Monthly Archives: March 2009

Perennial standstill

Perennial standstill

boredIt was a typical Tuesday morning. I was in relatively early, for the first time since I came back from Singapore nearly two weeks ago, and I was excited for the latest issue of the newsletter to be delivered because it had a new layout. At a little past 10AM, I was done clearing my Outlook inbox and was about to get on The New York Times website when —

It took me almost a minute to realize that even though all the lights had gone off and taken my computer with them, the music from Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical was still playing raucously from someone’s computer. So I got up and walked around the office, and discovered that my computer and two others’ were the only ones that had died with the lights; the other fifteen computers were happily humming away.

I was again a victim of lawrus sodimusSod’s law.

Fortunately I keep a set of (very thick) books in my desk drawer, for light reading whenever I get bored or need some time away from proofreading dishwater-dull fund reports. So I decided to read until the power source my computer and the lights were connected to had been fixed. As it turned out, I would spend the rest of the day reading.

By 12:30PM I was so restless from not being able to do anything else except read — which got rather tiresome after a while because I had to do it in semi-darkness — that I decided to while away my lunch hour, and then some, at Pavilion. At 3:30PM, after I had felt guilty enough about staying out so long, I trudged back to the office, only to discover that the power was still out, and likely to remain so through tomorrow.

And so this trumps the day I hosted the RHB-Horwath 2009 Budget & Tax Planning Seminar as the most unproductive day I’ve ever had on this job. Not for nothing, though: in order to avoid further brain death, my Macbook will go to work with me tomorrow; if I could get away with it I would spend the day working from Starbucks at Pavilion, which could also result in the spending of more money but would at least make my day more productive than today.

Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Lights out, heart on

The spectacular view of the city from KL Tower

KLCC in darkness: the spectacular view of the city from KL Tower.

The one hour where the whole city — indeed, the whole world — went dark. And with it, my perspective on certain things. I finally managed to come out from behind that fabulous faรงade I’ve been trying to put on all these months, and been failing over the last week. And even though it didn’t quite happen the way I thought it would — it turned out to be two hours too late — I feel like a weight has been taken off my chest and out of my system, and I don’t have to hide anymore.

Call it what you will

Call it what you will
waste

- PostSecret

“I’m definitely no saint, but I kind of know what it’s like to want to give everything for one person, only to have it all go to waste.” (In reference to Hassan, one of the characters from Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner)

No sooner had I pressed the Enter key — for yes, it was I who said this, over Google Talk — than I asked myself, Was it really a waste?

When we put our effort into something, only to have it come to no fruition in the end, is it a waste? We labor over something for extended — in some cases not even so — periods of time, weighing all our options and wondering how we can make it all work out so that it becomes a win-win situation, and when everything blows up in our faces, we heave an enormous sigh of frustration and say, “Well, that was a complete waste of time!”

Yes, in some ways it may have been, because we didn’t get what we wanted after trying so hard or for so long. On the other hand, is it really so much of a waste if we could learn something from it? While we like to think back to everything we did throughout the entire process, wallowing in our resentment and anger, how often do we think about everything we didn’t do, everything we could have done, that may have changed our fortunes and not made it a waste after all? Wouldn’t the fact alone that there were things we could have done make it a waste, because it means we threw away what little chance we had by being too afraid of losing everything? And even if we lose everything, it doesn’t mean it was a ‘waste’; it just means we get to learn from our mistakes so that when we’ve built everything back up, we’ll know not to throw away those chances again.

I know I have no call to think that I wasted my time and effort on this. I was too afraid of pushing for what I wanted, afraid of pushing it out of my life completely. And now that it’s too late, and knowing how it all came to be like this, I will say that if it was indeed a waste, then it was entirely my own fault, because I didn’t try hard enough, and now I’ll have to live with it.

But I won’t call it a waste.

Because no act of love is ever a waste.