Posts Tagged ‘ Reflection ’

Lunch Around the Lake

It was like 3 weeks ago when Hen called me out of the blue and said if I wanted to join him and a friend for lunch. Now this was an unexpected surprise as I only had a simple lunch planned that day plus I also skipped breakfast that morning, so was rather hungry. He mentioned that we would have oyseters and I thought, ‘well I hadn’t had that in awhile. Maybe I should go…’ Regardless, I agreed to meet him and am already making my way out the door. Fast forward 15min, I had caught up with him at the building foyer, and he said ‘change of plans. Since it’s such a nice day, we’re going to have an outside lunch. And plus my friend isn’t that hungry.’ He introduced his friend Jen, we made our way to his car, and started heading towards Dahu.

Nearing Dahu lake, he parked on the side of the road and said ‘The restaurant’s just on the other side of that hill.’
‘Wow, so a hidden restaurant overlooking the lake?’ I piped in surprise.
‘Yeah,’ said Hen, ‘I’ve had it a couple of times. A nice little Italian café hidden inside.’
And with that, we marched along the wooden walkway that circled around the lake. We rounded the corner of the hill and there was still no restaurant in sight.’

‘Hey Hen, I thought you said the place is here???’ I asked.
He turned back and said, ‘Yeah, it’s just a lil further ahead.’
Failure to see where further questioning would get me, I decided to admire the scenery around the lake. After another 10min, we started coming up to a road. I’m guessing that this is where the road ended that circled the lake from the other side. Further down the street, I noticed a small restaurant sign swinging in the wind. Making our way towards it, it was evident that the small Italian café was not open that day.
‘Well.…this was unplanned for.’ Hen announced.
With an awkward laugh, I replied ‘so… where’s the next destination?’
‘How about the café on the lake front?’ he gestured to the building on the other side of the lake.

Limited to the options available, Jen & I muted our agreement and started making our way towards our new destination. Another 20min later, we reached the other café and entered. The waiter said they are just preparing the table, and asked us to take a look at the menu first so that we could order as soon as we sat down. I don’t know why it is, but this café had to be the worlds slowest café. They spent another 15min clearing that ONE table, and only afterwards did they usher us to the table. I’m assuming their excuse was that they were heavily understaffed, but it definitely was not professional. Jen took a look at the time and siad, ‘I don’t think I can have lunch anymore. We dunno when the meals will come after we’ve ordered. It’s already 1pm, and I kinda have to get back by 1.30pm today.’ We took a moment looking at each other. Mutually we agreed that we should just get a bento takeaway from another place and leave here now. Just when the waiters and waitresses were looking, we sneaked out the front door and left things as it was. We spent another 20min walking back round the lake to where Hen had parked a car.
In the back of my mind, I was laughing to myself. Can’t believe we spent the entire lunchtime strolling around the lake. Definitely a nice stroll, but totally unplanned for and a waste of time during work.

We bought our lunch back to the office as me and Hen shared and laughed about the experience.

Afternoon at the Mall

My hands reached out towards the power cord hanging on the rack. I looked back up. My friends were browsing some other store next door. So I decided to just continue browsing in the electronic store moving from item to item. Wasn’t long before I lost track of time and my friends were no where to be found.

I ran out and strolled through the different stores looking for my friends. I saw one of them from a reflection off a store upstairs. So I thought, well before I head up to catch up with them, I will just stop over at a cafe to grab a coffee to go. While in line for a coffee, there was an old idealistic lady that was telling some teenage strangers off and giving them an earful.
Young people these days. They have no respect for their elders. Talking away in that gawd awful language and foul mouth. No one respectable would be able to understand…

She continued to grill on them, picking out every stereotypical generalization and berated them while looking down at them with her head tilt slightly back. I wasn’t sure what came over me but I walked over and interrupted her.
I’m not sure what they have done, but I couldn’t help over hearing you. What you are saying to these people isn’t any better than what you’re doing. If you sincerely wanted them to be better citizens and people, be an example and not a #!@$#$…

I might have continued for a while longer. But afterwards, I felt really good about myself and having put that lady in her place. She had been speechless after my interruption, gave me a death stare, before picking up her belongings and huffed out of the cafe.

I too made my way out of the cafe and realized that the most bottom floor of the mall had been flooded with water. It must’ve been pouring with rain on the outside. I was worried that I would lose my friends in the mass of people. So I rushed downstairs to see if I can catch up to them. I saw people paddling in small rowboats down the flooded streets. It was a rather strange sight, but I didn’t really have time to ponder why. As I turned a corner, I had finally found my friends. They were dressed like Janitors and were cleaning up the indoors of some kind of store while singing and acting like clowns. I found it hilarious though. The way they danced, the way they acted, I began laughing hysterically.

It was right then that my subconscious caught myself and questioned, “Hang on… why are you laughing? Why are you happy? This can’t be real.” And then I instantly woke up, lying back in my bed.

Wise words from Marcus

Just now after I came back from work, I started watching Black Sails. In the scene where Miranda suggested to Guthrie that he may find the book written by Marcus Aurelius to be insightful. And a bit later, she reads him a passage from the book which resonated to my thoughts recently.

Be like a rocky promontory against which the restless surf continuously pounds; it stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet. I hear you say, “How unlucky that this should happen to me!” Not at all! Say instead, “How lucky I am that I am not broken by what has happened and am not afraid of what is about to happen. The same blow might have struck any one, but not many would have absorbed it without capitulation and complaint.

No matter which perspective I take, I can’t deny that I am more the wiser.

Sailing High Winds

I had originally planned to write it in the positive emotions blog that me and Josi share, but I guess that these thoughts don’t share the same limelight as positive thoughts.

I’m at a stage in my life where the only thing that I find easy and effortless is my job and everything else either seems hard or it doesn’t make sense.

The thing that is really bugging me is that I don’t understand why things are so hard. Not hard in terms of difficulty. Hard in the sense that it’s a struggle, and that I have to put serious effort and concentration into achieving it. I take a look at my peers and colleagues. Some of them merely wish it or just cruise through their life, and they will attain it sometime in the recent future one way or another.
I, on the other hand, would need to analyze it, plan it, evaluate it, take action, reassess, setup, and explore. And even after all that, it may still not turn out how I want it. Life relies too much on variable chances. To someone who manages projects, I can see that there is obviously something wrong here. Maybe I am doing it wrong, or maybe I am over-thinking or over-doing things. But the fact remains, if I don’t do anything, then nothing will actually happen.

One thing I do understand is that happiness is a frame of mind. It is merely a matter of which perspective I choose to take. But sometimes the realist in me can’t deny that I am only fooling myself. Whether I choose to believe it is still up to me. There is one quote that I remember but have forgot where I had heard it from. It goes “When it’s right, it’s always easy”. Does that mean that other than my work, everything else isn’t right for me? Maybe so.

I feel that my age also affects how I am feeling. Back when I was younger, it felt like there was still so much of the world to explore. The destinations, its complexity, the people. Nowadays, I see myself more like an old man that’s living down the street, yelling at every street kid and alley cat that’s looking at me the wrong way. Not sure why that is, but that’s how I am now. I also feel that the only time I can steady my mind is when I’m either running or cycling. I do enjoy the exercise, but it shouldn’t be that those are not my only options for having a clear head.

I hope that when I come back from my trip next month, I will be able to catch more wind behind my sails so that things can be smooth sailing…

Thanks for the encouragement Rocky!

I just happen to be flicking through the channels and Rocky Balboa (2006) was on. It just happened to be the part where Rocky’s son calls him out to the alleyway to have a “talk”. I’ve seen this movie before and thought it was decent. But I really listened to what Rocky said to his son this time, and it really hit home. I felt this way many times before in my early twenties, and I wanted to be reminded of it moving forward. Stay strong okay!
Thanks Rocky!!
(Please read it in Rocky’s voice~~~)

“You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. (He gestures to the palm of his hand). I’d hold you up to say to your mother, ‘This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.’ And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watchin’ you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know.The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.”

My Watch

I don’t normally wear my watch. Only on days I feel like it, which is pretty rare. But today was one of those days. I picked up my watch and noticed that the time was incorrect. As my vision focused, I realized that the seconds hand had stopped moving.

Looks like I need to get a new battery or a new watch.

Nangang Turn Stop

In the bus ride home again, my vision trails away out of focus.

I was lost in my thoughts wondering about how the day has been, what I could be doing in the weekend, how my work is going, what new hobbies could I start….
It was then suddenly, the driver announced that we were at the Nangang turn stop. I thought to myself, that’s peculiar. The bus driver never mentioned any of the other stops we stop at. Why this one? It wasn’t even a major stop or one that connected to other transport locations.
Nevertheless, I looked up. There stood waiting at the bus stop, one of the most nicest looking girl I have ever seen. I plastered my face to the window with my hands on either side. She was too busy looking at her smartphone and did not look up. I don’t know why,  but I felt like stopping the bus and getting off so that I could get her to notice me. But then what….
What normal person does this… haha… all I can do is daydream I guess.

Ai…. maybe I’m just going crazy and a bit manic. 滾滾滾。。。

 

Modern family dinners

I’m used to it now. Working away from home means that dining usually takes place alone. It’s just easier and more convenient this way. Besides, I’m a bit short of friends in this place. But that’s another story.

When I do dine by myself, I take notice of the occupants around me. The usual stereotypes are normally all there. There’s the new lovey dovey cute couples, there are the we’ve been dating for a few years and things are kinda boring and it’s more efficient if we just communicate with each other through our phones couple, there’s the Mum who is by herself looking after the kid/kids who are yelling, screaming, screeching, and running about, there’s the happy new family with the first born toddler with the mummy and daddy, and lastly there’s the long married couple that are just dining together outside because their kids have all grown up and moved away. I’ve seen all types really and am basically just used to it all.

It was earlier tonight though that I was dining at a small dinner cafe where I saw a family. There was a mother and a father with two kids. A boy and a girl who looked to be around 5 and 4 respectively. It was only when I carefully observed them that the scene before me was just breaking my heart.

Picture this. The Dad is only his smart phone swiping away. The Mum us also on her phone swiping away. One kid was just staring at the wall beside her in blank stare, and the boy was slowly chewing away his food staring blankly forward. This continued for at least another 5min before the mother spoke something while still focused on her phone without lifting her head. I don’t think her husband made any gesture of acknowledgement, but continued to use his phone. It was in the kids faces though. They looked like they were obedient at such a young age, but there was no joy in them though. The expressions they had were like they are just sitting there drifting through life… eating what’s in front of them only because their parents had said so.

After both the kids had put down their utensils, they sat there for another 5 minutes before the mother put down her phone and asked, all finished? The kids nodded politely. The wife then motioned over to the husband that they should leave. He didn’t look up but got up while still using his phone and only put it away after he quickly finish with what he was fiddling with. The family followed quietly after they gathered their belongings and left the cafe.

I know that it’s not fair to judge from an outside perspective. But just observing on what I saw, I vow to myself that I would end up like this family that I saw before me. Because of the convenience of technology, it is to blame here in this situation I believe. A family dinner outside should be a joyous and interactive event. Okay, it might not need to be joyous, but it is a chance for the family to interact at some level. But because of smart phones, it felt more like a disconnect with what should be more important. Family right?

Maybe they’re just tired. Maybe they’re busy trying to finish work, or communicate important business messages. Whatever the case though… what I witnessed tonight, I will try to make sure that that would not be a reflection of what will become.

What to expect in 2016 for me…

First post of 2016. Things had started off pretty chilled, but I have a feeling that this year will bring about a change for the better. (Just a feeling).

2015 for me went by so fast. I put so much focus on my work. In this year, I learnt so much, but if I honestly reflected back, it was mostly just work. All work and no play makes a pretty dull year. Something I hope to change this year I think. Technically speaking, I’m doing pretty well at the workplace, but sometimes I still feel it just isn’t enough. I feel like I can actually do more. A couple of nights ago, I thought back and reflected on where I am right now. It’s strange though. I am in a pretty comfortable state, but I wasn’t content. I asked myself, what am I actually doing? I must be going wrong somewhere, why else am I still not content? I achieved most of my NYR last year which was better than most of the previous years. And still I think there are still plenty room for improvement.

I think one of the things I am going to work on this year to to try and get involved in more activities and hopefully meet more new people and possibly new friends. I’m finding it’s much harder to make honest friends nowadays. I think as people get older, they get much lazier. I feel the same way actually.  Meeting new people and building a proper relationship actually takes effort. So much work for something that might not be long-term is kinda a waste of time. But really, I’m not doing anything much with it other than spending it on work anyways. So whats the harm.

One thing I need to work on though is to keep at it. That laziness seeps in too easily. Argh! Definitely need to keep it at bay. It’s the bane of my own self-improvement. So I decided, this will be something I will work on this year, and hopefully my efforts will pay off.

Wish me luck.

Thanks,

Outside In…

*** WARNING Will be going into some of the plot of Inside Out – Pixar movie.***

When I first saw the trailer for Inside Out like last year, I knew I wanted to watch this movie. It wasn’t so much that the trailer was interesting or appealing. I was just intrigued at how they would actually create a whole movie about a person’s personality.

Now that it’s finally out, I took a chance to go watch it from beginning to end. I must say that the story line was nothing I had imagined. If I knew that they were going down the emotional pathway, I would’ve better prepared myself. But then again, I guess I wasn’t using my brain. C’mon right… we’re talking about personality traits in the mind. Of course there will be emotions.

Before the movie even started, I knew the main characters of the movie. There was Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. My first thoughts were 1) why was there only 1 positive emotion compared to the other 4 more “negative” emotions? 2) Disgust? Of all the other emotions I can think of (such as love, envy/jealousy, happiness, wonder, nervousness, happy) to name a few, why would they pick Disgust as a main character? 3) I can’t exactly imagine the story of the movie going anywhere out of the ordinary. Maybe some comedy, some music, something touching, some conflict etc. etc. Actually, for those people that have seen this movie and the movie “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs”, I had actually pictured it to be something between that and the ending tidbit of this movie. The bits of the camera going into all the different character’s mind and their personality that controls them.

Yeah, so anyways… at the beginning, I thought that Joy had a really hard time. She had a lot of things to deal with, and basically everyone relied on her mostly as Joy describes it — having happy memories leads to a happy day, which leads to a happy week, to a happy month, to a happy year, to a happy life. This is what I believe what everyone’s purest mantra at their core. To live a happy life right?

And then there was sadness. As if the movie was reading my mind right there and then, she was indeed annoying. Everything about her was negative, and yet you cannot remove her. She was just always there. And Sadness would just touch the joyful memories out of her own will. When she kept doing that, I too felt annoyed as Joy wondering why she kept touching it when she had been repeatedly told not to. Sadness replied “I know that, but I just can’t help it.” This resonated with me a bit. It’s true. Even when I’m telling my mind that I want to be happy, I need to be happy, I choose to be happy, sadness was always there in the corner no matter what. In the first half hour, you can see how hard Joy is trying to keep Sadness at bay.

That is where the real story begins. Where Joy and Sadness find themselves lost and stuck outside of their control tower. They try their best to get Joy back as soon as possible… cause as you know, without Joy, the person cannot be happy. In their endeavor, Joy and Sadness workout their differences and really learn to respect each other.

There were bits of humor in there, to me personally, there were many emotional hidden messages in the story and their actions. I think the movie did a really great job also at trying to appeal to more mature audience as well as making it suitable for a fun and quirky movie for kids. I also like the ending and how they resolved the entire situation.

By the end of the movie, I was satisfied that all 3 of my early questions could be sated and explained in the movie. Disgust really is a main character also… Hah!

My rating for this movie is a 10/10. Trust me… this is rare for me.