Off the Top of My Head: On Self-Improvement

Off The Top of My Head

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about “resolutions” and self-improvement.  I took a moment to look back at things over the last year to review a big change I made and see if it can help others in a similar situation.

I spent nine years, 2003-2012, giving everything I could to an organization.  Though it was a government organization and not known for productivity, I did pride myself on doing everything I could to be the exception to the stereotype of “lazy government workers.”  I wasn’t alone; there were a lot of us there actually who worked very hard to ensure our overall mission was accomplished.  I always felt doing the job well was more important than minor rewards, and it wasn’t until I began speaking with people who didn’t work where I did that I realized how bad things actually were.  I had been there nearly a decade, was essentially a group leader, volunteered to be a committee chair, accepted lots of extra work and challenges, and had received praise for work I’d done in all aspects of my job…and still made about 25K a year.

My last year there I felt things became clearer.  Maybe I was naïve for a long time, or maybe the environment changed.  I was told a lot of conflicting things about why I could be moved into a semi-supervisory position but not paid for it.  I found out how much money was wasted around the place on silly things like mobile electronic devices, new staff, and PC replacements.  All while people were doing hard work for little money and others did very little work for quite a bit.  I became pretty angry, disillusioned, and disgusted with the place.  I was told, point blank, “We can’t do what we do here without you” only to be immediately told, “You aren’t qualified for any more money,” but I WAS qualified to do the work…just not get paid for it.

I soon realized that maybe I shouldn’t be angry at the place I worked.  Yes, they were taking advantage of hard workers by paying them peanuts, piling them up with work, and telling them they wish they could provide raises…but never doing it.  That all seems like grounds to be angry…but really I was angry with myself.  I complained a LOT about the situation…but never did anything to change it.  So when I had the chance, provided by the all-too-important contact who knows something, to break free and start, day one, making more than 10k a year more than I was at the previous place, I surprised everyone, including myself by taking the chance.  I was nervous. I don’t deal well with change. I didn’t know much about the job, but I was still confident.  I was still me.  I’d still give my all to learn it and do it as well as I could.  And within my first few weeks at the new place, a supervisor from another department came to see a database I built in my spare time that my supervisor mentioned to him.  He came over saying “I was told you made something for us I just had to see…”  No one claimed credit or tried to take possession, they just came by to see how it could be used.  My first evaluation at the new job I was told how much I was appreciated and even rewarded for the work I do.  It CAN happen.

So what was the point of this semi-rant?  I know a LOT of people are where I was in 2012.  They’re stuck in a situation they don’t like but put up with it because it’s what’s “familiar” or easy.  And it is easy. It’s MUCH easier to talk about how you need to change and what you wish was better.  It’s harder to do something about it.  But you CAN do it, and if it’s affecting you to an extent that it intrudes on your life outside of the situation no one can change it but you.  No one owed me anything at my old job.  I allowed it to be what it was.  No one owes me anything at my new job or anywhere else.  Changes occur for those who seek them and stop talking about how they need a change and actually change.

I’ve found it works in all aspects of life.  So the next time you start to think “I hate my job/situation/whatever” stop thinking and start doing something about it.  If someone as riddled with crippling OCDs and neuroses as me can do it, anyone can!

So happy New Year, RevPub readers.  Here’s to a fresh start for those who want it!

2013 RevPub’s Year in Review

New Year’s steadily approaches, and as we enter another fabulous year of antics and projects, we at RevPub want to THANK each of you for your loyalty and readership. It’s been a hell of a year, and we’re on our way to more great things!

Here’s a look at your favorite posts for 2013:

Psych’s Uzi Flowers: This means the world to me because this was a special gift to a special person. It took more than a month to paint, and I hope it inspired others to think outside the box and exercise creativity.

The 90s TMNT Movie: A staple of most 30-somethings guy’s childhood. If there’s one thing we can do, it’s show our nostalgia for the 90s!

Lindsey Stirling in Nashville: And guess who’s coming back to Nashville in June 2014?! We’re very happy to have her back, and this time we’re going with a group of six. That’s the power of music.

Thanksgiving – The Little Things: This one surprised us a little. My grandma’s very small gesture turned into shares all over Facebook and lots of positive feedback. We’re happy to know so many of you appreciate the little things.

An Illustrator’s Foray into Adobe Illustrator – Week 3: We at RevPub love to learn and try new things. James dove right into Illustrator, and he has produced some amazing art and gifts. We’re looking forward to producing Lil Horseman 2 this year and maybe some new projects.

How to be a Good Fan – Don’t be the Comic Book Guy: James had a blast writing this series, and it went over very well. We’re all fans of something or someone, so it’s nice to be reminded we don’t have to conform or shove it down someone’s throat. The one good thing about people is we’re all different, so we should accept and respect one another.

So, what’s next? We hope to get Lil Horsemen 2 produced, more merchandise up, we’re both volunteering for a special project we’ll discuss later (wink), and we’d like to have a lot of fun!

Thank you for your support, and we wish each of you a safe and happy New Year!

Happy New Year and Year-End Review

I don’t get the appeal of celebrating New Years. I understand new beginnings and all that, but I believe you can have a new beginning each day. And if I want to drink, I can do so in the privacy of my own home and not risk an accident or DUI.

New Year’s resolutions irritate me the most. No one needs a day to start something. If you want to be healthier, then eat the right foods and exercise. If you want to laugh more, then do things that make you happy. If you hate your job, then find a new one. It’s all about you doing what you want.

When I was a kid, I made these useless resolutions because that’s what I was supposed to do. I learned as I grew older that I could change anything I wanted, any day I wanted. So, for this post I am going to recap 2012 RevPub style — not tell you my goals, hopes and dreams.

This past year has been a good one, and honestly I’m kind of sad to see it go. I am excited about upcoming new posts and projects, and we want to thank all of you for your support and love over the past year. May we all rock 2013!

Raven’s 3 favorite post topics:

Off the Edge

Ghost Stories

Writing for Web

Raven’s favorite project (other than Lil Horsemen):

Reviews

James’ 3 favorite post topics:

The Ghost in the Machine

Writing For Web

Life Lessons from Video Games

James’ favorite projects (other than Lil’ Horsemen):

Story of the Month

Merchandise (Red Bubble)

Your top 3 favorite posts:

Byte Me Shirts

Lil’ Horsemen: How Death and War Postponed the Apocalypse

Life Lessons Learned from Video Games #4: A Love Letter to Old School Sega

What’s next and new ideas:

Lil’ Horsemen #2

More Stories of the Month

Guest Writers

Follow us on Twitter (feel free to check out our new account!) @RevenantPub

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!