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a lil update + a break

A lot has happened in the past month — a restructuring happened and 20% of our office here in Singapore has been laid off (I’m not directly affected; one of the ‘lucky’ ones I suppose), and plenty of figuring out and trying to pick up the pieces have been taking place.

I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions as you can imagine, but I’ve been thinking and saying that I’m okay, because that’s the way for me to be okay (we might have to unpack this one, fellas). Still, there are a lot of unanswered questions and the future seems as murky as ever, especially in this job climate.

The GMAT preparation is still going on. I contemplated sticking the word ‘strong’ at the end of that sentence, but honestly, I’m not sure of the veracity of that claim. As expected, my quant knowledge leaves very much to be desired, but I’m hopeful and optimistic so far.

The curveball of the new exam format is making me rethink timelines a little, but I also know that as an older candidate, time is ticking for me to do a full-time MBA. This is as opposed to being asked to apply for an executive MBA, and boy, if I thought I didn’t have money to do a full-time degree, an EMBA is about twice the cost.

But first, I’m taking a few days off and going on a cruise. I haven’t been on one for a few years now. Here’s also being hopeful that it’ll be a recharging break.

P.S. I deleted Teams and Outlook from my phone this past Friday. We’ll see how that holds up.

Permission for anger

  • Work

A respected mentor of mine linked me to this piece when I had expressed, possibly for the first time, how absolutely angry I was/am. I would quote more paragraphs, but I might end up just copying the whole piece, so here goes.

Dalglish Chew:

The selfless impulse to take responsibility and to repair is a marvel to behold. Under the right circumstances, it is a precious gift that has the power to change lives and heal a broken world into wholeness. But without anger to remind us where we end and others begin, we have no way of knowing whether we’re using our gifts out of choice or compulsion.

Becoming less of a work-bot

  • Work

If you looked up the definition of sheepish, you’ll probably find my face right there. Mostly due to the fact that I have been neglecting this journaling habit, which was something I held quite proudly of for last year.

2021: never missing a week!

2022: does ‘a week’ mean anything, actually? what is this archaic concept of time we hold ourselves to? why have we shackled ourselves—

Etc, etc.

This entire second half of the year has been a test that I have been consistently failing, I think. I find myself buried with work, and burying myself with more of it. My free thoughts are fleeting, consumed by the things for work I’m wasting time not doing right now and the things I should be doing, but I don’t have the mind space to sit down for them right now. It’s pretty dire, and in no way strategic.

Or any good for my mental health, that I know for sure.

I talk about putting guard rails a lot, but I also kick them down on my own volition. There are things I know I need to be better at:

Better at saying no.

Better at managing my expectations.

Better at putting myself first.

Which, yikes, sounds kind of like a humble brag, no?

When life gives you different-timezone-flavored lemons…

Look at me, a whole month ago, breaking down and analyzing my “new” routine at work, without realizing that all of that was going to get slightly upended when I got staffed on a project based out of the UK.

Needless to say, I did not do very well with the whole work-life balance or integration part of things. Working with the team that is 7 hours behind me meant that theoretically, I should be starting my day way later, but I was consistently pulling 14+ hours during the past month, and readers… It was no fun.

Sometimes I feel like a fraud when I find myself reminding other people on my team to take breaks, push back, and say no to things. I know I haven’t yet mastered (or even grasped, honestly) that yet for myself, and it’s definitely something I have to work on.

Anyway, now that the hell month is over, I should re-prioritize my life again. I know that writing this weekly makes me happy, but I’m also (constantly) fretting about what the Purpose™  and value of this all is.

I want to talk about productivity and habits and personal finance and minimalism and, and, and, but it is a field that is super saturated — though I do have my own personal spin on things, but fundamentals remain that. I want to be better at focusing on the craft of writing, and on long-form essays, and that is a muscle that I’m not always using. I want to start thinking about writing original fiction again, and doing that. I want to dabble in creating for other mediums (podcast? video? social media?), and becoming more of an expert in those things.

Lots of wants in my life, and not so much time or energy to be doing those!

(P.S. On Sunday I fell flat on my face, nearly, and hurt my elbow trying to do an ab wheel exercise that my physio is making me do, so that’s a nice little bow to the end of the work week.)