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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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 🙂

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.

A Little Catholic Boy

After 3 Goddaughters, I have a Godson 🙂  I truly think God answers your prayers, not always exactly how you may want it but He ALWAYS answers your prayer.  That’s what I hope to remind my 4 little charges as they grow up and face the curve balls life is famous for throwing at us.  In the meantime, here’s why I’m in Perth.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet the latest addition to my family, Master Christian Chen.  At 4 and a half months, doesn’t he look absolutely spiffy in his baptism gown, which my Mum picked out?  Talk about good taste and genes running in the family 🙂

Today, it becomes official and he’s a legit member of the Roman Catholic Church.  Couldn’t think of a better time to be one.  Under Pope Francis, I know God has answered the prayers of many around the world.

Back to my Godson, Christian, he’s about as perfect as a little baby can get.  Even my sister says so, which is saying a lot since the sight of most babies make her want to gag as a reflex :p  I also think this is how God lull parents into having more children 🙂  That will also be Him answering more of my prayers!!

To my little Christian, thank you for sharing your first holiday with you.  You probably won’t remember it but we have a lot of pictures and stories to tell you … I’m pretty sure we’ll keep building on them too.  Can’t wait for more memories.  For now, I’ll leave you with my favourite prayer.  It keeps me grateful on my good days so I don’t take them for granted and it keeps me hopeful on bad days as I know they never last too long.

God, give me the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

October Birthday Boys

Traditionally, today is Children’s Day but the school system in Singapore has decided to change it to the first Friday of October.  So it isn’t Children’s Day anymore but it’s still my cousin’s birthday … and my nephew’s too!!  Yes, father and son share a birthday 🙂  This year I’m in Perth while they’re celebrating turning 38 and 10.

I read somewhere once “Cousins are your first friends we have as children.  No one understands your crazy family like your cousins do.”  This is so very true and I’m so grateful for mine 🙂

From all of the family in Perth, Happy Birthday guys!!  Know you’re both much loved and we’re all sending you wishes that your days be filled with lots and lots and lots of LOVE!!!

Kangaroo Airline

I’m calling Qantas my favourite kangaroo airline and with all the best intentions too.  It’s been AGES, maybe like 15 years since I last sat on Qantas.  It’s not on my father’s list of airlines to be on so I was very apprehensive when I bought my Emirates tickets to Perth, only to learn they were a code share flight with Qantas.

My flight left on time, arrived slightly before ETA, the pillows and blanket were comfy and the service was better than my last experience with Singapore Airlines.  So all in all, I’m happy with Qantas and all ready to use them again.

Oi oi oi Aussie Aussie Aussie!!