The HR Juggler

Day 15: Four Seasons

Posted on: December 15, 2012

15 v 3

Today’s post is by the very wonderful Kate Griffiths-Lambeth. She writes her own blog, which inspires, educates and never disappoints. You can find her on Twitter at @KateGL, in the meantime, enjoy her reflections and resolutions.


Tricky things mirrors and reflections…they can be very unforgiving.  I scared myself not so long ago by catching sight of a person in the mirror behind the bar in a theatre – I was struck by how pale and tired they looked and then realised that I was observing myself.  We seldom appreciate how others see us and we often believe that we have all the information and hence can justify our decisions.  This safety clip showing the rear view from a lorry’s wing mirror demonstrates how easy it is to make assumptions; although looking in the mirror, the driver is unaware of what is really there beside and behind his vehicle.

And similarly in this clip, which always makes me smile, the kitten clearly believes that it is under threat because of what it can see in the mirror:

Reflections need to be treated with caution as they are from a single viewpoint and hence can fail to show the whole picture and, although change needs to start with “the man in the mirror”, self-realisation can be unnerving. 

However, enough ponderings… as is conventional at this time of year (and also because I am now exactly twelve months into my new role), here are a few thoughts on the months that have passed, with my connected resolutions:

Spring – I wish I hadn’t burst into laughter in the company of a colleague whom I did not know well, as, unwittingly, I caused offence (when he thought I was laughing at him) and it has taken me nearly a year to make amends.

Resolution: think harder about how I come across to others and adapt my behaviour to get the best out of every relationship;

Summer – I held a fantastic Team Offsite – we really are making great progress and the businesses are as pleased as we are.  With work as a back drop, I should not have been sceptical that the Olympics would live up to people’s hopes.  I expected London’s transport system to creak and fail under the strain, with locals and tourists alike suffering in sweltering, crowded tubes.  How wrong I was (and I am so pleased and proud of all that was achieved).  Perhaps, if I had attended the excellent Positive Psychology in Action workshop by Sukh Pabial in July, as opposed to in August, my attitude would have been different.

Resolution: don’t be a Romney – have greater faith in others to do a good job when they have made a commitment to accomplish something;

Autumn – As a family we went on a wonderful holiday to Crete, to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 70th.  Whilst there we endured a terrifying drive through the mountains, travelling on a rough dirt track with a sheer precipice to the side and the threat of rock falls (it was the only time when everyone was silent, simply willing the driver on).

Resolution: No matter how daunting something appears, don’t give up.  The pride and satisfaction of achievement (and the memories) will last a lifetime; and

Winter – I had an unnerving health scare and was amazed and humbled by the support and encouragement I received from the friends, family and acquaintances.

Resolution – I must become better at looking after myself, as there are many people who care about me and I owe it to them as well as to myself.

The poet Edgar Guest wrote a poem, “It Couldn’t Be Done”, which encapsulates many of the things I have learned during 2012 and my resolutions and intended approach for the year to come:

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
     But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
     Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
     On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
     At least no one has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
     And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
     Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
     There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
     The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
     Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
     That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.

Looking back over 2012, despite the moments of doubt and worry, it has been a wonderful year – thanks to all of you who have enriched and shared parts of it with me.

Final Resolution: Don’t always rely solely on the rear view mirror – it’s good to look back but probably even more important to look ahead…

Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2013.

5 Responses to "Day 15: Four Seasons"

Dear Kate,

As always, you bring such lovely surprises to the subject, no wonder what it is! A beautifully written piece which I shall be reading time and again. Thank you for enriching our lives, it has been a pleasure knowing you in 2012, here’s to more of it in 2013.

Best wishes,,

Bina. Xx

Dear Bina, Your support and encouragement has acted as a beacon for me throughout 2012 – helping me to stay resolute and on track. There are so many wonderful people on Twitter and in the blogging sphere but of that great crowd a few stars twinkle brighter than the rest – you (and Alison) are such stars. Thank you!

Nice to see Michael Jackson getting in on the reflective practice movement ! 🙂

Cool post – a great mix of personal, video and poetry. Unlike the mirror – you have given us lots of different angles to think about, nicely done.

Thanks Doug – I always find your comments constructive and encouraging

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