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- Non-stop (2008-06)

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Summer Slipped Away (December 2008)

Summer slipped away... and so is autumn.

Summer was almost non-existent to me this year, except that I squeezed an hour or so every weekend for ten laps in a public swimming pool nearby. In the past, I visited the beach a few times every summer, but this year I just didn't have the time and energy. Summer slipped away before I realised that the whether is no longer suitable for swimming in the sea. Then autumn slipped away without much of my usual autumn activities like hiking and BBQ. My autumn weekends were devoted to either work or friends' weddings (I attended eight, emceed a few, and being the best man for one).

Time since June just slipped through my fingers. After being out of town for a month, holiday in Spain and work in London, projects at work came one after another non-stop. Sometimes two projects under my charge almost overlapped, and this happened twice in August and November. Of course I had to support my other colleagues' projects as well. I thought October would be a low season thus my vacation plan to Yunnan, but it turned out that I was suddenly required to go to Shanghai for work in October, and my November projects suddenly required more preparation than expected - thanks to British Council's 60th Anniversary!

Friends whom I do not meet frequently always ask if I am still working at the British Council. They have this impression that I like switching jobs. But this is not true.

It is true that my current job has eaten up a lot of my personal and social time, as I am often required to work at weekends or in the evenings, not to mention over time work until 9 p.m. (although I start at 10 a.m.) which is not rare. I know my schedule is already much better than those working in agencies and event production companies, and I even get time-off compensation for weekend and evening work, but I am just not the kind of person who can totally immerse myself in work for a period of, say, a month. I know this kind of life is not sustainable to me, or more precisely, I am not tough enough to sustain a life like this.

Yet I still have not sensed any urge to leave my present position, although I do question how much longer I can stand if the hectic work schedule continue without improvement. I find certain things in my current work that I want to hold on to. 1.5 years ago when I was about to join the British Council, I wrote about how my career was changing, or on a abstractly conceptual level how it was not changing, and those points are still valid. What I am doing still fits into what I envisage my career should be.

I am not sure if I am strong enough, at least physically, to continue this working mode. One or two days-off after a prolonged intensive period are not adequate for me to recover, for I feel that my limited energy has been completely drained in weeks that preceed. Many of my friends commented that I look even skinnier than before, and this sounds the least complimentary even in a world where slim is beautiful. In the past few months, I always skipped dinner when I was too tired after organising receptions or working over-time till 9-ish. A late lunch, often meant a light afternoon tea, was not doing any good to gaining weight. And I never picked up the habit of snacks, which did not seem any healthier.

Summer slipped away... and so is my weight.

Half a year has passed incredibly fast since I last updated this section, and it's now Christmas time. I wish you a very merry Christmas. I am looking forward to a peaceful 2009, and I wish you the same.

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