Melanie Lim.
Melanie Lim.File photo

Lim: Tired but grateful

It’s 2024 and I’m still tired—not from Covid but from work. After the Santa duties came the year-end reports.

Doing paperwork is a double-edged sword for me. It speaks to my need for order and organization so it has a bit of a therapeutic effect on me, not unlike the way I feel when I’m reorganizing my office or my closets.

At the same time, it ties me down to my desk which is something I don’t particularly like because sitting for prolonged periods of time makes my body ache not unlike the way I feel when I’m doing a movie marathon on HBO or Netflix.

And yet, here I am—tied to my desk because, somehow, there are still so many items I haven’t ticked off on my to-do-lists. I’ve improved a lot but I’m still a workaholic.

But as I sit here, in a melancholic state, I remind myself about how fortunate I am to still be able to work—to be alive, healthy and well—well enough to rant about something truly trivial like to-do-lists.

Because how lucky I am to still be able to work, to still be of sound mind, to still be physically active, to still enjoy the trust and confidence of others so that my list of daily tasks is never-ending.

I remember Mama’s words.

“The problem with people who can get things done is that they are given so many tasks and responsibilities that it’s almost as if they’re being punished for being responsible, reliable and trustworthy.”

True. Sometimes, it does feel like a punishment. But Mama was punished, too. So, I’m in good company.

Truth be told, on days when I’m just so tired, I think of Mama. I think about all the times I took her for granted—never thinking about everything she did for me. It makes me so sad I can’t go back in time and be a better daughter. So, no matter how tired I am, I only have to think of her to find the strength to carry on. But it’s easy to take things for granted.

Someone once told me she doesn’t like drinking a lot of water because she doesn’t want to keep going to the toilet. I told her to stop complaining about going to the toilet because some people can’t go anymore even if they want to.

I also used to complain each time I had to get up to get something like it was such a chore till the day I realized how lucky I was that I could still get up.

I, once, shamelessly asked God not to inconveniently take me while I was in the middle of a task or project but to take me only when there was nothing else left for me to do. So, why should I complain about the never-ending work that needs to be done? I should be grateful I still have lots to do.

But I should also remind myself that I am particularly tired as I write this because I just ran 21 kilometers a few hours ago—my last, long run in preparation for the race on the 14th of this month.

Perhaps, that brings greater clarity to my state of mind at the moment.

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