. Maybe his romantic history is the same way?

      The important thing is that the two of you can have calm conversation about this. He can explain why it didn’t come up before. You can explain the style/depth of communication that you need moving forward. If you can have that conversation, then feel good about this relationship!

      • Agreed. I also have a complicated personal history. I’ve been engaged before but didn’t get married. Of course that wasn’t something I told my SO right off the bat. To be honest, it’s kind of embarrassing and not the sort of information I share in real life. Maybe your BF feels the same. There is no need to be worried, IMO.

    • Anne Shirley :

      It’s been 5 months. Stuff like this is why you are taking your time.

  21. Jessica Glitter :

    Resume TJ
    I was just looking at my resume and am wondering at what point certain things need to come off…such as, pre-Law School work (like say LSAT instructor, or intern at a biglaw firm).
    I have been practicing 4 years and that just suddenly seems quite irrelevant, even though it does imply “good LSAT score”…but then again, that is irrelevant to my practice of law as well. Thoughts?

    • Did you go staight through undergrad to law school or work several years in between? I think you are safe to start your employment history with the first job after graduating law school. If you had another career or were working in another field entirely, you might want to leave it one. But, just a couple of jobs that were in a gap year before law school probably don’t matter now. LSAT score doesn’t matter after you get into law school, IMO.

    • Should be off now I think there shouldn’t be room for it with 3 law school internships and now practicing for 4 years.

    • I think at 4 years out, all pre-law school internships should come off, as should LSAT instruction. If you had a “real” job prior to law school, leave it, but no internships. If you feel like it’s empty without that stuff, consider elaborating on what you’ve done while you’ve been practicing. For example, add a “pro bono” or “public interest” section and bullet out what kind of work you’ve done.

  22. Unlimited PTO :

    Anybody work at an office that has an unlimited PTO policy? If so, how does maternity leave work?

    I am too early in my pregnancy to bring this up with my boss/HR, or I’d ask directly. But from what I gather, I get 12 weeks of FMLA leave, my company will pay the “gap week,” my ST disability will pay out 6 weeks, then the last 5 weeks are, according to the company, “unpaid but employees may use PTO.” So… should I be asking for 5 weeks of PTO? (as a reference, if our company hadn’t changed its policy, I’d have ~3.5 weeks of sick and ~4 weeks of vacation time saved up by my due date)

    • harriet the spy :

      You can always ask HR – I did very early in my pregnancy, under the HR Code of Silence. You can also go ask other women who have been through it.

  23. saacnmama :

    Resume TJ “the other way”
    I was a professor for 7 years before taking 3.5 years to deal with a family matter. Now that I’m going back to work, I want to find something in human rights or civil rights. My publications and some of my teaching deal with those types of issues in historical periods, and my activities and volunteering in undergrad through my master’s were related to those issues. I’m thinking of putting them back on my cv/long form resume and then mentioning in my cover letter that the career switch is to enable me to focus directly on these things I’ve had interest in for a very long time (undergrad for me was late 80s, finished MA in 93). Those of you who have considerable experience hiring people, does that make sense/would you be interested in seeing those items in this case?

    • I’m sure you’ll get some great replies here but you may also want to try askamanager dot org — she gives very sensible answers from a hiring manager’s perspective, and some of her readers chime in with helpful suggestions in the comments too. Good luck with the career shift! Keep us updated – it sounds like a fascinating field but tricky to break into.

  24. To snowmaggedon anon :

    Now you can tell your boss to talk to the gov’na about you leaving early today!

    Good thing you got the meeting prep done early :)

  25. For those of you who live in cold climates, this site has Canada Goose jackets 40% off today: http://www.isaay.com/

Add a comment.

Questions? Check out our commenting policy. Tech problems? Please report it to the tech team.