27 July 2011
I am finally back to work, after the long medical leave. Yesterday was the first day and it began with a workshop on writing and editing that lasted till today. I have to say the workshop had been very enlightening, thanks to the facilatator, Dr Jeniri Amir, a prominent scholar and a prolific writer at UNIMAS Sarawak.
I like many things he said, but I especially like his simple approach of celebrating a completed job- self-reward. I've never really thought about this before, but I supposed the Dusun people actually have been practising this concept without calling it a name. The most common reward (at least practiced earlier) is/was moginum. After a hard day's work at the farm, the Dusun like to get together over a tajau of tapai. Men, women, there used to be no distinction, although women slowly stopped participating in the activity. It's a reward after all! I can see the change of the pattern in my own family: my late grandmothers (both sides) drank with their men. Some of my elderly aunties (in their 70s and 80s now), still do that sometimes. But my mother and her younger sisters (in their 40s to 60s) do not drink with the men much anymore. In fact, I can surely say that Mom doesn't do social-drinking at all, except with girl-friends, and even that is seldom.
Anyway, Dr. Jeniri says self-reward is very important to keep one's motivation going. Something as simple as a cup of tea after achieving a job-target such as writing an abstract for an academic paper. I bet you can see that I am self-rewarding now. As an academic, I have to adhere to the principle 'publish or perish', and I've not been a prolific writer at all. (You can hardly call one publication a year prolific!) Since I am about to change that, I'll have to cut-down my self-satisfaction internet activities like blogging and blog-hopping. But hey, I get to blog as a self-reward! (and I am cheating a little bit, I still browse through your blogs every day because in a way, it is my motivation to live :))