Tag Archives: balance

Don’t Hide Your Hustle: Johnna, Faith-Based Community Organizer

Welcome to Don’t Hide Your Hustle, a Finding Delight series that explores the myriad of ways to make a living in 2017. I’m asking folks to share how they hustle over the course of one work-day (which usually extends far beyond a 9 – 5 situation).

Today, I present you with Johnna’s story. As a community organizer, Johnna works with and for others in order to secure a better city for all – and she’s got the perfect positive attitude for such a task. She’s also a huge fan of a holistic approach to health, both for herself, and the readers of her awesome blog. Let’s check out her hustle!

Johnna, The Anxious Wonder Woman

Hello beautiful people! My name is Johnna and I’m a faith-based community organizer. If you don’t know what that means, you probably still won’t after you read this post. But that’s because it really just depends on the day and time of year. In general, I coach volunteer leaders from different congregations to build and use people-power to hold public officials accountable to doing justice in our city.

I also have a blog on health and wellness called The Anxious Wonder Woman. My health journey has been through a lot of ups and downs, mainly because I used to focus too much on my physical health instead of my mental health. When I started going to therapy, that changed. Now, it’s my mission to be open and honest about all aspects of my healthy lifestyle, including my anxiety. And I want to empower other women to think about their health in a way that is sustainable and holistic! Eventually I’ll use the coaching skills I’ve gained from community organizing to help individuals that want to improve their overall wellness. But for now, you can get it all for free on the blog since my job is more than enough for me. 😉

Today I’m going to give you a glimpse into my first day back at work from a 9-day vacation. Probably not the best choice on my part, but it will give you a good idea of how many things I manage to juggle in one day! So without further ado, a day in the life…

6:30 am – Wake up to take my temperature. I use a natural method of birth control, which means I need to take my basal body temperature every day at the same time. Usually I wake up after that. Today, since I’m still tired from jetlag, I decide to go back to sleep.

7:30 am – I read my email (I always start with the latest news from The Daily Skimm), drink some coffee, and eat breakfast. Oh, and I read any updates from blogs I follow. I do all of this in bed. There are no crumbs in bed, I promise! Coffee stains might be a different story.

8:15 am – I start getting ready for the day. Then I leave the house. I have a meeting at 10 at the Panera in town, but I decide to go ahead and leave so I can get some work done beforehand.

8:45 am – I send emails that I ignored while I was on vacation. Out of office email responses are so good for my sanity.

9 am – I have a phone call with the Executive Director of the umbrella community organizing nonprofit I’m a part of. They’re starting a new mentor program for second year organizers. My one year anniversary with this job is in August, so it was good to think about my strengths, the work tasks that really energized me, the things I still want to learn, and who I look up to in the network. Can’t wait to see how that goes!

9:30 am – Since I have some time before my 10 o’clock meeting, I decide to check in on the various Facebook groups I’m a part of for my blog. I also start finalizing the blog post I’m writing about my 9-day vacation to some West Coast National Parks. I put the notes I took during the trip into a WordPress page and do some research for the best SEO keywords.

10 am – I meet with someone from one of the churches I work with. This was our first meeting, so it’s mainly getting to know her and sharing some things about myself. Organizers actually call these meetings “1-1s”. Because, you know, you’re meeting 1-on-1 with another person. These 1-1s are essential to our work. It lets us dig deeper than the surface level Q-and-A’s that we typically get when we’re talking to someone. We try to really understand the underlying values and motives that drive us to do the things we do in life. It’s actually pretty hard to do, because it takes a lot of courage to ask the questions we all normally shy away from.

10:45 am – I drive to the office.

11 am – I do research for a community business that I’m meeting with later today. Currently, we are in our Investment Drive, when we raise the majority of our money for the year. We do that through investments from individuals in each congregation, but also by having meetings with different businesses in the city. That being said, the real purpose of these corporate visits are to build relationships of mutual respect with business leaders. The money is just a measure of how much respect we’ve gotten.

12 PM – The three volunteer leaders joining me for the corporate visit came an hour early to practice. I coach them on our organizations’ script, as well as what we can expect from the business and its CEO based on my research.

1 pm – We meet with a well-known hospital in the area. These corporate visits only last about 20 or 30 minutes, since the business leaders are super busy. This one was a little longer, but it was only because there were a lot of questions and answers.

1:30 pm – We always evaluate the corporate visits right after. Basically, evaluation is an important part of community organizing. So we do it after everything. After corporate visits, after big events, after research meetings…anything you can think of, there’s an evaluation for it right after! While this can get sort of tedious, it’s really important. You can’t improve if you’re not thinking about what worked and what didn’t.

2 pm – After my leaders leave, I take my own notes on the visit. Notes are also important to community organizing. There isn’t a lot of collective memory in this work unless it’s all written down. The point of a good community organizer is that the work can still go on without them!

2:30 pm – I order lunch because I realize I haven’t had any food yet. I’ve gotten pretty tired of the food within driving distance of the office, so I order Jimmy John’s. I think mainly because I saw someone get Jimmy John’s at the hospital we were just at. Subliminal messaging is pretty powerful, I guess!

3 pm – My lead organizer and I catch up. We have a big 5-day training starting tomorrow, so we need to get organized and on the same page about what needs to happen for that.

4:30 pm – I work on some social media for my blog. Specifically, I plan Facebook posts and interact with others on Instagram.

5:30 pm – I write a rough draft of some blog posts and comment on other blogs.

6 pm – I have another 1-1. This time it’s with someone who has been a leader at the church for longer. I’m new to working with her church, though, so it’s another first meeting.

7 pm – I talk on the phone with a friend on the drive home. This is someone I’ve been meaning to call for a few weeks now, because she’s going through some problems in her relationship. We’ve texted, but a phone call is the only real way to talk through those sorts of things. I tend to make calls, with my phone on speaker, while I’m driving. I know, I know. That’s bad. But I like to take advantage of all the time I can! As soon as I got home, I eat dinner really quickly.

7:30 pm – I make some calls for work. Since many of my leaders work during the day, I have to find time for evening calls a few times during the week. Weekend calls are also the only way I can reach some people.

8:30 pm – I do yoga for stress and anxiety.

9:30 pm – I work on this blog post and respond to emails! My boyfriend watches TV while I’m on the computer. He interrupts me for a bit because he loves cuddling. Ever since I started my blog, I think he feels a little ignored. 😛

Thanks so much for sharing your hustle, Johnna! Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you work in a similar field?  

P.S. Are you a hustler willing to share your story? Let’s chat! I would love to know how you’re making money while following your dreams in 2017. Shoot me an email — ebeth.berger@gmail.com. Thanks!

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Quick + Easy Meal Plan for One on a Budget (Vegan)

If you didn’t already know, my sister Katie wrote a musical! I know, right?! *Badass alert* She recently found out that Full the Musical was accepted to The New York City International Fringe Festival this August. So, on top of her full time job she’s also running around like a mad woman doing all the million and one things that need to happen to get a production ready for the bright lights of the big city. (Including, but not limited to; rehearsing, costuming, hustling, and coordinating travel from FL->NYC.) I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

full the musical

She mentioned to me that in the midst of all that madness she felt it was still important to throw down on some food prepared in her own kitchen. And I totally agree. Healthy fuel and a happy wallet are key components to this season of her life. But the perfect meal plan needed to be easy and non-brain-draining. (As well as reserve a few meals for eating out. Ya gotta be realistic, people!)

I told Katie, “Leave it to me, sistah!” You see, I LOVE creating meal plans. It feels like putting together a really satisfying puzzle. In case you have a similarly hectic week coming up, I thought I’d share what I put together for her.

And if you don’t? Thank your lucky stars. Cook elaborate meals. Revel in your free time. And then dig in your pockets to help out this amazing show. (Please and thanks!) 

Shopping List –

Oats

2 containers of coconut (or any non-dairy) yogurt

Almond milk

Bananas

Fruit of choice that is on sale/in season

1 onion

1 potato

1 sweet potato

1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk

1 loaf of bakery bread (freeze whatever you won’t be using this week)

Earth Balance

Red lentils

Basmati rice

Garlic

Avocados

Peanut butter

Hummus

Pita Chips (and/or crunchy dipping veg like bell peppers or baby carrots)

Tofu

A couple of on sale/in season veggie choices for sauteeing (think: peppers, zucchini, etc)

1 frozen meal option (think: pizza, Indian food, gnocchi, etc)

1 dessert option (like Joe Joe’s from Trader Joe’s!!!)

(Note: I didn’t include spices or cooking oil on this list so check the recipes to make sure you have all items on hand.)

Meal Plan –

Monday

Breakfast –

Overnight oats (prepare 4 jars on Sunday night. In each jar goes ½ cup of oats, ½ cup of almond milk, and ½ of one yogurt container + whatever extras you want to add – cinnamon, cocoa powder, mashed banana, nuts. In the morning you can top with fruit and a spoonful of nut butter, if you like.)

Lunch –

Out.

Dinner –

Sweet Potato Curry Soup

(Saute chopped onions in a little cooking spray in a large pot over high heat. Add a pinch of salt. Once onions are translucent, add chopped potato, chopped sweet potato, 1 Tbsp curry powder, 1 cup water, and 1 can coconut milk. • Bring mixture to a boil, turn down heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. • Blend or mash mixture to desired consistency.)

Serve with a slice of toasted bakery bread with lots of Earth Balance!

Tuesday

Breakfast –

Overnight oats

Lunch –

Leftover sweet potato curry soup with another slice of bread and a serving of fruit.

vegan meal plan 2

Dinner –

Lentils and Rice

(Ingredients:

1 ½ cups red lentils, 7 cups water, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cinnamon, 2 cups basmati rice , 1 tsp salt + avocado on top per serving

Recipe:

Add lentils, water, garlic and spices to a pot over medium high heat. Cook for 25 minutes, until lentils are soft. Add rice and salt. • Return to a boil, turn heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes. • Top with avocado!)

Wednesday

Breakfast –

Overnight oats

Lunch –

Leftover Lentils and Rice w/ a serving of fruit.

Dinner –

Out.

Thursday

Breakfast –

Overnight oats

vegan meal plan 1.0

Lunch –

Peanut butter and banana sandwich with pita chips and fruit.

Dinner –

Leftover Lentils and Rice

vegan meal plan 3

Friday

Breakfast –

Avocado toast

avotoast

Lunch –

Out.

Dinner –

Brekky for dinner: Tofu scramble, toast w/ nut butter, and fruit salad (your fruit selection for the week and banana…drizzle with honey if you like!)

Saturday

Breakfast –

Pancakes

(Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats, 1 ripe banana, 2/3 cup non-dairy milk, + peanut butter for topping

Recipe:

Blend together oats, banana and water. • Add batter to a skillet preheated to medium high heat. • Cook as you would normal pancakes, flipping when bubbles start to form on the side. • Top with peanut butter!)

Lunch –

Out.

Dinner –

Saute vegetables and tofu in a pan with soy sauce. Serve with rice and sriracha.

Sunday

Breakfast –

Pancakes

Lunch –

Leftover stir-fry.

Dinner –

Frozen meal.

SNACKS FOR THE WEEK:

Pita chips and crunchy veggie of choice with hummus.

DESSERTS FOR THE WEEK:

Dessert option and banana soft serve.

And there you have it! What do you think? Would this meal plan work for you? Do you have any tips + tricks for eating well when you’re balls deep in busy? Ya girl is all ears. 

P.S. No but for real, you should DONATE to Katie’s show. Those set pieces aren’t gonna haul THEMSELVES to The Fringe Festival. Thank you!

P.P.S. Love meal plans? Here’s another one that’s super budget friendly and here are 7 easy steps for beginner meal planners!