I’m late with this week’s post. I was heeding my own advice and after all, it’s not like I’ve a contract with anyone other than myself to put any of this drivel out into the – what’s this week’s buzzword? – metaverse. (Words are interesting only to the point that people can make such a big deal out of them. In their own right, words, even buzzwords, are merely tools. The right strings of words conveying thoughts, hopes, promises, dreams, fantasies, humor…those are interesting.) (But I – all together now – digress.)
I was heeding my own advice to take time at the start of December and see where the year has taken me, or started me toward, and what is left to do or want or need before this year becomes last year and next year turns into now. It’s my idea that the beginning of December should be a time spent reviewing the year, clarifying unmet goals, tidying loose ends left by the current year so we can meet January and the new year with the gusto they deserve! (Yes, those we my exact words. More on that in a few sentences.) We more often rush through December as if running away from the carnage left by the preceding eleven months. (More of my words. I like the carnage reference, particularly to address this year.) (Sorry, once again, I – say it with me – digress.)
As yesterday was the first of December (First of December?) (no, that would make it more special than it is, like the Fourth of July – just first of December), I looked back at my goals for 2021 and pondered what I could do in the remaining 31, now 30 days to exit this year on a high note. Yesterday was also a Wednesday and I usually write out my thoughts for the post and schedule it so they are there waiting to share your morning coffee or tea or juice with you. Isn’t that a pleasant thought? Anyway, yesterday’s Wednesday I was busy contemplating my year in review. (I also spent a couple hours in a dentist’s chair but that’s beside the point.)
I’m not sure I’d call my 2021 a rousing success, but I don’t think it was the downer many people may have experienced. Knowing what I know about worldwide pandemics, “return to normal” was not on my list of things to do for 2021, figuring to hold that for another 2, possibly 3 years. Not that I’m clairvoyant, but I was forced to study such things in school and even though school was (wow!) over 40 years ago, viruses haven’t changed. Well, actually, they have, and that’s why I didn’t figure to be completely normal this year. Not that I’m ever completely normal but that “things” would return to normal. (And again, I digr……) (Moving on!) My expectations for 2021 were modest and still I haven’t satisfied them all. The trick now is: which will be deferred to next year, which will be kicked to the curb, and which will be the focus (or foci) of intense and unrelenting effort at completion before the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year.
What the goals are is not important. That there is a plan to deal with them is. Why now? Who cares? Does it matter and will it make a difference? In order, why not, more than you know, more than you know again, and it sure will!
You may think, and I am right there with you, that December’s concerns should be centered around shopping, wrapping and baking for the upcoming holidays, school concerts, football playoffs, and holiday parties. But, particularly for those working, December days are also filled with short staffing periods, overtime requests, year-end reports, and demands from “upstairs” that this, that, or something else get done, written, and “by on my desk” by tomorrow! Even at home there are demands as decorations don’t hang themselves, dinners don’t cook themselves, holiday linens don’t freshen themselves and festively decked out trees don’t grow on trees. All of this is packed into a month that those whose only jobs are to opine and posit tell us is for family, positive work/life balancing, and retaining (or regaining) our mental health. (Here’s a little trivia for you regarding December. Although crime in general typically peaks during the summer months, most murders are committed in December (U.S. Justice Department).) So would it kill you to spend some time deciding how you want to spend your December.
And so this is why you didn’t get to read this with your morning coffee, tea, or juice.
To read how to prioritize, please visit my work site and the blog post, “Epilogue.” It opens with “If the year was a book, December would be its epilogue. Epilogues summarize and clarify, often wrapping up those loose ends in the plot the action left in need of tidying, or of characters’ untold dispositions.” That’s what I want December to be, or at least the beginning of the month – a time to summary the year and clarify our actions to come.
And finally, since I’ve already thrown your day off schedule, let me ask you to visit the rest of the web-site when you get there. Some of you may recall I mentioned the education foundation ROAMcare I partnered with a friend and former colleague to establish last year. We began the foundation to instill enthusiasm and energy in the workplace, particularly pharmacies and health care systems given that was our background. As we reviewed our material and considered comments, we determined the concepts we are presenting are suitable for everybody and have refocused our efforts to the general public. We are in the process of removing specific pharmacy references from the site and that’s actually one of the goals I want to satisfy this year. On our home page we encourage all visitors to “Express your resolve, refresh your enthusiasm, add passion to your purpose, and put more care into everything you do in your personal life, your professional life, your family life, and everywhere they meet.” I invite you to visit ROAMcare.org, read our blogs, listen to our podcasts, or visit our Motivation Moments and let me know if you found them useful or at least not a waste of time. Thanks!