Friday, August 19, 2011

Blog on Fire: 7 Things I Learned While on a "Forced" Sabbatical

Here's another fun blog activity I got from fellow blogger Michi of Michi Photostory

I'm supposed to write about 7 personal tidbits about me, almost similar to my first Tagged post, but since I've more or less posted a lot of stuff about moi already, I've decided to tweak this a little bit and blog about 7 lessons I've learned while on my "forced" sabbatical.

I guess I've never really told you all about this but I stopped working last September 2010 in order to follow my Hubby to Singapore, where he is currently based.  It was also for a more dual purpose, I suppose. 

One reason was, as mentioned, for family.  I believe it is a little hard to be in a long-distance marriage hence I packed my bags; left home and family; and headed off to the Lion City to eventually try and find work there.

Second reason was also to take a short break after completing my Master's degree, which took me 4 grueling years to complete.  Imagine just how burned out and pooped I was!

I was already in Singapore for the last quarter of 2010 when fate dealt us a different hand and I eventually found myself in the motherly way.  So Hubby and I made the painful decision for me to return to RP til I gave birth.  We also believed that me being with my family was also important while pregnant.  We, baby and I, do have plans of returning to Singapore soon, but maybe by next year when she's a little bit older.  Right now I need the help of family.  =)

Hence my "forced" sabbatical of sorts started.  Don't get me wrong though.  As much as I love watching my baby grow and start to explore the world on her own, I am definitely missing work bad -- the deadlines and paperwork; heck! even my ever so makulit bosses.  Hehehe!  I'm not made to be a stay-at-home mom, I guess.  But as the months pass, I realize that there are indeed reasons for everything.

Eventually I was able to learn 7 important lessons that if I was not on this leave, I would not have learned and understood...

1. Patience is indeed a virtue.  I was living in a fast paced work environment.  I had deadlines here and there; and rarely would you find me out of the office at exactly clock out.  And I absolutely loved it!  Crazy as it seems, but yes, I was a workaholic and I adored every single minute of it.  In my mind, I was a productive member of the corporate world.

Since I enjoyed finishing tasks ahead of time, I also expected the same from others.  Sadly, I would lose my cool one too many times at the office when things weren't going my way and delays were the inevitable result.

But that all changed during my sabbatical.  I learned that patience is important and am glad to admit that I rarely lose my temper nowadays.  I learned that it's not worth it and doesn't always get the job done.  Hence, I wait in line patiently at the bank, at the doctor's office and even while on the road.  I used to have road rage, but wonder of all wonders, when I started driving again quite recently, I find myself more cool and level-headed.

Now if I weren't able to experience this leave, then I guess I wouldn't have learned this simple lesson.

2. Life is too short to be serious.  Also connected with my lengthly tirade in the 1st lesson, I realized that I had been sorely neglecting my less-than-serious side.  When before my life was filled with work and school, I would always forget to relax and unwind. 

Ever since starting this sabbatical of mine, I have attended workshops on anything BUT work-related stuff; have visited places purely for the heck of it; and have even learned new hobbies!  I'm also reading more and enjoying life at a more leisurely pace.

3. Health is wealth.  Being pregnant sure changes your perspective on health.  When I was still working, rarely would you find me having breakfast, my usual morning repast consisting of only a single mug of joe.  That I expect to keep me going til lunch where I'd usually have my first and only real meal for the day.  You read it right!  Since I was also living alone, I was admittedly much too tired to cook dinner most nights, hence a banana or a glass of milk was all I could swallow down for dinner.

With a baby along the way, a little one who solely relied on me for her nutrition, I woke up and started eating healthy again; ditched my bad eating habits and ate as much as I wanted.  Having someone rely on you is a huge wake up call. 

Aside from that I also learned the importance of exercise.  And this from a girl who adhors anything physical!  Hehehe!

4. Family is everything.  I would never have survived all these months of no work and pregnancy if not for my family.  My mom was always encouraging and listened to each and every rant I had.  She was that patient!  Hehehe!

Even my dad tried to understand my predicament and agreed to drive me around when I was totally bored out of my wits and jumping all over the place.  I wouldn't really have survived without them.

5. Being dependent, in part, on someone else won't kill me.  I've always prided myself in being independent.  I lived alone, I drove my own car, I earned my own money.  I loved my life.  But with me being out of work, I had to dependent on others for my survival, mainly my Hubby. 

When before we had separate finances (yes, I did not require that he send me anything since I was earning enough for my keep), I now find myself relying solely on him for financial reasons.  I have to admit, it killed me a little at first, most especially when I wanted to buy some non-essential items (i.e. a new pair of jogging shoes, etc.), but I later realized that I am indeed lucky since we are doing ok and my Hubby loves me enough to meet my needs and wants.

6. Money isn't everything.  I enjoy earning my own keep.  Having a salary always spelled indepence for me and I loved being able to handle my own finances, meaning I could buy whatever I wanted when I wanted it. 

But with me being faced with this situation, I find myself relying on Hubby financially.  Sure I miss earning my own money, but as the months pass, I realize that it's just money and I can earn it anytime.  There are more important things that require my attention now more than anything else.

7. Self-reflection is always the key.  I love having the time for self-reflection.  I believe it's important in order for me to grow emotionally and spiritually.  Having been faced with a lot of free time on my hands, I realize that there are a lot of things I should indeed be thankful for and that compared to other people, we are still fortunate enough.

Life does indeed throw you curves unexpectedly.  But always remember that there are reasons for everything.  =)


  1. hey babe, great article! I'm learning from your post! :) have a great day!


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