Monday, June 25, 2012

Mid-Year Reflection of an Almost Mid-life Crisis

I just read over at Natalie Houston's blog that it is the 26th week of 2012.  The year is officially half over.  Now, Natalie is a personal productivity coach, so her post "Mid-Year Reflection" is designed to get someone thinking and reflecting on how they feel about what they've accomplished during the first half of the year.  There are numerous questions, the answers to some of which may bore readers to tears.  But, I will go ahead and answer and try to be concise.  Hopefully, no one cries...

what are some of the key experiences you’ve had?

Well, I've had a number of medical experiences with my daughter I could have done without, but which have definitely been key experiences.  I've spent more time with my parents than I have in the past and realized the devastation of dementia and the weakening of the mind and body in a parent.  Its been a little disconcerting, well maybe a lot disconcerting.  I've realized, once again, that my job is going to be hard to match in its flexibility, insurance and general supportiveness during times of trouble.  So, despite the fact that we're a bit far away from where we might like to be as far as closeness to family and I am a bit lower in salary than I would like, being here is probably my best possible option.

who are some of the important people?
No one new really.  My sister has once again proven herself as someone who will be there through thick and thin whether it is difficult for her or not.  My parents.  My husband's parents.  My husband.  My daughter.  I also think that I've come to realize that there are people who are more distant in my life, but who would be there for me if I truly needed them and would be happy to step up and do for me what they could.

what have you learned?

Well, as I said above, I've learned that my job is pretty indispensable.  As an example, I just received a claim in the mail for my daughter's SHORTER, five day stay in the hospital in April - $117,000 give or take a few dollars!  This is the first claim letter I've received for any of her hospital stays, so although I had an idea of what the cost would be, seeing this in writing is still a bit of a shock.  I have also learned that I am very bad at all things financial.  I am bad at setting a realistic budget, keeping said budget or reconciling my spending at any point.  I have learned that I absolutely NEED routines in my life.  My life for the first six months of this year has been pretty much constant crisis, mostly because tend to let things go until I can't let them go any longer.  Housework, work work, packing, cooking...all of it.  Although I am bad at keeping routines, I absolutely NEED them or I risk losing my mind and all control!

what is the story of this year for you?

 A hospital drama.  

what have you created?

Answering as a pessimist - a chaotic life of stress.  Answering as an optimist - a life that will be easy to improve upon in the coming months and years.  Other than that, I guess I could answer this blog now!  

what have you shared?

Information on hospitalizations and transplant with other parents online.  Always nice to feel helpful.  I have shared time with students who have told me it has been helpful to them.  Other than that, not a lot.  My stress level and feelings of chaos often keep me from sharing things with others.  :(

where have you spent your time?

Hmmmmm, this is a tough one.  Lots of time on the computer - too much time on the computer. I do realize that.  I have spent considerably more time in the hospital than I would care to.  I have spent quite a bit of time driving as well - to the hospital, to weekend work obligations, to my parents.  Everything is a drive from where I live (other than my work, which is only three miles away), so this is something that is inevitable.  But, I would like to figure out how to be more productive during these hours on the road.

what have you let go of?

I've let go of my direct selling business just recently.  It was never a priority.  I tried to be serious about it for a few months and it still didn't do much, so I've let it go.  It felt good.  There are many other things I need to let go of - actual things.  I have a lot of scrapbooking stuff that I'm never going to get around to using.  It makes me feel guilty and disappointed when I see it.  So, I need to let go of that stuff.  I will try to sell the nicer stuff and will just give away the other stuff.  

what changes have you made?

Not many.  I definitely need to focus on making some more in the second half of the year.  I think that I have felt so insecure and chaotic that change just felt like another jolt to my system.  Even if it was positive change.  So, I avoided it.  But, I am now feeling much more stable and making changes around the house has been good (see my coffee cup and porch change post) and further changes to my teaching and engaging in community here in Chico are going to be further changes I hope.  

who have you been?

I have been less than dependable, probably to the point of flaky.  That is disappointing to me.  Its not who I want to be for sure.  I guess I've also been Mom...a lot.  Caregiver.  So, with the bad comes some good.

The next step in the blog post is to answer a few questions about the future.  This is important to me at this point as I'm really trying to focus on the present and the future and forgive myself for the past.

what would you like to experience, learn, create, or share?

The biggest thing I would like to experience in the next six months is a feeling of peace and satisfaction.  I feel like its been a long while since I've had those feelings for any prolonged period of time, if at all.  So, that would be great.  I would like to learn to manage my money and time better.  I would like to create a life in which I can function well doing all of the above - feeling peace and satisfaction without spending beyond my means and/or feeling like I am in a state of need.  That's a tough one for me right now.  Finally, I would like to share my life with more people.  I feel like I'm missing a real cohort - at work and in life.  So, I would like to be able to share experiences and life and time with more people on a regular basis.

what would you like to change?

I would like to change my level of integrity and dependability.  I don't want to be flaky.  I don't want to be doing everything at the last minute.  I want to change the feeling of chaos in my life, which will mean changing the way I live my life to start having routines and following them.  I need to change the way I move through life.  I need to stop "letting" life happen TO me and start "making" things happen FOR me.  

who would you like to become?

I would like to be come a happier, more fulfilled person who is surrounded by interesting, supportive and creative people.  I would like to become a dependable friend, employee, spouse and mom who does things with grace and joy rather than with stress and disappointment.  

What about you?  Will you join me in this mid-year reflection?  Provide a link in the comments and I will be sure to visit!


  1. Sue, this is really powerful -- to take the time to reflect on what's going on in your life, who you are right now, and who you are becoming. And to have it here on your blog to refer back to in another 6 months or a year is important too.
    All best,

    1. I'm honored that you came by to visit! And thanks again for the inspiration. Hopefully in six months, I can link back to this and realize I've changed some things I was hoping to change!