Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gardening, Cats and Finding Your Passion

When was the last time you did something that made you feel so alive that you sort of lost yourself and forget the time while doing it? You want to experience it over and over again, do you? This could be our hobby that make us feel great. Nothing compares to the happiness we feel that we simply don't care what's going on around us.We are not being paid to do it but it's effect is immense and priceless.

Recently, I found myself living in the province where the air is less polluted and technology has not totally corrupted the relationships between man and nature. After living in the city for decades, it is therapeutic to be staying in a less complicated environment. Now, I actually care less about how I look. What matters to me is that we have food on the table and sufficiency with the other things. I thought, life is awesome just the way it is. I didn't feel same way while living in a huge, busy and crowded city because I was too busy earning and looking for things that makes me tick. Happiness for me then has a cost. It is elusive but I keep on searching and rushing into it, only to end the day alone, tired, unhappy, and confused. I defined happiness as a cup of coffee, a slice of  sinful chocolate cake, and travel to a different place--fleeting and shallow.

I once thought that I won't last for 6 months. I thought that I would eventually decide to stay in the city. But, as I stay longer, I actually feel more happier and peaceful. I got acquainted to new things and discover new passion. As I entangled myself to my old me and went back to my roots, the more I learn about myself--I learn what is valuable, and realize my strength and weaknesses. And because I left my old life, I feel that God has given me the opportunity to rewrite some areas of it by myself.

There are couple of things that I discovered about myself: one, I love plants and flowers, and I enjoy gardening; second, I am surprisingly a cat lover (I hated cats before. I would often throw or stone them.)


Amidst the cat cafes trend, an internet solutions Ferray Corporation based in Tokyo adopted 9 rescued felines and let them freely roam around their offices. I would imagine they're all over the place--they could be on top of the printer or PC, they could be tugging the wiring and cables, they could be inside your trash bin, and they could be on the chairs and desks. According to an article in Oddity Central, the cats  switch off computers, chew on LAN cables, scratch the walls, tear up papers, and mess up code by walking on keyboards. Nevertheless, despite of the cats annoyances, employees never complained about them. The cats are said to help employees unwind and improve productivity.

She thought she is one of them...


Effects of cats to people aren't the same but in my case, I can personally say that they help me relax. At times that I want to temporarily take my attention away from work, my pet cats make me easily do that. A simple action like rubbing their heads gives me pleasure.

I enjoy their playfulness. They could me smile, laugh even. I just find them so adorable that I took a lot of pictures and videos.


I want my 8-hour sleep! As I grow older and busier with my day-to-day work, an 8-hour sleep seems impossible. Typically, I would sleep 4-6 hours. But I would sometimes get a little nap in the afternoon when I feel my brain and body needs it.

Highlighting some points  mentioned by National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 
  • Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity.
  • Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested.
  • Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Unfortunately, we belong to a sleep-deprived generation whose perfect companion is caffeine to keep us awake. We are like caffeine-induced zombies, in the disguise of a well-dressed intellectuals.

A sleep-deprived individual get easily annoyed. Apparently, discontentment is easily triggered while in the city because there are endless reasons to be annoyed. The traffic is one, there are many more reasons.

Though, I do not meet my 8-hour quota, my environment is more healthier and it doesn't aggravate my deprivation. I get to enjoy nature before or in between my working hours. I get the chance to do some gardening. Surprisingly, I enjoyed being sweaty and dirty in the garden. Last year, it was just a grassy space but now, I am proud to say that it becomes what it is now because of my hard work. I bought some plants from the city (I don't know what their names are), arranged, pruned and tended them every day.  


I am happy and thankful that I made the decision to be a freelancer four years ago. I would not have been able to do the things I did and do the things I am doing right now if I am tied up to my corporate job. So many things had happened to my family that required more of my presence with them and me moving to the rural area.

The norm of our time believe that to be successful in life and to earn decent money is to be an employee. Nevertheless, despite of that, I was once fully convinced that I am going to make it as a freelancer. My motivation then was to work only on things that I want and to earn from it.

Though it was a rough start, I survived it.  Going through the difficulties made me realize what I am truly passionate about as far as work is concerned. I now know the type of freelance projects that I truly enjoy. 

I worked as a sales professional for 6 years prior to freelancing. I didn't hate the job, not at all. But there is just one aspect of the job that I truly want to  more than the sales talk. I only discovered that when I was literally jobless and away from everything else. I resigned from the job because things didn't work out for me.

I am happy I found my passion. I am happy I have the career that I love. I may not be well-dressed as those working at the office but I don't care, I am pretty comfortable with it.

If I am to give advice to a person who is currently unhappy with his job, I would probably first ask what his passion is. The only challenge would be if the person doesn't know what that is.

We should not fear giving up the things that are not working for us. It is only by giving up that we give room for something new. Deena Varshavskaya wrote in Forbes that "When You Know It’s Not Working, Quit Fast". But of course, giving up is just the start of it.

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