“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.”
A new year and a new beginning. Whatever will we do with it?
Each day is a gift. A gift we should carefully open and cherish.
If only we could look past all the responsibilities. Yes, they are responsibilities, but we are lucky to be here and have them. Our responsibilities are gifts too. We may not look at them as a gift but they are.
How many days do you wake up and groan? We complain before we even move to get out of bed. Stop that. Open your eyes, smile, and greet the day. You are the recipient of one more day. Cherish it.
2019 is over and we have a wonderful 365 days to look forward to in 2020.
Wow! What are you going to do with that gift? What do you have planned?
“I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. I am sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. I am angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.”
I have a friend, a special friend…I think of her often. She wanders in and out of my thoughts.
Do you know how that feels? I miss her now that she is no longer here. We used to sit and drink coffee together and talk about random topics. Not important issues really, just the everyday events and experiences of life. We laughed! She had a knack for making you feel good.
I liked spending time with her, but we did not see each other often, not every week, and sometimes it would be a month or longer.
Then there was an inexplicable change. I could feel it, but I could not put my finger on it. There was a flash of feeling, a question. What was it?
We spent a bit more time together, she stopped by more often, and she asked to go with me a few extra times. Nothing dramatic or compelling, only slightly different. There was a whisper…..
Then, nothing. There were no emails, no phone calls, no visits…only silence.
It did not seem unusual at first; the difference was slight. It felt more like a shift back to the old normal. There used to be times when we did not talk or see each other. But it did not feel right.
Then there was an email. I was so excited. She was back. Open the darn thing, I could not open it fast enough. Where have you been?
Shock! It was not where have you been. It was where she was now.
She had turned her world upside down.
It all came rushing together. Now I understood. There had always been hints, little bits of insight about her home life, and there had been more chunks of it right before she disappeared. I knew she was unhappy, but I was stunned when I read her words.
There had been a small window of opportunity, and she jumped through it. She ran. There would not be any more casual conversations over coffee, not anytime soon.
She had been planning this for a very long time. There just needed to be that time, the right time. I had no clue.
I was stunned, and I was in awe of her. She was such a strong, scrappy woman. I sat there, re-read her email and cried. I was sad for her and what she had been hiding. She had told no one.
She was miles away, such a long way. In another state at the other end of the country, but I had no address yet, and no phone number to call. A request not to tell anyone and the information that someone would probably contact me looking for her. The plea, so urgent, please pretend you have not heard from me.
The call came, then again and again. So many questions. Where is she? Had I heard from her? He needed to know. He questioned why I did not know, why I could not answer him.
I lied, of course, I lied to him, over and over again. No, the answer I gave him, was always no. No, I have not heard from her. I am worried too; I hope she contacts you soon. When she does, please tell her I am thinking of her. They were all lies. He was not worthy of anything more than that. I would protect her.
He told me he was going to the police to file a missing person’s report. Shit! Now what? She does not want him to find her.
What should I do? She was going through so much, trying to settle in and make a new life. She was afraid. There was the constant worry that somehow he would find her.
I sent off an email, not sure it would reach her. She was in the process of changing everything. Please call me. I need to talk to you. Waiting for that call was agony.
I knew if he filed a missing person’s report, they would find her. He would know where she was. She called, and we talked for a long time. What should she do? She decided to contact one of his relatives. In the end, he did not file the report.
He never talked to her directly. Eventually, there was contact by email. He demanded she come back. He would change; things would be different. Yeah, when pigs fly!
She hired a lawyer. There were mutual investments and property. She had to deal with that, and eventually, it happened. Finally, it was no longer necessary for any contact. She still had the fear that he would find her.
Gradually life went on for my friend. She created a new life, but it was different. She was different. There was the never-ending relief that the relationship was over, but she was having a difficult time finding a new rhythm. There were so many changes.
It has been almost three years. I miss her. I miss the smiling face, the twinkle in her eyes, the warmth she radiated. She was, and, is my friend. I no longer take her for granted.
We still talk, of course, and email back and forth. It is not the same. The friendship and the way we care for each other has not changed. It is the same, but it is more intensified now. I want to be able to sit next to her and drink coffee. My dream is to surprise her. Buy a plane ticket and knock on her door.
You see now there is something new, a new threat, my friend has cancer.
Really? No way, that is what I would have told you before starting my blog. It’s true though. By writing I have opened myself up to all sorts of ideas and different ways of looking at just about everything.
Writing makes you think and it makes you contemplate. Research is virtually an everyday occurrence which in turn opens you up to even more ideas.
When I am gaining knowledge about what I am researching I am also learning about myself. The topics I research tell me about myself and my reactions tell me even more.
Writing this blog allows me to share my thoughts and opinions. This is something that I did not have an outlet for before. I am an introvert, no way around that. It is just who I am.
When I was working in the business world I had to force myself to communicate well with people. It was something I learned to do because I had to. It was not something I was ever truly comfortable doing.
Strangely, even though I am definitely still an introvert, I miss having the interaction with other people. Strange. It does seems strange but it is true. Writing my blog allows me to have that interaction. I cannot see you, I cannot hear you but I am talking to you, just not verbally.
So that is therapeutic. It allows me to talk. Something I did not realize I missed or needed so much.
I have things to say. I have events, feelings and emotions to share. This is my outlet. This is my therapy.
More than the simple act of writing is the idea that I am being recognized. I have something to say, I have an audience and someone is listening. You see me, you hear me. I feel as if I have value.
This story allowed me to go back and feel emotions that deeply affected me many years ago. I would love to have you read it and let me know what you think of my writing. It would mean a great deal to share that with you and to hear your thoughts.
See what I mean? Writing is therapeutic.
There are many events that happen to us in life that affect us deeply. We are very emotional creatures, we humans. Writing in any form allows us to take note of how we feel and to bring our emotions out a little at a time. Writing allows us to investigate our feelings.
Many of my blogs are more business related but they also talk about our personal interactions and feelings. They talk about our mindset and about personal growth and gratitude. One blog was about dealing with defeat. All of these are emotional for any of us. We react to them at work and they also affect our personal life.
Most of what I write I have experienced in one form or another. Writing about them has given me the opportunity to revisit those events and poke around a bit in my feelings and reactions.
Writing about our experiences allows us to look at things through a different lens. It can be enlightening.
When writing about our past experiences we may become aware of something we did not recognize at the time. We did not see it clearly either because we did not take the time or it was painful and we pushed it away. If we ignore it then it will not hurt us. Oh, but it can!
Writing allows us to address issues created by something we chose to push aside which can lounge in the recesses of our mind and fester. Writing about these past experiences helps us clean house, dust out the attic. We all need to do that because we all have “stuff” we hang on to and we shouldn’t.
From my perspective I think writing is very therapeutic. Just randomly writing down your experiences and your feelings is a good practice. You can write it in a blog if you want or write it in a notebook or journal. If you choose to write in a blog, you never have to publish it. It can be your private personal record.
Everyone has wonderful feel good experiences you want to relive. We have the normal everyday ho-hum events which can be humorous and delightful. We may also have some gut wrenching life experiences that have deeply affected you, your family and perhaps your friends. Writing about them will allow you to document your life. *I am going to post one of my gut wrenching family stories this week, so stay tuned.
Writing will also allow you to analyse yourself. It gives you the opportunity to put your “stuff” in order, rearrange your thoughts and be a better person for it. It might be painful at times but in the end you will benefit from it.
A word of caution. If you have some really earth shattering events in your life, sure you can write about those but always realize you have more options available to you as well. Seeking professional help is always a good idea.
I do not know why but writing about something instead of just thinking about it and reliving it in our mind is somehow different. When we write down the words and see them on paper it makes our thoughts clearer. Maybe it makes them more real, I am not sure.
Maybe, it is because when we think about something we have a tendency to go over and over the same thing. Especially if it negative. It can feel like we have it on automatic re-wind.
The act of writing and seeing it on paper, or the white screen of our computer, helps us get rid of the attached emotions. It helps us move on so we don’t have to keep recycling the same old story.
Writing is a journey from what you think you know to new places in your mind and soul.
Linda Joy Myers
Writing has been therapeutic for me and I hope it will be for you as well.
As always thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.
In my prior life working for an organization, one of my favorite jobs was completing the performance reviews for the employees I managed. I truly enjoyed it!
Why did I like it? It was my opportunity to do an in-depth evaluation and help my employees do their absolute best and move forward. I always felt that was my real responsibility as their boss.
Before I was promoted to a management position I had worked with someone who was terrible at performance reviews. It irritated me and made me angry. He did not like doing them and I do not think he understood the process. He certainly did not understand the importance of the review.
One employee could be doing a fantastic job and another employee was performing below standard and their reviews would be very similar. There was really no distinction made. As a result there was no growth of the employees.
At the same time he was evaluating the employees I was evaluating him. I learned what not to do.
It was exciting doing my first performance review. I wanted to give them good information and I wanted to make them better. If there were problems, they were noted and thoroughly discussed. If they were doing a great job I let them know it and I always gave them direction moving forward. This is how you are doing and this is how you can improve.
So I know how to do a review and although I have never written my own personal review I was always evaluating my own performance. That is just the person I am. I always wanted to be better. I believe there are many people who do the same.
Now I am not working for someone else. I am retired and just starting to write. I want to be a writer. I am evaluating myself all the time. Maybe too much so. This is totally new territory for me and I am constantly trying to evaluate how I am doing.
It has been four months since I started my blog. My plan is to do a performance review at six months and then again at the one year mark. So what format am I going to use? I will use what I know and make adjustments if needed.
It is a really good, productive idea to do you own performance review. You may not be required to but I think it is a good process to complete. It cannot hurt and it certainly can help you. If you are honest you will be able to do a much more thorough review than the person who is actually responsible for doing yours.
Here are some steps to take.
Do a review of your job description, any annual goals you were given on your last review or when you were hired. Were you given any specific instructions on how to perform your job? This is a guide line and you should use it as a reference for completing your review.
Be honest. Really think about your performance. Could you have done a better job on this project or this sale? If you were working with someone else did you truly participate. Did you do your share? If there is a certain part of your job you do not like, do you avoid it? Are you looking for ways to improve your performance?
It should be written in a clear concise manner. Use the proper language and be professional. If you are doing a review that is strictly for your eyes treat it just as you would if you were presenting this to your boss.
The true objective of a performance review is growth. When writing your own try to be realistic. How did you really do? Look at any stats available. What percentage of growth did you have? Could it have been better? If you did a really good job be sure to state that but don’t overstate the results.
If you realize that you did not accomplish a goal or that you could have done a better job in a specific area, admit it. Show that you are aware you could have done better and that you are taking steps to improve. This will show that you are self aware and able to self manage.
Include a plan for you performance going forward. It should be part of any review. This is a good opportunity to plan on what to do to make yourself better. It should be detailed and easy to understand and to put into action. This is really an opportunity to show how committed you are to self improvement. It is also showcasing your self-confidence and strength as an individual and as an employee.
It is important to be serious about what you are doing. Do not take this too lightly. Do not fluff things over. Really commit to the process. When you make a plan for improvement do not make it too easy. Your employer will recognize what you are doing. Also do not make it too big, don’t set yourself up. Make a plan that will make you work to complete it but it is still achievable.
This is your time to shine. Highlight what you have done well. I think this points out the importance of self evaluating yourself throughout the year. Document what you have accomplished and be sure to include it in your review. It is also important to break down what steps you took to complete you goals. This is an opportunity to showcase your intelligence, your analytical skills and your ability to work with others.
Take your time. A self evaluation is not something you should rush through. This is your future. Write it, Read it, Evaluate it, Change it and Rewrite it. You may not be comfortable doing it at first. The more time you spend the more you will learn about yourself. When you are finished you should feel more confident about your abilities and motivated to move forward. You should feel prepared and eager to keep improving.
Your goal for any self evaluation should always be self improvement and self awareness. The end result should allow you to understand your abilities and your weaknesses. It should give you a clear understanding of how satisfied you are with your performance for the year and what specifically you want and need to do going forward.
When you do a self evaluation it is a win-win. The more often you do this the better it is for you. You will steadily improve and see better results. I recommend making it a goal to add it to your schedule. Make it a priority to do a daily review, then add weekly and monthly summaries where you reflect on the overall results. At the end of one year you should see growth in productivity, level of knowledge and your skill set.
You will be a better employee, a better leader and a better person. You will be happier and more content. Your self confidence will soar.
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a growth filled day.