Tuesday, January 09, 2018

2018 First

As the first new year post of this blog, I would like to give a personal outlook of what I would like to see, be that of our group, the institute or beyond.

The year began by seeing me struggling to finish a backlog of duties. Taking it step by step to finish them and hence not at the fast pace as wanted. So, it was a sluggish beginning. The pic below also shows the slow traffic on the highway for my first day of work.

Was up early with some form of new year spirit but alas, I arrived at the office late again. Nevertheless, kept my spirits up by looking into tasks that I can complete quickly. While I don't think much about new year resolutions, there are a couple of things I hope to do this year.

Healthwise, it does seem that my chiropractor visits have improved my back pain considerably but the back problem will not disappear completely. If my posture is not right and I sit too long, the back pain will recur (as it did last weekend). Have some exercises given to me by the chiropractor clinic, which I find difficult to do during the week days with me going to work early morning and back home late evening. I will need to do these at least over the weekends. Another health matter is my diet, which saw some changes when I took up diabetic medication. I have lost some weight since then and hope to reduce it further to 65kg. I am taking less meat, less rice and more vegies and fruits, hopefully enough for a balanced diet. Much concern is essentially my heart of which I had experienced sudden chest pain just a few days ago and had to take up glyceryl trinitrate tablet. I also had higher blood pressure the last few weeks and have increased the dosage of medication. My guess is this is partially due to stress at work. I would thus like to minimize highly stressed work environment and this is nontrivial.

Take for instance, some weeks back, I was deeply frustrated by some decisions made. It had me brooding for awhile, but then I moved on; there is no point to dwell on being depressed about the matter because it won't change the situation. Now it was made known to me, that some thought that I was sulking. Being an emotional being, sure I get upset when things don't go the way one wants but then one just need to seek other opportunities and be forward looking. A couple of actions that I did was to avoid more international embarrassment and to avoid further stress by working in a situation for an activity, which I thought was unnecessary. In no way, I'm working against the activity but instead I will support the matter in different ways when the time comes. Having said that, one does not throw away all the disappointments to oblivion but they serve as lessons. Be wiser.

Another instance was today where I got caught in some conflict of personalities. It is certainly not a nice feeling, one that could further induce again stress. I see this as lack of mutual trust, lack of diplomacy and inability to align personal interest with the interest of the organization. There is no short-cuts to this. One just needs to rebuild the trust, the collective responsibility and the shared goals in the long-term.

The above is probably my own way of rationalizing thoughts and actions. Being a scientist, I thought we should do better in our thinking in other spheres of life besides science. That is why I like the following two videos (which I got to know through FB):


What I would like to see in fact goes beyond the maths mentioned in the videos e.g. the use of geometry and other abstract structures in our everyday thinking. Perhaps it is just a dream and my wishful thinking, probably my pre-occupation during my retirement.

Upcoming things? Well, we have just kicked off our project with Securities Commission yesterday and we hope to get the project done within nine months. Next week, I will be in Singapore with my students for the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking conference. It will be a nice getaway. Already in talks with my IIUM counterpart for a MyQuEST colloquium in March. Earlier, was hoping to do another EQuaLS in February (during Michel Planat's visit) but I decided not to burden the institute with it as it requires a lot of resources. There will be activities but not as heavy as EQuaLS, I guess.

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