What does your office look like?
I was recently reading through some jobs descriptions online, and came across one that explained the physical requirements of the position (a desk job), which was explained as working in an environment without any windows at a small desk. For a long second, I thought to myself, hmmm…this does not sound like a very stimulating or creative environment. Maybe for some, this is the work environment in which they are accustomed and are comfortable in, however, I have worked from home, almost my entire professional career. This got me thinking about how work, work habits, and work environments have changed and how they affect our productivity.
We are almost through the first month of 2015. Can you believe it?! How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along?
Many people made their new year’s resolutions:
- Lose weight
- Exercise more
- Spend less money
Having the ability to travel is a beautiful gift. Some can’t travel for financial, time, or physical reasons. For me, financial and time constraints have not allowed me to travel on occasion, however, I have been very fortunate that physical reasons have never stopped me. However as my parents are getting older, I am starting to see some of the physical challenges of traveling.
I do not think that the travel and hospitality industries are sensitive or conscious enough of the changing demographics of many of the travelers – the aging population. As all of the baby boomers are retiring, they are the ones with the time and most importantly, the money to travel.
When planning a trip for someone with a physical disability, the questions that need to be asked are very different. If I had to plan a trip for my parents a few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought of the right questions to ask. Now that I have traveled with my parents and have seen the types of issues that they have faced, I am much more sensitive to the changing demographic of travelers.
When I first moved to Bangkok, Thailand, I had an amazing teacher – Mr. Westgate. He was a positive influence who provided me with the insight and acceptance to be confident and proud of who I am - a third culture kid (TCK).
In Bangkok I was privileged to attend an International School where there were students from 62 different countries. For the first time, I felt like I “fit” in and realized that I was different and that it was okay to be different in a number of ways: skin color, accent, language, nationality and experience. Mr. Westgate was instrumental in making me and other students proud of the fact we were different.
The one question that many TCKs find difficult to answer and sometimes dread being asked is “Where are you from?” Most of the time, the answer to that question is a long one. I start answering the question by explaining that I am first a Canadian and from a place that celebrates multiculturalism. My family heritage is Indian, Portuguese, Irish, Scottish, Italian, French Canadian with some other ethnicities mixed in. I was born in Calgary, where I spoke French and then we moved to Bangkok, Thailand where I spent many of my formative years. This provides me with several different “Faces”: Indian, Italian, French and Portuguese.
I love farmers' markets. There is a great energy with a variety of vendors and shoppers. Since 2009, I have been going to the Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Saturday morning farmers' market.
I definitely have my go to foods that I look forward to but there are a lot of new food vendors that I am looking forward to trying. My two favorite things to eat are served on a stick – sausage and corn.
What is home?
Since this is the Nomad Perspective…let’s talk about what makes home, home.
If you asked me when I was 11 where home was, I very confidently would have replied, Calgary and more importantly, my house on Chatham Place. At that time there was no doubt in my mind that I would live there until university. So, when my family and I moved to the other side of the world, to a strange, unfamiliar place, Bangkok, Thailand, I started to question where home was. Could Calgary still be my home even though I didn’t live on Chatham Place?
Well, now that I am older (no need to specify how much older), I can say that I feel that I have many homes. Can we have more than one home? Is the only place we can call home, the place where our permanent address is?
There is that saying, “Home is where the heart is”. Well based on that, my heart is in many different places. I have family that live all over the world and I feel that my heart is also with them. Parents in one time zone, a brother in another and then other family members scattered about. I feel at home at my parents place in Thailand. I feel at home in my hometown, Calgary, Alberta, and I feel at home in Honolulu, HI. I also feel at home in Hilo, HI.
I have moved houses, cities and countries many times. Moved houses in the same city more than three times, in 5 years!
I have learned how to not become attached to “things”, instead to focus on the intangibles, what I cannot see and touch, the things that I can feel and remember. “Things” unfortunately get lost when you move around so much and a lot of the time there isn’t enough space to take all of the “things” with you, but that is not what is important. This is not to say that I do not have “things” or don’t like “things” because I very much like “things” (shoes, bags, books) but it is much easier for me to part with them.
At the end of the day, I feel that home is a place/environment where I have a connection with the place, with the people, with the culture – including food and history, and is where I feel comfortable and happy! This sense of home, at this point in my life, is not associated with a specific structure but rather with the emotions and the memories created.
What is your definition of home?
When someone pays you a compliment, we have all at one time or another deflected it or we have just embraced it and accepted it.
It is hard to know what you should do. Michelle compliments Del, "You look great today!" Del could respond to the compliment in many different ways. One option would be to deflect the compliment by playing it down, "Oh this old thing." Or she could just say "Thank you!" Which do you think is the most appropriate response?
There are many interesting dimensions to how and why we receive compliments in a certain way. There are also a variety of motivations for giving a compliment.
The proper way to receive a compliment was definitely not taught at school! There is a perception that if you just accept a compliment you are possibly vain or full of yourself, as some how "Thank you" translates to "Yeah, I do look good!" However, it is about time to discuss whether this is a reasonable perception or not.
We all like to receive compliments. It is positive reinforcement that we have done something "good" and that it is being recognized by our peers. Whether you are looking for that positive reinforcement or not, having someone say something nice to you makes a person feel good.
Since there is a lot of talk about happiness, I thought I would weigh in.
As I was starting to put together my blog, the #100happydays challenge presented itself and I have taken the challenge. It is not so much that I need help to be "happy", but rather encourages me to embrace the moments and things that make me feel "happy".
Every day I find out new aspects about who I am and I want to hopefully capture and understand those aspects through this challenge.
I know that each day I have moments where I feel "happy", but sometimes I wonder if happiness is mistaken for something else. What does it mean to be actually "happy"? I feel that we are always striving to find happiness and to hold on to the things that give us a sense of euphoria, but do we achieve that? I don't have any illusions that a challenge to be happy will make me happier, I hope that this will allow me to spend more time focusing on all the things that make me at least feel a little bit happier. I am working on changing my perspective that will hopefully allow me to feel more "happy".