Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Ultimate Staycation

In my earlier blog post, I commented that I hardly have any personal time. Now I have lots of it, and I am oscillating between hating and loving it.

The reason for the luxury? A bout of chicken pox.

The ugly, red, pulsating dots appeared after a day or two of feeling generally unwell. I glared at them in the mirror, and said to my spouse: “Do you think this is what I think it is?”

Apparently, it is. My doctor gave me a week of medical leave, with the instructions for me to confine myself to my own house.

At the start of it, I felt weak and tired and grumpy. I was not in the mood to feel anything but sick. And ugly. I religiously avoided all mirrors as I could not stand the sight of the dots, which unfortunately, congregated on my face.

All this changed in a matter of two to three days. The dots started being less itchy and blotchy, and I became much better. I started enjoying the luxury of waking up, checking on a few office emails, and having lots and lots of time of ME time. Yippee! No little toddlers to chase and shout after. Less troublesome office matters (I was technically working from home, but maybe because I was not in office to attend to matters, the emails also became lesser).

So what did I do to fill up all those long hours? Watching a Korean Drama, of course. It was pure decadence. I would watch one episode after another, with no one to tell me that it was such a time waster. Of course, there was this little voice in my head. But I chased it away with the sweep of my imaginary hand, telling myself that I would not have this luxury for some time to come.

This was really the Ultimate Staycation! Why do we need to spend hundreds of dollars to stay in a hotel, when my own home was comfortable enough for me? Most importantly, it was heavenly to have so much time on my hand.

I always knew that good things have to come to an end. After I finished the last episode of my Korean drama, I was determined not to start another one again. In any case, the timing was just nice as I was about to head back to office in a day’s time. Unfortunately, the little red dots (pun not intended) had other intentions. While most of them have dried up, there were still a few left. The doctor assessed that I was still unfit for work, and gave me another week of medical leave.

And here is where I am now. Boredom with a capital B.

Now I am counting the days before I head back to office. A few more days to go!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Getting the hang of motherhood (really?)

This is really the most wonderful phase of my life.

I have an amazing hubby, two sweet little children, and a wonderful job.

Sometimes, I will look back at my life of 36 years, and think about all its ups and downs. I have been really fortunate in that I have not had a lot of major turbulences in my life. Of course, some small little setbacks are unavoidable. But all in all, it was a largely uneventful life.
If I compare all the years I gone through so far, the few years since I have been married has been the most happy and fulfilling years in my life. I got married at a relatively late age of 30. And the first child came about two years later. And now I have two children, age two and four.

Motherhood is really such an incredible experience. It is the only experience where you can be both in heaven and in hell at the same time. When I look at my children, sometimes a literally get a “kick”. Thoughts like: “Awww, how sweet they are?” would flash across my brain as I watch them play with one another. Then in the next moment, I have to step in to break up an ugly fight between the two toddlers. (Trust me, the fights can get quite ugly. My young one is quite aggressive and may even bite his older sister. I have been trying to get him to stop doing that, but so far have no major success. Tips, anyone?)

I think the one thing about motherhood that I really do not like is the lack of personal time. Since I am a working mother, most of my time is actually spent on work. After/before work and during weekends, all my time belongs to my family. So to squeeze out some time for myself, I have to change my own lifestyle. 

Nowadays, I wake up one hour earlier than my family on week days, just so that I have some time to myself. But even that one hour is too little for me, as most of it will be spent on the usual morning stuff of brushing teeth and face-washing, eating breakfast, and reading snippets of the newspaper. One hour flies past too quickly, and then I have to change myself into “mother” mode, and get ready to wake the children up and coax them to brush their teeth.

At the start of the motherhood journey, I was stressed and tired most of the time, and became quite bad-tempered. My poor hubby bore the grunt of my bad temper, as I sniped and growled at him.

It is really quite unfair. I can be very sweet and patient with my kids, and be extremely testy with my hubby, all in the same breadth. It felt like those Korean drama, where the mother-in-law hates her daughter-in-law, and every conversation between them is peppered with insults from the former. Maybe not to the extent of that, but you get the picture. My poor hubby felt like nothing he did was enough. It led to a few quarrels, which actually made things better, as I started to understand how he felt.

Nowadays I try my best to control my temper, but sometimes I fail as well. Somehow, I find that I do not get upset with my kids so much (maybe because they are so cute), but my hubby can say really simple or innocent things, and hit my red buttons. Poor guy!

Recently, I thought that things have become better.

Is it because the kids are a bit more grown up (ok, they are still only two and four years old) and easier to manage? Is it because between my husband and I we now have a few years of experience of parenting, so we have “gone up the learning curve”? Or is it just because we have adapted to the new life stage, and can take things easier even when things go wrong?

I am not really sure which is the major reason, but I thought things are getting better.

Recently, the four of us went to Taiwan for holidays and had a wonderful time! Yes, it was more tiring as we may need to carry the toddlers for some parts of the journey. Yes, it was slower as we had to accommodate their nap times in between the holiday itinerary. But it was such an amazing and fun time because I had the best company in the whole world.

And that is the best part of motherhood. You get to love your children, and in the process, love your husband even more.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Getting Started

Hi there!

Thanks for reading my blog.

I have always liked writing. One of the earliest, albeit vague, memories that I have in my life is that of me writing some nonsensical scribbling on paper when I was toddler, and my mum looking at the scribbling and proclaiming that I will become a writer.

Don’t ask me how she came to the conclusion. There must have been some linkage between the two. Or was it just the fondest dream of my mum that I will become a writer, and she was just innocently planting that thought in me in the hope that I will become a writer?

In any case, somehow when I was growing up, the dream of becoming a writer would come and go periodically. However, as I am useless at sticking to any resolution for long periods of time, let alone go through the gruel and discipline of writing, I have not really fulfilled my dream of becoming a writer.

What triggered me to start a blog is this secondary school reunion that I attended. It was a very special gathering, because in Singapore, we do not have the tradition of organising secondary school reunions.

This reunion only came about because my ex-classmate (hey CF, hope you are reading this!), who is now based in Japan, had a brainwave, and suddenly decided to organise a reunion. When he got the idea, he did not just call some old friends from our class, and gather us for dinner or get-together. He used facebook to contact at least one classmate from each class (Class 4A to 4M).

This is quite phenomenal as many of us had not contacted each other for the last twenty years. Many of us had lost contact with one another. Some had moved overseas. In addition, he also managed to contact some of the old teachers, many whom have retired a few years back. It felt like Egypt’s 2011 FacebookRevolution, where we harnessed the power of social media to gather people together. The reach and speed of social media was quite amazing to witness.

We had quite a magical gathering at our secondary school that day. It was a simple but sweet affair. And it sparked quite a lot of thoughts in me as well. It made me feel that, if my classmate can do something so special, what have I done in the last twenty years that I can count as being really out of the ordinary?

Well, I thought about it, and decided to start a blog. I know nowadays blogs are really common. But what I will do is I will use the blog to force myself to keep writing. Then over time, I hope that I will become a better writer, and that will bring me a step closer to achieving my childhood dream.

Quite a simple idea, right? I only hope I have the discipline to keep at it.

Well, as Johann Wolfang von Goethe said, whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. So let me begin my own special project!