December 28, 2017

on the receiving end of rebellion

Mid-2018 will mark my 10th year in Service. 

And my oh my, what a long way I have come from that innocent young officer who once walked through the doors on my first day of work.

I admit that I wasn't the instant favourite. In fact, since I did pretty well in University, I kind of felt entitled -- like I wasn't supposed to be tasked with the "menial" tasks which I was tasked with; that I was worth SO MUCH MORE -- that I deserved whatever it is that I thought I deserved.

Thing is, just like in any organisation, respect is earned; and so is trust. 

And though I learned the hard and long way, at least I took the time to learn.

Now 10 years on, I find myself on the receiving end of rebellion.

I find myself being disappointed with the current breed/crop of officers reporting to duty. I keep thinking about why and how they turned out the way they turned out -- though I must admit that not everything is bad about them, no. They know leeways and loopholes and shortcuts of all sorts and some can be really smart when they put their mind over matter. BUT BUT BUT -- for "old timers" like myself, some successes cannot be reached via shortcuts. And no matter how "open to change" I am and should be about "evolution", there are some things which cannot be substituted, one of them being PURE HARD WORK.

Thing is, there's a grave misconception about "pure hard work". People think that people who put in pure hard work don't "work smart" because there are seemingly "smarter" and "shorter" ways to reach the intended result. But the thing is, if you are not "technically sound" about a particular subject matter you are tasked to, can you really work smart without going that extra mile i.e. putting in the extra effort? 

From years of personal observation, many of us don't think that putting in that extra effort is worth what it really is. Many perceive their hard work to be of no use because Service is so big so really, what is the point of working so hard anyway? Would anyone even care to recognise our efforts in any way?

But why must it always be about what other people think? What about what you think about yourself and how well-earned your money is? I know a thing or two about the importance of getting validation and how hard it can be, but it isn't an impossible feat. What I've learned in this past decade is that the harder I try to make others happy, the less happy I become with the end results. And I'm not saying that we should defy authority on purpose just to prove our worth - I'm just saying that for the most part, you should be yourself -- 

Speaking of which... I am not a rebel at heart and rebellion never looked good on me. To many, I may look like the perfect product of brainwash, whose life revolves around that " Perfect Life Checklist", who chooses to be "safe" and "boring" because I toe the line and conform to the norms of the society. 

The thing is, I'm HAPPY.

Has anyone ever wondered whether I am happy -- despite my seemingly "routine life" and "lack of richness" (i.e. money)? 

Have you ever felt liberated to not be in debt? To not be under the pressure of owning branded goods? To not compare how well your children are doing next to the next genius kid in town who can spell a 100 words at the age of 5? To feel ENOUGH? Have you?

If you haven't, then, you should really stop judging the way I live my life and my personal preference of "staying safe" -- because I have never questioned anyone's personal choices in life no matter how much I disagree. 

Because like I said before, I am HAPPY -- with my life -- the one I chose. So, I think questions about being hard working, and safe and boring should stop because it's bordering on becoming personal insult.


So, maybe I've digressed a little from the original intent of writing this post. 

But it feels good to get this off my chest. 

Because being at the receiving end of rebellion is no fun. 

Dealing with people who think that defying authority just to prove a point isn't fun.

And frankly, people who think that working hard is overrated are way too overrated.

At least I'm pulling my own weight. So, be thankful about that.

December 26, 2017

best decision ever.

Though I've gained a whole lot from motherhood (weight one of it, BAHAHAHAHA), there is one sure thing that I've inadvertently lost, which is my spontaneity.

I admit that I miss that part of me (sometimes), but most times, I'm more than happy to have the kids as the penultimate consideration in everything I do. They've become my check and balance of some sort and frankly I like it that way.

But, on occasion... I do let loose and let that much missed side of me surface. Like I did last weekend.

Last weekend was SO MUCH FUN! On a whim, we went roadtripping with my husband back to his place down south because he had some work commitments he had to attend to. And while he went to work, we had the time of our lives, just chilling and enjoying our time together. 

Also... just to support his event, I joined in the Fun Run and managed to get 3rd! And I also got a prize from the lucky draw! He wasn't biased, I promise! So getting 3rd was all my hard work and getting the prize was just my luck. Though I do think that he was secretly expecting me to get first place because we're both kiasu like that, haha. 

Well, anyways, we all slept in, ate out, played by the beach, dipped in the pool and sang and danced and sang again and though our lives was quite the moving circus, we would definitely do it all over again, I'm sure (though maybe we'll go by flight this time? haha).

And from the trip, there was a major take home lesson for me (especially); I learned to appreciate how much work my husband does to put food on our table and how much effort he puts in to just be home. It was a huge eye opener and I can safely say how proud I am of how well he's doing what he's doing. 

Making that decision on a whim was one of the best decisions I've made, ever!

And now that we're home, we can't hardly wait for our next family trip.

-- happening in 5 more sleeps! 

December 13, 2017

let me photograph you in this light.

“But when she is gone, those photos won’t show your children the women who was behind the camera. Take the photo. Messy hair, no make up or a dirty old t-shirt won’t matter to your children when she is gone someday.”

And just like that, it struck a cord and hit right home.

Not sure how other phones work, but the iPhone has a face recognition function and groups people according to how frequently they are photographed on the phone.

And guess what? 

I'm the only one right now without a folder... on my own phone!


I know some people think that I shouldn't make a big deal out of this... but when I realised that my sister (who is in Australia, by the way!) has a folder of her own, on my phone... I kind of think that things just don't add up. 

I'm with my family (mostly with my kids) almost all the time. We may not be on a perpetual high, forever having fun and we have our off-ish, ugly days... but there are days when I just wished that someone would take a photo of me and me with them, in the same way and with the same care that I take their photos with my children -- whether we (I) look good or not. And I'm really not talking just about my husband. I'm talking about the whole population of people around me also with gadgets of their own, capable of photo-taking.

Sometimes I watch short videos of other people with their babies/children on Instagram and catch myself thinking... "Hey, I did that too!"... followed by... "I wish someone took my photo too..."... And not so much because I want to share my joy with everyone unnecessarily but purely as my own keepsake...

 Some people also suggested that I take more selfies of myself and the kids if I think that having photos with them is sooo important, but really..., "No woman wants to look back at a lifetime of selfies.". So, yeah...

There are times when I wonder if I'm the only one who thinks that it's important that I'm in the photos (some, if not all) and whether I'm a freak for wanting to be part of that "documentary", which is our lives together... but I'm pretty sure that I'm not (?)

Do you think it's too much to want to be part of the life that you are part of?

And how do I solve this "problem" which is seemingly so important to me at this point in my life?

Just for the record, this is a great picture despite the circumstances we were in.

December 04, 2017

hello, my new old friend.

I've resigned to the fact that we can no longer avoid growing older. I've embraced that fact so well now, that growing older doesn't scare or bother me anymore -- in fact, admitting my real age kind of makes me proud.

I know people say that growing old is inevitable and growing up is a choice... and yes, to a certain extent, I do believe that you will only feel as old as you allow yourself to feel. However, I do also think that you cannot not grow up -- as in mature kind of grow up. And no matter how you avoid growing up, maturity will (should) come to you to change you and I think we've all got to believe that that is inevitable too.

Maturity changes a person -- and with that, a person's priorities changes as well.

I think the biggest challenge for those who refuse to grow up is realising that the things which were once so important to everyone of the same age group now no longer seem as important anymore. And the thing is... after we reach a certain age (like, 30, for example), there is no hard and fast rule about what should or should not be important as our circumstances are no longer the same.

We are no longer expected to be struggling to complete our undergraduate studies.
We are no longer expected to be married and have children because that is a highly personal choice.
We are no longer expected to have a 8-5 job because we're old enough to make those kinds of decisions.

And so... to say that another person's priority should be of more or lesser priority than ours is kind of wrong especially when there can no longer be an apple to apple comparison between us. We're no longer one and the same like we used to be.

Having said that though...

I admit that we have to, to a certain extent have a list of priorities... some of them being children, family and old friends... And even so... there are times when we just can't get our priorities right, right? 


Recently, an old friend of mine called another old friend of mine her "new old friend" and it got me thinking really hard about life and how far along we've come and how many people might be calling me as their "new old friend".

Every time someone tells me that I've changed, I tell them that life happened and there was no way for me to stop the change from coming. And inevitably, I would end up being that "new old someone" to that person because I am no longer the person they used to know.

Thing is... though there might be people regarding me as their "new old someone"... I'm frankly not as bothered as I thought I would be because there's just so much going on in my life right now... that I need to keep some other things (which may seem a little less important at this stage in my life) at bay. I feel this way because I too always try to make leeway and concessions for those I know who are going through alot of their own struggles in life... But still... this will always be misunderstood as not putting in enough effort into the relationship, wouldn't it?

Would it be a tall order for me to wish that at some point in life, things (like friendship) will just pick themselves up and we can all start afresh again at a better time when I'm not so busy refereeing the kids?

Or would I be dying alone without friends because I have become that "new old someone" in their lives?