It’s an Aluminium Anniversary

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. Yep, the big 10 … ok, in the larger scheme of things 10 isn’t much, particularly compared to my parents’ 43 and they haven’t killed each other yet :p It’s true! Marriage is tough. My husband really doesn’t like it when I say that because it makes it sound like our marriage is especially difficult. Let me be honest here, I don’t think we’re special and our marriage isn’t especially difficult, just like my parents’ isn’t either. I think it’s a same everywhere – making a marriage work takes a lot of effort. It isn’t easy and very rarely it is.

It can be for some people and when they are, I do want to pick their brains and hearts and find out how they do it. For the rest of us mere mortals, it does take work but doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Not at all, in fact, IMHO, it’s a positive thing that I’m working at it at least it shows I’m still interested, engaged and committed. My husband should really worry when I want to stop working at it 😉

That said, marriage like any relationship, even the seemingly simple ones take some level of effort. It should too because when it’s worth it, you want to work at it. Just don’t lose yourself. that’s the part that gets the best and the worst of us. On the flip side, don’t take the other half of the relationship for granted. Again it’s happened to all of us. So that’s me in the last 10 years of my marriage, sliding from one end of the spectrum to the other while trying to keep balance. It makes it worth while (even though some times it doesn’t feel like it particularly when my hormones go on a rampage) because my husband is riding the spectrum too! That’s my marriage in a nutshell, two individuals trying to keep a teeter-totter (that’s Canadian for a see saw) in balance 🙂

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P/S: That pretty much sums up all the dances that I do with my Mummy, Daddy, baby sister, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, best-est of friends … yah, every relationship in my life. Except maybe God who I know definitely takes the brunt of the weight!

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What Kind of Mother Would I Have Been?

Growing up I always thought I’d have kids, at least two of them and if wishes came true, five or more! LOL I always did want loads of children but as life would have it, it doesn’t usually go according to plan and my maternal role is played out with my nephews, nieces, god kids and little friends.

Mothers. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some women are a natural at it and make mothering look so easy. Yet there are some who abandoned their roles and leave vacuums to be filled by others who take up the challenge. In my lifetime, I’ve been blessed to have the former but I’ve also seen how the latter leaves permanent impact for better or worse. It’s not something I can understand, not having a mother be there for me and yet, I’ve had some friends tell me that they rather not have a mother at all than their abusive selfish mothers.

Like everything else in life, there isn’t a perfect mother and if I had a chance of being one, I would like to think I learnt from my own Mother, my Mama (paternal grandma) and my Popo (maternal grandma) and simply just love my children with all my heart. Sure, it isn’t quite as simple as that, children can drive you crazy. From my own childhood and now watching my little ones grow up, children can really test you! I hope I would have had the patience to listen, to support and to encourage.

I also hope I won’t forget to be a good wife because I think most mothers do, even fathers forget how to be good husbands. Children can take over our lives. I hope I would have remembered that it’s about being a family and not just a mother.

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I may never have any kids on my own but I definitely have kids whom I mother with all my heart; where the definition of family is much larger and Mother’s Day is just as special.

It took a couple of years but I’ve learnt sometimes life doesn’t turn out like you planned but that’s because your plan wasn’t right to begin with 🙂

Shoes and Feet

Earlier this week, I left the house early for a 10am meeting. Feeling pretty chuffed that I was going to have time to settle down at my desk, make my favourite tea and get in the right frame of mind for my pitch meeting. Then I turn onto the major road about a minute from my home and BAM I was in a massive jam. Usually it can get a little crazy because of the transit construction that’s going in and around where I live but this was unusually slow … as in N.O.T.  M.O.V.I.N.G.  A.T.  A.L.L. It rarely gets that bad in Singapore but sometime it does.

I started complaining, mostly to myself since there wasn’t anyone else in the car with me. Complaining about the rain that always slows things down, about the construction which changes the roads over night and drivers not being fully awake for the first day of the work week … complain, complain and complain. The stretch of road which normally takes me 5mins to cover and say maybe 8mins with traffic light stops took me an hour that morning!! From being early for my meeting to being late! I was getting very impatient. Then I had front row seats to why traffic was so horrid that morning.

It wasn’t the rain, it wasn’t the construction and it wasn’t sleepy drivers. It was a very bad accident that cost someone’s life. I was stopped at the traffic light junction right in front of the accident scene. Like God heard me complain loud and clear (like a brat) and knew I needed a reminder (hard knock in the head). The scene hit me hard. The raining was pouring, police men standing in the rain controlling traffic, one was standing by the blue tent covering the accident victim and vehicles (buses, construction trucks, delivery lorries, motorcycles and cars) from three lanes had to be slowly squeezed into one lane. There I sat, in my car at the red lights with nowhere else to go or to look and I heard my favourite Persian proverb, “I cried that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.”

I woke up that morning not thinking twice about the day ahead of me and complained non-stop about how I just wasted an hour in the car when somewhere out there a family’s life is completely overturned and it will never be the same again.

I cried that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that family and pray that they find strength in each other as they go through this difficult time. You’d think being in your 40s would give you some humility and maturity not to sweat the small stuff, I obviously still have a lot to learn.

This week (like every other week … wasn’t it suppose to get easier when you get older?), I’ll try harder to be kinder, to be grateful and less judgemental because you never know what someone else is going through.

What has May Day got to do with Trust?

I never really understood what May Day or Labour Day was all about. Some say it’s about  the arrival of spring. In Singapore, I’ve learnt it’s more attuned to International Workers’ Day where it’s for the celebration of the working class, which I most definitely fall into – being an adult and finding the way to be independently sustainable. So I take heart and am grateful for a break, from the grind that keeps me busy on a 9-5 daily basis.

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In the last year, I’ve learnt a critical life lesson about the grind that keeps me busy. I’m not sure how long more I have of my working life but my plan is honestly to keep working till I drop dead, mostly because I do like the grind I get to be a part of. However, the critical lesson is this – I know now I want and have to work with good people of the same values but vastly different perspectives whom I can implicitly trust. Trust. It’s the thing that no money can buy. It comes from sharing experiences … maybe even having betrayed that trust and building it up again. How ever you come by it, particularly in a person who has the same kind of values but sees the world from the other end of the room, I say hold on to that person. That’s what I’ve learnt will make a good team.

In the last, almost 2 decades of my working life, I have been fortunate to have had worked with a couple of people like that. I’m hoping that one day I can bring my A Team together. What will we do? I kinda have some idea but with my A Team I believe we can do pretty much everything.

Is it possible to trust someone who is inherently different from you? Yes, I believe so. The key is to be focused on what you have that is in common. In my experience, it’s kindness, compassion, believing in delivering the best product or service for the target audience and doing the hard work to get there. It’s not easy to find at all but that’s what I’m focused on looking for and putting together now. In the meantime, in honour of May Day I’ll be taking the break, kicking back and chilling with some Netflix.