(For the past three years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts for every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources, and created my own month of questions.)
10 Things. What are 10 things your life doesn’t need in 2014? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 10 things change your life?
1. I do not need the frustration of knowing I could do a better job than by boss. That is arrogant and unproductive. I will breathe, and remember that when I am in her shoes, some little brat will no doubt be thinking it about me.
2. I do not need the heartburn that comes from watching my male coworkers do less than me and get away with it. Staying silent about it only makes me burn and hurts my team in the long run. I will continue a campaign I’ve recently started, and gently call them on their shit. They are not bad guys.
3. While my guys are great, the old men down the hall who refuse to use new technology or change their sexist ways are not great. I will happily celebrate their retirement. Until that moment, I will let go of my feminist rage remind myself that it’s only a matter of time.
4. I do not need the envy that comes with thinking about other jobs, or my friends who work at Google. Every job has parts that suck. I will polish my resume, get it out there, and see what happens, all the while reminding myself that every job has parts that suck.
5. I do not need the heartache of thinking I can save every kid I work with. Even my most obnoxious kids got too much from me this year, leaving little for the really nice kids in the middle. I will continue to do the best job possible, but remind myself I cannot want success more than the student I’m helping.
6. I do not need the frustration that comes from multiple online calendars that don’t work. I will continue to transition back to good old-fashioned paper planners. I might even buy myself a super pretty one.
7. I do not need the overwhelming boredom that comes from putting on a parent night no one attends. I will continue my efforts to make FAQ videos on that material, as a way to get us all to a place where we can cancel the darn evening event.
8. I do not need the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get when I realize I have not followed through on something for someone else. I will stop promising to do things unless it’s relatively easy or super important. Everything else, “I’ll do my best, but no guarantees.”
9. I do not need the feeling of being overworked. I will block out more time for myself and projects that need to get done on my calendar. The rest will happen, as it always does. And I will stop leaving after almost everyone else.
10. I do not need the bad taste in my mouth that comes after complaining about my job. I am lucky to be employed, and to work with good-hearted people. I am lucky I have as much control as I do – control to make changes that will make me happier. I will stop complaining about my job at home, as it only extends the workday. I will remind myself that no place is perfect, but I have it pretty darn good compared to many.
P.S. Last year I wrote this.