Tag Archives: thoughts

Family puts the “F” in Festivity

I miss my family.

They’re all in the US right now, having a bit of a trip over the Christmas and New Year break. I should have joined them, I realise now.

I thought I would be fine, going just as I am, spending Christmas with my partner’s family, catching up with friends I hadn’t met in a while and just taking a break from work in general.

Such conflicting feelings of not being ‘preoccupied’ (work) and wanting to enjoy quality time with family on the other side of the world at the moment.

Somehow I feel all alone in the world and seeing my partner’s family makes me miss them all the more. That holidays mean so much less.

Miss you all lots.

xoxo

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Glass half full

I was reading a book the other day, “Brain Rules”, you might have heard of it. It’s a great read by John Medina and while I highly recommend it, it’s not what I want to write about today.

There was a short introduction on the concept of “learned helplessness”, where the subject is conditioned to stay in an inescapable situation and have no hope or control over the situation. The subject then resigns itself to its “fate” in a sense, and even though an escape is made available, does not go in search of it. Reading it made me quite upset and made me think of various things – depression, religion, hope, faith, fate, destiny and life in general.

I realized this could relate to many situations in our lives when we feel a lack of control, an inability to change things and a depressing realization that things will never change. I know of people close to me who stay in their jobs even though they hated it because they feel they have no other alternative; of people who consistently found it hard to do well at school and believe that they are less well-endowed intellectually while the issue may just be the methods they have been employing to study or the teaching methods used in the current system.

In those situations, I’m less confident in the effectiveness of an external encouragement compared to the power of internal motivation and awareness. In those situations, the person has to come to their own realization to snap out of that learned helplessness yet it is somewhat a chicken and egg relationship. Yet, like most addictions, I believe it can be overcome.

  1. Awareness is the first step we can take to bring ourselves out of that low
  2. Making a choice – do we want to stay in it or get out of it? Sometimes not making a decision is a decision in itself, which doesn’t make things better. If we want to stay in it, make the most of it and ensure we’re not being miserable staying in it.
  3. Knowing which are the areas we have control over – the world, no; my room, yes; other people’s opinions, no; my own thoughts and behavior, yes
  4. Taking small steps to make changes in those areas we have control over
  5. Optimism and a glass half full psyche – this is where I think faith and hope crosses paths just because while some people garner hope from things around them, others look towards religion and faith and somehow perhaps realizing that someone out there, whoever it is, is looking over us, adds a little booster to the hope meter.
  6. Recognizing the changes and its impact, however small – this is where external encouragement starts to make a difference.

So, hopefully if I ever find myself in a state of “learned helplessness”, I am able to recognize it and take action. Otherwise, maybe a little nudge from the Universe to perhaps allow me to stumble upon my own post or a similar post would point me in the right direction.

Thanks Universe, in advance.

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The Stubborn Fighter

Irrational, Unkempt

Full of non-conformance

Actions and emotions

Hurled from the dark depths

Stemming from the most ill

Parts of ourselves

We never acknowledged

 

Not sexy, not ruffled

Just a fully blown kerfuffle

A brawl like no other

Where thoughts manifest

Through our sword made of flesh

Slicing loudly through

The frail innocent air

 

Crack, Clomp, Thump

Unnatural sounds

Of anger and rage

Avoiding, Clashing, Retreating, Advancing

We give our worst

And receive in turn

The stench of a wound inflicted

 

The walls close in

It’s hard to breathe

Mind and feet shuffle around

The cloggy space

What was dealt before

What stroke should be returned

It’s not over yet

 

Not when I know

I did no wrong

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Flipside

Actually going to work for a few weeks really put a different spin on working life. All the things I used to hate, didn’t seem so bad! Things like:

1. Getting out of bed before 8am

I love my sleep-ins, but I have to admit this forced me to grab a proper breakfast before heading to work; and since health experts always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day…

+ 5 health points
+ 2 mood points for getting out of the house to take in some of the early morning fresh air

2. Catching public transport with all the other people who seem to be going somewhere important

Public transport always makes for an interesting ride, as soliloquized in my previous post “Mind the Gap“, but more than that, I think it really allowed me to see a different perspective of the city.

+ 5 knowledge points
+ 2 mood points for the opportunity to enjoy the sunset scene without having to drive

3. Having to work to survive

Should we work to enable us to do what we like or should we strive to enjoy our work? In my current situation, seeing my bank balance go up instead of down for once took those thoughts out of my mind, at least for now.

+ 10 financial points
+ 5 mood points for being able to buy the desserts I was craving for
– 5 financial points for spending more on “wants”

4. Five-day work-weeks

I used to think they were too much and ardently fought on the side of legalizing four-day work-weeks instead. Hmm..actually, no change of opinion there. However, it did make me realize how hard it was to plan what to cook for dinner and work issues at the same time. 

+ 5 knowledge points – now I know what my mom has to go through
– 5 mood points due to increased stress levels

5. Having to send a million (pointless) emails a day

I think the nature of a temporary job is to fill a temporary need, so in this case, the emails weren’t completely pointless. Or maybe I was just enjoying the illusion that I was actually doing “work”.

+ 5 self-affirmation points

My evaluation:
Work in small doses increases knowledge of our surroundings, improves our overall health and mood and aids in self affirmation as well as a general boost of our financial situation (if managed properly). I guess it was a positive experience overall!

Next test: Work in larger doses.
Sky streaked with orange

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Multitasking Madness

I’ve got 29 tabs open in my browser and every 2 minutes something else pops into mind and my mouse heads towards the “+” icon to ‘Open a New Tab’!! What is wrong with me?!

  • I want to blog about some story ideas I had
  • I have some job applications to submit
  • Need to do some research on companies for a kick-ass job application
  • Thinking about (and googling) recipe ideas for the leftover kiwi in my pantry
  • Feeling a little frustrated and want to blog about the fuzz that’s growing in my mind and a growing hunger in my belly as it draws closer to dinner time…

Stop!

I took a breath and opened WordPress, but got distracted by reading the posts from some of my favorite bloggers.
Wait, what was I trying to do?
Closed WordPress.
As I berate myself mentally, I realize the pantry is just a few steps away.
Mmm a cookie would taste so good right now.

I should grab one.
But it’s too close to dinner. Or is it?
Images of the Tim Tams I bought tempted me further into the sweet, sweet embrace of my pantry and all its treasures.
A mental battle ensues.
One that logic wins.
Defeated, I grab the thing nearest to me.
My cup – and took a sip of water.
It tasted nothing like the sweet sensation of chocolate.

Searching for a distraction, I looked back at my screen and clicked on a random tab.
It was a job opening I was interested in.
Re-read it.
It was a website I had never seen before, asking for my resume and contact details.
I wondered if they were legit.
Opened a new tab to research on the jobbing website.

It was taking some time to load.

Re-opened WordPress.
Clicked on “New Post”.
Maybe I could try to get a post in while it was loading.
I had some ideas on what to blog, hmmm….
My stomach growls.

I’m hungry, it’s dinner time.
Or close to it.
Everything else will have to wait.

Just for a little while.

My Tim Tam Stash

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It’s Winter!

It has been cold and wintry the last few weeks, in the Southern Hemisphere, but little did I realize the official start of Winter crept up on us just 2 days ago!

It truly hit me when the lady over the counter said, “Winter’s just started!” in response to friendly chatter about the weather.

It is as if the Seasons were God’s way of saying, time waits for no one.
(As if we don’t know that well enough!)

That realization infused me with a sudden surge of appreciation for life, not the future or the past, but really to embrace the present. So I whipped out my camera, stepped out into the refreshingly cold wintry breeze and took a picture of the low clouds covering Telstra tower.

Nothing sexy, I didn’t edit it via any app or software.
Yet, it brings me back to my fantasies as a child of living in the clouds; heck, even just touching them.

Happy Winter All!

Telstra Tower in Winter

Telstra Tower, 2nd June

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Mind the Gap

I really like waiting for trains.
I just realized this as I was typing it.

Yeah it’s pretty fun just standing there, or sitting if I’m tired, with my headphones in, listening to my favorite tunes on my 32MB mp3 player. My argument: Quality is more important than Quantity. I still stand by that today.

Maybe it’s the people waiting with me.
Every wait gives the possibility of new interactions with people I’ve never met before! At the same time my eyes scan the crowd for familiar faces of possible train buddies. 🙂

Maybe it’s the ability to be completely anti-social and get away with not being called “anti-social”. Because when you get to the office, they might just think you’re being moody or arrogant or something.

Or maybe it’s just the mind-numbing routine.
I don’t know, there’s something ethereal about it when you know this is a mind-numbing routing so you’re both there and not there at the same time. It’s also a good time to read, and re-read the signs and notices on the floor and walls, and fully enjoy being IN this situation of waiting.

Because once you get to your destination, you’re expected to do something more than wait.

Sometimes I stare at the tracks and imagine a crazy adventure of falling down and trying to climb onto the platform before the train arrives. Which makes me think I lack the basic instinct for self-preservation in all living things, like in the movie “The Happening“.

Oh and once I’m on the train, it’s a whole different adventure.

p/s: An interesting side effect of the 32MB player was that my subconscious mind knew what song was next and it felt like I had the power to see the future! In a very minute, insignificant way…

(I was going to post my little story up, about crocodiles and family, but it’s late afternoon and if you could hear my brain, you would hear a monotonous buzzzing. So somehow, this came out.)

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I am here

I’ve always traveled for specific duration, be it a holiday, a study experience, or work; there was always a set timeline, approximate or definite, of when I would return home.

I realize now that when that return trip is not in the plans, it becomes a little disorientating. Perhaps kinda like if life didn’t have an end, we might just roam around the Earth like headless chickens. Which isn’t good.

I had just taken a step in my life, which on hindsight, is probably a HUGE step, but I had never been one to cower away from change or new places/people. So I simply embraced it and the things I needed to do. I quit my old job and headed for an unknown future, which apart from being the tipping point of starting this blog, also triggered quite a few thoughts.

Thoughts about:

  • My family – While I was excited, saying goodbye at the airport was a teary and emotional affair, just like always. The time I spent with my family really brought me closer to them. While I felt that I’d been “filling up” on family experiences that I would miss while apart from them, I ended up cherishing the “now” of the experience more than the memory of it, and the pictures would always serve as a beautiful reminder. I wished I could stay in that phase forever, but I knew where I was heading and the financial stress of being unemployed was restricting us from fully enjoying our time together, I had to think about my career plans.
  • My ambitions – did I have any that I really wanted to stick to? I studied Marketing and Communications but have experiences in Finance, which has made me realize that I want to leave that industry and do something more tangible; and I wanted to write! Then I thought, maybe I’m just one of those who didn’t need a crazy career, because honestly, I was really sick of the political corporate scene. I’d be happy if I could just run my own little shop somewhere (a little more about this in another post), but my savings were depleting and a job would be just the thing I need right now.
  • My employability – the job search started off exciting but has become a little more urgent with the daily depletion of my savings. Reviewing my resume and comparing what experiences I have with the jobs that are out there is making me question my own capabilities and I’m worried that the longer I stay unemployed, the less employable I will be. Which is probably true and makes me realize how hard it must be for mothers coming back to work from maternity leave and realize the importance of labor laws in this area.
  • My time and life in general – it’s an odd feeling. Not having a certain routine, having financial concerns that needed to be actively worked out, yet at the same time, standing at the precipice of change and feeling that my next move might make or break things? I need to decide what I want to do with my life, will one decision close any doors, what if I get stuck in a dead end job, what if I become a jobless bum roaming the streets?!

But life isn’t made or broken so easily is it? Just as I found that being with my family gave me so much more than memories, it is a culmination of decisions that make our lives the way it is.

So despite the constant news of high unemployment rates, I will, just as I did when I graduated, keep my optimism and faith, keep exploring the things I am interested in. At least this time, I have a blog, something that gives me a semblance of a purpose, to create, to “work” and to explore.

Though let’s not digress, I can get any job I want, right?

p/s: also had an idea for a little story, will post that up soon!

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I Wonder Why

I wonder why a laptop is thus called when we are advised not to use it on the lap but on a flat surface to ensure proper ventilation; shouldn’t we call it a ‘flattop’ instead?

I wonder what sort of bird is making noises outside my window right now at 10:30pm; shouldn’t it be asleep by now?

I wonder why my tummy makes funny noises sometimes when everyone else in the room is silent; shouldn’t my body be more in sync with me?

Just a few thoughts @ 10:30pm.

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All That is True

Honestly.

Browsing social media makes me depressed. Thankfully, just as the internet taketh, it also giveth; and a browse through Freshly Pressed lifts my troubles just a little. There are so many inspirational bloggers out there – aspiring writers, photographers, artists, cooks, or just those who want to document certain aspects of their lives. You don’t need to be popular or boast about your prowess in a certain area, it is mostly just honest, sometimes witty, commentary.

I love it.

It’s real. Not contrived, or psyched up. It’s a personal expression which doesn’t require verification. Although, “likes” and comments can be a huge motivational pill, it’s more like the world wide web’s appreciation of something that took time and effort to create. (Who needs money?!) More importantly, it forms a virtual community of like-minded people.

Real relationships.

Call me crazy but I feel that it exists between fellow bloggers. It’s as if we all know and understand what each of us has to go through and we identify with each other. When they share part of their lives and experiences with me, I start following those I like. Forming, in a way, a more “real” relationship than the one I have with my Facebook “friends” for example.

Facebook friends are not real friends.

Call me conservative, an introvert or socially awkward but it’s definitely true for me. Having random people you just met updating their status to reflect their bowel practices or whinge about wanting more attention might be taking the “friendship” too far, too fast. Then hearing a colleague complain about the boss while proactively staying up to date and commenting on her Facebook activities just makes me question who they really are.

It’s complicated!

Slowly, I start to fear that I am a truly bad judge of character and have the entire thing figured out back to front!

Why can’t I just use social media to stay in touch with those I love; and if I do happen to whinge or discuss my bowel movements, I know they actually do care, hopefully enough not to be grossed out by the latter. I just want to keep my life simple, free from social complications and manipulations…

Just me, my family and Teddy.

Teddy

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