Running on Empty

We often take the weekends to recharge to power ourselves up for the work week ahead. However, the imbalance between the number of working days per week and weekend sort of spells a fate doomed to failure.

Over the last weekend, I partook in the usual activities that I do on weekends. I felt bad about not visiting my folks but physically I was just a little too bummed to make the trip to their place, and the consideration of the homeward trip further dampened any inclination to go. I know that I would enjoy that brief time with them, even if we do not speak much or in-depth. It would just be a few short hours that I spend with mum, and then even lesser with dad and bro, a simple but gratifying home-cooked dinner, but there is a quality that cannot be measured by the duration.

Yoga tires me out, I won’t deny that. For a number of days that I have lost count, I had attended two classes per day, one each in the morning before work and another after work in the evening. On weekends, or public holidays (recent long weekend), I would make myself go for more. Whether I use it as a means of making myself feel better psychologically that I am “burning calories”, however warped and inaccurate that line of thought is, or if I am just abusing the time by filling it up with yoga, it has depleted my energy. I feel the palpable soreness in my body that cries for rest but yet the feeling of attending class seldom ever make me leave with regrets. It almost always feels good after a class, despite that I know I need rest.

So with yoga, with happy food, and also with church service on Sunday where I really dozed off and struggled to stay awake (I don’t know why service has this strong and immense ability to lull me to sleep almost instantly), I think I fuelled up a little. Pastor spoke about the night season, and even in one of the recent devotionals, we are called to not question about why we are in the night season or why it happened to us, but that these night seasons, these struggles and challenges that we are in, would invariably show the grace and provision, favour that God has blessed us with and that no matter what, He would deliver us and bring us to the light. That was the gist of the messages that I gleaned, however in/correct they may be.

The difficulty always lie with being able to let go of self-effort because we don’t know what is self-effort and to what extent am I trying to rely on myself to overcome the adversity and the negative emotions, or how do I let go? Rest does not equate to inactivity, so where does the line stop – at which point does self-effort begin or end?

Oh I forgot about continuing from an earlier part of the post.

After the weekend… with whatever charge I’d infused into myself, it was barely into the second day of the workweek and I already felt like my tank was drying up.

More sleepless nights

Sigh.

There are days when I feel like a piece of driftwood at sea.

A lot has always been told to me, advice that is well-intentioned but which after a while becomes repetitive whether to me or the giver of advice, who then gets tired because to them, not seeing any change in me suggests perhaps that I’m given to my situation and unwilling to heed advice and strive to crawl out of the rut.

It’s a little more than heart wrenching to entertain the thought that I’m not and probably will never be as important as how I’d wished for myself to be, to someone else. Putting it simply, that there just isn’t that closeness and tightness of relationships that I experience, though it does make me self reflect too, if I have not put in more effort on my part. What is lacking in me and what else do I need to do and give? Or is this the reason that God blesses us with different personalities and levels of independence so that perhaps in my case I can learn to rely more on myself and not others? It has however caused me much bitterness and resentment over the years and may also have been a contributing factor to learning this behaviour of not knowing how to rely and turn to Him. Because I just don’t know how.

Increasingly, the passing days have mired me in self doubt, hopelessness and lacking any anticipation of what is to come, resigned to a state of simply existing and not having anything to look forward to.

Maybe it is a mindset change that is needed but it isn’t as easy and simple as the flick of a switch in the brain because it is a complex thing that nobody really understands, not the experts, and not oneself. We can only learn by trial and error, and sometimes these trials and errors although necessary, may prove counterproductive and result in even more problems and issues.

I think someone once told me, “Be happy”. As simple as those two words appear, they are so loaded with meaning and ambiguity at the same time, and instantly brought tears to the brim of my eyes.

Goodbye July

Time is passing too quickly and there’s no way of grasping it. No matter if I obsess over trying to control it by rushing through what I do, dragging it through things that I do, cutting and saving seconds and minutes here and there, filling pockets up with stuff that I think would be needful or good for me or that I should do, it still just charges on.

It isn’t a thing for me to control. Time has its wings that pay no heed to anyone’s dictation. Perhaps only God is the exception. With its rapid passage, what is it that I fear which makes me want to cling on to it and slow it down? Is is fear of losing currency of what is now? It’s certainly not death that creeps nearer because I cannot wait to be called to be with the Lord, if He’d have me home.

Sunny days. Gloomy thoughts. It’s an erroneous focus that causes the absence of peace perhaps. Is it ironic that this came about, a tiny revelation of sorts, a sudden dawning upon, or just a subtle acknowledgement of what’s always already been known. A concept of clinging vs aversion. And it is that clinging self we need to let go of, in order to be able to breathe, knowing that even when good things happen we should not (need to) cling on to it tightly and make ourselves unable to derive pleasure from the present good thing.

Yay to a happy bowl for a happy tummy. Beets, Brussels and (chicken) Breast.

Oftentimes, we pick our individual battles to fight, whether it’s within ourselves with ourselves, or externally with other people.

Sometimes we can be really passionate about something that it becomes a case of strict black-and-white. But in reality, there’s always a spectrum comprising multiple shades of gray in between. Say, I may be really sold to the idea of sustainability and minimalism, but because of laziness or convenience, I still contribute to plastic waste on a day-to-day basis. Would I then be subject to the judgment of those who live and breathe sustainability, or be called out as a hypocrite? What if it’s just that the mind is willing but the flesh is weak?

Or if I really can be completely aligned with this one cause, it gives me the right to denounce and look down on others who don’t, even if, on other causes that I’m not subscribed to, I live a totally contrary lifestyle? What does that make me then?

Too many things to think about, so perhaps the daily grind makes us apathetic. There just isn’t that sufficient bandwidth that we willingly devote to thinking about them.

I’m just – so – tired.

Can people who live in HDB flats just be more considerate of others who stay in the units below theirs, and tread normally not like a herd of angry elephants stomping across the land, use the hands that have been gifted to them to carry furniture and not carelessly shove them across the floor? Maybe it’s me, who isn’t suited to live in such housing arrangements, unable to get accustomed to these daily disturbances that are threatening the boundaries of my sanity.

getting lost in the daily grind

Don’t we all?

Living day to day, as minutes stretch to hours and the day is gone, just like that.

Days become weeks, that dissolve into months, and before we know it, the hints of time leave their traces.

How do we make each day count, when most of the time we struggle to make sense of and survive the daily hustle of work and life?

Something to chew on. To mull. And hopefully some revelation appears.

Each day, through a variety of experiences and interactions with people and events, good or bad, we learn a bit more of ourselves. That’s why life’s a journey and that is the same with learning – a never ending process, even if it relates to getting to know the person I was, am and will be.

knowing what matters

Trying to remind myself why I write.

It’s always tempting to consider a physical journal but the space they occupy and the growing volumes of scripts that eventuate, make me feel that online journaling is a more feasible and environmentally friendly avenue. Yet the hard copies make rereading past memories easier.

Quiet mornings, before the throngs of people stir, awake and fill up the empty streets and malls.

ε…­ζœˆεδΊ”

It’s the fifteenth. No wonder the moon is exceptionally round and bright tonight, and the moonbeams slant through the open bedroom windows illuminating the darkened room, casting shadows on the walls.

Layered feelings, both physical and psychological, as once again two opposing sets of thoughts are wrenching me asunder.

I know it’s up to me, by His grace, to lift myself out of this bottomless pit I’ve allowed myself to sink into because being intentional means waking up each day resolving for the day to be good. Then of course there is the other part of me that is lazy and doesn’t want to put in the needed effort to fight the gravitational pull of negativity, because isn’t it easier to just let the tide bring me along?

Yoga. Life. Work. Inconsiderate neighbours. Noisy thoughts. Eating disorders. Anxiety attacks. OCD. Isn’t that too much on an agenda for one?

TBC. Maybe.

It’s the night of the 17th. The bright moon still hangs high in the dark night sky, and a cool breeze is blowing.

For the second time in a week, right in the very home I’ve lived in for more than three years, I had another meltdown. I’ve lost count. I just couldn’t take the daily noises that are contributed by the occupants living in the unit above, grating sounds of furniture being dragged across the thin floors of our flats these days, the sudden whoosh of a flushing toilet that would wake me up mid-slumber, heavy footfalls like elephants stomping across a grassland in a stampede, furniture being knocked over with a sudden unceremonious thud on said same thin floors that jerk my heart out of its place in my chest.

I’ve lived with these for more than three years but have I only began noticing these recently or has each occurrence just gotten worse as my sanity stretches increasingly thin? I just couldn’t take it in anymore but yet the other thing I could muster was cry myself into a sobby mess and implore God to just take me home, and why He is allowing this, letting me go through living hell each day when I return home, devoid of any semblance of peace, not even when I try to sleep.

Is this what my life is supposed to be like? Why did my life turn out this way? Why did depression find its grip on my mind? Why have I become who I am now? Why can’t I choose to be euthanised so that I can put a stop to this pain?

Inertia is a funny thing. And it definitely is affected by the ease and convenience that is associated with the means.

I have not been the most inspired recently to write on the alternative platform, which although makes updating generally a breeze except for its occasional bug, has somehow still seen a gradual slowdown in putting my thoughts down or even documenting what happens on a day-to-day basis.

Even the mere thought of writing here sometimes is quenched from the consideration of judgmental opinions that I do not want to entertain or be affronted with that in their own right already make me question the reason why I would want to subject myself to them. Usually these updates are just what they are, an avenue for catharsis, which though may be replete with questions, are oftentimes rhetorical.

But I must say it’s most likely a certain jadedness in the so-called community, the overall lack of drive in life and physical lethargy exacerbated by mental fog, that’s contributing towards all these.

Despite the above-mentioned, apparently you still can’t take the verbosity out of me though. And so maybe once every now and then, I will make a reappearance.