31 August 2010

One day if I died of heart attack the murderer would be called MINDLESSNESS

In one single day...

First, my husband and I went to 4 different offices in Toronto trying to get his driving license renewed. The officers there kept telling us that they were not responsible for this and kept sending us to other offices. It turned out that the second office we went to was actually the correct one. The officer sent us away since she didn't take any careful look at the documents we presented her.

Much time wasted, much extra driving cost, many body cells killed due to the anger aroused, only because one person has been absent-minded.

Second, I was trying to contact someone at my university in Brisbane on an enquiry related to my studies. I got her email address and phone number from someone at another admin office, who told me - yes the classic line! - this is not our job and you have to go elsewhere for this. It turned out that the information she gave me was all wrong! A telephone extension of 56757 was mis-typed as 56557, and the last name Umemoto mis-typed as Umemote in the email address. It took me a couple of emails to figure this out and fix it. You think it is not big deal huh? Maybe I should have told you that it had already taken me and my academic supervisor about a dozen of emails to look for an answer to my enquiry (which I don't yet have a complete answer), and to be able to finally pin down a contact person whom I can directly talk/write to.

I wonder how much time in the university has been wasted on matters like these, and how much productivity could be generated if those wasted time is summed up and spent on something more meaningful...

And things like these don't just occur overseas... Yes, that's part of the globalisation phenomena and we are not short of examples at home! A few weeks ago, I received a voice mail from someone calling me for the first time,

"Sorry Phoebe I don't understand what you are trying to say in your email. Could you call me back to explain it?" (hang up)

This was the first time she gave me a call, and she didn't leave her phone number...

One day if I were to die of heart attack I could be quite sure that it does not merely come from overwork, but the stress and emotions stirred up by the mindless co-workers all around us!!!!!

14 August 2010

哭是可以的

做戲劇的人,總會觸碰不少情緒。

本質上,戲劇是須透過情感作表達的藝術媒介,
而參與戲劇的人,又必須以自身的血肉情感來投入這個媒介。

有些人害怕戲劇,因它可以赤裸裸地打開情緒的大門。
有些人喜歡戲劇,因視它為處理和宣泄情緒的窗口。

帶領戲劇工作坊的人,有時會在這「害怕」與「喜歡」之間掙扎,
一方面了解人需要有適當途徑觸碰自己的情緒,
一方面又害怕不懂得處理參與者的情緒──而且特別害怕看到人流淚……

好友最近在一次分享中說她從某段經歷中明白到:It’s okay to cry(哭是可以的)。
另一友人隨即道出一個容易被忽略的事實──哭,與笑、怒、愁等一樣,都只是一種情緒的表達而已,都是有需要的。

只是我們往往習慣了一哭就聽到:
「唔好喊啦!」
甚或
「喊咩呀喊,無鬼用!」

也許我們要學習的不是如何設法遏止眼淚,
而是去學習如何不害怕流淚,
如何去處理流淚背後的喜怒哀樂愛惡恨,
使人得以為人,生命變得完整;
使戲劇得以為戲劇,不會索然無味。

08 August 2010

我的感性姨甥女

我的姨甥們稱我為「細貓姨媽」或「細貓阿姨」,因家裏姨媽阿姨眾多,為了容易分辨,均以長孩的名子做稱號;我沒有孩子,便用第一隻貓的名字。

那天七歲的姨甥女致電給我:「細貓姨媽,你幾時o黎同我玩呀?星期六你得唔得閒呀?」

今天決定好好放假一天,晚上去了她的家。

快將抵達,接到姨甥女的電話:「細貓姨媽你到未呀?」我說我快到了,她說:「咁我陣間o黎接你丫!」

計程車到達她住的村屋路口,一個小小的人影在樹後鬼鬼祟祟地偷看我,給我發現了,便跑出來一蹦一跳的接我回家。

一整夜,我們吃飯、吃長柄士多啤梨、談天說笑、唱兒歌、跳傻舞,還扮鬼臉拍了一輯傻兮兮的自拍照。

晚了,要道別了,本來在放聲高歌的姨甥女,開始靜了下來。

這個小女孩,感情豐富且心事細密。有次我帶朋友到她家坐了一會,離去後她哭了起來──她以為我送走了朋友會回去和她玩,當發現我沒有回去,啜泣著向媽媽說:「我都冇同細貓姨媽玩過,佢就走左喇!」

我知道要和這個感性的小妹妹道別,得予她一個過程。我向她說:「我們一起唱罷這首歌,然後我要回家了,家裏的貓在等我回去餵他們呢!」

湊巧那首兒歌是合唱曲,我便和她一人一句地唱完。

然後,我請她和媽媽、妹妹一起送我到大馬路截車,讓她有個送別的儀式。

一路上,她不肯拖我的手,但不停地找我的黑影,踏著它玩耍。

臨上計程車的一刻,我看到她臉上仍掛著點點迷惘和不捨。

這個感性的小妹妹啊!

你可知道細貓姨媽其實也捨不得?你可知道今天不只是細貓姨媽陪你玩,其實更是你陪疲憊的、需要潤澤心靈的細貓姨媽玩了一個晚上?

01 August 2010

牛玉蘭的工作清單

牛玉蘭在學習整頓生活的歷程中,明白到時間管理往往跟調節心理有莫大關係,有時甚至是自己和自己玩心理遊戲!

拿 task list 為例,我曾經試過各式各樣的做法,PDA phone、MS Outlook、Google、買漂漂亮亮的便條來寫……等,結果卻發現,最得我心是土法炮製、用環保再用紙背頁四開後疊成的小本子!



原來越一本正經地製作的task list,予牛玉蘭的心理束縛越大,神聖不可侵犯似的,而task list越漂亮,牛玉蘭則越捨不得弄花,覺得不能隨便修改。

這簡陋小本子,給牛玉蘭一種輕鬆、富彈性的感覺──要修改嗎,就放膽劃花,甚或整頁丟棄重新寫一頁又何妨?這下來,心理上覺得那些工作項目沒那麼重甸甸的。

這頭牛的心理狀態可真古怪!

每天早上,我從行事曆和 master task list(也是土法炮製的再用紙背頁,A4大,手寫)選取當天要做的項目寫在小本子上,完成一項,就把所花的時間寫在該項目之後,未完成的,就擇時再做。一週下來,我會把花在各類工作的總時統計出來。

這個做法,幫助了牛玉蘭去了解自己的工作模式,作更好的時間預算。實施了幾個星期,牛玉蘭已經得出一個發現:原來許多我覺得要花好長時間完成的工作,實際需時較我想像的少;實施數月後,我估量工作時間開始更準確;數年下來,我甚而得出了各類工作需時的參考數據。

為何我最初會高估了某些工作項目所需的時間呢?比方說,我常常以為某項工作要一整天時間才能完成,實際上原來只需三數小時,但由於我以為要用一天,對它產生抗拒,不自覺會用許多時間去拖延、逃避,摸東摸西、雞毛蒜皮事做了一大堆後,才肯開工做那個「大」項目,結果連同拖延、擔心的時間,印像中像花了一整天!

實施紀錄時間的做法後,我估量工作時間準確了;當知道那個項目只需用三數小時,便沒有那麼抗拒,心理壓力少了,工作起來就遂心得多。

怪耶?都說這是自己和自己玩的心理遊戲!


牛玉蘭整頓生活系列(三)