October 29th, 2008

Be Right Back

The gifts are sorted and the packing almost done. I’m going out of town for a wedding. Will be back next week!

Wedding confetti

I’ll leave you with some of the blog posts I’ve enjoyed recently:

Chris invites you to consider today, the first day of your life ;
Damien examines the beauty of this temporary life;
Karen inspires me to grow my own lettuce (it’s that simple?)
and I so want to try a cup of Vietnamese iced coffee NOW, Diane and Todd!

Ok, I’m out!

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October 23rd, 2008

Things to Do on a Fine Day

Do you keep a “One Fine Day” list? I do.

It all started when I realised that my husband and I tend to put doing some things off till “one fine day” — see the polar bears at the zoo? Not today, maybe one fine day; one fine day we’ll watch Citizen Kane; today I don’t feel like checking out that new place, maybe another day, when the weather is fine.

I’ve started keeping a list on my computer called “One Fine Day” where I jot down activities we promise to do well, one fine day.

Things to do on a fine day list in a folder

Of course life is best enjoyed without (much) planning but if we’re ever stumped with what to do on a fine, sunny Saturday, there’s always the list to refer to. So far, we’ve not yet find a need to do so but that’s also fine with me!

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October 21st, 2008

Not Something You’d Usually Say

“Hurry up! Your dinner’s getting warm!”

I yelled to my husband, after preparing a batch of zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) last night.

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October 15th, 2008

Change the Approach, Not Yourself

A guy on a TV show was talking about the myth of our personalities changing as we grow older (actually, the guy was motivational speaker Marcus Buckingham and the show, Oprah). He also suggested that we should try, in most situations, to magnify our positive traits instead of being obsessed with reducing the negative ones. It’s not all that groundbreaking but I thought I’d share how this approach has helped me in my work.

Magnify your positive traits

As a child, I had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a knack for problem-solving. At the same time, I was reserved and hated confrontations. I always thought I’d mature into a gregarious, eloquent woman. It didn’t quite turn out that way. Attempts to condition myself into becoming more of an extrovert was futile and eventually, I stopped trying.

I work as a designer, which is great because it involves doing a lot of research and finding the right solution to a client’s problem. This part of the job gives me great satisfaction and when I nailed the brief, I feel strong.

My job also requires me to interact with many different individuals and manage conflicts — two things I don’t enjoy but have accepted as part of the job.

It was a shift in mindset I had about 2 years ago that made this part of the job bearable. I started looking at meetings as opportunities to learn and solve problems. The more I open myself to learning at these discussions, the easier it is to find a solution, the less time I need to spend in meetings. A win-win situation for all.

The next time you are faced with a difficult situation that seems to suck all your energy out, stop and think if there’s another way to approach the problem, one that puts your strengths to good use. It’s much easier working with your strength than trying to work against your weakness.

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October 9th, 2008

Different But Still the Same

I met the other half of my sludge worm fellowship a few days ago. So glad to finally see her again! All the anxiety I had about meeting her quickly melted away as we chatted about the old days and how much (or how little) we’ve changed.

Sludge worms forever

On the surface we looked different – we’re no longer giggly schoolgirls in uniforms, we’ve grown a couple of inches taller and our fashion styles have evolved – but essentially we’re still the same persons. She described our reacquaintance succinctly when she said,

“Everything’s different yet nothing’s changed.” :)

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October 5th, 2008

An Apple A Day, Eh?

Thank you for all the get well wishes. I didn’t recover as soon as I’d expected. It took two trips to the doc and two rounds of antibiotics before I got better. And no, I didn’t cave in to my cravings, I’ve actually been eating apples daily for the past three weeks. Something else has cropped up so I’m going off to the doctor’s again later. Hmm…

An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

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