12. The pressure to achieve important life milestones with As I Am – Transcription

In this episode, I chat to Isabella and Jeff (the first male guest!) from As I Am Podcast about:
– being caretakers for our Asian parents
– how we operate – being more rigid with our time, doing things at the last minute
– life milestones, ‘being on track’ and where these expectations came from

Welcome back to the podcast. Today I’ve got two amazing guests, isabella and Jeff from as I Am, and we have had multiple conversations now, but if you haven’t listened to the episode that I did with them on their podcast, then go back and check that out. I’m going to leave that in the show notes for you to listen to after this episode. But today I have a few questions for you guys.

First, as an introduction, what’s your background and what languages do you speak so well? Thanks for having us on. As we were saying, like offline, it’s always fun to be on the other side for once. You don’t have to worry too much about steering the conversation and all the questions. So this is a great experience for us. For myself, I am predominantly Chinese, seven 8th to be exact. My grandpa is half Thai, who was born in Thailand. So that part I still not claim, but I feel like it’s something that’s quite interesting about our family history. So I always do bring it up. In terms of languages that I speak. English, obviously, and then Mandarin and Cantonese as well. I took Spanish for about a year, got actually not too bad at it when I was traveling throughout Latin America, and now I’ve just forgotten all of it. So just those three.

Hi, I’m Isabella, the other half of As I Am. My background is Vietnamese, and I speak well in terms of Asian languages, Vietnamese, but I recently have started learning Chinese, Chinese, Mandarin in particular, and I’ve been speaking French for a long time as well. So, yeah, it’s been nice to grow up speaking Vietnam. And I’m sure Jeff attest this to just kind of that connection to culture, but you can dig into that later.

That’s so awesome that you guys speak other languages as well. How did you come to learn those other languages? Just language acquisition at a young age, just like being immersed in the environment, even with family speak it we actually talked about this on our recent episode around, like, parenting, but when you’re a certain age, as a young child, I think it’s around like four to seven, your brain is a sponge for language. And I grew up fortunate enough to have families that speak both Mandarin and Cantonese, and I also watched a lot of Asian television. So during that time, it just like, soaked into your brain. You don’t have to go through that rigorous process of learning like grandma and intonation and pronunciation, all that sort of stuff comes naturally to you because you just absorbed it. So fortunate enough in that sense. I’m not particularly gifted in learning languages, so it would have been pretty difficult for me to pick something up later in life. Yeah, I think it is really hard to pick up languages. I love languages, though. I think it’s something that I find just so fascinating and it really does an insight into another culture’s perspective.

Similar to Jeff. Lucky to have grown up seeking Vietnamese, but I’ve been learning French since school, studied in Paris for a bit as well, and most recently, I started learning Mandarin in 2020 during lockdown. And it’s by far the most challenging language I’ve ever had to learn. But it’s it’s so interesting. And I don’t know, I think I almost wonder whether or not my desire to learn these different languages is driven. I mean, of course, by genuine interest. But I guess the overworking and feeling like I need to constantly push myself to do more things, which I’m sure you’re an expert at Van Anh. And in terms of learning how to navigate that and navigating those tensions between balancing your life with the need to always do more. Yeah, and that’s a huge topic that I want to dive into today.

So kind of beginning that topic. What was your experience growing up as a child of Asian parents or as students, as employees? How did you navigate all of that? Yeah, I think it’s the question that I’ve been able to reflect on recently just because I’ve just gotten back from a kind of long period of time travel well, relatively long period of time traveling in Europe where I felt like for one of the very few times in my life, quite free. And I guess I’m burdened by a sense of responsibility, which I feel like has been something that has been instilled in me and something that I’ve internalized growing up as the eldest kid in an immigrant family. And I think laid on top of that is also the gender expectation of being a woman in an immigrant family from Asia, where you kind of have those quote unquote duties to be the good daughter, the sense of responsibility to take care of your parents or your family. And I have a younger sister as well, who is 14, so I do feel like I need to be there for her, especially for these so many years. And that’s not something I feel burdened I mean, yes and no, but I don’t see that as a negative thing. It’s more just of course I’ll be there for my family. Of course I’m going to be there. But obviously at times when I was traveling, for example, just in Europe, just then, it felt so freeing, and it really felt like a time in my life where I could just not think about those expectations and not think about the responsibilities that I feel like I’ve instilled in myself. So in a way, I almost wondered how would I have how would my life have been or how would my attitudes have changed around me if I didn’t grow up feeling the sense of responsibility? I don’t know if you feel the same way, Jeff. I mean, I know you’re a single only child, I should say, but do you get the sense of responsibility as the kid and your family?

Oh, 100%, because realistically, my parents are starting to get a bit old. They’re turning 60 next year. So you start to think about like, oh, what does the next ten years look like? What does the next 20 years look like? I start to think a lot about their financial situations. I think a lot about their health. Like this year, I’ve literally just muscled them into joining the gym. And not to lose weight or to get swollen or anything, but literally, just so you’re doing some form of exercise, your muscles are going to atrophy, and you can continue to live some sort of good life into your seventy s and your 80s, which I hope they live into. So, yeah, as a single child, a lot of that or all of it, is going to fall on to me. And there is this expectation that I’ve also gotten from my grandparents where they’re saying, you have to constantly think about your parents and take care of them. Obviously, it’s almost like a habit, right? I have to constantly think about how my actions will influence them, like, what am I doing to support them. After that sort of transition period of where I am now a primary caretaker of my parents, I feel like that role for me now has officially switched. Now that my parents have retired, they’ve stopped working. So, yeah, there is that thing that I always have to think about, and it’s a really interesting time right now because I absolutely fucking hate my job. And it’s this tough balance where I can’t just quit and uphold and go do something that I really want to do because I have all these things I have to think about in the background. So, yeah, quite topical at the moment, and definitely something that weighs on me a lot, just on that.

Jeff do your parents have an expectation that they would live with you at some point in their life and then the older they get? Right, because I feel that expectation can sometimes be very much a fact in many kind of Asian families. Yeah, multigenerational households are quite prevalent amongst Asian cultures. My parents, yeah, they’re like, we don’t want to live with you either. Thank God for that. But at the same time, I would never put them in a retirement home, any of that stuff. I would always want them to be at arm’s length in one way or another. So, yeah, there is still that constant theme of what are they going to do? Are they going to be okay? Do they have enough to support themselves? What sort of contingency plans I need to put in place now? And constantly thinking about that, but living together is not one of them.

Yeah, I’m sure. I’ve had conversations with my mom about the future, and she would just say, when you guys buy a house, I’m just going to move in with you. Like, it is the expectation. Right? Because who’s going to take care of them when they’re on, besides their kids? And that’s an expectation that we have placed on us. And what you touched on Jeff, about being the caretaker? We kind of take on all these expectations from our grandparents and our parents to take care of our parents and to make sure that everybody is thought about. And you’re kind of thinking about all the plans for the future for everyone. And that’s one of the things that we all face. But unknowingly, we do these things. And as you said, Isabella, sometimes it’s not a burden. Sometimes it’s just like, oh, yeah, I’ll take care of my family no matter what. But sometimes that comes with the other side of that experience and that freedom. And you’re like, wow, imagine what life would be like. Yeah. But of course, realistically, that’s not something that happens for a lot of immigrant children.

I’m just wondering how that plays out in the future for all of us if we decide to be parents one day. How would that look for you guys? Have you ever thought about that? No is probably the easy answer. I’m still on the do I even have kids? Kind of framework. I thought you said yes. In our last episode, we literally had a conversation on whether or not we want kids. Yeah, it wasn’t fully definite. It was leaning towards so yeah, that’s not something that I’ve thought about too much. Look, at the end of the day, I don’t think we are products of Western cultures as well, and we still have those values instilled in us. I probably wouldn’t place that same level of pressure on my kids to uphold these particular values. I feel like there’s obviously taking care of your parents is very important, but sometimes I feel like the expectation of how some Asian households want you to do it to the extent to which they expect it is a little bit it can be detrimental to someone’s mental health, to someone’s personal situation. There’s pros and cons to both methods. But I think for me personally, I wouldn’t force it to the same extent. Right, yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

What do you think, as well? I mean, it’s interesting, right? Because I don’t feel as if my parents force this pressure on me. I feel, if anything, I’ve internalized this pressure because I’ve seen the sacrifices they’ve made. They’ve had to start from scratch, immigrating from a war torn country to Australia. So in that context, you almost feel as if, oh, my God, I need to do so much to repay that debt, or whatever it is. Whereas I don’t imagine that our children, if we have them, would have the same kind of instilled pressures, if that makes sense. Because the context that they would have if I become a parent is I’ve been very privileged to be born and raised in Australia. I mean, God forbid that there’s no war whatever, there’s no kind of drastic change in our lives. But I don’t know if it’s necessarily the same context that would lead to these pressures. But of course I’m sure pressures would manifest itself in other ways, right? But in any case, I agree with you, Jeff. I wouldn’t want my child to feel that they needed to give back or sense of burden, so to speak. That being said, I do feel like that respect for your elders and the expectation that you will be there for your family and show up for your family is something that I would want to instill with my family just because what’s that saying? Like blood runs like blood thicker than water or something like that? Yeah, like family is important. Right? But I want to carry on that sentiment just on that phrase.

I never quite understood it because I know it’s meant to say family means more than like friends, technically, but everyone’s got blood and we all have water. Sorry, Tanger, but that phrase never made any sense to me unless I’m missing something completely having the privilege to experience both cultures, like the Western culture, the Eastern culture, we kind of get to pick and choose, right? Like family to us doesn’t just mean blood, blood family or blood relatives, any sort of blood relation.

But to us, we can pick and choose what’s important from both cultures that we want to continue with. And so all those ideas of being burdened on your future kids or having that sense of responsibility as a child to take care of your parents and your family in general, we can veer away from that because we have grown up here. We have the independence, we know the language, we know how to use tech, kind of after all the tech issues we have recording these episodes, but we can take care of ourselves, essentially. And I don’t know how that looks when we’re older because that could be a completely different story. But we have a lot of control and we have a lot of knowledge about how the world works and we can adapt to what has happened in a different way without that trauma, hopefully, that our parents have had to go through.

And the idea of indebtedness that Isabella touched on as well. Our future generations probably won’t have that feeling as much as we do, and because of the past and history of our families, that they don’t have to go through that. And so things will be different in the future. It’s just we can decide how that looks for future generations.

And I wanted to talk about the big topic for this podcast about your perceptions of time. Now, I thought this was really interesting because it kind of links into the ideas of overworking, about work life balance, burnout, about being able to rest and not like go, go, go all the time. Something that I’ve been going through lately, especially with wedding planning and working and just life in general, is that I’ve been saying this a lot, is that I don’t have time to do all this stuff. And I feel like I’m always behind that things don’t get done when they need to unless it’s a deadline. Like the other day, we had to submit our final numbers for the reception, and we did that initially the last minute. So that’s kind of the perception of time that I’m talking about. So I’m just wondering, what are your thoughts on that?

I’m someone that likes to do things to very specific time periods, and I like to set myself deadlines, whether they’re super small ones. Like, I need to finish this in the next 15 minutes. I want to be done with exercise by this clock. I like working to these targets. If that doesn’t work out, like, I’ve sort of missed something. It starts to fuck around with my head because in a lot of ways, I am quite a structured person. I can be pretty harsh myself and not give myself enough rest or enough breaks when I do pretty much all different things in my life. So, yeah, I never feel like I don’t have enough time. But the rigidity that I sort of force on myself feels a little bit suffocating at times. And I do wish I was a little bit more forgiving of myself.

I’m the complete opposite. I do everything last minute. My life can be no, it’s like chaotic, but chaotic good. Like, there’s structure, there’s organized chaos, right? And if anything, I always feel like I’m running out of time. I’m always running late or having to hustle to get things done. And I actually think that’s a product of perhaps my optimism. I actually think I can’t measure time accurately. I just allude myself into thinking that let’s say I have an hour, like an hour break or whatever. I think I can squeeze in, like, ten different things. And really, I can only do two things, which is why I feel like I’m always running, always running out of steam, because I try and fit everything in and it doesn’t work out. So I think I need to learn something out of your book, Jeff. You might need to learn something from mine just to narrow it down.

Because I wish I feel like I had enough time, but I actually feel like I don’t have enough time. And to even take a more of, like, a bird eye view on this, just even thinking of where I am in my life and how old I am in my 20s, I’m thinking about when I’d like to have kids. I’m thinking about my career. And if I’m honest, it sometimes feels like I don’t have that much time to, like, let’s say have kids, right? And then I think about, well, how would that fit with trajectory where I want to go with my job and my career. And it just feels like I’m running out of time, which I know is a really flawed concept because time is so relative and there’s no rush to do certain things. But I guess to what extent to have kids, for example, there is sort of this biological time clock that you need to factor in. So it is hard, I think it is hard to kind of juggle time. Not on just like a micro perspective of, all right, I can only accomplish this amount of things and there’s a lot of time I need to stop at that, but also thinking about the long term perspective of, all right, well, how do I see myself? Where do I see myself in five years time? And realistically, right? And how do I fit it all in? There’s all a bunch of hypotheticals. But it has been on my mind recently just because I feel like this decade of being your 20s, people are either still traveling, still studying, some people are very much getting married, having kids, and I think that really thwarts my perception of time. And I guess talk to my 14 year old self like her perception of time when she was in her 20s, and when she thinks not all what I thought I would have been. Having kids is completely different to the reality of where I am today, if that makes sense.

It’s so interesting how both of you are so different and the way you you perceive time and just the way you operate is different. So this kind of provides two different perspectives on this, which is great. And I just realized that. Jeff, you’re the first male guest on this podcast. I wanted to ask you about you, Jeff. Were you always like that? You always structured and you kind of like having those routines and specific time frames for everything you do? Yeah, I think so. I had a similar experience where I’ve always set milestones for myself in life. Like this age I do this, this age I do this, this age I do this. And I too remember a time because I took a gap year between finishing union before I started work, and it was just the most carefree thing ever. And it was awesome. And the older I get, the more I feel trapped in a prison of my own creation because I am meeting my milestones. And it’s freaking me out a little bit now because I’m like I am so stuck on this path that I’ve defined by myself that I feel like I can’t deviate from anymore. It’s like in a video game, you’ve gone down and you’ve unlocked all these quests and you’re making great progress, but it’s like, am I actually on the right path? And that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately with this whole employment situation. And I think the idea of being structured and meeting these times, it allows me to feel safe because I’ve essentially coordinated myself in this path that I’m not deviating from it. I feel like I’m on track, but the on trackness is starting to feel a little bit off for me. I don’t actually know if this is on track anymore. So, yeah, I’m experiencing this tension right now with a methodology of, I guess, experiencing life that I’ve always followed. So need to spend some time working out what to do about this.

Just wondering what your goals are. What kind of milestones do you have that you’re following? Well, it’s all the classic ones, right? Graduate uni, get a job, buy a property, get married, go overseas and work, do all these other things, and then eventually buy a farm. I see that for you. Yeah. And the buying a farm thing sort of came a bit later, and it’s something that I actually truly want to do. Whereas all these other milestones previously I am starting to question, are these my ideas or are these ideas that I think I’ve created for myself based on expectations? So, yeah, those are sort of like the key milestones. And now I find myself constantly, like, I want to do a big career change. I want to do Masters in something else. Actually, I was looking up master’s programs today, and NYU has a master’s of arts in food studies. That looks perfect, right? It costs 100 fucking US dollars. $100,000? I can’t afford that. That’s ridiculous. Yeah. And the other thing is having a mortgage thing. And I’m so fortunate enough to have my own place and to be without a space that I personally enjoy being in. But it’s kind of suffocating in a lot of ways. It’s like, I cannot pull away from this because I have a mountain of debt.

So that is another thing that’s been you mentioned really interesting ideas of, like, in Isabella, you talked about how you kind of overestimate your sense of time, right? And then you kind of cram a lot of things in thinking that you’ll be able to get all this stuff done. And then, Jeff, what you just said about having all these milestones for yourself, that kind of feel suffocating and that you’re feeling trapped in your ideas of success. Right. And all those things are linked to our perceptions of what do we see as a big achievement in our life. And so that’s why this is such an interesting topic, because time is something that we see as it’s going to run out eventually, and we have limited time to do uni, and then we have limited time to work and start a family. And everything feels so confined into a short space and short window of time that we have to squeeze everything in because we never know how much time we have. And so the culture, not just Eastern culture, but just wherever we live, especially such a fast paced environment where we always just have to constantly be growing, evolving doing something that if we just slow down and do nothing, it’s kind of like, what am I doing with my life?

Yeah. But equally, I don’t know, I think I’ve been very much well rested quite recently and if anything, I feel like I’ve taken so much pleasure and joy in just doing nothing. I think we need to do more of that, if I’m honest. I think we talked about this when you came on to our podcast Van Anh, but just the idea that rest shouldn’t be radical, it should be something that everyone should be able to enjoy, it shouldn’t be a privilege. So I actually feel like resting and taking that time for yourself is just as productive as accomplishing in your life.

Definitely is. Yeah, a lot of people feel guilty about that, myself included, where you kind of have to jump from one thing to the next. I went straight from school into uni, straight into work, and then now I’m like, well, am I never going to have a break? So I just have to keep working forever? And then that was a time when you kind of look forward to holidays. You book this long holiday and you’re like, oh, that’s the next thing I’m waiting for. But the thing is, holidays should just be like a little treat. It doesn’t have to be like a big holiday, it could be a one day trip somewhere, or like a few hours or even half an hour of doing something you enjoy. Yeah, for sure.

Talking about the idea of overworking stress and burnout, has that led to you wanting to rest more to avoid going through that? 100%. Just for context, I graduated from law school in August, early August, went for a month and a bit in Europe, back for a month or so, then going to Asia for two months or so. And I don’t start my grad role in my new job next year until February. And I keep saying to myself, oh, yeah, by the time I’ll get there, I’ll be ready to work, because obviously now I’m in such a holiday mindset, it’s been so great. And I keep telling myself that, oh yeah, by the time February rolls around, I’ll be ready to be ready, but I’ll be ready, but I don’t know if I will be, to be honest. I think I’m really enjoying how much time I have off, to be honest. I’m working part time at my old job and doing As I Am on the side and obviously there’s things that keep me busy, but, yeah, I don’t know, I feel like I can never get enough free time and get enough rest and to do things I genuinely enjoy doing. Like, I have time to read now, read leisurely, which is something that I used to do so much as a child that I hadn’t done in years to be honest. So it just feels so nice to do little things again and feel like I have that time and that space to do that, which I worry that I’ll need to forsake once I start full time work. But I’m speaking as a student who hasn’t really entered full time work, so I imagine Jeff would have better insights into how he manages this.

Yeah, I don’t remember the last time I had like, a freeish schedule. It’s been a few years, I think. I don’t know, I feel like wrongly so, I probably take a lot of pride in the fact that I am a busy person and I do a lot of things, and it always comes to bite me back in the ass at some point. And lately, I’ve been sort of working on a theory that the only reason I spread myself so thin doing lots of different things is because I’m not actually doing the thing I want to do. And my theory is that if one day I decided to actually do something that I would truly, truly enjoy as work, I actually wouldn’t spread myself so thin anymore. I would just spend the time doing this one thing because I don’t need the distractions of whatever other extracurricular things that I’m doing on the side. So at the moment, yeah, I don’t give myself too much rest, a lot of time on the weekends. At the moment, the thing I sort of give up more is just social things. I’d much rather stay at home on the weekends and do something that’s a little bit more, quote unquote, productive than go to some Random House party, for example. So that’s the current trade off I’m making. These trade offs tend to change depending on what time of the year it is, how I’m feeling. But at the moment, I do need to give myself small breaks on the weekends where I can go do something that I want to do, but during the week and that sort of stuff, it’s usually, yeah, there’s not much time.

You said something that I really resonate with, something that I used to do, and sometimes I still do this, that I pride myself in being a busy person as well. I used to love looking at my to do list, and I feel so productive at the end of the day, but not when I don’t get it done, but when I see the list of things that people need me for or I need to do something to help someone else. I think it’s part of the people pleasing, but the idea that the more busy you are, the more accomplished you are. So I used to work 60 hours, weeks. I used to, on top of that, go out with my friends, visit my family, do a lot of stuff, go to the gym. And I used to be like, wow, I did so much. You go to bed and you’re like, Knocked out and I used to love that life and you know, it took burnout, took a couple of years of like just crashing constantly to realize that, nah, I can’t do this, this is not sustainable. And of course the big shock that came was like health issues and things like that. It’s kind of like, this is a big moment that I need to make some changes in my life and that’s why I wanted to bring that up because a lot of people do love being busy. Even my friends, when I asked them like, oh, have you been haven’t seen in a while? It’s like, yeah, I just been busy. Like, that’s the go to response and I used to say that myself and now I hate myself for saying that. Yeah, because being busy doesn’t mean anything and as you said, Jeff, that you could be busy doing things but then it’s not fulfilling, it’s not something that you truly want to do. And so this is a period of exploration for you and this is when you’re going to realize some really important things going forward, like how do you want to live your life? Because these ideas of time and having not enough time for everything, this shouldn’t be how we’re living, right? It really is not enough time to be spending it doing something that you’re not super into.

I understand the value of, I guess, investing time in doing something so that it pays off later. You’re making an investment. So for example, I think a lot of people, especially I guess for Isabella and I who go into corporate spaces, you do consulting, you do investment banking, you become a lawyer for a few years to build up that skill set and that resume so that you can take it and do something else. I don’t know if this is brainwashing. I do believe in that time investment in the beginning to build up that skill set that will pay off later on. But at the same time I don’t necessarily believe in or any more in having to grind that out past the point where you just like, you’re a mess. I don’t believe in grinding this out until you’re burnt out mess that can’t do anything else in their lives. I think everyone hits a point doing careers like this where you know, you need to exit and I do strongly believe in taking that exit before it really does take a toll on you. And I think COVID has really helped paradigm shift, I guess, realizing that life isn’t really about work and there are obviously so many aspects to you and your identity beyond just work. Hopefully we transition more into a four day work week. Genuine tends to really segregate life from work because of the day we don’t get out of this alive. So you might as well enjoy your life no matter what.

You do not know what you do, you might as well make the most of it. The idea of building things for the future. Yeah. Because you have to prepare for things for the future. Right. And so we do so much for that, like going to uni and building up our skills and our resume so that we can have a successful future. But at the same time, we’re working so hard for this future that we’re not enjoying what we’re doing right now. And this is something that I went through a lot of in the recent years. And yeah, it took covid for me to realize that. I kind of feel bad saying this sometimes, but I kind of enjoyed that. Quiet lockdown time.

Oh, I love Lockdown. I wasn’t allowed to do anything and I’m like, great, don’t invite me out. I love seeing my friends, but at the same time, I’m like, this is great for the times when I just want to sit at home, think, do my own thing, no one needs me because I can’t physically go out. But I love that time. And sometimes we want to do more of that. But when someone invites you out and you’re like, oh, fine, I’ll go out. And you feel obligated to do a lot of things that sometimes you don’t want to do just because you don’t feel like it. And to a lot of people, that’s not a good enough excuse.

Very true. And you feel guilty. Yeah. And for the limited time you have, you’re like, I want to spend my time with my family. I want to go to the gym, I want to see my friends, I want to travel. There are so many things in our list that we want to do, and of course, not all that is every single day, but even when you look at your calendar on a regular day, you’re like, oh my gosh, so much is happening.

So how are you working on making time for yourself during the week? I’m assuming that I’ll be working full time, but I guess how I managed uni and my work and as I am, I think I dedicated certain nights where it was absolutely no work could be done. They were kind of me time, so they’d be like friday nights were kind of sacred. Sunday nights were kind of sacred. Me time encompassing just things that I wanted to do, whether I was going out, spending time with my partner, spend time with my family, just time and space where I could just do whatever I wanted and I didn’t feel the need to work. So I think just having and setting that commitment to make that time for yourself, but obviously it’s easier than done, right? Like something comes up, something comes up. But otherwise, what do you do in that case when something comes up? Well, if it’s urgent, like, you just got to right. But I try and say no. But again, it is difficult when I’m a bit of a people pleaser, so it’s hard for me to say no, but I guess I’m trying to cultivate that attitude at least. But yeah, I don’t know. It is hard though. It’s definitely not easy, but something I’ve learned to really make quite sacred.

I’m very similar. Friday nights are pretty sacred for me. During the work week, the easiest thing you can do is just block out your calendar, just block out chunks, whether that’s for breaks for lunch or if you just don’t want to talk to people. Great hack for people at home is if you create a team’s invite and just invite yourself and just put yourself on a call and you can even share your own screen, people will just think you’re constantly busy all day. So you want to spend that time actually getting work done and not getting stuck at meetings. It’s a very easy and productive way to save yourself from amounts of meetings. So it’s just stuff like that. I think you just need to block out time specifically, especially if you are, I guess, quite religious about your calendar, then actually physically putting those stops in is really helpful because they’re scheduled, they’re coming up, they’re like they’re part of the performance of your week. So it’s good to put those in and actually give yourself a set amount of time to have a break. Yeah, that sounds like great hacks. Yeah. I hope no one from work is listening to this.

So one final question. How will you find more time for yourself in the next couple of months? What are you going to do? Well, I’m lucky because I’ll be traveling, so I think I have the privilege of using that time to travel, which obviously is a luxury. But I think I caveat that by saying I almost feel a little bit anxious that this is kind of the last it will be one of the last moments in my life where I think I’ll have long periods of time where I could just travel or do whatever I want. So I’m excited to have that time and that break. But equally, knowing that it’s limited scares me a little bit. But I think I just need to maintain that perspective that I can still always travel, I can still always make that time for myself if I commit to it. Yeah, as long as you’re intentional about it, you can organize your time however you want.

Yeah, I think I need a holiday. I think I need a holiday. So I’ll probably take one earlier next year. I still haven’t decided, but yeah, that’s probably the main thing I need to give myself. And also there was a great guide that came out. It was like, how to take 57 days of leave with like 20 days of annual leave in 2022. 2023. I will be making very good use of that. I think it’s on it’s an Instagram page, called like Aussie Corporate and they list out a guide. So for anyone listing and you have a bunch of leaves that you want to invest wisely, go check out that Instagram page. Great content.

That is amazing. I’ll leave leave your links in the show notes for the audience to check out after this episode. Go back and listen to our episode together on As I Am Podcast, if you haven’t already. And thank you so much for coming on. Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thanks for having us.

Remember, you’re a human BEING, not a human DOING.

Chat to you in the next episode!
Van Anh

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