Freedom?

In my almost 2 decades of being a crazy mayday fan, I have never really spoke to other cray cray mayday fans in depth before, aside from my sister and my ex-clients turned friends. Last night as i chatted with a really really nice Mayday fan. Super envy her because she really jets around for their concerts and even Jacky Cheung’s (one of the crazy things I want to do is to watch Mayday live in Taiwan)! She really has nothing to tie her down. That’s why now whenever I speak to others and topics like regrets and craziest things done pop up, I’ll say GO DO IT NOW! Problem with me is I have been talking and dreaming too much until now when I feel I want to go do it, I realize my hands and legs are tied by something called motherhood. As much as motherhood and parenting brings about other forms of happiness, we often mull about the ‘what ifs’. So, I’m slowly giving up on the ‘what ifs’. Instead, I ask ‘given my resources and situation, what can I do and how can I bring myself closer to it’

Been getting comments like ‘You are very free’ or similar more and more frequently now. To tackle all these comments I jokingly labeled myself as the ‘unemployed’. Truth is, I don’t see that I am very ‘free’. I have to handle the girls on weekdays, feed, bath and coach them, and still go tuition to earn some pocket money. Now house chores have become my territory because I was the one who ‘pok’ the part timers. I love baking, but because my life centers around the girls’ schedule, I seldom have prolong hours to bake since May. Even as I typed this, I am doing it while multitasking (shan’t dwell on what I am doing). My ‘free time’ are in the form of pockets. I do not have prolonged 2-3 hours of free time for me to do anything decent. No one wants to employ someone who only have pockets of ‘free time’. So I always say now, I live by the hour. But compared to some others, I’m considered lucky that my family is ready to help me (with some bit of nagging) when I really need time away from motherhood chores. Trust me, it is also not fun not being able to bring some ‘bread’ back for the household. You see people with double income buying second property and going for super almost budget free holiday etc etc etc (while we got to plan every single cent and scrimp on other things because we want to go holiday). But of course, the other point of view will also envy us. The comparing will never end.

I spend a lot of time on my phone because this is my outlet to the world and I do it during my pockets of time. I love going to the gym because it makes me happy and I get adult-to-adult interaction (other than my family). I survive on day to day positive vibes here and there while figuring out my next baby step in life.

When I’m ‘free’, it means I’m free to think, free to dream and free to do what I want. But now I don’t dare to think, dream nor do much. So, am I that free or not?

Ps: I post a lot on social media means that I’m still very much alive and very much happy. If I stop posting it means that I already have given up on the world. So don’t judge based on the posting

Advertisements

Share Love not bugs

The madness of CNY this year started really fast this year and as usual, I often find myself out of time in the midst of the madness. I like to bake for my loved ones because I believe home-baked goodies are much healthier because you know what goes into them. This year, I plan out my CNY preparation rather early and was all raring to go. The plan would allow me to have ample rest despite the madness. I even worked out the plan without compromising on my tuition schedule and the kiddos’ study schedule. But like the chinese saying, 人算不如天算 (God’s plans supercede our own), my plans were once again thrown out of the window (I seem to be having issues with keeping to plans these days).

Last weekend (1 week before CNY), the Mr fell ill suddenly. He was practically in bed the whole weekend, with very little appetite. He complained of tummy bloated-ness and body aches. Immediately, things like dengue, zika came to my mind. Then Monday came, thinking that after the weekend’s bed rest probably helped, he went to work, only to have to return home midway. Once again, his body was aching and his head was throbbing. That very Monday afternoon, little K came home and her temperature suddenly rose. She was also unusually lethargic. The lethargy went on for 3 days together with her yoyo fever with the whole package of stuffy nose, cough and sore throat. The Mr was given a few days MC for the aches and then finally, fake measles and little K missed 3 days of school, including her school’s CNY celebration. So, there you go, my plans to go workout to burn all my pre-CNY fats and to bake all my favourite goodies in bigger quantities (so I can share around more) all vanished! In place, I had to check on my two sick darlings, go through medicines battles, constantly temperature, cook meals and also be the comfort pillow for the little one.

Then as though I was not given enough responsibilities and worries, big K’s class had a sudden stomach flu outbreak. The kids are taken till one by one with symptoms like tummy pains, vomiting and diarrhoea. I was at maximum paranoia yet, the little girl refused to let me keep her at home. The last thing I want is to have a puking girl in the house. So, I had to load her up with lotsa probiotics and vitamins and hope for the best. Right now I am still monitoring her because last the day before 2 kids had to be sent home for the same symptoms.

This few days probably tired me out so much that last night I just KO-ed and completely DID NOT WAKE UP to check on little K’s temperature. There few days also got me very angry. Why? Well, the girls and the Mr study and work in a school setting respectively. For some reasons, the way virus and germs spread in schools in out modern and supposedly developed country can be very scary. It is so normal to hear kids sniffing and coughing and yet still being sent to schools. And all these are because parents find it hard to get leave to care for sick children or they can’t get alternative care for their children. To make matter worse, this is the festive period, everyone is rushing for time to get things ‘settled’. So, schools seem to be the best place to put the kids in.

I can completely understand. I myself was so tempted to put small K in school today because her fever seems to have settled so that I can have that 3-hour free time to go battle it out in supermarket like famine is coming soon (I really cannot figure out why CNY is like some war and we must go and stock up EVERYTHING!) But she is still coughing and wheezing. So, despite knowing she will pass the temperature taking at the entrance, I chose to keep her at home. So, what I am trying to say is, yes, I understand that sometimes we really need the kids’ school time to get our things done.

BUT what I am appealing is, can we try to wear a mask if we are sick and I mean kids, included? I think this will help a lot especially in a school setting. I know there’s this unsaid stigma about mask wearing in Singapore. And people will tend to avoid contact, but HEY, isn’t it the whole point? You want to avoid people so that the germs won’t spread so, doesn’t it make your job easier if people chose to avoid you?

I cannot stop scratching my head why our educated society has such primitive practices such as not covering the mouths when coughing and sneezing and not practising proper hand-washing (observation in the public toilets). I also cannot fathom why people feel guilt for missing work due to sickness (the Mr being one of them. He got sent back for wanting to return to work, despite fake measles being not contagious)

I can’t say I am a 100% practitioner of good hygiene. I was guilty of sending kids to school, not 100% well. But I think I will try to make it a point so that I won’t disturb other people’s lives through inconsiderate act. This CNY, my girl will be wearing a mask when visiting (if her fever completely subsided), if her coughing is still persisting. I will ask her not to cough in front of others or cover her mouth if she really can’t control (she has been taught about it all the time). Hand sanitiser will always be with me. We hate to miss the festivities but we will celebrate with some caution. So I hope everyone else will too.

And so 2017 is here

And so, we bade good-bye to another year, a year which I have once again, lived in a blur. That would be two blurry years already, according to my last new year entry . I guess that happens when one seems to have lost that goal in life. Once that vision is gone, one just floats through time. 2016, I am just glad you are over. It was a huge and impactful year for the family with both little ones started new milestones – one in her first year of formal education while the other a new year in a new school. The daddy had an accident that set the family back for quite a few weeks. I ended my business, as intended at the end of 2015. It was a year of too many incidents, too many disappointments, too many self-doubts, too low a confidence and too few pockets of happiness. To be honest, I am a little cautious with 2017. It just started with my Macbook Air crash on me when I wanted to start this blog entry, kinda says a little bit?

I do have plans for 2017 but I am approaching with a lot of caution. I have too many baggages in the mind. I need to sing like Elsa…Let it go. I no longer dare to just go head-on with things. I have changed. Right now, I can only think pragmatism because I realised to realise dreams, I need to be pragmatic — yes, it took me that long to realise.

I want to accomplish lot in 2017 but it would also mean I have to plan my resources and time properly. So the word , or rather, words I would give myself this year is

Discipline and smile at the littlest things

I need discipline more than ever and discipline has never been what I am good at. I need to learn to juggle things well and I am talking about many things. I want to live each day with no regret. Every minute and every second has to count. I smiled too little in 2016. It takes too much to make me laugh. I need to just smile and laugh as and when I want. I also want to bring a smile to people by doing the smallest things. I want to do my little bit to make the society a little warmer.

I want to make my 2017 different. I need to make that happen….

 

 
而你(我)的故事,現在正是起點⋯

Battle against the sun

UNBEARABLE has become an understatement for the extent of heat we have been experiencing for the past weeks. Apparently our dear weather is not letting us off that easily. With the heat expecting to go up to a sweltering 35 degrees, I can’t help but to frown at the darkening arms. My face is generally still safe (except for the specks of freckles that I attribute to genetic reasons) as I seldom leave home without the good old sun block and BB Cream of at least spf40. But my arms are miserably 2 times off the skin tone of my face! So I formally declare war against the UV rays with the following weapons! 

 1/ My $2 pair of arm sleeves that I got to put on wherever I drive. I have two pairs of these but I have never felt obliged to wear until these few weeks
2/ my SPF 75 Sunblock spray! That means a 7.5 hour protection and I love to use sunblock spray on my arms because I can reach the back of my arms easily. However l, hate the greasy feeling of sunblock of any sort in my body , so I only spray on the exposed skin between the sleeves and my top.  

  
 

Another brand of UV spray that i like. This one is much lighter but SPF is lower

 3/ My ultra Visor! Because I wear glasses, I can’t really put on really cool shades. This UV protect visor is a must-buy and should-buy from Daiso! Cheap and very good! It basically protects the whole face from the harmful rays. 

  
 4/ Shades! Of course! I have the clip-on ones and the aviator-wannabe one! This pair is worn when I am having my contact lenses day. 

  
 There you go! Some of my must-haves to go on the battle to block as much of the harmful UV rays as possible (the fear of aging is real)!! I am really crossing fingers for days with less harsh sunlight but from the look of things, I have a feeling it’s only going to get hotter. 

Harlow 2016

Just when I thought it’s time to sit down and reflect and review like what I have done yearly, I realised this so-called tradition I was supposed to have was not quite the tradition after all. As I looked through the archives, I realised that I DID NOT MAKE ANY ENTRY for the year 2015…to my horror! No wonder I have this weird after taste for the year 2015. My last new-year-related blog entry aka New Year Resolution was made in December 2013 for the year 2014! And I have absolutely no idea why I did not made any resolution for the year 2015. Now I kind of understand why 2015 seemed like a strange year despite being so eventful.

Here I am, sitting here in front of my laptop, furiously trying to recall my 2015, I could only remember clearly (without scrolling through my camera roll) the following:

  1. The passing of our founding father
  2. SG50
  3. GE 2015
  4. Kay’s birthday party
  5. Japan holiday

I think I also remember how busy the Mr had been the whole year and that even on holiday, I could not quite feel his presence with us. I think the same could be said for him about me. Honestly, I couldn’t even feel my own presence.

I remember a lot of emotions, a lot of crying and a lot of reflections. I know I smile when the kids were around but I can’t remember when was the last I truly laughed. That’s why I turned to watching Taiwanese variety shows to laugh till I tear.

In conclusion, my 2015 was a rather blurred vision. I am sorry friends that when we met up, you might have felt my absence despite my physical presence. but I think I was a little better towards the end of the year.

Now, in the quiet first night of 2016, I finally can pen down what I really feel about the passing 2015. I think I was very very lost, in the midst of events, in the midst of self-doubt and in the midst of uncertainty. Up until 31 December 2015, I was still extremely low in morale, in complete disinterest in welcoming the New Year because I think 2016 would be the same. Nonetheless, I am pretty glad 2015 is gone.

However, despite the bleakness I have painted about 2015, I have unknowingly made a few decisions. Decisions that I am afraid to execute but I got to do so in 2016. Some decisions will be sad while some would be exciting. Some will also means doing what I do not wish to do. Nonetheless, despite know that I must, I fear.

Then somehow, my favourite band got to release their new single on this very day — on the day of this brand new year — and at probably my lowest point in life. I heard the first version by the singer for whom they have written the song for and couldn’t stop tearing. Their version today just overwhelmed me. I wondered, HOW ON EARTH DO THEY KNOW I NEED THAT!

I really can’t say much about my new year resolutions because I really am very afraid of making any because I am very afraid that I can’t realise any one of them. But I know I will live by what the song preaches

BRAVENESS aka 勇敢

Every decision I will be making needs that courage and the never-say-die attitude. I need to remember to stand up when I fall and fight harder after that.

So here it is, my cliche entry about the New Year. I shall leave you with the MV of my personal anthem for 2016 and the beautiful words from the song.

勇敢 (Hokkien)
詞:阿信 | 曲:怪獸 | 編曲演奏:五月天 | 導演:鄧勇星+詹凱

敢講這是失去希望的時代
敢講這是失去期待的所在
敢講咱一世人只有忍耐 只有憤慨 只有無奈
只有目屎無人知 吞落腹肚內

看到心願慢慢變成不甘願
才知期待未當靜靜的等待
不管咱是天才抑是奴才 只有拼著 所有氣力
挑戰無情的世間 一天一冬 一世人到永遠
一遍擱一遍

不知影 誰在安排 命運好歹 一人攏一款
有時陣 想欲放棄 想欲怨嘆 想欲流目屎

等一天 黑暗過去 苦盡甘來 人生滋味才了解
為著彼個將來
要自己 勇敢再勇敢

若有一天若我消失在世間
若有我的故事給誰人熟識
不管阮是成功抑是失敗 我的名字 號做勇敢
唱作美麗的歌曲 一字一句 一世人到永遠
一遍擱一遍

不知影 誰在安排 命運好歹 一人攏一款
有時陣 想欲放棄 想欲怨嘆 想欲流目屎

等一天 黑暗過去 苦盡甘來 人生滋味才了解
為著彼個將來
要自己 勇敢再勇敢

風無情 雨無情 命運也無情
若有膽 若有心 風雨算什麼
飄浪一生 就要攀過 最高的海浪

不知影 誰在安排 命運好歹 一人攏一款
有時陣 想欲放棄 想欲怨嘆 想欲流目屎

等一天 黑暗過去 苦盡甘來 人生滋味才了解
為著彼個將來
要自己 勇敢再勇敢

 

PS: The first version was sang by a Hokkien singer, it was a very touching version too.

 

 

 

Wow! We have a strike!

Abt that strike by bus drivers, really find it very laughable when I read the comments by typical Singaporean. Sometimes it’s not as simple as foreigner taking jobs away.

Ask! Why do we even need the 117 of them in the first place? Profit-driven? Or an attempt to meet demands of Singaporeans to have good bus service without going into a loss and at the same time, be profitable?

Ask! Why can’t we employ more local bus drivers? Are you willing to work such a job with a diploma or degree or any cert? Are you willing to pay even higher bus fares?

Ask! Why do these Chinese ppl even come to drive our buses? Call me a dork, I was shocked to even learn that they are living in a dormitory, like those banglashi building our houses. I thought they will rent flats, rooms etc etc. Honestly I find them silly to even come to be hated by us. In China, bus drivers or any drivers are called 师傅 (master), not even 司机(driver). So much more respected. They come simply because they want a better lives for themselves. Just like how some ppl backstab others for own gains so that they can have a better lives too! At least bus drivers have more integrity.

That’s why I find the comments laughable. Just shows how spoilt we are. Here we are trying to fight for minimal wages for locals, at the same time, we laugh at bus drivers who help us commute from places to places and ignore their rights.

I’m not trying to take sides. But I always believe in questioning the WHY. When things happen, and somehow rather we are tempted to take sides and do the ‘blame’ game (how typical!), and Singaporeans can do it very disproportionately.

Like all humanities student, I know there’s always the flipside of the coin. the English communication issue raised in this strike is quite disturbing. Why are we having bus drivers who can’t speak English. I have a friend who works in Belgium, his company gave him allowance and time to learn Belgian. To me, that’s the basic a foreign employer should do…. Ya I know…. Cost!

Next, they should never go on strike. It’s against the law, period!

Then it’s the issue of ambition. If you can’t manage the cost or even demand of consumers, then stop hogging the public transport or even make it so big that you can’t manage. Why not we do it like overseas, have schedules and standardized routes instead of bus numbers. I bet we have the most number of bus numbers, routes, busstops in the world. Then we can have less heart-stopping moments of ppl chasing after buses cos normal (i know there will be those habitual ‘down-to-last-minute ppl) people can plan their time based on the bus schedule. I’m not a bus service expert, but I hve always like system in Japan, esp their long haul bus service. They never depart until its time or rather, they will always depart on time.

It’s going to be interesting to see how things will end up now when the diplomats are in action. Tricky terrain ahead for the employers as well as the government…. Hmmmmm

About being handicapped and using strollers …

 

I am sure many of us recognise this sign and understand what it means. Just like many years ago, there was a debate on where non-handicapped people can use toilets meant for handicapped user. I have been wanting to rant a little on this but somehow things haven’t irritated me to the extent until yesterday when we went to 112 Katong.

I do not have any mobility issue but being a mother of two, a stroller or pram is obviously one of our must-haves. I HATE TAKING LIFTS in Singapore with a stroller. It simply pains, or rather, irks me when I see an elevator-load of healthy people with arms and legs intact, prefering to smell each other’s breath to exiting the lift so that people who really need the elevator can use it. That’s why I would rather carry the kids and let the helper maneuver the stroller up the escalator. BUT yesterday, we had no choice because the big K was sleeping in the stroller. Made a complete mistake of putting her in the stroller first. So, having no choice, we had to try our luck with the lifts, or rather lift. Well, to nobody’s surprise, we saw about 2-3 fully loaded elevators passing us by. What amused me most was the look on the faces of these people in the lift when the door opened. They will use their fishball eyes to stare at you and your sleeping kid in the stroller, either looking blur, indifferent or simply, guilty. So, feeling pretty indignant, as many have said, NEVER anger a hungry woman, I started to question if the elevator was design for everyone’s use. HAH! Good question asked and my gut was right. There was a handicapped sign on top of the elevator buttons. SO TINY that I fault no one for missing it. Then I also started to question, MAYBE it’s because I was pushing a stroller and not a wheel chair! The stroller looks different from the logo! AH! Maybe ah! But I recalled a while back at the same place, I was waiting for the elevator with a wheel-chair bound lady , the same thing happened! She was the one who said, ‘it’s ok, let’s wait for another one’. While I was the guilty one, trying to take an elevator as well. Anyway, my patience was so pathetic that I went to take the escalator.

Whose fault it is in this case? The stingy management who refused to plaster the logo high and BIG in the faces of users? The wheel-chair bound people who made themselves wheelchair bound? Parents who chose to have kids and being too lazy to carry their own kids? At this time and in this present societal state of Singapore, I actually don’t know, ya right!

So having said that, I think I MUST REMIND MYSELF to make a conscious effort to always get out of the lift if I see anyone needing the space.

PS: Perhaps if any management who happens (unlikely though) to see this, can also add the following logo? In case people really think strollers are objects that can easily fly up the escalators.