What I hope to achieve over the next 2 years…

I’ve been thinking long and hard about whether I want to share what I hope to achieve over this next two years with you. While I’m excited to share them, so that you can help me be accountable to the goals I’ve set, I’m also afraid of raising your expectations of me. I’m afraid I will disappoint you, my family and most of all, I’m afraid of letting myself down.

But I figure, starting off this journey fearing that I will not achieve all that i hope to, isn’t quite ideal. This is the beginning of a journey of possibilities for me and therefore I should be dreaming big, hoping for the best. Most of all, I intend to work towards achieving all my goals.

And I think you, and just this simple process of journaling, will help keep me on track. Hold me accountable to these, will you?

So, here goes.

I am here in Evanston, Illinois attending a 2 year Masters in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University. I have 3 main goals I hope to achieve:

First, I intend to deepen my knowledge and practice of Organization Development (OD) in service of….

  • Myself… I wish to learn more about myself, to clarify my own philosophy and style of leadership. To learn how to work more effectively in teams. To be clear about what gifts I bring to a team and how I can contribute to the effectiveness of the team.
  • CSC and the public service… I want to equip myself with the knowledge and skills that will help me support the Civil Service College (CSC) and our mission and vision. As a (pretty) long-time member of the public service (a total of 12 years this October! Woot!), I also want to return to Singapore better able to support the public service in our organizational efforts to deliver good policies and services to citizens.
  • The community…I want to be able to help non-profit organizations, specifically Muslim organizations in Singapore that need OD support and interventions. Why? I think that the safety and security of my children’s future lies in the ability for Singapore to maintain, or even improve, the quality of racial and religious tolerance and understanding that currently exists. Given the way our social- programs are structured, Malay Muslim organizations, including the mosques, play a critical role in engaging Muslim youth, providing social, education and financial assistance. I would like to be able to support these organizations, so that they can be effective in what they do and hopefully reduce the likelihood of disenfranchised Muslim youths Singaporean.

Second, I hope to spend quality time with my husband and children in a way that will…

  • Strengthen our marital bonds. To discover how we can better support and love each other as we face new challenges. To renew our trust in each other, and to re-discover the comforts of companionship that led us towards each other in the very beginning.
  • Nurture the relationship between my children and I, in way that helps us better communicate,  share our experiences and seek comfort, support and help from each other.
  • Nurture my children’s independence, sense of adventure and curiosity for cultures, different from our own.

Finally, to seek and nurture friendships and community.

I’d like to make friends, not just from the US, but from around the world. I would also like to nurture
the friendships and kinship ties that we have in Singapore. I want my children to learn that family and friendship is a connection that transcends physical distance, that our family and friendship ties can be just as strong even though we are on the other side of the world. All it takes is an effort to stay connected.

There.

I know I can do it, I just have to return to this list to remind myself of what I have set out to do during my time here. Check in and recalibrate to ensure I’m on track. It’s important that I focus, because these 2 years will fly by. And if I’m not careful, the 2 years will end, I have a degree scroll in hand, but have I really made the most of the time and opportunity that has been gifted me here? I am not going to regret that I didn’t make the most of this privilege and opportunity I have been accorded.

Wish me luck, better yet- help me out and check in on me once in a while, will you?

It’s 5.30am and I’m Wide Awake

It’s 5.30am on a SATURDAY morning and I’m wide awake. And it feels great! In fact, I conciously told myself, no more work- blog now and have a bit of fun!

I’m into the second week of this experiment that i think is going to turn permanent.

The experiment:
Sleep between 9-10pm each night.
Plan to get at least 5hours of sleep. 
Wake up between 3-4am.
Clear emails and do some work.
Or if there are outstanding work that needs to be done, skip the emails and sort out the work.
Shower between 6-6.30am, before waking the boys up at 7am and getting them sorted for school!

My bosses actually asked me if things were ok, as they realised I was sending out emails at 4-5am in the morning. So sweet of them to be concerned, don’t you think? And my reply was- things are GGGGRRREEEEAT!

You see…I try and leave the office early. Usually i try and dash out by 5am so that I can spend some time with my boys. They go to bed about 8.30pm. If I leave at 5. I get back about 6ish, and get a good 3 plus hours with them. I can’t imagine spending any less time with them on a daily basis!

Given that work hours are largely filled with meetings, most of my peers and I end up doing a lot of work and clearing of emails outside of official working hours. It’s easy to keep up with work, when you have no commitments and can work till 8-9pm in the office every other day. But for me…i’m exhausted by the time I put the boys to bed at 8.30pm.

With other stuff I have to settle at home, I end up struggling to finish my work and end up logging off between 12am-1am. I then take an 1hour of wind down, i.e. read a book or watch tv before I sleep. If I don’t wind down, I will end up just staring at the ceiling all night long, my mind going through every line of email or work I had done, or intend to do. So I sleep around 2am, and then depending on my luck, the twins will take turns waking up between 4.30am-6.30 am for their early morning bottle of milk.

Yes, that means I haven’t had a good stretch of sleep in close to 2 years!

The perils of Mommy-dom!

This new schedule is working great. I go to bed right after I put the boys to sleep, which is when i’m sleepiest. I actually work in a good 5-6hours of sleep, which is all I need and I actually clear work after a good nights sleep, rather than at the end of a long and tiring day. This means I’m actually doing work in the morning twice as fast than late at night.

Of course this means I tire easily at night. Last Friday, I was out karaoke-ing with the colleagues. I was half-asleep by 9.30pm. Not much fun after that. But it’s kinda ok, cos you know, I have no social life anymore. Last Friday night was a total anomaly!

So since I spend most it not all my nights at home, getting to bed around 9pm is kinda easy! =) Its working so well, I’m even waking up early on my Saturday so that I can do stuff and not throw the schedule out of whack!

Mommies who work and are under a lot of pressure to put in the hours- you should SOOOO try this!

Cold feet n general uselessness

Shhh!!! I’m gonna share with you a little secret. I was supposed to return to work on Tuesday. Upin, who started vomiting on Monday morning was looking better and my mom-in-law, who was staying over, seemed to have a good grip of things. But as I was dressing up, I begun to feel a swarm of butterflies flutter excitedly in my stomach and I felt, like I myself,was about to vomit. Sheer and utter panic. It swept over me like a mighty wave crashing on the shores of Uluwatu. There was no way I was going to make it into the office. I was scared of the emails that awaited me. I was afraid of all the work that had been done and the notion that i wiuld never be able to catch up. I was afraid to learn that the wole world went on without me. And they didn’t want me back. No, they didn’t need me back. I felt sick. So I called my boss and took another day of childcare leave. But I couldn’t jolly well stay home, now could I? What would my mom-in-law say? So I headed to town, parked myself at Starbucks with a skinny cappuccino and opened up my office laptop. I spent the good part of the day slowly going through emails. I felt much much better after that. And once I caught up with the stuff going on over emails, the butterflies slowly disappeared and I started to look forward to going back t the office. I’m happy to report that no panic attacks took place today and I had a good first day back at the office. Except worrying about Upin who was still sick and at my mom’s! But its not all happy la la la…it is appraisal time. And looking back, I really dont have much to show for this year, It sucks, i’m usually a productive member of any team but this year…sigh..I dunno la. but I’ll blog about it more, another day.

About Me

I’ve just update my About Me section of my blog. I think it more accurately reflects my state of mind. And the focus of my rants and raves.

I’ve been quiet because I’ve been struggling. But i read something that reminded me, that this. Yes this- jotting down of my thoughts will help me.

I hope it does.

If you are a reader. Cos i know there are those of you who drop by and maybe take a look around. Do leave me a comment, or send me an email.

It helps me a lot to know that. I am not alone. (Not that I am alone, really. but you get my drift!)

I am a new mother of twin boys. Post maternity leave, I have entered into a new working environment.  

Everyday is a struggle of balancing my desires to be a mother who is involved in every single thing my twins are experiencing as well as my personal desires to excel at the workplace.

Everyday is a struggle and no one day is easy. 

This blog has served, for some time, to be an outlet for me to air my worries, frustrations and challenges. 

But recently, it’s been suffering from neglect. Because I’ve been neglecting my own needs. 

So today, I remind myself of the power of sharing and that it is important for me to take some time to pen my thoughts down.

I also hope that my honest sharing will help other women like me.  

And i pray that through this journey, I will be able to gain clarity on my roles and grow my appreciation for the love that I have been blessed with.

eveeleva @ work once more

Yes. I am at work. Right now. And yes, I’m blogging. Yes yes…blogging at work. It’s only going to take a minute. So stop it ok?

The reason my blog has been so quiet is cos i’m back at work. For the most part, i’m delighted and thrilled to be back at work. I do miss the boys but largely I’m absolutely excited to be in an environment that engages me intellectually.

It also means that since I started work last week, I’m still adjusting my day and getting used to spending most of my day away from home. This has left me little time to blog. Since we hotdesk at the new office, I try and choose tables which are AS EXPOSED as possible. So i’m less tempted to surf, engage in social networking or blog too long. I need to get as much work done during my 8.30-6pm hours, so that I can go home quickly to be with the boys.

This is very new to me. I’m miss social butterfly and enjoy doing many non-work activities during official work time, and then getting actual work done after work. Yes it’s all very complicated. But that’s me. Now things have changed, and it’s about getting as much done as quickly as possible, so I can take care of other things. I’ve never needed to take care of other things really, I’ve just always had the luxury of workign 24hrs round the clock.

So there.

I’ll be back soon enough I’m sure. I have tons of blogging ideas in my head, which I haven’t had time to write about. But the time will come…

For now…I need to get  settled down in a new routine…

Ta ta for now…

End of the road

The department officially bade me farewell today. I go on MC in a week, for 3 weeks and then I clear 1 month worth of leave I’ve saved up over the year, before going on maternity for 4 months. I’ll then be posted out to another department to begin a new chapter in my professional career.

It’s been 5 or so years since I’ve been with my current department, and my posting is certainly long overdue. I’ve been quite bored for quite some time, and really just need some new challenges in my professional life. I was supposed to start at a new posting in 2011, but with my pregnancy, it made sense to hold all things off till after my maternity leave.

As i look forward to something new, I do sometimes wonder whether I should have held off my departure for a bit. Afterall, I’m going to through a massive life-changing event in a couple of weeks, and coping with a new role as a mother. A new work-role, in a brand new environment could be too much for me? But there’s been many changes in the department that I really don’t like, and don’t wish to stick around for, that this also seems like the best time to move ever!

I think for 2011, I resolve to take everything in my stride. The challenge of raising twins, a new job, a new house, everything. I’ll make it. I always have. And i’m sure I will again. More confidently, I know I have an army of souls who love and care for me, to lend me all the support and courage I need to get through 2011. =)

my farewell gift- a huge crumpler bag for
baby stuff!

End of the road

The department officially bade me farewell today. I go on MC in a week, for 3 weeks and then I clear 1 month worth of leave I’ve saved up over the year, before going on maternity for 4 months. I’ll then be posted out to another department to begin a new chapter in my professional career.

It’s been 5 or so years since I’ve been with my current department, and my posting is certainly long overdue. I’ve been quite bored for quite some time, and really just need some new challenges in my professional life. I was supposed to start at a new posting in 2011, but with my pregnancy, it made sense to hold all things off till after my maternity leave.

As i look forward to something new, I do sometimes wonder whether I should have held off my departure for a bit. Afterall, I’m going to through a massive life-changing event in a couple of weeks, and coping with a new role as a mother. A new work-role, in a brand new environment could be too much for me? But there’s been many changes in the department that I really don’t like, and don’t wish to stick around for, that this also seems like the best time to move ever!

I think for 2011, I resolve to take everything in my stride. The challenge of raising twins, a new job, a new house, everything. I’ll make it. I always have. And i’m sure I will again. More confidently, I know I have an army of souls who love and care for me, to lend me all the support and courage I need to get through 2011. =)

my farewell gift- a huge crumpler bag for
baby stuff!

the discussion

i’ve been fretting..fretting away about how this discussion with this particular person i work with was going to go. it didn’t help that i was totally frustrated with this person’s quality of work in the morning. and just the day before i wanted to scream, shout, hurl stuff and pull out my hair! so i was afraid i’d get carried away with all my negativity and criticism.

but i’m glad i didn’t say anything then. cos i managed to cool down, think objectively and not get carried away with my emotions, and think about how best to communicate what i needed to communicate without losing the message, by either going ballistic or even worse sugar-coating to make the person feel better while i try and dish out criticism!

i hate people who sugar-coat and then complain that their staff don’t get it. what do you expect? they only taste the sugar, lor!

the conversation went well. it was honest. i didn’t hold back, but i don’t think i was unnecessarily mean. i think i also focused on this person’s strengths, although we spoke a lot more about the areas for improvement, and i think i was encouraging too. (my hubby thinks i’m full of praise for myself always, but seriously, i think i didn’t do too bad today!)

i found out later from another colleague, that she has it worse! she can’t even be frank with her staff about her staff’s work performance, cos her staff will go all black faced on her, and ignore her, or make life difficult. At least i feel i can give honest feedback. *phew*

I later read on someone’s facebook post, a quote from ‘Eat, Love and Pray’- you should choose your words just as you would choose what you wear (or something alongst those lines).

I was glad that i chose my words carefully today!

the discussion

i’ve been fretting..fretting away about how this discussion with this particular person i work with was going to go. it didn’t help that i was totally frustrated with this person’s quality of work in the morning. and just the day before i wanted to scream, shout, hurl stuff and pull out my hair! so i was afraid i’d get carried away with all my negativity and criticism.

but i’m glad i didn’t say anything then. cos i managed to cool down, think objectively and not get carried away with my emotions, and think about how best to communicate what i needed to communicate without losing the message, by either going ballistic or even worse sugar-coating to make the person feel better while i try and dish out criticism!

i hate people who sugar-coat and then complain that their staff don’t get it. what do you expect? they only taste the sugar, lor!

the conversation went well. it was honest. i didn’t hold back, but i don’t think i was unnecessarily mean. i think i also focused on this person’s strengths, although we spoke a lot more about the areas for improvement, and i think i was encouraging too. (my hubby thinks i’m full of praise for myself always, but seriously, i think i didn’t do too bad today!)

i found out later from another colleague, that she has it worse! she can’t even be frank with her staff about her staff’s work performance, cos her staff will go all black faced on her, and ignore her, or make life difficult. At least i feel i can give honest feedback. *phew*

I later read on someone’s facebook post, a quote from ‘Eat, Love and Pray’- you should choose your words just as you would choose what you wear (or something alongst those lines).

I was glad that i chose my words carefully today!

not there, but here

a quarter of my team is now in Hanoi for work.
i’ve been grounded for very obvious reasons.
and although making my hari raya rounds have been exhausting enough,
i wished i was in Hanoi with them, instead of being here.

feeling rather useless right now,
but i know i have to keep my eye on the ball!