Looking Back at 2022

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31/12/2022

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31/12/2022

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Looking Back at 2022 Embrace our Calling Reflection Post by Marcus Mok

As we approach the end of 2022, I’ve found myself reflecting on the past year and all that it’s brought. It’s been a challenging year in many ways, and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced has been juggling my full-time teaching job with my passion for blogging and writing.

When I started my blog, “Embrace Our Calling,” I knew it was something I was deeply interested in and wanted to pursue, but I didn’t realize just how much time and effort it would take to maintain it alongside my other responsibilities. There have been times when I’ve struggled to find the balance and have felt overwhelmed and burnt out.

I know I started with the ambitious goal of hitting 22 goals for the year 2022. Here are some things that didn’t go as expected:

  1. I didn’t manage to do a quarterly review after the first one
  2. I didn’t manage to write one blog post per fortnight
  3. My productivity system fell along the roadside
  4. Etc…

Despite these challenges, however, I’m thankful for the progress I’ve made with my blog this year. I’ve had the opportunity to interview some amazing people and write about topics and books that, hopefully, had made a difference in your life. I’ve also seen my audience grow and my reach expand. These small successes have kept me motivated and inspired, and have reminded me why I started this journey in the first place.

Here are some of the highlights of the year:

1. Interviewing amazing people

One of the most fulfilling things about blogging is the opportunity to meet and interview amazing people. There is so much to learn from their life journeys and experiences. Interviews are also the most read articles because many new readers are friends and families of our interviewees.

This year we have 4 interviewees, all of them educators because, well, I’m in this line.

2022 Interview Highlights

Jacob Tan: Biology Teacher and Steward of God’s Beautiful Creation

Learn how Jacob’s faith shapes his calling as a Biology teacher who instills the love for nature and God’s creation in his students.

Rebecca Ng: The Journey of a Turnaround Music Teacher

Rebecca Ng was once an academically at-risk student with no clear direction in life. Today, she is a full-time secondary school teacher teaching music and working with at-risk students. Find out how her life was turned around!

Edwin Khoo on Balancing Work and Family as Senior Teacher and a Father of 4

In this Father’s Day Special Interview, meet Edwin Khoo who will share how he balances work and family as Senior Teacher and a father of 4!

Mervyn Sek on Discerning God’s Calling in a Career Transition

How does one navigate a career transition, weigh the options, and discern God’s calling in the process? Join us for an interview with Mervyn Sek, public servant and former JC HOD, to learn how he sought God’s guidance in his recent career transition.

Next year, I hope to meet and interview people from different walks of life. Let me know if you have a story to share, and we can connect! A remote interview is good for me too.

2. Exploring work-life balance topics

This year, I decided to delve deeper into looking at how burnout affects our calling, particularly in our work. I reflected on my personal experience of burnout, and how I came out of it. I also wrote about teacher burnout and how we as teachers can prevent it. Finally, I reviewed a book on burnout which I think is worth our reflection.

Besides burnout, I also wrote about other related topics that also affect how we approach our calling.

2022 Work-life Highlights

How I Survived a Recent Burnout Episode

I was unable to blog last 2 months due to a difficult but mercifully short burnout episode. What led to this, and how did I recover?

Teacher Burnout – What is it and How to Prevent it

Teacher burnout is very real and can lead to cynicism, detachment, and even depression, making it difficult for teachers to follow their calling effectively. Here are 5 ways that teachers can do to prevent burnout and find renewal.

Book Review: ‘The End of Burnout’ by Jonathan Malesic

Is it really possible to bring an end to the burnout culture? How did we end up in this fix anyway? And is there a better way to build our lives and our relationship to work? These are the questions that Jonathan Malesic seeks to answer in his book, The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives.

“No One is Indispensable.” Really?
You may have heard people say, “No one is indispensable.” But is it really true? It depends on what you view as the center of work.

Breaking Free from Imposter Syndrome: How the Gospel Can Help You Embrace Your Calling and Find True Confidence

Your Imposter Syndrome affects you in more ways than you realize. Find out how the gospel can keep it from sabotaging your calling.


3. Attending a Marriage ‘Refresher Course’

When we talk about embracing our calling, that ‘calling’ is more than our work or career. One of my callings in life is to be a faithful husband to my wife. Although I seldom write about it here, it is a major part of my life!

This year, we are blessed to attend a 2D1N Art of Marriage retreat, which is a Familylife Singapore event for married couples to renew their commitment to each other.

This event is a significant milestone for us. It is like attending a ‘refresher course’ for our marriage, as we discover anew God’s purpose, principles, and promises for marriage. We renewed our marriage covenant, and envision what kind of legacy to leave for our children.

If you would like to find out more about the Art of Marriage retreat, do follow this link. At this time of writing, there’s one coming up on 11-12 March, 2023, so sign up with your spouse before it’s too late!

Looking Ahead to 2023!

pexels-photo-13088176.jpeg
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

As I look ahead to 2023, I’m excited to see where this journey takes me. I know there will be more challenges and obstacles to overcome, but I’m determined to keep pushing forward and embracing my calling. I’m grateful for the support and encouragement of my readers and followers, and I’m looking forward to continuing to share my thoughts and experiences with you all in the coming year.

Here’s to a new year full of growth, learning, and new opportunities!

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