Saturday, June 26, 2021

Sliding Here and There

I’m back with my sporadic posts again, lol.

Now I understand why those around me have continually stressed on the importance of time management, especially when I am multitasking with multiple tasks at one go. The minute something goes awry, everything else is affected - like a deck of cards crashing. On top of that, they have even advised me to take breaks whenever necessary since we’re in the period of working from home. Not that I have any comment since it’s something that my colleague and I have already chatted about months ago. 

Photo by Lucija Ros on Unsplash

Speaking of working from home, I hope that everyone is taking care of themselves and those around them while staying safe amidst the pandemic. Now that we’re still in FMCO, a lot of sacrifices have been made, especially the part where those in the non-essential sectors have the default arrangement of working from home. Okay, you may be thinking that it’s for the best, but trust me, there’s something different about the office environment - especially the part when the colleagues head out together to catch lunch, even though it’s through takeouts.

Not to mention, it’s just as difficult on the psyche to remain indoors at all times while being unable to head outdoors whenever the desire strikes. I mean, humans are social creatures. With that being said, I can’t complain much because it’s even arduous for those who are renting rooms because they don’t have the extra floor space to loll around or in need of a change in work environment, i.e. from working in the bedroom to the dining area.

My own mental health has also taken a beating, unfortunately. I know that I might look okay on the surface, but that’s because I have spent a great deal of effort suppressing it while at work. It’s better to feign a sense of normalcy rather than allowing the emotions to be splashed all over my face because it prevents questions from being asked.


No, nothing much has happened. It’s just the same old me balancing work, life, and freelance while staying sane... Or, is it? I’m actually unsure now, especially when it’s as easy as pie for me to become stressed and lose my sanity when there’s too much at one go. Come to think of it, have I bitten off more than I can chew with my dabbles this time? I mean, I do feel that I am being torn into pieces at times... Welp. Is it a sign that I should turn my feelings into pieces of poems? 

Just lolling around the house for a particular day last week was enough to make me feel that I have wasted time - when it was meant to provide myself with a break. When I am on the verge of procrastination, I tend to hide under the covers and glue myself to the bed or be a couch potato. What happened instead was me thinking that I could have done this or completed that instead of just taking a chill pill. Yeah... to the point where I even sprained my lumbar spine and sacrum while tidying up my room, making me walk like someone who needs a cane as a mobility aid. Crap. *smacks head*

I guess it was a blessing in disguise that this happened during the period of working from home; otherwise, it would be interesting to note how I’m heading to the office without resisting the desire to pop painkillers - because the chiropractors still have not received the approval to operate at the time of this posting.

I’m also having the idea of placing my completed knitted projects up for sale, but I’m worried that it won’t reach the mass market or sell because everyone (me included) wants beautiful and perfect products. Since I’m not an experienced knitter like my knitting grandma (it’s a name me and my sister have coined for our lecturer), I don’t know if I should test the waters or completely give up on the idea.

That’s if I can somehow squeeze the time for knitting into a chaotic schedule, though.

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Little Rantings

Much apologies for abandoning the blog on the back-burner. Too much has occurred in my life that has left me with little time to pursue my interests, let alone update the blog. (As usual, I can hear some of you muttering, lol.)
 
After a challenging period of balancing my side hustle and work, I’m relieved that I finally have some time to sit in front of the computer screen and pen this post, albeit at 12.57 am and the risk of turning up at work with panda eyes and being cranky. I seriously wonder how folks are able to balance a full-time career while moonlighting as a freelancer, especially when it’s arduous to maintain a fixed schedule when one’s drained and in need of sleep.

However, at least I’m forcing myself to carve some time to engage in a bit of bedtime reading - which I’ll do once I’m done with this - to provide my exhausted brain with some relief.
 
Taken before MCO

On the bright side, a new cafe has recently opened up near my workplace, which means that I’ll be able to sneak to the new haunt for a timeout (read: coffee) or to grab something sweet to calm my anxious and overheated soul (yes, when I’m stressed, my temperature spikes - don’t ask me why because I don’t have the answer). There won’t be any pictures posted here because I don’t want to risk revealing my location on such a public sphere when I can’t predict the consequences of doing so.

A little surprise from a friend - taken before MCO

Safety is still important, my friends.

Or, the fact that I’ve stumbled upon a few eateries that are worth subsequent visits - either alone or as a group - due to the tasty dishes, proximity, or memories associated with them. A typical example would be fried rice and my college graduation (I’m not sure why my brain has meshed these) or burgers and college hangouts.

Now that MCO 3.0 has made its presence known, it’s thrown my schedule topsy-turvy as I don’t mind having a lunch break in a different environment since it allows me to mingle with my colleagues and share a few inside jokes with them, giving us a little rest even for that hour. I don’t know about you guys, but a change of environment does the tired brain and emotions wonders.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Flashbacks

It's just a little something spilling from the cracks of my fingers. 


Floating in the air,
Where the soul is free from worries,
Happiness is etched on her face.
Her smile stretched from ear to ear,
With her eyes crinkling in laughter.

She looks around her;
Enveloped in the arms of her nearest and dearest,
She feels nothing but love and warmth.
Their presence,
It gives her strength to face the world.

Love is thick in the air,
Swaddling them in their own cocoon,
Where there is no one but them.
She and her loved ones,
Glued by the history they now share.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Floating Here and There

Who would have thought that it’s already 2021 in the blink of an eye?

Or was it because I have been busy with life?

I’m fully aware that I haven’t been active on the blogosphere for some time now and since the reasons for which have been explained in the previous post, I won’t go into much detail about it. But one thing’s for sure; it’s rather difficult to balance everything - life, work, freelance, and the minute ingredients - on one plate without having some me-time. I really admire those who are able to do that without sacrificing anything.

Let’s start with the Christmas dinner.
 
Christmas decoration in a restaurant

I had left the office earlier to ensure that everything went according to plan at the specified location - at the behest of the higher-ups. It was the first time that the dinner had been organized and executed, so we were all in it like clueless folks with nothing to fall back on. What struck me as surprising was how the colleagues immediately sat with each other at the assigned tables. You know, like how cliques are formed where its members are tight-knit? Yup, that kind of thing. The departments were huddled together in the narrow space.

Seating arrangements never bothered me much unless it’s an assigned one. I’ve always preferred the ability to choose my own seat because it helps with an unplanned escape - to the toilet or out of the place to answer a call.

Cappuccino

Certain facts were also indirectly revealed where I was almost frightened by what was said - even if it was done with humor. Most of my close friends are aware that my sense of humor is close to non-existent, so what’s said as a joke could be easily interpreted as something intended.

Even though it was a celebration that ended late, most of us barely made it to the workplace in one piece the next day. I, on the other hand, woke up with a severe headache (close to the ones I had in college) and would have crashed in the office since it was a suspected hangover. Trying to work while tackling a hangover - even the slightest bit of it - was rather challenging, especially when I could barely focus on the computer due to a blurred vision. I almost dropped to the floor when I stood up because my balance was off and had to hold my lowered head while walking at a tortoise’s pace to prevent my body from any unexpected movements. Luckily for me, there wasn’t much paperwork that needed completion or attention - because I had a Christmas Eve lunch to attend to with a friend.
Outdoor decorative pieces 

My food companion was prepared for a change of plans at the eleventh hour due to me feeling woozy and unsure if I’d be okay on my own outdoors. After all, I had already informed him that I needed to attend the Christmas dinner and the chances of alcohol making its presence were also there.Surprisingly, the copious amount of coffee (two mugs of black coffee is already pushing the limit for me) really worked its magic; it helped to make me feel better - almost to the point where I was confident that I wouldn’t collapse. Seeing that the cafe that we wanted to patronize was closed for their temporary renovation, we had to change our original plans and settle for a quick alternative before swinging by the ice-cream cafe for some dessert. Coffee and tea were ordered together with our individual flavors before a short conversation took place.

In hindsight, we were lucky to have caught up during the Christmas festivities because the recent introduction of MCO 2.0 has boxed us in our current locations with no confirmed dates on when we’ll be able to travel interstate or across the districts. At the time of this posting, it took us close to 3 months of waiting before we were able to have another round of hangouts - with pictures.

And close to 3 months to sit down in front of the computer to pen this post.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

02/20/21

With a change of time and environment comes the introduction of a differing scope and atmosphere, yet I’m still cautious about everyone and everything around me. While I may seem loquacious and approachable, I’ve been careful to maintain a neutral approach about matters that I don’t wish to speak about. You do you, I do I, and we’re all good. Most of my friends have noticed the change in my demeanor, but they’ve chalked it up to me drained by job stress and for good reasons.

I’ve learnt that not everyone wants to see you succeed; some may appear as such on the outset, but secretly want you to fail. Some would rather chew on popcorn and watch you struggle and muddle your way through the mud - even though they have the tools to aid your journey.

There will come a time when the jigsaw puzzles will all fall into place, finally revealing the lessons behind this … sticky puddle of mess. There have been ups and downs and unexpected twists in the weeks that I have been away from the blog. It was never my intention to be absent from the blog without notice, but when life’s priorities take precedence, you’re somehow on the go for most of the days - and if there’s not enough time, sleep takes a beating instead. I honestly have no idea how the average office worker is able to cope with the additional hours spent on the daily commute from home to their workplace whereas I have issues staying awake without caffeine - and loads of it. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been busy on the downtime - between work and other matters - to the point where I don’t have excess energy to draft and pen blog posts frequently. Even those rare moments that I have are spent on YouTube and sleep.

I’ve noticed something else about me. It’s the desire to avoid bright lights or places where there are large crowds and the deep tendency to use the lunch hour to go off on a solo exploration. I mean, being alone sometimes has its benefits because it means that I’m able to kill two birds with one stone if I have errands to squeeze in or I’m able to seek solace in the nearby hangouts. It’s due to pure luck that I’m working in an area which I’m relatively familiar with, so it’s easy to search for cafes. For someone who’s survived for many years without being exposed to headaches, being thrown in the deep end of migraine attacks isn’t something that I can handle too. I’ve not consulted the doctor on this because I don’t want to be prescribed with painkillers or medications, but based on what I’ve read and experienced, it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m now suffering from migraines. I’ve had episodes where I’m sensitive to bright lights with such a pounding head that it was enough to keep me in bed for most of the day as well as throwing my food up.

Again, as long as I don’t continuously pull all-nighters, I should be able to keep the migraine attacks at bay or reduce it to a minimum.

Up until then, I’ll just have to drag my way through the mud and hope that I don’t crumble under the weight of it all. After all, pretense is something that all of us are susceptible to succumbing to, though not many are successful in doing so because it takes effort and practice combined with the ability to convince others. And this is where things become murky; with enough effort, you can easily mislead someone into believing that you’re really doing fine … when you’re not.

Monday, November 23, 2020

11/22/2020

It’s been such a long time since I sat behind the computer screen to blog about my musings . . . that I’m kind of lost on what to write, lol. Anyway, a couple of things have unexpectedly cropped up and summoned most of my energy. It also didn’t help that I grew selfish with whatever free time I had and just wanted to catch up on . . . me. Maybe it’s a subtle hint from my subconscious that I need to learn how to take a chill pill?

I have to, considering that my life’s about to take a 180 turn with intense chaos.

Things have been on such a roller coaster ride for the last year or so - especially with how the pandemic has thrown everyone’s plans around with its severity. I’m sure we’ve all been affected by it in various ways, be it travel plans being shelved or being unexpectedly laid off from a job position among other effects.

I’m now back at work in full swing after staying away for some time - together with a freelance position attached to it. Yup, you read that right. *sighs* In a matter of weeks, I’ll be juggling work with freelance and blogging. How I’m going to do that remains to be seen because work in itself will take up a large sum of my time on a weekly basis. Think of the future me as someone rocking up to work with bedraggled hair, sunken eyes and dark eye-bags while squinting at everything from sleep deprivation. Or me holding a takeaway cup of coffee from my favorite coffeehouse nearby. Too bad the nearest one would involve me walking at least ten minutes (one way) under the intense heat. Either way, the need for a mug of cappuccino with double shot of caffeine would definitely be desired soon.

Sad to say that there’ll be an off chance blogging will take a backseat if the balance between work, freelance, and blogging can’t be achieved. A lot of brain cells would have already been dedicated to my primary employment and side hustle, so the remainder might or might not be enough to plan and draft blog posts. We’ll have to see about it in due course. I’ve a tad bit of plans stacked up, such as resuming food reviews (albeit undercover at nearby cafes or ones that have been a favorite over the years) and penning more about my daily adventures and thoughts. But whether that can be achieved also remains to be seen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Five Lies About Work You Believed Before Entering the Working World

Most, if not, all of us are currently in the workforce, be it as a fresh graduate or an experienced employee in the industry of our choice. No matter where we are at this juncture in our careers, I’m sure there were certain notions about work that we believed as a final year student or a fresh graduate that turned out to be a misconception or a downright lie. Here are five lies about work that I believed in as a result of my observations and opinions before entering the workforce.

Office Politics


Credits to All Things Talent for the image

The number one lie would be a harmonious working environment. As a student, I used to believe that all of the colleagues would collaborate together to achieve a common goal or complete a project while keeping the office alive and running. Outside of the working hours, the entire office would catch a round of drinks together and wind down together. As an employee, it didn’t take me long to realize that it was all a facade. Since each and every staff is a unique individual, there’d be a combination of characters working together, which could then lead to personality clashes and mutual dislikes. It could even give rise to office politics, creating a toxic working environment and unnecessary gossip. With that being said, I’m sure that we all had our incidents where we’ve heard unpleasant things about other colleagues and vice versa.

Colleagues Becoming Friends

While we’re on the subject of colleagues, another lie that I believed in was that colleagues are your friends. Funnily enough, I even believed that colleagues are somewhat close to a person’s second family, given that I’m working with them for at least eight hours a day, five days a week. There’s bound to be some socialization occurring one way or another, like employees heading off for lunch together. I’m not saying that colleagues will become acquaintances whom you’ll keep in touch with if either party resigns because there are rare exceptions to it. What I’m saying is that due to the nature of the work environment and workplace envy, it’s not common to see colleagues keeping in touch when someone leaves the company. Also, not all colleagues would want to be friends with each other when they are out of the office.

Existence of Work-Life Balance


Credits to General & Medical for the image

One of the lies that I vehemently believed is the existence of work-life balance. I know that a lot of companies and employees would vouch that they practice work-life balance and so on, but it’s always easier said than done. I myself was made to believe that the working hours are strictly reserved for work with the after hours and weekends being your downtime. And boy, was I wrong on this. I learnt the truth the minute I entered the workforce. A great significance of the work-life balance stems from how flexible the nature of your job is. Even my personal experiences have illustrated that there will be an overlap of your working hours and rest time. In addition to the dictated hours of 9 am to 6 pm at work, I’ve caught myself bringing the unfinished work home to complete at night and on the weekends, robbing myself of my well-deserved rest and time away from office work. I guess it took me being in the workforce to comprehend that the idea of a work-life balance is a shaky one.

Full Dedication to One’s Job

There’s no denying that everyone wants to be the best at their job, so when someone says that you have to spend every waking moment on work, you tend to believe it. I acknowledged it so much that I was incorporating it in the beginning stages of my working life, though it didn’t take long for me to realize something. The full dedication to one’s job didn’t have to require cutting back on my sleep or even staying back in the office late. Yes, my dedication was important, but it didn’t have to be at the forefront of my health. I was allowed to have some time out for myself and knock off work sharp.

Scope of Work


Credits to Inc for the image

Another lie that I believed was that you’re only required to complete the scope of work that’s laid down in the terms and conditions of your employment contract. I only realized that this wasn’t true after working for some time now. To be honest, I’d have much appreciated it if someone had forewarned me that this was a downright lie. At least I’ll know what to look out for. It’s not true that you’re only paid to do what you’ve signed up for or the hours that you’ve agreed to, if you’re a part-time employee or working in a casual position. There would be days when you’d be expected to do ad-hoc duties on top of the ones that you’re responsible for.

I hope the ones mentioned would be of great assistance to you when you’re about to enter the workforce as a fresh graduate. The lies that I have shared above are the ones that I believed during my days as a student and are by no means exhaustive. It might be different from the ones that you’re aware of, so please don’t fret as it differs from people to people.
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