Employment Whines with a Side of Cheese

Chapter: DMV1

Gathering Date: August 2012

The overwhelming theme of our gathering this past month was the woes of employment…or lack thereof. Several of us shared our frustration with colleagues, feelings of being undervalued by our managers, and even overwhelmed by our workload. On the other hand, there are a few of us on what seems to be a never-ending job hunt.  If you find yourself in any of those categories, my solution is rather simple: change your (un)employmentality. Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done, but I can guarantee you it can be done.

Some time ago, I saw someone post something on a social network that read, “My job is simply how I afford to do the things that I truly enjoy.” And then it clicked. While I don’t love my job, what I don’t love even more is having no salary, no medical benefits and no paid vacation! I am a big advocate for doing what you love, but sometimes what you love doesn’t pay the bills. So if I operate with the mindset that my job is my means for maintaining a certain fulfilling lifestyle outside of the office, then pesky colleagues, difficult bosses and day-to-day stresses will not bother me as much.  That same mindset might actually contribute to progress on the job.

For the unemployed among us, start with a simple shift in perspective by thinking of your status as “between jobs” rather than unemployed. “Between jobs” carries a sense of optimism that your next job is on the horizon! Don’t be ashamed of your employment status. Telling others that you are “between jobs” may lead to learning about an opportunity you didn’t know existed. Also, consider partnering with someone else in the job hunt and search for each other instead of for yourself. This alleviates some of the pressure and allows you to shift your focus a bit. Compare it to scoping out a potential date for your friend versus one for yourself. It is so much easier!

For those who are looking, your dream job is out there waiting for you. So until your dream becomes your reality, you have two options: whine about it or find a way to cheese.

Natalie Dean is the Founding Vine of Whine & Cheese. Her founding chapter is located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The Gains of Girlfriend Gatherings (part 3)

The following content is from an email I received. I thought it was another great example (backed with facts) for why you should be hosting your very own Whine & Cheese chapter! Have a look!

In an evening class at Stanford University the last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps is to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.

I would love for you to join us! What do you have to lose?

If you are interested in establishing a Whine & Cheese chapter with your friends, email me at foreverywhine@gmail.com or tweet me www.twitter.com/foreverywhine.

XO – Natalie

Check this out!

We have an official logo!!! Let me know what you think!!!

The Gains of Girlfriend Gatherings (part 2)

Need another reason why you should host/join a Whine & Cheese chapter? Read the excerpt below:

As a professional counselor, Kimberly Walheim knows empirically the power of  strong friendships.

Walheim, a member of a women’s fellowship group, has seen for herself just  what the company and trust of other women can mean to a woman facing major life  changes, whether that’s a pending divorce or a crisis of self-identity.

“I think a lot of the time, women need cheerleaders, people who have been  through what they’ve been through and come out on the other side,” said Walheim,  who counsels women and families at Jewel David Ministries in Elizabethtown. (Source)

I would love for you to join us! What do you have to lose?

If you are interested in establishing a “Whine & Cheese” chapter with your friends, email me at foreverywhine@gmail.com or tweet me www.twitter.com/foreverywhine.

XO – Natalie

The Gains of Girlfriend Gatherings

Did you know there are benefits to hosting/joining a Whine & Cheese chapter? See for yourself by reading the excerpt below:

Dr. Elizabeth Cordes, a psychiatrist in Edmond, said having an accepting group to belong to can be very therapeutic.

“Benefits might include having an opportunity to confide in others, while providing and receiving support, participating in group problem-solving, receiving reassurance that the individual is not the only one experiencing the trials of ‘everyday life,'” Cordes said, “as well as experiencing the occasion to ‘let loose’ and relax in the absence of day-to-day responsibilities.” (Source)

I would love for you to join us! What do you have to lose?

If you are interested in establishing a “Whine & Cheese” chapter with your friends, email me at foreverywhine@gmail.com or tweet me www.twitter.com/foreverywhine.

XO – Natalie

How it Works

The moment I developed the concept for Whine & Cheese, I wanted to host a gathering right away! Unfortunately, I was living in a 600-square-foot apartment at the time and didn’t have the space (read: WHINE). I reached out to my sister-friend, Nikki, who graciously opened her home for the first (and second) gathering as I was not set to close on my home for a few more months.

The next step was to come up with a guest list. The intent was to create a new circle of friends, meaning I would pull from my various networks. I reached out to old college friends who lived in the area, new girlfriends I’d met in my choir at church and local sorority sisters. I also encouraged any friends that wouldn’t know anyone in the group to invite a friend. With the expectation of hosting no more than 10 women, to keep the circle small, I extended the invite to 15. I sent an invite out through email that asked them to arrive dressed in their most comfortable attire (think: sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ wit’ no make up on) with a bottle of wine in hand. I supplied the snacks.

Ten women showed up! Because most of them didn’t know each other, I started with an icebreaker. It was the month of February, so we shared our most memorable Valentine. With the help of the wine, everyone loosened up and by the end of the night it was like we’d all known each other for years.

A little over a year later, we still meet bi-monthly for “Whine & Cheese,” now at my house (read: CHEESE), and even fit in happy hour, dinner or movie in between time. I have conquered so many feats because of their prayers, encouraging words and counsel and I can confidently speak for them when I say they have as well. As a group, we’ve conquered things such as graduate school, relationship woes, crazy bosses, financial struggles, unemployment and passing the bar! No matter what trials and tribulations lie ahead, I have these girls’ backs and they have mine. And WHEN we overcome, we smile together.

Want to start a “Whine & Cheese” chapter? LET ME KNOW!

Before you host your official “Whine & Cheese” gathering, I want to make sure you’re properly registered and receive the welcome basket that will include all the essentials for your first event. Please keep in mind that I’ll need about 3 weeks notice.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Approximately 10-15 women in your area that you think would be compatible
  • A block of 3-4 hours of uninterrupted time to chat every other month
  • A venue — I suggest someone’s home because there you can relax, take as much time as you want and not have to worry about outsiders overhearing your private discussion
  • Food & Drinks — The theme is wine and cheese, but your group can decide what’s best! Half of my group brings wine while the other half brings cash to order takeout — nothing fancy required!
  • An icebreaker — Even though we know each other by now, we occasionally still open with an icebreaker. I can help you with some ideas!
  • Open ears and open arms to all in attendance!

I look forward to hearing from you at foreverywhine@gmail.com or tweet me www.twitter.com/foreverywhine.

XO – Natalie