Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Be Motivated? Start Now.

The first step is always the hardest. But to me, the best way to get around and be motivated is to just...get up and do it. Then you'll be in the way of things and realize what was the hype all about..haha.

Honestly, I'm not always motivated. I'm on of those who would rather laze on the couch and just sleep through. But I don't want to do that all the time. It's difficult for me to have a quality life if that is what I just want to do. I can't be able to have a sustainable second income from my online shop. I can't get promoted if I keep making mistakes at work. I can't get good grades to get my modular certificate from my studies.

What do I do if I am not motivated the day before? I just do MORE the next day to make up for the so-not-motivated me. But I don't want to always be stuck in a rut like that. I want to be able to keep moving and just do it instead of doing rushed work at the last minute and not being happy with the results. No point waiting for the right hour, the right time of day, simply just get up after a short break and just simply get your things done.

I believe that's how you should lead your life too. No point being a hater and being jealous of their success when you're not doing much to help yourself. I don't want to tell someone that I have a dream to do this or that, or I want to achieve so and so weight, but I am not helping myself.

The one tip I learnt is when you are doing things that may seem mundane or repetitive, but ought to be done to get where you want yourself to be, is to always be EXCITED about it. Excited about riding on the treadmill, eating healthier food, fulfilling an order, getting up earlier to start work, opening up your textbook...just simply be excited about it can make things easier. It breaks down slowly the psychological barrier where you think oh, you'll never achieve it or you're simply too  lazy because no one is going to appreciate it anyway. 

Newsflash. When you put your heart and soul into doing something, every failure, rejection, will not feel so bad because you know you are going to do better the next time and to treat them as a learning point. Then with patience, continued hard work and sometimes even luck, you will experience a great feeling of success that will surpass the feeling of being a failure and being rejected.

Don't wait until the new year to put your plans into action. Start being motivated now and truly enjoy whatever you're doing now to open yourself up to more exciting opportunities ahead.

Visit my online store

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Light up 2013 & Annual Dinner

Every year, almost everyone comes down to Orchard Road to see the Christmas light ups. This year, the guideline had been pretty strict as in no colours resembling the colours of the traffic light, which is kinda stupid, because the main colours of Christmas is green and red. But still, if you're creative, you won't be limited by such stupid rules. I don't know about how others feel but I kinda got the feeling the budget for Christmas light ups have been reducing in recent times? Last time, they used to have those major Christmas props along the streets and we would go in awe at such displays and take photos every now and then. Now it was like, that is all they had to offer? But the saving grace was the displays outside Ion Orchard. Beautiful garden wintery theme with mazes and lattice awnings (I think that's what they're called..not too sure..ha!), we practically had to wait for others to take photos in them! Still, they were in our photo shots.

Anyway, first we went for our annual bonus dinner. It was the same as last year where we had our dinner at Seoul Garden Takashimaya. This time round, it was pretty noisy and crowded. They cleared our table even without asking, like practically taking plates away and profusely saying sorry because people were waiting to come and eat. Whatever, at least we had our fill.

I didn't buy much clothes this year and my mum was quite puzzled too. Normally, I would do like this one time big purchase thingy with clothes that would last me few months of non shopping for clothes. I dislike buying clothes because first, I'm not good at picking out the right clothes and second, I just find they're pretty stingy with fabric nowadays to give me a more covered top. It's like I don't need to be wearing a too translucent top. So I basically just gone one top from H&M and one skirt from another shop. They each were $20 and $16 respectively so I basically cut off my clothing haul budget to even less than half. Wowza.

This is so funny because this year, my bonus is actually the most I received for all the time I work in the civil service. So even before getting the cheque for my online shop project, I would still have quite a lot of money left from the bonus itself like as though I never touched one month's pay..haha. The only thing I spent a bit more money is on my hobby because usually around this time, they offer discounts and coupons for you to spend er..more I guess? Ha. And this give me a chance to stock up for future orders and also for my own mini album projects.  I still haven't got round to printing the pictures. Soon soon. I just want to get rid of my project 300 the soonest. What's this project about? I'll explain more in due time :)

Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures from the sibling's outing on Friday the 13th. No, nothing horrible happened to us that day..haha.

Visit my online store

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Staff Retreat to...Desaru, Malaysia!

When you think about Desaru in Malaysia, you think of pristine beaches where you can chill and relax. But no, that day, it was raining. Nobody wanted to get down to take pictures unless you count getting down the bus near to the beach for our makan or lunch, haha. I've been to Malaysia at least once for the last almost 5 years and it's always amazing to be back home and appreciating Singapore more. I don't know, I think I'm just not cut out to be staying in a sleepy town where getting basic groceries is like half an hour drive away, haha. But if you like to stay out of congested crowded public places and prefer a more quiet and simple life, probably it's for you. 

So anyway, back to this trip. It was a staff retreat so obviously, it's customary for us to visit places that we would learn from. Of course, there were a lot of things that we learnt but if you ask me what have I learnt from those trips, ostrich egg is equal to 25 chicken eggs! ha..I did learn something, didn't I. Oh yes, from the fruit farm, the knowledgeable guide provided many information about the different types of plants that provide natural remedies to common diseases. But like any modern medicine, there's a limit to how much they can benefit. 

While some things in life are unavoidable like illnesses even though some people may argue that they take care of their life by eating healthy and exercise, it's only a prevention but it's not the ultimate solution. Before you stop exercising and eating junk food, our life is very precious and think about what matters to us most. Our family, our loved ones, friends but most importantly, treasure our life in all its glory, trials and tribulations because we can only become stronger in our heart and mind.

Just like any other tourist attraction places, of course they would want to make money from us by selling products that have this and that benefit but I didn't want to spend so much cash on them. I'd rather use the money I have on clothes :p and okay, maybe things for the family like chocolates and yes, yummy doughnuts! The only things I bought from these places are a bottle of pure pomegranate juice and some fruits, which are so ex here, but cheap over there because they're local fruits.

Enjoy the pics!

Visit my online store

Musical Trip Down the erm..Downtown MRT Line

We went on another adventure in one of those open houses (yes, we *heart* MRT open houses) and in the first station itself at Bugis, we were treated with three celebrity impersonators, well at least attempted to impersonate, and the more fun part was seeing some people who were asked to be on stage, to be so sporting. I mean, everyone loves doing the Gangnam style, no?

The rest of the time, we were just hopping from one station to another, and stopping at places where we wouldn't have gone to usually like the Chinatown Point and Telok Ayer, which are nearby to each other. It's definitely a change from the usual spots. The shophouses along Telok Ayer were pretty nice and chillax, away from the hustle and bustle of city areas like Orchard Road. It has this nice traditional town vibes. Not too sure if it's about to change with the opening of the downtown line but it could be good business for them. Rental maybe increased too. Oh well, in life you can't have it all I guess.

The open house of the downtown line had each station with its own theme like the 60's theme with  the older generation singing classic Chinese songs; we got the more hip former video jocks hosting the 90s theme and for the 70s theme, Chua Enlai was a natural funny host, who at that time, was conducting a musical chair contest with kids while dressed in an outfit popularized by John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever.

My brother was disappointed we came too late and we didn't get any Goodie bag (unless he did the Gangnam Style on stage..ha!..but he didn't want to) so oh well. He did however went to Chinatown Point and Telok Ayer, which is a highlight for him because he had never gone there before in 18 years of his life. At least I had been there, er..once or twice before.

We also had to take the customary pictures at the fare gate including one cheesy photo. Before we took the photos, there was this one family who took a nice family shot with each one of them lining up at each gate looking at though they were about to tap out. It was nice and we kinda like laughed as it looked fun.

Enjoy the pics!

Visit my online store

My First School Hols...After So Long!

After soooo long, I finally experienced my first school hols! I think it's after more than 10 years..haha. I wrote about my schooling days pursuing a part-time course in a diploma and man, was it hard. But somehow, surviving. I'm juggling my full time job, my online shop and the part time job. While other people are fast asleep, I'm awake crafting fulfilling online orders or studying for a test or some concepts I'm unclear about especially regarding the excel formulas. It's crazy sometimes but I enjoy it. Well, sometimes..haha.. but I have to be grateful that I can FINALLY continue my studies because it's been made affordable for people like me who struggle at times to make ends meet. It's a good opportunity for me to  get better job offers in the future with a better pay. 

My classmates have been wonderful too. We keep in touch via a whatsapp group chat and you just have to give a shout out for help and there are willing people willing to offer the help you needed. And sometimes, it doesn't even have to be study related as we all come from different fields of customer service. There is even a guy who works in Apple and he can give us discounts if we want to buy Apple products. 

Despite the struggles, I think it can better be managed. I have to learn to make small baby steps in planning. There was a time the class got pretty hard because I was really sketchy on the excel formulas until I told myself, that's it! I am going to read up on it. I should be doing that but well, you know. 

I tell ya it was a big help. I still struggle a bit but it wasn't so major. It was at least more manageable. It helps that I sit beside a classmate who helps me out even though I don't ask for it. Ha, yes it's NOT good to keep to yourself if you are unsure. Just ask away! 

Slowly but surely, I'm getting to know more of my classmates and most of them are really nice. Glad that we're in this together and we hope to graduate together, with the same people 2 and a half year later. Let this be a reality of us.

Meanwhile, here's a collage of me and my classmates attending a wedding at one of our classmates. Thanks for the invite! The food was nice, the setting was gorgeous and the video of how they fell in love was both funny and sweet. 

Hope we all will persevere through this module and our last ICA for the current module.

Visit my online store

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When You Feel Safe & Loved..Imperfection can be Beautiful

When I was watching this web series in different parts, the ending almost blew me away. What started off as a short break up, a lot of self doubt, all that just fades away with that one realization that he decides that he wants to give his all and be totally exclusive in the relationship. 

'I want to give you me..that no one else could have'

In real life, when someone changes the whole outlook of your life such as making you change for the better, encourages you to be even better than you already are, love like you had never loved before and make you feel special. If you have found that  person in your life, congrats to you. For those still searching, don't give up hope yet. Fate has this funny thing of uniting two people even in unexpected situations. Sometimes you don't even have to search. It's right under your nose but because we're so caught up with things in life or too caught up finding the 'one', we failed to see that imperfection can be beautiful as well.

I've always had low self-esteem and communication problems with people. From young, I have been a pretty quiet girl. But when I went into the working world, I slowly start to learn to communicate with people. I won't say that I have perfected this art. But yah, cutting the story short, I've always felt a bit different from others. Not so much, like an outcast. Just don't feel wanted.

Still, I sometimes have to fake bravery so that people will notice me, not so much as the clever contributor, or smart conversationalist, but simply know that I'm not invisible. Like, hello..I'm here..sorta thing. So basically, if I ever (I say..if..haha..) gonna pursue a relationship, I just think that it will be challenging for me. I don't know how it's going to be like. I just know that the person must be able to put up with my quirks, my lack of social ability and lastly, make me feel special, loved and wanted.

I don't want to feel like I'm just tagging along in the relationship because he's far better than me. I want him to accept me as who I am, my flaws and all. At the end of the day, whether you're good looking, a social butterfly or a wallflower, know that you are special and unique in your own ways. If he or she make you feel happier than you ever were, challenge you to do the things you are scared of only because it will change your life for the better, encourages you to move forward when things aren't exactly working out or you're feeling down and out, you deserve this special person. Don't short change yourself because you are special too :)

Visit my online store

Sunday, December 08, 2013

What Have You Done Today?

Sometimes I read posts, but merely skimming through, and man, they can be so mean. The problem is at times, I know some of these people and I'm like in disbelieve, why are they saying such things. But I'm not here to judge people. I am here to simply lead my own life. It's their own prerogative. Only thing is that, if they're so negative, I don't want their negative vibes to rub on me. 

I would rather ask myself 'What Have I Done Today?' Do I even have any right to judge other people's lives, especially when we don't know the real them, for sure? If they're truly happy being themselves, after hiding for so long as if they are being chained, let them truly enjoy their new found freedom. For other people who said that we shouldn't give them the respect because compared to someone else, they are world's apart. There IS no comparison. Each of them has put their kind heart and soul forward, for the benefit of other people, and they shall be remembered for it; not because 'oh he was a celebrity, he shouldn't be glorified'..yadah yadah. So what. He didn't die out of folly like drunk driving or something. It was an unfortunate accident, which happened at a charity event he had co-organized.

So just leave it as that. They had obviously carved out a life which people remember them for. What have we done today? Do we spend time, behind the computer, passing snide remarks using our keyboard, cursing for no reason, while other people out there, continue to make a difference in their lives as well as in other people's lives?

So I say, create a life which you think YOU ought to live. From my past posts, I have been trying my best to think positive, despite the difficulties I'm in. I felt like I needed a time out. I seldom skipped gym on Sundays unless I'm really sick the day before. There was one time where I fell down the day before in the afternoon, but I still hobbled to gym and slowly walked on the treadmill and cycled on the stationery bike. 

But last week, I felt I needed to be away from it. Not because I'm lazy but because I want to get out of the routine, for once. I needed to read something that will inspire me to move ahead in life, despite the hardship that I am going through. It then dawned on me. God has indeed blessed me. I received an order recently for 300 cards (!) last month which is the most number of cards I have received. I have more than a month to do them but I have to commit to my earlier projects first and study for my tests and I can only officially start in the month of December which is now. So I have to seriously work super fast.

While waiting for the money to come in, I thought about how am I going to survive for the few weeks before my pay day which includes the bonus as well. I didn't want to borrow money from the people I used to borrow from. My online shop isn't receiving much orders, but I guess it could be a good thing because due to the upcoming 3 week's long holiday, the tests dates are quite close to one another. The random orders  I receive still enable to support my family, no matter how small the amount is. I have also been helping my mum who borrows from me quite a lot this month and she was saying, she didn't need to additional money from my bonus because she want to use the money now. I can't just say no because I'm struggling myself. But I simply hope and pray for the best.

The thing is, at first I prayed I get this much of money before pay day. My prayer is answered but I would have to wait for it. In other words, work for it first. That got me thinking just recently. Sure, orders are slow and my Christmas promos aren't really popular. But I believe I should respond to it positively. I will not stop. I will not just drop everything and say, that's it..this is a TOTAL waste of time. 

So did God just make me wait for the big fish and meanwhile, suffer from it? No. As long as I believe and have faith that things will get better and continue to pray for it. Somehow, I managed to get by. But I will have to pay back and it's okay. The amount helps me to tide over my difficult period. Do I curse myself for having such a pathetic and poor life where every day is a financial struggle for me? Honestly, yes I have been pretty upset but not to an extent, I hated my life. Sometimes, my mind blanks out like I really don't know what to do but miracles come, in small ways but with big impact.

People have also been kind to me. I get to eat food I don't normally eat like pizza or seafood lunch. I even went on a Staff Retreat in Malaysia which is good because being broke means I can't even travel across the causeway. A colleague also helped to pay for my clothes, which initially, I didn't want to buy because I didn't bring enough cash.

While I have to eventually pay back the amount, which amounted to close to $400, I have it covered. I don't think I have much to spend on later. I will a;sp be getting additional cash from the project as well as some bursary money from the polytechnic which I am currently pursuing a part-time diploma. But it will go straight to funding my next semester. 

Life has been tough recently, but slowly I will rebuilt it to make it even better than it was yesterday because everyday, to be able to wake up and make changes in my life, and perhaps in other people's lives as well, is truly a gift even money can't buy.

Visit my online store

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Am I Smart Enough?

I've never seen myself as smart. I think I'm getting by life pretty okay, learning and growing at the same time. I see how people converse, how they make smart opinionated remarks, though hurtful remarks are not withstanding, and I'm like..ugh..I'm so not like them. 

Before I make a self-declaration that I'm stupid or something, I think I would term myself as street smart. I only hit the books when I have to, I'm not studious like that where the whiff of books cause them to be in a dizzy spells as their brain expands taking in the new knowledge. I have been in school for 3 days a week for the last one and a half months. I went through two ICA, or Individual Continuous Assessment, and how I managed to past one of them, is by studying in the wee hours. In fact, how I managed to scrape through and passed all three major A level papers and the sub papers, was by pulling my socks, in other words, putting as much hours as I could, in the day and at night, after failing miserably in the prelims paper.

So you see, I'm not book smart. I can't even categorise myself as street smart, like how I described myself earlier, because if you throw me out in the foreign streets, and telling me how to get from one place to another, I will probably not survive.


But one thing I DO realize is that when push comes to shove, I would really shove. Sometimes I wish I am back in the old childhood days where I don't have to make big decisions but everybody grows up. Yes, sometimes people don't, but yah, that's their prerogative. Doesn't mean you're older in age, your maturity level is of the same par as well. I've made major decisions before, those that involve life and death, and I had no one to rely on for opinions. I only think about what is best and if this is the best route to be taken.

I've made decisions on my career choice. I would have been in my past job for another 5 years but I thought enough was enough. I just could not afford to have much of my income spent on travelling from one place to another, with the company paying less than $100 of reimbursement for travel.

About me being a lone traveller, I guess I would have survived. If I was in the company of travel savvy friends, of course they would make better decision makers. But if I am alone,  out of a sudden like if I got separated from them, I would automatically go into the survival mode. 

Right now, in the course that I am in, again I feel like they are smarter than me. When I got my paper back for the first ICA, I didn't do so bad, considering I only started studying 4am-ish in the morning but seeing at how my answers were being marked, I felt like I could have done better. It's something which I strive to improve by putting in more hours because it's going to get more and more difficult. I realized they don't call it diploma for nothing.  I also think they're smarter, not because of how they do for the test, but simply how they talk to one another, like I just don't know how to join in. There are times I do join in, but I talk to them in a style I know best. 

It's good to know most of them are not judgmental and they are simply happy to talk to me, about the course and how difficult the excel formulas are and we share our difficulties in grasping the concepts. I may not be able to talk as well as them, I know I can at least 'fake' it by talking about what matters to us most, about our course like what topic to talk about or yes, how annoying some excel formulas can be. It's also good to be up-to-date with current issues so I don't appear ignorant about what's going on around the world or locally.

I don't want to belittle myself by thinking I'm not as smart as them. There are things that I do or decisions that I make that make me grow personally. Like I never thought I will be able to be able to be invested in my online shop to make extra income, signing up for a diploma course knowing how difficult it is for me to study (I take a long time to process what I read & learn), be promoted at work, and financing my housing loan. Yes, it's still a steep learning curve for me and I do make mistakes along the way, just like most people.

So am I smart enough? I don't care if some people think I'm not smart enough, or better still, not as smart as them. I am a unique individual and my thoughts are unique as well. I may not talk as well as them but I am smart enough to talk in the style I know best; with sincerity that comes from the heart.

Visit my online store

Celebrating Life..& Being Thankful for it

If you watch the news, you would have heard about the devastation caused by Haiyan Typhoon leaving thousands homeless and corpses strewn all over the streets, uncollected and unidentified. So sad. What's sad too, when young children lost their homes and their parents. If you can't imagine the horrific devastation the Haiyan Typhoon had caused in the Philippines, you can read about the news here, the tragic stories as told by the orphaned children.

Philippines Orphans Speak Out

I am not trying to gain readership for this post by speaking about this topic that many others would have covered. I am trying to do some self-reflection on myself. It's easy to think about oh, how lucky I am and in the next instance, I am back to being ungrateful and leading my life as though the world owes me.

I watched Philadelphia when I was young and I watched snippets of the movie online and it still brought tears to my eyes especially the hospital scene. Everyone went up to him and saying things like 'see ya tomorrow' and 'have a good night rest'...but knowing, his life was fading away. However, I completely broke down when one of them couldn't utter a single word but simply hugged him and sobbed. He just couldn't pretend that everything was well for him. They continued with the celebration of life in the ending scene after his passing and they threw a mini gathering at the family home. Everyone was simply celebrating life as it is, conversing happily with one another, with little children being carried around or playing.

When they played the home videos of him when he was young, full of innocence, it was so sad and poignant that this child grew up fighting for his human rights against discrimination which he later won.

I have a friend who went on her first solo trip to Northern Vietnam and the pictures she took were breathtaking. It was a personal breakthrough in her life as she ventured on her own, and while she still paid some amount for safety, she still did things like hitchhiking on a local's bike to popular tourist destination before returning back to the hotel. She has always been an avid traveller but this one marked  a significant point in her life, going solo where she had no one to lean to, accompany her and instead, she had to rely on her strong independence and intuition to help her along, in a village city no less.

While I go through ups and downs in life, like my current not-so-good state, I don't want to give up yet. I lacked grit in life. I lacked the determination to see how life would be better for me if I had planned my time well and do things to ensure a better life for me. I have done things that I am not proud of in life. I truly regret my actions and yes, during those times, I was desperate but after that, I made things right and they got better for me.

However, I don't know if I am continuously cursed to experience the wrath of my wrongdoings. But I believe it's simply because I know I tried hard; but not hard enough. When you want something, you go through leaps and bounds to ensure a better future and to achieve your goals. Sometimes I feel, I just didn't try hard enough. I let laziness overcome me. I let complacency over come me.

I don't want to experience a terrible jolt to get me out this vicious cycle of lacking the grit in me to overcome my current obstacles. This is, I believe, isn't for long. It is a struggle now but I know that if I don't dwell on it too much, and just continue to focus on a better future me, everything will fall into place. The universe will respond back. I will be able to finally reach my weight loss goal, make at least $200 from my online shop every month, be good in my studies and be promoted at work. I just have to continue this life journey with grit and determination and not let any setbacks get me down.

I simply want a better future for me and my family, without me thinking about where the money is going to come and if I ever will get orders from my online shop to supplement my current income. If you are facing the same financial situation as me, or in difficult situation whether family, relationship or etc, we can get through this. We can. Let's celebrate the gift of life.

Visit my online store

Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...