Lighten Up!


LIGHTEN UP! These were the words that my big boss told me when I was prepared to throw in the towel. I was just too tired and too stressed up with problems at work- felt I could not take all the problems coming my way. “You’re just too serious. Take things easy. Lighten up!”

And everything just fell into place.

Now I finally understood- all the weariness feeling that coz my sometimes anti-social behaviour. Why I felt too tired to keep in touch with friends, to return calls/ sms, to want to go out (even though they offered to come and pick and drop me at my doorstep). I felt I needed lots of energy to sustain myself through work the rest of the week and that I really needed the weekend and weekday nights to recuperate. Felt that going out will exhaust me- and also I did not have the mood. A few weeks ago, I constantly woke up with a heaviness in my chest when I had to go to work. I was working myself up to a crescendo….

Trying to reduce the ‘hell’ that my poor colleagues sometimes got from me, I have tried all methods that I could think of- took up exercising, learned yoga, went on a vegetarian diet (for a few months), took sugar and starch out of my food. Exercising and healthy eating habits has helped tremendously for me to cope but still ….stress sometimes still find a way of getting to me. I guess if I have not taken up exercise and cut down on sugar/starch, I would probably be on high blood pressure medication by now.

But still, I have forgotten the most important aspect- my attitude. My boss was right- I am taking work too seriously, viewing things too negatively- managing work like it’s my life’s responsibility. It was my view and attitude of things that are zapping out my energy.

Of course, I had learned from a very young age to be independent and take care of myself- I had to then. Dealing with life’s hard knocks here and now made me grew up much faster and tougher than I would like to- and somehow, it resulted an almost whimsical sad view on life.Finally I saw the light.

It doesn’t have to be that way now.

There are many aspects of my current job that I love- and it fulfill my aspirations to help others. Aside from that I have great colleagues working with me- people who accept me for the way I am. Friends who changed me by the virtue of their kindness, compassion and forgiving nature.

I am glad that I got my wake up call. This week I felt lighter and happier. I work what I can manage instead of biting off more than I can chew.So I am now embarking on another journey- learning to lighten up, adopting a more positive outlook instead of taking everything so seriously. I can understand now what it means by looking within. And to accept that I have made some mistakes and move on instead of dwelling in regrets.

In my personal life, I make it a point to return calls and sms now- I even go to the extend of setting reminders in my phone when it become too late to return calls. My friends have been great and they have always been showing great concern for my well being- even though I had previously not return calls.

Today, I went out for tea with my best friend- the last time was more than a year ago. We caught up at my favourite kopitiam and I was surprised that there was so many changes going on in her life that I did not know about. She had gone through a lot with her dad’s recent passing away, but unfortunately I had too absorbed in my own self inflicted misery to be there for her

If you have been one of my friends that I have not keep in touch (and reading this now), I would like to offer you my sincerest apologies. And if you been like me, feeling your personal life fading away, perhaps all you need to do is to learn to lighten up, smile and manage what you can to the best of your abilities.

After all, we cannot control the circumstances surrounding us, we cannot control policies, natural disasters or unexpected changes. But we have absolute control on how we want to deal with them. It’s never too late to change- we lose out so much when we habor in negativity. It’s just so not worth it.

If you like this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Leave a Comment