All of 5 Years Old

Nope, I’m not talking of my niece, Mabes nor my Goddaughter, Nicole nor my little friend, Aira.  Though all three of them were born in the year of this blog, which makes me a blogger who turns 5 today 🙂  I say this every year, I never thought this blog would have lasted this long but it has.

In tribute to the 5 years, here’s a look at 5 posts, one from each year that represents a time in my life that has contributed to the person I’m slowly growing into.

It’s interesting to see how far this blog has come along and honestly, I didn’t think I’d last a week.  https://carlenetan.wordpress.com/2006/09/30/its-a-start/

It was a GREAT day for a wedding and funny how a simple picture is all I need to remember the most subtle and special moments of the day.  It was taken just before my sister, my maid of honour and I got into her car to go to the church.  https://carlenetan.wordpress.com/2007/05/12/its-a-good-day-for-a-wedding/

Me, me and more me.  Sometimes I forget that I’m narcissistic that’s why this blog has lasted as long as she has.  This post reminds me 🙂 https://carlenetan.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/blogs-themes-and-privacy/  We certainly have evolved since that post and I’ve included a couple of very personal thoughts on some issues since then and that’s why I’m appreciating this blog more too.  When I need to reflect on my life that is so readily shared to the world, I go through the different posts and remember parts of me that I’ve forgotten.

From 2009, https://carlenetan.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/my-new-sunnies/ because before that I hardly wore sunnies and now I’m very rarely without one.  That work trip changed a lot of things for me too, made me realise a lot of things about myself and the people I work with and for.  For better or worse, it worked in my favour … even though it didn’t seem like it at that point in time 🙂

https://carlenetan.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/a-little-catholic-girl/ 2010 was a roller coaster for me and this little girl pretty much stole my heart.  My little Goddaughter, Rachael kept it all real for me and why I try harder.

That’s all for today.  Thank you for coming by and keeping this blog alive.  I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have writing :*

Fare Ye’ Well Dear Telly

Needless to say, I get attached to things, people and situations.  I’m a true romantic who does get very sentimental.  It isn’t the trait I wear on my sleeve but one that I am now more comfortable with as I’ve gotten older.  So when our dear TV, Telly who has served us well in the last 20 years (yes, read ’em and weep, 20 whole years) decided that she’s off to TV heaven where the angels need to watch TV too, I was undeniably sad.  Took me a while to find her replacement and when I did, I couldn’t help but feel she’s got big shoes to fill.  Like they say, they just don’t build them like they use to.

Telly came into our lives when projection TV was the in thing.  So Telly 2 or T2 as I like to call her, is the LED/HD rage, nope, she isn’t a Smart TV with internet capabilities.  I reckon that we all have laptops, smart phones as it already is … I’m old school that way, I just want to watch TV on my TV.  So here’s T2 and let’s see if she manages to break dear ole’ Telly’s record.  I’ll have an update in 2031 🙂

Meanwhile, we’ll miss you Telly and thank you for the years of wonderful TV watching.  The living room truly isn’t the same without you.

P/S: Watching T2 makes me feel like I’ve gone for lasik :p  Is TV watching suppose to be this clear?  Poor Telly, we did work her way over her due date.

Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

Post May 7, 2011 I am quietly encouraged by my fellow Singaporeans.  There were enough voters who stood behind what they believed to show me that fear no longer motivates how Singaporeans vote.  Whatever it is, we are a pragmatic lot but at least we aren’t all sheep that can be scared into paralysis.  Well, not anymore anyway.  That said, we still lost some of the better people in our government.

That’s the fact of elections.  You win some and you most definitely lose some.  Both had great love for their country and wanted nothing more than the opportunity to make real the vision they have for making Singapore a place we can truly call home.  Now the both of them will have to find other ways to continue contributing to Singapore and by their track record, I’m sure this isn’t the end for the both of them.

I learnt though that you may have great passion and love for something but if you don’t have your act together … it ain’t going to be enough.  On a personal level, this election had me wondering about making sacrifices, dreaming the impossible and making it all happen.  How does one stay balanced between the heart and mind?  To have enough fuel to keep your passion burning and the fortitude of logic to stay on track. I hope I learn how to maintain that balance way before I get too old to actually do it :p  More than that, I hope when I am faced with defeat as these two have, I will have the grace that they carried themselves with.

So my new adventure, as daunting as it may be, is my opportunity to make something out of the little corner of my world.  I’m going to win some and lose some but I’m going to keep these two men in mind.  Love what you do, have a clear vision, build a good team you can trust, keep learning and after all that if the chips still fall, gracefully and humbly remember you’ve done your best and there’s just someone who may be able to do it better than you.

With that, I’ll be keeping myself busy with my new adventure but I’m most certainly looking forward to the next elections and am optimistic about Singapore … more than I have ever been 🙂

Why Alternative Voices Are So Important?

What happens when you fall asleep while you’re driving and someone slaps you awake?  You wake up and say sorry.

Would the government apologise if these questions weren’t raised over the last few days?

If you think about, they have been raised before but never addressed.  Not until yesterday.

Why?  I reckon it’s because the force behind the questioning only existed over the last few days.  A couple of alternative voices in parliament doesn’t quite carry the same weight.  The PAP has just shown why it is important to have more alternative voices in parliament.

Not you.  Not me.  Not the opposition.  The PAP.  They have shown that only with emphatic fervour will they start to address the concerns of the people.

This is why we cannot allow ourselves to be complacent.  No one is perfect and no system is but let’s not hide behind the usual “that’s how it is and nothing really is wrong” position, because one day when things do go wrong, we won’t have anyone else who can possibly right the wrongs.

An American friend told me yesterday, compared to most places in the world, even in the US, we have a great government.  Things work in Singapore and the majority have basic needs met.  I don’t disagree at all and everyday I am very grateful for it.

In my books though, things can always get better.  I want a home where things work, basic needs are met, people dream, innovate, create and treat each other with empathy and compassion.  Nothing is perfect but we sure as hell can try 🙂

Season for Change

It’s been a while since I started a new job and this week I did.  There’s a lot I’m not sure about the change and at the same time, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to build something from scratch.  Lots to look forward to, it’s going to be exciting but … I am going to miss my cosy desk.

I really like what I did everyday for the last 4 years and 8 months, trying to make what little improvement I could to the industry that is close to my heart.  I will miss that.  More than that, I’ll miss my friends.  I know we’ll all keep in touch but there’s something different about seeing them nearly everyday.

Like Isaac Asimov said, “The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today.”  I don’t know when he said that but it still rings true today.  So it isn’t coincidence that as I’m experiencing a major personal change so is the country I call home.

This Saturday, which is also my Popo’s birthday, an approximately 2.2million Singaporeans will have the opportunity to vote.  To many in the world it isn’t anything but to Singaporeans, many are doing so for the first time in their lives.  For the first time in our lives 94% of the seats in our parliament is being contested before.

So I urge all Singaporeans to understand the gravity of the situation and make your vote count.  It doesn’t matter if you choose to vote the PAP, WP, SDP, SPP, NSP, SDA, RP or an independent candidate.  All I ask is for every Singaporean to think about the kind of home you want to have, how can we get there and who can bring us there.

Each vote is significant.

If you are happy with the incumbents, vote for them and let them know.  If you are not, change is in your hands.  For everyone who is wavering because the alternatives aren’t ready.  My humble thoughts are if we never give them the opportunity to learn, they will never be ready.  Do we really want to wait till everything goes awfully wrong before we vote in a bunch of inexperienced alternatives who aren’t ready for cabinet positions?

Either way make your vote count.

10.10.10

Today is a pretty special day, we’ll have to wait for another century for this to happen.  That’s why there are quite a bit of people getting married today!!  For the Tan household, it’s an even more special day coz it’s my Mummy’s birthday too!!!  Do all these couples know how to pick the right date or what 🙂

Happy Birthday my darling Mummy!!!

I’ve always known I’d be no where without my Mother but I never realised her impact on me as my most important feminine role model till I was an adult.  She grew up with a shorter end of the stick and showed me that whatever challenges life throws at you, you can overcome anything and I do mean A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  Of course, she constantly reminds me that without God I’d truly be no where :p  If you ask me though, God gave me my Mummy so that I keep learning from her and better yet, with her love and support overcome all the challenges that life has been and will continue to throw at me 🙂

Talk about being born with the longer end of the stick 😉

‘Cept For The Freedom To Be Rude …

… and any pain in general, I’m all for freedom. Why? Well, I’m one of the very very fortunate few who have freedom. The freedom to choices, to opportunities, to dreams, to what my little heart dares to believe in. Yes, I grew up in a home where I was encouraged, maybe even challenged a little to think, to explore, to open my mind to what the world has to offer.

So when there are those whose freedom have been compromised, I’m subtly reminded to be grateful for mine. Whether it’s Tutsi in Rwanda, students in Tiananmen, monks in Myanmar, girls in fundamentalist communities or gays at home, they are all reminders of how good I have it.

Just maybe 30 years ago, my freedom to marry a white guy would have been less liberal … so I don’t take it for granted that the country I call home welcomes my husband with open arms so much so when he passes the Singapore border, he says that he’s home.

So today in support of freedom, especially the freedom to love and be loved, my Mummy and I were at the inaugural Pink Dot event. This is the only picture I managed to get before my camera battery died on me :p

pink dot with Mummy
Here’s my way of fussing, to be the change I want to see in the world, to be more loving. Nothing better than a balmy late afternoon gathering of people who all believe in love and showing it in a fun and pain free manner.

My Mummy, Cherry and Shell were around the 7 o’clock of the little Pink Dot that shows how much we’ve grown from the days of a sleepy fishing village.

P/S: I’m now inspired to start a Green Dot group to support the love for animals and our environment 🙂  Anyone up to support vegetarianism and saving the environment and make a Green Dot next April 22, 2010?

Not To Be Taken For Granted

10 years ago, I’m pretty sure the take over wouldn’t have happened much less the fight to get it all back on track.  I have to honest in the last couple of weeks, I couldn’t believe how low some people could sink and was all haughty about the whole thing.  Today, with the final outcome the way it is, I’m actually grateful that I’m living in Singapore, in a time that something like that can happen.  We have truly evolved.  Now if we can keep it all in balance, this could probably be one of the better places to live in.

Namaste From Nawan Nagar

Am in town today so dropping by an internet cafe where the connection is faster and better to make a quick update post.  No pictures coz there isn’t anything I can connect my camera to the computer :p

India’s been good so far. The village I’m in is really conservative so I’m in a Punjabi suit all the time, got to keep my head covered and all 🙂 Most of the villagers don’t even look me in the face!!  That’s how conservative they are.  I haven’t met another Chinese since I arrived either so needless to say, I stick out.  Really gives you a different perspective. The villagers don’t speak any English at all soI spent most of the time with the other foreigners. So much so I don’t feel like I’m in India at all :p

I’m surviving India though.  I’m loving the food, learning to sleep without a heater, yes, it’s totally possible and basically enjoying myself thoroughly 🙂

Till my next update, take care y’all!!!

One More Day

I’m going to bed early tonight to wake up real early tomorrow and test my body like it hasn’t been tested before. I have friends doing the full marathon tomorrow and my 10km is nothing to them but that 10km is going to be my marathon. Yes yes, the green route (that’s mine!!) looks tiny compared to both the blue routes but when I actually checked it out on my street directory, I started to panic … just a little.

But after getting my little running pack (Thank you Ms Chan!!!), I’m also a little excited, to be jogging and probably seeing the city like I’ve never seen it before. How often do you get a chance to run through the central business district and by the Singapore river? So no matter how long I take to complete the 10km tomorrow, I’m going to soak in the sights, sounds and have a fun Sunday morning with my friends. I can’t believe how many of my friends doing this too and we’ll be there with something like 50,000 other people 🙂

So after tomorrow, when I’m no longer a Run virgin, I’ll decide if I’ll ever do it again :p I’ve been enjoying my weekly jogging and hoping that that after the run tomorrow, I’ll actually keep at it … but like I said I don’t know if I’ll ever do another 10km again. We’ll see what happens and how I feel tomorrow afternoon 😉