Boom. Just like that and it's mid-March. I certainly don't know where the time is going. All I know is that I am back at chasing it. Life in 2018 so far has been a roller coaster for me, but I am very much enjoying every bit of the ride. There are days of course when it all becomes overwhelmingly nauseating. But when this happens, all I do is close my eyes and think of all the blessings that have come and are still coming my way, then I am renewed almost instantly.
To say the least, the first three months of 2018 has been a learning curve. And whilst I enjoy writing about food and places, all that this year has allowed me so far is to reflect on the lessons that I have learned, hence this second entry for my lessons learned series.
- I am not going to deny that I am under quite a bit of stress at the moment. However, the stress I am going through right now isn't the stress that can cause skin breakout or the stress that will make you like a zombie. Instead, it is that kind of stress that excites you and pushes you harder to achieve a certain goal. It is the stress that makes you feel good about yourself and see things in a more positive light. It is the stress that keeps you motivated despite all the negativity that surrounds you. It's the kind of stress that makes you love life even more despite the challenges. It is that- good stress. I never knew it existed until I experienced it, and it feels so good.
2. Be kind and the world will be kind to you
- If you are an innately kind person, the universe will find its way to repay your kindness. It may not be the biggest things that you are hoping for, but you should remember that oftentimes, it's those little things that really matter. Be it a weekly free coffee from your favourite coffee shop, a free chocolate bar from somebody you've just recently met or an extra stamp on your loyalty card- be grateful just the same. Or it could be that priceless moment when a five year old said that you are the kindest in the family.
3. Don't give up on something without even trying
- One day at work, we were talking about marmite. Someone asked me if I like it and I confidently said no as if I've tried it before. When I admitted that I actually haven't tried it, I realised one thing: that I have given up on something without even trying. That moment, I was reminded of those times when I was easily convinced I couldn't do something, when in fact I never actually tried anything. Luckily now,I have an angel up in heaven who always reminds me that I can do anything. He gives me the courage to keep on believing and trying on something even if I am often feel like a failure. He made me believe that everything and everyone deserve a chance in this world.
4. Always be mindful of your words and your actions
- I can no longer count how many times I have actually said this to other people in the last month. Personally, I have been a victim of misinterpretation and I have fallen out with really good friends because of this. I have learned my lessons since then and now, I am trying really hard to be mindful of how I say things and react to a situation or a person. What I learned recently is that some people interact with you to find something that they can criticise about you. Hence, every single word you say, every eyebrow you raise and every body action you make is going to be scrutinised. Believe it or not, if any of those is not of their "standard" (whatever that is), you will be portrayed as rude, abrupt, inappropriate, etc. But saying all that, also remember that you are not here to please anyone.
5. Owning up to your mistake is easier than explaining yourself
- Recently, I made a mistake of not arranging something important and as a result of this, someone was very disappointed. Whilst I used to be very defensive and would waste time explaining to people why I made a mistake no matter how small, on this occasion, I just said sorry and admitted it was my fault. Being an occasional perfectionist doesn't always allow me to own up to my mistakes easily, you see. Of course I would apologise but I would then give as much justification as I can just so I don't look like a complete idiot. It's only when I have accepted the fact that I am now a manager that I decided to learn how to take full ownership of my mistakes. I learned that by doing so, I can make better decisions for myself and the people around me.
6. It only takes one person to ruin the whole experience
- Just as when you think that you are in an almost perfect place, someone comes along and makes everything more interesting for all the wrong reasons. Life is funny like that.
- Last month, a close family friend passed away. I wasn't aware that he was suffering from a medical condition, but he frequently sent me chain letters. Now I must tell you that although I broke the chain all the time (because I never passed it on),I always acknowledged his letters and said thank you. Somehow when I heard the bad news, this was the first thing that came to my mind. It suddenly dawned on me that perhaps, he was sending those chain letters hoping for a miracle. Then I realised that although those letters get so annoying sometimes, we should at least try and not ignore them because that could probably be some people's only hope.
8. It can always be worse
- I am normally a very positive person, but there were at least a couple of times last month when I was very tired and complained about silly things like not having time to do household chores and not having things that I don't really need. J was quick to remind me that my situation wasn't really bad. He asked me questions like, "what about the mothers who work full time and don't have maids?" and "what about the people who die in war everyday?". And he was right. My situation could definitely be worse. Therefore, I shouldn't really complain especially when I am fully aware that there are other people out there who are genuinely suffering.
There you have it. Despite how ridiculously busy I am these days, I am enjoying this chapter in my life because I am learning and growing a lot personally and professionally.