Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The end of 2008 – A time to reflect

As nurses and midwives we are use to the word reflect. To reflect according to the Collins thesaurus means to; consider, think, contemplate, deliberate, muse, ponder, meditate, mull over, ruminate, wonder and cogitate. Of these words, I will contemplate the year just ending and ponder the one we are just about to embark upon.
I will start with Christmas, I love Christmas. There was a time when I lost the Christmas spirit and that was once my children were grown up, it is just not the same, without small children and that’s where the grandchildren come to mind. To me Christmas is about a spiritual essence, it’s about children, making wishes come true, believing in make believe and Santa Clause. It’s about families, cooking, eating, drinking, sharing and yes the occasional disagreement. It stands to reason when you get a large group together, someone is going to fall out even if only for a moment, this is human nature; the trick is not to let it get to you and move on. I get tremendous joy out of preparing the Christmas feast and then watching everyone enjoy the gourmet delight.
A famous chef wrote “the peak is neither eating nor cooking, but the giving and sharing of food. Great food should never be taken alone. What pleasure can a man take in fine cuisine unless he invites cherished friends, counts the days until the banquet, and composes an anticipatory poem for his letter of invitation?” – Laing Wei. The Last Chinese Chef, Peking, 1925.

I have touched on some of the issues of this year in my previous blog – for me this has been a year of tremendous workload both professionally and on the home front. Therefore some decisions had to be made to reduce the workload and have more of a work-life-balance. Secondly we, that is my husband and myself have to concentrate on a healthier lifestyle, as Ian’s health is of some concern, that means we have to find 30 minutes a day for walking. Once you begin to reflect on the year it becomes clearer which direction you need to take and then you are able to outline clear objectives for the coming year. I have been on holidays since the 19 December and my main objectives for this time was to do those mundane jobs around the house that were beginning to really irritate me that were not being done, like – clean the venetian blinds, sort and paint the pantry, re organise and paint the laundry. I know they sound as if they are not important, but this goes to show you that importance is only measured by the need of the person wanting to do the chore? I am relieved now when I look out my bedroom window that the blinds are clean, and when I open the pantry door that everything is in the right place, this may sound anally retentive but to me it is important, therefore I have to find the time to fit it in. My home runs so much smoother now for me. However, I was tempted to spend this time updating a program for next semester but I chose not too as my home needed the attention more. The work will always be there, but my home is my place of refuge so it needs to be in order for me to be comfortable. It’s all about choices!
I have not fully decided on my objectives for next year yet, my first thoughts are to concentrate on a healthier lifestyle, that is, reduce my stress levels, 30 minutes of exercise a day and smaller meal sizes. I want to spend quality time with the family especially the grandchildren. I will be publishing several articles this year and picking up my PhD. As for the rest time will tell.

What do you have planned for 2009?
Do you find reflecting on the previous year helps you determine your objectives for the coming year?


Pam said...

Hi, I can apprieciate the need for a better work/life balance after recently finishing my LMC role to concentrate on attaining my post grad qualifications. I can also empathise with the need to sort out the pantry I often felt most out of control in my LMC role when everything at home had 'slipped' because I`d been too busy to deal with it. So enjoy the rest, and enjoy the walks, enjoy the time out!

infomidwife said...

thanks Pam for your support - we have so far kept up our walking, my pantry, blinds and laundry are clean and tidy, and I am set for the new semester which is back to work tommorrow.

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