Friday, March 30, 2012

Keepsake for my girl

My eldest girl turned 14 yesterday. I can't believe I've been a mom for 14 years now. This year, I give her a little keepsake. Something that she can keep and remember me by forever. I don't know whether it's age that does that to me, or experience, but suddenly I have this urge to start this tradition. As a friend said once, "there is no guarantee that we'd still be alive next week", so while I live, I'll do something the kids will appreciate later.

An aquamarine pendant, and a white-gold-coated silver necklace seems like a suitable gift for my girl. It is supposed to be good for health and self-confidence. I can only wish that the future will be good for her, and that she will have strength to walk through her life come what may, for I know that I can't never wish for an easy life for her. Happy birthday my girl.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Freedom can be tiring

These past few weeks, I've had to deal with the apartment issues (from terminating the tenants who hadn't paid the rents for a few months to preparing it so that it is clean and homely enough to welcome the new tenants). At first it felt quite wonderful to be able to play 'the boss' and decided on many things on my own. But the joy wore out after a while. The thing is, the job, as it unfolds, is quite taxing, not because of the big things, but the little things like deciding on the colours of the wall and the curtains. Serious. Even deciding between shades of blue to paint the wall can be quite tough. My indecisive nature doesn't help either. Anyway, I realized from this experience that I rather be doing thing as a team than on my own. All this while I have the hubby as a team mate, so I decide that he's just the best team mate I could ever ask for.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On being judgemental

Religious people are judgemental. No? Yes? Maybe? But lately I seem to come across so-called religious people who are very judgemental I'm starting to wonder seriously if religions make them so, or is it just them. Christians, Muslims, whatever religions- this seems to be a universal thing. The church goers who talk about God's salvation every chance they have, the people who never miss solat 5 times a day- I really couldn't connect them to the personality of judging other people, quite harshly at that! But that's what they do, sadly. Maybe when one thinks one is doing everything the religion demands of oneself, one is already perfect. Perfect enough to be given the licence to judge...

Too bad. No one is perfect. Thus, no one has the right to judge especially when that judgement is meant to destruct. I never claim to be religious but I do believe in "let him who is without sin cast the first stone".

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday Blues

My monday blues are always delayed to Thursdays, I notice. It's just that I never really did think of it until today. Waking up feeling like there's a big lump on my chest, I blamed it on the stressful two weeks of preparing to get ISO certification at the office, chapter writings and domestic duties (that proved to be quite heavy when the hubby is not around). I sat on my computer, uttering a silent thanks because today hubby is around to take the kids to school. It means a lot to me because it gives me the much-needed extra 2 hours to look for journal articles for my chapters, or to just play with some ideas...I felt hungry but found that I couldn't stomach any food. Ended up drinking a mug of 3-in-1 tea.

At 9am I was at the office preparing to get some materials photocopied for my students. The first class was to be at 11am and from past experience I know that they always come without the textbook. I went to my favourite photocopier at Kingfisher Park, which turned out to be not as favourable today. The new worker told me she needed an hour to get the 30 sets times 10 pages done despite the obvious non-existence of other customers. Usually they could do it in half an hour.

Unsure what to do to kill the time, I walked around the place. The pain in my chest grew worst, and I felt the start of a headache. "Could I be having a heart attack?", I wondered. Suddenly I had a flash of imagination of myself fainting in class, in front of new students, on the first day of class. "This cannot be", I whispered to myself. The embarrassment would be too great to bear.

By some coincidence, I ended up in front of a clinic- just opened and patientless at that. I let myself in and before I knew it, I was being attended to by a doctor. I told him about the pain on my chest. He did some exam, asked about my medical history, and decided that it wasn't a heart attack but a bad case of wind. He prescribed me some medicine for wind and asked me to go have my breakfast. Phew, false alarm.

Later when I thought about it, I decided that it's the blues that always come on Thursdays. On Mondays I am normally most rejuvenated, thanks to the weekends, and because by some weird coincidence, my Monday classes always consist of cheerful, good students (could they be rejuvenated like me too?!). By Thursday the energy has depleted and the blues come...and it's no wonder I felt like I was having a heart attack!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

so hit the bottom of the well if you have to,women

Remember what John Gray (Mars & Venus) says about women, well, and wave? Sometimes I forgot, but when the wave comes over me and I felt like I am hitting the bottom of the well, I remember, and I am glad I understand what is going on now. If I hadn't read his book, I would still be struggling to understand my ups and downs.

Wave is like a woman's natural cycle of ability to give and receive love. When she feels loved and full of energy, the wave is stable and she can give her love fully. But when she doesn't receive the same amount of love, support and understanding as she gives, that's when the wave begins to grow until it eventually crashes. She needs to hit the bottom of the well before she is rejuvenated and able to give unconditionally again. This is when the man's role is very important. He needs to support her in such times, not by giving solutions, but simply by listening, and assuring her of his love.

Gray says that men find this hard to understand and are often feel threatened when women 'fall into their wells'. Men do not understand women's need to be assured of love but surprisingly giving those simple gestures may save the relationship. If a woman doesn't get to experience the cycle in a natural way, and tries to act like everything is normal all the time, she would eventually feel numb, has no more to give and that can eventually break a relationship.

So, feeling like doomsday is coming is normal. If your man understood this, that would be a bonus. If not, bear with it and say 'tis too shall pass'.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The ICT course

Because I wanted so much to learn something fresh and different from my routine, I enrolled for a free course at AMC Business School last week. Excitedly I responded 'yes' to the sms when it was sent to have the enrolment confirmed. Wednesday 6-9.45pm and Thursday 6-9.45pm. "Just nice", I thought. On the first course day, I verbalized a long list of instructions to the kids, making sure that they'd behave while I was gone. Then off I went to the course at 5pm, on the dot.

The lady at the counter was very helpful, but seemed puzzled when I gave her my name. "Yes, I did register for MS Excel", I insisted. She politely asked me to recheck my inbox, just to make sure. "Oh no, it is MS Access!" I heard myself exclaimed. The lady smiled and cheerfully suggested that I gave it a go. Thinking that I have come all the way to the place, fighting a heavy jam when it was actually only about 5km from my office, I decided to heed her advice.

At 5.45pm, I was comfortably seated at lab 4, waiting for the instructor to come. 6.50pm and I was still on my own. Finally, realizing that I was being unusually early, I went downstairs for a drink. When I came back at 6.05pm, the instructor was waiting for the software to download on each PC, and there were about 4 students waiting.

At 7pm, the software was still downloading. By then there were 12 students waiting. We were given meal coupons and half an hour to have our dinner. Thankfully when we came back the PCs were ready to go! 2 hours on the first day was spent on waiting...but at least the remaining session was spent wisely on the nuts and bolts of MS Access.

It might have been too basic. Something I could have done with a little bit of exploring on my own laptop, but on the second day I realized it wasn't wasted at all. It was good to have an expert explained things effortlessly, to discover functions that on my own, I'd have found confusing. Mission accomplished...I did something simple yet refreshing, and at the end of the day, I was rewarded with a certificate to show off!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Love Letter to My Loved Ones

Dear kids,
I might not die tomorrow, but I'm doing what wise people say to do before it's too late. I'm writing love letters. To you. Yes, to you! Of course you know I love you. Heaps and heaps. And because I love you, I scold you when you do something wrong. I even punish you when the wrong is too much. You don't like it but it's for your own good. One day when you are parents yourselves, you'll see the reason why it works.

It hurts me to scold you, to point out the wrongs you did. Oh how my heart bleeds. But somebody has to do it. Or else you'll end up being irresponsible adults in the future. Being responsible is one of the musts of living a meaningful life. Remember, each and everyone of us is placed on earth for a purpose. Says who? Says mom...and remember again, moms know things! They can feel things. They have an extra eye on the back of their heads (ah, you know it). You'll find the purpose of your life one day like I think I've found mine...that's the MAIN purpose. But apart from that, there is one common purpose we all are here- to love each other. Isn't it beautiful? Love heals dears. You better believe it. How, you'd ask. Because if you love, you are willing to understand why someone does something they do, and wouldn't get too upset for a long time even if what they do seem wrong. Especially when they do that to you.

Anyway, kids, I love you. Today I'm going for a three hour and 45 minutes course after office hours. That means I won't be home to help you with your homework. To nag you to have them done fast so you can rest before bedtime. Or to nag you to check the books you are supposed to take to school tomorrow. Or to scowl when you don't tidy up your stuffs (which most of the time you end up not tidying up anyway). I won't be home to give you dinner (so you'll have to clean up on your own- no excuses like having to go to the loo right after putting your dishes in the sink!).

But kids, you know what? I'm going to miss you! Silly billy mom huh? It's not a very nice feeling thinking that you're going to bed without saying good night to me even if you don't hug me anymore. I'm used to you not hugging me anymore. For some reason you stopped doing it because the culture you observe, I wonder? When I was little, my parents didn't hug me much- it's the culture I grew up in. But you shouldn't have had to stop. Touching is gives comfort. It makes you feel loved.

Hey I'm going to miss our home badminton session tonight! Don't hit the ball too high k. You might break something. I'll see you at breakfast tomorrow morning then. Sleep well tonight. Know that I love you heaps and heaps. And kids, do something for me too...tell your Dad I love him heaps and heaps too. Of course he knows that too but it's good to hear it sometimes! Take care dears. Love, Mom.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I still like what I do

In spite of the never ending tasks, the meagre salary and the mounting stress, I still like my job. No wonder I haven't left, after about 14 years in the same institution. For one thing I have a wonderful circle of friends that never let me down. As for the rest, I still find that the many hours of surfing for journal articles to read (not necessarily finding the time to read them all) give me indescribable satisfaction. And despite the pressure of deadlines for article submissions (talk about 'publish or perish" in the academic world), it is still a wonderful feeling to be able to complete one (and I have to remind myself that I have one that is long past the deadline now).

I find joy in discovering ways to make my students learn better, of putting together research facts into findings. And though I feel suffocated each time I have to deal with paperworks like ISO and MQA, or when I have to sit in committees to organize seminars and conferences, or when the boss gives me extra teaching loads on top of the already too much teaching load, I am way too strong that the feeling ceases to exist after awhile.

Oh yes I hate it when the authority overlooks me for promotions, but always looks for me to do things, citing the reason that I am experienced and capable, but perhaps as a friend says "one day someone will notice" and I'll get the promotion. At present, I am living in the present. I will do my job peacefully as perfect as I can, knowing that satisfaction is the one thing that will always be there for me. There, I've analyzed the reasons I stay on the job despite unfair treatment...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

One of the 50 things I want to do before I kick the bucket

When life gets too busy, one tends to forget to do the things one loves such as blogging. Maybe I should thank the little things that trigger the longing to write such as discovering that my dreaded ovarian cyst is back six month after the last operation. It might be unlikely that I'd die soon because of that, but it is enough to motivate me to try to do as many of the things I've been dreaming of doing for so long.

Attending ICT courses is top on the list. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have yet to learn a lot of sophisticated ICT things, even as basic as excel. And so come next Tuesday I'll attend the very first on my course list- excel level 1. It's a free course (government sponsored) conducted by AMC School Business. I'm quite looking forward to this.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's another new year

Welcome 2012. When I was young, welcoming a new year used to be a big deal. The feel of the 12am new year cold water on my face used to be really really special. For it signified another new beginning. It was easier when I was a schoolkid. The year before, at school end, everything ended. So the new year was really a new beginning. I remember all I ever worried about was getting new uniforms and stationaries. And of course fulfilling the parents' expectation of doing well in the school exams!

I wish life is still that simple. *sigh*. The older I get, the more normal another new year becomes. Leaving 2011 into 2012 didn't mean having finished everything, every single task of 2011. Maybe that explains the lack of excitement. I wonder if every adult feels this...or is it just me? If it is just me, I must be burning out!

Well, I'm going to try to combat this lack of excitement, with some positive thoughts. I'll be turning 39 in October. That means maturity. And wisdom. I'd be able to deal with situations better because of my previous experiences. And best of all, I can still incite excitement among the younger ones- that new year is indeed a special thing! A new beginning, an anticipation of great things ahead. Happy new year :)

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