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.

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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!

The journey of thoughts

It is not news that I generally am someone who is dissatisfied with many things in life. It’s a given that complaining is a national past-time, and me being a true-blue Singaporean, am also wont to complain all the time. It ranges from day-to-day trivial issues like crowded trains (what’s new), to slightly more serious matters like future plans. Well, the latter is relative, because to me that isn’t trivial but to another person it doesn’t mean a thing.

Anyway, I have always been told to learn to practice gratitude, appreciate what I have in life instead of being a chronic complainer. It is definitely something easier said than done, since being caught in the moment, sometimes it is just easier to vent and play the role of a victim. It is easier to blame the whole world for everything that went wrong, rather than to quiet the mind and consider all the other possibilities that could have been worse off, breathe and move on.

Recently, I have been trying harder than ever, to be appreciative. It is a journey no doubt, but I hope I will be able to proceed in a positive direction. I still am not happy with my life and every circumstance that have led to where I am today. I can complain till the cows come home and frown at every single item that I feel has caused me to envy another person.

But then, comparisons usually lead us nowhere. Sure, they may spur us to improve and probably at some point they will, but raising the quality of one’s life, is something that should be intrinsically-motivated rather than because we see something that we want to have just because someone else has them. Besides, envy and jealousy are hardly desirable feelings since they only leave you feeling bitter with another person or yourself.

And I also try to resolve to move on, move forward. We are all told not to look back too much, for the past has been cast in history and looking back and reminiscing on the good times can create a warm feeling, although sometimes these are felt on hindsight. But looking back and regretting what was done or not, leading to unhappiness, serves no purpose.

So what is the point of this post really? Nothing much other than to serve as a reminder to myself of what I thought I ought to do. It may be incoherent by some accounts but it’s just a way of ‘verbalising’ my thoughts and putting these ruminations into words. I’m just glad that Monday is almost over. More the next time…

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.

2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, it is almost the end of the first day of 2013, but we have officially stepped into a brand new year. Regardless of how reluctant we are (I am!) about moving forward into this new year that will see us aging inevitably, it is an undeniable fact that 2012 is now part of history that we can only look back on, so either we can choose to reminisce 2012 fondly or wistfully, or think about how nice it would be if we could go back to so-and-so times.

I made a big decision today! I resolved for 2013 that I wanted to deepen my yoga practice, not just to practice regularly but to move a step forward in it. Over the years of practice, no doubt I have seen and felt myself improving in terms of flexibility (I couldn’t even do a proper sit-and-reach for the fitness tests in school before) and strength, but I seem to have reached a plateau and still my alignment is still way off when I see my reflection in the mirrors of the studio. So today, I made a major investment into furthering my practice and working towards better alignment in yoga! It was a quick decision but it was really tough. Nonetheless, whatever I have spent on it, I don’t want to regret the expenditure and I believe that I won’t. *Fingers crossed*

Spent the night of New Year’s Eve at Hood with the UnXpected, along with S and her guy and his friends, and all of us welcomed 2013 together amidst an atmosphere of revelry and well-wishing, with the entire bar singing along to Auld Lang Syne in the first few minutes of the new year.

It was a little odd, to say the least. It isn’t the first time I have been out with couples flanking left and right, I’m no stranger to situations like that, but maybe on an occasion like New Year’s Eve, maybe that is one of the last things I would want to do. Well but at least that is an experience, and now I know how it feels so that in future I can relieve myself of such similar awkwardness. It is not easy for me, of all people, to come to terms with a good friend getting attached. Well, I have close friends who are attached or have got married along the way but maybe when I got to know them they were already at a stage of their lives where they are part of a couple, so that could be the difference. It is a fairly new experience that someone close is now in a different chapter of life, whereas I am still stuck at the same spot, or maybe moving in a direction entirely opposite to this.

For a while, I have maintained a distance, but I realised that only shows how possessive I am getting about my friends. I have to learn that friends, will always be… friends. I can’t expect that they will never get attached or married, because of course I wish too that they can find their happiness in lives with partners who will love and care for them. I just need to manage my expectations of reality better, and know how to deal with events like that happening. It happened, and it will happen with my other friends who are currently still happily single. And I don’t deny that even for myself, it will probably also be the same. So to quote the French, c’est la vie!

I am just glad that this time, I see the light faster, I think. As compared to a previous situation with another friend that involved a misunderstanding, that took years before the knot was finally unravelled.

Here’s wishing everyone the best in 2013. Like my post in FB, I want to live a life I love, and be kinder to myself. I have already began to do that on the very first day this year, so I hope everyone will also have a blast in 2013!

Happy 2012!

Hello everyone. It’s about half an hour to a brand new year, new beginnings and new what-nots. Have you psyched yourself for the new year?

I haven’t really. I never have been able to. Yes I am already home before the clock strikes 12 and I don’t know if I will even be awake to say hi to the new year when the clock reads 12 midnight because I am already feeling sleepy and tired. It kind of makes me feel like it’s the Chinese new year instead of January 1, because on most years during new year’s eve I will be out somewhere with some friends drinking. It’s fun to be out with a bunch of people revelling in drinks and stuff, counting down to the new year together and wishing each one well. But well, I guess sometimes it’s good to do things differently or perhaps we all just change.

This year, I spent the day out as usual. Since it’s a Saturday, I was as usual out early for class in the morning, then went to meet a friend for brunch at Arteastiq at Mandarin Gallery. After that I tried to do some shopping in town to also at the same time take advantage of the air-conditioned goodness of the malls but it got a bit too crowded and boring for me after a while so I went home for a little rest before heading out again for a movie. Caught the Matt Damon show “We Bought A Zoo” and I really quite enjoyed it even though I felt it was a tad slow and longer than its 123 minutes, then had a quiet dinner at Pronto by Al Dente.

I mentioned in a previous post how this year I’m really glad to say that I kind of fulfilled quite a number of the new year resolutions I set for myself, and going forward, in 2012 I will not be setting myself too many resolutions because I simply cannot think of too many things that I want to achieve. Of course there are still some but I don’t think I can list 10 this year.

Let’s just look at 2011. This year, I moved on from my job that was located in town for a job that is really inconveniently-located. Now I have to commute by bus to work, and it’s not a direct route, because it involves a change of bus and a further 10-minute walk. You’d think why I still decided to take on the job, well beats me. I still complain incessantly about my job because there are still flaws that I tend to pick on and also because I am never really content with anything. But still, I am thankful for this job that has let me travel to many places in the short 8 months that I have been with them, some cities which I have never been to and which on my own I doubt that I’d ever think of visiting. In 8 months, the job took me to Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Mexico City, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Delft. Let’s hope that the list will grow in 2012 but frankly I do feel the toil somedays from travelling. It really does take its toll on me even if I really enjoy travelling and have always wished for it to be a big part of my job. My dreams have now taken on a newer direction, and I will continue to work towards it if possible and let’s see if a miracle happens in 2012 that will take me onwards the path of my dreams.

When I think of giving thanks, I am always trying to learn to be appreciative of the people around me. I won’t profess to have a lot of friends but there are a number of them I keep close to my heart. Sometimes, due to my commitments locally and also the requirement to travel for work, I don’t get to meet up with them as often as I would have liked to, but I’m always grateful for them because they definitely help to make life an easier journey to get through. I know that friends are sometimes transient in nature. I have always felt that nobody sticks around forever but for those that stick around longer, thank you for being there. For those that have been there for a season or reason, thank you for being there before and probably one day when we cross paths again, we will still have fond memories of the past.

I didn’t stick to my original plan in 2011 to write more. I don’t know if I am or not because I don’t really keep track. But sometimes I’m encouraged if I know there are people reading what I’m spewing online. It’s like every writer’s dream for their words to be read, but this is not a blog with any specific focus; it’s but a recounting of events that occur in my mundane everyday life, occasionally peppered with some depressing thoughts of the author and pictures taken on-the-fly in Singapore or abroad. I love to write, and I love sharing photos of food I eat and the places I visit, but I don’t have any fixed direction where I want this to go. But still I write because it is a big part of me and it’s one of the little things that I enjoy. I guess sometimes we cannot be doing something we love and make a livelihood out of it; reality is reality and even in the midst of praying for a miracle we still need to be practical.

Nevertheless… I hope that 2012 will be a smashing year for everyone! May the new year bring lots of cheer, joy, prosperity and health for all of you. I hope to be able to travel to more places! Happy new year, and goodnight!