Monday, January 5, 2015

Recovery Post Workplace Abuse: What the new year may have in store

The old year, 2014, is past.  The new year, 2015, has come.

At the coming of the New Year, besides the celebrations, both public and quiet, enjoyed by many people all over the globe, we have a tendency to form New Year resolutions.  Things we want to achieve during the new year.  Often those resolutions are broken just as quickly as they're made.

I've long since given up on resolutions.  I have one goal - and one goal only - in this year and in each recent year that has past:  to survive.  Along with that goal is its twin "sister":  recovery.  They both go hand in hand.  You can have survival without recovery; but you cannot have recovery without survival.

As I walk into this frigidly, cold (remember I live in Canada) New Year, I look back on what I've accomplished on this journey so far.

I'm alive.  Which is good.  Very good.

I've had ups and downs on the road to recovery during the past year - which is problematic.  Yet, I feel that I'm at a better space than I was at this time last year.  I understand my value, my worth, my strengths and my talents more than I did a year ago.  I've had some neat victories ... and I've weathered some storms.  I've continued to process each challenge that comes my way and learn from it.  Grow from it.  Another step forward on the journey of recovery.

Here are some of the things I'd like to work towards this coming year.

The first and foremost is to start getting out of my nice little "cocoon" i.e. my safe place more.  I'd like to earn money and contribute financially.  Here are some of my thoughts on what might be possible.  What I'd like to work towards in this coming year.

Photography:  I'd like to find a way to earn money from this talent, this strength.  At the end of the year as Christmas was approaching I made several calendars for family:  one for my best friend and cousin in North Carolina with pictures of a trip I made to her in 2011 which formed a crucial part of my recovery.  The second was a family album for my daughter and her family including pictures of each member of the family and different celebrations.  The third was still family oriented but also more general in scope as it contained pictures of each of the trips we took we in 2014 and highlights of 2014.  These three albums were R&D for me.  I wanted to see how they'd look.  If they'd look professional enough.  My vision has been to make a calendar with pictures from this area to sell at local craft sales - and many even independent stores.  I've seen tables with people selling their pictures but by and large they're not selling.  Why?  My guess is that while some of them are really, really good, unless a person is looking for a nice note card to send a friend, they're not really relevant or useful to the consumer.  The challenge is to make my photography relevant to the consumer.

The other idea re:  photography is something I've had on my mind for quite a while.  I call it non-professional event photography.  I've never had any classes, yet I get some really good shots.  I don't know techniques.  Heck!  I don't even know how to use my camera to its fullest potential.  But I love to take pictures.  And I'm nothing if not thorough.  My dream, my goal is to be available to people for a reasonable hourly rate to take pictures of their event.  I accidentally fell into that in 2013 when I volunteered to take pictures for a special birthday party for friends of a friend.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  When travelling to Belize last winter with my sister in love, I somehow became known as "the woman with the camera".  I was fascinated by what I saw.  As the days of our vacation passed, I realized that I wasn't taking pictures just for me; I was taking them for all of us.  The sister in love I was travelling with, the one we had come to visit, my mother in love.  I made the whole kit and caboodle available to them on a flash drive - and I'm still getting positive comments and thanks for those pictures.  In the
fall, we went to a special birthday party for an uncle who was turning 95.  As usual, I had my camera with me.  As usual, I was fascinated by everything I was seeing.  At first I started taking pictures of my family, but than I broadened my scope to photograph the entire event for the "birthday boy's" family.  As my gift to them.  A photographic memory they might not have had otherwise.

This is something I can do.  I can record the memories photographically.  And I love doing it.  It's right up on alley.

And I can write.

Which comes to another dream I'd like to pursue.  I'd like to use both my talents:  photography and writing to pursue what I call becoming a "communications liaison" -  someone to go along on trips especially missions trips with the sole purpose of recording the trip with photographs and communicating with the people back home via blogging.  I've noticed in many trips that while others can take as good photographs as I do - sometimes even better, the tendency is that the people involved are too busy with their work or too tired to communicate with those back home.  My daughter's church made a missions trip to Mexico this past March, and I eagerly waited for updates.  The few that came were very short, very vague and didn't really convey much.  The mission they were working at did regularly post, but there were several different churches down there at the same time and there were no labels as to who or which church was in the photographs.  I wasn't interested in the other church groups down there.  I was interested in my daughter's.  I felt let down.

This is something I would really like to pursue as it combines both of my interests and talents:  photography and writing.

Writing.  I hope to become more faithful in blogging.  I'd like to build up a larger readership.  My scope is narrow, though, and some people don't read it because they say it's negative.  I agree in a sense.  Workplace abuse is negative.  There's nothing positive about it.

Yet, there's a whole world out there to write about.  Not just about workplace abuse.  There are so many stories out there that I'd like to explore and write about.  I'd like to travel places.

Instead of sitting in my little room, knitting and watching DVD I need to discipline myself to spend some time each day just writing - or even reading about the craft.  Making first, positive steps toward getting myself out there as a writer.

So what is holding me back?  Besides money?  It does take money to travel.  Which is one deterent towards achieving my dreams.

The other day is the continuing lethargy, fatigue, cognitive problems, anxiety, etc. stemming from the initial injury three and a  half years ago.  I'm still not whole.  I still don't know when I wake up in the morning how I'm going to be that particular day.  Will I have energy?  Or will I become so tired that I can't do anything?  Even think coherently? String words together coherently in a sentence?

Even though I've come a long way in the last three and a half years post injury, there is still more road to cover.  More recovery to come.

I'm interested in seeing how much farther I can make it down the road of recovery this year.

Until (hopefully) tomorrow ....

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