1. Nature or Nurture?

    Nature or Nurture?

    The Nature vs Nurture debate is something that has been discussed a lot over the years.  In my last post, I noticed myself returning to old ways.  Do you think you are a product of your genes or your environment?

    Perfectionism – learned or earned?

    I definitely identify myself as a Perfectionist and scrolling through the headings in the article I’m like ‘yep, yep, yep’.  That’s me, you’ve totally nailed it.

    I am a Virgo star sign, so a natural born worrier.  However, I notice that I am harder on myself that I think I should be at times (this article says that perfectionists use the word ‘should‘ which I know from some coaching I’ve had that this is a trigger word for me to notice and to stop and think as ‘should‘ often means you don’t want to.  It’s probably linked to an outer expectation, or you are comparing yourself to another).

    I also notice that my parents, especially my Mum (also a Virgo), get stressed and worry and don’t sleep – so basically the same as me.  Probably everyone is the same, but others are better at masking it.  But is that the right thing, or should (sorry!) we be talking about our thoughts and feelings more?

    Take today

    Even today, a beautiful sunny Saturday, I have felt myself rushing to get things done.  Where’s my deadline? Oh it’s me.  I think that I try to get things done so that I can rest.  However, I’m not then enjoying the moment.

    I enjoy writing, but I could find myself rushing to try to get a post done rather than actually taking the time to enjoy that I can touch-type (and I do love typing, the noise, the feel of the keys – there’s just something about it that is soothing for me)… the birds are twittering outside.  There are always plenty of things to take in and be grateful for.

    I also think the ‘always on’ culture in life means that everyone is striving to achieve and accomplish something all the time, but we need to take time to stop and relax as well.

    An email from CGMA gave a link to another article from Psychology today which said that perfectionists can overcome their tendencies – so that’s good news! Basically we need to stop comparing ourselves to others.  I also think there’s something in mindfulness and just ‘being’ rather than always doing.

    Nature around us

    The other day a butterfly was fluttering around outside my front door.  I’d just arrived home from work and got out of my car and the butterfly continued to flutter around a flower near the door.  So I feel very fortunate to have got some photos of it.

    ButterfliesFlutter

    Of course ButterfliesFlutter is my Twitter handle, but the butterfly even seemed to flutter around me the next day too.  So go out for a walk, respond to the nature around you and enjoy today.

  2. Returning to old ways?

    Returning to old ways

    This month I have felt myself returning to old ways at work.  For me, this is worrying about things when I probably don’t need to.

    Of course, sometimes worry is a good thing as it makes you consider things in advance and plan so that things go smoothly.  However, I used to think this would stop bad things happening and that’s certainly not the case.  But, generally (read ‘probably always’ or ‘always’!)  it really, really isn’t.  It actually hampers you because you end up wasting energy, losing sleep etc which isn’t healthy.

    It’s hard to change the way that you are, but equally a learned behaviour can be unlearned.  Below I highlight some reading I’ve been doing to improve myself.

    I’m now into my sixth month in the new job.  I am definitely settling in, but there’s still a lot that feels new.  I actually have my probation review tomorrow so fingers crossed!

    Training Bubble

    This week I’ve been on a training course in London every day.  Being in a ‘bubble’ of learning and a new routine for the week meant that I had ample time to read on the commute.  In the last couple of weeks I’ve read two books that a friend bought me a while ago for birthdays/Christmas.  One was Calm which I’m sure is well-known.  The other was Lifestyle Essentials by Lisa B.  This is a fairly old book (2008).

    I found both really good.  There were recurring themes in both and also lots of themes that I’d found were ‘calming‘ myself such as: walking in nature, sleep (!) and being creative.  Lisa B’s book was a straightforward roadmap to getting on with things in life and I found it really useful and plan to keep both books on my bookshelf for future reference! I took note of Lisa’s advice to clean to Kylie.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned I’m a big fan once or twice.

    The training itself was for a product I will use in my job, however being in a different environment makes you think differently.  There was a lot of content to take on board and I found it very tiring.

    Anniversaries

    Further to a previous post which cited Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City, the programme recently turned 20 years old.  There were various articles published which ‘wondered’ why the show still had appeal.  For me, it’s a comfort blanket and I guess a source of hope.

    I am a perfectionist and can also be resistant to change, so things like a solid routine and trying to be organised really help me out.  Knowing there are shows like Sex and the City to fall back on and sometimes to fall asleep to is good to know!

    I don’t know about you, but I go through cycles with reading.  I do really enjoy it, but sometimes I  get into a routine of watching TV in bed instead (and often falling asleep as above).  My Dad literally said the same thing himself just the other day.

    Another book that I read recently was about the economy.  Sometimes I don’t feel as knowledgeable about the world as I should do.  However, I actually made my Dad buy this book (he’d been reading others by the same author) because of the title ‘Talking to my Daughter about the Economy’.

    In the book, Yanis Varoufakis references a quote by Henry David Thoreau which feels apt for this website:

    “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

    And on that note I will sign-off.  Enjoy today.

  3. Day 180: Writing from Singapore

    Today I met an old boss/colleague who now lives in Singapore.  I’ve not seen her since 2003, but through the wonder of our socially connected world, I noticed she was living in Singapore so reached out to her on LinkedIn and here we are!

    The internet has definitely made the world seem smaller.  I’ve been able to look at live images of my home through an app, speak to my family on video calls and generally keep in touch using WhatsApp and email.  My niece was very excited when I spoke to her on Saturday as she was going to a party.  She makes me happy any day of the week.  It was almost like being with her, but not quite… My father and I bought her a tablet from quite an early age and it’s funny how people of her generation will take technology for granted.

    I am finding it useful myself as my friend lent me an old iPhone so I got a local sim giving me access to data (main purpose).  I then become something of a local expert as I can use Google Maps as well as anyone else (or at least I’m learning as I go along!).

    This is my first trip on my own for a length of time.  I’m lucky that my friend and her family are putting me up (hopefully that’s not putting up with me!), so I’ve been able to come away for nearly three weeks.

    It’s given me time to adjust to the time difference (a little), though not the humidity.  I’ve been fortunate not to get soaked in what is rainy season here.

    I’m currently on a career break, having left my role at the end of March.  I am on or around Day 180, so more or less six months into my ‘journey’.

    I wanted to take some time out as I’d been working full-time for twenty years.  I left school after A-Levels and went straight to work.  I undertook an HNC in Business and Finance.  I continued with a top-up degree in Business Studies.  I then proceeded to get first time passes in CIMA (accounting).  So I had a long time both studying and working.

    I’d been at my last company for eleven years and I felt that each year proceeded to go by at an ever faster pace.  Before you knew it, it was Christmas again and I would think about what I did and didn’t have in my life.

    About five years ago a few people close to me died, and this really hit home that life is short and made me question a lot of things.

    So I currently find myself with plenty of time on my hands (in theory, as it’s amazing how you can fill your time) and want to use this blog to chart my progress as I’ve coined it ’emerging from the chrysalis’. I plan to talk about the feelings I’ve had – which can range from too worried to too relaxed and back in a day!

    I’m hoping it will help someone else out there and that writing will aid my own decision process.

    So far I’ve set up various social channels, and have been tweeting a daily inspirational quote so if you found me via that, I hope you follow me and these quotes make you feel happier. Equally, if you want to follow me I’m @bfliesflutter17.

    Thanks for reading this.

    Enjoy today.

    PS – here’s a little something I treated myself to today.

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