Another Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

I know that many people use the new year as a time to look forward and make resolutions about personal behavioural changes. I don’t like to do this. It is just another way for me to feel disappointed in myself when I don’t manage to achieve those goals. Instead I like to look back. I like to think about the previous year and reflect on what I have learnt about myself. In actuality this contributes more to my future behaviours than any list of resolutions.

So…2007… This year I went back to work on a part-time basis. I learnt that I do like to work, but that this balance is just right for our family. I could easily work full-time and earn plenty of money, but it makes us all miserable. We don’t get everything done around the house; ferrying the kids around is inconvenient and makes me resentful; life is fitted in around work. I would much rather forgo the extra money for our peace of mind and emotional happiness.

I learnt that I do actually like to work in a group of people. **I have always thought of myself as a bit isolated from the masses because I don’t really do all the popular things. This makes small talk almost impossible. Did I see that reality show on TV? No, I don’t watch it. Did I see that story on the front page of the paper? No, I don’t read it. Did I see the results of the football game? No, I don’t follow it. Do I love that new song by (insert name of skinny, skanky girl here)? No, I don’t listen to it. Despite this I may not be quite the introvert that I thought. I enjoy working toward a task in a group of people, but here’s the thing… I always end up as the leader of the group.  I try to sit back and just listen, but eventually I have to state my opinions – not in a bossy way – and people agree with me. This causes me a lot of concern, because I LIKE to be the leader of the group. I am not a follower (I already knew this about myself), but I’m not sure if I am entirely comfortable with having people follow me. I LOVE to be involved in discussion about/with management and some part of me could easily move in that direction, but that causes my peace-loving, left-wing hippy heart some pause for thought. I find it quite a paradox in my personality.  It doesn’t need resolution right now, I am happy just to recognise it and live with it.

I learnt that I am not at all frightened to stand up in front of a large group of people and talk. I can present a prepared piece or talk off the cuff and be equally calm. I am very pleased to have this skill.

I learnt that I need to trust my gut reactions to people. Three times this year I have had a negative/nervous response to an initial interaction with someone. I have been harsh with myself over this for being too judgemental and allowed the interaction to continue only to have it conclude in an unpleasant way. I don’t want that to happen again. I have no time for that sort of nonsense.

I learnt that letting go is not easy. This is a work in progress. I have always encouraged independence in my children, they have never been reliant on me (they would have been sorely disappointed!). I have never held on tight, but I have maintained control. I am struggling through the re-negotiation of this control. This is not an issue caused by my children. They are well prepared to take on life on their own terms. I have to be prepared to find out about it later – when they let me in – and that is difficult for me.

I anticipate that 2008 will be a challenging year. My Pete was making up little family slogans last night – It’s great in 2008! (he has the soul of a poet), but I know that may not be the case. Lots of changes, lots of learning. I am looking forward to a few of these challenges though, but more on that later…..

** May I just state that, ironically, I never feel isolated when blogging. I think there are lots of people who blog who are sucky at small talk too. I like that, it is one of the appeals of blogging for me.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Another Year

  1. Except for the political leanings (LOL!), you and I are a lot of like! Realists, wanting to get the job done right, able to analyze and prioritize unemotionally and highly dependent on our blog friends! No NY resolutions for me either – never. It will be sad to see your daugther leave but you will be so proud of her because you helped her develop into a mature young adult. Congratulations!

  2. You might just find that your daughter and you will become much closer in a more mutual relationship when she leaves. It will evolve easily as you seem to have had a very good relationship thus far! I thought when the youngest left it would be so hard. of course at first it was. Now just a few years later I can not imagine why I was worried!LOL. Life is for moving forward. Have a good happy and healthy New Year!

  3. h&b

    Did I write this ?

    Well, a lot of it anyway – I obviously don’t work full or part time 🙂 I wonder if there is a a ‘sameness’ that makes us all bloggers, and therefore unites us, whereas before we were all separate non-joiners, going about our lives ?

    And that Leadership thing – that’s me too, but I *hate* it when my assertions and opinions get me elected – I don’t want to lead ! – I want to be heard and appreciated, but then I want to walk away !

    And I always thought you were quite hip in your musical tastes and selections, you skinny, skanky slag, you :p

  4. I’ll take the skanky, but you can keep the skinny – especially so soon after Christmas!

  5. You? Bossy?! That’s not a genetic trait in your family is it? 🙂

    Seriously…. you do seem like a good leader. I’d follow you. Except I need to be a leader too. And that wouldn’t work now would it? Because I’m a bit of a control freak and there would be no committee rule with me. I’m all dictator.

    I like your 2007 reflections. Bring on 2008

  6. I think there is a spark of recognition here from bloggers, as you say. We all seem to be secret non-joiners, who dont want to be leaders… perhaps why we don’t join. I dislike being ‘directed’ ie, “told” what to do. On the other hand I don’t want to tell anyone else what to do either, even if I am right.
    I have a friend who is very higly skilled, & paid to match. Her company keep urging her to progress up the ladder, but she is content where she is, loves her job, & does it in comfort. The offer her more money. She is like me, & feels you can pay far too high a price for mere money.

    I will be thinking of you constantly, Tracey. I knew my children had to go, I raised them to go, but it felt no less painful when they did.

  7. You sound great, all in all. The world would be in deep feces without people who are concerned with substance over puffery, peace-loving left-wing folks with natural leadership and management skills. It’s these people who champion causes and manage some of the most important programs.

    I feel for you as you go through the transition of your first bird flying from the nest. The fact that she’s whole and healthy and can do this means that you’ve succeeded as a parent. Still, it has to feel rather bittersweet.

    Wishing you and your loved ones the best in 2008 –

  8. Tanya, I see that your no swearing resolution is achieving a stunning success already!

  9. I admire you for being so honest about yourself. It is a quality that is rare.
    2008 will bring you all sorts of things – some good and some not so good. Just like any other year. You deal with it one day at a time and on that day you make the best of the material available. You are a Quilter and will know how to do that.
    I hope that today and all the todays of 2008 bring you happiness.

  10. On Dec 31 I tend to reflect on the past and on the future. Like you, I am reluctant to make commitments (aka resolutions) because I don’t tend to keep them too well! I’ll likely post about my 2007 reflections! What a great blogging idea! See, you started yet another trend! What a leader!

  11. I really identified with this post as well.

    So there is something in what Meggie said, I think we all recognise each other as a part of ourselves, even as we learn new things about each other.

    Blah blah.

    I don’t want to be a leader, but I am yet to be led by someone who would do it like I would. There’s the rub.

    Perfectionism. Nobody’s friend. Certainly not mine.

    When are you coming to Sydney so I can lead you into a cafe?

  12. I love people who recognise what they need to achieve balance in their life. In a world gone mad for gimme-gimme-gimme & get-get-get, I prefer to ping ideas over the ether with people who have got a grip. People like you. Cx

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