Friendship at work?

I wonder if that is fact or myth.

I would like to believe that it is possible to form friendships at work, because most of the friends who I have now with whom I contact often and meet up with, are from work. There are just a few who have remained friends after we stepped out of the schools’ gates, whether by choice or by circumstance. But the ones I count as close friends now are mainly from my past jobs.

The thing is, we didn’t become friends or grow closer after we leave the companies that we worked together in. Which is why I have this faith in friendships formed at work. Yet, it is with examples that I also start to lose the faith with it.

It does seem now, that developing friendships is becoming an almost impossible feat. People seem to be guarded with information they divulge about themselves, and they seem to not be totally forthcoming in conversations, whether it’s about work or play. I know that we ought to be mindful of what we say, especially when we are still working in the same company, but shouldn’t friendship be characterised by trust? I don’t sense that feeling of trust here somewhat, and there is a lack of candidness. There is still that overall civility that is proof that we are still on ‘colleague’ terms, not friends.

There is certainly no need to feel sad or aggrieved at this, but I just find it strange. Having people at work whom you can talk to without that barrier helps to make an otherwise dreary job more bearable. Perhaps I just tend to trust people too easily, despite my professional background where I was meant to exercise scepticism in my line of work. But yet that is not to be.

Seoul’s autumn foliage 

We all need to take breaks. And this usually involves travel, for most people, Singaporeans in particular. Somehow, perhaps due to the fact that Singapore is really small and there are limited things that we can do domestically, most of us count wanderlust as one of our traits. It also helps that we are quite well-situated to travel to many places, Singapore is generally well-connected by flights, budget or otherwise, to many cities in the world, and our passport offers general easy visa-free access to many countries.

I have progressed to taking several holidays within a year. I do not belong to the demographic group that can survive on one long trip each year, so I break my annual leave entitlement into several smaller trips. I would love to take many long trips, but that just isn’t possible for office folks with limited annual leave, and also finances-wise.

Recently, I just went to Seoul for a short 5-day vacation, because my friend couldn’t afford more days of leave, and our main objective of heading there was the autumn foliage. It was good timing, because when we went, leaves were mostly turning a brilliant shade of red, especially on Nami Island where most headed for such views. This photo had a filter from the built-in filter of my phone, but it just enhances the beauty of the view, as there was insufficient sunlight to give the photo a natural brightness it would need to look good.

October seemed so long ago, even it’s less than 2 months since the trip. I feel so tired and drained these days, while I busy myself with tying up loose ends of the renovation, which is one of the most difficult things to handle, shop for furniture and schedule for deliveries while juggling with the remnants of renovation. These, in addition to visualising and deciding on how I want certain things to be, where I want to have certain items, and what I would need, so on and so forth. Owning a place is a lot of work and considerations, and it has left me utterly exhausted, not to mention frustrated and spent.

On top of all this, balancing my usual routine and life has also proven tumultuous. I don’t know if I suck at multi-tasking, but aside from what renovating and furnishing the place needs of my time and energy, it is a challenge keeping to work, yoga and my usual attempts to meet up with friends, even if there are many occasions where they aren’t able to make it because their lives are just busier. So someone told me, if they do not appreciate my effort, then just don’t try anymore. Yes, I should try to practice that, and keep to it.

No time or just not a priority?

I read something on Dayre some time back, which set me thinking about familiar conversations; when we ask people out they always have numerous reasons to explain their apparently busy lives where they are unable to find time for a meet up. In most cases, it also isn’t like the person who takes the initiative to ask has all the time in the world, but the difference lies in making an effort to arrange and schedule appointments and commitments so as to meet up with friends.

The writer of the Dayre post put it simply, that the sad truth is that you are just not a priority to the person.

Then the other day, I attended a course where the instructor was lamenting about the proliferation of smart devices that have led to the dearth of face-to-face relationships. Sure, we have such things called “Facetime”, but what is really lost now is the real ‘face-time’. With a variety of instant messaging apps at our disposal, we don’t even call each other to talk nowadays, much least meet up physically. He went on to give an account of how his Whatsapp function was down and his friends/contacts ended up having to default to SMS, which they then started complaining because text messages (through SMS) are not free for some people. He asked us (and his friends), that if what they wanted to convey to him, or sending him a text message, isn’t worth that 10-cent, then probably the message wasn’t that important after all, or that he just is not worth them spending 10 cents to link up. Makes sense?

So really, if someone else doesn’t value us, the effort that we make, the time that we want to invest into maintaining the relationship, then do we still want to try and hit our heads against a brick wall once more?

 

the rabbit with an X for a mouth 

One of my favourite characters since some time ago has been Miffy, the rabbit that hails from the Netherlands, created by Nick Bruna, with an “X” for a mouth. At least it has a mouth, not like Hello Kitty, the cat without a mouth. Haha.

I remembered that since young, I have liked characters like Snoopy, the beagle without a mouth and speaks with thought balloons. Then there was Garfield, the fat lazy cat. No trend detected there.

So anyhow, I seem to have a fondness of rabbits, whether it’s Miffy or rabbit-print stuff. The only thing that I’m not that keen on would be probably real rabbits. I am not an animal person, or for that matter, pets person. It isn’t that I dislike animals but I just don’t fancy taking care of them or want to have the commitment of looking after them when I don’t know if I can even take care of myself. It could be a poor excuse for being commitment-phobic but oh well. We all have our preferences.So I got a Miffy toy for my birthday this year! Somehow, it looks a bit sad? Like how I generally feel these days perhaps. Or maybe because it was sitting beside the huge-ass slice of Apple Crumble but yet can’t have it!

Thanks for the thought and the gift. With some people, things just always feel the same despite a long bout of absence. I suppose it isn’t the frequency of meeting up that makes the difference, but the fact that we make the effort when we can.

gaining and losing

As time passes and life events occur in an individual’s life, some people who are not going with the usual flow of things inevitably get left behind.

Sometimes it does indeed feel that way.

With some, we try to reconnect and are successful for a while, with others it just becomes futile.

building castles in the air

 

This year, the birthday came and went like that. Well, each year it comes and goes but for all these years I have always entertained superfluous thoughts in my mind about how I would wish for the day to pan out. Not every year but in some years. I don’t know if it was a result of books that I read or shows that I watched in my growing up years where to me, birthdays are special occasions where one will have a small group of close-knit friends, or just one or two pals who would make it truly special for the birthday person on that day. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate celebration since as the adage goes, it is the thought that counts, and it is the thought that goes into making the day extraordinary as a birthday.

Thinking such thoughts only sets me up on a course of disappointment for being unrealistic. It is ironic how some have asked about how I spent my birthday or wishes have come in the form of text messages that follow with a “Hope you have/had a great day!” depending on if the wish was belated or not. I wondered how they would have reacted, if they would, if I had replied with a “It was not great, in fact, it was worse than if it were just another day.” Text exchanges save them the awkwardness if such a response was sent from me, and it wouldn’t serve any purpose either because that appended sentence was just an afterthought to the “Happy (belated) birthday”, perhaps to make the message look more complete. I admit that I am as well guilty of sending such messages, but to different people it will probably appear differently.

So each year I just stay optimistic until the actual day swings by and go by. Each year, I seem to make myself feel more disappointed, if that was even possible. It was funny how making my birthday invisible on Facebook shows how reliant friends are on Facebook reminders and notifications. I don’t mind that some people don’t remember because I don’t expect them to and I probably don’t make it a point to remember their birthdays as well. But there are/were close friends who totally did not even make an effort to remember. I suppose because we drift apart, or we don’t meet up anymore, which is a good reason to delete any cache memory that was used to store such information?

For the record, one of my friends did invite me over to her place to spend my birthday together with her. But I was just lazy to make the trip. I chose to wallow in self-pity, which I have been told I shouldn’t and which I know it too. It does not help a single thing and it does not change a single thing. People not caring won’t start to care just because I am feeling lousy that they don’t bother. It only makes me reluctantly accept that this is just how life is. Seeing pictures posted on Facebook by friends who shared the same birthday having friends celebrate with them made it feel like having salt sprinkled on open smarting wounds, but that is the downside of social media that has to be accepted if I’m not ready to cut the use of it.

10 ways to be the best travel buddy

Replicating some content from xin.msn on this topic, it made me wonder if I have flouted these ways that cause me to become the solo traveller that I often am nowadays.

  1. Help do some research beforehand
  2. Be decisive (don’t say “I don’t care” to everything)
  3. Be adventurous
  4. Leave your work behind
  5. Don’t be a cheapskate
  6. Be a low-maintenance person
  7. Be open to what other people want to do
  8. Don’t take things too personally
  9. Be considerate of the culture around you
  10. Don’t be stupid (meaning being practical, prepared and streetwise)

Well… I don’t know. Maybe. Anyway, it’s better to just be able to travel alone because it is not possible to always have someone available to travel together with.