Passion – what is mine?

You might wanna watch the video here first, to get some context.

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Biggest takeaway from listening to this TED talk.

Adrian was telling me how he liked Kuik Shiao-Yin’s speeches, because she is just such a natural. So I decided to listen to the above TED talk by her 2 nights ago, since I am planning to write on a more frequent basis and I frankly do not know if food reviews is the way to go.

Towards the end, she went,

Yes, follow your passions, because they matter more than you think. But don’t just stop there – master them, mature them, expand them so that they don’t just become passions, but compassions. And then and only then, can you forge them into opportunities.

That makes a lot of sense, and I believe we all agree with her. The million-dollar question is – what is my passion? What makes me come alive, what holds a big big part of me?

It’s stupid, but I really can’t be very sure what my passion is. I asked my tween what makes her come alive – she says “playing iPad and watching YouTube videos”. Sure everyone likes chill time and the best thing in the whole wide world is probably just lazing around all the time without having to worry about money!

Too bad, one can’t play iPad and watch YouTube videos their whole life and get paid for it..

Well, unless you marry a billionaire……

So, back to the same question – what makes me come alive? Ok, maybe I can list a few things which I think makes me feel alive, enthusiastic, excited etc.

  • Knowing that friends feel blessed with me around them – recently I started a few daily devotion whatsapp group chats with my church friends and I would send them my daily devotion bible passage, devotion passage and also my personal learning point. It gives me great joy to know that sometimes the devotions would encourage them too. Other than that, I also feel great contentment when my co-workers and friends enjoy being with me.
  • Singing – be it in worship or karaoke. Being able to convey the message in a song, being able to feel the song and sing it out nicely means a lot to me.
  • My Christian faith  – because God is the only truth in this temporary world we live in. Since high school when I joined church, my ambition was to become a full-time church staff. In the past, I envied the full time staff so much – they could just serve God all day long, officially, unofficially, every single moment! Of course over the years, I learnt that some of us have to be in the marketplace to connect with people who need Jesus – and honestly if you ask me, it’s harder to be in the marketplace because it’s easy to get tempted with other schools of thought and one may end up just become more like the world (which I am still struggling to grapple with!).

If I was asked what I can do in church – I will say I can do anything and everything, because I feel that everything I do will benefit God’s work. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to do administrative work for God, and not for some private company where purpose is to make money for the bosses? Isn’t it wonderful to be able to pray for colleagues in a church office, to strengthen one another with the bible in our hands?

Ok, it’s getting late and I really would like to give it some more thought BUT I NEED TO WORK TOMORROW. I’ll be back soon!!

But at least I know, FOOD is not on the list..

Along I flow…

It has been a good one year plus at my current workplace. I finally know how it feels like being a contract staff.

Which also means, it’s soon time for me to leave. Ha.

Yes the search is on, in comes the formal attire and feeble attempt to look pretty and polished 😉 I am excited yet unsettled. I am anticipating the change yet dreading the process. Anyone knows how I feel?

Life goes on, anyway. I am trying my best to do what’s humanly possible and leaving the impossible/ unknown to the One above.

He does have the best plan for me. No I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I know it is the best. I pray and hope for a new path where I can serve and bless God in the greatest measure. And I give thanks still, for everything  which has happened, and is to happen.

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I’m just not good at it

After 35 year of trial and error, I think I am pretty qualified to conclude that I am not good at one thing.

Friendships.

Maybe there is only 24 hours a day and I happen to have a job, 2 kids and a husband to tend to, hence no time to meet up and nurture the friendships.

Maybe I am fucked up and friends just left me for this reason.

Maybe I have had problematic friends who were as fucked up as me hence we just couldn’t stand each other.

I have always believed that it’s the 2nd reason why a couple of my friendships failed. I am not sure I have blogged about this before (I think I have, it’s on my mind all the time) so if you are seeing repeated stuff, just close the page.

When I was younger, I was quite an opinionated bitch. I always thought that my thinking is by default the best, the wisest, the most logical. I was also very jealous of friends who were popular among guys, and I would do things to make them feel not as good as they really deserved.

When a friend started a relationship with a guy whom I did not think highly of, I would start dissuading her to break up with him, I would tell her things like “he’s not going to give you happiness, you are capable of finding someone 100 times better!”. I guess she just couldn’t stand me anymore and stopped contacting me altogether.

Or when a friend got into a relationship with someone who’s rich, who loves her for who she is and not what she has gone through. I got really indignant coz I thought she did not deserve all this because of a 101 reasons I thought of. Things got out of hand thereafter and we stopped talking.

At that time I did not realize that a friend is supposed to support, not judge. I did not realize that it was their own life (owned by God really), not mine.

Ah the things I have done. I cannot imagine how consumed I was with myself in the past. It was all about me.

These happened maybe in my mid to late twenties. As I look back, I feel disgusted at myself. Maybe this is why I find it hard to befriend another now. I try to keep a safe distance with everyone. I don’t say a lot because I fear saying the wrong things, I would mask my anxiety with lame jokes and very general comments so I don’t appear as though I am telling them what to do.

It’s gotten so hard that I have sort of given up on friendships altogether. Save for the few longtime friends (less than 5 of them), I have stopped trying to be friendly to other people I am not super close to (it’s tiring and feels fake) and stopped trying to deepen any friendship (maybe friendships will naturally deepen if they click, right?). These few longtime friends – from different phases of my life (they don’t know one another in fact LOL) – are people whom I don’t meet up very much (mostly because I am not free to meet), but we stay in contact a lot via whatsapp and online chat. I would share with them whatever’s happening in my life, and I feel safe sharing with them.

They have no idea how thankful I am for them – they keep me believing that I am not that bad after all.

As how Admiral Lee Soon Shin put it in Gu Family Book:

“A man needs a friend to share goals with…

A woman to share his heart with…

A nation to serve with all his heart.

That’s the best life one can live.” 

To make it sound more applicable to women, here goes:

“A woman needs a friend to share dreams with…

A man to share her heart with…

A family to serve with all her heart.. / A nation to serve with all her heart (for the more ambitious and capable ladies out there!)

That’s best life a woman can live.”

I am truly sorry for the wrongs I have done in the past. But now, I am contented with the life God has blessed me with so much undeserved grace.

Hair-raising Encounter with the Other World (Part 1)

It was probably past midnight and I was lying on my bed, in my favorite sleeping position facing the wall. My bedroom was the room that faced the common corridor – a very common layout in 3-room HDB flats. I was staying at Ang Mo Kio Block 637 then, and I really loved that area as it’s near the food centre, wet market and Yio Chu Kang MRT.

My windows were shut as I was afraid of lizards or beetles suddenly flying/ crawling in. It wasn’t too warm though – all was good and I was drifting off to lalaland.

Suddenly, I heard a loud cough.

It came from right behind me, as though she was standing in the middle of my small bedroom.

Yes I could distinctly recognize the cough as a female cough. I could even estimate the age – it sounded like an old lady’s deep cough.

Problem was, I was the only one in my room.

I froze right there – and at the same time feeling like a slab of butter melting on a hot saucepan. It was hard to describe if time stood still, or if time flew past. The concept of time, when I heard the cough, did not exist.

She went on coughing loudly. Non-stop. It lasted for a while, and then it was silence.

Like how an animal would respond physically to being hunted (eg changing colour lol), every inch of my body became ultra-sensitive, as though to see if ‘she’ would come and touch my back or tickle my soles. My ears tried to hear if ‘she’ would start scratching my mattress.  I had a big urge to turn back but obviously I did not allow myself to. I was not sure if I would see ‘her’, anyway I was not ready to see ‘her’!  It was a classic situation of ‘wanna run but don’t dare to run, just rooted there waiting for dunno what’.

Then, I started to pray in tongues, silently. Haven’t done that for the longest time as I left church a few years ago. I just rambled away in tongues inside my head, praying for ‘her’ to go away, praying for my fear to go away, praying for immediate relief (eg just make me fall asleep right away).

And eventually, I drifted off to sleep.

And now, more than 10 years later, I could still remember that cough.

Focus = sanity

I just finished a 60 minute walk on the treadmill and I killed nearly 400 calories.

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For the first time, I walked all the way, starting with a 8% inclined walk at 4.5km per hour.  Very manageable walk. After 20 min I increased the incline to 9%. Also okay. Then the remaining 20 min I was at 3% gradient but slightly faster speed at 5.5 km per hour.

I spent the first 30 min without music at all. Just letting my mind go blank. Anyway there was another lady in the gym with me. She must be wondering why I was just walking and not jogging. oh well.

After she left, I turned on some worship songs and continued to walk. It was a good time of just emptying my mind of the stress and focusing on the lyrics.

At the end of the 1 hour walk, I have these few thoughts that I would like to put on record:

1) I will start doing these 1 hour walks on every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. I won’t run, just walk. Walking is easy and allows me to focus on decluttering my mind. 60 min walk can clear 400 calories anyway – good enough.

2) Cast my burdens on Jesus, and focus on Him. It’s tiring having to carry burdens alone… Usually I will get my mental and emotional recharge during every Sunday service. But I have not been to church for the past few weeks due to CNY and elder girl falling sick. It’s no wonder I feel overwhelmed with worldly troubles.

If you aren’t a christian, you may not understand my 2nd point… I guess everyone has their way of recharging themselves. Some through exercise, some through smoking or drinking, some through listening to music. everyone’s way is different!

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See you gym on Tuesday.

Indefinite Pause – so I can truly bless!

As 2014 reached a close a few days ago, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate one and all for surviving 2014 courageously! Give yourself a pat on the back, and spend some time giving thanks 🙂

I am sure glad it’s 2015 now, for 2014 was not a particularly nice year for me – more bad than good. But of course along with it, I learnt new things and I hope to bring a more mature character into this new year.

I realized that 2014 was filled with lots of struggling due to lack of time to do the 1000001 things I have on my plate. It was really tough – I ended up getting resentful and bitter because I did a bit of everything but I did not do it well.

So, I have decided to stop writing.

I believe the more important task for me at hand is to bless my kids (as opposed to blessing my readers?) with love and joy. To be with them through their growing journey, to celebrate their every milestone, to laugh at their antics and to hug at every chance.

Like last night when I was checking on my sleeping toddler, she suddenly shouted in her sleep “TORTOISE TORTOISE!” which got me into a laughing fit. Yes, she was just playing with her tortoise soft toy last evening – love/hate relationship I would say – she will kiss and hug it, only to fling it away after that. Then she will repeat the process again and again. I think that tortoise transformed into a giant in her dream and started kissing her too.

As a full time working mum, I really do not have much time with my loved ones. And just yesterday, I sent my helper back so I am now officially without a FDW aka I need to do household chores. Essentially I only have my weekday evenings and weekends with loved ones. I have been neglecting my friendships totally for the past years too – sigh. I used to meet friends regularly for meals and catch-ups – now we just read one another’s posts on Facebook/ Instagram – what kind of friendship do you call that – is it even friendship?!

I can actually still blog when I have time, but I find it pointless to maintain a blog where posts are sparse and irregular, hence I decided to stop totally. I will just update my Facebook and Instagram – you can follow me to get my updates and food pics.

I hope that in the new year, I will seize whatever opportunities I have to:

  1. Bless my God with praise, worship and thanksgiving
  2. Bless my loved ones
  3. Bless my friends and neighbours
  4. Bless my colleagues
  5. Bless anyone whom I can bless

If you think about it, having a presence online is just a form of self-glorification. Having a presence in peoples’ lives is definitely more meaningful 🙂

Living with the end in mind

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I have been thinking.. I have a plan to eventually go full time writing / blogging in the near future. I am not fully certain if I have a talent in writing.. I don’t know if it’s possible, there are a 101 I don’t knows. I just hope to give it a shot, try some freelance writing in the meantime; see how it goes.

Then I just read about how these 2 anti-gahmen (is that the correct term haha) bloggers have carried their passion overboard. I believe in those bloggers hearts, they are willing to sacrifice everything in the name of their passion. They don’t think they are wrong, they are just going all out. They probably think it’s okay to earn a bit lesser/ spend lesser time with loved ones in order to spend more time in their passion. I think they will be even willing to offend their loved ones in the event when their loved ones oppose of what they are doing.

I may have a desire, just like them. They want to push their ideas forward, like how I want to write fulltime.

But I do not want to sacrifice my loved ones in the name of my passion. I do not want to sacrifice my already limited time to pursue my passion. I want to be fully present with my girls’ growing up process especially. I want to spend more time growing spiritually. I hope to spend more time with hubby doing things we like eg watching drama or playing mahjong with friends. With 2 young kids and my full time job already taking up most of my time, I think i will be really pushing it if I add something else on the plate. It will seriously overflow and topple everything off balance.

Maybe I am tired of trying too hard. Maybe I don’t want this bad enough. Maybe I need a break… at this point, the most appealing thing to do is to just go shopping and buy all the things I like with all the imaginary money I have $_$

Ok i am getting out of point.

I guess in the end, the question I need to ask myself is – how should I live with the end in mind? What will truly truly last even when I am no longer here?