Sunday, July 23, 2017

Small details

Image from Pinterest

There are thousands of small details in my life that just fills my heart up.  Just simple things that Stephen does to make me happy.  Things like

- putting off my alarm so I can sleep on

- sitting in the park watching me exercise

- making my morning coffee because, well, he brews!

- praying over me when I'm not feeling good

- buying durians when he can't stand the smell

- giving me space when I'm watching my favourite Singaporean TV show

- checking my wallet and filling it with money

- following me to get stuff and carrying all the bags

- putting a fresh towel out for me when I'm in the shower

- queueing for my food and drinks at the kopitiams

- matching up two different slippers of mine and waiting for me to notice.

- saying he'll meet me at the curry leaves station. Private joke there.

I'll keep adding to this list because I realise that sometimes I take for granted that it's the small details in our lives that make a big difference.

When I'm older and greyer, I hope I'll come back here and see this list again.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

High Five again!

Image from Instagram @legendarywriting
Sometimes I just don't have anything to write about. Then something kicks in and I have so much to say.  These days I find myself in a routine that I created for myself and I often get lost in the days which drag on to weeks.  But I do make a conscious effort to write at least once a month!

Most days, I wake up, check my phone, read some news, do my chores, have lunch and then half the day is gone.  After that I get ready to go out and by the time I'm done with the errands and whatever else I need to do, it's already evening.  While waiting or when I'm in the bus or train, I check to see if there is anything happening in the world that I missed!  Hahahaha.  

Stephen and I are news addicts.  Whenever I use the computer, I'm sure to see some news portal that he's visited, waiting for me to browse through.  We aren't alone because our friend, Jerome, is also like us and very often we meet and discuss politics, latest stories or just to "sembang" which sort of means to chat or catch up.  

Anyway, this month has been an interesting one and I seem to have the desire to write a bit more than usual.  Maybe it's because today marks five years since SFGEMS was created after I gave up on my earlier STEEST blog.  In a way, it's a nice transition from when I was living in KL and then when I moved to Singapore.  I didn't plan on that happening but somehow it marked the change in my life and the person I have become.  Whatever it is, I'm glad that I didn't give up on writing.  It's always been the best way to document my life and feelings.  It's a glimpse into "me". 

Five is the number of Grace and it's fitting that I've been in Singapore for over five years now and the day I moved here was my first high five moment of 2012. Today, this blog is also five.  Hence the high five moment again. All glory, honour and praise goes to God for all these blessings in my life.

Even if I don't have a big fan club, my blog still garners random hits from all over the world and as at today has had 96063 page views.  Not bad for five years of writing!!!  Does it matter to me?  Not really because I write for me and maybe my future grandkids (hee hee).  I've said it before and I'll say it again and again because when I can no longer do this, I can come back to re-read and relive some of these happy or sad moments.  It'll challenge me to remember things that I may forget some five or ten years from now.  Will I even be alive then? That I do not know, but my blog will live on in the blogosphere forever!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

The best place to be ....

Image from Pinterest

Long ago when the pain of losing Eric was still sharp and intense, a priest wrote to me saying that, for Eric, the best place to be, if not with me, is in heaven.  It was most comforting to read those words and it kept me going for days, months and even years.  I still remember holding the unexpected aerogramme which came from India!  I looked up the bible verses that were mentioned.  I read and re-read them hoping for some relief.

"No more pain for him", I reminded myself.  

"Rest beyond my comprehension", I thought inside my head.

It's really a difficult thing to be trapped between wanting your baby boy in your life and knowing he's in heaven.  At two years, where else would he be after dying?

Some years ago, when I least expected it, my godson, Greg told me that since Eric died when he was so young, he must already be a general in heaven.  That made me smile and I felt so glad for the kind words from a sensitive soul to know how to stretch across the miles to send love and a virtual hug. Until today, I remember where I was standing when I saw that SMS message.  I had to stop because my eyes teared up and I wanted to blink them away before anybody saw me.  

Isn't it amazing that sometimes people do or say things that can touch our lives in such a far-reaching way?  They may not even remember it but what's important is that I haven't forgotten.

While today I feel a twinge of sadness, as I always do, I also remember these two moments when a simple gesture of humanity touched me so deeply and helped soothe an aching heart.  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

FitFlops, Fitbit and Fitter

Image from Pinterest

On 6 July, I finally convinced myself that I needed to take better care of my health.  I've always had the notion that I am not as fit as I should be but that's only because I keep comparing myself to Stephen. He's super fit and has tons of stamina.  According to what I know, he has the heart rate of an athlete and I've always felt intimidated by the thought that I'd never reach his standard.

Then I decided that I would just improve my own standard. *ting* Light bulb moment there. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that my resting heart rate is actually very good and according to the cardio fitness for women my age, I'm in the VERY GOOD - EXCELLENT range after about a week.  
I know I won't see immediate physical results but now that I'm tracking my calorie intake and what I burn, I can be more mindful of what junk I eat and if it is worth the effort indulging in sinful snacks, after the exercise.  

So far I find that my diet is okay but previously I hadn't burnt enough calories daily and so over the last few years, I have put on weight.  A kind friend has said that I have no stress now so that accounts for my weight gain.  It's true.  Work was enjoyable but sometimes it was very stressful and I wouldn't want to go back to that again.  Another said that my metabolic rate is slower and again that's true.

Losing weight is not for the indisciplined.  All my life, I've said that I don't have the discipline to diet and I'm right.  I don't eat much but I enjoy what I eat.  So giving up what little food that I like, makes no sense to me.

But now I realise that I do have the discipline to exercise so that can be the balancing factor between being in the healthy or unhealthy weight range. So far I've been doing well and I can see that if I put in a bit more effort then the calories burnt can far outweight the calories I eat.  This puts a different perspective on how I used to see my weight gain.  It also pushes me to do just that little bit more each day.

Will I look different by Christmas?  Let's see if Stephen's investment in the FitFlops, Fitbit and Fitterme works!  

Image from Pinterest

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

1317 hrs

Image from Facebook via Twitter

Today, Jared is 31 and I still remember having him in my tummy!  I'm in awe of how Jared has come so far in his journey.  When I was his age, I hadn't done a lot of the things that he has done.  I hadn't travelled as much either.  He has an adventurous soul.

From pre-school to his "O" levels and then to music, he carved his own path and I dare say that he had the conviction to follow his own dream.  Few people do so, and that is something to be admired.

He has finally settled down with his beautiful Gwen, a wonderful soulmate, from the land below the wind.  Truly it's a joy for me to know he's in her capable hands and that they share a lovely and loving life. 

I've seen him go from an inquisitive and precocious child to becoming the mature and responsible man he is now.  Whenever I have needed a second opinion, I could always go to him as he truly knows my heart best.  

It's impossible to count the many times I have felt so much love that I thought I would burst.  I am so very blessed.  Stephen and I are so very blessed.

And he already knows, apparently when you're 31 years old, you'll live your billionth second.  So at 1317 hours today, I hope you stop for a second and celebrate your billionth moment in time.  I've put an alarm on my watch for it!  

Happy birthday, son.  We love you so much
and pray for you to be happy, healthy and whole. 
May you always hold God close to you and
recognise all the blessings you receive.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

If it rains....

If it rains, stay home.  Good advice or not? 

Today it rained quite heavily.  So I'm home trying to rest and do what I feel like doing.  

There are people who have expectations of where we should be or what we have to be doing and that puts pressure on how we believe life should be lived.  Then there are the ones who are joyful when they see you and never fail to say, "go back and rest" or "don't worry about me, I'm fine".

It amazes me each and every time that people can be so caring and giving.  Caring because they are more concerned for others and giving in the sense that no matter how precious time spent together is, that time is not taken for granted.

I'm impressed that my mom-in-law who is in a nursing home and who enjoys a visit from people would often say,  "If it rains, don't come".  "Stay home and relax", she'll add.

She doesn't remember many people now and sometimes she can't even recall who is dead or alive anymore.  Her eyesight and hearing makes it hard for her to manage simple conversations yet she still makes every effort to interact.  

There is quiet dignity and courage behind the wrinkles and platinum white hair.  It's a trait that I admire very much. 

So I'm home but I'm thinking of her and wondering if she even remembers telling us not to go if it rains.