Thursday, 11 January 2018

Ending 2017 intentionally.

1. What makes this year unforgettable?

The special thing about 2017 was all the time I spent with my parents this year.

When 2016 was ending, work was stressful and my manager was super critical (I did not know then and I still don't know why, but this manager, this man, is rather unhappy on Friday evenings and last days before long holidays.) Anyho, things got particularly bad by mid-year and instead of going away for a road-trip around my birthday, I decided to spend time with Mum and Papa. I only spent two weeks with them, one of these was just them and me. The next week my brother and his family dropped by too.

I came back from this holiday to join work again, and one of the first thing I did was see a psychologist - I had come to the conclusion that this amount of stress at work is not usual. Then, I gradually shifted into another role.

Mum and Pa came to visit me around this time and for the next three months that they were with me, we smashed it out of the water! we were that good!
  • we organised my home (by installing wardrobes, getting a guest sofa bed, getting a TV and a TV table, installing a dishwasher, fixing the laundry cupboard, the side tables, fixing random pieces of broken furniture including at least one chair and one table, framed art, installed art)
  • we smashed it in terms of blood iron-levels (thank you for feeding me well, Ma!)
  • we smashed it in terms of personal goals: best work review in years and years, raised funds for the Black Dog Institute (thank you Bluethumb for sponsoring our raffle), presented at a conference, paddled 100kms of the Murray, applied and got accepted at the ANU School of Arts Bach of Visual Arts program. And I learnt to knit. And I recorded three interviews for my podcast. Learnt to do my best swimming this year (in those 3 months that Ma and Papa were here).
2. What did you enjoy doing this year?

My vision board has a line on it: "It is my party and I'll fly if I want to" I have put it there 3 times. I enjoyed discovering my wings this year, they felt weak and strong at the same time. They felt tested and I was surprised by their strength.

3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?
My parents! My dog!! My folks at work, esp, Ingrid. My folks at home, esp, my brother, my cousins, my friends - and everyone who cheers me on.

My Bua and my cousins who went thru such pressure and came out like a diamond at the other end.

4. What’s your biggest win this year?

The biggest wins, for me, are those things that you do everyday because genius is a habit. My biggest win was rocking up to work on time, and eating all three meals in a day.

5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?

A poster that said:

1.01 ^365 = 37.8
0.99 ^365 = 0.03

It doesn't take much, it only takes a teeny tiny bit to make a huge difference.

6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?

I worried about work, and falling short. I worried about Bua after her accident. I worried about Fufaji being sick and I worried about not talking to Didi enough. I worried about how one day I might be living in a world with all the irreplaceable people gone.

I heard of someone having a good death, and I pray for a good life and a good death, especially for all the people I love most.

7. What was your biggest regret and why?

Not being nicer to people, not giving them the benefit of doubt. Being less generous with my kindness and understanding. Because I like people who are lion hearted and I don't like meanness in me. (I also loved it when Bhai came down to Delhi for a few weeks.)

I also went thru a very difficult time because I was internalising criticism I was getting at work. I am still not sure what I could have done differently - asked for more help from other people - focus more on the task and less on the person - be wary of stuff, and sort them before they get this bad! Use the next tip more:
And I would have liked to implement the rules that Olivia Fox Cobane mentions in her book more. I loved that book, and I'd like to use it more.

8. What’s one thing that changed about yourself?
I hopefully got off the decline path and go on to a growth path again.

9. What surprised you the most this year?
The small kindnesses of strangers always surprise me. The fact that my Buas and everyone seems to be getting sick was scary.

10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?
The first 8 months at work were incredibly hard, and while part of me believes that I couldn't have done much about it.. that part better shut-up and listen-up because if after living thru that year, I am faced with the same problem and I would do the same thing all over again - well, it would be a wasted experience.
So, I was working hard. There was a huge lack of information and I had a micro-manager who prided at making life hard for his staff when he was annoyed. The first things I would do differently is
  •  get to work on time, looking incredibly smart.
  •  self-care: meditate, eat well, exercise well, hydrate (and if possible, sleep well)
  •  ask around to get more help and information from the people who knew. they were thin on the ground, but they were there and I needed to ask them. I could have asked DW of how he understood what changes meant - how he measured the implications of code changes.
So, in a nutshell, I would work even harder, and take more responsibility.

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