The unplugged moment

I have a habit of plugging in to my music when I’m on the move. To kill boredom, maybe. 

One day, I decided not to plug in (maybe that day I wasn’t so bored) and I was in a cabin of the MRT. When I’m inside the train, I looked around me and suddenly realized out of 10 people, 9 of them are actually plugged in. I recalled a Tedtalk from Shawn Achor who was observing the outliers of the normal graph so I tried to observe the minority in the train. Yes, you guess it right, the ones who are not plugged in.

I noticed the minority on that particular day was 2 mothers who were taking care of 2 kids. The young kids were standing on the seats and playing. The smiles from the mothers and their kids were lovely. Taking a look at the ones who were plugged in (either listening to music or looking at their phone), there’s only one look, monotonous blank look. I bet they are engrossed with what they are looking or listening, hence that “serious” look. I know, because I’m aware I have that look when I’m thinking over my work on the laptop.

This morning, again, I’ve decided to unplug. Sitting in the taxi in silence, I saw the beautiful clouds in the sky and I heard the chirpy sounds of the birds. They were really beautiful, sending a hint of sweetness to my heart. The taxi uncle was complaining to me about how life has been tough and the riches are in the hands of the Top 20%, I wasn’t really affected from his negativity and in fact, I could even compliment him calmly for being the Top 20% richest as he revealed that he’s planning his emigration out of the country. 

As I was walking to the office, I was intentionally looking out for beautiful things around me and I saw the beautiful flowers which I’ve been missing out when I was plugging in. It’s the same sight everyday yet it looks different to me when I started to notice its beauty.

How many of us have the experience of rushing through things and doing things rather than noticing the beauty of the things in front of us? How many of us choose to disengage and find some entertainment to numb ourselves from the challenges in life which at the same thing, also numbing us from the beautiful nature around us?

I challenge you and I dare you today to go unplugged (no phone and no music) on the move or when you are alone. Look out for the beautiful things around you (not only hunks and babes) and tell me what you have found. I’ll be happy to hear if you would be happy to share in the comments. 

Struggles or blessings?

I had a conversation with my manicurist just now about how kids nowadays were so pampered and unappreciative at the same time. They were the lucky generation as compared to the time when I was young. 

I still remember, there was once in my childhood when my electricity was cut off due to our inability to pay the bill. I was still in school uniform and we had to grab our stuff in torchlight to stay in my grandma’s house. 

I wasn’t born in a rich family even though there was a part of my childhood when I was rather fortunate to have a maid in the past before my dad suffered losses in the business and our family income went down. 

While teens nowadays were planning for their post-grad holiday, I was worried back then about my ability to pay off the bank loan after I graduated. Economic times were bad, I was doing part-time work before I landed my first permanent role after 4 months of graduation. 

While teens nowadays were travelling with their family during the school holiday, back then I was part-timing earning extra income as a banquet waitress. 

While kids nowadays can ask their parents to buy them the latest gadget, back then I could only save up for the thing I wanted by giving part-time tuition. 

I was brought up in the environment when nothing comes for free and I have to earn it if I wanted something because no one could give it to me. Compared to the children nowadays, they are more fortunate than me yet I am thankful for the struggles I have to go through.

Because of these hard times in the past, I am not easily lured by the luxe life in the modern days such as becoming a millionaire, living in a luxurious house or having a high life. I won’t say I’m not ambitious because I still have my goals that I want to work on. I would say I am more down-to-earth and happy with the simple things in life because I appreciate these simple things more. 

While others are changing their branded items seasons after seasons, my very own Coach bag is still with me after 10 years (yes, the side of the buttons are mouldy, they are still usable). While my friends are talking about branded stuff, I felt foreign to it. To me, a $30 bag works just as well as a $3,000 bag and even better, I won’t feel the heartache when my bag is slightly dirty and that allows me to change seasons after seasons (more so due to wear and tear since they are not meant to last) without guilt. My very chic lifestyle without a high price tag. 

Had things started off on the high side during my childhood, the situation would be very different especially now when I have my own income. Don’t get me wrong, I do spend. I spent it more on educating myself (eg. paying $350 for an one-day course or paying for ticket to watch a good play), on my healthcare to make sure I recover well, on my holiday for a good immersion experience, on a good dining experience with my friends. I spent more to satisfy my soul than my material wants. 

I am thankful for my struggles and suffering in the past. They made me grounded and appreciative, more easily satisfied that life has offered me, leaving me more space to understand things around me. 

Childhood love

Today moments of pain / coldness from my childhood floats up to me, when I start to feel or find love from my childhood, I realised I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by love from my friends, teachers, neighbours, grand parents, aunties and uncles. At this point, my Achilles heel is still my family and my parents. 

Then I realised, in a situation of pain, there must be support of love coming from somewhere otherwise the person won’t be able to survive. Since the person (eg. Me) is able to survive, there must be sources of love which had been buried in the sea of painful memories. If one were to feel the love from the past once again, the healing starts. 

I’m not pushing to recover from my family entirely now, I’m trying to heal myself from the wounds that came up as and when they come and try to remember and strengthen the love memories I have in the past to help me with my now, my future and my wound healing. ❤️💓❤️💓

Happy with and without possessions

This morning I saw a professional looking woman sitting in a cafe. That’s the kind of person I would like to be. However, after reading the article “World’s Greatest Lover”, I realised even if I’m a professional woman but if I’m not happy, what’s the point of being one?

There’s so much one can consume can take from this limited lifespan. What’s important is to be happy with these blessings and in the process of accumulating more of these blessings, be happy about it. After all, the objective of this life is to be happy. Happy when u have it and happy in the pursuit of it when U don’t have it now. That’s the purpose of life isn’t it?

Harmonizing the mind and body

My mind keeps pushing me to go faster and achieve more. Yet my body just couldn’t do that. It could be due to my over stressed demands in the past, my body had deteriorated and I felt tired more easily. Yes, I have hypothyroidism.

I suddenly thought of the tortoise and hare story. The tortoise with its slow speed took a longer time to complete the race whereas the hare being blessed with its fast speed could easily complete the race at its own normal speed. If the tortoise were to compare itself with the hare, it would be miserable doing the race because it knew it will never win the race with speed. In the end, it still win the race not because it has been blessed with another ability but because it didn’t give up.

If the story were to end with the hare came in first without any disruption in the midway, does it mean that the tortoise has lost the race? Yes, it lost in terms of time order. Yet, the tortoise will still ‘win’ in its own terms when it had completed the entire journey nonetheless. Who says life winners has to be defined by the number of top medals? Finisher medals count as well.

Everyone is gifted with its own ability. When the mind keeps speeding up and the body can’t cope, it’s time to listen to the body and refocus on what the body can do instead of keep pushing it on what it can’t do. Train the body up for where it fits best and train the mind down to collaborate with the body.