Wabi-Sabi: Japanese – finding beauty in imperfections 

This morning started rather slowly. Getting out of bed was almost painful.

Nonetheless, I decided to force myself out of bed because I had a gym session planned and I was determined to stick to it (to some extent).

A colleague of mine, who has been transferred to Glasgow, is in Oxford for a couple of days and we met after my gym session.

It’s always good to catch up with her but inevitably, we end up talking about work.  We got to the office and the first thing she did was go to the kitchen to get the coffee pot and brew some for everyone.

Now, ‘preparing coffee’ was always part of my job description and the one part I’ve always hated. Why was she so happy to do it? I mean, even when she was in the office with us, she was always happy to do it. But, why?

I walked down the corridor as she went past holding a tray full of mugs and the coffee pot. She smiled at me and kept walking. I’ve never seen her upset or having a bad day. She just emanates happiness and warmth (all the time!!!). I turned around and watched her walk down the corridor… calmly, without a rush, straight posture…

Somehow, watching her helped me ‘understand’ why I hated it so much: to me it was a chore. A chore because it was part of my job.

She took it almost as a step in a morning ritual. The same way I do at home, at the weekends. Getting up from bed early, still half asleep, slowly walking to the kitchen and putting the kettle on, sitting down with my eyes closed, listening to the water slowly boil…

Why should it be any different at work?

Sometimes, we need to look at the ‘things we don’t like doing’ from a different perspective. Sometimes, all we have to do is see perfection where others see imperfection and accept it just the way it is.



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