Not myself by Cheryl Harper

Have you ever been through days where you just can't quite get it together? I have a friend (*cough* It's me. *cough*) who has been going through this lately. Only we aren't talking days. These are months which will soon reach a year. Or LONGER! HALP! I can give you a list of reasons that I cling to in order not to despair, but I've had a good week, so I'm actually thinking positively. And I've lived with me long enough to know I better seize that day, so...

I recently moved to a new job where I am doing things that I've never done before. For a "control freak" like me (those were a co-worker's words. About me. So there's that. Are they true? Oh, yeah, but it's nice to know I'm being so "authentic" already.), that is a challenge.

And this week, I took that challenge and I. KILLED. IT. I was a straight-up success top to bottom and all the way around the sides. What a relief. After months of struggling, something worked. It involved planning my first important meeting of VIPs at a place I've never been to with about a month's notice. That was just ACT I.

ACT II involved a field trip with a washed-out road, a dump truck road block, a mud hole of four-wheel drive proportions, and a leisurely hike down to a creek and then a quick hustle right back to the top (see both the creek and the top in this picture? Yeah.). All with the same VIPs. Do I hike? Not so much, although Jack and I cover some trails (like the one below. It has been a while since Jack made an appearance so I had to work him in somewhere). But I DO NOT DO MUD. And there was so much mud.

I did it. It required planning, anticipating requests, meeting deadlines, the ability to wait and regroup (something I know I'm learning) and a grim determination not to be the one who fell IN the mud. It was a glimmer of the old me with a fresh take on what a new me could look like. As an added bonus, I picked up new bits of trivia so my eventual Jeopardy appearance is looking even better.

If you've ever had those periods where you've let someone down or missed an important deadline or nothing turned out like you planned and planning is sort of your claim to fame and you're pretty sure that you're losing something really important, maybe you understand what a relief it is to have a win.

And because I'm being positive today, I'm going to think that it's okay not to be my old self. My new self now knows that a group of wild hogs is called a sounder so when that comes up in Double Jeopardy, that money is all mine. My new self, whoever she is, is what this whole thing is all about. Right? Tell me I'm right. And I want to hear about new things you're learning (or if you've ever been called a control freak by co-workers. It's a compliment, right?)


  1. I'm glad you had a good week, Cheryl, and I hope it's followed by many more good and great weeks.

    I always love to see pictures of Jack, so thank you for sneaking that one in.

    As for your coworker, don't let her comment bother you. Most successful people like to exercise a degree of control over what they do. Maybe she's envious that you're getting things done! :)

  2. I feel your pain, Cheryl. Starting a new job is never easy, but you persevered. I've been called a 'control freak' too. I like to think of it more as wanting to do the best job that I can.

  3. I think you're right and I'm glad you had a good week.

  4. Kudos to your success, Cheryl! As to the "control freak" term, like Jill, I believe in doing my best job possible - whether at home, work or writing. Perhaps people who use that term are those with no impulse control at all. Or organizational skills. Which would you like to be? I know which personality trait I'd pick any day. Onwards and upwards!

  5. Cheryl Harper! Hi! I'm glad you're having good days now. I thought all writers had to be control freaks to some degree in order to produce books? And yes, I think it was a compliment that your co-worker called you that.
    What new things have I learned? Hmm...I've learned how serious books are to so many folks, besides myself. We went to the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta on Saturday and was amazed by the masses of people who were there. My wonderful, supportive husband who took me commented about how he didn't realize how serious it all is. He said he was impressed, and that he would take me to any other book conventions I'd want to go to. That made me feel so good inside. ( :

    It's nice to 'see' you Cheryl. You always make me smile. I love the picture of Jack.

    1. So glad you had fun--that must have been great to have your husband with you and gain some understanding of how serious this business and its trappings are! I've been vicariously enjoying RT from posts and tweets.

  6. Good for you, Cheryl. You saw what needed to be done and made it happen in spite of setbacks. That's not being a control freak, that's being a boss!

  7. Every few years I find that I change. I suppose its a culmination of things learned all coming together and "clicking" and I realize that I'm now different. I know the feeling--everything is different, and there is no going back. Maybe rest assured that even this new self will feel comfortable after a while, and you'll look back on her in a decade and think, "What happened to her? Who am I now?"

    As for being a control freak, I agree with Laurie. Being a writer kind of requires it. ;) You're in good company!

  8. I'm highly impressed with your week. And one doesn't become a champion on Jeopardy without taking control. A sounder you say. I'll be rooting for you.

  9. I'm impressed with your week, too, and when we people call those who plan control freaks, I just shake my head. Planning doesn't guarantee that things won't go wrong, but not planning more or less guarantees something will go awry. Just because we (and I pretty much include all planners in that pronoun) take an organized approach events, trips, projects, and such, that doesn't mean we aren't open to all kinds of lovely surprises!

  10. Attitude is 99% of the battle and you're winning it! So glad to hear things are evening out for you. There's little more stressful than a new job, especially when it's a job where so many depend on you. Clearly they hired the right person. <3 Hugs!

  11. I'd rather be a control freak or a "perfectionist" which is another one that gets thrown out there a lot and know that I'm putting forth my best effort/self, than to be the one considered a slacker. :) You do YOU!

    And on a side-note, I watch Jeopardy every night, so I'm going to cheer twice as loud when I hear you give those answers one day!


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