Have you ever wondered why that line exists in the aircraft safety announcement?
I think of it in terms of 3 common life situations –
1. Only after we are on top of our tasks and targets can we be helpful to others (with colleagues)
2. Only after we bring our lives under control can we help others with theirs (with friends)
3. Only after we take care of ourselves and have ourselves in control can we love, be loved and be affectionate(with family)
Essentially, our first priority should always be to make sure we are okay. And that doesn’t necessitate a self centred approach to life. The whole point of taking care of ourselves (in my humble opinion) is so we can take good care of others around us, build great things and make a dent on this planet.
First step though, is taking care of ourselves.
This holiday week has been exceptionally busy. After touching down here last Friday, I was off to Malaysia for a weekend trip and that, of course, was tiring in itself. Following that, I had more family coming in and of course, lots of family outings day in and day out to all the shopping hot spots, sight seeing hot spots etc – you know the drill.
The biggest difference was that this time, I consciously forked out time for myself. Unlike university days, I’ve got to be back at work on Monday morning in a different timezone, so there’s a fair amount of admin work needing completion these holidays. And given my introverted nature, I also need sufficient non-people time to recharge. I had to make tons of compromises of course – many items on the ‘to-do’ list were pushed to January thanks to lower priority and I had to cut down my ‘to-meet’ list of friends to a bare minimum as well and push the rest of the meetings to my next trip down here, and of course, I’m having to not think about football either.
All the trade offs aside, all the high priority admin work has been done, quality time has been spent with family, a couple of meet ups have been planned and I know there’s rest and relaxation waiting for me the entire weekend. It’s been a big learning in managing myself and my happiness – putting myself as the highest priority and ensuring the holiday season stays at the ‘enjoyable’ and not ‘stressful’. Fine line, as always..
Oh, and I also managed to catch a Man United game last night – sign of a healthy holiday!
If we don’t help ourselves, who will after all?
The holidays are here and there is no better better time for some good ol’ reflection! In the spirit of looking back, learning, growing, and then looking ahead – here is a self reflection form that I am using myself which I hope would be a useful thought starter.
Please feel free to use the same form, or make edits to design a customized one for yourself of course. And any feedback is always welcome so I can do a better job of it next year!
If you do choose to use this, I would suggest printing out and writing as writing is a neuromuscular activity and can potentially have deeper impact.
I hope you manage to find time to reflect, review and plan ahead for a great year. Do reach out if I can be of help in any way/answer any questions.
Once again, the file is available for download here . Just right click and save as on your computer.
One of the highlights of time with family is the one evening of quality time I usually get with Grandpa. Family time, especially when they visit Singapore, is always very chaotic thanks to the many items on their agenda that quality time is often at a premium. Last evening, however, I sat up with Grandpa. Time with Mom and Grandma comes pretty easily but my Grandpa, being more withdrawn, generally is more reclusive. He was very tired after a day that began early but being the man he is, he readily woke up and we sat on a bench in the open air for a chat while the rest of the family shopped late into the night..
It’s been great to disconnect from all things internet for 2 days! The family trip to Penang helped, of course.