Monthly Archives: November 2013

Weekend Escapes

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Getting away. Taking off for a few hours, a night or a weekend can be amazingly therapeutic. Forgetting the normal people who share our days and throwing ourselves into unpredictable scenarios keeps our minds fresh and sane. No matter how much you love or hate your job we all need a little time away to be our true selves. To look back down the road we came and know that we will be better when we return. Able to tackle the next weeks set of problems, meetings and daily grind with an open mind.

This weekend I took an afternoon trip out to the surrounding mountains of Hainan, China. It was exactly what I needed. Things were just busy enough at work and my mind was becoming clouded by little things that really didn’t deserve the attention I had a been giving them. I was able to clear my mind. Reset myself. I came back in contact with why I live where I do. Why I make the choices I do and the path I want to follow in the future. It is amazing how beneficial even a little bit of time away with ourselves can be.

If you are able to get away even for a little bit the following week will feel like less of a grind. It shouldn’t be a grind. Monday morning shouldn’t be a total shock to our systems, but a smooth transition back into normalcy. When things at work seem to be weighing harder than normal take a quick trip. Plan a weekend with friends or go it alone. Go somewhere. It doesn’t matter where. If things are stale at home then something different is better than nothing. If you put yourself out there then something is bound to happen. Well, if you are open to it. We could all use a new person in our lives, that chance encounter. When you arrive you’ll always have a story to tell even if there is no one there to hear it.

We are all our own biggest fans. So why not entertain our own egos for a little bit and do something worth while. Something worth talking about. The word ‘I’ is one of the most frequently used words used in the world. So why not entertain yourself for a short while. On Monday morning you will know that your needs are in order and you will not have the same urge to complain. It is easy to fall into conversational fly traps on Monday morning. So why not do yourself a favour and be in a perfect place to start your week.

“Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.” – Dale Carnegie.

If you are satisfied then there is no time for complaints. No wasted water cooler chats. Only ask others of their problems for their benefit, not to satiate your own grievances in turn. When things start to get confusing or life starts getting away from you, take that quick trip. That little bit of time to think. Reconnecting with your roots. Whatever makes you tick. You’ll thank yourself Monday morning.

On the other side of Typhoon Haiyan

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A typhoon comes up almost as if by surprise. As if no one is expecting anything. All is complete calm before. The distant beep of a horn and grind of a truck is all that can be heard. Then the lightest gust starts to shake drying laundry. You think nothing of it. A simple breeze. Welcome cool air in the tropics is all it seems. The motorbike horns continue their beep and a dog barks at the moon.

Then it comes. The first whoosh and spit of rain. It never rains right away. Teasing for a time. Letting you continue your business for a little while longer. Your senses slowly become more aware that the gusts are becoming more frequent, stronger. Pulling in items from outside you wonder at the coming hours. It always comes at the most inopportune times. In the night it may arrive in full force. Sending you to a hazy moment of awareness. With the wind and rain pelting you to semi-consciousness you think quietly…it’s here and there is nothing I can do now.

Eventually you go and have a look. The power has been cut and you are left at the mercy of nature. Trapped wherever you are. As you pull back the curtain you see the trees below crack their backs sideways and plastic bags float up into space. Metal roofs are blown off like styrofoam. The wind whips in phases. Coming harder, harder and harder, then easing off for a few seconds as it picks up momentum once again. Items of mystery float and zag weightlessly. Windows shutter as if they are about to shatter. The whole world seems to sway in it’s wake.

And the rain. It hits as hard as hail. You can see the rain actually being blown away by the wind. Only a minor inconvenience at first in comparison to the bellowing winds. Later becoming flooding traps. Time stands still in it’s fury. All you can do is watch. If you pretend it is not there for a moment it reminds you with a furious gust and the sound of breaking glass. You are not in control, but simply a piece of the puzzle.

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Last Sunday I witnessed Typhoon Haiyan from the Island of Hainan, China. After hitting the Philippines the typhoon continued onwards, directly hitting the tropical beaches of Sanya, bringing with it half of the power it unleashed upon the Philippines. Trees uprooted, buildings destroyed, roads flooded, fishermen missing and relentless damage. Though measuring only half of the intensity of Haiyan’s first landing on shore, it’s presence was felt with full force. Doors ripped off their hinges, flying metal and trees acting like toothpicks. As Southern Hainan cleans up the broken pieces of this weeks typhoon, my thoughts are with those in Philippines who felt the full fury of the storm. A beautiful place, with some of the kindest people and biggest hearts. How frightening it must have been. So as you complain about getting a double sugar in your coffee, realize that things are not so bad. Our time of need all comes some day. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways. Be careful not to cry wolf or your storm may come.

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