Monday, 16 July 2012
Greetings from Luang Prabang in Laos. I am on the final leg of my relaxation trip and it has been lovely.
I have caught up on my sleep and the dark eye circles are disappearing. My hotel is the former residence of the Laos Royal family. Although it is not palatial by any means it does have an air of opulence and has the best service I have encountered.
I was met upon arrival by Serge, the bright green eyed Swiss hotel manager. Small in stature (definitely no taller than 5' 4"), we conversed for a while and he welcomed me as he would a guest in his home. He had also left a hand-written welcome card on my bed. Now that's what I call a touch of personal service!
Luang Prabang is a Unesco World Heritage city. It is filled with greenery, tranquility and smiling faces. The authenticity of most people is refreshing. Overall it has been just what I needed to get back on track.
Today my thoughts have reverted back to a topic that repeatedly comes to mind recently. I am really feeling the need to live life with more meaning. My life has become routine, boring, and mundane. Work, home, work home, home work, home - so dull!
This trip has re-enforced for me that the road I am traveling (in my working life) is really a means to an end as opposed to having any meaning for me.
One of the biggest parts of the life we live is the job we do every day. As my return to work draws near, I wish I felt more enthusiastic. Yes many have succumbed to the sentiment of being unenthused about their jobs, but do we really have to feel this way?
If truth be told I am so scared to lose the financial standing that I have become accustomed to. Consequently I have chosen to stay stuck in this routine (in various guises) for over a decade. As I grow older though, I have come to the stage that I am asking myself is it really worth it if it often makes me so unfulfilled.
The thing is, too often we realise that life has passed us by and we have not done half of what we dreamed of doing. Not because we couldn't, but because we just didn't. I know one thing for sure. I certainly will not be on my death bed thinking, thank God I worked inthe corporate world for decades and felt unfulfilled. I will however regret not taking measures to live a fulfilling life, do a fulfilling job and be the best I can be.
For me, going to work daily, and providing solutions for shareholders sometimes leaves me with a gaping hole, even though I am grateful that it has furnished me with material blessings. I also come away at times with a sentiment of 'whatever'. I went to work today 'whatever'. I managed to engage a few people to have a discussion, to conclude an issue 'whatever'. Yes, my daily efforts mean that systems and processes are improved for teams of people, really? 'Whatever'. For some of my colleagues it is so fulfilling, for me, sometimes it is just - 'whatever'!
Don't we need our sentiments towards what we do to pay the bills to be more meaningful to us? Why not embark on a plan to 'make a living meaningfully'. Yes meaningful is relative and what has a depth of meaning for me maybe irrelevant to you but that's the great thing about us as individuals. Seek what is meaningful to you and go live it, work it, be it, do it all with meaning!
It is within our power, and our duty to ourselves to not just work for a living but to live a life that counts for something. With only one life to live, why not live it, really live it. Alternatively we can continue to live a 'whatever?' life...I know what I am going for, what about you?
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Hi Blog Busters!
How on earth are you? It has been far too long.
My time over the missed months has been fun-filled, stress-filled and just 'FILLED'. I have not made blogging a priority this year and quite frankly I miss it. I am on the back end of launching my new business and it has involved, travelling, negotiating, photo shoots, and all kinds of things I had no clue needed to be done. This is only the beginning!
I have come to embrace the fact that I am not the best multi-tasker no matter how much I try to force myself to be. As a result, blogging has taken an undeserved back seat.
I am currently taking a respite in a little country called Laos which is snuggled in between Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. My first leg of this trip is in Vientiane, the capital city. As I find myself in solitude, far away from everyone and everything I know and love (by choice) I am actually struggling to rest. Unbelievable as it seems, I wake up with a headache each day as my body is adjusting to doing nothing! This place has nothing to do...
I slept most of yesterday, then went for a stroll. After the 5th temple, I was all templed out. I then proceeded to have an amazing massage, returned to the hotel and you guessed it - slept!
Today again nothing much doing... and with the cable TV not working in my hotel room, I am struggling. Incredible! I looked to the left, then right and then the ceiling of my hotel room. With a sorrowful sigh, I started thinking to myself how bored am I (hey that rhymes)? I was about to take a mid-day siesta before a lazy lunch, and thought - jeez I can use this time to catch up with my Blog Busters! So here I am.
I have had so much to write over the past months but today I was at a loss as to what to write. Then I went back to basics and asked myself what I am feeling (this blog started with me needing an outlet to express my feelings). What immediately came to mind is 'Girl you are complaining that you have nothing to do, while you sit in a 4 Star hotel in a country that is tranquil and serene? - If you got an issue, use a tissue'.
The meaning I have given to this quote is two-fold:
1)As I sit here complaining about having nothing to do, I realise that in fact I am doing exactly what I set out to do. Rest and do nothing!
Thus, the number 1 fold of this message is to see things for what they are and enjoy them. Human nature often dictates and we tend to complain with far more ease than otherwise. If as much time was taken to realise we have what we asked for, it would serve us well. So I am getting my grateful groove on and enjoying the moment! Doing nothing is cool.
2)Number 2 fold is a gentle reminder that when trying times approach, own it! Take a moment, embrace it - then get a tissue, wipe up the mess, the tears and the frustrations and look for the opportunity that has arisen out of that issue...
Do I have any issues? For sure, but upon reflection they seem pretty trivial. Nonetheless like you, it doesn't stop me from busting everyone's ear drums about them.
Currently, I cannot bear my working relationship with my boss and I am working far harder than I have in my entire life. So I thank God I have a job, many don't have a job, and the boss, he employed me, so I thank God for him too (I say with gritted teeth).
I'm also super exhausted (black circles under the eyes are not a good look), hold on a minute that is why I am on holiday, so stop complaining about having nothing to do already and sleep I hear you say!
I am simplifying it, as it is just that - simple. I was so down about my boss on my case all the time. You see spending most of your life in conflict with the person that you work with 5 days a week is trying. I hated going to work and my obsession with thinking about how awful it was became depressing. The lack of physical energy didn't help either.
You know what I did? I owned it. I actually told him he was driving me nuts. Nonetheless I told him I will take responsibility for my part in the mess. I asked him to work with me to make it better. Funnily enough he confessed he had been stressed with handling our negative rapport too and thanked me. He still gets on my last nerve to be frank, but until I can hang up my project manager shoes and walk away in my hot heels (my new company sells shoes - watch this space), I am owning it!
As such, each time that my work life tests me, I look at what I have going for me. Example:
- Right about now I have a perfect life.
- I am debt free yeah!! Remember I said I would be this year, well I am ( ok I still have mortgages, but....).
- I have great health, a few stiff muscles but nothing a good exercise regime would not fix.
- I have a wonderful family and fabulous friends. I have the cutest smartest Son, best Mum, greatest Brother and a lovely Honey (and his son is super cool too).
- I have a well paid job, a business on the horizon and a world of greatness to look forward to.
- I am right now taking a moment to myself, resting and recharging my batteries in a country that most people have never heard of, let alone have been to.
- I look in the mirror and love what I see looking back at me - do I sound like I am gloating? I am not. I am just grateful. So, so grateful.
Don't get me wrong, we all have challenges. I never aim to trivialise your 'issues'. However a resolution does not always have to involve rocket science, and can be as easy as managing to see that every issue, no matter how bad, really is an opportunity/blessing in disguise. My issues with work propelled me into working double hard in expediting my business launch and I am really enjoying the experience.
Thus my friends, make a mental note to self: Life really is what you make it. If you won't take responsibility for your life then really, it's your issue - use a tissue.