Freshly back in Singapore and over jet lag after My Summer Tour of Ignorance in the US, I am re-energized and excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead…and there are many! I’m talking about important and valuable endeavors that are close to my heart and soul, and that I want deeply to give my full attention and effort. It is truly a good space to be in after not feeling that way even up to a year ago. But, right now, it makes my head swim a bit. Have you ever experienced a moment in time when you know that you are in the midst of a major transitional period in your life? After this past year and, especially this summer, I feel that more than ever. However, it contributes to the approaching tsunami in my head.
Amongst the many great people both personal and professional that I connected with this summer, I also had the bittersweet task of leaving my son in Chicago to begin his new chapter in life as a university student at Loyola. I am so grateful and, quite honestly, relieved, that he seems to have found the right place at this point in his life. But, as his mom of 18 years, it is much harder than I thought to let go. I was never one of those moms that cried at the doorstep of my kids’ Kindergarten classrooms. Perhaps, as a career mom, it lessened my guilt in leaving them at school during the day – at least they were somewhere learning and socializing with other kids their age – just like all the other kids. But, this time, it is a lot harder. He is halfway across the world and is not coming home for dinner every night. We miss him and his energy in our house. And, our 15 year-old daughter is not so thrilled about the prospect of all of our day-to-day attention being thrown her way!
So, as I typically do in these emotionally charged moments in my life, I started to push off these feelings and turn to “filling up my minutes.” But, this time, it was a little different. I was filling my time with “purposeful” and “worthy” efforts. Again, things that I connected with as part of what I currently believe to be my life’s passion – TOSO.
- There is my work with my own company TOSO Global Pte Ltd – investing in social enterprises and developing a vision and a plan for what it will be in 3, 5, 10 years or more. And, of course, writing this blog and maybe posting a Facebook page! And, and, and….
- There is my full-time, currently non-paid, work as Chief Marketing Officer for ShiftRunner Pte Ltd – the first company that TOSO Global invested in, which is developing Pandoo Nation and Pandoo Foundation, both of which I feel extremely passionate about.
- There is Mozaik Media, another TOSO Global investment with a worthy purpose, who is creating Mozaik Learning – a Learning Management System with an ethos to improve access to and facilitation of global education. The founder, a dynamic visionary, who I was able to meet up with while in San Francisco over the summer, is interested in tapping into my Business Development experience.
- There is INSITU which pulls at the heartstrings of my creative, artsy mind. It encompasses similar values of TOSO, communicated through art which is based on travel and creative expression of interesting locations in Asia. The creative force behind INSITU is an amazing and interesting husband and wife team in Singapore, who also own a graphic arts studio and worked with me to develop my logo for TOSO. I want to do everything I can to allow INSITU to thrive.
- There is my fabulous “RE” Group, which a friend and I started last year in Singapore. It was established initially as a “re-invention” group for people going through or desiring a change in their career or life purpose. I can’t over-emphasize the impact this group has had on my life. It is now simply called the REgroup, and I am excited to see where it leads us as we pick up again after the summer.
- There is the personal work I am doing to work on improving body and mind through Marcel Daane of Body-Brain Performance Coaching. We have only just started last week, but I am blown away by the approach and potential results on both the physical and mental level.
OK – I’m exhausted already, and this doesn’t even cover the most important relationships in my life including my family and friends. Everything takes a commitment of time and energy which is limited. But, it’s all important and good stuff, and I have such a hard time prioritizing. It’s all a priority!
But, if there is one thing that I learned from a brilliant leader, businessman and mentor at my previous job with Intralox – it can’t all be a priority…it’s just not possible….even if it is all good stuff! If you are not purposefully choosing your priorities for where you will put your time and energy, you are either ineffective at getting any of it done or letting circumstances choose your priorities for you.
In the past, I struggled with this philosophy, because I always viewed it through a black-and-white lens. But, now I am seeing more of the grays. It’s ok to dabble in things here and there that are in line with your purpose and passion. This is what makes life exciting, takes you in new directions and truly energizes me, personally. However, there are levels of priority that need to be thought about, believed in, established and communicated with those involved. For me right now, top priorities will be my family, my physical and mental well-being, and my work to successfully launch and establish Pandoo Nation and Foundation. Everything else, for now, will be, as they say in New Orleans, lagniappe.