Wednesday, 31 January 2007

My Guinea Pigs

Today I saw this quote by actress Demi Moore:
“I say all the time to my daughters, “Bear with me” and “I’m sorry you’re my guinea pig” because I’ve never been right in this place before. This is my first time’

How right she is! I do agree with her.

As a mother of two teenage boys, I face all kinds of new situations everyday.
Do I know what to anticipate? Do I know the best way to handle tantrums?
Do I know how to deal with their insecurities and angst?
Noooo! I don’t! But I try my best.

My friends who have teenage children are just as bewildered as I am.
We exchange stories and scenarios…all uncannily similar.
Then we wonder if we have gone wrong with our style of mothering.
Have we pampered them too much? Should we show more tough love?
Are we doing things right? Maybe it’s just a phase?
Well, we don’t know because we are learning too.

They are my guinea pigs.

I think as long as we teach them the right values, be a good role model, show them you love and care about them, they should turn out ok.

Finger pointing

BLAME is a dirty word. I really dislike this word.

This morning, my son put on his school uniform and found a button missing.
He blamed me for not fixing it earlier despite telling me about it the day before.
We were already running late. Everyone got into the car and sulked all the way to school.

I went to work feeling upset and blamed him for ruining my morning.
As the day progressed, I started to blame myself for not teaching him manners.
Then I blamed myself for not training him to be independent.

The point here is, we are quick to blame others for anything that goes wrong.
If a marriage fails, we blame our ex-spouse.
If we don’t do well in our test, we blame our teacher for setting a tough paper.
If we don’t get promoted at work, we blame our boss for giving us a poor appraisal.
If we are too fat, too skinny or not smart enough, we blame our genes.

The more I think about that word BLAME, the more I detest it.

Do we even reflect on our own actions before pointing our finger at the next person?

From now on, pause and reflect before we blame others.
It could be our own fault.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Don't give up!

I just came back from my evening run.
It was a good run but it almost didn’t start out that way.
Today is one of those days that I didn’t feel like running.
I usually enjoy sweating it out after a day at the office.
But on days like this, do I skip my training?
I try not to…because it is simply too easy to give up.

I get my bum off the chair, put on my running shoes and start walking…
then I pick up speed and I am rolling along… there’s no stopping me!
I felt so good after the run.
It was easy, wasn’t it?
How can I even think of giving up earlier?!

Sometimes we give up too easily. We don’t even give ourselves a chance to try.
If a task looks too challenging to accomplish, break it up into smaller parts.
Start by taking baby steps.
Soon you will be making bigger strides.
Before you know it, you’re confidently forging ahead.

So do yourself a favour, don’t give up just yet.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
And again…

Sunday, 28 January 2007

The Right One

Some people are happy being single.
They don’t need someone to complete their lives.
Sometimes they scoff at friends who start talking mushy and for losing their personalities.

I was once like that. I had wanted to live to a ripe old age all by myself, doing the things I like.
I could see the world at my own pace.
I could eat and sleep anytime I like or dress anyway I fancy.
I didn’t have to seek approval to go on vacations or attend a party.
I didn’t have to tiptoe around someone who's in a foul mood.
I thought having a partner would impede my life and invade my privacy.

I could be wrong. The right one may not be that elusive after all.

The right partner does not impede your life, or invade your privacy.
The right partner gives you room to grow, yet is there to support you.
The right partner complements you instead of getting in your way.
The right partner gives you compliments when it is due.
The right partner points out your mistakes in a constructive manner.
The right partner will not find you bothersome.
The right partner will not bully you.
The right partner will not boss you around or yell at you.
The right partner loves having you around.
The right partner is joyful to be around with.
The right partner knows how to compromise.
The right partner shows you how to love and forgive.
The right partner makes you feel loved.
The right partner can be far apart but is always close to your heart.

The right partner brings out the best in you.

A Splendid Sunday

We had a splendid Sunday.

In case you're wondering...

Nope, we were not shopping at the biggest mall in the city.

We didn't lunch at the longest buffet in town.

Nor were we checking out the latest car model at the showroom.

Heck, we were not even at the newest megastore.

Or trying to grab tickets to watch Crazy Horse.

We spent the breezy Sunday afternoon sitting by the reservoir.

We watched the gentle ripples on the surface of the water.

We listened to the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind.

We watched white fluffy clouds move across the sky.

We felt the warmth of the sun on our skin and the cool wind in our face.

We heard the joyful sounds of kids playing in the far distance.

We were mesmerised by the melodic sounds of birds chirping.

We did not travel the distance to enjoy the serenity.

Just a nice tranquil afternoon at the park nearby.

No planes to board.

No need to squeeze through throngs of people.

Nor fight for parking space.

No need to wait in line for food or taxi or payment.

You should try it sometime too.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

A simpler life

Today, I heard about a close relative who had almost passed out during a meeting at work.
A visit to the hospital revealed that he has a blocked artery in the brain.
A successful entrepreneur with business spanning across Asia Pacific, he has everything going for him. He is at the prime of his life but right now, he is probably reorganizing his priorities.

Today, my best friend was talking about her customer who had just passed away. He was a director of a large MNC in the semi-conductor industry. He was only in his fifties and had climbed his way up the corporate ladder in an extremely competitive industry. He had probably devoted his entire life to work and was looking forward to his upcoming retirement.

We all know a person or two who left us too early.

These were people who had slogged all their lives chasing their dreams. They were the same people who thought they could travel the world some day or see their grandchildren grow up.

This is a wake-up call. Today, I have decided to reprioritise and to simplify my life….

I will eat simply. I will feed my body with more healthy and natural food.
I will live simply. I will stop acquiring unnecessary things that will clutter up my life.
I will spend more time outdoors, take more walks in the parks and rediscover nature.
I will take better care of my mind and body though adequate exercise, rest and relaxation.
I will travel to see the world.
I will chat with mum more often.
I will play like a kid when I am with the kids.
I will catch up with old friends.
I will listen more and talk less.
I will be more tolerant of myself and of others.
I will smile more and frown less.

And the list goes on….

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Today's lesson...

I get off work every evening, endure slow moving traffic and arrive home feeling drained.

As I step out of the car, my dogs do a welcome song and dance routine for me, every single time!

They sprint across the yard to greet me, their tails wagging enthusiastically.

What a joy to see them! It never fails to lift my spirits.

Dogs always greet you with a happy face, whether they’ve had a good or bad day.

Dogs do not bear grudges. You can ignore them for days and they will not show an attitude.

Dogs are loyal. They stay by your side through the good and bad times.

Dogs are non-demanding. They don’t seek attention but they will come when you need them.

Dogs love you unconditionally. They do not ask for anything in return.

Dogs do not complain and whine, nor do they ever blame you when things go wrong.

Now, shall we learn a lesson or two from our dogs?

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

My best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time

I read an article in the newspapers. The reporter interviewed a prominent philosopher. She asked what makes him happy.

His answer was surprisingly simple but meaningful.

Hearing the happy sounds made by his wife and children downstairs, while he is working in his study upstairs makes him very happy and contented.

I have forgotten the name of the philosopher but I always remember his words.

I brought out the topic for discussion with CH who said “Shouldn’t he be happier doing things together with the family?”

I argued, “But he is WITH the family. He’s doing his work (which he enjoys), knowing his family is around him having a good time.”

To illustrate my point, I even dredged out an example….Remember that afternoon while we were vacationing at the idyllic Loola Resort? We were sitting outside our beach hut. You were reading your book while I was sitting nearby looking at the busy sea creatures moving about below? That day, we were not doing anything together but wasn’t it very blissful? He smiled in agreement.

On days when I am busy working in my room, I like hearing the sounds of my boys laughing and talking outside, knowing they are happy and well.

I’ve noticed how my dear friend, Viv, settles down in her comfy couch to watch Stargate together with hubby in the evenings. It’s a picture of marital bliss.

Through the years, I have discovered that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and yet have the best time. We always end our rendezvous on a high note.

It’s wonderful if you can do things together with your family and friends. But sometimes, it’s perfectly alright just being around them, not doing anything together in particular.

So, don’t kick yourself if you are not as passionate about football as your hubby or if you don’t enjoy slaying monsters with your kids.

Just be your happy self, be with them… that is good enough. They’ll appreciate you for just being around.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Behind every cloud is a silver lining

Isn’t it strange how some days are just so achingly slow while other days simply zoom by?

24 hours can pass by in a blur but a lot must have happened in one day.
In my haste to get through the day, I have failed to notice that my African Violet has sprouted new flowers overnight.
And that we are finally having clear blue skies again.
I have also forgotten to thank my colleague for watering my plants and my best friend for her quick morning chat.
And I didn’t take the time to marvel at the beautiful artwork my son had painstakingly created....
or even notice how much taller he has grown.

I can’t turn back the clock but I can start to appreciate the people and things around me.
Before I say goodnight to all my loved ones every night, I am going to take a moment to reflect on my day.
I must be thankful for all the good things, even simple things.
If a situation didn’t turn out they way I had anticipated, ask myself why?
There is a reason for everything….
and I know behind every cloud is a silver lining.