Sunday, June 6, 2010

Over-Achiever? Who? Me?

Not too long ago, Marjie (my wife) was attending a leadership seminar at work. Last year, she was promoted into management of the Emergency Room at the hospital and as part of that, has been sent to a wide variety of seminars and talks on leadership and the like. It's pretty amazing, actually, how much time/funding the hospital uses to develop their leaders. One thing that a speaker said at one seminar went something like this: "If you don't reward those who are high-producers, meet/exceed their goals, and do a great job, they will find somewhere else in life to do so." That's totally "my" version of it but it makes sense to me.

This doesn't necessarily mean that they'll seek employment elsewhere (but it might, actually), but perhaps in other areas of life. When she was sitting there that day and heard this, her thoughts immediately turned to me. I am thankful for my civilian job. I am thankful for my military job, too, which is really more of a part-time job until someday when it becomes my sole focus in life. In my day-to-day job as a civilian, I feel like I do a pretty darn good job. I am never late. My work is precise, detailed, and when in doubt about policy or a procedure, I look up the answer and/or seek help from a more experienced co-worker. I deliver superb customer service to my "customers" which is confirmed day in/day out as they give me very positive feedback. However, it's not really a job that gives a whole lot of pat-on-the-backs or "Good Job!" mentions. Luckily, the intangible part of the job is knowing that I am serving others and making a positive impact on their life. That really is the fuel for my daily fire. I need it. It's not a's a need. Without it, I'd deflate to nothing. As 2009 was my first full year in this job, it's interesting to see what I did to fill in the gaps of achievement. Remember what the guy said at the seminar? Well, look at my 2009: not one, but three 100-mile finishes. One wasn't enough. How about that Western Reserve Trail Running Newsletter? I started with about 100 subscribers and no blueprint to go off of and no idea what folks wanted. Today, almost 1100 subscribers get it and it's chock full of trail-running "bliss" every month. No complaints from me, though. It's like another part-time job but I love it to pieces and am constantly trying to improve on it and not let it get dry. The trails are rarely dry, right?!

Enter 2010: I started out injured...thanks to an adductor strain that was amplified at my last 100-miler in October at Oil Creek (no regrets). That pesky little guy still shows it's ugly head from time to time. That's kept my mileage down and also from running in the mountains of the George Washington National Forest for 100 miles last month. I also graduated from the Navy's Supply Corps School in March, fully anticipating a mobilization to the desert to support the GWOT (Global War on Terror). As I mentioned in my last post, the war effort is a constantly changing thing and to that end, I have not been mobilized. Knowing I wouldn't be leaving, I sought out a challenging new command in the Navy Reserve and arrived there last December. That very command was going through a massive reorganization that continues today. That "process" resulted in me losing the very job I showed up for under no fault of my own. So here I sit today...again seeking another challenging job and very, very close to landing that job, too. It is the same 'ol, same 'ol thing with anything government or military...hurry up and wait. For a Type A, Go-Getter like myself, patience doesn't come easy. I go 110% and expect the result now. It just doesn't work that way and I don't see any human electrician standing by to re-wire me anytime soon. The cards are all played, though, and hopefully, I'll get the job that I'm gunning for...a job serving a real mission in today's war effort. Even better, it's a joint command meaning that I'll work along the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force...maybe even other nations, too.

So reflecting back on that seminar and what Marjie picked up on that day, I've definitely felt beat down and a failure lately. The over-achiever in me hasn't been seeing the results I like to see and if I’m not careful, I'll just keep stacking things on top of everything else like a vulture looking for meat. It affects everything and most painfully, my relationship with Marjie and my little girls. That's where I have to tread lightly and get my head on straight. I've never considered myself a great husband or father but I do seek to do the best I can with what I know/have. I never feel like I'm anywhere close to being great in those areas and I wish I could just live in my 3 girls' shoes for a day or two to observe ME. I think that would be priceless information to view in order to make myself better...for them. Sure, I could ask them but I want the raw data...not the sugar-coated data.

So that's me. Raw me. It is without a doubt, frustrating to BE me! However, I am thankful for who I am, those who call me "friend," and for my three girls. I think knowing WHO I am is critical to plodding through each and every day successfully and with a smile on my face. It's certainly the first step. As one quote says that is laminated and stuck to my monitor at work: "Overflow with Thankfulness Every Day."

Happy Trails, everyone...and till next time...

1 comment:

Slim said...

Hey Admiral...

I am thankful that you are so open and honest.
It makes me think about myself and where I am with my life.

Appreciate your sharing of your thoughts.