Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wanna ride a cool vehicle? Ask the destination first!

Now I know why we are never satisfied, never be content, cannot find the REAL so-called inner peace. We work like horses--leaving our houses before the ray of the sun touches the roof of our houses and back home long after the sun has set.

We go to salons to 'beautify' ourselves, follow fashion and beauty styles in order to look good to other people.  We will then feel refreshed, beautiful, and 'ready to conquer the world'. It actually only lasts a couple to few weeks before the urge to go back and visit the salon comes again, a few weeks before the urge to find those new style of clothes and bags and shoes comes again. And it happens again, and again.

What is actually our goal? Why does it feel as if we'd become like hamsters running on wheels? Is it possible that someone is actually watching us doing such foolish things, and probably laughing at us?

Then I found it. The goal. The destination. No matter how sophisticated the train we are riding on, how comfortable the seats are, how good the food is, if the destination is wrong...then those things are meaningless.  Would you still ride the exclusive train with all those cool facilities if you know that the destination is to jump into a valley?

The train is this world, our lives.  And the destination?

You owe yourself an answer to that.  Don't buy a hanging answer. Keep asking, keep finding out until you find the answer.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sukses di mata orang lain atau diri sendiri?

Ini bukanlah hal baru. I've been aware of this for a pretting long while. Bahwa sukses bukan berarti berhasil jadi CEO atau Presiden atau penyanyi terkenal dan sejenisnya. 
Biasanya kalau mendengar kata 'sukses', image yang terbayang adalah orang dengan pakaian kerja formal, cantik/ganteng, wangi. Kenapa ya?  Apakah seorang perempuan sederhana beranak 3 yang tinggal di desa itu tidak sukses?
Kelihatannya yang dianggap sukses itu adalah yang kelihatan oleh orang banyak. Seolah berkesan bahwa kesuksesan hanya milik orang2 terkenal, atau orang2 yang dikenal cukup banyak orang.  Sementara seorang perempuan desa beranak 3... yang kenal cuma orang2 sekampung.  Orang yang sehari-hari sibuk bertemu banyak orang versus yang sehari-hari sibuk dengan 3 anaknya.  Orang yang sehari-hari menggunakan komputer dan gadgets versus yang menggunakan sapu, pel, wajan dan panci.  Orang yg tiap hari memimpin rapat dan memberikan presentasi versus yang menyiapkan keperluan anaknya dan membantunya belajar.
Jadi, pikir dulu sebelum bilang orang sukses atau 'nggak ada apa2nya'.

Monday, April 09, 2012

An Obliged Working Mother?

I found this interesting website called The Primary Dilemma. It addresses the needs of working mothers, recognizing that working mothers are not all the same. It's a tool to help us clarify the dilemma of work-family choices (or non-choices) that working mothers face.  I took the quiz and the result showed that I'm in 'Obliged' category thus recommended Obliged working mother method.  The founder of this tool, Lynn Hall, shares her story on the home page of the website.  It was when her baby was sick so she couldn't take her to the daycare, and her husband was away on business.

When my husband arrived home that night I said “I need your help tomorrow if the baby is sick.”  And he said “Look, I can’t share the day to day parenting.  My job won’t allow it.  You need to be that person.  Your work is important, don’t stop working.  If we need a nanny, let’s get one.  If you need to change your job, do it.  I support you.  But you need to be the primary parent.”
Wow, the PRIMARY DILEMMA™ had hit me like a ton of bricks!  I had to redefine what it meant for me to “do well” as a mom, employee and person.
I wanted to work.  But I also wanted to be physically present for my daughter.  The realization of my dilemma guided me to re-engineer my plan for working motherhood.   Re-engineering my plan meant finding: 1) an employer closer to home, 2) a work environment that supported flexible schedules and 3) a position that demanded less travel.  I found all of that.  And with a crazy combination of enthusiasm and remorse, I embraced the chance to learn how to be a working mother in an environment that supported it.  But it did come with the price of decelerating my career for a period of time.  Fortunately, the self-awareness that I had for my dilemma enabled me to stay in the workforce instead of opting out.

In her story, she found all that she needed. Good for her. Now what I need is more or less the same: 1) an employer closer to home, 2) a work environment that supports flexible schedules and 3) a position that demands very little travel.  For me this method could be transitional or a philosophical approach to a work-family balance where work is only one part of living--I haven't decided yet.  On the page of The Obliged, Hall recommends us to be conscious of little things like commute time, because they make great differences. Like, 

A short commute can make an enormous difference in enabling the balance between work and family.  You can make it to the school play or a child’s dentist appointment, all in the course of a work day.

But that example is so not applicable if you are a Jakarta commuter like me! Commute time is at least one hour if the traffic is 'normal'.

So I'm still trying to find: 1) An employer closer to home. There are choices nearby, but... 2) a work environment that supports flexible schedules. But as I mentioned before, flexible schedules are not common here. Although demands for mothers to work to contribute to their husbands' incomes are increasing, working mothers' needs for work-family-self balance is not yet recognized.  So, finding 3) a position that demands very little travel should come after I get number 1) and 2).  That is not common here, so it's not easy to find. Most stay-at-home moms I know (in my country, or especially in the area of greater Jakarta) work in multi-level marketing, or self-employed selling imported baby/kids clothes online. But I see too many people are already doing that, besides they are not so interesting to me personally.

The perception at work is that I am on the “mommy track” instead of the “fast track”. Additionally, most of my peers are men with stay at home wives, so they have limited understanding of what I am trying to accomplish.”

There is a link on the Primary Dilemma website to this book entitled The Second Shift. Here's a short description of the book on Amazon:

In this landmark study, sociologist Arlie Hochschild takes us into the homes of two-career parents to observe what really goes on at the end of the "work day." Overwhelmingly, she discovers, it's the working mother who takes on the second shift. Hochschild finds that men share housework equally with their wives in only twenty percent of dual-career families. While many women accept this inequity in order to keep peace, they tend to suffer from chronic exhaustion, low sex drive, and more frequent illness as a result. The ultimate cost is the forfeited health and happiness of both partners, and often the survival of the marriage itself.

I found it interesting and 'uh-oh''s a warning too. So now what should I do? (block) じゃ、どうすればいいの?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What do I do with the "Great Cities to Discover"?

It was once my greatest passion. Now what happened? It's like I can only dream
Especially lately. I'm sooooo exhausted. I need to sleep, then relax. Just to stop for a while from the hectic daily routines where I must leave home before the sun lights the sky, and usually get home late at night.  I'm so tired.  I can't even lay my back on the couch and just stay there for a while, relaxed and calm.  I read books in tiny pieces between preparing breakfast for my Princess and getting her for a bath on weekends.
And now the traffic got even worse because of rain. Jams everywhere.  Last Thursday it took us 3.5 hours to get home!! Fortunately Princess was being such a good girl. But when she got sleepy and wanted to sleep she couldn't. She needed me to keep patting her so she could get to sleep... poor Princess.  So while I struggled on the street trying to get my way through sea of cars in such a messed up street, I tried to keep patting her to get her to sleep... My legs hurt and I was tired and sleepy. But the traffic was so fierce. It was like a war. Battles everywhere.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The tense approaching afterwork

The last couple of weeks of December 2011, traffic was really ugly.  Especially if I spent just a little time over the official working hours (after 4 pm, that is).  I ordered a taxi, then picked up my toddler while waiting for the taxi. And I never got one.  Some of the days my kid and I queued outside the lobby and it took us about an hour to finally get a taxi, and that was not from my order (order status was still "searching for taxi").

Now I'm having a trauma.  This first week of 2012, school students are still on holiday and many people on leave. So traffic in the morning is relatively good (Jakarta traffic kind of good). Moreover I go to work with my hubby--he dropped me off at my office building.

Working in Jakarta is tough on traffic.  Often I'm still spiritful afterwork and eager to do many things, but then traffic slowly draining me so I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Simple dream

It started as a search on flickr. Just want to check if my genius cake-maker has ever made the Anpanman theme.  Searched on her photos: none.  Being curious about an Anpanman cake, I then did a search on Everyone's photos, and there you go... Anpanman cakes :) a n d...... bento!
I ended up doing some sight-seeing on kids' bento at flickr. Then I remembered my simple wish: I wish to make cute bento for my little girl :)  She's going to kindergarten next year. I wish to be able to take her to school and pick her up, and make cute bento once in a while (if not everyday).  She likes to watch videos about making cute character bento on YouTube and asks me to make it for her. Awww..... I will, sweetie :) 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yohannes Surya: "Tidak Ada Orang yang Bodoh."

Belum lama saya menulis tentang studi banding pendidikan, pagi ini saya menghadiri Friday Talk yang diadakan perusahaan tempat saya bekerja, yang pada kesempatan ini mengundang Prof. Yohanes Surya sebagai pembicara.  Beliau adalah tokoh pendidikan yang mengharumkan nama bangsa dengan menghasilkan juara-juara dunia dari Indonesia dalam Olimpiade Matematika dan Fisika.  Beliau menemukan metode belajar matematika yang sangat mudah dan berlaku untuk semua orang--bahkan orang yang dianggap paling bodoh sekalipun.
Menembus Hutan Papua
Untuk membuktikan metodenya, beliau melakukan perjalanan-perjalanan jauh dan sulit ke pelosok Papua, ke perkampungan yang dianggap terbelakang, mencari anak-anak yang dianggap paling bodoh pada saat itu.  Salah satu dari anak didiknya bahkan 'fresh from the forest', dari pedalaman hutan Papua, yang tidak mengerti konsep berhitung SAMA SEKALI.  Anak-anak tersebut beliau bawa pulang untuk dilatih matematika.  Anak-anak yang pada awalnya sangat tidak menguasai matematika, bahkan ada yang 4 tahun berturut-turut tidak naik kelas karena nilai matematikanya nol, berubah menjadi 'jenius'.  Hanya dalam 6 bulan mereka bisa menguasai matematika yang diajarkan selama 6 tahun di Sekolah Dasar.
Setelah beberapa kali pembuktian dengan puluhan anak 'terbodoh' dari Papua dan Banten, beliau mengambil kesimpulan bahwa sebenarnya tidak ada orang yang bodoh.  Yang ada adalah orang yang tidak mendapat kesempatan untuk belajar dari guru yang baik dengan metode yang baik.  Beliau kemudian mengadakan pelatihan untuk guru-guru dari banyak kabupaten yang tersebar di seluruh Indonesia. Guru-guru tersebut dilatih metode mengajar matematika, kemudian harus mempraktekkannya pada anak2 'terbodoh' agar hanya dalam 5 hari anak-anak itu dapat menguasai matematika dasar dengan sangat baik.  Mereka harus bisa. Zero tolerance.  Dan terbukti.  Anak-anak yang dianggap sangat bodoh yang awalnya menjumlahkan 2+2 saja tidak mampu, hanya dalam 4 - 5 hari berhasil menguasai matematika dasar.
Seberkas Harapan bagi Indonesia
Dari pembuktian-pembuktian yang beliau lakukan, Prof. Yohanes Surya melihat harapan yang sangat besar untuk sebuah transformasi pada bangsa ini.  Jika 'virus' ini dapat ditularkan secara luas, maka Indonesia akan melesat cepat.  Beliau punya target untuk menghasilkan 30,000 Doktor (S3) Indonesia di tahun 2030.  Beliau melihat peluang yang sangat besar belajar dari pengalaman negeri Cina. RRC sejak tahun 1997 - 2007 (CMIIW) menghasilkan puluhan ribu Doktor dalam Sains Teknologi.  Dan sekarang negeri itu begitu pesat berkembang.  Seperti itulah cita-cita Prof. Yohanes atas Indonesia.
Spread the 'virus'
Dengan cita-cita yang sangat mulia dan perjuangannya yang tak kenal lelah, Prof. Yohanes menciptakan Gerakan Ibu Pintar Matematika (GIPITA).  Bersama orang-orang hebat lainnya yang mendukungnya, beliau mengadakan pelatihan bagi para ibu di Indonesia tentang metode mengajar matematika.  Kenapa ibu?  Karena para ibulah yang paling ingin anaknya pintar (tidak ada ibu yang tidak ingin anaknya pintar), dan paling banyak berinteraksi dengan anak.  Diharapkan para ibu tersebut mengajarkan matematika dengan metode yang baik ke anak-anaknya, dan juga ke ibu-ibu yang lain.  Sehingga akan ada efek multiplikasi.  Jika ini berhasil, maka seluruh anak Indonesia akan menyukai dan menguasai matematika.  Menurut Prof. Yohanes, jika semua orang menyukai matematika, maka akan mudah baginya untuk belajar yang lain seperti fisika, kimia.  Dan metode yang beliau temukan ini mengembangkan cara berpikir yang advanced.  Dengan hal ini beliau mengharapkan transformasi yang sangat besar bagi bangsa Indonesia.
(to be continued)