Hmmm … Not Bad

Top view of open notebook “2019 goals”

I’ve written several times about weekly reviews that I do to reflect on how my previous week went, including what went well and what I could do better in the future. I also set some goals for myself for the week based on that.  I do this every month too. I get short-term views out of this, which was good as I was trying to take things day-to-day during the height of my depression.

We have yearly performance reviews at work and I was preparing for this recently. As part of it, we’re supposed to look at what work-related goals we set for ourselves a year ago and provide an update of their status. I ended up working on this in two stages because at first it made me feel bad about the things that I didn’t accomplish this year. When I finished the part about the status of those goals and projects, I set it aside and left it for about a week. I just had to walk away from thinking about it out of concern that it would pull me back down.

When I came back to it, I had to provide a list of accomplishments for the past year. As I typed up my list, including the successful completion of some projects, growth of the major initiative that I lead, and my keynote, I started thinking carefully about the context of all of this. 

Top view of open notebook “2019 goals”

I’ve only been back to full-time work for less than two months. I spent several weeks in the fall at less than half-time. And time was only part of the issue. I spent several months seriously struggling to focus and more than a few days where I really just wanted to crawl back into bed. I dealt with the initial side-effects of medication, including headaches as I adjusted to it. 

As I typed that list of what I’d accomplished at work in the past year, I couldn’t help but think, “Hmmm … not bad.”

Now, as I’ve noted before, I received amazing support over the past few months from colleagues and friends. That list would have been less impressive if it wasn’t for that. Without colleagues taking some projects off my plate, I couldn’t have put what little focus on to the rest. If colleagues, friends, and family hadn’t provided me with the emotional support that they did, I would have crawled back into bed some of those days.

Now that I’ve recovered so much from this bout of depression, I’m also looking to all of the people who supported me. I want it to be clear to them that they can turn to me for support again. 

I’m still looking at things day-to-day, but this experience reminded me to get back to looking at the long-game, both forward for planning and dreaming, but also back for celebrating, gratitude, and learning. I think that I’m stronger than I was a year ago, and I know that I’m wiser about how I view taking care of myself. Now to get back to living.

Featured image courtesy of Marco Verch under a CC-BY License

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