Some reflexions from turning 33 and pictures from my belated celebration.
This September I turned 33. Despite not organising parties, I enjoy this special day every year. Even though it’s not the same, I do make sure it feels special a few days before and a few days after. I find that the more time goes by, the more time I need to reflect and consider what’s to be continued, what started or what to be stopped in my life.
Thus far I think I learned many lessons. One of them is that I am pretty sure some lessons are yelling at me to be seen and understood, but I turn a blind eye. I have no example in mind, but usually, when I learn the lesson, I look back with ease at missed opportunities.
If I were to think back at the lessons of the past 12 months I’d have to say that I learned finding pleasure in spending more time alone. I used to think (and be proud that) I am an extroverted person. Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe that my friends and family are busy or whatever else, but I found myself without plans to meet people or without communicated online and felt good.
I was surprised at the end of August when I was home alone for a while and had a few days with minimum communication. One day it was 17:00 when I realised it’s the first time I talked. I liked that, the silence and the calm. Looking back, it can be that it was the calm before the storm because this September was something else in terms of working.
Yes, this is another lesson from this year: the more you practice, the faster you get things done and the more time you have to take on some more work. But this is how skill is built, I trust the process and take consolance in that people I admire are hard working people. So I am not complaining now. I complained after a department meeting in a smaller group with trusted colleagues and after hearing the advice I realised that I actually enjoy doing my work and don’t want to delegate most of it.
This led me realize that is not what I do or how much I have on my plate, but the stress and pressure I put on myself that drives me … into a negative mind space. I don’t want to do less work, but be better at managing my perfectionism. I enjoy so much the opportunities I have and that I am finally at a point I dreamed at during undergraduate studies: (the vague) doing important work.
I watch videos and talk to people about the silent quitting and workloads and equity in work division as I have work on my mind constantly. I must say I am not at a point in life where I consider work unimportant (assuming is a phase). Sure I think family and friends and love are important and there are other important things as well, like culture, art, books, sports, nature, policy, politics and society and all the other things people do that improve life for us all.
I just don’t agree to the concept of doing minimum work for maximum pay someone else decides for me. Anyway, I think we can all agree that making contributions in life is essential – thankfully some of us live in a world where individuals can pick when, where and how to contribute to making the world better. It makes me sad to think of people having less opportunity to build good lives.
To conclude, my birthday this year was filled with work and reflexions of work, with friends and outings, with books and laugh. As it should be.
Make today count!