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.

 

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!!

Everything is Awesome

That pretty much sums up the day I turned 39.

Nothing over the top. Kept today simple. Got some work in, made time to check out the River Safari, dinner at my favourite vegetarian place in Chinatown, caught The Lego Movie and wrapped the day with the latest episode of The Walking Dead. Pretty much all the things I enjoy squeezed into a day and I really couldn’t ask for more.

As the lyrics of my latest favourite tune goes:-

Everything is awesome
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team
Everything is awesome, when we’re living our dream

Nothing like a birthday to remind you of the support system you have. When it comes to that department, I’m so very blessed with the team I’m a part of. I know I’m nowhere and no one without the love of my family and friends.  If today is anything to go by, my 39th year looks like it’ll be a lot like most of my other years.  There will be ups and also downs but more importantly, more dreams to be had. That’s how you keep it AWESOME.

Did I already say I love birthdays 🙂

The Ability to Give

Over the Chinese New Year weekend, my dear friend , Claire and her family didn’t think twice to help a couple who needed it.  In their own words, Claire shares how each of us in our own ways can change the world we live in.

Yesterday evening while we were on our way for a CNY visit, we saw this old couple stuck by the side of Opera Estate along Siglap road. For those of you who know the area, the roads are very slopey and not at all conducive for pushing a wheelchair. We quickly stopped our car and Pann got out to help the uncle. The wheelchair was in a bad condition and was unable to be maneuvered properly. Eventually the tire gave way and Pann had to call a taxi to send the couple home. We could not stop thinking about them the whole night.

Today, we spoke to Renn and Aira and we decided to use all our Ang Pow money to buy the old couple a new wheelchair. We knew the block they were staying at but had no idea which floor nor unit. We were very lucky to be able to locate the old auntie and eventually got to the uncle. And we realised they had no relatives keeping in touch with them in their one room flat.

They were so happy and surprise to receive the present along with some Ang Pows.

This got to be one of the best days knowing that the kids were very passionate about helping others because Chinese New Year is not about receiving Ang Pows but sharing with others.

I was fortunate to be part of the CNY visit that very night and they shared the story with us before it went viral online.  We got the low down scoop on how their giving led to others giving too.  The cab driver that took Pann and the couple back didn’t charge them for the ride either.  The story even gather enough interest to be picked up by the local publications 🙂

For me, I love the fact that a simple story about giving and sharing love made its way around.  I love that it isn’t just depressing or hateful stories that run amok online.  I love that I’m blessed enough to have friends who remind me that living is about sharing, giving and filling it with moments of love.  I also love how the Year of the Horse is starting off in my world.

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Giddy up!!  If you haven’t noticed, it’s the year of the Horse and I have officially over ate.  I don’t think I’ll feel hungry again for a long long time and I truly can’t complain about it.

It started with the annual reunion dinner and the ubiquitous steamboat.  With my Mummy in town, I had every craving met with all the traditional dishes my Grandma use to make but vegetarian!!  How lucky am I?  All I can say is that the year of the Horse is looking good for me 🙂  It’s off to a bountiful start.

Depending on the sources you refer to, this year being the Wood Horse is suppose to good for the Wood Rabbits, which is what I am except for their health.  We’ll see how healthy I am when I usher in the year of the Goat next year.  Meanwhile, I’ll take all these advice with a pinch of salt, like I do every year.  That’s because I’ve learnt, every year will have it’s ups and it’s own downs, typically a fair share of both and it’s things we can’t control.  What I can control is how I react and deal with them.  For now, let’s see how much control I have over the remaining traditional Chinese New Year yums that’s still in my house.

‘Tis the Season

The Christmas decorations are out and everywhere I go carols are playing 🙂  I love Christmas, not only because as a Catholic it’s an important religious holiday but because Christmas has become synonymous with the spirit of giving and love.  Everyone feels a little kinder around this time of the year.  Maybe it’s all in my head but I’ll take what I get, enjoy it all before this year is over and 2014 beckons :p

I chanced upon this ad which is about a friendship between hare and a bear at Christmas.  In reality, the bear may have had the hare for brunch but it’s the Christmas season!!

It may be make believe but I love how the imagination of creators bring to life situations that make me feel all warm and fuzzy.  I especially love how old technology and new technology is used to make this ad possible.  With computer graphics making everything possible, we sometimes forget how an old school ‘handmade’ background enables a tactile feel to the look.  It’s such subtleties that draws me in and see more than just an ad.

May this Christmas season be filled with everything you imagine made possible!!

Being a Daughter

When it comes to parents, I’ve been truly blessed.  Maybe some day I’ll get to be as great as they have been for me for someone else and accord the same luxury of being able to choose to:-

Every now and then I forget that I am able to choose to be a better person because of everything my parents gave, taught and showed me.  Let’s be very honest, my parents aren’t perfect.  In fact, they are very real with flaws, some that can drive me a little nutty sometimes but that’s where they inspire me to be the better person I want to be.  Flaws and all, even when times are bad, they always try harder.

I grew up very similarly to how my Dad did and he learnt from my grandparents how to be better than them.  He understands that I’m like him and my yearn to constantly challenge myself.  My Mum, on the other hand, grew up from the school of hard knocks and made it her mission as my mother to make sure that everyday my sister and I have the luxury to choose to be a better person.  It’s so easy for us to pick and choose to be a better person simply because of her sacrifices.

So yah, I am grateful for every chance I get to hang out with them.  Sometimes we get lucky like this trip to Perth where I got to celebrate my Mummy’s birthday with them.

My Mummy probably doesn’t realise how much strength I draw from her.  I don’t think she even knows how her sacrifices have made subtle yet impactful influences in my life decisions, especially when I can choose to not sweat the small stuff and choose to be better.  Not everyone have what I have so I lap it up that on a beautiful spring day in Perth, I got to share her birthday, listen to her stories, learn from her life lessons and remember not to take my life for granted.

In case I forget and get complacent, I have been blessed to be able to:-

  • Be Kind
  • Speak Truth
  • Love Others
  • Show Grace
  • Work Hard
  • Be Grateful

because my parents made sure I could.  I shouldn’t squander it because a lot more other people who have less than me choose to be better everyday.