Fail Forward

You know those moments when you just feel like you don’t have it together? A failed expectation turns into another and before you know it you find yourself in a spiral of self-doubt and self-criticism?

Reflecting back on the last 12 months I see professional wins, areas of growth, and opportunities for improvement. I think we all can. Going into 2020, many of us wrote goals for our institution, departments, and for ourselves. Then March 2020 hit us like a freight train, and we were forced to pivot in monumental ways that the majority of us had never been trained for. Each individual, regardless of profession and career, was challenged.

Pandemic challenges aside, we all need to have reality checks with ourselves from time to time. A moment to say,

“Hey, girl. You’ve got this”

It’s easy to get caught up in a glass half empty state. Like the times when you feel you’re losing more than winning? Losing a little control and the ability to succeed? When in reality, what you’ve actually lost is the ability to see the situation from a different lens.

I’ve fallen in that trap several times this last year. I found a note in my phone from January 2020 reminding me that I am capable. I had lost focus of the professional wins and the supporting team surrounding me. I had allowed myself to get lost in the self-imposed losses and the notion that I had to prove myself at every moment, when in reality, I really only had myself to prove.

It’s natural to fall in a trap of uncertainly and question. And it’s imperative that we all give ourselves a moment of pause for reflection and a reality check.

Beautiful girl, you don’t need to prove anything or anyone. Do your job and do it to the best of your ability. And the things that don’t go as you wanted or planned? Well then, fail forward. You’ve got this.

J. Pirtle, January 2020

And you, dear reader? You’ve also got this.

Lean into the people you trust. Let go of the idea that you need to have control and a hand in everything. It’s not possible. There are too many moving pieces. Handle people, projects, and situations with grace, a smile and an inquisitive mind.

Actions speak louder than words. That trying to “prove your worth” thing isn’t becoming of you. The relationships built, the opportunities provided, and the product of the work speak loudest.

Fail Forward.

Find Your Place.

Find Your People.

Bring Them With.

New Year Declutter

The week between Christmas and New Years has always been a time to declutter my physical surroundings. A time to get rid of the old, worn out, expired, or no longer worn and either trash it or donate it. Fresh and clutter free surroundings to bring in the New Year

The method to my decluttering madness is to just go all in. The full body, no looking back, see and feel every square inch kinda madness. I take everything out, pile it up, and then put all the pieces that are functioning and still used back in it’s place, while leaving out the unwanted and worn out. The unwanted piles then get sorted into trash or donate categories.

If the idea of decluttering is overwhelming to you, start small. Maybe tackle one room or one cabinet at a time, or choose an area each day for a few days. Choose what is most manageable for you.

A few areas to get you started.

1. Kitchen cabinets. Sort out the mismatched lids, worn out pots and pans, appliances that haven’t been used in a year and either donate or trash them.

2. Linen closet/medicine cabinet. Recycle the old towels into shop rags. Toss out the expired medications. Half empty bottles of shampoo/conditioner? Either combine them or put them into travel size containers for all those cancelled 2020 trips we need to make up.

3. Clothing closets. Girl, you know you haven’t worn most of that stuff in years. And those jeans that you keep around as “goals?” Toss. Them. Out. We are decluttering more then just our physical space. Declutter that mental space too and let it go. That is something deeper we need to tackle here another day, ok? For now, donate those two-size too small jeans. They’re out of style anyway.

Decluttering your living space leaves you feeling refreshed and accomplished before the New Year. It’s a great way to also start decluttering some of those tucked away mental spaces too. And what a great way to bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose by donating all the gently used goods you no longer need to someone who could really use them?

Go! Declutter some of those living spaces.


Beer Delivery to My Door? Supporting Local This Holiday

Supporting Local Omaha was the theme I chose for department gifts this year. Omaha is home to an incredible amount of locally owned and operated businesses, so what better way to celebrate the end of an exceptionally challenging year by gifting staff with some locally made treats all the while supporting our local businesses. If there is one thing that really fills my bucket, it’s the gift of giving to others, and also giving back. I had so much fun researching shops in Omaha which actually created a challenge when narrowing down. I certainly had a lot of fun filling Holiday bags with items made with love.

The carefully created and oh so cute variety of sugar cookies by the talented Erika of Erika.Ashlee Cookies and the Hot Chocolate Bombs by Zen Coffee.

I found the cutest notepads, coined Charmpads, from female owned and operated Inclosed Letterpress Co. and the perfect sticker pairing from The Anastasia Co. reminding the gals in my office that

1. You can do hard things

2. Your kindness can change the world

3. The world needs what you got

And come on… who doesn’t like, need, want, deserve a beer at this point? Infusion Brewing Co. hooked me UP with delivery service to my front door. Come on now, that’s what we call spreading Christmas Cheer!

I told the gals delivering it that they must be having fun. I am pretty sure my exact words were “You are literally spreading effing Cheer, man!”

Ya get what ya get with me sometimes…

Might I add I am LIIIIVVVIINNNGGGG for this Gingerbread Vanilla Bean. Ohmygoshneeditall.

And let’s talk about Orsi’s Italian Pizza & Bakery. Not only are they Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery, they also serve up some of the best pizza around. I couldn’t exactly stuff a pizza in each of their giftbags but I could fit in some fresh made bread. Orsi’s also makes their bread fresh in-house and with no preservatives, milk and no added sugars which makes them basically the best.

Huskerland Popcorn hooked me up with bags of yummy cheese, butter and caramel goodness. Huskerland also hosts a local baker, Lady T., every other Thursday and she just happened to be there when I stopped in to pick up my pre-ordered bags of popcorn. On my way out the door, Lady T’s middle school aged kiddo won me over with his smooth selling skills and eagerness to help show off all his momma’s yummy creations. Kid, you just got yourself a sale. I’ll take 10 of those cupcakes, and you choose the flavors for me.

Thanks, Huskerland Popcorn and Lady T’s Gourmet Creations for making those 10 minutes in your store extra extra special. ❤

Due to our campus operating remote, I gave the team the option of a personal delivery to their front door or a timeframe to meet me in our office parking lot.

What a joy to see some of these folks today.

Jacquie, Sarah, Pat, Theresa, Taylor & Angela… so good to see you. Jermaine and Anthony – thanks for letting me experience what it’s like to be a Door Dasher today! And Chuck, Brad and Amber – I will see you Monday.

Happy Everything, Merry Always.

Merry Christmas