Thursday, October 20, 2011
It's been slightly more than a year since I was diagnosed with SLE. Have been wanting to write on the blog at my "anniversary" but have been postponing due to my work. I have been transferred to a new department to take on a completely different portfolio in Aug. It's not easy as I have to learn new things from scratch and get to know the people whom I work with. You may wonder why I accepted it given my condition. It is not much of a choice if I want to carry on staying on with this present company. I also take it as a challenge since I am determined to live life as normal as I could despite my condition. So far I could cope with my new work but today I am down with a nasty throat infection and fatigue which forces me to stay home and thus this opportunity to come back to the blog. Sometimes I wonder whether I am addicted to work. While I am on leave and have finished the errands that I need to run, I could not resist but log on to my office VPN and start working. I am constantly worrying about unfinished works and the issues that I need to tackle at work. I also have the urge to do it now although I am supposed to rest so that I can recover faster. The body is weak but the mind is alert, thus this constant struggle. I know it is not healthy and unsustainable but I do not know how to overcome it at this point of time. Not sure whether it is my inner self wanting to proof myself or the competitive nature of mine that I want to show others that I can do the work and can do it even better even though I have SLE. But my new bosses do not know about my condition and so what am I trying to prove? At this stage of my worklife, am I still trying to show that I am a good employee with great capacity and definitely can do the work well? Think there is no need for me to do this given my track record in the company. Am I trying to earn promotion, I ask myself? Maybe yes and maybe not. Promotion means recognition of ability and good work done and it helps with my self esteem. It's also means more money and who will quibble with more money since it helps with my medical expenses? But promotion also means a bigger job and bigger responsibility. Am I ready to take this? Seriously I am not ready for it. The money I have now is not much but comfortable to live on. Do I really need to go after more money at the expense of my health, and of course the answer is no! Do I really need to climb to the top of the corporate ladder to feed my own ego that I am smarter and more capable than others? But those who are there now may not be there because they are smarter and more capable. In the corporate world, we all know some people are there due to luck and timing. If so, why do I need to be so hung up about it? Throughout my life, people have already perceived that I am one of the better ones be it at school, at home and at work. So why I am so afraid that I could not finish my work, get ridiculed or perceived by others to be incompetent? Fear seems to be a cause when I wrote the word "afraid" in my earlier sentence. Fear of rejection and fear of failure at work? So what if I fail? So what if I get scolded for being incompetent or making a wrong decision? Is this the end of the world? When I was seriously ill one year ago, nothing is important to me except my health and my family. Without health, I just can't do anything. But when one has the health, then we forget what is like without it and will take health for granted. Guess it's human nature and it's so hard to overcome it. I am still feeling worried about my unsettled work and the deadlines, despite the above rationalisation. Perhaps this is what people with type A personality traits suffered from. Well for now, I just have to keep telling myself to stop the worrying and go sleep so that I go back to work soon.
There have been a far bit of talks during about what is happiness after the much publicity about Bhutan royal wedding and at the recent Singapore parliamentary sessions.
I have also asked myself numerous times in various stages of my life what is happiness for me. When I was sick and struggling to help myself to basis daily needs like eating and walking effortlessly then, my only wish and happiness to me is to able to do these basis tasks independently. Health is the only thing that matters then. Life seems so simple at that moment. But being human beings, we have an insatiable appetite. Once we have health, we take it for granted and want more of other things - self-esteem, beauty, love, money, status, power, fame.... etc. We keep thinking only when we have these things we can be happy. And we keep wanting and wanting, with the thought that we need more of these "things" even though we have already have the other things.
I suppose as human beings, looking for ways to satisfy one's needs is our innate nature. No one is spared from this, not even for people who are seeking enlightenment or nirvana (which I intepret as freedom from all worldly concerns). Englightment or nirvana is already a want or a need for that person who are seeking for it. It is not wrong to seek ways to satisfy one's need. Guess things start to go wrong and people feel unhappy when the needs and wants of a person become excessive and the act of seeking these needs by that person have inflicted pain/hurt to others.
I think a main key to happiness is the ability to feel contented and feel blessed with things that we already have. It does not mean we will stop learning and improving ourselves. But being appreciative of things and people around us, we are more likely to be at peace at oneselves (thus happier) and will be less likely to fall into the trap of "excessive needs or wants" and hence are also less likely to cause hurt to others in the search of our needs or wants.
Theory has said that SLE may be triggered by stress. People who are less satisfied with things or people around them are supposedly less happy and more stressed. So perhaps one way to overcome SLE or as a preventive measure is to first learn to be happy by feeling contented and blessed with things we have and not fall into the cycle of excessive needs.