Merging Life

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I’ve been struggling with writing two blogs, so I really haven’t written much in the last few months… Booooo! So that’s why I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided that having a second blog (Next Stop Singapore) for this chapter in my life is just too much work!

While living in Southeast Asia has been a new chapter for me, it doesn’t make sense to separate it from my regular Jibbery Jab life. I’ve missed jibbering and jabbering so I’m moving my NextStopSing posts and events over to JibberyJab so I can streamline my life in the blogosphere.

I’ve appreciated the comments, likes and the time you all spend reading my mostly trivial, and maybe sometimes thoughtful words. Happy to say that I’ll be jibberjabbery more again! I swear!

writinghouse.org

writinghouse.org

 

Life=Vacation

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Instead-of-wondering-when-your-next-vacation-is-maybe-you-should-set-up-a-life-that-you-dont-need-to-escape-from.

Well, Hello Jibber Jabber followers!

While my Singaporean adventures are posted on nextstopsing.wordpress.com, I have been thinking a lot about what to write back here on Jibber Jabber. I have a lot of ideas as usual. But if you have been reading since the beginning of JJ&H, you know already know I often have so many things to say/write, that I end up with nothing actually written.

So here is something I’ve been thinking about for the last several weeks…

I’m very fortunate to be able to travel while living in Singapore. Weekend getaways are very doable as there are many beautiful locations within a couple of hour flight time. Did I weekend travel when I lived in New York? Sure! But here it feels different. Every weekend away is a tropical vacation.

In fact, since I’ve moved to Singapore, my life feels like a vacation. Oh wait – before I left New York I started feeling like my life was turning vacationesque because of the role I was in at work and because I knew I was leaving the city with all it’s harshness…

Yes, I teach here – and it’s a hell of a lot of work. But because of the Groundhog Day weather we have, I never really know what day it is, or even month for that matter. I find myself really thinking about the date some days, like I have no clue that it’s winter. What a wonderfully refreshing way to live.

I recently read a quote that has really resonated with me since I read it. In a nutshell – “live a life you don’t need a vacation from.” How profound is that? Seriously profound! For too many years I felt like something was getting in the way of what I was wanting to do even with all of New York’s available opportunities.

I discovered that it’s way easier to live a vacation-life when you love where you are in every sense of the word. Did I love New York? Of course! But life is exponentially easier here. Is it a perfect place to live? No, but something so simple like not looking at the Weather Channel app before you get dressed makes life so much easier. I love the same weather everyday, I love the people I’ve met, I love my job, I love the travel, and I can’t say enough about the amazing opportunities at hand. When I travel now, I don’t actually need to say “I’m going on vacation” because I don’t need a vacation like I used to. For me, traveling has become what it should be: a priceless collection of life experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Levels of Productivity or Productiveness or Whatever You Want to Call It

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I’m not speaking of productivity on the business or work realm, that’s a whole other bag of words. Here I am speaking of personal time productivity, productiveness or whatever.

How do you measure your personal productivity time? By how many things you get done at home? How many errands you can run in one trip? How many meals you can prep for the week on a weekend? If you can get the kids/spouse to all the planned events on time? Hmmmmm, is this an effective way to measure your time and well-being?

Well, recently I’ve equated having a productive weekend with running in some sort of race event. So this weekend was the first in a while that I didn’t register for any running events since I have a double-header next weekend. I kind of felt like I would have a pretty unproductive couple of days. My mind is trained to think that unplanned time will be unproductive and that only days with schedules will be the productive ones (damn job!). And also lately, I’ve even had the nerve to feel that my own running time is not as productive unless it’s tied to a race or challenge! Egad! No bueno.

So I started searching for words related to productivity and came upon this wordle that captures what productivity looks like to me, generally. It’s a great little snapshot of important words – however most of these I tie to work.

Yes, all of these words are meaningful to me, but I am stepping back from the constant physical movement of being productive into a quest for a productive mindset.

That may mean that if I need to sleep, read, or watch TV, that’s what I need to do to get my mind into a place of contentment – my new productivity! Maybe I merely sit on a bench and watch people walk by, or simply get an iced coffee from a coffee shop I’ve never been to in order to reach the place of a mental regeneration/cleanse/contentment/renewal. I think this may one of those keys to happiness.

I don’t want to equate productivity only with physical accomplishments (as I must for 10 months of the year), but a mindset instead. This is often the mental work I need to do over summers – a repair from the grueling school year.

Oh, and I found another cute piggie picture on Animal Planet. I think that’s productive too.

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Courtesy Animal Planet

“What if… ?”

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I like asking myself this question often. Just for fun – but this is indeed a very powerful question. I ask myself “what if” not because I am unsatisfied with my life, but because it’s like writing your own Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel! Just think about all the multiple avenues your life could go!

I think the “what ifs” are sometimes equated with unhappiness, wishful thinking or living an unfulfilled life, but you have the power to turn those “what ifs” into something meaningful – if you want them to!

georgecouros.ca

georgecouros.ca

So… what if… (and this leads to the “Would I?”, of course)

… I moved to Boston instead of New York? Would I like it better? Would I still be there?

… I crossed this street instead of that street? Would I have gotten on the train I needed? Or would I have been hit by a cab?

… I worked under my psychology degree and never went back to school for education? Would I be bored at my job?

… I invented the next app or game that everyone spends their money on? Would I be better off?

… I didn’t become a teacher? Would I have gone back to school?

… I had a kid? Would I live in New York in an apartment?

… Jill and I had gone to Greece to teach English? Would we be drinking ouzo and eating olives in Santorini right now?

… I left 5 minutes earlier this morning? Would my day be different, or the same?

… I decided to move to Paris this summer? Would I eat croissants every day?

… I went to the movies tomorrow instead of work? Well – that’s easy – I don’t have to work!

… I bought those $700 shoes? Would I actually wear them?

… I stayed up all night watching TV? Would it matter?

Hhhhhmmmm. What if… I didn’t write this post? Would you be asking yourself “what if”? Or would you even care?