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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Being Catholic is Awesome

It wasn’t always awesome. Some time in history it was as bad as how my Muslim friends have it now with terrorists hijacking their religion and in even more recent history, maybe it’s still happening in secret, the whole paedophilia priest crisis is still a big issue. One that every Catholic still has to keep a keen eye and ear out for and take every step to make sure it NEVER happens again to another child. Yet the Pope Francis Effect is real. He truly is a beacon for Christ’s love to shine bright for the world right now.

Easter has always been my favourite Christian celebration so when this little message was making the viral rounds on the internet, my heart warmed. Honestly, I don’t know if Pope Francis said this because I tried to look for it online and couldn’t confirm it.

You can have defects, anxious and live irritated sometimes, but do not forget that your life is the biggest company in the world. Only you can prevent her from going into decline. There are many who appreciate you, admire you and love you. I would like you to remember that to be happy, is not to have a sky without storms, road without accidents, works without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.
To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the box of fear, love in disagreements.
Being happy is not only valuing the smile, but also reflecting on sadness. It is not just to commemorate success, but to learn lessons in failures. It is not just to have joy with applause, but to have joy in anonymity. To be happy is to recognize that life is worth living, despite all the challenges, misunderstandings, and periods of crisis.
Being happy is not a fatality of destiny, but a conquest for those who know how to travel within their own being.
To be happy is to stop being a victim of problems and become an actor in one’s own history. It is to cross deserts out of itself, but to be able to find an oasis in the recesses of our soul. It is to thank God every morning for the miracle of life.
Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It is knowing how to talk about yourself.
It is courage to hear a “no”. It is safe to receive criticism, even if it is unfair. It is to kiss the children, to pamper parents, to have poetic moments with friends, even if they hurt us.
To be happy is to let the free, happy and simple creature live within each one of us.
It is to have maturity to say ‘I was wrong’. It is to have the audacity to say ‘forgive me’. It is to have sensitivity to express ‘I need you’. It is to be able to say ‘I love you’.
May your life become a garden of opportunity to be happy. May you be joyous in your spring. In your winter you are friend of wisdom. And when you get in the way, start all over again. Then you will be more passionate about life. And you will discover that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. But use tears to water the tolerance. Use the losses to refine the patience. Use flaws to sculpt serenity. Use pain lapping pleasure.
Use obstacles to open the windows of intelligence.
Never give up ….
Never give up on the people you love.
Never give up being happy, because life is a must-see!

This is the Pope Francis Effect though, anything positive, encouraging and radiating with love the world believes it’s him. I’ll take that, we need all the warm and fuzzy we can get in this somewhat dark time we currently love in. So, in celebration with all the Christians around the world today as we rejoice that the Lord has risen, it’s so much easier to believe with Pope Francis making it real for all of us.

That’s my theme for the week, thanks to Pope Francis or of all things positive on the internet #nevergiveupbeinghappy 🙂 Happy Easter everyone!

 

Plenty of Bunnies who are Jerks too

The other day, I was talking to a friend about Zootopia. He didn’t like it. I was like WHAT?!?!? In fact, he said it was a story that has been told time and time again and it was boring. BORING?!?! The proverbial tale that we’re all different yet the same, that there’s always more than meets the eye and change starts with me – the individual.

Ok, I do agree with that. It isn’t a new story and you do have to be careful of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Except in Zootopia it’s the harmless cute sheep you have to keep an eye on. Yet it is a tale as achingly relevant in our 21st century as it was a hundred years, heck a thousand years ago. Kinda like how To Kill a Mockingbird can’t go out of style.

In a Trump Presidency world where fear led by ignorance creeps into every facet of our lives, I take heart that in a seemingly children’s tale like Zootopia we needed the effervescent bunny, Judy Hopps to remind us that someone can be ” a jerk who happened to be a fox. I know plenty of bunnies who are jerks.” In my last 42 years of my life, I’ve learnt that no one race, religion, gender, sexuality or age has dips on being a douche. Everyone can be a douche and if you take the time to have an open dialogue, get to know the person, you or at least I’ve come to realise that they can be as big a douchebag as I can be and in the greater scheme of things, they are capable of being kind, honest and supportive as I try to be everyday.

So I remind myself as much as I don’t like having to share this world with rude self-serving douchebags, the rest of us decent functional beings have to make the best of what we’ve got. The alternative reminds me of a sad tribe in the last season of The Walking Dead – hiding, pretending that we don’t exist as the douchebags try and take over the world. We just can’t have that and with more meaningful words of Judy Hopps,

“Real life is a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us.”

That’s my theme for this week – how can I make it start with me?

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The Art of Being an Adult Child

This weekly post is a day late because I’m sitting in the Bali airport waiting for my flight to go back home to Singapore. It was the first solo weekend getaway with my Mum, it was also her first time to Bali. And it was a success, imho 🙂

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I’ve managed to make my Mum fall in love with Bali as much as I do. Honestly, before I wasn’t sure because there’s certain things my Mum doesn’t like … messy developing states and humid weather, just to name a couple but she does LIKE Bali, its massages and chilling by the villa!! That’s what I like being an adult child, being the one who opens our parents mind to something different, something new, something they would never do on their own. They did it for us while we were growing up and now as they are learning to get use to the next phase of their life -their silver years. They have to get use to us, the adult child being the ones who do the parenting.

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It’s so easy to see the stuff our parents do that drive us crazy, you know the stuff we complain about and eventually become 😉 Yah, those parts. For better or worse, I’m grateful I like my parents and if I’m eventually going to be like them, it isn’t going to be that bad. For me at least, not sure about my husband 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t perfect … far from it but they’ve who I got and they made me. You’ve heard the saying, ” Karma’s a bitch.” I’m my parents karma despite their pretty easy going ways raising me, I’m not an easy going adult child. I’m not quite sure why, I’m just not. I yell, I’m bossy and I’m controlling as hell but I’m learning trying to figure out life, being an adult, being me and when it comes to my parents, being an adult child.

I read a good advice somewhere once about how to be a good parent. It was simple. Just show up, be present and be there. It’s true, it really is quite that simple. You can’t always be there, can’t always be present and other times you simply can’t show up. Things happen, they do but you try your darn-est. Kids will get it. Me and my sister do.

So that’s what I’m learning about being an adult child, just try my best to show up, be present and be there. Next, to show up and be present while trying to open my parents’ mind to Google Drive and Dropbox 🙂

Rachael Turns 5

5 years ago today, after work I rushed to Gleneagles Hospital to meet my first little Goddaughter except she was in NICU and had to be there for about 48hours.  It was a little worrying at first but now that’s all in the past and she turns 5 this year.

Time seems to be flying us by and to be perfectly honest I’m not quite prepared for her turn 5.  Here’s how much I’m not.  When I was wrapping her present and her sister’s belated one, I wrote the right age for her sister, 8 and I know jolly well she’s only 3 years younger than her sister which makes her 5 but I wrote “Happy 4th Birthday”. When I collected her cake, I told the bakery I only needed 4 candles.  During the party and the girls were opening their presents I realised the mistake I did.  Yet when we were putting her candles on, I was going to put only 4 again till her 8 year old sister asked if I was alright and gave me a quizzical look like I’m losing my mind.

Yes, my baby Rachael, I’m not quite ready for you to grow up but grow up you so shall be doing.  One day, you’ll be 12, then 18, 21 and heaven forbid 30 and I’ll still treat you like my little one 🙂  Meanwhile, I’m enjoying 5 year old you.  You have this sense of humour that is pretty much like your Godpa.  You’re still super shy outside the house with strangers but a bundle of laughs when you’re all comfortable.  With your little Godsister, Caitlin, you’re the wonderful Cheachea (big sister).  I’m loving the connection we have and want to stretch your creative capabilities.  Thank you for always sharing how you see the world with me.  I live for your hugs and laughter that seem to make the world’s problems disappear.  Love you SO MUCH!!

My Swiss Goddaughter

5 is a sweet number and if I started earlier, I would love to have had 5 children so as of today, it’s official, I’ve got 5 godkids 🙂  God works in mysterious ways and even though it’s not how you exactly pictured it, He’ll give you what you wish for.

That’s me and Caitlin as she officially becomes Catholic.  With Pope Francis and this nun:-

I couldn’t think of a better time to be part of the Catholic family. Especially since I’m no longer a Godma virgin, I actually have a better idea of what Godparenting entails now.

So to my dearest Caitlin,

You’re in much better hands than your Godcheachea who was my very first Goddaughter.  I’ve learnt a lot through her and so will you.

I love watching how she fusses over you, can’t wait for you guys to grow up together and have as much fun as we did growing up.  Meanwhile, little one, I couldn’t be more proud to be your Godma.  The world will get a little crazy and sometimes it seems hard to understand why God lets things happen the way they do but I’ll let you in on what I found out. His will is the best for us.  It may not always feel like it and that’s where we’ll learn what faith means.  I have a hunch you’ll get there a lot sooner than I will.  Yes, like your Godsiblings, I’m pretty sure you’ll be teaching me more than I will you.

I love you to bits and though a continent and then some keeps us physically apart most of the time, you’re always in my prayers and thought.

With lots of love, hugs and kisses,

Godma

P/S: With a 4 year old, 1 year old and a 1 month old, I say this is a pretty good picture 🙂

Addition to My Munchkins

When it comes to my munchkins, I’m so grateful for this bunch.

They are the little people in my life that remind me what is important in the world and last week we have an addition to the bunch.

Today my cousin turns 40 today and she gave herself the best birthday present ever.

Hello my blog world, please meet my new niece, Caitlin and the latest addition to my growing munchkins.  Living in the 21st century means that I get daily updates from her Mummy and their new lives in Zurich but I really really wished they were at Mount Alvernia and I could just drive by to see them.  Such is the world we live in today.  The world is so small some times and other times so very big.

Good news though, she’ll be back in July!!  Can’t wait to cuddle her and show her how much love waits for her half way around the world.  For now, I’m grateful for Whatsapp/Skype/FaceTime and modern technologies that helps us stay in touch and make the distance between Singapore and Zurich shorter than the 10,286.93km it really is.

Oh yah, before I wrap my post dedicated to Caitlin, Happy Birthday to her Mummy, my cousin, Gwen who is celebrating her first birthday as Mummy and my other cousin, Cheryl who is celebrating her first birthday as a Mrs Tan!!  Celebrations all round 🙂  For the rest of us happy Wednesday!!