Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My morning prayer

Thank you for the sun that loves us all
Thank you for the air we breath
Thank you for the water we drink
Thank you for the food we eat
And thank you for the people who touch our lives today
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I recalled the article I wrote that got published in the local newspaper when I was in primary school.  It was no more than a simple essay with 100 words but I recalled how pleased I was seeing my name in print. That was the only thing I've written that got published.  Perhaps that was the start of my desire to write. I've since then written letters and sent postcards to friends during school breaks.  However, aside from papers I need to write to pass my classes, I've not been writing in college.

A few years ago, I felt the strong urge to write.  Didn't start as I didn't know what to write.  I wasn't sure what I've to say is interesting enough for anyone to want to read. I am not sure I can come close to the talent of great writers I admire who spin beautiful words and captivating stories.

Reading Junot Diaz's experience is comforting and encouraging.  If there's really something I enjoy doing, I like to write.  I've started a few paragraphs on several stories which are filed in my folder waiting to be brought out, dusted and continued at some point.  For now, I still don't know what I want to write about. Even though blogging is not considered serious writing, for me it's my canvas where I let my thoughts and feelings flow. I will continue to scribble on anything and everything.  Do I care if no one reads?  Not anymore as long as I am happy writing.  For me, it's therapeutic.

Monday, March 29, 2010


How many of our choices in life are driven by fear? Not real fear but irrational fear. A friend of mine who's pregnant spent whole Sunday bugging her husband what he would do if she is to pass away from her upcoming c-section. She's a healthy woman with no reason to be concerned.  For her, she blamed it on her hormonal change and laughed it off the next day.  For many of us, we cannot explain the fear.  When it hit us, we are paralyzed. Another friend of mine did not want to put up her hand for a bigger role at work for fear she will not perform even though she is the most competent candidate for that position.

I've had many instances in life where I let fear take the rein. In hindsight, many of the fears are irrational.  It's similar to thinking a rope is a snake and refusing to believe it's a harmless rope instead choosing to see a snake in the rope.

According to Swami Chidanand Saraswati in his book Drops of Nectar, "The root cause of fear is distrust.  We have been betrayed, injured an abused. We decide the world cannot be trusted".  How do we then learn not to live in fear?  He advises that "a calm, serene, wise understanding of the situation, coupled with undying faith, is what is needed.".  After all, "no tragedy has ever been prevented by fear".

The Serenity Prayer says it all,
"God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."  

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hanoi - West Lake, Tay Ho district

I've walked along West Lake at Tay Ho district two years ago. There was not much of a path as the road was still muddy. There's now a proper road and pavement. A couple of cafes have opened up by the lake.

It was blissful enjoying the view of the lake and the mix of old tube-houses and newly renovated chic architecture. I strayed from the alleys I was familiar with. Following the winding road which I had no idea where it was heading, I found a temple that is vibrant with locals offering their prayers. There are stalls selling offerings which range from local cakes (rice cakes, green bean cakes, something wrapped banana leaf), paper money, flowers, rice, cigarettes and even beer (yes, the locals offer cans of beer to the gods). The fragrance of joss sticks filled the air along with the chatters of the devotees.

I was rather thrilled to find the temple, beautiful statues sitting in carved wooden houses with a panaromic view of the lake. This is exactly what I love about travel, you discover something new when you least expect it.

I guess it's the same in life, as you follow the windng road, it helps to keep an open mind for you don't know what lies ahead.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

4 Things I learn when the airline left my luggage behind

Singapore Airlines left my luggage in Singapore. Here I am in Hanoi with no luggage and nothing on me except what I am wearing. I had to take a deep breathe when the guy at Noi Bai airport explained to me the earliest they can send the luggage is the next day. Had to search my mind through all the mantras to keep myself calm.  Surprisingly, I am less upset than I would have been.  Think all the yoga is finally seeping into my life.

Anyway, here are several things I learn:

1. Attitude is more important than attires

I've been wearing the same pairs of jeans and black cotton shirt the whole day.  And yes, even though black is a versatile color that goes for day and night, I didn't have the right attire for dinner. However, I refuse to let myself feel bad and spoil the fun just because I don't have a nice dress to wear for dinner.

A nice smile is more beautiful than a frowning face drape over the most expensive dress

2. Things don't make me happy

I actually need very little to get by considering I'm perfectly happy with same pair of jeans, shirt and walking shoes as I was so busy soaking in the ambience of the new place.  I am happier traveling than buying the next Bottega bag.  It's the experience of my travel that I most cherish and last longest in my memory than all my past shopping spree.

Need to understand what truly makes us happy otherwise we end up failing to quench our search with the wrong substitutes

3. Ego....again

I care more about what people think than I truly admit. In my own city, I am rather conscious with what I wear and how I am perceived.  In a foreign city, I have no such concerns and hence I am happier. Yes, it's always my ego driving a lot of my behaviors.

I am happier when I can let go of my facade and be who I am.  

4. Don't take things for granted

I was partially blind when I have to take off my contact lens after the whole day. Only then, it occurred to me to give thanks to the men who invented spectacles.  Rubber band for hair, trivial yet useful accessory to tie up messy hair for instant tidy look.

Don't thank things for granted, be grateful for simple things in life

Who would expect valuable lessons from such a simple experience.  But I am glad when I finally get my luggage, time to change into clean clothes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fraser Suites

In Hanoi for a short break. I've grown fond of this city since visiting it a couple of times annually for the past 2 years.

Staying at the Fraser Suites by Xuan Dieu Street. The apartment faces the Wast Lake and has the most gorgeous view transforming itself depending on the time of the day. The lake now appears to be engulfed by a thin grey fog.  A wooden boat is floating calming in the lake. Across the lake, one can witness Hanoi's development through the sprawl of skyscrapers. Directly next to Fraser Suites are neighborhoods of tube houses. As one walks by these houses, you're bound to come across vendors selling traditional vietnamese food. My favorite is the bun cha next to the Syrena mall on Xuan Dieu Street. Bun cha is pork grilled in charcoal served with rice noodle which you dipped into the sauce which is light, sweet and tangy.

Hanoi is one of those few cities that retain its charm amidst the development. Will keep posting on Hanoi during my stay.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Instant Gratification

Nowadays, everything has to be instant; instant noodle, instant coffee, instant soup, even instant rice. We are all running short of time and patience.  

I've started bikram yoga a year ago. The main motivation then was to find peace within myself.  I was struggling in my career and was having trouble relaxing.  Gym and my running couldn't give me the "escape" I was yearning for.  Walked into my 1st bikram yoga class not knowing what to expect. If I had known I would be sweating, panting and suffocating for 90 minutes in a class with 39 degrees heat, I might not have signed up for the class.  I was looking for meditation to calm my mind and I got more than that.

Getting critical of myself recently with voices in my head telling me that I'm not making progress even though I've been doing yoga for a year.  I compare myself to the ladies next to me in class and they look slimmer and fitter than me.  My tummy is visibly flabby after 2 kids and my youngest is already eight years old! I still can't do all the postures in perfection. There are days I can't even manage the basic ones.

Then I realize I am falling into the trap of expecting instant gratification.  Many of the yogis have been doing yoga for years and many come almost daily whereas I can only manage the weekend classes.  Although I've not lost weight, I feel healthier. I have better postures; fewer backaches and shoulder aches.  I sleep better and I learn to breathe better.  I used to have shorter breaths and tend to hold my breath when I am stressed out.  Now I am more conscious of my breaths and I am more aware of how my body reacts to stressful situations.  I wake up more refreshed after sleeping through the night like a baby.

Somethings changed inside me since I started yoga.  I suppose as I learn to let go in class, I am learning to let go in life.  As I learn to relax in class with each postures, I am learning to relax in life.  As I learn to focus in class, I am learning to stay more focused in every moment of life.  I learn to accept that although I don't have the perfect posture, as long I give my best effort, I deserve to pat myself on the back.  In life, I learn to be kind and forgiving to myself.

Next time in class, I will smile at myself in the mirror and tell myself that it all takes time.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It made me chuckle whenever we complain in the locker about how unbearably hot the class was.  We willingly sign up and brace Jakarta traffic to come to class knowing that we would be doing yoga for 90 minutes in a heated room.  Yet, we still find most classes too hot.  We are like Goldilocks, the temperature never quite suit our liking.

Benchmark of a "good" a class is the frequency the teacher turns on the fan, opens the window and the best treat of course is when she opens the door letting in a gush of cool air which feels heavenly.

Along with one of the postures today, the teacher said "don't anticipate, be present".  This is so true.  We often anticipate the teacher opening the door and and when she doesn't, we feel frustrated.  In addition to the real heat in the room, I swore I could feel my heart racing when she walked to door, held on the door-knob yet did not open the door!

We often forget that there is more to yoga than just losing weight (though the losing weight part is great).   It's about listening to our teacher, listening to our body.  It's about staying focused and meditating.  It's about union of the mind and body.

Let's enjoy the heat, let go, be present and breathe.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Been searching for my passion.  Not sure if I'm the very few who are deaf to my calling.  I like reading, I like traveling, I like yoga but none of which creates enough urge for me to make it my life.  

There are friends I know who are passionate about golf and sacrifice weekends at the golf course, or those who love salsa enough to become full-time instructor.

It's not that I've not tried.  I took painting class for a few months, tried salsa and practised golf.  Like them enough to fill the gap in my spare moments but not enough to make sacrifices in time.

While I wait for my hidden talent to surface and the calling of my passion, I'll just continue what I like doing; browsing the bookstore for a good book that suits my mood, practising yoga on the weekends, traveling whenever I can afford to and writing on my blog.  

I'll still play golf, dance salsa and paint, but only when my mood suits it.  No more desperate search for my passion but listening to my heart on what I truly enjoy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My big fat ugly ego

Woke up and checked my office bb (not a smart thing to do 1st thing in the morning).  Saw a chain of email I was supposed to be included which the sender had left me out until another colleague of mine forwarded it to me.

I got pretty agitated.  How dare the sender not include me?  Doesn't he realize I am important and he need to cc me?  I could feel my shoulders tensing and shortness of breath.  I am sure if I looked at myself in the mirror, my face would be frowning.

Then it hit me it's my big fat ugly ego at work.  The person could have just simply overlooked to include me. Regardless of why the person did what he did, there's no reason for me to over-react.  Yes, as much I hate to admit, I was over-reacting and in hind sight I probably have over-reacted on many other occasions.

I refuse to let my mind play trick on me analyzing why the person did what he did.  I am going to let go.  As they say "don't sweat the small stuff". I am just learning to do that with baby step at a time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blackberry in Indonesia

In Indonesia, blackberry is extremely popular.  What started as a device for work is now a social tool.  I first noticed every mom in my kids' school fiddling with their blackberry during school performance.   These ladies can't wait to flip out their latest blackberry with the fanciest cover.  Then my 11 year-old insisted in having one 'cos all her friends have one.   The sign that it has infiltrated our society is when my driver wanted to borrow money to buy one.  

Indonesians are very sociable.  We love to chat.  The telecom operators are laughing their way to the bank with the amount of sms that we sent as a nation.  And now blackberry or "bb" as it is called, has become the pinnacle of communication.  First, it is cheaper than sending sms.  It has the added benefit of keeping track of the chat, having conference chat and now the ever popular chat groups.  It is easy to send pics through bb, so easy that my male friend of mine who's married accidentally sent me pics of a scantily dressed woman.  And of cos, it allows access to facebook which is another new addiction of our nation.

I have no issues with people updating their status every split second on FB and displaying their raw emotions to their "friends".  I actually think it is healthy to to express your emotions.  FB status range from "I'm so happy", "I've been dumped" to inspirational quotes, traffic updates, restaurant reviews and practically anything we feel like saying or asking.   It's the misuse of bb that annoy me.  People send spam messages on bb and bb chat groups.  I now have to keep my bb messanger profile silent to keep my sanity.

Bb should be used for sharing useful and important information.  Send your jokes directly to the person who enjoy them (you'll know who they are as they are the ones who respond with"hahaha") instead of blasting to everyone.  And not everyone wants a dose of your inspirational quote daily.  Please arrange your golf game directly with the few persons who are going (use the conference feature) instead of blasting to the 20 people in the group.

Twitter has not really caught on in Indonesia yet.  It is still popular only among the teenagers.  I encourage my friends to please get on Twitter if FB is not ample to ease your crave for networking.    With Twitter, you can then share your thoughts, joke, and anything you feel like sharing.  It is accessible on bb.  And yes, I'll look at your Twitter update when I feel like it.   But please don't clog my bb.

More thoughts on beauty

Can't resist sharing what I just read.  Pigeon dropping or bull semen for your hair, snake venom to rub on your face for botox effect, nightingale poop on your face and the list goes on.

I myself have spent days contemplating whether to go for "natural" hena color or to go natural with streaks of grey.   Shall I look wise with some grey (which helps to appear senior at my work place but I certainly do not want to look older than my age!)?  Or shall I try to look younger by hiding my grey?

Recently spent a couple of hundreds on a jar of La Mer which I used very sparingly.  Not sure if the cream does its trick but my face seems smoother the next morning.  Perhaps with the money I spent, I want to believe it works.  I'm not a beauty snob, have also resorted to using olive oil on my hair to skim on the saloon treatment (given I've overspent on that jar of cream).

Gotta run, have made an appointment for my hena colour.  I believe beauty comes from within but any help to look beautiful is helpful (skip the radical semen, poop and venom treatment).

"I like who I am as a person. And because I believe that there's much more to me than my looks, other people believe it too."
—Felicia P. Fields

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I am consumptive. I don't consider myself to be a shopaholics in comparison to other women I know. But I do like to shop. Not excessively but shopping does cheer me up.

Have stopped shopping for branded stuff unless I really need the bag/shoes for work. But once in a blue moon, I can't resist the temptation for a Prada bag.

Looked at my closet full with clothes and bags. Don't need that much clothes, bags, shoes and stuff. Time to start spring cleaning and let go of old stuff I've not worn/used for years and which I probably won't think of wearing/using again. In the mean time, trying my best to cut down on shopping.

I still love to shop. Just that I now do window shopping more (and less of actual buys) and purchase more consciously.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yoga and Change

It's been a year since I started Bikram Yoga. There are some postures I can now do that I didn't even dare attempt then. Back-bend for one gave me so much fear when I started, I convinced myself I couldn't do it. On days I was brave enough to go half-way, it triggered intense sensation of nausea. Now, back-bend is one of my favorite postures. I love how relaxing my back feels afterwards.

My body reacts differently to the 26 postures on different days. There are certain days even the simplest postures feel extremely tough. I've now learn to accept that each class is different. As long as I try my best in each posture, I do not have to beat up myself for not having the perfect posture. Instead of resisting, I have learned to accept the changes my body and mind go through.

Each class is different due to the energy generated from the students and teacher. It's easy to get accustomed a particular teacher but we improve better under several teachers who fine-tune us differently. And each teacher with his/her personality brings different energy to the class.

Yoga teaches me to accept change and flow along like a river instead of fighting something which is inevitable. As Confucius said "They must constant change, who would be constant in happiness and wisdom".

Doing something fun

Wanted to do something fun.  Yet, can't think of anything that fun I really want to do.

I am quite happy with simple life of yoga, reading and chilling out with the kids after work.  Enjoy nice lunch once in a while with a few girlfriends to laugh over silly jokes and share heartfelt concerns.  Like to keep my weekend non-commital with as few engagements as possible.  For me, a great weekend starts with yoga, lunches with parents and sister, more reading, writing and self-reflection.  Weekend highlight for the kids is trip to the bookstore and grocery shopping (where they get to buy snacks) with occasional movies.  Even just sitting at the driving range watching my son practice his golf on Sunday evening is something I enjoy.

I love to travel.  Aside from my simple life, perhaps this is one highlight that can be considered fun.  Love seeing new places, learning new culture, trying new food, soaking up the local ambiance.  Look forward to taking the kids to Hanoi in spring break; taking the rickshaw around Old Quarter, coffee at the French Quarter, strolling along the lake, ice cream at Metropole.

So as you see, attempt to have fun can be quite frustrating.  I've given up trying too hard to have fun.  As long I enjoy what I am doing, I'm doing fine.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Computer literate mom

My kids’ school has organized a class educating mothers on internet which I applaud.  I think it is extremely useful for mothers to keep up with internet and the various social networking sites; Facebook, Twitter, My Space etc. 

The main reason we need to be adequately computer literate is to keep up with our children’s activities and social circle.  Without understanding how the internet works, we cannot identify the risks and explain them to our kids.  We cannot protect our kids from any potential danger that lurks in cyber space.   We’ve heard recent stories of teenagers being abducted by strangers they meet through Facebook.  Does it mean we stop our kids from accessing Facebook? 

I don’t see how we can stop our kids from accessing the internet given how much it has infiltrated into our society and affect how we behave.  When I ask my kids where they learn about the latest news, response is “the internet”.  When they have homework they don’t have answers ranging from doing a research on Russia to explaining what is a typhoon, they log on the internet. 

What we can do as mother is to explain to our kids the risks and lay certain ground rules while ensuring we have the proper parent control tools in place.  It helps to reiterate the ground rules which should include not chatting to strangers on the cyber world, to keep their social networking profile “private” and not revealing private information to strangers.  It is most important to have the computer in an open area such as the living room. 

Despite the risks that the internet may pose, it is a great communication tool and help us better understand our kids.  Want to know how your kids’ day is, check their Facebook status and Twitter.  Likewise if you want to know what is the common topic among your kids and their friends, Facebook and Twitter offer great insights. 

Let’s all get connected.  Gotta go check my Twitter now…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Female Boss vs Male Boss

My colleague and I had lunch with a couple young trainees.  These are the future leaders of the bank.  They are smart, articulate and many had been educated overseas.  Someone raised an interesting question asking if they prefer female or male bosses.  Almost all the young ladies put up their hand in preference for a male boss.  Reasons for avoiding a female boss ranges from emotional instability (which I can swear apply to both genders and I still have scars from my irrational male bosses in the past) to nit-picking.

I feel that female bosses have been unfairly portrayed as Miranda Priestly in "The Devil wears Prada".   When a woman is aggressive and ambitious, she is a bitch.  When she's straightforward, she's either blunt or rude.  When she displays emotion at work, she's irrational.  When she doesn't display emotion, she's cold-blooded.   When a man is aggressive and ambitious, he's simply aggressive and ambitious.  When he's straightforward, he's honest.  When he displays emotion at work, he's in touched with his feeling.  When he doesn't display emotion at work, he's reserved.

If the young women coming up the corporate ladder think gender bias is an issue of the past generation, think again.  You've just displayed the greatest bias by putting up your hands.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Diversity at work

Diversity spans across gender.  Being a career woman and a working mom, I would however like to share my observation on this topic close to my heart.  In Asia, many industries are relatively dominated by men and hence drive a macho culture within the organization.  Senior management networked over drinks and golfs where women are inclined not to join.  Women in senior management position struggle to be part of the pact.  

The absence of back-slapping camaraderie may result in women being side-lined in important decisions and promotion.  Most women I speak to feel they have to work harder to be where they are.  And there are enough studies to show women make less than their peer holding the same positions.    The challenge for women is whether to conform to the macho culture and start acting tough; playing by the boy's rules or risk letting our femininity discount our capability?  

With half of the world's population women and with more women graduating college, we cannot afford to ignore this talent pool.  As we try to build a sustainable business, we need to tap and retain the women in the work force.  Women tend to bring in a different approach to management.  It will benefit organizations to embrace the difference.   

I am an ardent believer that everyone should be credited for their merits. Women want to be promoted because we deserve it and not because of diversity.  And I've seen enough examples of women compensate for the lack of social networking within their organizations by working harder. 

How can an organization attract and retain female employees?  For a start, senior management of the organization has to walk the walk.  Diversity cannot simply be a marketing gimmick we flaunt.  It takes a cultural change to learn to accept and respect the female counter-parts at work.  It means sexiest jokes are no longer acceptable, networking has to be more inclusive and more conscious decisions on changes to be made.  It means supporting our female employees through their different stages in life.  Many women leave the work force because they are frowned upon for ensuring their family especially young kids are adequately taken care for without compromising on their work.

Organizations with the the right frame-work to support women through their different stages in life help attract and retain female employees.  A nursing room, flexible working hour (this may not be suitable for all jobs), and work from home (which can be most helpful in most traffic congested cities in Asia) are examples of some initiatives already implemented by several organizations.  

Some skeptics question whether all these are good for business.  I've seen lower turn-over at organization that makes serious effort on diversity.  I rest my case and long hail to some of the organizations in Indonesia I personally know which are advocates of diversity; Unilever and Standard Chartered Bank.  May the others learn form the best in class.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Logged into Facebook and saw several updates and photo uploads by "friends".  I am guilty of not making the time to keep in touch with old pals.  

I have a few best friends I still keep close contacts.  These are people whom I can count on.   These are the friendships least diluted by the passing of time and distance.   For the rest of friends I've made in my earlier years, we've drifted apart due to busy schedule and different path in life.  Probably will not mind catching up over a reunion but sadly with other priorities in life, these people won't take precedent.  Facebook in a way helps us to get reunited with old pals and I am sure many reunions have surfaced as a result.  

I attended reunion recently and it was good fun to meet friends I've not seen for more than a decade.  I'm sure we all have changed yet in many ways we didn't.  Put among the same group, we behave in a similar way.  I suppose we all play a certain role in the group; the joker still makes silly jokes, the bossy lady still tries to boss the others, the rebellious ones still challenge every decisions to be made.  Yet we all know most of us will part and will end up seeing each other at the next reunion.  

Regardless of whether I still keep in touch with everyone, I am thankful to have met these people who in one way or another has touched my life.  And I do look forward to the next reunion.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Woke up and stared at yourself in the mirror suddenly realizing the wrinkles around your eyes and mouth?  Breasts sagging, stretch mark becoming more visible, tummy flabbier (despite desperate sit-ups), loose skin around the neck and alarming growth of grey hair?  These aging signs are unavoidable and causes certain amount of anxiety among most women.

Thank goodness for all the creams that promise youth; night cream, eye cream, neck cream, exfoliating scrub and with any imaginable ingredients; gold, pearl, AHA, seaweed, sugar and even placenta (recalled reading about it).  We sign up for gym and huff and puff our way through classes (which by the way is no longer called aerobics, they are now Body Pump, Body Combat etc).  We may even go for a wardrobe make-over, squeezing ourselves into clothes that we think will make us look younger (this explains why many mothers and their teenage daughters wear outfits that look alike).  

We struggle with the new technology trying to catch up with internet; blackberry, iphone, twitter and  facebook.  We need a dictionary to understand the latest acronym; lol (laugh out loud), omw (on my way), omg (oh my god) etc.  We go clubbing (not disco) to appear young even though we don't recognize any of the songs played.

Despite self-deprecating, I welcome the experiences life has taught me.  Most of us are more at ease with ourselves than we were in our 20's.  We are more secure about who we are.  We know what we want in life and are more confident to demand from life.  We have learned that we can't love others unless we first learn to love ourselves and we can't treat others right if we don't first take care of ourselves.  We realize we can't please everyone and has cut-off toxic people from our lives.

Our inner selves are more beautiful.  This is what aging gracefully is all about.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Values of a corporate

In a corporate world, people are highly concerned with how they are being perceived.  As they say, perception is reality.  As such, people walk around trying to put up an armored front.

Is it considered weak if we show kindness at work?  Do we have to act tough to get ahead in the race?

I want to believe that basic courtesy and kindness will help us far in life.   If an organization condones bad behavior, do we want to be associated with it?  Do we want to surround ourselves with people who do not share the same basic values with us?

More organizations are now concerned with building the right culture.  The right values are encouraged and senior management walk the walk as much as they talk the talk.  I know a bank which promotes its values which are trustworthy, international, creative, responsive and courageous with conviction.  I am certain more organizations will realize that the right values are crucial to build a sustainable business.

Until such time, it is up to individuals like us to lead by being the right example.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Job and Retrenchment

The financial crisis seems far behind in most part of South East Asia.  Most people who've lost their jobs would have found one by now.  And the impact of a weak economy and fear of retrenchment has long been forgotten.

We so often complained about our job; the work itself, the colleagues we have to deal with, office politics, difficult clients and the list goes on.  Yet we fail to be grateful for a job that helps put bread (or rice) on the table. For most of us who like what we are doing on most days, we should even be more thankful.

The impact of retrenchment is detrimental to one's self-esteem and definitely disruptive to the financial stability of the family.  When you are told you would be terminated, even though you know that it's due to the weak economy, the first question you have is "why me".  Your mind will start playing trick on you and self-doubt will start to kick-in.  You probably will lose your self-confidence.  You start worrying about covering the basic needs of the family and having to change the life-style of everyone on the family to ease through this challenging period.  You find it difficult to explain to your family why you lose your job and how this will affect them.

So while we hold a steady job, let us be thankful.  Not suggesting we should stick around a job if we utterly dislike what we are doing.  But if it's a matter of a few lousy days and a few rotten apples among our colleagues, let's brace ourselves through.  As they say in yoga, let it go.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My eulogy

What happened to people when they die?  We all ultimately die but what exactly happened when we die?  As I am confronted by deaths of people close to me, this question has been bugging me.  Or should I say I’m confronted by my own mortality.

I won't attempt to address a question I don't have the answer.   Recalled going for 7 Habits training many years ago.  As part of the exercise, we were asked to spend quiet moment thinking about what we want people to remember us when we pass away.  What do we want those close to us to say for our eulogy? 

It was exactly a life-changing exercise but it was an epiphany.   Although I no longer keep the piece of written exercise, I am sure what I wanted then remains.  Basically I want my eulogy to read as such:
  • She’s been a wonderful person who embraces life whole-heartedly and brings out the best in people.
  • She’s kind, generous and loving to people indiscriminately.
  • She’s loves her kids unconditionally and nurtured them to be loving, kind, considerate, responsible and independent individuals.
  • She’s a great friend willing to lend a helping hand and shoulder to cry on.
  • She had picked herself up, brushed off the dust, licked her wounds, learned from the experiences life has handed her and moved on wiser and stronger.
  • She’s not perfect but she’s true to herself and others.

I realize I still have a lot of work to do.  Knowing I’m not immortal, there’s really no excuse not to get started.  Time is ticking away.