Every birthday, I take the opportunity to examine the preceding year. I look back at my accomplishments and measure how far off I am to attaining my goals. For a long time this meant updating my CV because I used to define myself only in professional terms. If I wasn't able to add something substantial to my resume, to me this meant that the previous year was a waste. Not only did I not advance, I had actually declined, because in the business sense you're already behind when you stand still. My entire focus was on my career and my development as an employee.
A few years ago I finally realized that my job was merely a means to an end. It is important to keep my skills sharp and to advance in my career to ensure employment, although nothing is guaranteed in life. Yet, this was no longer my objective in life. I explored other facets of myself as an individual. I took a moment to be still and identify who I am as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and human being. I discovered what it meant to be happy rather then just content. I rediscovered what it meant to live a fulfilling life. I slowed down and enjoyed life. Tiny minutia at work, that used to turn my life upside down, had no power over me, and for that I became a better employee. I still do my best at work, for my work ethics have not changed. I focus my efforts on mastering the elements within my circle of influence, while acknowledging the impact of my circle of concern and realizing that I have no control over them. I no longer spend sleepless nights mulling over macroeconomic indicators and organizational peace. Now, I sleep and wake up relaxed, with a smile on my face, thankful for the ability to wake up. I enjoy using my vacation days and sprinkling them throughout the year, understanding that resharpening the saw with renewed knowledge, interests and downtime are fundamental to a productive individual.
I still take stock of my life on my birthday. I count my blessings. I am thankful for the people I have in my life. I cherish and savor the moments we spend together and my heart swells with happiness as I look back on the memories.
Thank you to everyone who made feel loved for the past years.