Plenty to see,
much to do.
Choices In abundance,
in two minds is one.
Brimming with affirmation,
to believe is key.
Seemingly shrouded in darkness,
listen well to your heart,
though the front is veiled,
the outline is still clear.
Feels like eternity,
this period of unknown,
though the destination is unfixed,
the direction is still clear.
When anxiety builds up,
allow patience to settle,
though the end point yet a distance away,
push hard towards the light,
for it guides.
A niggling feel,
deep down hints.
Something is not quite right,
but no, the timing is still unripe.
The companions are absent,
the moment to meet yet unknown.
Only clue I’ve got,
is “plod, plod”.
The route ahead blurry,
path beyond stands invisible.
Nonetheless, fragile trust I hold,
to walk on with faith,
believe the cloudiness will soon pass me by.
I go forward,
stepping along the faintly outlined road.
It’s the time of the year when I am posed this question – how was 2013? Inspired by Candace’s 2013 in Review, I decided to take some time out to think and pen out my year.
I started off with new year resolutions – to bake cakes for special occasions, to run four half marathons, to start on a job search, continue to write poetries to inspire and to complete three courses on Coursera.
I did try the apple cake, apple almond cake, chocolate hazelnut torte, brownies, vanilla chiffon(failed three times!), orange chocolate cake, raspberry white chocolate muffin(joint effort with a friend) – all completed by summer time. I took a break for three months nearly and tried the chocolate Guinness cake with success in November. I even went on to bake it on three different occasions and contributed to my company’s charity cake sale!
Running – though I didnt break any two hour mark at all, I managed to go up to Bergen to participate in a local run and did the Selsdon Half marathon in April. I grew up in Bergen at the moment I realised I lost all my monies on a lone trip in a foreign country. Slipping on the ice gave me a scare as well and now I could have possibly acquired a phobia of walking on ice.
Unfortunately since May, I was plagued with the plantar faciitis and thus there was a period of depressive phase when I immersed in self-pity by just going to sleep but on multiple occasions I managed to drag myself out of bed and volunteered my services at the local parkrun. Also, I went to cheer for my company’s cricket matches – thereby getting to know a new sport. I am also now an expert at offering foot injury advice and also recommended exercises and also an owner of a foam roller which has been underused for the last two months.
On the job search front, there was a few encouraging moments – when I got offered a role in US – which I turned down as I wasnt keen to move myself there for a year; and made a trip to Berlin to get a feel of a potential company’s culture. I did enjoy Berlin and met up with a fellow blog friend whom I have forged a friendship over the last three years. It was an invaluable trip.
I was diligently staying up late past midnight in January and February and even brought along my laptop to Berlin – all for the sake of self-improvement. And also a personal enjoyment of data analysis – I did enjoy the moments when I stumbled upon new insights and learnt about a new data analysis technique. It’s definitely one of my personal passions.
Poetry writing – something which I have been inspired since coming to London. The muse was lost a few times but on the few occasions especially during my lone trip to Dublin, the peace and serenity attracted my muse back and the words just flowed and formed soothing sentences and thoughts.
There was a particular goal which I set – utterly impossible crazy goal but still, I persisted but for obvious lack of emotional readiness, nothing has come out of it. And I realised today that perhaps it’s not something that could happen afterall and perhaps it didnt matter that much anymore. If in the event, this comes true in 2014 – I might write it down here but now I am not ready to voice it out.
I celebrated one year anniversaries with a few new friends whom I got to know last year and developed a better understanding of myself. I can now say ‘no'(more often than not) when I am not up for it. I made some time to help a friend to sell some potteries and discovered more about myself during my three lone trips this year. Now I can truly say I am a big girl now – and is able to take care of myself better compared to a year ago. Patience, tolerance, do my best and detach from the outcomes are my three new virtues.
Today I received the official document to stay in this country for another three years – what will the next three years bring? Definitely one important goal is to make myself happier. The book I am reading now – The Happiness Project – suggests that by making myself happier, I will be able to bring more happiness to the people around me. Is that true? It’s one of my challenges in 2014 to prove it.
What will the new year bring for me? Or what will I bring along in 2014? More expected and unexpected stuff, which I am sure each one of you will agree with me.
Happy New Year to all!
What does three months mean to you? 90 days, one seasonal change or just simply a quarter of a year? I have been down with plantar faciitis during this length of time and everyday, I feel the foot hurting after I wake up, a constant reminder that this is the result of me needing to take care of myself better. The last couple of days, I have not felt the ache as much and it struck me that my long awaited recovery seems to be around the corner. Hence I decided to share my thoughts on the meaning of the past three months.
Feels like an eternity,
sunshine no longer implies running.
Walking becomes a chore,
the bed is the place where I spend the most time.
Seeking new replacement activities,
swimming still does not quite feel right.
Spectator is my new role,
cricket matches look fun.
No chance to busk in Summer’s early arrival,
outdoor activities so near yet so far.
I watch from a distance,
gave myself a silent cheer,
and hope that tomorrow will come,
when I will be fit again.
Three months feel surely,
like an eternity.
When the bus leaves before your run to the bus stop,
see it as a chance to relax and rest your feet.
When the red light pops up before you can cross the road,
see it as a sign to slow down and enjoy your surroundings.
When things do not go as smoothly as you expected,
take it as a chance to build your patience and perserverence.
When your path is blocked by roadworks,
recognise it as a sign to divert your path and learn a new route.
Remember that everything is temporary,
a phase to experience and pass,
like the fog which will soon be blown away by the wind,
the road will be cleared once again.
By then, you will be more ready,
to take on the diversions again.
Was there ever a time you regret,
a choice you made,
times when you took things for granted,
till when it was too late?
When misunderstandings build up,
and ‘sorrys’ unsaid;
when temper flares;
and frustrations added on<
and thus things came to a standstill,
till everything was unsalvagable?
Make no more such mistakes,
one party need to give in,
deal with conflicts with a calm mind,
hold onto unkind words.
Just as a string tangles up into knots,
a thoughtless tug makes them tighter,
with patience and gentle hands,
the tip to unravel the unruly lot.
As shared the last time, I am growing a pocket garden. This morning, I woke up and upsetted the pack. To my horror, I watched one of the plant dropped out together with the soil while trying to pick it up!
Since I started growing the plant, it has been part of my routine to check on it ever so often. When I come back from work and just after I wake up, it’s intuitive. I remember that the plant needs its water and sunlight but according to instructions, it needs minimal amount of water. To me, it translated as minimal care and concern needed – which works out fine for me. This is the first ever time as an adult, taking care of a living thing and although a plant is different from an animal, to me, it’s all about effort and responsibility even though I didnt ask for it.
I have brothers keeping fishes in aquarium since ten years ago. I watched the initial enthusiasm diminishing everyday and I felt a little sad. And growing up, there were 101 things to do and taking care of fishes(only) just seems like too much work. It’s similar to having a child. Although I can safely conclude that a child is way much more work compared to a plant and pet. Commitment and responsibility are the keywords and I wasnt sure if I possess any or maybe if I wanted to be responsible for the life of another.
Growing this plant hits me that if I have what it takes if I am committed to. I have aspirations of blooming flowers even as I cut up the bag to reveal the soil. Dreams of perhaps eventually planting into a proper garden took shape as I poured in the seeds. Making sure no overcrowding was in my mind as the tiny grains fell onto the soil. A tad too much water went into the soil due to the lack of my control in dripping in the water. And I was worried about them even though they have not even taken shape.
The first picture above was taken as I set it up next to the window ledge in my bedroom, making sure it has sufficient sunlight. Everyday, I diligently tended to it. Was it hard work? No, it was not. Anxiety did enter my mind when I saw nothing after a week. It became a natural routine of giving the living thing some attention every day. To be precise,twice daily.
My tender care was finally reciprocated upon the appearance of exactly two sprouts at the end of the second week. The start of a deepening relationship,pay-off of my efforts.
A check every half a day,
to quench its thirst,
making sure it has light,
is it growing?
Let’s look at it again,
water – check;
light – check;
has it grown yet?
Health check again;
time for water break,
turn on the lamp,
why is it taking so long?
Patience I have to build up,
nurturing is essential,
I wait in anticipation for my baby’s growth.