March 2022 review: More clarity

The first quarter of the year has passed. Time to recap how it went and which goals were achieved.

#1 My business: I know why I continue

I knew the progress would be slow. Having only some hours each week to work on my mental health platform Gesund in MeinerStadt (“Healthy in MyCity”), makes me feel unsure and impatient most of the time. Is it all worth it? Wouldn’t it be wiser to relax, do sports and meet friends instead? But then I ask myself: What would be the option? How would life be without it?

“Work or not work on a Saturday?” This is the question I ask myself every time ☺️.

And the answer is: I would feel bad for not at least trying to achieve my dreams, which is being a designer that helps to solve real problems. Life would just be dull and I would feel like a victim of my own fears and the expectations of others. Hence, I continue my work, with all the insecurities, frustrations, joy, and lots of new discoveries.

What did I do in the first quarter?

  • I have invested in the business plan coaching of Michaela Schächner and have gained a lot more clarity about my next steps.
  • I have conducted two interviews with former nurses who confirmed that my product would be helpful.
  • I have kept in contact with my team members.
  • I have worked on the product prototype.

Not too bad 😅.

#2 My job: I know what will happen after my fixed-term-contract ends

I have started with a fixed-term-contract last year as a brand strategist and visual storyteller at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics.

Among the things I love, is the peaceful, car-free campus where the Institute is located.
Another aspect is the freedom and creativity I enjoy at my position. Last year, I created a new key-visual for the International Max Planck Research School on Cellular Biophysics.

I only sometimes thought about what will happen when the contract ends. Whenever I thought about it, my thoughts were, naturally, a bit blurry. By the end of March, these blurry thoughts unexpectedly cleared up.

I went for lunch with a colleague who told me: “After lunch you can come to my office and I will give you your new contract.” Me: “Which new contract???” She: “Your permanent contract.” Me: “Er?” She, while putting her arm around me: “You are so good, they want to keep you forever!”

That’s how I got to know about the change of my fixed-term-contract into a permanent contract, after just a little bit more than 10 months 😄.

#3 My son: Our time together is precious

In the first years, I got used to praising my son and showing admiration for his skills that were always inferior to mine. E. g. for his writing skills, his math skills, his dish washing and bed making skills. I knew one day this would end.

It ended in March. We went geocaching. We have started to play this at the beginning of March, after I read an article about worthwhile trip destinations for kids. Since my son loves treasure hunts, I wanted to give it a try. I downloaded the geocaching app and we went for our first cache search. My son was hesitant first, when looking for it at the site. But soon, that changed. Now he is usually the first one to spot and find one 😅. So fast 😆😮!

How to make outdoor activities more attractive? The answer is: Play Geocaching 😄.
This was the third cache on that weekend my son found within seconds 😮.

These kind of events make it clear what I tend to forget: Time runs fast. I have to remind myself to enjoy the precious time we spend together and make the best of it!

What else happened?

  • At the beginning of the month, I was still in Barcelona:
Reunion with old classmates from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Barcelona University: (from left) Me, Ignasi and Verónica, who I haven’t seen for 20 years, and Marta. So good to catch up with them and seeing them healthy and well 🤗!
  • I rode an electric bike for the first time 😁. I love the bike rental system in Barcelona. Unlike in German cities, they are attached to fixed docking stations. At one of those, I accidentally got an electric bike. It was fun!
  • Back in Frankfurt, I joined the monthly labour service of the water sports club for the first time. It was a nice opportunity to spend time outdoors and to get to know fellow members 😊.
I love the relaxed atmosphere of the water sports facility. Because of beneficial tax rules and dedicated volunteers, these kind of clubs are affordable for people with average income, too.
  • Following the advice of my eye trainer, I bought grid glasses. However, they didn’t work for me, and I needed to return them.
  • After months of not attending, I managed to join the rehearsal of my son’s school parent choir.
I don’t often join the online rehearsals, because I prefer the on-site rehearsals. But I really missed singing and I enjoyed it a lot.
  • Spring has approached, and we enjoyed days of warm sun, spotless sky, blooming flowers and trees.
My favourite season of the year ❤️!
  • I visited my brother and father with my son. I have never seen my son behaving so politely. And it was so nice to see my brother getting better and better each time. After 10 years of living with acute psychosis, we actually lost hope that it would get better, even if he would get treatment one day. But fortunately, we were wrong. After he was (finally) forcibly admitted to hospital last year in November, the medication did its job.
  • On the other hand, it was awful for me to realise that I still can’t tolerate my father’s narcissistic personality. Therefore, I continue my current strategy of keeping a safe distance, despite of him complaining about not being part of my life.
  • My son stayed at my place for a whole week, due to the holidays of my husband. I took the chance to do things we normally don’t have time for: watching a movie together, cooking more complex dishes, doing a day trip, relaxing together …
We met with a colleague and his family at a beer garden which included a little zoo. Peacocks were strolling around us and the kids eagerly collected their feathers.
This is one of the photos my son took of the raccoons.
  • I documented the 12th of March with 12 photos.
  • Jutta Büttner’s Nonviolent Communication beta-course ended, and my takeaways were: #1: I tell my son every morning that I enjoy his presence. #2: Before I speak, I think about whether it’s necessary to say it and if it will create something positive. #3: I will practice to use the word “at the same time”, instead of “but”.

What I look forward to in April

  • More calmness: I have stressed myself too much in the past.
  • My birthday
  • Some days off during Easter
  • Nice networking events, such as the live event of the Content Society in Stuttgart, the Jumpp AI-Ideathon, the VaeVictis Debating Duel and the annual JCI-Senator conference in Braunschweig.
  • Further improving my eye training skills
  • Finalising and sending out the product prototype to clinics
  • Continue to write on my business plan
  • Catching up with people

How was your March 😊?

Categorised as Review

By Shau Chung Shin

I am a designer, businesswoman and founder of HAHAHA Global and Gesund in MeinerStadt. I develop solutions and products that encourage an open and positive approach to taboos. In doing so, I contribute to a healthier and more peaceful world.

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