It’s always worth another try. A new year offers another chance to get the daily post challenge right. For the nth time, I am aiming for 364 posts this year. Of course, I do always start the year hopeful to complete this challenge. Maybe 2015 is the year I get to do just that.
This is the best time for reflections and plans –to look back at the things you messed up and the moments you felt good about, draw out lessons from the best and worst of 2014, and put all that to good use for 2015.
From 2014, I have learned to care less about:
- working beyond office hours and spend just enough time at work. More importantly, I’m taking note to make sure that I use all that vacation leave.
- work backlog. I have accepted that I will never be backlog-free at work. I’ll just do what I can and stop feeling bad about the work I have yet to finish. And if I can’t help feeling bad, I don;t really have to look that far to feel better.
- tasks that are not my responsibility. Last year, what took most of my time was dealing with tasks that aren’t really mine in the first place. I have nothing against being helpful but I have also learned that helping people (and in my case, most of time) can make them dependent on the individual that does the helping. There were several situations that I failed to complete my job because I was using my time doing other people’s jobs.
- what other people think (both the good and the bad). Just do your job. I guess that’s the simplest lesson from 2014.
- feeling guilty when I find myself doing nothing. If you did your job and/or did the best that you can given the situation, then there’s nothing to feel guilty about.
- f*cking up at tasks. I have spent most of my 2014 feeling bad about not performing good enough, some of my students not being motivated to produce good quality outputs, or missing deadlines. In the end, one realizes that I will never be good enough based from my current standards. I’ll have to make do with “doing the best I can given the context”. No subject/course will always be perfect no matter how many semesters I’ve been handling it or no matter how much I prepared for the course. I will never be able to meet all the deadlines that I have. What I can do is to complete what I can given the nine-hour daily work time.
- not being nice or friendly or warm or sociable or diplomatic enough. I will put greater effort at work to control my irritation and temper – I guess the not doing other peoples’ jobs will help with this one – for my own health. I seriously doubt if the adjustments would ever be enough.
This year, I will need to focus on:
- getting published and earning a permanent position. A year delayed, I admit 😐 I need to rework that masters manuscript and earn that authorship in an academic publication. This is my last chance to earn a permanent position.
- being stable financially. The sisters would have laugh at this one. I’m near hopeless with regards to saving up, my mother would say. Well, as hopeless as I may be on this issue, I would need to seriously work on this. In 2014, it was a bit challenging to save as I discovered the joys of online shopping. I could say I went a little crazy with my online purchases especially towards the end of the year. That would be one of the major lessons for 2014. Now that I’ve gone past the crazy phase in online shopping, I am managing to keep myself from more online purchases. This year, the only thing I should be buying online are stocks. I needed to take a deep breath a I reread that last sentence. That will be difficult. I would need to take better care of my bank accounts. On a brighter note, I did manage to get a new investment plan in 2014, and more importantly, I managed to maintain the monthly payment for half a year now. I’m also halfway through my payment for my loan. Looking back, most of the 2014 purchases were made when I felt I was deprived or I needed to feel better about work mostly. It didn’t really help that the payment for one of the major projects this year was delayed – by more than a year now. That’s quite some record in my seven years at work.
- developing a more positive outlook at work (and if possible, life in general). In working for the government, employee motivation is hardly a priority in the management concerns. It’s up to you to want to keep going back to work every morning even if the circumstances are way far from good. Deal with it. Make it work. Do your job.
- spend more time with the family. Mako, now eight months old, is helping me with this one. I must say 2014 has got to be the year I spent the most time with my family. That’s one of best things from 2014. No matter how frustrating work could be, I had my family.
- going out. In 2014, I’d be lucky if I got out of Los Baños once a month. That usually means I went to the nearest city, Calamba, usually for movies or book/educational supply purchases. It was quite a feat when managed to commute to Muntinlupa for Mako’s viewing, to have my passport renewed, and to purchase binding equipment.
I can say that 2014 was one of my worst years (if not the worst) – mostly my fault, I admit. The year 2014 presented several lessons, which lead to the acceptance of numerous realities. I can’t say I dealt with all the challenges with grace and enough diplomacy. Thankfully, 2015 is an opportunity to work on that. The best thing about 2014 was managing to survive it –and use everything I’ve learned to make a better year out of 2015.