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Chapter 29 - 2020 Q2 Performance Review

The Context

We did a Q1 Performance Review and walked away feeling confident. We walked away feeling like we can conquer the next quarter. You know the feeling you get after hitting a strike at bowling? That feeling of conquering everything and reaching for the stars.

Naturally, I had to keep this trend going and review all of my quarters. So this is a follow up on my Q1 meeting with myself, I'll go through how Q2 went (briefly), and then maybe come up with a plan for Q3? Who knows.

God bless the corporate world for putting such a practice in place. If only more individuals could sit themselves down to have a full-on discussion about how they’re doing with their lives. I guess it helps having multiple personalities now.

Again, this is my banter blog and an excuse to write something so I don’t get into an amateur writers block. This is where I keep notes from my therapy sessions but place it in a fun way so that someone might read and laugh. So grab a glass of water, because I’m promoting hydration for your body, and enjoy my personalities.

The Invitation

Hello Sara,

I would like to reach out to invite you to our second quarterly meeting. The past quarter has brought us immense challenges, and we would like to go through your achievements, mistakes and steps forward.

I am confident that there were valuable lessons taught, remember that we learn and improve through our mistakes.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this email,


The Reply

Hi 2020,

I frankly don’t see the point of a performance review when I’m not performing in many areas of my life. I can be found between tolerating, hanging in there and going with the flow.

I feel overwhelmed to know that you have such confidence in me. Although, I must point out that nothing has drastically changed since our last meeting, I still want to seclude myself, even more so with COVID being the highlight of the quarter.

However, to not further disappoint you, I will take some time out and join this meeting on Zoom.

See you in a one person Zoom call,

Sara Haseeb

The Meeting

Sara enters the Zoom call, staring at herself and wondering where everything went wrong. She sees a person who lacks motivation and will-power, who needs a vacation to just switch off for a couple of weeks or months. She is still mentally exhausted and tells herself the same story that she’s been telling herself for years now, ‘the show must go on’…

The Attack

So the past couple of months we had been focusing on self-care, our main focus has been ensuring your physical and mental wellbeing so that your day-to-day tasks do not get interrupted. Yet you have managed to stray away from that.

You state that ‘times have yet again been tough”, and you repeat the same sentence a million times, that “life has never been easy”, but what are you doing to make sure that you keep afloat and not drown?

We have been allowing you to stay home and focus on yourself while tending to external affairs such as maintaining a social life, doing well at your job, and handling family matters. Again, it’s a simple ask. You need to ensure that your internal issues are resolved so that they don’t come into action when you are dealing with external issues.

What are you doing to make yourself a part of 2020?

The Response

I’m merely surviving, and if you ask anyone else, they’re doing the same.

My main focus has been self-care during the past 3 months. I have pushed my self-care and self-love limits to extremes. I have had the opportunity to work from home, to connect with loved ones on Zoom, to focus on myself and my needs.

I was doing fine internally, till external factors came in and tampered with all the good work I had done. I understand that the external factors may be temporary, but they leave a lasting effect. They scar you and hurt you in ways that may leave you changed and that is something that people are not ready to discuss.

However, coming back to self-care, we focused on ourselves and gave ourselves so much love and attention while we were on lockdown, that once we got back to the ‘new normal’, we’re not able to give ourselves the same amount of attention.

It's not possible to maintain the same consistency of attention that you were receiving from yourself. Yes, I can take some time out for myself in a day to focus on myself. But it's not the same as it used to be. It's not little breaks throughout the day to tell yourself you matter, followed by an act of self-love. We don't get those little breaks throughout the day in the real world.

Our body and mind are both confused, what happened to the person that would take time out to do the things they enjoy? We kept our focus on staying sane during lockdown, no one told us that post-lockdown is where the real trouble lies. In my opinion, adjusting to the new normal is more problematic than keeping sane on your own.

We’re now found going back into our little bubble, we’re not comfortable being watched under a microscope. Our self-doubt increases, our personality shifts, and our needs/wants differ. We're not the same person we used to be.

Life changes us, yet again. We're the ones found at fault, yet again. We are the ones who should find a way to make things easier, but why can't the external factors help with that? Why can't people be understanding, why do we have to deal with the anxiety of going through change AND find a way to deal with it? Why have we not be trained to be in such a situation. Because 'you'll get through it' or 'deal with it' is not enough. We're the ones out here surviving. We're fighting for our wellbeing. We're using whatever coping mechanism that works for us. We're getting our daily tasks done and aren't bringing much else to the table.

But what do you expect in the middle of a pandemic?

We don't need to have questions raised as to why things aren't done in a better way. Leave us be.

The End

For my final thought of Q2. My only take away from 2020 Q2 so far is keep fighting and surviving. My whole life, I've been fighting and with one phase of happiness, I feel like the fight has ended. But these things never really end, do they? Struggles are non-stop, life is non-stop - which is why surviving becomes non-stop and fighting becomes non-stop.

I've learned that time and time again, you will be put in the same situation, where you will ask yourself 'how did I get here, again'. However, you will learn from your mistakes, you will also cherish old memories, you will remember times that you weren’t surviving or fighting, but most importantly, you will move on. You will keep fighting.

And you know what? That's not a bad thing. It’s not a negative statement. It means that you’re tough, you're strong, you've been through hell and back. Look at yourself, still standing tall, still willing to put up a fight, still doing all the things you thought broke you down before.

So hey little fighter, hang in there, soon things will be brighter.


Disconnecting from Zoom and life (in a 'just let me be' way, dw I'm good),

Sara Haseeb


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