2017

Happy 2017. Although it’s already the third week of the new year.

Philippians 3:13-14 says:

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind me and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

In this brand new year, I should learn to look forward and not into the past; that whatever has passed is past and put them behind me. It is ok to reminisce but to live in past memories only serve to make us get stuck in a time warp, unable to progress forward.

Well, I don’t know if there is anything that I am hanging on or holding on to in the past that is rendering me unable to look forward or move forward, but I know that action is important. We can have the best-laid plans but if no action is taken then there will never be any breakthrough. I hope that this can be the year of change for me, in all aspects of the word, that I can persevere in making the kind of changes that I want to see in my life.

Being financially-bound by commitments, the biggest of which is the housing loan that I should stop harbouring resentment towards but be filled with gratitude and gladness that I now have a roof over my head and place to sort of call “my own”, add on the various other necessary payments such as taxes and insurance premiums the latter of which medical-related ones are on the uptrend, I may be constrained with pushing forward with my initial plans to action.

That said, I still want to believe that this is going to be the year of change. Changes can come in small steps, but I need to take one step forward to make things happen.

Food for (my) thoughts

Came across a website earlier on, and read some articles that could be useful for me. One of them talks about addiction to food, which more aptly, the article states, could be “eating addiction”. There’s even a slideshow that was created to discuss it, along with groups at risk, prevention and so on.

As I clicked on the various links that expounded further on the topic of binge eating (disorder), a lot about the behaviour and feelings described resonated with me. I wonder if it could also be a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy as I try to draw myself into the box of people who may fall under the diagnosis of BED.

Looking back on 2016, so many things have happened this year that has physically and mentally worn me out. I hope I have made good progress on some fronts in terms of breaking through on some thoughts and ideas that have ceaselessly spun themselves in a spiral within the small compound of my mind. In the coming new year, I also hope that there can be real tangible progress that will move me forward, even if it is just for an inch. It certainly beats staying in the same spot, pondering the next move but never making it.

Merry (belated) Christmas!

So anyway, Christmas has come and gone. So fast. Too fast. I thought it was just November? Good times never seem to last, but that is how things work. Good times are enjoyable and so they appear to pass faster. The reverse is, of course, true as well.

So how did you spend your Christmas? I hope it was all good for everyone out there who happens to come to read this post. Merry Christmas to you, albeit a belated one, although it is technically still Christmas since there are supposed to be 12 days’ of Christmas right? This would make today the 4th day.

Came across an article shared by someone on LinkedIn that talks about complaining, and I would raise both hands sheepishly to admit that I am someone guilty of being a chronic complainer. I know all along it isn’t healthy, even though there are times when there is a need to just ‘vent it out’ and not keep it bottled inside because it is healthier? I don’t know, I guess there are different schools of thought on that, but the article is against complaining. More specifically, it is against complaining without a purpose – it is okay to complain if it leads to a desired outcome, say you are complaining about bad service but with an aim towards hoping there can be an improvement to it (an example in the article). But most of the times, we, or rather I, complain for the sake of it.

It isn’t just a bad habit that should be kicked for good, having it out of our lives actually helps promote better health, maybe better relationships and overall a better quality of life. I think this would be something for me to work on in 2017, and hopefully the tips offered by the article will help me move in the right direction!

Happy 2015

Happy 2015! Though it is a little late in coming. This blog isn’t dead. Not yet anyway. I still think I have a love for writing. It is just that.. these days I cannot seem to muster the effort and energy in me to write. I want to write and post some nice pictures but I don’t have much of the latter, other than the usual same old food that I eat which I flood my Instagram account with. And I don’t want to just type in a barrage of words here that get lost in cyberspace as I rattle on endlessly and start to go into a downward spiral of grouses and self-pity.

Anyway, yes 2015 has dawned upon us, and how apt to have this picture taken on an early morning. This was in December 2014, perhaps on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, while I was in Bangkok for my final holiday of 2014. 2015/01/img_1187.jpgMy most enjoyed and anticipated time of the year came and went so fast that I didn’t even have the time to slowly savour it. I seem to have gotten myself lost in a whirl of rushing from place to place that I don’t know if I have already lost everything.

2015 is a new start. It is the year of restoration and I have seen one tangible restoration already. It happened but perhaps with His prompting that I did it. It is not always the case that people walk out of your life and chance back on the journey again, but there are some who have indeed got off and have hopped back on again, and I am thankful for that.

I would like to get myself restored as well. My peace of mind and my love of life, if I have ever felt that. I want meaning back in my life, and kick that negativity and passive-aggressiveness out for good.

December 2014

 

December 2014 was and is a good month. It is always the best time of the year for me, whether in terms of how I feel with the festive vibes reverberating all around or the gradual cooling off of the temperatures albeit with a greater volume of rainfall that could cause some inconveniences on and off. It is also the time of the year when activity at work tends to slow down as many people choose this time to clear their annual leave and jet somewhere for year-end breaks, vacations and holidays, leaving the activity to those of celebration and mirth, shopping and gifting. Gifts have become somewhat of a rarity these days since gatherings and the likes have taken a backseat, as friends whom meet-ups are done tend to be a small select number, and larger group gatherings and gift-exchanging have become a thing of the past for me. Maybe it is just a phase that I have morphed into and whether it will be something to stay remains to be seen. After all, we never say never about anything, because changes do happen all the time, expected or otherwise.

Nevertheless, today being the last day of December and also the last day of the year, it probably calls for a sort of look-back and review. I did not make any conscious resolution for 2014 because I find it pointless that year after year my resolutions tended to be similar and there are always some that I always fail to keep or just roll forward to the next year. I just wanted to stay happy and contented with life, but the simplest of resolutions are the hardest to keep, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that I was not very successful in this area. I have not been the happiest person in 2014 due to a variety of reasons, known or not to me. Sometimes it is weird that we don’t feel happy but somehow we don’t really grasp the cause.

In 2015, I still want to work towards being a happy, peaceful and contented person. It is tiring to feel unhappy. And it must be tiring for the people around me who care and who often have to sit by and listen to my incessant whining and lamentations. I am thankful for the few friends who have stuck by despite the apparent toxicity in me from these frequent gripes and I do hope as well that as I become a lighter and happier person, I will be able to bring a brand of sunshine and cheer to their lives too. Friendship is a two-way traffic and I want to be a good friend too.

Visited Hong Kong twice during the year, once in April and another time this month. April was a hectic 3-day trip that was mainly about eating and shopping (not so much for me as for my travel mates) and the weather was a little erratic, being the change of seasons between spring and perhaps summer. December was a much slower and relaxed trip, with a cooler climate. It was all about coffee and indulging, and I really enjoyed the long chat sessions over coffee and cakes, the long walks from one eating place to the next. Holidays do not have to be about rushing from location to location and ticking off to-do lists and to-visit places, for me, they are about relaxing and breathing in the sights and sounds, doing what we would usually do in our own home cities but in a different locale. At least that holds true for me.  /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1047.jpg

Latte and Piccolo Latte at Coco Espresso in Sheung Wan, a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe that I noticed last December when I visited Hong Kong and stayed with my friend in her service apartment in the area. Coffee was decent and as usual pricey (as compared to Starbucks) but my friend seemed to feel that the quality has deteriorated slightly from before. I wouldn’t know but I think it’s an ok place to hang out for a bit, if it doesn’t get crowded. We sat on counter seats, since there were probably just a couple of small tables within the cosy cafe. There were other places we visited, such as 18 grams in Sheung Wan, Coffee Academy in Causeway Bay, Fuel Espresso at the Landmark, Elephant Grounds at Gough Street… with many more that I would love to check out the next time I am in the busy city.

After returning from Hong Kong, another couple of weeks thereafter, it was off to Bangkok for the Christmas break. It didn’t really feel like Christmas in Bangkok despite the numerous Christmas trees decorating the malls, the festive lights and yuletide tunes. Even the slightly cooler weather on some days didn’t seem to inject that Christmas vibe that I felt in Hong Kong. I don’t know why, because even with the warmer temperature as compared to what I could ever remember of Bangkok particularly with the freezing cold malls, I just felt like it was a normal vacation at any other time of the year. This was yet another relaxing, chilling out trip, more so than Hong Kong perhaps, because we did not even do much walking around. It was just sitting from place to place, drinking coffee or eating and I felt like I had eaten so much in just those 4 days that I was there. But it is always about the time that we spend with people that counts more, and it was an enjoyable holiday over Christmas for me. We didn’t do any countdown, and we also did not wish each other Merry Christmas, but we all know that we are thankful for some things in our lives. Yes, even as we complain about many things, we also give thanks and appreciate the good things that some other people may take for granted./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1048.jpgFor the angels in my life, Thank You all for being there. I love you all and I wish you a very Happy 2015 ahead. Have an enjoyable New Year’s Eve tonight and Best Wishes!

let’s get started!

This probably comes late, but I saw this tree post-Christmas as well. I thought that it looked really nice, the way the brightly-coloured presents at the base of the tree complement the ribbons decorating the tree or how they contrast against the dark green of the tree itself. Anyway, merry belated Christmas!

20140102-214021.jpgAs reality slowly sinks in that we have officially left 2013 behind, as much as I bemoan the fact of the rapid passage of time, I was reminded by a friend of the blessings that I’d received in the last year, especially towards the end part of the year. I know I ought to count my blessings, for all that I have received but I can’t help it. I want to change this part of me, to learn to appreciate the little things in life, not just as they happen but consciously feel grateful, and enjoy and breathe life and whatever it holds.

The beginning of the year is a time when people start making resolutions for the year. I’m deliberating if I should or want to. It isn’t that I have trouble keeping what I’d resolve to do, but a lot of things that I want to make happen are really major things that don’t exactly lend themselves to measurement. I think I still won’t pick up driving this year so there is no point putting that down again for the nth time.

Besides the tangible things that find themselves onto the yearly resolutions list and then get struck off, I also want to learn the concept of letting go, of things, of people, of perceptions, of all that have passed their season in my life. Trying to hold on to things like that just make me unhappy and miserable, as I constantly think and re-think things and never get out of the cycle of rumination.

the bar without a name

Happy 2014!

We have said goodbye to 2013 yesterday and today is a brand new year. Mixed feelings permeate me, even as I try to be more upbeat and embrace the new year.

Spent the new year’s eve with a group of friends chugging beers and indulging in sinful bar grub, in a familiar setting of a pub that we hung out at before, trading mindless talk interlaced with serious discussions amidst the buzz of the other revellers. It wasn’t too crowded or busy where we were, the rest of town were probably at the numerous big-scale countdown parties about, or perhaps some of them were out of the country on vacation, but it was comfortable. We had seats and did not have to squeeze and jostle with drunk merry-makers. But I really have lost the stamina to stay out late or lost the tolerance of alcohol. After some beers, I was feeling so tired and drowsy that I was so ready to close my eyes and drift off to slumberland. It was with much struggle that I hung on till half past one, then took the train home!

While I was in Hong Kong, my friend brought me to this bar somewhere in the Soho area. I can’t even remember the street where it’s at, and I think it has to be someplace where you visit based on memory of its location because there is no signage or a signboard of sorts. It is a bar that sits behind a black nondescript door, where a flight of stairs leads you down into a cosy and dimly-lit bar where you can barely make out what you are drinking/eating, save for some strategically-positioned lights overhead of each table.

We ordered an egg-white martini each. Or was it something else, earl grey? I can’t recall now. It tastes pretty decent, not weird at all despite me raising my eyebrows a little when I saw its name and ingredients.

20131230-215043.jpgIt is a strange thing that most drinking places in Hong Kong that I went to do not serve french fries. Maybe it was a conspiracy to keep me from sinful indulgences because my past ways of regular beer and fries were probably the reason why I was never really able to lose weight despite whatever attempts I make. So anyway, we were offered complimentary canapes, which is like some beet root with cheese tart. I quite like this but my friend felt that the beet root was a little too sour or bitter.

20131230-215049.jpgThis was the highlight for her, melted cheese sandwich.

20131230-215055.jpgIt seemed like the surface of the bread might have been pan-fried because it didn’t look just toasted, in fact it tasted crispy and that’s why I thought it might be more of fried. The melted cheese sandwiched in between made this whole dish really good and yummy!