Growing Up

The rose-tinted glasses of childhood don’t last forever.

There comes a point in our lives when we have to grow up and leave infantile ideologies behind. As per the ever-popular Biblical quote from 1 Corinthians 13:11,

‘When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’

I always thought I understood this passage, but every time I feel that I’ve fully explored what it means, I discover a new interpretation, one that relates to a different aspect of it and speaks to whatever is the prominent feature in my life at that moment.

Case in point: sometimes friendships we treasured and valued in childhood, no longer serve us in adulthood. As our time on Earth is finite, it’s important to look forward. Something – or someone – that may have felt integral to our existence during one chapter of our lives sometimes doesn’t make it into the next chapter. In situations like this, we have to look back on the memories fondly and appreciate them for what they were at the time, and simultaneously look forward with hope and optimism. The older I get, the less afraid I am to close the door to situations that don’t serve me. It’s part of life.

On a different note, one of my closest friends celebrated her birthday this past weekend, and at the same time, we toasted to over 20 years (and counting!) of our friendship. I hope the rose-tinted glasses of our bond (though slightly old and tarnished through life experience) never wear out.

best-friends-forever-necklaces5

 

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The Perils of Procrastination

I can be a bit of a procrastinator. I’m known for it. I haven’t yet figured out whether it is due to fear of failure – of not doing as well as I want to, of things not going according to plan – or whether it is just general laziness. Perhaps knowing why I do it will help me to treat the cause rather than the effect. Perhaps it has no bearing. Either way, the fact is that I do it. I think it’s my worst habit. I feel that it holds me back from achieving the things I want to achieve, from being where I want to be. Yet, I can’t seem to break the hold procrastination has over me.

Things always get done eventually, but my issue is, if I started tasks sooner, I’d have more time either to perfect them or to get onto other things. I could be so much more productive.

Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush of doing things close to their due date, the time pressure adding to the incentive of getting things done at the last minute, the game of racing against the clock… maybe that’s the source of my perennial postponement.

Whatever the cause, I know I could do better, if only I would just get started – but, maybe I’ll leave that until tomorrow…

March

A new beginning, twice.

New-girl nerves.

A lecture hall, reminiscent of days gone by.

Realisation of memories fading with the passage of time…

A trans-Atlantic star, eyes transfixed

New perspectives and a fresh point of view.

Apologies and missed appointments

Too many commitments

On the horizon:

Yet another new friend.

march-type

March.

A Note on Over-Extending Yourself

As I explained during the last post, I’ve been temping for some time now. Being someone that more or less walked into a job straight out of university (don’t let me downplay the sheer graft and hardwork that went into landing that job!), and never really took the time out to re-evaluate things and figure out what I wanted along the way, for me right now, temping has been a dream. The first major benefit is the weekly pay. I love it! Another benefit, and the real reason I began temping, is the ability to try out different careers, pretty much risk-free.

Temping isn’t without its disadvantages though – namely job security. At a time when the global economy is unstable and inflation is increasing at an alarming rate, having a regular income is a necessity. And the thing about temping is, sick days aren’t billable (not really, anyway), so, in simple terms – if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

As a consequence of this, and partly due to me being flattered at the overwhelming job requests and interest I’ve had, I’ve been slightly overdoing it. Putting in long hours and doing overtime (literally 13hr days where I used to only work for 7), routinely working through lunch and not taking breaks, and letting the concept of sleep become a myth. Seriously, sleep is a distant dream to me right now! My bank balance looks the healthiest that it has done in awhile, but physically, I feel drained.

 

Running on Empty

As far as we know, you only get one life. Enjoy it, and take care of yourself. Lesson learned: you have to put your health first; listen to your body, know when to say ‘no.’ With that said, I’m going to bed! Yes, at 9pm! 🙂

You Only Have To Be Loyal To Yourself

Last week ended on a really good note for me, in a multitude of ways. I signed up with a new temping agency, and was offered a role instantly (even without interviewing with the company directly). Pro: It’s a really great company. More pros: Amazing reputation, global presence, known for treating employees well. Con: The pay is less than I’d usually accept. More cons: Significantly so. And travel is expensive. Despite all of that, I accepted, and started the role. First day on the job, I was offered one of the roles I’d interviewed for a week or so prior to signing up with the new agency. Dilemma.

The new offer came with better pay. Much better. Literally double the pay of the role at the initial company. And the pros just kept on coming: the new offer was also with a really great company, known for treating its employees well, and much cheaper travel. Aside from the money, the deciding factor for me was stability: the new offer came with a longer contract and a more favourable possibility of long-term progression as a result of the role. It was a no-brainer. (Almost.)

The difficulty for me lay in the fact that I’m a naturally loyal person. Literally, to a fault. And that meant that I felt guilty about letting the people at the first company down. So I spent ages weighing up the pros and cons of both positions and going back and forth on my decision, even though in my heart, I knew what I wanted to do…

The moral of the story is that I realised that I had to stop thinking about how my decision would affect other people, as the only person who would be affected long-term by my decision, was me. Sometimes, selfless people have to learn to be more selfish. Especially regarding careers. Years ago, a wise friend relayed a quote to me that has stayed with me ever since, ‘opportunities are never missed – they’re taken by someone else.’

How to Tilt the Odds in Your Favour

Last weekend I was invited to attend an event hosted by an American media personality. As someone that has enjoyed an admirable amount of success, this American’s visit to London (which had been in the pipeline for awhile) was very eagerly anticipated. At an exclusive City location, for one evening only, a mixed crowd of young professionals and creatives gathered, conversed and awaited the wisdom that the guest of honour would impart. As with many events of this scale, the event had been planned months in advance, had been heavily advertised and as a result, was a sell-out. The queue outside was a mile long, and inside, the venue was packed to the brim.

Once the guest of honour appeared on stage (to rapturous applause), the room was transfixed. Many gems were divulged, but the piece of information that stayed with me (and which was most excitedly discussed during the intermission and subsequent after-party) was the following. Four rules for success.

1. Put Your All In

Pretty self-explanatory. The premise here is that in order to gain success, you must first put your all in. Work as hard as you can. Do everything you can in order to make victory more than a distant dream – depending on what you are aiming for, this may or may not include: researching the competition, putting as much time in as possible (Malcolm Gladwell talks about expertise taking 10,000 hours)

2. Sweat The Small Stuff

You can reduce the likelihood of mishaps and ‘The Unexpected’ occurring by paying attention to detail. As any seasoned professional knows, the difference between something being completed to a satisfactory level – and something being absolutely outstanding – are the small things, the finishing touches that a lot of people overlook. Cross your ‘T’s and dot your ‘I’s. Get those details aligned, and you are much more likely to make your endeavours successful.

3. Identify Variables That Are Beyond Your Control

Anyone that has ever conducted a scientific experiment, baked a cake or thrown a party will tell you that there will always be things that you can’t control. Extenuating factors, if you will. The premise is, as long as you know what these are, have covered everything you can through steps one and two, you can try and minimise the eventuality or the impact of these uncontrollables.

4. Breathe

After you have put the necessary work in and done everything that you can do, step four is to surrender. All you can really hope at this point, is that you’ve done enough to make your endeavour a success.

Seems simple enough, right? I plan to incorporate the above steps in my next few ventures. I’ll let you know how it all works out… wish me luck! x

February.

New acquaintances,

Drinks in a bar

The introduction of an “appreciation jar”

After weeks of preparation, the baby shower was a success.

Cold weather intensified,

Travel woes multiplied

Distant memories of beach holidays fade.

Family gatherings, charity fundraisers… an array of events

Phone conversations and emails that don’t make sense

Already, we’re two months into the year.

 

February.