pause for a bit

Just read something sad. And again it makes me wonder why we all seem to take life for granted. There would always be times when we, or at least I can speak for myself, have wished that God will just bring us back home to be with Him with immediacy, yet there are people who have their lives cut short, while they were supposedly in the prime of their lives. When such things happen, we begin to question the indolence we exhibit towards life and fate, the extravagance with which we throw away our lives, not cherishing each and every living moment or be grateful for that extra breath that we get to have.

When we have something that seems like it is in abundance or that we do not have a view of its impending end, we tend to get complacent and think we have it all. But that’s not the case because life is unpredictable like that.

Anyway, this post was meant to be lighthearted and as a record of what I had recently.

It isn’t the first time I ordered this breakfast item at Starbucks, and in fact it is one of my favourites from what they currently serve – the Rosemary Chicken with Emmental Cheese croissant. The flavourful mashed chicken mayo-style filling with a peppery taste gives it an added dimension, that pairs so well with the buttery croissant. While it isn’t the best in terms of croissant, because it is not freshly-baked after all, in fact this particular one I had that day looked a tad sad and limp, but overall it still made for an enjoyable breakfast.

overwhelming uncertainty

Since before Chinese New Year began, something insidious had crept up on this unsuspecting world. From the moment it started though, it had gathered pace and taken on a fast and furious trajectory that has caught the entire world unaware and unprepared.

Over the last one month, our lives have been thrown vastly off course. Lives have been lost, and this is becoming even more serious than what consumed us 17 years ago. I am thankful that in Singapore, despite that the number of infections is increasing rapidly and we do not know when it will peak or bottom out, we continue to hold fast to the hope that there will be no fatalities.

As a news article put it succinctly, this is or has become the greatest work-from-home exercises Singapore has ever experienced, and we do not know when it will stop. At times when we feel that perhaps the situation is stablising and we may soon be able to go back to our normal lives, some unexpected turn presents itself and once more we are thrown into disarray. Maybe, we are told, this will become the new norm; we will have to learn to live with this being part of our lives and that the corporate world will have to get used to more telecommuting or remote working arrangements.

Working from home is viewed by some as an entitlement. Before the coronavirus situation hit us, it probably is. Employers who belong to the ‘more enlightened’ group include this as a staff benefit to encourage employee retention, for those who can then balance their work and family commitments. But when the need arose recently for business continuity reasons that forced almost all employers to allow some of their employees to work remotely, it may or not be an entitlement after all as it is now a necessity. Regardless, there will still be those who aren’t given that option, who see it as an entitlement for those who are being asked to work-from-home.

The grass is always greener on the other side. Although I must say that it is something I feel is beneficial to me in terms of being able to plan my day around work and personal life, I do understand the need to maintain the trust that has been extended, and keep up or even exceed the expectations to deliver work that has been assigned. No longer do I keep the regular office hours and ‘switch on’ and ‘switch off’ from 9am to 6pm; I work almost round the clock, interspersed with my own personal activities. I explained my rationale to my employer, who has accepted the way I work the schedule around it and I take it at face value that if the approval to continue has been given, I will just proceed but of course strive and work even harder to keep things going.

That is how trust is built and perpetuated I suppose?

slow breathing

Today… let me attempt a short post.

If I could, I think maybe it is a good idea to write daily? Yet, this would most likely cause this space become an overwhelmingly messy dump of mental somersaults that stretch endlessly. But it has been said, though I am not sure how well-proven or studied it is, that journalling has positive effects on one’s mental well-being.

Anyway, today I am thankful. For:

  1. The much-needed face-to-face extended social interaction. It’s been a while since I have met someone in person and had a few hours just to talk. Emails/texts make a poor substitute for interaction, maybe because I am old-school like that. Short hi-bye interactions with acquaintances at yoga classes, or with the cashiers at cafes, also do not substantially make up for the kind of interaction I need.
  2. A mini home-baked earl grey yogurt tea cake/tart. My friend whom I met (above) made it recently and gave me one, disclaiming that the earl grey flavour was not distinct and it might be too sweet even though she had cut the sugar used. Indeed, I couldn’t taste the earl grey notes in the tart/cake but nevertheless I am thankful for the thought and the gift!
  3. My friend was heading somewhere far and booked a ride there. Because it was pouring when we were about to leave where we were, she offered to drop me off at my next destination, which was really kind of her to do so! The rain was just pelting down in sheets, despite that it was scorching just hours earlier, needfully quenching the parched pavements but now it has left the air still and which hangs with a thick shroud of humidity.