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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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.

Meant To Be

Do you believe in fate? That things are meant to be? Couple of weeks ago, I gave up my Coldplay ticket in Singapore to a friend. No fuss, I did want to go but he wanted it more for someone else and asked. I said ok and I was actually ok. Though I do like Coldplay and would have liked to go and see them. Fast forward to April 7, I arrive in Bangkok for a weekend getaway with a couple of friends and guess what I find out? Coldplay is playing in Bangkok on April 7! So I went, if we could find reasonable tickets, we’ll go and we did!

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After a crazy ordeal of collecting our tickets, which we weren’t sure were legit or not till we were seated in the stadium, and navigating to the venue on foot, we got there just in time for them to come on stage and start the show. I’m definitely a fan of the earlier albums, the first one in particular but it was still a very enjoyable show with the band coming across sincere and like they were genuinely having fun. More than that, I got to share the concert with one of my dearest mates who isn’t my typical concert buddy but I think that will change now. So do you believe that some things are just #meanttobe? I’m already sold on the concept … though a very logical part of me fights it a lot. Getting to watch Coldplay in Bangkok with Resh was just meant to be.

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine going through the ordeal of navigating traffic, taking trains when there’s no cabs, walking and walking and walking, waiting an hour for a cab that on the app said was only 9mins away with someone who wouldn’t call it quits and brought out the best in me despite the highly stressful situation. It open a side of each other we already knew but I guess with this experience solidified the fact that we do complement each other in the way lifetime friendships are built. That’s why I had to give up my Singapore ticket and come to Bangkok to watch Coldplay instead.

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In the greater scheme of things, there is a plan, reasons for why things happen or who comes into your life. Even the bad stuff, there is a reason. Someone out there makes it all happen, someone bigger, someone who knows more, someone who has a plan. My role is to surrender and trust. To be grateful. To keep an open mind. I don’t have to understand when it happens but it’ll eventually be made clear. Like with the Coldplay concert, I get why I had to give up my Singapore ticket so easily. I was meant to go, just in a different city with a different friend 🙂 And possibly start a new tradition!

Here’s to things that are meant to be! Just let go and trust is my theme for the week.

 

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 🙂

39 and a Half Years Old

6 months more to go and I’ll be yelling, “Hello 40!!”  Still a work-in-progress and with half of the year gone, it’s clearer today that honestly all you need to get through mistakes you’ve made is a sense of humour and time.  I always say this that I’m really lucky with my family and friends.  At this stage in life, I’ve come to realise there are toxic friends and in some sad cases, there are toxic family too.  You owe it to yourself to rid all toxic relationships.  It’s hard, very hard but filling our life with love and positive support gets you through any problem.  Lucky me, all the love I’ve surrounded myself with over the last 39 and a half year has reaffirmed how a sense of humour is the key to getting over suffering.  Also why I married my husband because he can make me laugh.

6 more months before I turn 40 and to usher that in, I’m off to Bali with my wonderful friends who’ve shared their love, laughter and pain.  All of whom will turn 40 before me and showed me that age is truly just a number and laughing over spilled milk is the best way to get over it.

 

Feeding My Soul

By most standards, I’m really really blessed.  Sure, I don’t get everything I want and that I believe keeps me humble and grateful.  For the most part, I’ve been given gifts that I don’t even realise I need.  One such gift is having 2 others places to call home in Perth and Vancouver.  2 beautiful cities in the world where I get to soak up all the nature I never knew I needed … even craved.

Our annual jaunt back to Vancouver saw me jump in a lake for the first time in my life and LOVING it.  It was like I could swim forever and not come up.

Evans Lake where my brother-in-law had a lovely forest wedding was also where I became a lake swimming virgin no more 🙂  The cold of the lake surprised me more than I expected but much more than that was how I felt like I could just go on swimming and swimming and swimming.  The water felt crystal clean.  I could never touch the bottom of the lake no matter how long I tried to hold my breath.  If not, for the wedding happening in the afternoon, I don’t think I would have left.  Yes, it did cross my mind to ask them to move the wedding party to the dock by the lake.  That was early in my trip and I hadn’t really thought much about how much stronger I felt leaving the lake than jumping into it.

Whyte Lake was the second lake I went swimming in.  My brother-in-law couldn’t believe that I’ve never swam in a lake before his wedding, he kinda made it his mission to expand my lake swimming repertoire.  So we did the Whtye Lake trail which leads you to the lake where you’re rewarded with a swim 🙂  This little hike and swim made me realised how much my body sucks up the energy from nature.  I felt winded doing the trail to the lake but after being among the amazing Douglas Fir trees and the swim, I had an unusual second wind.  It was like my body was fed and ready to go.  I started being aware of my surroundings and how it affected me.  Particularly how light I feel after being out in nature.

Growing up in Singapore, we aren’t naturally inclined to the outdoors.  It’s hot and humid most days and nature isn’t quite like it is in these other countries.  So we actually don’t know how much we get from nature, we simply never had the opportunity to find out.

And here’s the point of this post, growing up the concept of soul was a religious one.  On the way to the mid point of my life, I’ve learnt to read my soul better, to know it’s the source of why I can do good and be better.  When my soul is weak, temptations are easier to fall into, vices appear normal and I don’t yearn to try as hard to be the best version of me.  When my soul is fed, I am lighter even when things don’t go my way, when I don’t get what I want and the most negative of energies comes across like an annoying mosquito.  The question now is how do I keep feeding my soul in this concrete jungle of a home?

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!!