January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
I should be sleeping right now.
The next three weeks is going to be the culmination of a massive project that has taken almost nine months to build, create and stage. But less of that. And more of what I want to do with the time right after – yes, the idea of freedom has finally made me pause, think and dream.
First thing on my list of to-do’s?
To wake up, stretch… and stay in bed for the next few hours without worrying if I’d missed an email, call, text or whatever.
Next, have a cup of coffee and some rich chocolate biscuits, laze on the couch, read… till I fall asleep again.
Maybe after that, I’ll find the energy to finally exercise, something I’ve missed doing for a looooooong time. I know The Mother used to be an expert at yoga. She could teach me. Well, if she could get off the couch too.
A long bath seems perfect, after this. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember the last time I took a really long bath. These days, it’s all about hopping in, washing and scrubbing and hopping out, rushing either to get out of the house (because I woke up late) or to get into bed (because I need my sleep).
And then back on the couch again (or the Mother’s bed) to watch one of her many DVDs. She recently begun watching Korean dramas, and while I can’t quite get into them yet, I understand why she likes them. There’s a good mix of humour, warmth and good old fashioned romance in their shows. Or I could convince her that The Walking Dead is fantastic telly. I wonder if she’ll believe me.
Finally, it’s off to bed again, after such an activity-filled day. I wonder what I’ll dream of then, with a day so packed. Seriously though, it’ll be a treat not dreaming about work, because they’ve begun invading my nights. Gah!
Only three more weeks to go.
I can’t wait.
“Books. Cats. Life is good.”
– Edward Gorey
January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
‘I’m a penguin,’ The Husband said.
‘I’m a polar bear,’ said Mother. ‘But I wasn’t quite satisfied with that answer, so I tried again, and ended up with Chimpanzee.’
‘And I’m an African Wild Dog,’ the Sister laughed.
We were having our first dinner together with the Mother, who just flew in from Japan this morning at 3am. It was absolutely divine, sitting and talking to her again after so long. And to have someone cook for me, watch over what I needed… I didn’t have to be strong anymore. For a precious evening, I was her child again.
But back to being an animal… I took the test at The Animal In You and got the unglamorous rooster as my animal equivalent.
‘In other words, you’re a cock.’ The Husband chuckled. Right. Whatever!
Key words: fashionable, original, perfectionist.
Roosters are those talented, creative, but somewhat eccentric people who make life interesting for the rest of us. Their bird-like minds are always on the lookout for stimulation and roosters display the characteristically high-energy behavior of their species. They are artistic, creative and sophisticated, with a thorough knowledge of fine wines, cooking, writing, theater and painting.
(Thing is, I don’t know anything about wines, painting or theatre…)
Roosters exhibit a decided theatrical streak as they strut their stuff in the latest fashions. Craving attention, their show-off attitude sometimes generates criticism from those close to them, and the need to be the center of attention permeates every aspect of their busy life. When it comes to clothes, furniture and cars they only purchase the highest quality items and their excessive spending can land them in financial disarray.
(Not true! I do not strut! And quite honestly, I shy away from being at the center of attention, although being on stage has been a very huge part of my life. Or it could be that I’ve just outgrown this part of my personality…)
Roosters are in big demand at parties. With a witty repartee and an ability to mix easily, they flirt shamelessly while reveling in the glow of the spot-light. Concerned about how they are perceived by others, they are only happy if people are talking to or about them.
(I actually avoid parties… because I want to avoid talk in general. Ha!)
The rooster’s active mind is always working on a way to create more drama in its life. Offsetting a feisty and competitive nature is a secretive and aloof side that manifests itself when it feels insecure. (Okay this is too dead-on accurate) And yet, a rooster is a solid friend. (Yay!) Their blunt approach, while sometimes hurtful and tactless, can always be counted on to be honest and frank.
Subscribing to the early bird maxim, roosters rise a little earlier than their competition and could even be accused of having their fingers in too many pies. (Something I am working on right now… streamlining life, that is) The world is so fascinating to the rooster that settling down into any one career would be impossibly constricting. Unfortunately, their earning potential can suffer in a competitive world that rewards specialization. But roosters will succeed when they choose a career that presents a variety of challenges, such as medicine, publishing, journalism or acting. (Okay, so at least I know I’m in the right job)
As a salesperson, a rooster is without equal and can sell anything from real estate to used cars. A hard worker with a keen eye for detail, its creativity and dedication make it a wonderful employee. (This is something nice to hear about me. Yes, yes, I know it’s an automated quiz…) As a manager or business owner, however, a rooster is finicky and picky and tends to alienate subordinates with unrelenting enthusiasm. It is also not a particularly strong team player, and the perceived self-absorbed and sanctimonious attitude breeds resentment. (Guess I should be thankful I am neither a manager or business owner. Boo)
So maybe the accuracy of this test isn’t quite 100% but what the heck. It was fun reading.
November 8, 2011 § 2 Comments
A person in great physical discomfort or pain usually has space in his mind for one thing – himself. Whether it’s looking for a method to relieve the pain, the reason it happened in the first place or future ways to avoid it, it’s centred around one individual – him.
Does that therefore mean that people who are generally self-centred suffer from a deeper hurt within?
October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
‘The challenge with being an initiator of projects is that you are never, ever done.’ (Seth Godin)
Amidst mountains of projects and to-do lists, battling the rising fear that I am doing something wrong because work never ends, it’s comforting to know that my place is one of privilege. If we are given the powers to initiate projects, we have unwittingly signed on to a life that constantly looks ahead.
I am not done because my dreams and goals aren’t. Not because my time management sucks, or that God didn’t give me the energy and 36 hours in a day I need to complete everything.
It’s because I still believe.
October 2, 2011 § 2 Comments
This is the most important decision in your career (or even your day).
It didn’t used to be. What next used to be a question answered by your boss or your clients.
With so many opportunities and so many constraints, successfully picking what to do next is your moment of highest leverage. It deserves more time and attention than most people give it.
If you’re not willing to face the abyss of choice, you will almost certainly not spend enough time dancing with opportunity.
– Seth Godin
Hot on the heels of my last post on lessons learned, I read this blinking light of a post by Seth Godin. And dear god, it’s like someone peered into my head and summed up all that I’m facing. What am I really going to do next? Dare I answer, I don’t know!
It’s a little tough when so many of life’s choices are not actually within my sphere to decide. But wait. Hold on. Am I giving myself excuses to shirk away from really deliberating over what I can do? Let’s start small:
I can decide what to do with my health. I am drinking close to 2 litres of water a day; a marked difference from my coffee and tea diet previously. And I have scheduled three runs for this week (dudes! you better not back out!). And I shall determine to sleep earlier. I need rest. So there. Health issues settled.
I can decide what to do with my current career. I am researching (okay, do conversations with people who’ve been there count?) and I am planning my schedule for the coming week, including a list of videos that I must watch because if I don’t feed, I can’t get inspired. I guess I could read a little more… (sniffle, bye bye magazines, hello thick boring books filled with technical jargon)
I can plan my finances a little better. I have avoided online shopping for a week. And haven’t actually bought anything off the racks for a while. I guess I could forgo my lattes, and cabs, and return my library books on time…
But ultimately, what do I want to do with this life I now have?
I want to get Seth Godin’s latest book We Are All Weird. Something about that title resonates with me…
October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Confucius once said, ‘By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.’ I’ve been an imitator (and still am to some degree), and experiences I have, by the barrels. Perhaps it’s time to take the noblest route. Here are my lessons learned in the past one week. Ouch.
1. I love bright red lipstick. It makes me look wide awake and happy. This is important because of point number 2.
2. It’s possible for the human body to experience an extreme range of emotions, within 6 hours. I can’t recall the last time I had to switch emotions and mindsets so quickly, depending on the room I needed to walk in to, and the people I had to face. It feels like I’ve been running to stand still.
3. A night’s sleep isn’t good enough to rest you when the day was emotional. I sleep as much as I can, and wake up feeling as tired as when I collapsed into bed.
4. Life can be complex. And you can still be happy. Seriously. You know the feeling of relief, pain and sheer tiredness you get when you leave the dentist after a root canal? It’s less a pop and more the deflated sizzle of victory. Yet you smile, albeit crookedly, while you bleed.
5. Dressing up is fun when it’s camouflage. We women dress for many reasons; to impress or attract, to make a statement or to hide how we feel. When I feel really down, my clothing gets more outrageous and colourful. And the past one week has seen me in a bright yellow and white dress, hot pink pants, rainbow-hued floral scarves…
6. Camouflage doesn’t work on me. Especially with the people I know. I walked into the boardroom a few days ago and the first thing my boss said was, ‘Hey! You must be feeling down! You’re dressed really brightly today.’ Yes. I am a book. Go read me.
7. Quiet talks are still my favourite mode of communication. I can be social when necessary but give me a choice and I prefer heart-to-heart talks. Like the conversation I had with a running partner, another I had in a car, and interestingly… the ‘talks’ I had with the boss.
8. I love change. I hate change. Wanting it is different from actually stepping in to it.
9. Playing inane games on the iPhone can be good. I’ve stopped lying to myself that I am merely ‘maintaining’ the fashion boutique for someone else who used my iPhone. I am doing it for myself. There’s something so ridiculous powerful about purchasing clothing, expanding my store and visiting my neighbours that I am now hooked. Simply because it’s the one thing I can control in my roller-coaster life.
10. I couldn’t have chosen a worse time to run a marathon. 42km awaits me in December and I can now run for only an hour. That’s 1/6 the duration of what I’ll have to face. The sobbing faces of people sitting by the road in immense pain because they decided to run a marathon without actually training effectively for it? That might just be me. Hand me the muscle rub.
And yet all these things I’ve learned cannot prepare me for the ultimate test – my future. But hey, at least I’m shouldering on, with a bright red smile and yellow dress on. Maybe I’ll wear orange on my long run tomorrow…
July 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Tonight I decided to do a search for covers on youtube and thought I’d collect some of my favourites here. I’ve always loved covers (see my previous post here and here) because of the different perspective they offer to something familiar. Forget the covers that sound exactly like the original (boring) or the ones that showcase a bunch of people who’ve just learnt to play their guitar (but good try guys!). I really like those who tear apart a song and are unafraid of highlighting the bits that mean something to them.
1. The Rescues doing Teenage Dream
Where do I start… beautiful vocal harmonies, a heartfelt performance, this is simply gorgeous.
2. Boyce Avenue doing Only Girl (In The World)
Turning a needy, whiny and demanding song into something akin to a love song of promise, this one surprised me.
3. Skylar Grey doing Love The Way You Lie
Okay, this one isn’t really a cover since she was the one who actually wrote the song, but I’m including this version anyway because I prefer her rendition. Which is a demo, no less.
Not much else I found for today but if you have any other recommendations, do let me know. I’d love to hear what else is out there… in the large, large world of cyberspace.