Thursday, March 28, 2013

A tale of three friends.

Does it really?  When I saw this, I wondered and it got me thinking. Are we where we are now because of what we did before?  Or is it pre-destined and everything that happens was supposed to happen.

I'm always curious about people who began from humble beginnings and then end up somewhere else so totally  opposite of where they came from or vice versa.

Often when I am travelling, I look at faces of people and I wonder where they were born and what they do for a living.  It's just something I did to pass my time.  When I see a family in a car or another face in a bus that has pulled alongside our bus or even when I'm in a plane, when people hardly look at each other, I browse the sea of faces, as they walk pass and I wonder.

When I used to travel every other weekend, the long journey often gave me plenty of time to think and now that I am retired, I've taken that habit to a whole new dimension which brings me to this tale.

There were three women.  Each of them grew up in what was  known as notorious areas.  About 50 years ago, Tiong Nam (Chow Kit), Petaling Street (Chinatown) and Masjid India (Little India) were already places that people didn't hang around, alone, at night.  It was not considered safe.  Yet three women grew up in those areas respectively and came out of it unscathed by the 'dangers (drugs, gambling, prostitution etc)' that lurked behind every corner.  When people mention about the lily that grows out of mud and not being contaminated, I always think of the three women!

What did they do in order to end up in the same office when they were in their 40s?  What brought them, at about the same time of their lives, together?  Three friends with three years age difference separating the youngest, the middle one and the eldest.

Another co-incidence was that all three had two sons.  Their birthdays fell in March, April and May.  Physically, all three were different.  Emotionally, they bonded like blood sisters.

The strange thing is that if anybody looked at them and wondered where they had come from, no one would have guessed right. 

All three, in my opinion, were intelligent, loving and giving.  Despite the different exposure and upbringing, the three got on very well with each other.  Yes, there were some moments when any two of the three didn't see eye to eye but that rarely lasted long.

The friendship thrived during those years and eventually each went their separate ways.

For me, it is an amazing tale of three friends with dissimilar backgrounds, that destiny brought together.  Three different women who became friends.  Good friends, I should add.

Life is truly interesting and amazing.  Unplanned and unexpected but altogether making for an incredible tale.  For me, this was one of them. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A step back in time...

Pic from FB

It's not with sadness or pain anymore when I think of Douglas.  I couldn't let the day go by, without any mention of this anniversary.  

My early years with him were filled with so much love and he left enough to keep me going till the next special person came along.

Often, I'd have a sense of him watching and nodding in delight at how well we have managed.  I like to think that we made him proud.

I'm taking a quick step back in time just to remember all the beautiful moments and memories, today.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Pic from Facebook

Yesterday was an incredible day!  Since midnight, wishes for me came via calls, smses, emails, messages and comments.  What is awesome is that they came from all over the world!

Of course, the bulk of the wishes were via Facebook.  I really enjoyed the attention and also the time taken by each person to do something.  It really made me feel special and that's how it should be.

Throughout the day, I received blessings upon blessings from family and friends wanting only the best for me.  Even at 54, the excitement doesn't get stale.

When I was overwhelmed by the intense love and feeling a bit embarrassed by some spectacular messages, I was constantly reassured that I was deserving.  What's that they say about a cup overflowing???

Who you are is enough.  People will know you and they will love you. 

At the end of the day, if you are true to yourself and you can say to yourself, "who I am is enough", you'll discover that it really is enough.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring into my Birthday!

Yup, yesterday was, officially, the first day of spring!  I love it that my birthday heralds all things new.

My birthday shouts of spring and of flowers and of trees blossoming again!  It also heralds autumn in the southern hemisphere, a time when nature paints everything with all the earthy colours that are breathtaking.

I know we don't have the seasons here and I'm not complaining because I love the sun.  I even love the rain.  Following the four seasons is just a thing that I do in the virtual world.

My niece was recently in Berlin and it was her hope to see the first hint of spring before she left but winter still had a firm grip on everything there.  However, she has hope that she'll return to see spring in Berlin.  Not now but one day.

This is what spring is all about.  It's about hope.  Even autumn spells hope to me.  It's about changes that make everything beautiful.

What do I hope for my 54th birthday?  My needs are simple.  I think a repeat of the last 365 days would be nice.  

Pic from FB

Monday, March 18, 2013

Alarm Bells Ringing

I haven't needed an alarm clock for a very long time.  The moment that cellular phones came equipped with an alarm option, I began using it.  I think that today many people do this already.  They use their cellular phones in place of the good old alarm clocks.  If this is the case then, are alarm clocks already obsolete, I wonder?

Most times I can wake up before the alarm rings and this is only because I love to put it off before it breaks the silence of the morning.  When I am tired, then the alarm wakes me up but usually it is a nice piece of music that does the job.

When I was still working, it was "Finally by Fergie" that started my day.  I loved how it started with "Ever since I was a baby girl, I had a dream...".  Give it a listen here.

Ever since I was a baby girl I had a dream

Cinderella theme
Crazy as it seems
Always knew that deep inside
that there would come that day

But I would have to wait
Make so many mistakes
I couldn't comprehend 
As I watched it unfold
This classic story told I left it in the cold

Walking through unopen doors that led me back to you
Each one unlocking more of the truth

I finally stopped tripping on my youth
I finally got lost inside of you
I finally know I needed to grow
And finally my mate has met my soul

Now my destiny can begin
Though we will have our differences
Something strange and new is happening
Now my life doesn't seem so bad
It's the best that I've ever had
Give my love to him finally


I remember the beginning you already knew 
I acted like a fool
Just trying to be cool
Fronting like it didn't matter
I just ran away
Put on another face
Was lost in my own space

Found what it's like to hurt selfishly
I was scared to give up me
Afraid to just believe
I was in a jealous, insecure, pathetic place
Stumbled through the mess that I have made

I Finally got out of my own way
I Finally started living for today
I finally know I needed to grow
And finally my mate has met my soul


Now my destiny can begin 
Though we will have our differences
Something strange and new is happening
Now my life doesn't seem so bad
It's the best that I've ever had
Give my love to him finally


Finally, Finally yea...

Now my destiny can begin 
Though we will have our differences
Something beautiful is happening,is happening

Now my life doesn't seem so bad
It's the best that I've ever had
Give my love to him finally


Finally, Finally...Finally....

Gone are the days when the jarring sounds emanate from a tiny thing that some people put across the room so that they have to literally get out of bed to shut off.

I don't have that problem.  I can wake up no matter how little sleep I've had the night before.  In fact, I can sleep at 4 am and then wake up at 6 am and I'd be good to go for several hours.  

I used to think that young people would make better candidates at managing with less sleep but I am now convinced that MOTHERS are the ones that win in this category.  They are the ones that have it in them to continue even when they are tired.  There is a hidden gene inside them that is activated once the baby is born.  

For years, I longed for the day when I would never have to set an alarm again and now it's here.  It is as wonderful as I thought it would be.  Finally!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Old and New Me!

This was something perfect for me just over a year ago.  I was always waiting for the right moment to move away from what I had  and to move toward what I now have.  As they say, "not to decide, is to decide".

How did the "old" me think?  

The "old" me felt that the child was our first priority.  After that, it was about the good salary.  Finally, it was about paying up all the debts.

Then the child grew up.  Earning all that money didn't mean the same thing.  There was no more loan to pay off.  What was left then?

I'll tell you.  

For me, it was about having a choice as to where I would rather be.  Once I realised that,  it was easy to make a decision and everything else just fell into place.

The 'old' me was where I had to be.
The 'new' me is where I'd rather be.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Precious Time and People

Pic from FB

I was going to write "now that I have more time on my hands" when I realised that I have the same amount of time as everybody else.  So the reality is that I don't have more time, I just have more free time now.  

In any case, the most precious thing I have to give is my love. Having said that, sometimes time can be translated as love and vice versa.

Often I am said to be guilty of not being somewhere, not doing something or not meeting someone.  The thing is that, in my mind, I am fulfilling all the above!  I am always somewhere.  I am always doing something.  I am always spending time with people. 

It may not always be face to face but it's still time spent with people.  It could be via a phone call, chatting on line, an email or even having a conversation over a Facebook post.

Of course, I've been saying it so many times already, I'm retired now.  I guess it's hard for people who haven't really worked non-stop to understand how delicious it feels to retire.  I know of many people who never really worked full-time so for them it must be something normal to always have free time on their hands.  For me, time has always been such a precious commodity.  

When I was working, it was a case of being a genius in order to get everything done each day.  Now I no longer have that problem, every day is a relaxed day.

While I have more free time on my hands now, I find that I am still able to fill it up with reading, writing, interacting, visiting people and well, you get what I mean.  My "free" time is my "me" time.  Too often I see people wasting it doing what they think others want them to do.

I didn't realise that so many days have gone by since my last entry.  Ten days to be exact!!  I've been so busy with my precious time.

So if I am in touch with you, in any way, you should know that you are precious to me.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Enjoy a Moment

Pic from FB

It's a beautiful morning.  I woke up early and watched the sky turn from a deep dark hue to a light blue with puffy-looking clouds.  I didn't stand there watching it do that.  I just took a look each time I went to the kitchen to do something.

We have no window grills and each time that I am in the kitchen, I take a peek outside.  At 11.11 am, the sun was shining and it was very windy!  

My favourite ten-storey tall tree is sturdy but the wind shakes the branches and the tree responds by releasing the tiny leaves that almost float in the air.  These are flying all over and often they land in my kitchen.  Like today, there are several leaves which have found their place on my floor. This used to annoy me but nowadays I am glad to see them.  I have convinced myself that nature is paying me a visit and saying 'hello'.  

I've been in the business of rushing around almost all of my life that I often forget how to enjoy a moment.  It's a day like today that I check myself, with a reminder that I should just be grateful for the blessing of being able to pay for the moment by just enjoying it.

Friday, March 01, 2013

365 days later...

Pic from FB
Anyone who has worked steadily at any job will understand what a dilemma it was, for me, to decide whether or not to retire early.

For me, it's almost a surprise to find that a year has passed by.  Three hundred and sixty-five days have come and gone!  Just like that!!!!

I never would have pictured my life to be the way it is now.  So much has changed.  I feel a tremendous surge of joy when I realise that I didn't lose anything, in terms of happiness!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After nearly a year, I returned to the Embassy.  I had expected to visit my ex-colleagues earlier than this but somehow didn't get to doing it until just this week.  The deputy Chief of Mission asked me the most common question about my life, "Do you like Singapore?".  I replied, "I don't like it, I love it".  

I had expected to miss my salary but I didn't.  Really, it is never about the dollars and cents at all.  It's the people that I have missed.    I didn't know how much until I was back there with them.  The familiar faces of Sumathi, Loga, Anita, Ivy and, of course, Carlos!    We were a great team.  The feeling of being among people who know me and who I know have missed me, genuinely, make me feel so rich.  

My office at the Embassy of Peru

I looked at my old office and there is no twinge of regret.  I only miss the camaraderie that was shared during the coffee breaks and lunch time.  Oh, the things we did in the office when no one was around!  Those are the moments I remember most.  They make me smile.

My 20 years at the Embassy taught me so many things about everything.  I don't think I would be who I am today if not for all the experiences and the people who worked with me.  I am thankful and grateful to all of them.

I still feel a strong sense of loyalty to the country and to the friends I've made along the way.  I will always have a soft spot for Peru.  20 of my 50 odd years were spent serving the country: that is 2/5 of my life.

In my own mind, I like to think that I have showcased the best of Malaysia to the diplomats.  I hope that when they remember Malaysia, they think of me.  Hearing everyone say that they have missed me makes me happy yet sad.  I wish I could be there for them; with them.  In any case, I am just a phone call or email away.

I was told that I am a legend in the Embassy.  I am sure that is stretching the truth a bit but it did make me feel on top of the world.

Was it worth giving it all up?  Yes.

Am I glad I left it all?  Yes.