28 January 2011

Reflecting...

(*warning* long, non-crafty post)

I must confess that I struggle sometimes with my blog. It is primarily focused on my paper crafting so I try not to get too personal. It's a balance between being open and friendly (which comes quite easily to me) and not revealing too much private information. Generally, I just do a little bit of chit chat and share tiny bits of my life. However, today, instead of sharing a card with you I'm going to share a few of my thoughts...

Tomorrow it will be one year (one year today if I go by the day of the week) since I got "laid off", "let go" or as I like to say now "corporately restructured out of a job". I started off by saying "fired" but people were quick to remind me that "fired" means I did something wrong, which I didn't. I really thought I would be back to work in a few months and every month that goes by brings a moment (or two or three) of sadness. It's been a roller coaster of a year of fighting the negative while celebrating the positive (see my New Year's post, which again, was a little more personal). I have moments of questioning my decisions about my education and career path. It's also been a roller coaster these last few weeks, as I attempted to stay positive, while this less-than-auspicious anniversary loomed closer. The general energy around me right now is very much like a roller coaster too. There are people close to me who are riding waves of new and exciting opportunities and others who are struggling to keep their heads above water while they deal with extreme grief and loss. I do my best to be happy for those who are up and be supportive for those who are down.

I have to say that I am grateful to have lots of people supporting me and helping out in anyway they can. Seems like every time I turn around someone new is giving me advice, support, a suggestion or lead. In addition, I'm fortunate to have a good network which I know will help me find a fabulous new opportunity. Sometimes the help is in the form of some words of wisdom... which I received from a friend in an email the other day. She is reading From Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano and sent me this passage to reflect on.

"Setting and managing our own expectations defines success and a path to balance and happiness. My advice is, don’t get too caught up in long-term definitions; chew on manageable short-term goals and benchmarks or you will only get frustrated, depressed or worse.

We are challenged today in our consumer-oriented, instant-gratification world by external benchmarks thrust at us. A lot of people keep score by job title and responsibility.

In French Women for all Seasons, I remarked en passant how French people generally do not introduce or define people by what they do for a living, while Americans routinely do. “I’d like you to meet Jill, she an accountant for Boeing”. I prefer saying, “I’d like you to meet Jill, she’s just back from Mexico”. In New York I know how I am introduced at parties, and it can be awkward hearing about myself and makes me think about how some of the other women in the room feel about me. Not so in France. In Paris recently, I had dinner at a restaurant with friends. We had a lovely time, and after two and a half hours left not knowing the husband’s profession at all. It was reassuring. Isn't defining ourselves and other by our job titles reductive and boring?"

One of the reasons for doing this post is to share these words with you. When I chatted with a friend about sharing personal things on blogs she said that her reasoning was that if it was educational and helped someone else, then it was worth it. So, if you are having some challenges of your own right now, maybe this will help.

With those fabulous words of wisdom and the support of my spouse, friends and family, I will march forward. I look forward to chewing on some manageable goals and to not being reductive or boring. (Not sure if it's grammatically correct to define myself as reductive but oh, well...).

To leave on a positive note, I had a great yoga class last night and am feeling ok today. As for tomorrow, I am spending my Saturday drinking coffee with my spouse, crafting with my friends and throwing myself a (non) Pity Party in dishonour of being off work for a year. :)

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by and 'listening' to me ramble. I really appreciate all of my blog readers. Every comment puts a smile on my face. Thank you.

Glenda

*the photo is one I took a few years ago in Brugges, Belgium

9 comments:

  1. Keep hanging in there Glenda!

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  2. Not to worry Glenda. I'm sure something REALLY fabulous is just around the corner!

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  3. hey Glenda,

    It's Curt Whitmire, who welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Naomi into the world about 4.5 months ago. That's my attempt at not being reductive and boring. Life for me and my wife Amanda has also been quite the emotional roller coaster of late. Between the sleepless nights, dirty diapers and frequent puking, it's been such a delight to watch our daughter grow and develop into this little person. We are very thankful that she is healthy and happy (well, most of the time).

    After becoming a father, I realized how priorities change and I've found it challenging to adjust to my new responsibilities. It's no longer as much about me, but more about her and "the family." I'm trying to recalibrate my happiness, as it sounds like you are as well. But I sense a bit of optimism in your words that I hope you often reflect on. Sometimes, life throws us a curve and we have to recalibrate our goals. I can appreciate the idea of setting manageable short term goals. Ours are quite simple these days --- just to get out of the house for a walk or hike a couple times a week, to continue to spend time with friends and loved ones, and to not get so frustrated that we take it out on each other.

    On that note, I wish you a successful and enjoyable non-Pity Party. Sounds very therapeutic, as does yoga and crafting. Wish I could offer more words of advice, but I hope hearing from an old friend will put a smile upon your face. Your post certainly brightened my day.

    Warmest regards and best of luck!!
    -Curt

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  4. You know what? My most popular posts never have anything to do with crafting. I think we are all like "yeah, I have seen your cards but now whatcha got?". Believe me, my posts about my separation and Avery's heart defect got the most eyes. Sad in some ways but true. However, I am an oversharer!

    I think you'd be surprised how many people will see great value in your sharing. I felt exactly the same whenever I was out of work or in situations where I was the last one left after they decimated the work force(which in Silicon Valley seemed to happen a lot). I can only wish you luck since my networking skills are limited being in a home office. So here goes...good luck!

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  5. Glenda, you are inspiring! Sorry I won't be able to make your non-pity party tomorrow, but party well, as you do everything else in your life!

    Love and best wishes!
    Margaret

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  6. Sometimes life sucks the big honkey and we just gotta hold onto those little things that seem happier. I could say something trite like, be grateful you aren't in Egypt today, but in the end you are just getting a huge reminder that we can't control everything in life and the best we can do is control our attitude. (It's not controul, is it?) So, you enjoy your pitty party, have a lovely cocktail for me, and know that people like me think you are pretty darn fabulous and when I'm queen of the world you'll be my #1 geologist!

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  7. Consider it a bend in the road! You are inspiring and a champion of your circumstances good and challenging! Keep running ahead! Hugs! Donna

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  8. Glenda thank you for sharing that - it is so very true and a good reminder. You are so talented and have had so many great accomplishments this year. Big hugs to you, and hope you have a great day crafting!

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  9. As others have posted, I'm sure something very good is just around the corner.....and maybe you're still in the middle of the block. Best of luck and rock on at your anniversary party!

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