Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year That Was

This was my most difficult year, numerous challenges and problems, first of which was my family issues, both here and back at my home country,  secondly my new role which was a huge load both at work and Toastmaster. The consequence of both challenges took more of my time, making me work more and increased my anxiety level. But I survived the initial bumps and these challenges will not go away, they will continue into the new year, causing me to continuously be more efficient and productive just to survive and be above the waters, causing me to learn more and work long hours; these are no longer the trials of a young person and requires the serious attention of a mature person. Perhaps it will be the trigger to launch new endeavors as one tries to surmount these problems with imagination and drive. The war continuous so to speak, though one had survived the horrible year.

I learned that one can handle hugely difficult problems despite the magnitude and severity; able to think of innovative solutions and focus on the core issue. But one also learned that one can run away from pressing issues; preferring to escape and indulge in senseless activities as a way to de-stress, though allowing problems to snowball. One wonders if this is an escape mechanism or just the mind and body seeking respite from the long hours and tension. Nevertheless, coming back to the struggle one finds that the worry was not warranted; it was only the mind giving its own priorities and deadlines, self-imposed as one strives to be on top of things. Hence, its not a disaster as one would think, so one must control the mind, to widen its perspective, away from the feeling of impending disaster. Therefore, one must not raise the alarm, though self-inflicted when trying to be 'perfect', rather be more realistic in expectations. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I spent my holiday break organizing stuff,  throw out old mail and sorting paper work. I still need to do more: organize my garage, research on the possible options for my problems and reach out  to the folks for supportive connections. One realizes it is one’s own emotions that prevents one from engaging people at home and work; afraid that more problems would come or that it would result in perceived shortcoming though at times it seemed one lacked the mental bandwidth to process more information. So one spends most of his vacation watching movies; about 15 movies so far, several magazines and 2 audio books. I installed Ubuntu in an old laptop and had another one fixed so I am up to my ears in technology as I had purchased a Bluetooth headphone having discovered Spotify, Pandora and TuneIn; the beauty of listening to streaming music and lectures.

In the end, the bigger battle is to convince people to follow one's plans. This requires leadership, perseverance and will. But I shirk from these responsibilities, thinking it is not my problem, thinking what else can one do if people don't want to listen to me.  This is not a whining lament or the musing of a spoiled child; perhaps more of suggesting solutions that are not usual, one’s predilection for all-encompassing systemic solutions by looking at the inner truth (though according to one’s point of view). Perhaps it’s the worrying mind trying to be perfect. One sometimes hangs back afraid or lacks confidence, instead resorting to worry and resolving to distraction via entertainment and technology. Unfortunately, its the challenge in the coming year as one's troubles have not gone away and will increase. Hence, to be more forceful and to think of more creative solutions to solve these problems, controlling one's emotions and avoiding distractions.

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