A review of July :)

Going to do a brain dump of the things I am grateful for, and the things I am still struggling with right now. This also counts as a review of July. July and I think February are the two turning points in my year so far- February because I returned to church, July because I started work and the first month at work sets the tone for how engaged you are and how other people see you.

Work

Lots of learning. From the formatting, to the admin management, to the research, to the client presentations, here and there. I have a fear of public speaking still but it has gotten better. I think if you have to do a different presentation every day, then you stop wanting to prepare and learn to just go with the flow. I find my attention slipping during long meetings, partly because I haven’t been drinking my usual coffees.

And there is this spirit of volunteering in my team (a lot of them have a HR background, lol), so we are doing this pro bono consulting project, plus I’m going to help out in the rec club planning for the upcoming department trip. Work-life integration, no longer a demarcation when work is work and everything that is enjoyable belongs outside of work. Sometimes I still wonder what would have happened if I had applied to a different consulting firm, or maybe even internal HR. But all these thoughts are parallel lives, and I am happy with the life I have now. I am still learning to not look at the successful lives of other people and take their path as my own, after all, life is how I respond to my own set of circumstances.

Health

Mental health was bad this week. I sat for one hour on I think Wednesday and Thursday morning, just feeling my chest pains- like golf balls stuck between my heart and my ribcage- the pressure makes it hard to breathe. But otherwise, everything was normal. Six months ago I wanted people to like me but I didn’t like people, now I like most people (or at least, can form a meaningful connection to them) and don’t need them to like me.

Physical health also bad, two weeks ago I needed to change my TCM medication because of stomach pains. But I can swim for longer now, although I still get irritated when people just stand at the ends of the pool because I can’t go all the way.

Church

Tiring. Because DG takes place on a Friday night, when I really don’t want to be doing anything else other than sleep. I sort of meander slowly to the place like an untrained sloth, and sit in a corner with the dinner that someone else buys (dinner service is much appreciated), and then realise how fast the week has passed and I should really pay attention to what the bible study leader is saying. The leaders change every week so sometimes my attention wanders off. At least I got the main point yesterday, which is that it is not just acts and words of obedience, one has to really search her heart.

Relationships

Lots of friends, I like. I have been spending a lot of money eating out with people ): Daily cut is fabulous, although expensive. Adding in Starbucks it’s like…well. I see it as settling in for the first few months. Reason because I don’t know what I like to eat, plus in the past few years I always had to watch my diet because of food allergies. So now I am just allowing my poor soul to roam free for a while. So far I’ve tried to reach out to different people for lunch (within reasonable limits, it’s people I’ve to work with or just those who talk to me first, I don’t randomly talk to colleagues). Which means that lunch is usually interesting! It usually ends up being 1.5 hr lunches haha. Everyone at work is really nice so far, which is great.

Hobbies

Working out: I have slightly more toned arms, and a very bad tan line.

Writing: Kind of non-existent now. I maybe journal once a week, but it is such an unstructured activity. Sigh.

Reading: Thanks to K for giving me all the new books. I missed Marya Hornbacher, I remember I used to love her writing (Wasted: A memoir of anorexia and bulimia) and Portia deRossi’s writing too. I have been trying to read on the train rides but when I was reading the line in The Centre of Winter by Hornbacher, there was something about how you can sit in a room and be completely yourself, yet fail utterly in the eyes of someone you love. Her writing revolves around this family, the dad struggled with mental illness, didn’t go to work, the mom worked and the son was staying in a mental hospital. The dad finally shot himself one night and everything sort of went to pieces overnight. I was sniffling on the train, bad idea.

Painting: No time ):

Prayer requests

  • That my anxiety will ease up. I would rather have physical pains for two days than low-grade anxiety for five days, even though the pains are literally, it feels like an impending heart attack. That plus TCM stomach pains means that it is difficult for me to concentrate on my work. However, the fact that I am a work-life integrator and not a work-life balancer in the past (the willingness to do work at home and to have hobbies and a social life on weekdays and basically see my career as an expression of my strengths and interests in life) means that it is easier for me to manage. Maybe not my workload, but the feeling of going to work. I like going to work, especially now that I have a huge desktop monitor
  • That we will be able to find a partner (only partners can book larger rooms) who will be able to provide the small group with a room during meet ups. I really like that bunch of people, they are kind and I don’t think standing at the carpark is very comfortable for the guys because they are dressed in long-sleeved shirts, and for me I usually wear sleeveless dresses to work so I’m fine.
  • That my trips in September will go fine- Indonesia, Thailand, and St John’s again. My application to be a three day server at the Vipassana meditation course was accepted. I am looking forward to food preparation and quiet meditation. I will bring a lot of mosquito repellent this time. If I am not wrong, I am serving in the first half of the retreat. Chances are people will be teary and they will want to drop out haha. For the first two countries, please let us be safe.
  • That the toddlers at the 9am class will settle in. The 9am class is so crowded that sometimes when kids (about 1.5-2 years old), they are a bit confused and when they sit down, they can end up sitting on another kid’s foot. Or fall over an unsuspecting parent/helper. And then sometimes they go nuts and start chasing each other around the room like mini-satellites, and I’m just like “what?” They have unlimited reserves of energy. The craft last week was really difficult too, it involved pasting paper characters and two magnets on a long string and I had three kids to myself. Two got bored and wandered off when I was helping the first one.
  • That the air-conditioning at work will get better, because I am so cold that I use two jackets and one shawl to keep myself warm and sometimes even that fails.
  • Cute people in the office, all taken. All. I feel like I am the only single one in my batch.