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!

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 🙂

Earth Day

I wonder if anyone pays attention to Earth Day anymore or if they ever did. I remember when recycling was the thing to do and now everyone talks about upcycling. For me, it’s all about trying to simplify. It wasn’t always like that. I’m as much a consumer as anyone else and I’m not sure when but one day I did realise there are a lot of things I have that I don’t really need. Just a lot of things I want. Then came the harsh realisation that if I didn’t buy all the things I wanted … I could probably have had a down payment for my dream car.

It was about 5 years or so ago when I was walking around Beijing with my then boss and asked him if he wanted to buy his wife something. He began to tell me how he and his wife have come to an agreement that they only bought things they needed and if they came home with a purchase of something they already had, they had to get rid of the old item that needed to be replaced by the new purchase. Like a light bulb that went off in my head, I thought to myself I like that and I’ll try it out.

Fast forward to 2017 and I’ve mostly stuck to that rule. Couple of things I’ve learnt:-

  1. I never ever have to buy bags. My family and friends always seem to get me bags and I never run out of them.
  2. White pieces of clothes are the ones I replace the most. Maybe I should invest in a bib. Everything else seem to last. Again family and friends have me covered on that front too.
  3. I don’t ever buy pyjamas anymore because I just recycle/upcycle older clothes to chic sleepwear 🙂
  4. I spend a lot of money on FOOD. Being vegetarian is not the most cost efficient. Add organic and that’s the bulk of my budget.
  5. I like spending money on people I love. I don’t consume much for myself anymore but I do like buying things or experiences (especially when it’s shared with me) for my family and friends.

So I haven’t quite saved enough for my dream car but I’ve figured out that I don’t really need it anyway. On this Earth Day like every other one, I smile a little, give thanks that I’m blessed with amazing people in my life. We’re not perfect but we’re there for each other. I couldn’t ask for more and this week, my theme is more of the same – remind the people I love that I love them!

Half Way There

Boom! Right on schedule, cue feelings of uncertainty, lack of direction and hello!! We have a mid-life crisis approaching.  If you ever read this blog, you know that I have this silly hunch that I’ll expire at 84. The last couple of months have pretty much confirmed this hunch so I better take good care of myself if I have to last another 42 years.

That’s beside the point. What actually is the point then? These feelings of uncertainty, unsatisfied yearn are so familiar yet subtly quite different. At 21, I had them … this sense of clueless-ness. This time it feels like the same thing but not … exactly. For one, I’m a lot more confident that whatever the next year (or the next 42 years for that matter) may throw at me, I’ll be alright. I may have to adapt to new normals but alright I’ll be. That’s the key difference between a quarter life crisis and a mid-life one. You’ve gone through enough “plans not happening” and coming out of the other side that few things faze you anymore.

Yet there’s the same uncertainty because well, that’s life, if it’s anything we can depend on, it’s change. Change we can’t control which normally would drive control freak me a little on edge, I’ve come to learn to accept. To surrender. If anyone told me when I was 21, I would have to learn to surrender, I would have to laugh in their face because I was taught to always fight and fight hard. Some times it’ll pay off, other times it won’t but you have to fight. As of yesterday and at 42, I’ve come to acquire SOME wisdom and know now the ability to surrender isn’t a reflection of myself or some ego-filled acknowledgement of the virtues I’ve come to have in my older age. It is a blessing bestowed on me through the lessons from the first 41 years of my life.

Truth: the more I try to control, the less I have control of. At the end of the day, it’ll be alright and be just between me and Him. I’ll let you in on a secret though, I haven’t really learnt to completely surrender yet but hey, I’m only half way there. Lots of lessons learnt, a lot more to go 🙂

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Choosing Peace and Love

Every now and then I come across something or someone making a change that I want to see in the world.  It inspires me to be the change I continually want to see happening.

If a son of a terrorist can choose peace and love, I can’t expect anything lesser of myself.

At The End of The Day

I stumbled on an article that made me reflect about how I live my life – 10 Things That The People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently.  I’ve met people like those mentioned in the article and they’ve all inspired me to lead a live that I love.  The first thing that ever made me realise that’s how I should lead my life is a poem by Mother Theresa:-

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give the best you’ve got anyway.

You see,
in the final analysis it is between you and God;
it was never between you and them anyway.

 

Uu

If you along Orchard Road and a little bored with the usual shopping, drop by Scotts Square and check out an exhibition by Kinetic Singapore.  It’s also a pop up store of sorts to get a miniature replica of yourself done.

3D scanning is all the rage nowadays but few have the ability to deliver the quality that I saw at the exhibition.  Ok ok ok, I may be a little bias because the organisers are dear friends.  That said, go check it out for yourself and I’m happy to be corrected.  Though my hunch is that you’ll agree that the likeness is better than most 3D scanners out there.

So it’s no surprise, my besties and I had a blast inspecting the miniatures, especially the Lims, which were my favourite.  I was so very tempted to get one of myself.  I can just imagine displaying mini me with my Ultimate Bumblebee.  In in the meantime, here’s my favourite picture from the day, regular us while we contemplate about getting mini us.

Binge TV Watching

I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks since I came home from Canada because my husband was still in Canada.  What that means is that I’ve been binge TV watching the rest of August away.  Yes, other people binge eat or drink.  I watch ALOT of TV when I’m left to my own devices.  It didn’t help when I went over to my sister’s for a week because we’re both binge TV watchers :p

I’m happy to report I’m pretty much caught up with the shows I’ve been avoiding because in the 21st century, I no longer have the patience to wait for weekly episodes.  I avoid news of TV shows until they are all over and then watch them all in one go.

This post is about the life lessons I’ve learnt from my current binge TV watching session.

Game of Thrones and Downtown Abbey have reminded me that the universe can be very cruel.  The moment you fall in love, it usually gets taken away from you.  It seems like as soon as I get attached to a character in either shows, they die.  I’m not sure what to expect in Season 4.  I’m afraid to root for anyone because they may die too but like life, better to have love and lost than not to love at all, I say.  So Jon Snow and Old Lady Grantham, I’m rooting for you both now.  Something tells me Old Lady Grantham has a better chance to surviving into Season 5 of Downton Abbey than Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones Season 5.  We’ll see.

The Americans is a new series about Russian undercover spies living in suburbia America during the Cold War.  Together with the eighth season of Criminal Minds, I don’t know who I can trust anymore.  Real life does inspire reel life.  So with these somewhat unimaginable murders that happen in both series, I’m starting to wonder about my ‘American’ neighbours next door and the seemingly quiet software developer geek in my office.  If you don’t hear from me soon, you should call the police >__O

Meanwhile, Keri Russell has redeemed herself in my books.  I was one of those who got irritated with Felicity.  It was a pretty show to watch but man, Felicity just whined and whined and whined but as Elizabeth Jennings, she’s actually not bad at all.

Another new series is Orphan Black, produced by BBC America (what that means I don’t even understand) it’s science fiction that made me a fan of Canadian actress, Tatiana Maslany.  She plays like 6 roles in the series.  It made me think how some days I feel like my life is just like that.  Having to be very different people in very different situations just so other people can understand me.  I’m not quite a clone yet but there was just about enough intrigue in Season 1 for me to look out for Season 2.  I also like the completely different look it had.  Compared to the usual Hollywood overly slick TV series look, Orphan Black had a flatter look that made you wonder about the nondescript city it’s set in.

Then I finally got around to The Good Wife.  I’m a fan of Alicia and have been rooting for her.  Actually I’m a bigger fan of Dianne Lockhart but for this season, Alicia is giving her a run for her money in my books.  The legal cases are a little far fetched but I love the hard choices these characters have to face.  Truth be told, they aren’t too unlike the ones I know my friends and I face in our lives.  That’s what I can’t wait with Season 5, does Alicia stay true to constantly wanting to be a better version of herself.  Excite!! *clap clap*

In the meantime, I’ve started on Revolution, another science fiction series that I hope will be more satisfying than Lost or Heroes.  Come September 18, I’ll be back on Survivor watch too.  There really isn’t enough time for all the TV I want to watch :p  With my husband back in town, it will back to regular programming … that means maybe an episode or two a week.

Till my next binge.

Convent Girls

I think girls who go to convent schools all over the world have a certain kind of reputation.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some totally ridiculous and some are just all perceptions.  I went to a convent school and loved loved loved it.  Made some really good friends.  I remember making a few enemies as well.  It is after all an ALL girls school 🙂  All in all, I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything else.

However, I always thought if I ever had my own daughter, she’d never go to a convent school.  Why?

Well, because I didn’t realise how small our convent girl world was till I left the schools.  My friends in school were similar to the Catholic family friends I grew up with, which was pretty similar to the family I was brought up in.  Nothing bad about that … except it was a little Stepford Wife-ish for me.  Although, most convent girls are anything but Stepford wives :p

As a Mum I reckon, that my job will be to afford opportunities and experiences to my children where I didn’t have.  Most of my dearest and nearest, even those I didn’t meet in convent school and made later in life, are of the convent school mould.  In that case my children, if I ever have any, would already have exposure to that lifestyle, their values and perspectives.  All pretty similar to mine.  My argument then is that the school they go to should expose them to other equally positive lifestyles, value systems and perspectives.  Hence, the no convent school route for my daughter.

Until now.

Next year when my niece starts primary 1, she’ll be going to a convent school just like her aunts 🙂  There’s something to be had about tradition and seeing her in the same uniform I once don, my heart melted and knew that she’d fit right in, have a whale of a time and be a better woman for it 🙂

So I’m not so sure anymore that I won’t send my daughter to a convent school.  Right now though, I’m just grateful that I don’t need to deal with the dilemma of picking a school for my yet-to-exist daughter.  When I do, I’ll reread this post and like every other conundrum  in life, pray for guidance 😉

Apple Banana Cashew Muffin

It’s been a while since I baked.  Now that I have what I’m calling, My Little Oven that Could, I’m baking again 🙂  All thanks to my dear cousin-in-law, Michelle.  So on a whim one night when I saw overripe bananas, apples and cashews in my fridge, I decided to whip up a batch of muffins.  I usually have some kind of flour to bake with in the freezer and I was planning to keep it all simple without any fancy ingredients.

So I chopped up the nuts and apples, mashed up the bananas and stirred in the spelt flour, baking power and realised I didn’t have enough maple syrup as a sweetener.  I thought with bananas and apples, it’d be sweet enough but nope, it isn’t.

The muffins came out TASTELESS :p  The consistency was fine and it smelled great but it had no taste what so ever.  I had to spread jam on it or else it was like bread :p  Once I get maple syrup, I’m going to try this easy recipe again.