Not what I expected

I hope everyone had a joyful Christmas season and are excited to welcome the New Year. The past four days were extremely busy for me. I had hopes of using at least one of the days to relax and do absolutely nothing but rest, think and do some mental planning and organising for the first quarter of 2015 but unfortunately that was not the case. I spent my holidays cleaning and cooking and spending time with family and friends. Even though things did not go exactly the way I wanted, it felt great to have conversations with friends I haven’t seen in quite some time. The first quarter of 2015 will be filled with productive activity and the opportunity to spend time with people I care deeply for was greatly appreciated, as I know most of my time will be devoted to personal and professional development for the next couple of months.

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A welcomed break

Today is one of the calmest weekdays I’ve had in a very long time. I’m at the office writing my blog post for the day and completing a few things while everyone else has left to attend the departmental breakfast at the head office. While I don’t fancy the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I will definitely appreciate the next 2 days that I’ll be able to take it down a bit and spend some extra time with close friends and family. I will also be taking a break from my blog posts until next week Monday, so to everyone out there, thank you for supporting my blog and reading my content over the past couple of months and I wish you and yours a wonderful, fruitful and blessed Christmas.

A balanced life

At the beginning of December, my part-time lecturing duties will come to an end for this semester. This will give me some more time to update my apps and think of new projects. I will be making some personal and professional changes for 2015 which would give me more time to rest at night and bring more balance to my life. I currently get less than 6 hours sleep on most nights even though my ultimate time is 6-7 hours which I can wake up from without an alarm clock and have great performance throughout the day without that need for my morning cup of Joe. I would still continue lecturing, coding and working on my business but I need to also ensure that I am able to spend more time with my family. While my mom has been slowly recovering, I have been thinking about changes to make in my life that would be benefit my health and the relationships in my life. I am currently single with no children, so that gives me tons of flexibility and time for work but balance is important in life. I will continue to work every day of the week but I’ll definitely cut down the number of hours on Saturdays to 8-10 and Sundays to about 2-4 to spend more time with the people I love and focus more on spirituality. I am quite comfortable working 10-12 hour days on weekdays so I’ll be keeping things this way until I have a reason to change it. Ever since I’ve known myself, I’ve enjoyed working hard and smart but knowing that I will one day be leaving Trinidad, I should also use the opportunity while I’m here to communicate with and visit the people most dear to me a bit more often.

Advice

Yesterday before lecturing my Java class, I had a really great conversation with a friend I have a great amount of love for. He currently lives in Boston but has lived in New York for most of his years. His mom isn’t well at the moment and he decided to move to Boston to be with her during her time of need. When we spoke yesterday, he reminded me that I have one mother and I should stay in Trinidad and be here for her in her time of need. It would indeed be heartbreaking to know I walked away from family to pursue my professional goals when my family needed me the most. I will still follow my dream but for now I need to assess what’s most important and most valuable to me. To hear him talk about his professional sacrifice for the sake of an ill parent was quite humbling for me. Having had the goal of being an iOS Developer in the UK for such a long time has made so focused on achieving it, that very little could stop me from leaving but thanks to the wise words of a very dear friend I have made a bit of a detour in my journey. I have the following affirmation on my bedroom wall that I constantly say to myself “I follow my dreams no matter what”, and I need to remind myself that slowing down and postponing may sometimes be a good thing.

FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Success

Focus is the word of the week for me. I listen to Entrepreneur On Fire or Quotes on Fire Podcasts with John Lee Dumas almost every day. In most of the podcasts, he gives his meaning of the word FOCUS, which is Follow One Course Until Success and I quite like this explanation. For now, I’ve had to shift my focus from securing an iOS Developer role in the UK to my ill mother. I was placed in this exact situation in May of this year and now five months later I’m in the same predicament. I’ll be slowing down the job applications for a bit but I’ll continue to write blog posts about my other work and develop this blog in the way I visual it to be within a year from now. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and it only lasts for a season, so it’s up to me to read the signs and figure out what I’m not doing that I should be doing and vice versa as well as what changes in my life need to be made, if any. For now I’ll focus on family and my work here in Trinidad. I’ll also seek out work as an iOS Developer working remotely for companies in the UK from Trinidad for the time being, it’s the best compromise I can think of at the moment.

Dealing with the Unexpected

Yesterday, I did something I’m not quite proud of…I cancelled a class because I wasn’t prepared. My mom fell ill in May of this year and has been slowly recovering. However, last week, things started to go a bit downhill for her. My work schedule was therefore disrupted and as a result my lecturing duties suffered. Yesterday an exam was scheduled for my Java class and I planned to use classmarker.com to host the exam as I’ve done that in the past and I’m quite please with the way things are done. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to upload all the questions by 5:00PM nor did I have a teaching plan prepared for that class, so I cancelled it. I think the students were quite happy about that though. My work at the National Insurance Board has also suffered, as well as my blog posting. As Jamais Cascio said, “Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.”

Work & Family

This weekend was well planned out with work to review for a technical interview this week. However, my goddaughter came down with a fever and needed some extra love and attention. Sometimes it can be a struggle to balance work and family but this weekend I chose family. I had to ask myself, what would I like to do most right now and the answer was to spend time cuddling and comforting her. She is 19 months and I have a very special bond with her. Sometimes I think she is more attached to me than her mom. How this will affect my interview, I have no idea but it’s a consequence I’m willing to live with. There are so many people who have to constantly choose between work and family and it’s a tough one but when it comes to children it’s even harder.