Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Purposeful Living - Three Things That Will Keep Me Busy Until Christmas

I know my post usually goes up on Sunday mornings and that this post had gone live slightly later than usual. As much as I do not want to sound like I am giving out excuses, hear me out, guys. I have had a superbly busy but an eye-opening and enlightening weekend, which kicked off on Friday - a cheeky but a nice treat especially considering that I didn't have a summer holiday.

When I started this post, I wanted to only write about what I did for the past 2.5 days but instead of making this a one event post, I decided to take this opportunity to give you a life update. You know, a little insight into my life. 

Specifically, I wanted to share with you the three things that will keep me busy until Christmas. Because you know, having a demanding full-time career in a FTSE 30 company in the City of London, consistently going to fitness classes, maintaining a blog and social media accounts, and actually going out and spending time with my loved ones is not enough to keep me busy, that I had to throw in more plates into the mix. 

So here are the three things that will keep me busy until Christmas this year. 

1. ABRSM Grade 5 Piano Theory Exam
I used to learn piano as a child but as it focused too much on the exams, I quit. I didn't enjoy it at all. As I grow up, I always wish that I could play the piano - for enjoyment, not for the qualification. And since August 2014, I have been taking piano lessons and I am pleased to say that whilst I didn't have to re-learn it from scratch, I have made so much progress learning with a teacher, instead of through self-taught. No surprises there! 

Around late last year, I started toying with the idea of sitting for the theory exam - to get something out of the time and money I've been investing in. (I can be such an Accountant sometimes - always looking for a return on investment). He also asked me to consider sitting for the practical exams but I am not sure I am ready for such a commitment yet. The idea of having to perform in front of a stranger (the examiner) just freaks me out! So we are putting the idea of practical exams aside (for now or ever!) My piano teacher has progressively gone through the syllabus to prepare me for the exam and this week I will be officially registered to sit for the Autumn exam which will be held on 7 November. 

2. Work Secondment 
During summer this year, an opportunity came out at my workplace for a role in the Group Risk function. Quite frankly, I have been keeping my eyes peeled on the internal vacancies website because after spending 12 years in consultancy firms, (one in Malaysia and two in London), and three years doing the same role in my current company, I feel that a change would be much welcomed. 

The upside about working in a large Financial Service Group like the one that I work for is that, there are tonnes of opportunities and roles that I could find. But the downside is, finding one is like walking in a maze, particularly, finding one that matches your skill sets, gives you the opportunity to expand your skills and is actually available for you to apply. 

But, one came out at the end of August! A coffee chat led to an application, and a post-application conversation led to a formal letter of confirmation last week! My secondment will last for 12 months starting from mid-November.  

3. Mat Pilates Teacher Training 
This is probably the most bizarre of the lot. It is completely unplanned and started off as something I mentioned in passing. 

No doubt that I have been practicing Pilates since maybe 2012 (general mat classes at the gym where I was a member back then). As someone who is not very fond of the gym, I got hooked onto Pilates and very quickly became a regular face every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I love it so much that it got me thinking what is the point of paying for a full gym membership when I only attend the Pilates class. So I looked into Reformer Pilates class on the basis that I have understood the foundation of Pilates and since March 2015, I am proud to say that I am a true advocate of the Pilates method. I have felt and seen the difference it had made to and how it has transformed my body. 

So when I cheekily mentioned to my Pilates instructor that if I win the lottery, I would definitely practice Pilates more and maybe even become a Pilates teacher. Well, I haven't actually won the lottery, but I sure am in the process of becoming a mat Pilates teacher! 

It all happened very quickly. It was a pure coincidence that when I mentioned it in passing, there was a new course starting in London. Being a Type A personality, I needed to know about all the options available out there before choosing one and to cut the story short, it was the most intense research I did in the space of three weeks. I researched online, sent e-mail inquiries and talked to people in the industry. There were times when I felt that I should let the idea cool off simply to check if it is genuine or simply a FOMO. On other days, I felt the sun, the moon, and the stars are all aligned and that I should not wait for another year especially when there is one starting so soon! In the end, I politely asked the course coordinator if I could attend the pre-requisite course first to assess if this is something that I could easily pick up and dedicate my time and attention to in the time that is required. 

To my surprise (and delight), everything I learned on Friday fell into place and while they are new technical materials (spine, muscles, joints, types of movements etc.) they didn't feel completely alien to me. By the time we were half-way through the pre-requisite course, I knew that I was going to go ahead and sign up for the teachers training course. The Mat Pilates Teacher Training course kicked off yesterday which means, I have now completed two of the six days course. The remaining course will spread across the month of October through December with two classes held in each month. 

So there you have it. The three things that will keep me out of trouble over the next three months. Hopefully, I will stay sane. As much as I feel like I am stretching myself thin a little bit, I feel rather excited at the same time. I always believe that it is always good to have goals to be working towards and fingers crossed by the time Christmas arrives, I will have new accomplishments that are worth celebrating! x
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