On learning that I haven’t been doing anything psychological vocationally, people often express a disappointing tone as if I had wasted the years towards obtaining a psychology degree. Truth to be told, since my return to Singapore, things at home start getting broken, one by one, wave after wave. I even posted a status update on Facebook with a humorous swing.
(In case the image doesn’t load, here is the content)
I’ve been doing a lot of home improvements, in a high profile fashion, like sharing the photos publicly on Facebook.
I know what you are thinking, you think I just sit around thinking of the next projects, right?
Peeps, that’s not how my life works, alright. I’ll tell you how my life works. Just when I thought I could catch a break after a repair project was done, and indeed was sitting… on the toilet seat, and it cracked. Yes, just when I was thinking I could take a rest.
Now that the windows are installed, and while waiting for the parts for small non-urgent fixes to arrive by sea shipment, and I could relax in the massage chair and really, really take a rest. The tablet control panel showed “Error: 052”. I’m not even kidding. It’s dead, it simply refuses to serve me!
After the windows were installed, I was cleaning up for hours, and while vacuuming the floor, I thought, “after this, I need a good rest”, and the vacuum heard me and started to choke and give a burnt smelling fart. The vacuum cleaner is now at the service centre.
That thought, that “I can now take a rest”, is a lethally dangerous thought! Whatever I’ve caught this year, I need to take a 7-flowers bath for 7×7=49 days!
As you can see, the fear that the “things” at home are conspiring against me is not unfounded.
It all started with the gaps in the wooden door of my bedroom. I could see people outside my room through the gap! Okay, maybe not like a clear view but disturbing enough to imagine the full view!
What did I do? I researched for a solution and found that wood putty can be used to fix the problem. The first train had officially left the station, and more trains follow. Meanwhile, I was preparing for my convocation to receive my certificate.
The event was both tiring and fun. I would give it a miss, but the ma had expressed excitement in attending the convocation ceremony. I booked a room at Swissotel, The Stamford, as the ceremony took place in the ballroom in the same building.
We ate a lot and laughed a lot. It might be the first time that the three of us went for a staycay. Growing up, traveling was expensive, and my sister married at a young age, so we didn’t have a chance to be in the situation that we could both afford a holiday together, in the sense of financial and personal time allowance.
Problems didn’t let me hold a happy mood for too long. It was the raining season, and the wall must have been upset that it missed the Halloween fun, so it decided to seize the opportunity and create an eerie image on the wall. Apparently, the heavy downpour caused the water seepage problem and I had the town council to inspect and arrange for repair work from outside the building.
Really, all I have been doing is getting things fixed, including my health and wellbeing. I had two procedures done in three months; one of them required a three days stay, 2 days bed-bound, and months of postop-recovery.
Then, the boy visited Singapore. Had a lot to eat, many places to see, and lots to laugh about. Happy time slipped by too quickly.
The staycay at Swissotel soon became a precious memory because that could be the last time that the ma could walk around freely. The ma had a fall on the lunar new year’s eve which resulted in a fracture above her knee. It is possible that the ma would be wheelchair bound from this point, but we have also seen the powerful resilience that the ma had demonstrated before. So, it could still be possible for her to walk again.
And then, I slipped and fell and suffered a sprain (or less severe), and had a swollen foot for more than a month.
I am dead serious, a lot of things broke since I returned. Furniture, air-conditioner, windows, massage chair, water seepage through the wall, shower head (twice!), moldy bathroom walls and ceiling, and more; the ma broke her leg, I sprained my foot. Not convinced? Here are more, but not all the photos of what I had done around the apartment
Oh right, I did mention that the toilet seat cracked? I put a “bandaid” over the crack till the new cover arrived and replaced it.
Now, back to the question about how I might have wasted my studies in psychology, or have I? See, it is exactly what I have been trained and still keenly interested in psychology that having so many things broken and waiting to be broken (this is a proactive positive mindset, not negative thoughts; be ready and unafraid), at least it has not broken my mind, body (yet), and spirit.
Psychology is similar to home-fixing, it fixes faulty thoughts, reviews behavioral patterns and responses, clarifies emotions to seek the silver lining in every trying situation, makes predictions for what may be needed to overcome the obstacles ahead. These inner works help to mitigate the troubling struggles and maintain some equilibrium. Psychology does not solely apply to major and urgent crises; we can administer daily psychology practices to tackle daily challenges that have the full potential to transform into a massive problem.
The silver lining of all these events is that I have learned new skills in repair works and instead of feeling overwhelmed and broken down each time something breaks, I develop new strategies to cope with the problems and approach the issues with enthusiasm and pragmatism. We just need to understand when to pause, and recharge.
One thought on “Daily Psychology and Proactive Positive Mindset”
This post is very insightful. I heard it said recently in a podcast that people often operate under the false assumption that problems are to be avoided and that we can at some point get to a stage where there are no more problems to be solved. Many people put off feeling happy because they think, I will be happy as soon as this or that problem is solved. But that’s the wrong way to look at it!
There is never a point in life where there are not problems to be solved. The trick, then, is to learn to be happy (as much as is possible) while we are in the midst of solving problems, before the problem is resolved. So this is why I think this post is so wise. You acknowledge that there are “daily challenges,” and that whether they are manageable or whether they blow up into unwieldy challenges depends a lot on how we approach them. Do we let them overwhelm us, and rob us of the chance to be happy in a given moment? Or do we choose resilience, looking at the silver lining, and solving them as best we can as the problems arise? You clearly choose the proactive approach, and that is highly commendable.
I also admire that you look for the silver lining, noting the skills gained through all the new home repairs.
I’m glad that you have been able to spend time with loved ones in the midst of all these repairs and problems. I’m sorry about your ma’s accident. Like you say, it is nice that you were able to create memories with her before her accident. I wish her continued health and happiness as she recovers from her injury.
You are indeed putting your psychology degree to good use! If — at the very least — it helps you to be more resilient in life and help your loved ones find resilience too, then the degree was money and time well spent indeed!