Annual Evaluation – Internal Spring Cleaning 2015

It’s that time of year again.  It is year two anniversary at the job and my evaluation will be coming up, which I went through last year here.  There’s always room for improvement but I’m not sure what I can pin point for discussion with the boss, she will likely ask for this again.

At this point, I feel pretty comfortable with the job.  Sure there are things my colleague tackles that I don’t and maybe should and could learn but it isn’t something I will likely need to do during my final 7 months at this job.

On a personal level, May 1st approaches and this is a very spiritual time of year for me.  It is May Day or Beltane.  It is the beginning of summer and there is a lot of lore associated.  I invite you to search it and dive into the stories, legend and history.  For example, the night before May 1st is a time when faeries return from their winter respite and can cause mischief, so leaving a bit of food and hanging rowan branches on windows and doors was common.  Typically, the celebration of Beltane includes fire, often a bonfire, and flowers as well as Maypole dancing.  It is a night focusing on fertility as well.  There were many babies created during the Beltane fires.

A couple of articles with much of the legend of Beltane and Here, there are many.

Thanks to my friend, Shirley, the ritual for me has taken form as a time to release things that have sat heavy upon me or perhaps a bad habit I want to rid of and cement what I mean to work on during the months leading to Samhain.  What I release is very private so, sorry, I’m not sharing that but my work this Summer is to build better house keeping habits, continue to work on improving my health, and to try not to complain to anyone including internally to myself.  Instead, to find the positive, create a difference or simply release whatever comes up that gives me the itch to complain about.

My life is blessed with a wonderful mate, a few dear and amazing friends, acquaintances that inspire and an interesting, if fractured, family.  I enjoy financial security, emotional support and laughter in my home and a work place that is fairly stress-free with great co-workers.  I am lucky enough to be experiencing a very different culture and hope to continue to until we are no longer able to travel physically.  Of course, there are troubles I suffer with and likely will until the moment I stop breathing but in the end it is a good life and I feel pretty good about how it’s going.

I am also renewing my goal of last year to find a hobby I enjoy that is just for me and not something influenced by someone around me.

From last year I have worked harder on my follow through.  Carrying a notebook with me to keep my daily and long term tasks/goals in mind and actually checking things off definitely has helped.  I’m continuing this practice.

For me this is living intentionally.

Oh…p.s.  I may change the look of the blog soon so some of the older posts may not format the same.  Just fyi

Soul Regeneration: From Taker to Giver

For many years I slaved worked in a business that took homes from people who couldn’t afford to keep them, sometimes it felt like it was sucking the soul right out of me.  The first few years I actually had a conscience about it.  That faded as the years rolled on and the stories became less sympathetic to me.    I think when you work in a negative environment like that it just sucks the life out of you.  I don’t blame my employers, supervisors or co-workers, they were all in the same boat as I was.  In fact, quite a few had health problems as I also ended up with.  After leaving that industry, things have turned around for the better and I can say I have forged a few strong and beautiful friendships out of it.  So, it was not a complete train wreck…it also paid the bills and kept food on my table.

With the last year and a half of my being out of that industry and getting my physical health somewhat back on track it is time to work on the health of my spirit and soul.   Time to give back to the community in some way throughout the year.  It feels good, kinda like Michael felt when the Head Vampire finally was killed and his blood became human and alive again.  (if you don’t get the Lost Boys reference, shame on you!).. but that it feeds other people’s spirits in returning the positive energy to the universe and “paying it forward” is a sunshiney (yes, that is a word)  feeling for me.  Helping someone with the excess I have because someone helped me.  Previous, I had not really been doing enough and I was using the excuse that money was tight.

Over the years I have mostly done this by donating money to the red buckets outside stores at Christmas time and donating for charities as gifts.

This year I have an opportunity to giving more of myself and am committed to doing so.  For the first time we are financially secure enough that I don’t need to work for us to pay our bills and the fact is, my health suffered so much that it is my main focus now.  I will be using my time to do what feels right.

The other night when we walk passed the local girl’s group on base who had a bake sale stand up on the way home from dinner.  I didn’t need a cupcake so I just donated $5.00 for their cause.  It was really cool to see them so enthusiastic about their stand and they were so thankful for my stopping to help out.  I have no idea what they were collecting for but it felt good to help out and not walk away with a sweet that I didn’t need to eat.  We don’t need to purchase anything, just donate…not donut.

Working at a place that supports military families who struggle financially also contributes to my commitment to help.  It was truly amazing that the absolutely perfect position opened up and took me in when we arrived in Japan.  I was hoping for a charitable type organization (I was going to try for the Red Cross) which helps the community and wouldn’t stress me out.  One that would be part time, maybe 20 hours per week and allows for me to take a long weekend now and then for us to be able to explore Japan.  That is exactly what I was offered…and bonus of being paid to do it and it’s tax free…hah!

I will also be volunteering to help my husband’s command with booths set up for on base events like this weekend.  The base opens up to the local community for what they call Friendship Day.  The local people can come on base and eat American food, listen to American music, watch fireworks and walk around some.

There is a weekly feed the homeless group that meets up out in town which I hope to join up with.  It doesn’t seem very organized, just people bring what they can to pass out to the homeless in the area.  I feel very strongly about not giving homeless money, it’s just usually not helpful to them. They use it for drugs or alcohol instead of food or shelter.  Offering them food directly is so much more helpful in my opinion.

I recognize that in the end, the above are rather selfish acts in that the feeling of humanity within myself is the reward but it’s still helping others right?  So, I will continue to do what I can and reap the spiritual benefits in hopes that my small contribution made a difference to someone else’s life.

Unexpected Visitors

In the office yesterday a coworker called me into her office and asked if I smelled anything like cologne.  Nope, sure don’t, why?  She had a very strong scent invade her desk area that reminded her of her Father who has passed on.  I said well he’s just visiting you, enjoy it while it lasts.  What a lovely moment.  Her face was calm and rather peaceful for a few moments.

Internally, I was a little jealous.  I haven’t had anything like that in quite a while from my brother.  He used to be in a random breeze or an animal that would keep up with me walking.  Sometimes I’d catch a movement in my peripheral vision when there’s nothing there and just took it to be him.  I acknowledge that some don’t put much weight on things like this and to some extent I think those of us that do believe it do so for our own peace of mind.  It’s our way of keeping them around us.

Time for me to reconnect with the spirits I miss in this world.

Meditation and ritual time this weekend.

July Sugar Detox and Mind/Body Rehab

Starting Monday, July 1st, 2013 and continuing till July 21st I will be doing a sugar detox.  What is that you ask?  Well basically it is cleansing the body of sugar and carbohydrates and breaking the cycle of cravings and bad go-to snacking habits.  With trying to rid myself of type 2 diabetes this detox is right in line with what I should be doing anyway so it should help me jump start my body again.  The last couple of months my numbers have been climbing some so it’s time to get serious about what I’m eating again.

The honeymoon period of living in Japan is over.  Ok not really but I do need to start watching what I eat better.  I got rather lazy with my don’t have’s while being in Japan.

The below is the chart I have to live by for the next 3 weeks:

no sugar

So, basically because I have been eating as a diabetic anyway (mostly – I have cheated a bit)  I have a bit of a jump on the other people doing this detox.  I am also already on a break from coffee so I don’t have that hurdle to jump.  What will be difficult for me is staying away from juices, dairies and bread.  We can’t even have whole wheat or whole grain bread on this.  It is basically a protein/vegetable intake.  Since apples are really the only fruit I can have, I’ll be certain to have my apple a day, every day.

The other most difficult part of this will be no alcohol.  I’m not a heavy drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine or a mixed drink at the bar or restaurant and at home.  Usually only a few times a week but still that’s going to be tougher, specially with some celebrations coming up.

What I’m hoping to gain from this:

  1. Fasting blood glucose numbers steadily under 100
  2. At least 5 lbs weight loss
  3. Increased energy and heavier workout routine
  4. Some new awesome recipe’s to put in my cupboard
  5. Better understanding of how some foods effect my body and which I need to cut out forever not just for 3 weeks
  6. A daily meditation/spiritual hour – I’ve been wanting to get back to this and want this detox to include spiritual work
  7. Less t.v. time, more reading and focusing on self improvement or at least self knowledge

The absolute hardest part of this will be that my husband is not doing it with me.  Although, I don’t need him too, I will be making him couscous and such but not being able to have it myself.  Also, his homemade Mead will be ready in the middle of this detox and I’ll have to wait to try it.

I do have a couple of friends doing this detox with me so that will help keep me motivated.  One is local and one (hoping she is doing this with me)  is an Ocean and Continent away but very close to my heart and has been a bit of a mentor spiritually.

Here we go!