Every once in awhile, I read the TED newsletter that regularly gets sent to my Inbox and actually click through to watch a video or two. Today, it was Shonda Rhimes – TV Titan who is behind Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, among others. She was up for a TED Talk and spoke of her year of saying Yes to everything – especially to her kids asking her to play.
I love the way she spoke. I’ve never seen her interviewed before but I am familiar with her work. Such a genius she must be. So creative, focused. She really must be such a Titan. But I love that she spoke about Love. About what truly brings one Joy.
There is a lot of emphasis on increasing productivity and maintaining focus on goals as a way to attain excellence. But she took a different path. Oh yes, she talked about being a workaholic and having very long workdays. But she emphasised this: Work won’t work without Play.
Recently, I have been passionate about crocheting. At other times in my life, it was blogging or baking, or blogging AND baking. No matter how long i stayed at work, no matter the demands on my time and presence, I always carved time out to do the things I wanted to do. There was always time to make Oreo Truffles, or Tres Leches cakes. I didn’t care about losing sleep – it made me happy. Whenever I started to blog, or bake, I would find myself in a certain ZONE. Same thing now about crocheting. Or about reading, sometimes. So I realised, I need to do these things to keep me sane and also to keep me going about work.
In the last 10 months or so, I’ve felt a shift deep within me. Before my recent promotion, years prior, I told my boss that I was happy and content with where I was. I didn’t see myself applying for a higher post. Truth be told, I was a bit bored. I was contemplating finding something else to do. Had I the life savings to support me with whatever I wanted to do, I probably would have left. But I needed my job and all the cushion my salary gave me. But after that amazing few days in Sagada with my husband and Team, and then transferring to a different program, things changed. I had found myself full again – not necessarily raring to go to work every single day – but not really dreading it. I felt passion for work. It was my core value of excellence that fuelled me – I had been given a huge challenge and we needed to come out on top. But that was just the beginning.
I realise now, thanks to Shonda, that just wanting to be good at what I do wouldn’t have sustained me for a long time. It can’t. What keeps me going now is being able to refill my cup daily. There are a few ways I do it too.
Cultivating relationships with the people I work with. That 5 or 15 minutes of chat about things other than work. That refills my cup.
Having lunch with friends. That adds more.
Coming home to my husband and talking about our day. Planning our grocery list. Bickering about everything, haha! That takes me almost full to the brim.
And then finding a comfortable spot to crochet or knit – that allows my cup to overflow.
And then I go to bed, wake up a few hours later, and I’m all ready for work again.
I used crocheting here because it’s what I do everyday now. But it could also be doodling, writing, reading, blogging, videoke, spending time with Amir or Alexiess. It is anything that sparks joy.
Thank you to the Titan, Shonda Rhimes.