Making the Switch to a Standing Desk

Since starting at my job about a year ago I’ve had a pretty basic cubicle full of all the technology any IT person could ever ask for.  I spend about 60% of my week in that cube sitting in an old chair starring at my displays.

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Since my family is notorious for having back pains later in life I thought I’d take another step of avoid those woes and invest in an adjustable standing desk by Ergotron.

Day 1
Got the desk setup just the way I want.  Kudos to Ergotron again for making it super easy to setup.  This thing literally popped out of the box and was good to go.

Now I don’t have all my cable ties down just he way I’d like but I needed to be functional before I can be fashionable.  I looked into getting a center bar to mount (2) 27″ displays but it seems the max supported size was 24″.  This really was fine in the end.  I don’t mind them up the way they are.  What do you think?

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I love that I’ve only got three cables running to my 13″ MacBook Pro.  Two Thunderbolt cables (one going to a Belkin Dock) and the magsafe power adapter.  This makes it really easy to unplug and go.  Also it’s nice having my SD card reader on the MacBook Pro very accessible.  Since then I’ve updated to the newest MacBook Pro with only USB-C and it’s actually become even easier.

Day 2
So like most things you’re excited about Day 1 was the honeymoon phase.  Now it’s day 2 and I’m realizing that this thin carpet is not going to cut and an am looking into a floor mat to stand on.

Day 3

Today is really the first full day of standing at the desk.  Past two days I’ve had half days so today is the first true test.  Unsurprisingly I need a floor mat.  These basic Vans sneakers don’t cut it.

The floor mat I’m ordering won’t be here for sometime and costs over $200 so it better be worth it.  You hear me Ergotron??? Get that floor mat here asap.

Other than that not too much to report I screwed my shoulder up doing keg stands over the weekend (don’t ask) so I haven’t been able to bring it up and down but I got a boat load of new accessories for the desk as well and it’s as steady as ever.

Day 14…  Where is my mat?

Day 30

Took about a month for my floor mat to come in.  Let me just say there are a million of these available on Amazon for way cheaper than what I paid for my Ergotron one.  I’m not sure how much better or worse one is than another but I don’t really care.  Anything is better when you wear Vans every day.

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The mat isn’t making as much of a difference as I’d hope but I’m only about 7 days into using it.

After a month of using the standing desk I’m extremely impressed.  My body adjusted to standing 6-8 hours a day at my desk instead of sitting.  There are very few times throughout the week I feel the need to sit down.  Also depends on how big of a lunch I eat.

If you’re considering making the transition to a standing desk here are the biggest take aways:

  • Try and get your company to pay for it.  Most companies will consider as it can save them in healthcare costs down the road.
  • If you need a union to come in and do any furniture renovations consider a model that just drops on an existing table like mine.
  • Learn how to cable manage.  You don’t want your monitors pulled off the desk because you managed them too tight.  (No this did not happen to me)
  • Go wireless with everything you can. (Mouse, Keyboard, Trackpad)

That’s really it.  I love my new desk and am considering one for my tiny apartment at home.  I don’t really have the space for a desk chair so it would be perfect for me.  If you’ve got a standing desk or are considering one let me know in the comments below.

Why Does My Generation Have Such a Hard Time Accepting Our Age? Our Glasses are Still Half Full!

As part of the narsasistic generation responsible for coining phrases such as selfie, adulting and side-hustle, I really shouldn’t be too surprised and what I’m about to write about.  I’m just hoping to create a spark even if it’s just with one person about life.

I’m just as guilty at using terms like “Side Hustle” but I’m learning that I’m not proud of it.  I’m not the first person on this planet to have more than one job so why did that term need branding?  As Hank Moody would said we’re “Slaughtering the English language”.   I guess there isn’t much stoping the evolution in which we speak.

But another thing we really seem to have a difficult time with is getting older.  Something that is completely out of everyone’s control, yet we spend so much time worrying about it.  “Adulting” is a term that we’ve made up that makes the hair on my neck stand up.  The majority of my friends and I are in our late twenties and early thirties, therefore making us legal adults, in most cases, for more than a decade.  Yet we celebrate the events like having grocery shopping on the weekends, go to bed at a reasonable hour, and make our own doctor’s appointments as major accomplishments in our growth as adults.  Look, I’m all for healthy celebration but maybe we should set our goals a bit higher.  Don’t you think?

I see people complain on social media about how “Old” we’re getting.  You’re only one day older than you were yesterday and you weren’t complaining then, so what the hell?  We can’t control time but we can embrace it.  One of the reasons I make my Videos is so I can look back at all the amazing memories without regret.

Millennials have a life expectancy of just under 90 years.  If you’re really concerned about the fact that 1/3 of your life is over, you shouldn’t be.  Here’s why.

Do you get upset when you finish just 1/3 of your ice cream or how about 1/3 of your beer?  Don’t worry ladies I haven’t forgotten about you.  Ever get upset that 1/3 of that bottle of wine you plan on fishing is gone?  Are you upset that you’ve got over 65% of your expected life still in front of you full of opportunity?  You shouldn’t be.  OUR GLASS IS STILL HALF FULL!!!

We use these imaginary timelines to get ourselves down when we feel like we haven’t accomplished what our parents did at our age.  The fact is our parents lived MUCH different lives than we did.

I understand that I’m not speaking to the majority of the generation.  The majority of our parents married at the age 23 our generation much closer to 30.  On average our parents bought houses around the ages of 25-30.  Millennials, 30-35.  So don’t stress because we’re showing that it’s ok to explore more of what this world has to offer.  Our parents generation didn’t have that luxury.

There is no need to rush into the goals of marriage, home ownership, and careers just because you’re a certain age.  Don’t get me wrong there will be plenty of people that read this who are married home owners with a rocketing career and that is fantastic but the point I’m trying to make is that we’re not too old to take chances.  To go live in another state or country for a year or completely shift careers to something that aligns more with your passion.

The more chances we’re willing to take now, the less regret we’ll have later in life when we truly are on the back 9.

We already won the lottery just by being here.  The odds of being born a human in this time are 1 in 400,000,000,000.  If you think you’ll get that lucky again then by all means take the routine route.  If you’re not willing to rely on those odds twice I’ll see you out embracing this amazing life. 

 

One Year Ago Today I Left Corporate America For Good.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of my new job at the University of Pennsylvania.  I have worked for Apple, Western Digital, and Keyence all leading up to this job but it wasn’t easy.

After leaving Apple my career path slowly turned toward outside sales.  I was really good at it, but after being laid off by Western Digital (not for performance reasons) and moving to Keyence my territory was much larger than what I was used to.  This meant spending 5 days a week (at least) on the road and away from home.

I knew when I took the job that it was going to be a lot of traveling but I didn’t realize how much it would impact my personal life.  It was difficult to maintain friendships, get involved in my local community, and have any type of routine.  All things that are important to me.

When I got the call that I was being offered the job at the University of Pennsylvania it was a very difficult decision.  The offer was much lower than what I was making in outside sales but the the job would allow me to take back all of those things I was missing by being away so much.  Plus I could go back to school.  What made the decision more difficult was being away from all my friends and family since I was training out in Chicago for 8 weeks.  My gut told me it was the right move.

Accepting the position was one thing, telling my current employer who just spend thousands of dollars training me and flying me around the country I was leaving was another.  Fortunately Keyence took the news very well and sent me on my way back home.

I will never forget the feeling after landing back in Philadelphia with my new career on the horizon.  It was a really warm sunny day (which is rare this time of year) and coming from freezing cold and cloudy Chicago, it was just the validation I needed that I made the right choice.

I was completely pivoting away from sales and primarily focusing on technology at Penn.  If you can’t tell from my website I’m way more interested in technology.

Here I am one year later excited to go into work (most days).  This balance of work has allowed me to go back to school, adopt an amazing dog, start a relationship, work other jobs that I find interesting, build a website, and rediscover my passion of photography.  Sure some of those may have happened either way but I’m certain that decision helped.

We shouldn’t need to be reminded that life is short and money isn’t everything.  Make sure you enjoy what you do.  If you don’t love your job that’s okay too as long as it allows you to do the things you love to do.

This has been on of the most entertaining years of my life and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me.