Cramming for My Last Performance Review…Ever

final performance review

Slogan in rainbow pens


When I was eleven, I decorated the landscape with my slogan, BANKSY style.

I wrote it on rocks, tattooed it on my hand, squeaky chalked it on a chalkboard, wrote it with my finger in the sand at the beach, and in the sky with a pretend pen.

I entered teenagehood inked in a pastel rainbow of felt pens.

My slogan?


Why a slogan?

I was excited to go new places without my parents and make decisions on my own for the first time and leave evidence of the experiences everywhere I went.

I was being me.

Over the next thirty years, life seemed to happen to me, and I became too busy for slogans, while pursuing my goals of having it all and doing it all. It felt like I was twisting and turning at full speed through the pathways of a maze in a rat race pace.

I felt disconnected as if I was more of a human doing than a human being.

Five years ago, I stepped back and finally recognized how much time has passed. Both of my parents had passed away, and instead of longing for my independence, I longed to spend an hour with them.

Taking a moment to ponder my life helped connect me to myself and to the spiritual world beyond.

I was back to being me.

I don’t believe death is it. After death, I think I proceed forward to the next stage in my spiritual life.

But first I must pass a performance review.

How do I prepare for this? I can’t change my past, but I can work on creating my future.

But I have some serious cramming to do to develop my character and skills to become the best person I can be. If I don’t ace that performance review I fear being sent to some God-forsaken place, or face an indoctrinated Catholic’s worst nightmare — to suffer in purgatory with all the other sinners for eternity!

By creating my own Hippocratic Oath, like the one doctors take, I outlined all the character traits and skills I need to work on to be my best.

What is my new slogan?


My oath is all about who I become as a person.

It is about being kind, compassionate and forgiving.

Tony Robbins says: “Who you become as a person is the ultimate reward. The goal is about what it makes of me as a human being while pursuing it.”

I feel so relaxed knowing that I am not going to get anywhere in my life’s journey!

The journey is about becoming, not arriving.

It’s about this minute –


I don’t know when my performance review will be, so I am eternally grateful for my blessings today, and the opportunity to live my life to my potential.

The reward is who I become, and I realize that my greatest gift is that:


Originally published on Medium in The #ChooseYourself Writers Group:

photo credit: creativecommons.orgPens in rainbow colors

#gratitude #doing #being #performance #oath #becoming

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    Welcome! I am Ann Hoy blogging about expanding your life — #loveyourself, #positivethinking, #optimizingyourself, and #wellbeing are recurring themes.


    Coffee Headaches: How I Overcame The Incurable Pain

    Coffee Headaches

    My behavior doesn’t define me, my ability to change it does


    After trying unsuccessfully to quit coffee for three months, I quit in ten minutes.

    How did I do it?

    I did it with the help of my three sons.

    The idea of quitting coffee had been percolating in my mind for a while, and the boys knew it.

    On our way to the park one day, I stopped at a coffee shop to grab a coffee. It was a scalding hot day in July.

    My middle son said: “Why do you need a coffee on such a hot day?”

    “Don’t you want a cold drink instead?” said the oldest.

    Then the youngest said: “Didn’t you say you were quitting coffee, Mom?”

    I always told them to do what they say they’re going to do, and I wasn’t following my own advice.

    Worse than failing to quit coffee, was failing to lead by example. And I was being held accountable.

    Why quit coffee? The adverse side effects:

    1. The shaking hands after drinking three cups. 2. The “coffee headaches” if I didn’t drink a cup upon waking up. 3. The coffee cravings that felt like I wasn’t choosing coffee- it was choosing me.

    I quit coffee that moment in the parking lot, but the shift in my behavior came with side effects.

    I didn’t drink coffee that day, or the next day, or the day after that. I had a coffee withdrawal headache that continued for three days. But on the fourth day, my coffee headache was gone.

    My new habits no longer revolved around drinking coffee. I didn’t miss the smooth, dark, warm, aromatic beverage — much!

    I started drinking water or tea instead.

    I knew what I had to do, but it was the guilt from my family that made me commit.

    My behavior didn’t define me, my ability to change it did.

    In the end, I quit for love. Love for myself and my kids.

    Once I was freely choosing what to drink, I found that coffee really wasn’t my cup of tea.

    photo credit: <a href=”“></a> via <a href=”“>photopin</a> <a


    This story was also published on Medium.