31/12/2013

Big Rocks Little Rocks

As the year comes to an end, it is time for a quiet reflection on what has happened in the year, and what we can do better next year. For me, I am grateful for all the wonderful times and the trying times that I encountered this year. While it has been a smooth sail for me for most of the year, the past couple of months were very trying, as I lost my grandma whom I hold dead and close to my heart. As always, the loss of our loved ones makes us reflect and gives us a reality check on the priorities in our lives.

While we spend the final day of the year in revel, I'd like to share with you something I've learned from a personal development course I've attended last year. It is the Big Rocks chapter of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. We all have rocks in our lives, the things that keep us grounded, such as our family, our life partner/ companion, our hobbies and our passion. Then, we have the little gravels, the chores, such as: paying the bills, picking up the little ones from school, taxes, groceries, our job (depending on what you are doing, I suppose). The gravel is endless, but necessary to keep us surviving. If you fill up a jar with all the gravel first, you will never be able to fit in all the rocks. The jar will overflow and the rocks will tumble. But, if you set the foundation and put all the rocks in the jar first, then pour the gravel to fill up the gaps between the rocks, you will find that everything fits neatly, and perhaps you may even have some space left for some water.

I'm not a master in reiterating concepts, but I hope you get the gist of the story after all my rambling. The point is, if you don't prioritise the big rocks first, you will never be able to get any in.

Reflecting on that, I regret to say that I'm guilty of neglecting a couple of rocks in my life.

My Family


My family is a big rock in my life. However, I did not take good enough care of them. The older I get, the more I understand the importance of family. These people shaped my values and moulded my character. They are pieces of me and together I am whole. Living abroad, I feel like I am a falling leave floating in the air searching for a place to rest. But when I am home with my family, everything feels right. The Chinese has a saying that roughly translates to fallen leaves returning to its roots. I suppose that is how I feel. Sadly, there is now a chip in the rock with the recent passing of my grandmother. It is an emptiness and void in my heart and life that can never be fulfilled again.

My Partner


After four years in a fantastic relationship, this man is my motivation to keep going on. I know he has my back all the time. Dependable, loyal and generous, he is a solid rock in my life. Yet, at times I've taken this beautiful relationship for granted, causing lots of frustration. For that, I am sorry.

However, it's not all negative. This year, I cultivated new hobbies and rekindled old passion (as in an old pastime, not an old lover) that soothes and calms me:

Knitting


I started knitting in September and completed a couple of projects since. I believe I have started more than just a winter project, but a lifelong hobby. This new hobby also helped me form a new friendship with a fellow craft and knitting enthusiast (you know who you are!)

Piano

I don't profess to be a great pianist, but I played piano for 15 years before I stopped for 5 years. This year, with a more stable income, I purchased a keyboard that has brought my much joy. I've been recording tracks, fiddling with midi and Garage Band since. Check out the Piano Lounge section of the blog!

Experiences

I told myself that this year I will visit new places and do new things, or even to indulge a little. I spent less on clothes and shoes. Instead, I use the money towards gaining experiences. I had one of the best time of my life this year watching Beyonce live in Melbourne back in October. Then, I visited the Royal Botanical Garden in Melbourne (because I said I would visit it for years, but never did) and spent a lovely weekend at Daylesford with my partner (blog post to come soon). I also had my first manicure and pedicure! These experiences reinvigorates my senses and refreshes my mind.

This blog post can go on and on about my year in retrospect, but I will stop here. The point is, everything happens for a reason. Even at new year's eve, I am still going through some personal struggles and still trying to lift myself from grieving. But, I look forward to the new year with a whole lot of gusto. I don't have any new year's resolution, except to take better care of the rocks in my life. I don't have any bucket list or 2014 to-do list. Everything will take its course.

If it helps, here is a video of Stephen Covey illustrating the 7 Big Rocks concept. Happy New Year!

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