Saturday, April 24, 2010

The (my) idle life

While driving the long way to work the other day, i have this thought, if only our work load is within reasonable level, there won't be such terms as work-life balance, which every other people i know these days are talking about. Nor does one needs to take extended long leave from work, in order to pursue other life interests, if our daily life already allows us to.

Why must we work all the time or risk not being able to survive in the corporate world? Why do the emails keep streaming in, or the phone keeps ringing non stop and the to-do list you created each morning never can gets completed although you already tried to be as efficient as possible? Why do people assume their email recipient is on 7-24 standby to wait for their email with answer on hand to reply to them immediately?

Why do people scream why they couldn't reach you, when they have no idea that they are just one of the many many people who wanted a piece of you but you only have limited time, that even just answering 40 over phone calls telling people that you will get back to them is a demand on your time, a drain to your mental wellness and is non value adding to getting the real job done,

why do people make a request and expected it be completed immediately, as if resources are unlimited and someone else is just standby-ing to address their needs? Why are people getting rude, impatient and disrespectful to others. Why is it that when things doesn't go accordingly to plan, some people threaten and scream and create so much negativity, instead of just being cool and resolve issues via rational discussions and and good problem solving skills, why does a lost phone prototype causes one to commit suicide, why ? It's like every one losses patience and grace under this time crunch environment, such that everything gotta be fast, cramped, high pressured, stressed, reactive, explosive. 

I had a pretty good work review the other day and my boss was happy with my performance. I happen to like my boss and think i couldn't ask for a better boss in this organization, and i enjoyed my colleagues very much as well. But the the job is shitty. And it seems like nothing much can be changed - the workload and the shits (i couldn't find another more polite word to replace this) was supposed to be expected. So anyway, at the back of my mind, all i was thinking was, i need a life.

There are things in life where, while you are capable to do something, it may not necessary be what you want to do. There are times in life when at some point, monetary returns, or the pretty conventional success images, are not as important as pursuing success more intrinsic and closer to heart, not determined by what the outside world views.

Anyway, i am thinking of taking a sabbatical. After 10 years of hectic life(of work), it's time for some idleness, not from life, but idleness from work. To learn a language, do some painting, start a project, read a book, write a poem, relax, be in the present, do something creative and meaningful. :) nice.

I'll draw inspirations from those ancient Chinese high minded scholars, the ones who valued their characters more than achievements, soul more than wealth , poor in worldly possessions but rich in sentiments. Lin Yutang mentioned about these great men in his book, The importance of Living, one of my favorite books for a long time. In one excerpt, he wrote,

" great men of letters of this class, T'ao Yuanming, Sun Tungp'o, Po Chuyi ..." were generally " enticed into a short term of official life, did a wonderful job of it, and then got exasperated with its eternal kowtow and receiving and sending off of fellow officials, and gladly laying down the burdens of an official life, returned wisely to the life of retirement." " Yuan Chung Lang wrote seven successive petitions to his superior, when he was magistrate of Soochow, complaining of eternal kowtow-ings and beggings to be allowed to return to the life of the free and careless individual"

So me too, in modern day Singapore, I'm gonna lay down the burdens of official life and return wisely to the life of retirement. Hmm, life of retirement would be a luxury and i can't afford it anyway. But i think a mini retirement of a year or so would sound great! I'm looking forward to this carefree, 逍遥 life, even if it's for a short duration. :)