Whether we like it or not, our lives change every single moment. It just moves on and on that sometimes we do not realize where we stand. There are times when I wish there’s a board I could check on our current position in life, like the guide boards we see in shopping malls. It exactly points your location: YOU ARE HERE.
So what do we do when things are not exactly going as we planned?
What if that world tour never happened before you hit 40?
What happens when I am sitting on the same chair, same desk and computer, with the same position I came in to the office 4 years ago?
What if I wanted Italian (food) for dinner, but had to settle for a boring sandwich?
Ok, so all of the above was a lazy Sunday afternoon thoughts. Honestly I don’t have the answers for them. But I do know what I have learned so far in my life, especially in the past couple of years. Some major changes: house moving, marriage, baby, more of house moving, shifting of workplace, change of job scope, travel. These are just some of the things which have affected me in every aspect in the recent time. Some experiences are good, few spectacular, several not-so-good ones and mostly enlightening. Learning is the best part of any experience, I would say.
So from all of my normal, human experiences, I have derived 5 things, or even lessons, that I now practice every waking day:
1) Take things slow
I know I’m not alone in this; we live in a fast world, everything moves so fast that sometimes, a one-day miss is a week of catch up. Sounds familiar?
But then, so what if you can’t complete the entire task in a day? Will the sun refuse to set in the west?
Slow down and catch up.
You can come back after a long day and just lie on the couch. Yes.
You don’t have to tidy up every single dust on the floor, or wash all three bathrooms in your house, or cook and do the dishes within an hour. No.
I learned to press less on the accelerator and use more of the couch in my house. I picked up the art of segregating chores throughout the week so that my Monday night ends at 11 pm, no more chores, no more thinking of the broom (unless it’s for flying), any other work on the list can wait till tomorrow.
2) Dump the checklist
I am checklist girl. I need to write down every single thing that needs to be done. They give me a sense of direction and remind me constantly of the things that are still waiting to be completed. But then I realized the list never really ends. When I reach the bottom of the paper, I take another. And start filling them up with another list. But somehow, the list never ends, though my work keeps on piling. So I tried a day without a list. I completely ignored the checklist and went around my usual routine. I survived the day, and all the days that followed. I realized that I do not need a checklist that constantly makes me to run all day long. No. I can do all the work in the world and call it a day when the sun sets. The rest can wait tomorrow.
3) Listen, and then forget
There will be many instances where people all around will be talking about you. And sometimes, they may not be nice. If you are very lucky, you will not have any idea about those matters. If you are somewhat lucky, you may hear them every now and then, but no big deal.
But often, these mean people will deliberately talk to belittle you. To screw up your day; to just push you a little bit further to the edge to see whether you can hang on, or tumble down.
My solution? Listen to every word, and then forget them. Pour out to someone if you really have to, but try to forget them instantly. Ignore the small talks by people with even smaller minds. Ignore, that is the best revenge you can take.
4) Take advantage
No matter what your profession and current status is, we really need the break we all deserve. It is the simple truth. Whether you are juggling between jobs or looking after a family, we still need the time off. So if you can hold the work until later, or if your babysitter doesn’t mind looking after your child for an extra couple of hours, grab the chance and take the advantage. Indulge in the time you have. Every minute you can spend to relax your body and mind is a bonus. By all means, I’m not asking you to be cruel or selfish, but if help is around the corner, seize the opportunity. You deserve it.
5) Do not be intimidated by the unknown.
This is now officially my mantra for the past one week, exactly. I have always been, and still am, every now and then, a person who is afraid to try new things, to experiment anything that is current. Even if that something might actually make my life a whole lot easier. I have avoided from using a magic cooker, Post-It notes, the internet (this is painfully shameful), and recently, floor cleaning wet wipes. Why the restrain? Because I’m unsure of the result, and most importantly, I do not know the start point. But it hurts; seriously, when I see people gaining so much benefit from the things which I’m so scared off. So i force myself to learn. I set up an email address. I tried cooking with the pot. I endured many epic failures. Food gone wrong, forgotten passwords, blocked IDs, many more embarrassing moments followed. But I learned, and I am proud of every single one of them.
And I got the floor cleaning wipes last weekend. 🙂