My Half-Year Evaluation: Have I Thrived?

Half-year Evaluation for Leigh Kendall

Background

At the end of 2014, Leigh reflected on the events of that year. She acknowledged that she had survived the worst thing imaginable – the death of her much-wanted, much-loved son, Hugo.

You recognised that 2014 had shown you that the unexpected can happen, your dreams can be ripped to shreds. You surmised that while we can never know what is around the corner, we can still plan, prepare, and dream.

To that end, you identified three main goals:

  • To continue to grow Hugo’s Legacy;
  • To maintain your physical health;
  • To improve your emotional health.

You summed up your aspiration for 2015 using a quote by Maya Angelou: “…to not merely survive, but thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.”

Leigh articulated rough plans around continuing her passion for Hugo’s Legacy (which encompasses compassion); to expand on her writing; to allow herself to indulge in her humorous and stylish sides – the things that make her, her.

Performance

Leigh has difficulty acknowledging her own progress and success. A large part of this is that she, of course, wishes that she still had Hugo in her arms; that she had nothing to campaign for.

However, she must recognise that six months after setting her year-long goal she is doing very well indeed.

Some highlights include:

  • Hugo’s Legacy is growing bigger all the time. #HugosLegacy trended on Hugo’s first birthday, and clinicians have remarked how Hugo’s story has prompted them to reflect on their own practice, for example. Leigh is consequently increasingly recognised as a leading parent voice in neonatal and bereavement care.
  • Leigh has maintained her physical health by regular exercise at the gym, and running and walking. However this has slipped in the last month or so since the closure of her gym and a return to work.
  • Leigh’s emotional health has seen a marked improvement since December, thanks to intense psychotherapy sessions. These sessions helped reassure her, in her own words, “that I am not bonkers”, that the intense feelings she has experienced are natural responses to the events of 2014; to acknowledge that grief is forever meaning it needs to be faced however difficult that is, in order to find a way to live with it. At the beginning of June, Leigh felt as ready as she ever would be to return to work. This was a big step, and one that Leigh should be proud of.
  • Leigh has expanded her writing – achieving an ambition of becoming a Huffington Post writer, as well as being a finalist and on the shortlist of major national blogging awards.
  • She has published posts showing her lighter side, and about her love of style reflecting that while the events of 2014 may have changed her irrevocably, there are things she can return to that help her realise life is worthwhile.

Conclusion and recommendations

Leigh is indeed not just surviving, but thriving, with compassion, passion, humour and style.

She needs to make sure she continues to care for herself. Wanting to change the world is noble, but she must also remember to rest when her mind and body tells her to do so – burning out will help no one. Scheduling regular self-care time (including physical exercise) is vital towards maintaining her significant emotional and psychological progress.

That said, Leigh must remember that irrespective of how much progress is made, there is no cure for grief. Bad days will still haunt her, and as gruelling as they are they must be endured. She must remember that it is acceptable to hide under the duvet sometimes. She must never forget that living with grief and trauma is exhausting, meaning that self-care time is non-negotiable.

Leigh should be very proud of her progress so far in 2015. Bearing in mind the points above about self-care and balance, she should continue to thrive for the rest of 2015 and beyond.

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You Baby Me Mummy
mumturnedmom

21 Comments on My Half-Year Evaluation: Have I Thrived?

  1. Bec Cowley
    July 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Brilliant post! Excellent appraisal or your year so far. You have acheived so much and you are most certainly thriving. You should be very proud of yourself and everything you achieve in Hugos name x

    Reply
  2. Hannah Budding Smiles
    July 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm (2 years ago)

    You’re absolutely amazing my lovely and Hugo will always be with you, smiling at his wonderful Mummy who does so much in his memory. You are helping so many people and it’s good that you recognise that you need to help yourself too. Well done honey xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 10, 2015 at 3:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much lovely Hannah. Trying to help myself more xxx

      Reply
  3. You Baby Me Mummy
    July 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh hun, you are amazing and you are thriving! You amaze me and so many others, you inspire, you comfort and you care about everyone. I am so pleased they you feel like you are thriving. You have created such a legacy for dear Hugo. We all wish you didn’t have to, but you have and that just shows how truly inspirational you are. So proud to have you as a friend xxxx

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s such a wonderful comment, Aby, thank you. I’m just trying to be the best I can be in the worst of circumstances. I’m glad to have you as a friend too xxx

      Reply
  4. Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    July 7, 2015 at 6:58 pm (2 years ago)

    What a wonderful post to read Leigh, and how worthwhile to take a step back like this and review how your year is going. You have so much to be proud of, and you are an inspiration. I am so glad to have met you, albeit that, like you, I wish we hadn’t had reason to, or at least had a very different reason to. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

    Reply
  5. Mummy Tries
    July 5, 2015 at 9:45 am (2 years ago)

    You are achieving amazing things with #HugosLegacy and #MatExp darling. You should be so proud and I know that Hugo will be so proud to have you for his mummy.

    You really are thriving Leigh and it’s just wonderful reading your updates. Still gutted I didn’t get to spend more time with you at BML but hopefully will see you again soon xxx

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, lovely. I hope Hugo is proud of me.

      I’m so gutted I didn’t get to spend more time with you at BML too! Was so looking forward to a proper chat with you. So hope I can see you again soon xxx

      Reply
  6. lisaslife1970
    July 4, 2015 at 11:31 am (2 years ago)

    Good to see you taking care of you 🙂 x

    Reply
  7. lizziesomerset
    July 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm (2 years ago)

    This is such a great post Leigh, we really should all take a moment to look at ourselves & monitor if we’re thriving, not just striving! I love that Maya Angelou quote & will print it out. I think you have done amazingly well in such a short time, although I realise any time apart from Hugo feels too long. Keep going, Hugo’s Legacy is growing, all down to you. Lizzie xo

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 4, 2015 at 10:14 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks lovely Lizzie, it’s a fab quote isn’t it? So full of sass. Thanks for your kind comment xxx

      Reply
  8. redpeffer
    July 3, 2015 at 5:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Yes, an excellent appraisal-I could really do with trying something like this for myself in all seriousness. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the progress when you’re right in the thick of it all. I think it’s an important step to be able to recognise that bad days will happen but that this is OK. And your work in giving other’s a voice can never be underestimated.

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 4, 2015 at 10:14 am (2 years ago)

      You’re right, it’s important to take a step back sometimes. I wrote it in someone else’s voice because the first person just seemed too weird. Thanks for your kind comment xxx

      Reply
  9. blopmamma2014
    July 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m another one who would dearly love for you to come and write my appraisal. It’s due in October so that should give you plenty of time 🙂

    On a more serious note you should be incredibly proud of everything you have achieved and that you will continue to do so. Hugo has an amazing legacy created by a wonderful Mummy but I agree that you must make sure that you look after yourself; strong as the temptation to worker harder and do more may be.

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 3, 2015 at 7:51 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Louise. I tend to look at things as if I am nurturing a virtual version of Hugo – but of course parents of living babies need a rest sometimes, too xxx

      Reply
  10. pottymouthedmummy
    July 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm (2 years ago)

    I loved reading this. You have thrived and done so very much for Hugo’s Legacy. You amaze me lovely xxx

    Reply
  11. Tim
    July 2, 2015 at 8:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Leigh, you should be so proud of everything you have achieved so far this year. Hugo’s star burns ever brighter and you passed his birthday and other significant milestones, emerging stronger. So many people around you recognise your strength and draw inspiration from both your words and deeds. I’m honoured to consider you a friend.

    (Also, can you write my half-year review for me? It will be better than what I will get at work …)

    Reply
    • Leigh Kendall
      July 3, 2015 at 7:50 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much Tim. I really appreciate your support of my blog and for Hugo’s Legacy. I’m proud to call you a friend.

      Hmm think I may be able to make a few quid on the side writing other people’s reviews….;-)

      Reply

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