Booking under: Nicole
On this special day, I dedicate the first line of my blog post to wish Keith a very happy birthday!
In case you have no idea who this gentleman is (which should not be the case 🙂 except if you are visiting our blog for the first time!), he is the co-author of this blog and also my amazing partner.
As I sat down and reflected on my actions in April, I am happy to say that things shake out quite well in general. Quality time was well spent with my loved one, family, friends and even myself. Let’s check out how I have done so far in greater detail.
1. Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
In recent gatherings, I had good conversations with my close friends and I was able to hear them out on their stress in work and their personal lives. Instead of fixing their emotions, I tried to validate their feelings and spoke from their perspectives. Using positive alternatives and simple auditory signals like “yeah”, “right” or “uh huh” showed that I am actually listening to them and care about what they say. The result was positive. They let out of their feelings in a safe environment and felt relieved after our chat.
People would generally agree that I handle myself well. The reality is that I could be listening to other people’s feelings too much that sometimes I may forget hearing mine. Thankfully, I became aware of the importance of acknowledging my feelings. This month, there were several nights when I paused and then just listened to what my inner heart has to say about various aspects in my life. The peace and tranquility gave me a chance to recognize my instinct and intuitive thoughts. By acknowledging what my heart feels and what my mind says, I am able to see the situation from a bigger picture and fill myself with positive energy.
2. Be a treasure house of happy memories
As mentioned in my last post, my extended family is huge in size so we do not get to see everyone very frequently. Yet, we have regular family gatherings and an online chat group where people would share daily updates or photos of the happenings within their families. You will be surprised by how much space the photos of the baby twins (downloaded from the chat group) have occupied the storage on my phone. Even though I did not see some of the family members for a few weeks, I still feel very close to them.
I think I did well on this one as family is always important to me and it’s worth the effort to take time and create pleasant memories together. Earlier this month, my cousin and I joined a 10km running race. It was a joyful experience in the sense that we got to exercise together, run for a good cause, and strengthen our bonding as well. The weather did not look promising at all that morning and the heavy rainfall made every step harder. Running in the rain for the first time could be fun, but for me who was experiencing it for the second time, I was slightly annoyed because the strong wind resistance was impeding my way forward. Despite the weather hiccup, I am glad that my cousin and I showed support to each other along the way, completed the race safely, and managed to break our personal time records. This running experience certainly created a happy family memory for us and prepared us to join more running races to benefit our health and contribute to charities in the future.
3. Take time for projects
Travelling to another country opens my eyes to something that’s completely new to me. It also expands my capacity for joy and appreciation to the amazing nature and cultural diversity this planet offers. Since my senior year at college, I started the hobby of buying magnets whenever I visited a new place so that I can attach it somewhere on the fridge or the wall to preserve and remind myself of the good memories from my travels. Collecting magnets from around the world became an on-going project that I am really keen to continue. I only wish I had started it earlier in my childhood times to enrich my collection.
Buying magnets looks like something simple to achieve because they are quite easily found in souvenir shops. I thought so too at the very beginning. Many people would decide to buy it on the last day of the trip so that they can “save the best for last” and get the most beautiful or special magnet out of all. The reality is that time usually does not allow this to happen. I eventually learned the easy way and would get it as soon as I see it (of course the design has to be beautiful and it usually is!). Every magnet represents a story behind my travels and I thought it would be a good idea to showcase my collection and tell the story to my kids in the future which ties back to point number two above. Always maintain a treasure house of happy memories.
From Last Month
I assume I kept up well with delivering a blog post on time since you are reading it now. Following the little trick of jotting down my thoughts on the go, putting idea into words becomes a lot easier. On asking people for help, I ran some personal errands that I do not usually deal with so I did ask people for pointers. Same applies to work as I just started managing a new work stream so I took the benefit of scheduling sessions with experienced colleagues and learned from them. As for working smart, I recently moved to a new work station which is bigger than my previous one so I made full use of the extended space and organized my work tools accordingly. Lastly, I took the time to enjoy my current state and constantly remind myself to set sight for longer term.
That’s it from us in Lighten Up. Come back next week for Keith’s sharing on ………. Oh wait, there is still a week in April before we reach a new chapter in May. We know that you will be disappointed if we took a break next week so we got some idea to keep you company next Friday (Yay!). Keith and I will feature some of the best experiences we had in our recent trip to Japan. Stay tuned and be ready for loads of bomb food pictures. One tip for you is to read it during daytime such that you won’t be feeling hungry when the clock ticks twelve. Is there anything in particular you would love to hear from us about our trip? Drop us a note below or simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you back here next week!