Archive for June, 2008

At work, we are in the midst of a mid-year review of our performance.  At the beginning of the year, we were required to set certain goals with regard to business objectives, development objectives and competencies.  By mid-year, we are expected to have accomplished certain of these goals and to provide specific examples regarding how we met those goals.  Then our manager will review this information and provide feedback regarding the success of our endeavors and make certain adjustments to our priorities and goals if there have been changes in our particular work situation during the first half of the year.


I think that this is a great idea.  It has worked well on the job and I am now thinking about incorporating it into my personal life.  There will be certain adjustments to applying the program in this way but I think it could work.  So as we approach the end of June and the end of the first half of this year, I started my own personal review.  Now since I did not set specific goals at the beginning of the year other than my one New Year’s resolution, I am reviewing the major happenings in retrospect.  So here goes!!


For my New Year’s resolution, I wanted to lose weight.  Here at the nearly half-way point of the year, I have lost a total of 10 lbs.  So, my evaluation of this goal is “on track”. 


Right after the beginning of the year, I learned that my cancer was back.  I met with all of the doctors that I needed to meet, had all the tests that I needed, had surgery and am currently at the midway point in my reconstruction.  Therefore, my evaluation of this goal is “moving ahead”.


Toward the end of January, I decided that I would write and post a weekly blog and have done so since the first week.  However, I was one day late in my posting last week and now I am two days behind in my posting this week.  So, my evaluation is that I am “falling behind”.


Now I understand that we can all set goals and not meeting these goals is not always a bad thing.  After all, I do remember that there are two plans for my life – my plan and God’s plan.  Now which one do I know about and which one will win out in the long run?  Certainly, I don’t know God’s plan but I do know that his plan is the one that will always win. 


So I have decided that I am going to set some new goals for the second half of 2008.  I am not sharing them with anyone because I am the only one who is in a position to evaluate whether I have ultimately met these goals or not.   And if I meet the goals that I have established, I will be delighted.  But if I fall short of any of them, I will not be sad or upset or diminished by the shortfall.  Rather, I plan to consider why I didn’t meet the goal, whether it is a goal that I feel is worth pursuing and if it is, then how can I make certain adjustments in my life to meet a particular goal.  I promise that I will provide an update at the end of the year regarding how my experiment has worked out.


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Missing a Deadline

Oh, no!  Here it is – Wednesday!  I was supposed to have my post done by Tuesday.  I haven’t missed a single deadline since I started writing my blog.  Even with the passing of my brother and a major surgery, I didn’t miss a beat.  So what in heavens name happened that I did not have my weekly writing done on time???  I forgot!


Yes, it was that simple.  I thought about it over the weekend but I wasn’t inspired.  I thought about it on Monday evening but couldn’t think of a thing.  But that was okay because I always come through by Tuesday.  That wouldn’t be a problem.  But then I met friends for dinner and as I was leaving the restaurant, I ran into another person with whom I hadn’t had a chance to have a conversation in a long time so I lingered.  Then I had to stop at the store on the way home and pick up a couple of things.  My cell phone was acting up so that I couldn’t make a call (darn that Mercury when it goes retrograde).  And as it was getting late, I had to hurry home and get a shower so that I could spend a little time with Kirk before heading to bed.  I knew that I had to get up early in the morning to get to work because I was leaving early for an appointment so I had to get certain things organized the night before.


So here I am, having arrived home a little earlier than usual and all of a sudden it hits me.  I missed a deadline.  Me!  I missed a deadline.  I never miss a deadline! How did this happen?  I pride myself on finishing everything on time, if not ahead of time.  I always arrive early for appointments so I never keep anyone waiting.  And I always write my blog on time.  How embarrassing!  I missed a deadline.


And then I stopped myself and said, “So what!”  I didn’t hurt anyone.  I am sure that no one was signing on to view my latest writings and sitting there waiting for them to pop up.  So why was I so bothered that my post was not ready on Tuesday?  I am not sure but I do know that it is not because I am a perfectionist.  It seems more like I don’t want to disappoint others because that would mean that I disappointed myself.  And then a better perspective popped up. 


I could take this whole thing too seriously and schedule every Tuesday to allow for writing at a particular time if I have not already completed my blog.  That way I would never be late.  But I would miss out on that special get together with some friends.  I would not have a few extra minutes to spend with someone who I really like.  I wouldn’t have a chance to chat with Kirk before heading to bed to share our thoughts on the day’s happenings.  And most importantly, I would have to choose to write about life rather than choosing to live life.  For me, that is not an option worth considering.  I just hope that I never make a choice to not live life to its fullest.  To me, there is absolutely nothing that is more important.  So if I miss a deadline again in the future, just know that I am doing something special with someone special and that is the way I live my life.

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I was listening to a discussion today that included a question to a terminally ill cancer patient regarding any regrets that he may have now that he is expected to die within the next few months.  The gentleman did mention a few regrets that he had but this discussion led me to think about my own life and any regrets that I may have.  I couldn’t think of anything.  That is not to say that my life has always been perfect but what I realized was that every choice that I made, including the bad choices, provided me with lessons that I would never have otherwise learned. 


Each negative situation in which I have found myself lasted just long enough to learn what I needed to know and then ended.  Everything positive continued as long as I allowed.  I reviewed the places where I have lived, the relationships that I have had and the work experiences that I have encountered.  I noticed that as long as I followed my instincts, I have always been in exactly the right place at the right time.


Every experience that I have had has taught me a valuable lesson.  Every person that I have met has enriched me or taught me something about the inhumanity that one can wreak upon another.  But, I also realized that many people don’t see their experiences from the same perspective that I do.


I am not exactly sure when or how I began to look at my life in this manner.  I am surrounded by so many people who focus on all of the bad things in their lives, who complain about everything and everyone that they encounter and in essence, lead pretty miserable lives.  My hope is always to somehow find a way to show these people how differently life can be with just a bit of tweaking in their thought process.  I don’t know how successful I have been or will be in the future but I do know that I will continue to keep on trying in any way possible.  And, I do know that having a belief in a higher power from whom I always elicit help and direction is the key to my ability to perceive life in the manner that I do.


I also reviewed another aspect of regret.  What has there been in my life that I wish that I had done or what goals have I failed to pursue?  I could not identify anything.  Now that does not mean that I have accomplished everything and that there is nothing else for me to do.  Actually, there are tons of things that I have done that I want to keep experiencing and I know that there are lots of opportunities that will still come my way that I currently couldn’t even imagine myself doing. 


I would never have imagined that I would write the lyrics for our music CD.  I never conceived that I would be writing this blog on a weekly basis but here I am.  And I hope that I will always keep myself open to new ideas, new possibilities and new opportunities because they are always right around the corner if you care to embrace them and at least give them a try.  And I know deep down inside that my great desire to help others will eventually lead me to the perfect opportunity or project. That is when I will know that I have found exactly what I have been looking for all my life.  

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Each day of my life, there is one place that represents happiness to me and that is home.  As I think about this, I can’t help but ponder what represents “home” to me.  I was born and raised on the east coast and home for many years was where I spent so many years with my family.  But then I went out on my own and home became a number of different locations.  Each was special and represented the same concept to me.  Home was where you went at the end of the day and where you sought refuge whether alone or with another person.  But now, it means so much more to me.


When I moved to California, I knew that I was “home”.  I had visited for a week with a friend and knew within 48 hours that this was where I felt I needed and wanted to be.  After the visit, I packed up my worldly goods within 6 months and life has never been the same.  And despite the fact that I did make one move away after my initial landing here, it didn’t take long for me to return.


Once I returned here, Kirk and I got married.  We don’t own a home here.  We rent an apartment.  Yet it really doesn’t matter.  Our home is perfect because we have fun here.  Every day is special in some way.  It is safe and it is full of love.  No one has to do or be anything other than exactly who we are and we appreciate each other for our individuality.   We don’t have to look outside of our home for places to go or things to do or something to occupy our time.  We have everything right here where we are.


I think an important aspect of this is also the location of our home.  I remember all of the cold and dreary winters.  I remember the weekends when you wanted to do something special but couldn’t count on the weather cooperating.  Even in the middle of the summer, it might be chilly enough to need a sweater and the water was too cold to go swimming.  This just doesn’t work for me.


The exciting thing is to wake up to sunshine just about every day of my life.  To me, every day is automatically great when you can start it in southern California.  I don’t mind getting ready and going to work as I don’t have to pile on a ton of clothes and go outdoors into a big freeze.  That freedom alone means so much to me.  Everyone said that I would miss the change of seasons but boy, were they wrong.  Not only don’t I miss them but the great thing is that you can head in just about any direction and find what you want within two hours.  If I want snow and skiing in the winter, it is readily available.  If I want heat in the summer, the desert is nearby.  And the immediate surroundings also provide a spring and fall if one is looking for those changes as well.


I guess for me, I have the best that the world has to offer.  I am in the exactly perfect place for me.  I have nearly perfect surroundings both outside and inside.  When you are fortunate enough to have created such a perfect situation for yourself, you find that there just isn’t much of anything that gets you down or any situation that you can’t conquer.  Now that is how I find that you can create happiness in your life when you create the best surroundings for yourself.

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