Monday, 9 October 2017

The day after a quick interstate work trip with The Husband and The Kid, I was sitting in the warm sunlight in the garden, next to my son and his makeshift cardboard post office.

You see, I had forced myself to be there.

The first few minutes were, well, excruciating. I felt anxious. I had emails to reply, paperwork to file, people to ring, bookkeeping to catch up. I had a to-do list getting out of control and I loathed not spending time with my son to do the said tasks.

And then it dawned on me that I was physically there next to my son.

But my head was elsewhere.

And I knew then that I had to get out of my head.

So I picked up a blade of grass, my fingers moist with dew. I rubbed a dried up leaf; beige edges and crisp burnt umber crumbled in my hand. I ran my hands on my son's soft brown hair, it cascades down his shoulders without a single knot.

Just five mindful minutes. Just five. I kept telling myself.

The five minutes passed. Then another five. Then I slowly relished in my senses unfolding. How the sun felt warm on my skin. How my husband's slippers kept sliding off my feet. How my son, chatting away with voice clear as a bell, was visibly happy that I was there.

And then I made a promise to myself.

I will feel no guilt for being a working mum, for when I am with my son, I am fully, completely, and truly present.

At the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

Rest, of sorts.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

In July, I flew interstate and overseas for a few business trips. On the minus side, when I don’t actively work at the business, the business bank accounts look a bit sad. With most small businesses, the overheads are the same whether you work or not. These trips were not sales related, they were mainly for the purpose of professional development. 

On the plus side, the trips were the break from work I desperately needed. I have written previously about the amount of stress I was under earlier in the year. Taking time off allowed me a chance to step back and reflect, and the knowledge I learned on these trips imparted a renewed sense of enthusiasm and confidence in my work. The breaks were tremendously restorative.

I went to a South East Asian country, where the air this time of the year was pleasantly humid, and people were polite and welcoming. I loved sitting in my 12th floor hotel room at night, facing the large window. This expanse of glass covered the whole facade of the room, floor to ceiling, providing a thin divide between the hotel room and the vibrant city underneath. Sitting there with my hands on the glass watching  the glowing city lights and the constant traffic trail, I felt as though I could palpate the pulsating energy of the night.

The joy of lounging

Monday, 26 June 2017

Lately, I've been preoccupied.

Ok I massively understated that.  I've been under an enormous amount of work related stress, mostly to do with staff. The end of the financial year also brings with it the must-dos, deadlines, monetary and bookkeeping woes.

When my mind is quiescent, when the worries stop and the letting go happens, I breathe deep.  I release the tense shoulders and neck muscles. I read novels while letting the bookkeeping pile (one may call this putting head under sand but it's truly useful at times). I lounge around in my dressing gown drinking matcha tea and enjoy my son deeply; my hands trace the contours of his round rosy cheeks while my arms gently wrap him in a light squeeze. Gratitude trickles into my heart and life suddenly becomes very bearable.

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My 10 years on facebook.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

I have been on Facebook for about ten years now.

Initially, Facebook was new, shiny and super exciting. I was at university and had tones of time to waste it was fun to connect with friends with other means besides MSN and yahoo chat.  I loved the Eyesores- ugly cute creatures you can paste on your friends's wall.

People's Facebook pages grew with them. At university, Facebook was about parties and drunken 21st birthdays. Then came graduation. First job. Better job. Holidays. Better holidays. Weddings. And more expensive weddings. First kids, and a deluge of pictures of first kids. Stupid videos, useless links, and online storm-in-a-teacups.

Somewhere in the landslide of information overshared is the relevant information that I need to know. It's nice to know the girl who sat next to me in the lab has just welcomed twins. It's nice to know my childhood best friend is travelling in India and Nepal working for a wonderful NGO. Anything else, such as ostentatious displays of weath, annoys me greatly. It feels as though people are living out the fantasy lives on Facebook.

That's why I now rarely read my Facebook feed.

The handful of times I am on Facebook to access information in the closed professional groups I am in, it's more like accessing a drive-through, I am on, I access the information I need, then I am off. I don't linger on Facebook.  I no longer feel like Facebook is wasting my precious mental space with mostly junk information.

I now connect to people in real life, individually. I sms. I ring people. I share photos of my son with people I care about via sms. It feels more satisfying to connect with people this way.

And for now, I'd say I am extremely happy with my limited use of social media.

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