Monday, June 30, 2008

Mid year review, pt 1

Tomorrow is July 1st and essentially the halfway point of the calendar year. I have been looking over my objectives and focus points that I started the year with. How am I doing? Have I made any progress? Do I need to make any adjustments? It’s a typical mid-year review reflection.

In my post Words to Dream by I wrote that I chose two words for the year, wealth and release. It hasn’t been perfect but those two have been serving me well. They keep me focused on me and correcting my own thinking and actions. But they are scary words to live by all the same.

I used to think of wealth in terms of something that rich people had. In the past I framed every purchase decision as how do I not spend any unnecessary money. The problem was my twisted definition of “unnecessary.” Recently I have had some decisions about things like getting a camera for my work. I started out looking at getting another “point and shoot” because it was inexpensive until I did my May invoice and tallied the number of photos that had been published; and how many shots the “point and shoot” missed that couldn’t be submitted. I found a good used DSLR for just twice what the “point and shoot” was going and it was a no-brainer to get it and move forward.

Release has been a different word to work with. Wealth connects easily to anything having to do with the exchange of money. Release take a while to wire the connections to the clenched fingers, the gritted teeth, the furrowed brow, the memory tapes of the day or the week or whatever timeframe when trying to fall asleep so the phrase “let it go” can make itself heard and do its work. “Let it go” is different from “forget about it.” One is active and the other passive. But “forgetting” tends to also allow forgetting the things that can serve to deflect it earlier the next time the situation comes up. “Letting go” is a process that deals with all the tentacles of the situation and their interconnections.

The changes these two words have been bringing into my life don’t just influence my actions in the moment. I have noticed a change in my general thinking and even how I perceive information. I have been rereading some books I read a few months ago and I find myself relating differently to the premises and the recommendations. All of this is exciting, yes; but it is also frightening because the beginner’s lessons with the safety net and the harness are about to give way to the real performance like the trapeze artist or the figure skater or the gymnast. The real thing has real falls that can lead to serious injuries. But just as scary is the realization that the real thing can lead to better things and more responsibilities and more powerful roles.

Have you done a mid-year review of your goals and aspirations for the year? How are you doing? There is no right or wrong; there is only the taking note of what you decided to do with your year and whether that’s where you are investing your time, and talent, and discipline. Because this is so very personal sharing online is completely optional but it may serve you to be open with someone about your review.

I will do an evaluation of my Be:Do:Have lists and post about those later.


jamiegrove said...

At the moment, I'm failing pretty handily at my mid-year review. 2008 has had a lot of twists and turns.

That said, I continue to write and that is the main thing. Your comments on release are very fitting. It's the part I have the most difficulty with.

G's Cottage said...

@Jamie - Thanks for visiting. I agree that continuing to write is the main thing.

I have found writing useful in learning to release especially where all the voices are ganging up on the "who do you think you are" mantra. I find writing down either the condemning statement and then writing down why it's false is a good exercise; and also answering the question "who do I think I am" with just who I am. In my post on June 6th (Business Decisions) I talk about changing my language with sources and clients, and that was in part an off-shoot of writing out who I was professionally and then disciplining myself to use that language "on the job."

Did I see that you work for Highlights for Children? I loved that magazine when I was a kid. Anyway, sending a "Halloo" from Greene County.

Melissa Donovan said...

I did a mid-year review too and what I found was that most of my goals had changed or at least shifted. I expected this to happen since when I wrote out my goals, I was still learning a lot. That's one of the reasons I didn't publish my goals on my blog back in January -- I knew that as the year progressed I would learn things that would affect how I reach my bigger goals. I'm trying to stay focused on a five year plan rather than more immediate goals.

G's Cottage said...

@Melissa - Different things work for different people. You are definitely moving forward and it doesn't matter whether it's a straight line or not; actually wavy lines are more interesting lives.

This post was just about my two words. Wait till I get around to reviewing my Be:Do:Have lists. Now that will waffle all over the map I can guarantee. My goal is to write from home. But for the moment the photography is the - I hate to say it this way, but - cash cow. I don't think photography is listed anywhere. I mean it's true I deliberately took an art-based photography course at university as an ancillary skill to writing but it has almost taken on a life of its own. Maybe I'm missing a big hint or something.

Anyway, I watch your progress closely because while it's not a mirror of my own it has many elements with which I can identify deeply.