Lessons I’ve learned this past year and other revelations
Pandemics aside, most years just come and go and sometimes I take stock for what I’m grateful for and mark my progress (or lack thereof) in some way, but what about what I’ve learned? The things that have made me stop for a second, or game changers that I picked up along the way? Let’s take a look at those shall we?
Loving what you do is important
Let’s start with the biggie. I’ve worked with some amazing people throughout my life and am still friends with the best of them. It’s very true that the people you spend your work time with can make or break a job or company for you, but let’s talk about the fundamental truth that no matter how awesome your colleagues are, they can’t fix you being unhappy in your work or a toxic company culture.
If you’re dreading going to work every day, overwhelmed and stressed out by the environment you’re (maybe stuck) in, and feeling unhappy (or worse) about the thing you spend most of your time doing, it sucks so much life and light and joy out of you that sometimes you don’t even realise until you get out of it.
Currently, I enjoy my job so much! The work is great and interesting and mostly about things I am actually interested in. I get to work with loads of different areas of my organisation and brands that I interacted with before I was part of the organisation. The people are all amazing too. There’s a level of care with all the people I’ve engaged with that make the culture one I’m proud of in my experience so far.
Google Workspace is awesome
I use Google Workspace for work. It’s great and such an easy way of working. I’ve used bits and pieces of Google before, but I use it so much more now for personal stuff too, because it is just easy to use, share things with people and access things where I need them when I need them, especially when trying to manage blogging and social media across multiple accounts and devices!
I’m probably very late to the party on this one but I’m okay with that. (And if you’re anti-Google then that’s fine, but I don’t need to hear about how evil you may think it is.)
I am truly an introvert
I’ve fully embraced staying at home and even working from home. Limiting exposure to all the people I needlessly interacted with prior to the pandemic has made me so much happier overall. I’ve noticed over this year my mood is a lot more stable and wonder just how much having to be out surrounded by crowds or people I didn’t like affected me.
I love going out and doing things, but I’m not in a rush to go out anywhere that I know will be full of people. I have my bubble of friends that I spend time with in person and I’m content with never stepping foot in a supermarket again for a full food shop, or only buying things online when I can, if it means I don’t have to deal with people!
I do kind of miss working with actual people in person, so at some point it’ll be nice to go in and maybe meet colleagues in real life too!
Not everyone deserves another chance
I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve cut a few people out of my life over the last two years. I give people a lot of chances, you know? If someone hurts me or does something that results in me feeling uncomfortable or unheard, I will usually let it slide with an apology or whatever unless it becomes a habit.
Then there are the ones that do things that hurt too much and you can’t let it go. Or in my case, the ones that hurt you over and over and over and never change. Or always leave you feeling agitated, stressed or unhappy. Or have a distinct difference of opinion that you can’t reconcile.
It can be difficult to tell when you should give someone another chance. On one hand, I’m really glad I gave one friend another chance after he hurt me because his behaviour since that point has made it a more positive experience and I’m thankful to still have him in my life.
On the other hand, there are the ones you are absolutely not ready to give any more chances to, and that’s okay. My biggest takeaway from this particular example is this: my peace of mind is not worth them having another chance. It’s my life and I get to control who has access to me. When just the thought of someone creates an agitated response from me, it’s a big no.
Pausing when I feel off is a form of self care
A great example of this one is happening right now. New Year’s is always pretty fun and exciting for me. I love setting goals and am usually motivated and on board to get started with them in January. But this year? Not so much…
Why? I’m not sure. Over-indulgence and not enough fresh air over the holidays? My trip to Belfast being postponed (I was meant to go this weekend)? The lack of daylight hours making things feel darker and more blah? All of the above probably, and then some.
But I’ve noticed for a couple weeks now that my usual new year energy hasn’t kicked in so when my trip was postponed I kept my days off (unlimited time off is a great perk!) so I’d have something to look forward to, even if it was just a break from work and not hiking up a big hill with my friend.
I am so glad I did. I need a break now, and I’m looking forward to having 5 days in a row off to tick off some things I’d like to do and get out of my head a bit. Hitting pause on work for a few days will give me the time to work through whatever this is before it becomes something worse.
So over the next few days I’ll be making spaghetti, doing some home decorating, reading, writing, and taking some extra care of myself.