5 Things I Learned This Year

I got the idea for this post when I read this GigaOM blog when I was surfing the Net recently.
Although it doesn’t necessarily need a heart attack to get me thinking, I know that by counting backwards (and looking at the good and the bad which have happened this year) I am in a better shape to move forward in 2009.
1. I am in much better shape now than I was in 2007.
Which is strange but true. I have always been doing yoga since 2001 but in 2007, when we finally moved office, I decided we needed to whip our staff into shape. She’d been gangly and thin and methinks a bit unhealthy so we made it a point to go collectively go for a Friday evening walk, encircling the lake near the Harapan students’ hostel in USM.
In the end, I benefited because I became such a walking freak that I’d go three times a week. My goal was to keep in shape, lose the flab and get into my old clothes. Initially I couldn’t even do full sit ups and ab crunches. Now I can do them all with ease, 3 sets of 10 ab crunches in less than 10 minutes. Man, am I proud of myself. (Why 3 sets? Workout enthusiasts will encourage workouts in sets as this is more effective than a single set. I suppose it gets the muscles stronger with repetition). And I got myself a hula hoop so I could do some hula hooping when I was watching TV.
All this because I am vain but also because I love myself and I didn’t want to look like a tired 30-something and look old before my time.
I was going to be fit and healthy.
And to make it sweeter, I joined the 10km StarWalk on a whim and completed it under 2 hours.
Next year, I am planning to join the Competition category for StarWalk. A friend has been asking me if I wanted to go climb Gunung Kinabalu. We shall see.
2. Certain friends have expiry dates.
I realized that people whom I called best friends or great friends weren’t so fantastic after all. I’ve always felt that good friends will come through for you no matter what. I guess I am the only one with this idea.
I became quite disillusioned with three friends, especially after one of them admitted that her husband and daughter came first and no friends came close to that.
Boy was I pissed.
I mean, do you say that to your good friends? That hurt and hurt deep. Or how about friends who promised you they’ll be there but never turned up? No sorry, no nothing.
That’s why I am going to focus on friends who appreciate and value my friendship. Not friends who take me for granted.
3. I can live without checking my email.
I used to spend weekends and public holidays checking email and getting sucked into work all over again. I used to get antsy if I were not near a PC and couldn’t do work. I felt a bit disoriented if I didn’t log on to check my Gmail every now and then.
But this year, I found that I could live without checking my email.
The problem with email is that it destroys productivity especially if you keep checking it all the time.
Now I set some ground rules for myself. I will only check email 3x a day so I can focus on completing tasks and real work.
I will not check email on weekends or public holidays. So friends and clients, do bear with me if I don’t reply you on weekends. It’s nothing personal, it’s just me and my principle.
I will not run to the nearest PC on rest days because I can do a host of non-IT stuff which helps me re-balance my life (such as reading all the books I bought this year, beading, crocheting, writing, learning, cooking, exercising, spending time brushing Margaret, lunching with family and friends, phoning family and friends for chats, going for walks, being silent).
I love my business and my clients but I know that if I am healthy and balanced, I am in a better shape to run my business.
4. I am worth it.
I often used to feel guilty if I did something for myself. I used to think that I should be doing things, pleasing others and getting them happy. I always treated myself like some second-rate citizen, refusing to give in to little pleasures which made me happy.
I think I grew up thinking that being a martyr was my lifelong work.
I felt guilty if I wasn’t an A-student, I felt guilty if I wasn’t using up every bit of time to do ‘productive’ work, I felt guilty saying yes to myself (like buying something expensive or eating something frivolous).
But this year, I have stopped these feelings of guilt.
I know I’m not the only one…it’s the same with most women – my sister buys the best for her children yet scrimps on herself.
We can splurge on expensive gifts for our friends and families but we would never (or at least if it’s only me), I would never be able to justify why I needed that thing.
But no more. I tell myself that if I don’t take care of myself, don’t reward myself for the good I do, don’t appreciate myself, then no one can either. Because I work hard for my money, I deserve to splurge now and then. I’m worth it and so are you.
We have one life to live so make this extra special. (But moderation people. I’m not responsible if you max out your credit cards in one go.)
5. Love and thanks compound well
The act of saying grateful thanks for every day well-lived is something I acquired this year.
I have conscious moments when I give grateful thanks – before I have my meals (something precious which I learnt from my Christian friends), when I start the day after my morning Buddhist prayers, and at night, when I write down 5 things I am grateful for.
I also make it a habit to read my affirmations (printed and tacked to my wardrobe door) each morning.
I have had wonderful and amazing experiences this year and I know you probably think me silly, but I attribute the good to my ‘messages’ of love and thanks.
More and more being positive is not some temporary madness but a good way to live life and in the process, touch others.
But I think it’s also in my genes – this upbeat, can-do attitude. Many people scoff at The Secret and its teaching of the law of attraction. Whatever. If it helps and does not harm me or others, I shall try it. And if you still aren’t convinced, discover Dr Masaru Emoto and his thoughts on water, vibration and thoughts.
So there, 5 things I learnt this year. I hope you will look back on your past year and tell me what you learnt. There’s much good to be had from sharing life lessons! After all we are all beings on this journey together. So let’s learn together yeah?
I won’t be partying tonight – it will be a quiet evening at home. I somehow need time to recharge and get ready for 2009.
If I have not thanked you yet, I am thanking YOU now for coming back again and again to read the mad ramblings of a 30-something woman who still feels like she’s only 21. I thank you for leaving comments. I thank you for being a friend.
Above all else, I thank YOU for sharing your life with me. Mayakirana treasures every comment, every gesture of friendship and every time you log on to visit this blog.
Muchos gracias people!

9 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned This Year”

  1. glad that you had a good 2008!
    i have been on media diet since christmas, feels goooood! i may do this more often too. cutting down on internet!
    here’s wishing you and nick and margarate a happy 2009!

  2. =.= I may sound bad, but i would put my husband, my kids, my family a priority before friends…but…friends play a very important role to me… I will do whatever I can if they need me…but family comes first, friends second(I dun hv much friends, only a few a very important and means a lot to me)… does it make sense?
    Gawd, I’m rambling. Sorry bout that, Maya. Here’s wishing you a happy new year and a blessed year ahead. ๐Ÿ˜€ Cheers and God bless.

  3. Yupz agree with Hoyoyi. Fish symbol is best paired with water (blue). LOL If not become ikan kering. Kidding. I think just change the font (type and colour) will improve things a little.

  4. Alison: Much light and love to you too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have connection remember?
    Hoyoyi: Thanks for the comments. Will forward them to the errr… blog person. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You know that Cooking Engineer got married to Fishfish right? Love story of the decade!
    Cleffairy: I wouldn’t mind it if it wasn’t so outrageously put forward by my friend. I just got miffed that our weekend sleepover was marred because her husband and mom in law came first. She promised to be there totally but in the end…. zilch. Maybe I take my friendships too seriously. You have a great year….. thanks for our friendship!
    Jian: Thanks! This is a temp design, methinks. More changes coming in.

  5. ‘Fishfish’ got married to ‘Cooking Engineer?’ Is that not a dangerous combination?
    One day, it might end up just ‘Fish’ married to ‘Cooking Engineer’ because he couldn’t find anything else to fry, stir or bake…

  6. Hi Rajan: thanks! You don’t know how much it means to me that people read and appreciate this little blog of mine. Thanks for reconnecting. Hope to talk more with you at the upcoming MIRC events…..


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