Renewal

Broadly the two words that I want to focus this year are Change and Renewal. These words are actually connected with areas I want to do better and improve during this year. These words are also inter dependable and interconnected in supporting what I want to achieve.

In my blog post on January the 2nd , I said that I will work on increasing the frequency of going to the church and increasing the frequency of communication with the loved ones. Whilst, I am yet to work out & document detailed specific tasks & habits I will be developing to achieve these goals, it is clear that I need to prioritize my renewal with the creator. To kick-off, what I need be doing, since I had stopped attending Fridays Prayer Meetings, for the 1st time in 79 weeks, yesterday I joined the family back in attending the prayer meetings again. I have to say, ain’t I glad that I did!

From the beginning to the end, I enjoyed the entire session that lasted about 90 minutes. I particularly enjoyed praise & workship with lovely songs like the power of love. After the spiritual activities finished as usual there was an opportunity for fellowship with snacks & coffee being served. People also sang Happy Birthday for Stephanie. During the fellowship session, people were welcoming me back. One gentleman who has been a pioneer members in the group even approached me to ask my help in serving in their Media Ministry, which I’m yet to confirm though.

After the prayer meeting, the family & I attended the mass in which Stephanie was part of the people who offered communion to the congregation. All in all it was a good, calm & peaceful start to my 2020 renewal.

Small Change

On the New Years Eve I was awake till about 0300 in the morning. Not that I partied or anything like that; but sitting down in my favorite spot at home and reflecting & pondering about the year just past by. I was thinking about what changes I’d want to make happened to improve my life and purpose of my being. Not that I wanted to come up with any new year resolutions as such, no. Not that I wanted to do a revolution to change my habits & stuff, no! Because I’m not 21 anymore 😉 But 50s isn’t too late either to change and improve a few small things, to start with. Who knows, those small things one day, some day will potentially help me to achieve big things in life. When I refer to change , I’m talking about change in both personal & work context. I wrote a bit about one area in my blog post yesterday; perhaps in a different context.

Richard Boyatzis, a Distinguished professor at case Western Reserve University has once said that intentional change involves envisioning the ideal self and to exploring the real self. 1 Here he was referring to both personal and work life. I had already started working on a Self Authoring Exercise that would help me to be able to author my future. As this exercise can and will take sometime to fully complete, rather than waiting I thought, a couple of small changes in order. I have to say, in coming up with these changes I’d like to focus on, I had not done a comprehensive self assessment of sort; it’s just that application of knowing thy self. So, for now they are going to be to increase the frequency of going to the church and to increase frequency of communication2with my loved ones. In the coming days, I will workout details on the specifics on what exactly I’m going to work on these two aspects. I’m hoping as I will be progressing with these, I would be able to grow and expand them to more bigger ones.


  1. Experience - Advice and Inspiration, Harvard Business Review, September-October 2019

  2. Offline & online

Here is the thing...

There won't be much time left, I feel. It's time I'd rather focus much of my time & energy building or re-building my relationship with human beings, starting from family & then the people I work with. It's of no value whatsoever getting into debates & arguments, as long as my principles & values are met. We can have different opinons & that's a good thing, as long as when we come to an agreement, we will all support that. In the Day Job, Most people are kind & willing to help, if need be. None of us are perfect; we all make mistakes & sometimes miss deadlines. In some cases, some people want to make use of me to achieve not only to over up their own oversights, but more importantly to acheive departmental goals collectively. If I colloborate & coroprate and do whatever I could to best of my ability, I believe, I can contribute to our teams' success. At the end of the day, I wouldn't want my resume virtues, I'd rather have eulogy virtues by being cooperative and more kind to people

Sitting in the Couch

This place at home has always been my favorite place to spend time whenever I'm at home. Stephanie went out to spend New Years eve with her friends. Mrs drove to drop her off. I'm here sitting down in dim lights, looking over to the Christmas tree and having a few glasses of wine solo.

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In reflection the year just passing by in about 3 hours or so, 2019, unfortunately hasn't been at all an exciting one for me personally. Most part of the year, I had been down with some sort of ill health - even now down with bad cough and cold. In the day job, there had been a restructuring process, in the organization in which most of the employees had to go through including myself which put me under enormous stress and anxiety. I'm grateful though, about six months ago it was all finished and I ended up posting to the same job, I had been doing for two decades or so. Since then, I spent most part of my day job in the kitchen. I loved spending time in hardcore operations, wearing hairnet, overcoat and safety shoes to spend time on the shop floor in the kitchen to make sure everything goes well to support our guests' experience in-fight. I've been very much hands-on with the day to day operations, inside out. On reflection though I feel, as a result I missed the opportunity to get on with more tasks of my own in strategic nature. I believe, that's an area I'd need to change and improve to spend time in for more strategically important tasks to bring our operations to next level. I haven't come up with any new year resolutions as such and I usually don't. But there are a few thoughts and ideas in my mind to make it happened. More about that later.
In closing, I'm grateful for my wife & the daughter for being very supprtive and also to my friends here on 10C for all the lovely posts & conversations, even though I haven't been involved much.

Michael Wayne Jones

Michael, whom we all knew on ADN and later here on 10 Centuries as @KDFrawg has passed away, @larry posted yesterday. I, first got to know Michael from ADN and later we became much closer friends here on 10C. Our conversations here goes back to early 2016 or so. Since then and until Michael left 10C in early 2018, we have had many interesting and mind stimulating conversations of all sorts. On 10 Centuries, he shared his knowledge & skills in many areas such as computers, food, cars etc. Michael has always been a very kind and empathetic human being. He has in many occasions was here for me, specially whenever I was down with anxiety. In January 2018, just a few days before Michael left 10C, we DM(d) each other and Michael was so kind enough to offer me to call him & talk, if need be during a peak of my anxiety. Michael had also helped me with lots of useful tips during I was putting things together in preparation of Stephanie's university in August 2016.

I was rather upset and unhappy when Michael announced his leaving from 10C, perhaps for my own selfish reasons for not being able to converse with him. But fortunately I had the opportunity to keep touch with him in the beginning on Plurk and more recently on appdot.net group on Mastodon, though I haven't been much active there. I believe my last conversation with Michael was about 6 months back in July.

I wish, I said these words before Michael left this world.

I'm sad I lost a friend!

Sickie

Year 2019 has really not been a good one for me in terms of overall health unfortunately. It all started with HS in April this year and repeated a couple of times and in June I had to undergo a minor surgery. Health issues continued into early October when I had to start physiotherapy for replapse of neck & shoulder pain due to issue with cervical C5-C6. As I was reaching towards the final physiotherapy sessions with some improvement to neck/shoulder pain, in the 2nd week of November, I was down with cold & flu. And in the 3rd week of the same month, I was hit hard when I became very sick with high fever and loss of appetite on last Tuesday night and ended up in emergency, followed by hospitalization. I was diagnosed with Acute bacterial prostatitis and was being treated with IV antibiotics for little less than a week. In addition to all those physical health issues; level of my anxiety has been in highs almost throughout this past months.

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By mid July or so I had exhausted all my sick leave for the year. Fortunately between August - October I was sick-free and was hoping it would stay as is for rest of year, which unfortunately wasn't the reality when I got sick last week.This sudden illness resulted me having to request for Annual Leave due to hospitalization, followed by doctor's advice to rest.

On reflection,though the above circumstances of ill health may not have had any direct co-relation;when looking back at atleast last 6-7 months, I know I have been far too much exhausted both mentally and physically in the day job. Whilst I enjoy being on the kitchen shop floor more than sitting behind a computer at work, I get the feeling that I was over doing it. Probably another that added to stress could be multitasking often than it should be.
I've already started to look back and review my work style and I'm aiming to do it in more detail manner over next 4 weeks, so that hopefully I can start gradually implement new way of working in 2020!

Planning...

This afternoon I received a kind of pat on the back on email from my boss for a simple assessment exercise that I put forward on last Thursday to him for his approval for a forthcoming assessment for a job as a part of the restructuring program. Though he had requested me to do it about one & half weeks back, I put it together in about 15 minutes time when I got to work on Thursday morning and handed him a printed hardcopy during the Thursday Morning direct reports meeting. The exercise task / question is based on a real work scenario and according to the boss is very apt. It wasn't really rocket science for me after all.

The point I am trying to make is that looking back, most of my most productive and effective work outputs have come from such assignments that I had completed in the last minute without much planning sort of. So I am wondering if that's the case, whether I should at all take time and effort for detailed planning in the day job, as long as I have an outline in my mind how to achieve a particular task or an assignment to a high standard. That's being said, I just purchased a digital planner to use on my iPad

Digital Planner

Down the Memory Lane

When I was visiting Sri Lanka in the recent past, I had the oppotunity to meet a few of my long lost relatives from my dad's side. They were present at mother's 1st year death anniversary function held in the house mother lived. Amongst the relatives whom I met, there was this young niece and her mum who's house is located close to dad's native place. In chatting with her it helped me to bring back a few memories in my early childhood, that has long been forgotten. In addition to the young niece, there's also my dad's youngest brother whom we called poddi bappa and his wife are living in the village. Unfortunately though, we haven't been in touch for many years and also they aren't contactable on available technology. So, I haven't got any latest updates about them.

Dad grew up in a remote viilage called Kahanda in the district of Galle in Southern Sri Lanka. His native place was along side Kahanda Howpe Road, Angulugaha. A popular landmark near by his home in the village is Kahanda Maha Vidyalaya - a school, owned & operated by the government for local children. 1 I believe even my dad and his family of sisters & brothers, all obtained their education in this school. So, as my niece up to her 5th Grade and afterwards she has moved to a popular girls school in the city, she told me.

kahahnda

After my dad got married, he and my mother had started their marriage life in Matara - district further down in Southern Sri Lanka. Since then my parents have been living and working in many parts of the island as my dad was working for the public service in various parts of the island. As a result, my sisters & I also had to move from one school to another until we finally settled in the capital in mid nineteen seventies. Even though my dad has been living miles away from his native place, he never missed out to make a visit to see our grandparents & any other relatives in the village.Even after the grandparents passed away he continued his visits. Occasionally, he took me also on his trips. These trips were mostly made by public tranport, whilst in some rare occassions, we travelled with lokuthaththa{2. Elder brother of dad] in his [Austin A30]. I recall there were two arms used to pop out either sides in between front and rear doors as indicators when turning the car. They were called trafficators apparently.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_A30). Whether the journey was on the public bus or the car, it did not make a much difference in the time & duration taken for travel - at least good 3-4 hours.

Austin A30

Austin A30 Trafficators

Most of the visits were just limited to day trips, though there had been times that we spent one or two nights in the house dad's brother owned and he & his family lived in before they moved to the capital. Dad's brother's only child is my cousin sister, who I believe obtained her secondry education in the Galle District. She used to own a bicycle and everytime I visited there I used to ask her permisson to ride the bicycle. Although she had no objection, I remember my dad wasn't very happy thinking I might fall or do something stupid. His objections did not stop me, but I used to take the bicyle and disappeared to the gravel road beside my cousin's house. The road had no tarmac and during the rains it was full of water puddles and mud. There had been a few times that the bicycle used to skid and I ended up with bruses all over my arms & legs. When my dad saw me like that he used to get very angry with me. Then there was another growen up cousin sister who lived in a house located on the gravel road. Occassionally, she used to come watch me when I was riding the bicycle. We called her Suddi akka 2.

It has now been more than two decades that I have been to dad's native village and my memories have slowly been fading away until this past week, when I chatted to my niece and asked her to send me a couple of photos in particular the road I used to ride the bicycle. Seeing those images, quite a bit has changed and improved over the years. The road has now been converted to a tarmac road and a few newly constructed properties have come up. What seemed to have not changed is the lush greenery in the neighbourhood though. Seeing these images immediately made me realized the beautiful nature & surroundings with the smell of local villages that I have been missing since I moved out from Sri Lanka. Not just that, people from both my dad's and mom's families & relatives. I miss chatting to them and understanding & appreciating daily chaos they go through in their lives. Next time when I visit the motherland I might as well plan a road trip to these places.

2019-09-21 - kahanda road


  1. website hasn't neither been maintained nor updated since 2014

  2. She is fair in complexion, so she was called fair sister

Reading your blog post yesterday, here is mine…

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What's in Boxes

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When I take occasional naps during the afternoons I occupy the bed in the study room upstairs. This afternoon after taking the nap I woke up sighting the six big cardboard boxes that have been taken refuge in the top of the fixed wall cupboard in the room. As long as I remember these boxes have been there at least last 14 years. Yes, since 2005 - the year I was graduated in my MBA. All these boxes are fully packed with almost every piece of material that I used during course of studies, mostly the stuff I used during my research project. It has collections of magazine articles, published academic papers of the subject, handwritten fullscap papers whatnot. These were the material that helped me to get through the final research project of the degree and taught me academic writing. At the time I had no iPad, no iPhone. Not much of internet with 24/7 connection. Most of the stuff were taken from printed copies of HBR, which I used to receive in mail every month. Soon, these boxes will have to come down from where they are being stacked. I don't want to discard them, but I will have to. Mrs had already mentioned to me a couple of times that I should get rid of them in prepping for our proposed move, though no dates are known or fixed whatsoever. Before they will be thrown away, I'd have a look once more time to bring back memories of those times I put lots of time and effort in completing the research project.