Starting this week, I am taking the longest ever leave in my career, from 10th Dec to 4th Jan. 3 weeks of pure fun, wow! And it is not done purely with the intent to recharge, but due to the massive stockpile of leaves credited but unused throughout the covid year. Among all the thoughts of what I will do in these holidays, I want to take a step back and express my happiness at the magnitude of things I did during these weeks. Some are still planned and some will continue and some have been accomplished!
Let me first tell why these 3 weeks were so worthy. Singapore was internally open and I spend a ton of time meeting folks within Singapore and celebrating my time off and doing activities. I will sum up my experiences in the following points:
1: Supporting my special friend in first job
My special friend got her first job back in India and it’s a Product Manager role which I know somewhat about (and more than her as a fresher as I was a Program Manager before). All her struggles of finding a job and coping up with a new office schedule were something which took me into the memory lanes of my career’s initial days. It was heartful and lovely to see others coping with the same challenges. Also, at times when I see her do a certain thing better than me, it hits with admiration and satisfaction to discover various ways of doing the same thing. For example, setting up an intro mail or a meeting in a certain way which I had not thought in my PM days. I felt more connected to her with supporting her in her first job.
2: Talking to parents
I got a ton of time to talk to at home. I nudged my sisters to go on a winter vacation somewhere out of town and enjoy the time - still waiting to see whether that plan materializes. I built a better understanding of the urgency at home regarding my marriage and I gave a few excuses to my mom to throw at people whenever they bring a new Rishta. All of these tactics helped. Also, my parents were happy to see me fitter and in a better shape.
3: Focus on Fitness
I have been running and exercising for a long time now and my weight has been stuck at 77 KGs for around a month. Previously, it was stuck at 78 for 2 months. I aim to continue with my fitness initiatives to go under 74 by March’2021. I hope that me starting to do everyday atleast one of gym or exercise or swim or play tennis or skate will help in my weight loss goal. I want to look leaner and be like 72’ish by next year when I finally get to meet “her” parents.
4: Christmas Brunch with Office Mates
I was able to spend a ton of time with my office friends and went to their homes. It was such a nice experience to go to their family and spend a nice time. Had a delicious brunch and met some kids also. I put special emphasis here just to point out the desperate coverup I did to avoid missing family time in Christmas and new years eve.
5: An Adventurous Activity
I have never done Scuba or Skydive, only roller coaster, rappelling and snorkelling if they classify as adventures. I broke this jinx and finally did a bungee with AJ Hackett Singapore. It was all cool and nice till I was tied with the rope. At that moment I was not able to speak due to immense fear and my heart was racing. I somehow took tiny steps to the jump spot and my legs started shaking. The moderators had to do the countdown thrice before I could jump. My face looked like a clown in the video. Few seconds of freefall, then I touched the water surface and then I shouted Mummy. OMG, I can never forget the moment.
6: Learnt Skating
I have been training for skating for a long period, but during this leave, I gave extra time to learn do A-frame turns, single-leg skates, lemon curves, AND backward skating as well. I feel delighted by my achievements to be able to learn the skills that I had planned. It had a sense of achievement too, feels like I am not an old person, I can still learn and do things. I guess this sensational feeling of being able to learn and do things is unique to humans. I can always look back and cherish at these long holidays just for my skating skills.
7: Played Knock Knock on Ukulele
I have been trying to learn a song for a quick public performance for a long time on my Ukulele - which I anyways started a couple of months back. Now I can strum and play Knock Knock Knocking on Heavens Door by Guns N Roses. Although I can’t recreate the full guitar feel of it, I can play a strum pattern and sing with my ugly voice and it somehow feels good to be able to do that. Before anyone else judges me, I declare that I do not know singing so that gives me a moral low point to start with and feel happy with even the slightest smile on the face of listeners. Sometimes they laugh at me singing, which I find very funny too, but I guess its part of the game.
8: Read a book
It was also a great time to upskill myself and gain some skills which can power me through the upcoming waves of work in 2021. Since I was more involved into product/program management mindset, I was suggested with a nice short book called:
Product Management by Intercom. Intercom is a company which specializes in Conversational Relationship Platform, something which also touches my work! This book is a 60-page compilation of their popular blogs, so it was power packed with great experience while building their own product. I found it quite interesting and I wish such a book had been suggested to me earlier. It brushed up all the 1-0-1 PM arguments and considerations and I am going to use these in my very next project to allow distribution of coupons from messenger.
Still a week to go, where I will mostly do planning for next year. Overall my conclusion is that I felt very relaxed and happy these days. I had no hassles, ton of time to relax and think of how to spend leisure time.
life fun holidays