Review: August, 2017

I have a backlog of things that I want to write about- the past week was relatively more relaxed for work, but I am trying to sleep earlier and this also includes an after-dinner activity of watching a Chinese TV drama called Young Sherlock Holmes, broadcasted in 2014. So writing got kind of pushed to the back of my priority list. Anyway, this is a review of August, hastily done, might contain a fair bit of grammatical errors because I really need to start clearing my to do list.

“Good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are.”

-Anne Lamott

August was a month filled with friends, work, and emotional discoveries. You know that sort of ‘aha’ moment when you scrutinise what you have been doing for the past three weeks? And finally understand why you don’t really like doing those things, or why you find happiness in some things and want to continue doing them? I realised that for the department rec club activities, I only volunteer for things that revolve around writing and children (corporate social responsibility). I don’t really like doing logistical planning, although I am good at it- finding things, sourcing for resources, details, budgeting etc. To me it is operational and it is something that everyone can do, it doesn’t require a special skillset.

I know the people better now, and their comments on things can be quite funny. For the planning of dinner on the first day, T asked D if the hotel is aware that we are definitely booking their restaurant, because we have to make sure that there are enough seats and that the menu is the right sort (halal, food allergies etc). D paused for a microsecond and then replied, “close to being aware.” There are so many details to take note of when planning logistics because we are involving people who are fresh hires, and also partners who have been in the firm for twenty years. From things like the number of vans and the allocation of people to teams, to things like availability of cold drinking water if we are going to be travelling around Phuket, these things need to be threshed out one by one because of budgeting reasons, and also because it is a department trip and each unit has their own quirks.

It has been an interesting journey with the rec club so far, even though it is voluntary and none of it will be counted as part of the performance appraisal process. But that is life, and I want people and relationships to be part of my life. I don’t want to be a corporate drone. I enjoy writing sincere letters to people, and I feel that it is a way to get in touch with my emotions and practise emotional honesty and vulnerability, hence I’m doing the comms part. Rather than have a really perfectionist and KPI-driven personal branding, I would rather people know me as a person who likes to work with children, on projects that have an impact on humans and who values the practice of honestly expressing oneself. Not going to kill myself over political situations or the fear of not getting promoted.

It is difficult to hold back from volunteering for other things, but August is also a month where I am learning to balance my work better, to set boundaries for my time and to not let work eat into all of my weekends. I am a pretty slow person so I don’t mind working on the weekends, but it must not be an expectation and it has to be self-initiated. So if I leave early to meet friends, I am going to make up for it on the weekends and that is fine with me.

Speaking of humans, I met some really nice people for lunch this month. I will be spending the next month at Changi (seems like my life is either Tuas or Changi), and I am glad that I got to know quite a fair number of people before getting transferred to the client’s place. Although my food bills are not going down, it is something that I don’t mind because it makes my life better. Love aloha poke bowls and fish soup. But a mental note to self, no matter how sad I am about my day, I will not, will not, will not, WILL NOT, use other people as a scratching post for my emotions. Enough said. Perhaps it is a good thing that I got transferred to Changi.

Church activities wise, we are going to Blue Mountain Kelong in a few days! I have to get a wifi router egg thingy so that I can do my work there, and hopefully I won’t get bitten by too many mosquitoes. Also, toddlers class resumes tomorrow, I’m really hoping that Kaeler will be in a better mood tomorrow. I discovered yesterday that the person who is booking the room for cell group every month at my company was from my DG, it’s not some random person who isn’t a Christian, it’s just that the DG got too big hence we split into two. There’s bible study class tomorrow, we’re doing Mark, which reminds me that I have not started revising it yet.

Yesterday during DG E said something along the lines of “the laws are different from the bible”. Which I agree, we might know God’s laws (ten commandments etc), but we might not know God as a creator and loving Father. We can be given many laws but it takes time to change a person’s heart and to approach the bible not as a set of old and fixed rules, but as a set of parables for us to learn what he meant for us humans to be like. Grace, love, compassion, hope, and faith. However it takes a long time, it is a journey that not everyone will commit to because of the stigma attached with Christianity. That the Christians are not like Christ.

Also- I haven’t been exercising a lot but anyway- will post an update about anxiety tomorrow. My health has been steadily going downhill as of July 2017. I can’t do anything about it, but at least I have the money to pay my bills.

Thankful for:

Friends, food, advice from bosses, and opportunities at work to learn. I have a clearer idea of what I would like to do at work (not just business transformation through consulting services). I would like to invest more time in working on government projects and VWO projects, because I value impact. Working for global FMCG companies can be exciting because of the scope of the project, but the value to me is low. We’ll see if it is part of my life to end up where I would like to go. After all, I’ve only been at work for two months.

I just listened for a long time; she went from crushed to defiant.

“I have what everyone wants,” she said. “But no one would be willing to pay.”

“What do you have?”

“The two most important things. I got forced into loving myself. And I’m not afraid of dying anymore.”

Anne Lamott