Firstly thanks to everyone who left kind comments and encouraging words on my last post. I really appreciated them. I've been shooing my black dog away, though things remain trying. I decided to use some of my work skills and apply them to my personal life and so I made a list of everything that was bothering me, what the issue was and then looked at what I could actually change and what I might just have to accept and how I could go about this - a little like a very organised version of the serenity prayer. It helped organise my thoughts and so now I am working on resolving the things on the list. Curiously, the things that I can change are not necessarily the hardest ones to tackle. It's one thing knowing you have to accept something and quite another one actually learning to live with that.
Meanwhile life goes on and my kitties are growing up at such a rate! They are now the size of the average adult cat and are just coming up to 6 months old. They are still the pure embodiment of mischief and are into everything. Their personalities get more developed with each passing week and they have started to get very definite habits. It's wonderful watching these two cats develop from little balls of fur into what I hope will be lovely companions.
I have been putting together shoe boxes of gifts for Operation Christmas Child and my boys have been "helping me", hence the photo of Max in the shoe box. So far I have put together sixteen shoe boxes and I'm raising funds to do more through work. To do this I run a tuck shop and a trading post for CDs and DVDs where people bring in their old ones and can exchange them for something else for £1.
On a different note, I saw a familiar face in one of our national newspapers last week. It wasn't a shock really as I did consent to the interview. The interview was about my MBA and my experience of studying and how it has benefited me in my career and was used as a case study to support and article on MBAs. It's a silly piece of vanity I know, but I was quite pleased with the article and how it looked. I even sounded good to me and it was a good boost to my morale.
I also had the results of my MBTI assessment and my 360 degree feedback at work. This gave me such a boost on one hand and a little bit of a shock on the other. It was great as many ex line managers of mine completed it and had some really nice things to say about me and scored me quite high on many qualities. The shock came as my current line manager scored me very low on most attributes and his assessment was way out of line with colleagues and everyone else.
I discussed this at length with the consultant giving the feedback analysis as he voiced his concerns about the disparity between the scores. From discussion we felt that the culture and the team I am in are holding me back, even suppressing me and not letting me shine. My boss is also new to management (we are his first staff) and it was felt this was a major factor as within the team culture he probably felt he couldn't give high scores. It's a great concern as a report on the same lines will hold me back from promotion so I need to address this with him and explore why his scoring was so much lower than everyone else. The up side - I know it isn't me and that work and the negative energy there is affecting me. I am seriously looking for another job with another team in the organisation. Sometimes, information comes just at the right time, and this time it's helping me address something negative through giving me a positive boost. And just knowing this has made me feel so much better already.