Day 6: More Than Half Way There

Here it is:  Day 6 of Reflection.

Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

I hope to accomplish three things by this time next year:  graduation with my Masters in Social Work (MSW), employment in a job that allows me to do clinical social work, and receiving my LCSW-A (i.e. licensure as an apprentice).  If I can accomplish these three things, then I will have justified leaving my 20 year career in corporate retail to do something different.  I will have completed the necessary steps to start the new career that feels like the career that will be fulfilling and engrossing for the next 20 years of my working life.

I realize that I may not be able to achieve all three right away.  It can be difficult to find a job that allows LCSW-As to perform clinical work.  There are a lot of graduates looking for jobs.  I am confident that I can graduate, and I am confident that I can get my LCSW-A.  Fingers crossed about the hiring situation next spring and summer.

And fingers crossed that I continue to learn in my last year how to be a good clinical social worker.

By this time next year, I will be….

I got the 6th question in the series of questions for my 10 days of self-evaluation and reflection.  This one was pretty easy to answer, but has been hard for me to achieve in the past.  Is this the year?

Question:  Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?


I would like to be more physically fit. I had a health scare this year, and even though the scare could have happened if I were the most physically fit person in the world, it was still a glimpse into how quickly my health could be lost. No sense in hurrying things along by not taking care of my health.

I have never, never, ever, not ever (get the picture?) enjoyed exercising. I have enjoyed active pastimes, like dancing and walking with friends, but exercise for exercise’s sake — gross.

It’s like taxes, however. Must do, or the consequences won’t be to my liking.


I want to do this because I want to be healthy, not only during my middle-age years, but especially during my golden years (I actually hate that term).  The people on both sides of my family live long, long lives.  I have great-aunts that lived several years past their 100th birthdays.  My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather both lived into their late 90s.  The odds are in my favor that I have only lived half of my life.  I would like to be as healthy, pain-free and mentally competent, as possible.  Especially since I have a lot of things that I want to do in the second half of my life.

Here’s to the second half!  I have a lot more smarts and confidence going into this half than when starting the last half.  Plus, starting the second half, I’m already mobile and have credit.  Score.

Being here isn’t always fun, but it can be productive

I have been uncommonly involved in soul-sucking meetings over the past several weeks.  In fact, the part of my soul that cares about the fate of the rainforest is gone.  I got nothing in me for the rainforests.  If things don’t change soon, I’m not going to give a rip for the starving children in China.  This can’t go on.

I drew a new picture to express how I have felt in some recent meetings.

Are We Going to Talk About this Topic Again?

I feel like Alice in Wonderland some days, but Wonderland is filled with reports and white boards and lots of coffee.  And I think that I would feel somewhat better about these meetings if we were actually discussing world-changing topics, like the rainforest or starving children in China.  But we’re not.

It’s been one of those weeks where you ask yourself “What am I doing with my life?”  I mean, it’s not like I’m curing cancer.  (Short digression — why is “curing cancer” always used as the example for “doing something with my life”?  Do you think that’s what scares people the most?  That’s not my biggest fear.  Ok, back to program.)  I’m performing honest work, but how is it changing lives?

I went through a period of asking myself “what am I doing?”, “how do I matter?”, “what is my purpose?” during my mid-30s and I’ve watched many of my younger friends go through the same introspection at about the same age or a little later in their lives.  I guess the mid-life crisis cliché is a cliché for a reason.  I believe that most people need to feel like they matter, like they have done some good in the world, like they are doing more than just taking up space.

And with the exception of times like this past week, I have made peace with my purpose.  I am not going to cure cancer.  Or become the next Steve Jobs.  Or become a missionary to some isolated place in the South American jungle.  But I can impact my little, itty-bitty section of time and space by being kind, telling the truth, offering my help, giving a smile, laughing freely, thinking of others…..  I know that these small things, when offered to me, have often changed the course of my day, the outcome of the week, the tone of a relationship.  I can do these.

And attend meetings.