Friday, January 30, 2009

Ideological difference

I met A* 5 years ago at an embassy function. We had very little in common except that we were both born in a small tropical island and now stranded in the middle of the desert.

A* is married to a middle eastern gentleman. They met in S/ngap0re when he was working there, their romance blossomed and they got married and she followed him since.

What I find most difficult is that she does not have a mobile phone herself or a home landline number. Her only connection to the outside world is through her husband's mobile phone which he carried with him everywhere he went including work.

"So if you want to call me, you can call him after 9 or 10 pm when he gets home from work and he can pass the phone to me."

"Why don't you get your own? Its easy enough to get a SIM card now and phones are cheap?"

"Well my husband said its not easy. He is busy at work all day long and he comes home tired and stressed out."

"So what is something happens to you in the day should you fall sick or faint or fall?"

"Well I can go to my neighbours and ask for help. Most of my neighbours are his countrymen so they know him well."

At first I thought well if she wants my old mobile, perhaps I can give it to her. But then I realize that perhaps it was not a question of economics or logistics but rather a control and/or emotional issue.

I always prided myself as someone who can empathize other people, their situation, culture or even economic circumstance. However this goes beyond my personal tolerance.

It makes me so mad that she accepts her situation. I have little respect for a man whom I consider controlling.

Last night I met her again and she looked very thrilled to see me. I however had to restrain myself very hard from shaking her into her senses, "Whats this woman! You still have no phone?"

Granted I don't know them well and has not made any effort to bridge the gap.

And what did I learn from this lesson? That I can be very judgmental and prejudiced much to my own chagrin.

If she is happy, why burst her happy bubble. Sometimes the feminist in me cloud my judgement of other people.

My child, if you meet a suitor who cuts you off from your friends or family and controls how you get access to them, run! Run as fast as you can! I am raising you to be a person who can have her own opinion and her own choices. Liberty is your birthright! Work hard to maintain it and don't give it away to anyone. Liberty does come with responsibility like everything else, but once you let it go, it may never come back. You may be a chained changed person forever.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Of a mum's guilty feelings and slings

I cannot explain what has come over me but some days I just feel guilty about not spending enough time with My Little One.

It feels like she is growing up so much each day and I often wonder if I am letting precious moments pass me by.

Did I do enough today? I do sometimes wonder.

Just the other day she gave me a hug at the skate park and declared, "Mummy I am so glad you are here with me." And somehow that just made my tiredness melt away.

She has been a little unwell and just the other day I put her in our Didymos sling again because I needed to cook dinner and she wanted to be carried. And I think she enjoyed being carried in the sling again.

My child, some days you are 3 going on 20, and on other days you remind me that you but a baby and need her mummy to pamper her.

I must say, the sling has been and still is a lifeline for me. We decided that she has outgrown the Ergo as she was complaining that they pinch her. The didymos however does spread her weight well except that the amount of fabric is sometimes inconvenient to deal with.

Dear Little One, I want you to know that I love you all day long. I love you when we are together and I love you when we are apart. And I love you even more when you are being brave!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Surviving on miracles

"We'll be out of debt by the end of the month," she declared.

What's this I thought. It turned out they had to repay the bank for a loan they took out for a business plan that went bust. And all this time she never breathe a word about it.

And so I had to ask.

"How did you survive all that time your husband lost his job?"

"On miracles. We have a supportive family," was her answer.

I first met this lady about 10 years ago during a training stint in the civil service. Of course during that time I didn't realize that we would be as good friends as we are now. But looking back, all these years, I never heard her grumble. She has had many trials and tribulations in her life.

As I told another friend, we all have our own struggles in our lives. What makes it different is how we deal with those struggles.

Do we learn to grow up and deal it with maturity and grace?

Or do we sulk and begrudge others whom we think are better off than us?

Or sink in depression with a woe is me attitude?

I realize more than ever now, the true character of my friend is her strength and resolute to be happy with the life she and her husband have built for themselves. Lesser people would have let this get in the way of their lives and their marriage. But not the Ss.

Congratulations my friend. You both are an inspiration to me. May this signify a new beginning in your lives. May the new year bring you more happiness and prosperity! Good luck.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Death of my N93?

It all started when I brought my N93 phone to the Singtel Mobile shop in AMK. I wanted to know if its true they would give me SGD200 as a trade in value. It turned out that they could not give me the trade in value because I did not buy the phone locally.

Which was fine by me really. Because I was only 30% sure that I would buy a new phone.

My N93 has served me very well but lately it has not behaved itself. It sometimes turns itself off. Which is not a very useful feature on a mobile phone because sometimes other people may want to contact you. Without the "ring when someone is calling you" facility, my phone would be no better than a low resolution camera and video thingy.

But after I had brought my phone to that counter that fateful day, it has behaved more badly than ever! Just today it turned itself off just as I was having a conversation with a friend. Previously, it would do so after perhaps 10 mins of talking, and I had previously blamed it on the uncharged battery. But just today, after I made sure that the phone is fully charged, it still reset itself, turned itself off as I was talking and my time is spent making sure that my phone is still turned on!


Hubby dearest is leaning towards the iphone which I am reluctant because I am a faithful Nokia user. I did think of the blackberry but I just haven't put much thought into these sort of gadgets lately. [I'd rather get another sewing machine to be honest.]

One thing for sure I'd better extract all the phone numbers in there while I still can because I haven't stored the phone numbers else where.

I found some suggestions online on how to revive my dead Nokia N93, whether it works or not, I'll have to find out.

If anyone else knows how to deal with a hurt mobile phone's feeling please share it with me. Otherwise may I suggest you refrain from bringing your phone to ask its trade in value in case its feeling gets hurt like mine.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hello 2009, good bye 2008

How quickly time flies!

2008 presented me with wonderful and new adventures. The ever pending dreaded move did not happen in 2008 and I've decided that no matter where I am or will be, I will learn to adapt and love the place I live. I shall fear The Move no more. If it happens, we'll deal with it. It not, I'll enjoy the wonderful things about living here as much as I can.

I am truly blessed that I've had many opportunities to meet people who inspire me, who teach me a little bit here and there about life. Some became friends along the way, some became my sounding board. I am truly grateful for that.

My motto for 2008 was to invest in myself, doing whatever I can to make myself a better person. To my amazement, the change happened quite quickly, much quicker than I ever anticipated. Opportunities sprouted like wild mushrooms.

For the year ahead, I hope to live a life of gratitude, to see life as a glass half full. I must appreciate what I have and live in this moment and not yearn for the things that are not here or I cannot get.

Contentment is the state of the mind and I am determined to live a life of contentment rather that of discontent.

I will concentrate on what I do and do it well. I will ignore any sort of politics, gossip and Chinese whispers. And I will stop thinking of what others may think of me.

The only person I can control is me and I will work on me. I will continue to work on myself, to make myself a better person mentally, spiritually and health wise.

I hope to live in the here and now, at the same time work on my goals and dreams.

I will continue to reduce my clutter and not keep things that I can no longer use. Things are what I use to make me live well, they do not definite me as who I am. They are my tools.

I will eat well and eat healthy. Will try to prepare as many meals I can myself rather than resort to eating out.

I will keep positive people and positive energy around me.

I will continually appreciate the wonderful things I have in life; family, love, wonderful friends, great job, comfortable life, wondrous travels.

I began to learn not to over commit myself in the second half of 2008. I hope to continue to do better in 2009. I'm not at my best when I spread myself too thin.

We will save a lot more for The Little One's education. We will endeavor the best we can afford for her.

The round the world trip is still in the IN tray. Perhaps it will happen in 2009?

SO what do YOU have planned for 2009?