Another personal reflection completed…but not quite there

I have an assignment that I’ve been meaning to do for the last few weeks. It’s one of those writing assignments that allow me to conjure brilliant paragraphs of wisdom in my head. This “conjuring” usually happens when I’m cooking or bathing or driving or about to fall asleep. Basically, it’s happening everywhere except in front of my laptop and without a pen in my hand. Classic.

My MBA lecturer asked me to reflect on my learning journey so far. I need to mentally plot my personal progress (or the lack of it) and come to a resolution about where I’m going (or should be going). These things are always difficult and even frightening for me. And it’s not only because it’s a bit eerie fairy (ad hoc, intangible), mystical and without any confirmatory mathematical equations. It’s also because most of the time I’m very busy NOT reflecting. I’m usually running from one place (like work or school runs) to another (like home or grocery shopping). But as much as I’d like to continue complaining about time poverty, I know this assignment is meant for me.

It’s typical that now that I’m in front of my screen, I’m empty as regards any wise words about my personal journey. As I sit thinking, I’m sort of where I planned to be emotionally, mentally and professionally. No. Scratch that. I never knew I’d get to my present self. And it’s a lie to even allude that there was a plan all along. I thought I’d stand in my way and talk myself out of my own prosperity. I thought that I wouldn’t make it to this point in time for it to mean anything. As I reflect on what I wanted
to be when I was young enough to dream, I come up blank. I didn’t want to be anything, not even a princess. I just wanted everyone to like me and I wanted to be whatever they wanted me to be. As long as everyone was happy….

You can guess where that left me: not really knowing what I was about. It was a relief when I realised that I wasn’t stuck and I could be anything I wanted to be. In business. A hard worker. A blogger or writer. A very successful human being. I’ve been doing all my own stunts and I’m still here (scars and all to show for it). My old self would be speechless if she could see me now. She never thought I’d get anywhere close to my potential. The fact that I’m reflecting at all is a great start. I’m very much a doer but hopefully I’m taking the necessary steps to just be although it means taking my eyes off the ball.
Ok, enough of this eerie fairy stuff; back to doing.

End of reflection

Save the brain-insects with your email etiquette

Nuvola-like mail internet

Image via Wikipedia

I may have indicated at least once that non-replies to emails and texts really really bugs me. Well, I’m indicating again. But this time I’m going to give you some details and take you into my mind where most of my analysis (and paralysis) happen when there’s a non-reply incident.

First of all, emails and texts can be classified into 3 broad groups. Note here that I’m not talking about junk or unsolicited stuff. (But I read my junk mail from time to time since my offer letter for my current job ended up in junk mail and I nearly missed it. So read your junk mail! It’s not all junk :)). Anyway, the groups are: (1) Greeting messages e.g. hi, what’s up? Just thought to say hi, happy birthdays e.t.c (2) Request for information messages (3) “Emotional” emails e.g. an apology, bearing good or bad news (births, deaths), a love letter and whatever tugs at heart-strings. I’m sure there’s more but this is mainly the stuff I send and/or receive. When I send an email or text and I don’t get a reply, the insect in my brain starts to twitch. I give 48 hours and then the insect goes berserk, like jumping up and down: furious. Then one week, the insect does a last and final poo and gives up all hope of living. The process can be long and drawn out and I have to say I don’t enjoy it at all. It’s always easier if people just reply my messages.

My analysis paralysis

Sometimes folks claim not to have received the email or they say they replied. Cyberspace is an enormous place but still, I think emails are generally sent and received unless the email address is wrong (verifiable). I know I probably sound very scary and you’re probably hoping that I never send you an email. But I’m not the worst of them. I know at least a dozen people who activate the ‘Notify when email is received’ option and even more courageous is the ‘Notify when email is read’ option. This second button will actually tell you if the person read your email AND what they did with it e.g. deleted it (Ouch!). I’m not that brave. You can rest assured that I don’t know what you did with my mail. I only speculate until my poor brain-insect kills itself.

Footwear, my toe and other people’s thoughts

It’s very close to zero degree celsius and I’m walking the streets in sandals. And white socks. I’m on my way to pick my son from school, a normal part of my Tuesday afternoons. But I cannot help but notice the strange accusing stares that passers-by give me. They look at my face then look at my sandals, the disgust and outrage is a little too obvious. Why are people so rude?


White socks and sandals...hmmm

A few weeks ago, I fell down the stairs and badly injured my toe. I don’t want to whip up pity so all I will say is that after a trip to A&E and some treatment, my toe has been in a bandage. I limped for a few days and had to wear open shoes to help the wound to heal. What I didn’t realise was that I would need a tag on my forehead that said “Injured Toe” or maybe a walking cane or an elaborate “limping” strategy to help people understand why I was wearing sandals in winter. Perhaps a huge cast over my ankle and foot would accentuate the pain of the fall. I wanted to stop every irritated onlooker and explain that I was not crazy or impoverished. I wanted to say that I had shoes, beautiful covered boots that were suitable for the weather. But I couldn’t so the border between my sanity and outright insanity was in danger of being crossed.  Each day of my sandals-wearing sentence was one more day that I counted as therapy. It inevitably became evident that the little girl inside me still cared what people thought. She cared that they thought she was stupid, or crazy or just ridiculous.These were mostly strangers but she often caught herself exaggerating her limp because she wanted them to know that she had a good reason to be outrageous.

My slightly cooler socks

I went back to wearing shoes for a couple of days but got told off by my nurse in my next appointment. It was back to sandals- again. I felt silly for caring. I changed from white socks (more ridiculous but thicker, warmer) to a greyish black socks that was more fashionable. Some of my friends noticed and commented, ‘So you do care.’ But I denied it and deep inside, my alter-ego was shaking a finger at me, ‘You still care what complete strangers think.’

Please tell me that I’m not alone. C’mon, what about first impressions, egos and personal branding? Tell me that somewhere inside you, you want complete strangers to think you’re cool….

So I’ve called it the “Valentine Stylish Blogger Awards”.

I’m giving this on valentine’s day with all my love for every supportive, impressive and amazing blogger out there.

After hitting 1,000 hits and getting lots of fantastic support and sound advice from blogville, I got the Stylish Blogger Award! It can’t get better than this. Awesome! Thanks to Working Tech Mom who is such an inspirational woman, full of good humor and unbelievably smart. She recently began Ouch, Fired after she was released from her job- talk about moving onwards and most definitely UPWARDS. I’m glad I got to “meet” her here. Enjoy her blogs!

As she described in her post, the award comes with four basic tasks to be completed:

Present seven things about yourself
Name about a half-dozen bloggers you think deserve the award
Contact those people
Create a link back to the person who gave you the honor

Here are seven (seven, wow- that’s a lot) things you might not know about me:

1. I quit pretty much everything that I’m not EXCELLENT at. This has included playing the clarinet, piano, and tuba. It also includes lace-making and volleyball. I’m sorta hoping that it’s not going to be the same story with golf. To be fair, I managed to continue writing even though I’m very average at that!

2. Overall, I’m very good with people and get on well with every type of person. But once in a while, I meet someone who doesn’t like me or who I can’t figure out. This really bugs me and I can stay fixated, analysing why I don’t seem to get on with this particular person. It’s unfortunate because sometimes, I let it drown out the other scores of people that like me a lot.

3. I’m a process-junky. If you want me to be effective, put a good process in place. I like to know what I’m doing and plan well ahead. So if you really want me to lose my balance remove all the processes or even worse, set up meaningless processes that everyone ignores. Arrgh!

4. I wanted to read Accountancy but studied Engineering instead. I’m great with numbers and I have been known to keep up to 25-digit numbers in my head at a time. I know my credit AND debit card numbers off by heart.

5. I have between 15 to 20 handbags. And I make no apologies for it :).

6. It’s only in recent years that I have become comfortable in my own skin. I cannot underestimate the need to love yourself the way you are. It affects the risks you take, how people treat you and whether you regret those things that made you happy even if on hindsight they may have not been the best of ideas.

7. I don’t understand people who are not ambitious. I realise not everyone is like me but gee, how does it feel not to wish yourselves ahead? It must be more relaxing, less frustrating and probably requires little or no fire-power. I’m green with envy.

Oh no, here come the Bloggers

Image by Brett L. via Flickr

6 Bloggers I am bestowing the award to (in no particular order :)):

  1. Sixthirtythree Fashion writer extraordinary. I’ve seen pieces on this blog that I dreamt about for days. And she’s a really  great lady!
  2. Francine Henry Amazing photographer. Marketing guru and awesome lady.
  3. Kolembo Refreshing poet who has all the right words at his pen’s tips.
  4. Versatile Woman Mother of two with great advice. She’s a doctor  and an all-round lovely gal.
  5. Chris Cocca One of my best finds of 2011. Just a great blogger with a cool demeanour and very interesting things to say.
  6. The Ramblings of a Demented Mind She’s just rambling when she  says she’s demented. Very cool blogger and book-lover. Young and funny with the whole world in first of her for the taking!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Forget closing the gap between the rich and the poor….

Close the gap between the stinking rich and the just plain normal!

Don't get me started...! (courtesy of BBC website although now seems to be deleted)

The increase of globalisation, that is, the rate at which trade and resources cross-national borders has increased significantly over recent years. This increase led to economic growth but it did not quite take the shape that governments and economists expected. There was an initial belief that globalisation will close the gap between rich and poor nations, a belief that has not materialised. Poor nations have not benefited in the way that they were set out to, perhaps because economic growth as focused on the economic issues and less on the political issues. However, what appears to be accelerating at an even more alarming rate is not the disparity between economies but the disparity within economies as illustrated above. The gap gets wider with civil servants and professionals e.g. nurses, teachers, engineers, scientists and artists getting the shorter end of the stick. Will higher taxes for higher earners mitigate this gap or will society just get more resentful of it? It’s probably easier to ignore the country next door with more economic opportunities than to ignore those living next door, earning almost 100 times more than you. Now I wonder whether to encourage my son to study engineering or whether to allow him play football and go pro. Hmm- I couldn’t in good conscience deprive him of a (normal?) career.

One question on the minds of many economists is: Is globalisation reversible? It seems almost impossible from a technological standpoint for globalisation to reverse but politically and socially, wide gaps like this could make or break globalisation. Countries like Egypt and Tunisia may be the ones to watch. Time will surely tell.

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