To Keep an Even Keel

The past three months have been all about research for me. I’ve been blessed to be assigned in my very own hometown and have worked with easygoing but hardworking people. I actually got a little nervous before the research project started because the responsibility was quite huge. But with the help of my fellow researchers, I was able to handle it. There were glitches and participants who were hard to set appointments with and for a person who wants to have things done according to plan, it was quite frustrating. However, this experience has yet again enabled me to apply the things that I learned in the past and learn something new.

The first lesson that I want to share is: when things don’t go your way, don’t sweat it! What I am trying to say here is although schedules are very important, in research, there is a huge possibility that participants would ask you to re-schedule or worse, cancel! Remember, you are borrowing time from them to answer your questions. Workers in public health are very busy and participating in an interview is not part of their jobs so be very very patient and flexible when setting schedules for an interview. Prepare for Plan Bs. Of course, it’s better if you are able to prevent this from happening by explaining to them the purpose and importance of the interview so that they are committed to the agreed time and date.

For my second point, allow me to re-phrase Albert Einstein’s quote a little. “You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created them.” When you encounter a problem, think of other ways to deal with it. Think out of the box. I’m writing this in a generalized way so it applies to several situations.

Third is: it’s okay to take a break but don’t take too long! Breaks are necessary to keep you from having burn-out. I’m lucky that my hometown provides me with a lot of calming views to relieve me from stress. Sit, stare at the waters, mountains or skies for a while and take few moments to regain your energy to work again.


Break from the stress

Fourth is pray. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6. Last but not the least is: Anger won’t help you. There will be times that you will be tested and that is why it is important to pray everyday not just for work but for everyday living. If things displease you, do stress-eating or something that would calm you down if you must because being angry may only make things worse. If you can’t really help but be angry, find a safe outlet to express it. Although, I still think it’s best to avoid it 😉

This is in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge.”

Work Without Pay

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

My current bed is the best place to stay especially on early mornings. It is where I want to be knocked down on hot and tiring afternoons with the room’s curtains that cover the sun’s rays giving an illusion of darkness and the room’s cool temperature that lulls me to sleep or you know, just rest. But make no mistake about this. I like working. In fact, I cannot imagine a day without doing a single work.

How we answer the question above depends on how we define work. Some people define work as means of making ends meet while some regard work as something they would love to do. While I agree with the two definitions, I would say that even if money were out the equation, I would still work. It does not even have to be a hypothetical question as a) it has happened; b) it is happening; and c) it will happen. 

A) It has happened.

I did volunteer work years ago and I was happy about it. There is a sense of satisfaction and happiness in helping others. There was no pay when I did that work but it was fulfilling because the feeling that you get from seeing jovial expressions and receiving genuine thanks from the people you helped had been priceless.

B) It is happening.

I resigned from my corporate work a year ago because of a scholarship that requires me to be a full-time student. Now that I have finished doing my responsibilities as a full-time student, I am currently a job-hunter. Even though I am not receiving any income,  I am doing tons of research as of the moment for something that is important for me. It is making me feel that I am working. I wish to tell you more about this but for some very personal reasons, I could not. Nevertheless, I feel a tinge of excitement about this situation. How odd, right?

C) It will happen.

There will always be work for me – whether paid or unpaid. To have a work with pay, I have to work to have a work with pay. Got it?

So you see, work for me is doing anything that could produce an outcome later and I would like to think that these outcomes will be useful for me in the future. I mean, cleaning is work. Reading books and online articles is work. Planning is work. People need to do something. It’s what we do! 😉