Saturday, March 30, 2013

"When we run, I don't feel like I have a disability"
 The bronze statue was installed on the front lawn of the Center School a few yards from the starting line. Commissioned by long-time Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock, the life-size sculpture captures the Hoyts in their familiar and rousing racing posture—a muscular Dick slightly stooped over pushing an energized Rick in his wheelchair, a single arm raised, as it usually is, when they cross a finish line.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we're approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter - 'Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended' They pay for their order, take the two and leave.

I ask my friend: 'What are those 'suspended' coffees ?' 'Wait for it and you will see' Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers - three for them and four 'suspended'.

While I still wonder what's the deal with those 'suspended' coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café.
Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks 'Do you have a suspended coffee ?' It's simple - people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage.
The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Since I started running last year, I've gradually lost some weight.
Oddly enough, it was never my target.
My target was to finish the runs.
Also, more importantly, I desperately needed the endorphins in my system.
Whenever I exercise, it's 100% guaranteed that the 'dark monsters' don't follow me.
They're very lazy in that sense.

Of course, the weight loss effect was very flattering.
People around me kept enquiring 'how I did it'.
They were more keen to know if I had swallowed any pills or formulas.
Their interest immediately disappear when I mention the word 'exercise'.
The expression 'like I hadn't heard that before' was clearly on their face.

There is one issue bothering me.
My clothes.
I need to replace them.
And it saddens me because strangely, I have affections for them.
Read this -my-big-clothes-my-good-friends
And this

I really can't give them away.
They have served me so well, when I needed them most.
I'll store them nicely.
After all, statistically speaking, a relapse is very very likely. ( my medication will increase)
The weight gain will return.
And these 'good friends' of mine shall be with me again, through it all.
Taken from this CNN report of Chelsea Roff

"There is a way out. You don’t have to suffer alone. There are people out there who want to love you, who would be honored to bear witness to your pain. Healing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We are human and we have an inherent need to see and be seen, to touch and be touched. No one heals heartbreak alone."

Monday, March 25, 2013

I've been quite 'ok' these few weeks.
I almost dare to use the word, -happy.
But I remind myself my own words that I've uttered not long ago.

"I have to keep checking myself. Make sure I do things to uplift myself so that I don't fall too deep in when I'm sad. At the same time, I have to double check my happy moments. Am I too happy? I'm constantly balancing on tight rope. Even the very thought that I'm fine needs to be check, because I can't trust my own mind."

I'm not normal.
I can't be.
I can't pretend to be.

I have to be me.

There is a lump in my throat.
Bitterness in my thoughts
And heaviness in my heart.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Touching...
Taken from www.runnersworld.com
By Nancy Cutrell Published March 20, 2013
Aurora has faced many challenges in her life. In 1974, Aurora was hit by a car while walking. The injuries she sustained were severe—she broke her tibia and fibula of one leg. Her lacerations were so deep and wide, at the time, the doctors felt she needed to have her leg amputated.

Thankfully Aurora’s family protested and she opted for a cast, to heal the broken bones, although she was still told she would never walk again. Her rehab following this horrific accident left her in a wheelchair until she was able to switch to crutches once she gained some strength. Because of the cast, Aurora was not able to bend her leg and her pain was nonstop. Her leg finally healed but Aurora’s roadblocks didn’t stop there.

Aurora has flat feet, and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and tendonitis. She receives cortisone shots in her foot and her knee is drained to relieve some of the pressure. Her bad leg is shorter than the other. She is required to wear a shoe lift to allow some balance. It seemed as though Aurora was hit with one constant battle after another.

In December 1996, Aurora was introduced to the San Diego Marathon and 5-K through the community center where she works. Nearly a year after learning about the event, Aurora participated in her very first road race. She started walking the 5-K with a friend and took off running, leaving her friend in the dust. Aurora felt such a tremendous exhilaration from completing the 5-K that she asked to do the half-marathon the very next day, not even knowing what a half-marathon was at the time.

Since that day Aurora has been hooked. She went on to participate in 27 full marathons and 28 half-marathons. San Diego has a three-marathon series: Carlsbad Marathon, La Jolla Marathon, and America’s Finest City Marathon. If you participate in all three under a determined time, you receive a special “Triple Crown” medal. Aurora has triple crowned the past five years.

As of right now, Aurora is signed up for six half-marathons this year; she completed one last month. Aurora ran the Carlsbad Marathon on January 27, 2013. This was her 55th half/full marathon. Her 56th was on February 24 at the Women’s Half-Marathon. For the 15th year in a row, Aurora has signed up for the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, which will be number 57. And the Silver Strand Half-Marathon will be amazing number 58.

Since Aurora works for a non-profit agency, funds are often very low. Aurora has made a positive spin on all of the races she has participated in by raising money for the community center. The funds provide transportation for the members of the center and also cover maintenance repairs. To date, Aurora has raised an unheard amount of $187,787.00 and funds are still rolling in from last month’s half-marathon. Last fall, Aurora turned 70. Aurora completed the Carlsbad Half-Marathon in a time of 1:59:40. She placed first in her age division.

Aurora barely stands 4’9" and because that she is known as “Li'l Giant” at her community center. But Aurora stands far much more than that. Did I also mention Aurora is blind and runs every race with her walking stick? My husband and I had the honor of meeting Aurora last year when she came to our karate school to test for her black belt. Yes, Aurora has a black belt in ChunJiDo. If I did not know Aurora was blind, I never would have known it. Aurora sees with her heart.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
---Dalai Lama

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How could one's heart not feel the warmth after watching these videos?




Mom: You can do it !
Kid: I can do it !


Andrew - "I get bullied at lot. They don't like that kind of music."
 S.Cowell - "How do you deal with it?" Andrew - "I carry on singing." ................
 S.Cowell - "Andrew, I think you're better than you think you are. Hear it from me, you are good. But most importantly, what I want to see confidence and self-belief."

Friday, March 22, 2013

I came out of the room after an hour of Hot Yoga.
As usual, I sweated buckets - which is great!

There was a good looking guy lifting dumbbells staring at me.
Woah! Immediately I *perasan ! - feeling so full of myself, thinking I must look good after a workout.

The feeling came crashing down when I was in the changing room.


My grey shirt was soak in sweat and the paddings in my sports bra was screaming 'Wonder Woman'.
Sigh...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I wanted to write this event in my traditional book-diary because it's quite personal, but I seem to be 'busier' after work.
So, I'll just type this post before I forget.
I had a 'funny' dream.

I watched a HongKong TVB reality show about match-making just before I dozed off.
Hence, the setting of the dream.
I was being courted by a Cantonese speaking Chinese guy.
I've never met him before!
I've always wondered how my dream database source these characters?
He was overly eager in his pursuit.
I was frightened, I rejected him. (believe me, I'm not happy how its scripted)
Then, I regretted and was looking for him frantically.
I couldn't find him.

Darn, I've forgotten the details but I remember smiling when I woke up and was rather disappointed that the dream ended.

Anyway, it was a fun dream.
I wish there's a part two.
=)
I'm worried.

I have nothing to do at work.
I mean, the main part of my work in the job description is inactive at the moment.
Absolutely nothing !
I was actually overjoyed when there were 3 jobs two days ago. (usually it's 20-30 per day)
What's happening?

My colleagues and I are actually shopping online at work now.
It's.... worrisome.
I know things are slowing down, but ... we're still drawing our salary... so...
It just feels very wrong not to be working at workplace.

I feel weird about myself too.
I can't handle both work pressure nor loitering?

I'm worried.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This quote is just so beautiful, taken from Shane Koyczan

I look for beauty where others say there is none.
If there is truly none then the looking becomes the beauty.
There is never none.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

http://www.gabrielegalimberti.com/projects/toys-2/#

When Galimberti hit upon the idea of photographing children from around the world with their toys, he was not expecting to uncover much we did not already know: kids love dolls and dinosaurs and trucks and cuddly monkeys, and will construct worlds around them before eventually, inevitably, disregarding them for ever. “At their age, they are pretty all much the same,” is his conclusion after 18 months working on the project. “They just want to play.”
But how they play can reveal a lot. “The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says the Italian, who would often join in with a child’s games before arranging the toys and taking the photograph. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

Yet even children worlds apart share similarities when it comes to the function their toys serve. Galimberti talks about meeting a six-year-old boy in Texas and a four-year-old girl in Malawi who both maintained their plastic dinosaurs would protect them from the dangers they believed waited for them at night – from kidnappers and poisonous animals respectively. More common was how the toys reflected the world each child was born into: so the girl from an affluent Mumbai family loves Monopoly, because she likes the idea of building houses and hotels, while the boy from rural Mexico loves trucks, because he sees them rumbling through his village to the nearby sugar plantation every day.

Ultimately, the toys on display reveal the hopes and ambitions of the people who bought them in the first place. “Doing this, I learnt more about the parents than I did about the kids,” says Galimberti. There was the Latvian mother who drove a taxi for a living, and who showered her son with miniature cars; the Italian farmer whose daughter proudly displayed her plastic rakes, hoes and spades. Parents from the Middle East and Asia, he found, would push their children to be photographed even if they were initially nervous or upset, while South American parents were “really relaxed, and said I could do whatever I wanted as long as their child didn’t mind”.

Chiwa- Mwafulirwa,Malawi
Lucas, Sydney-Australia
LiYiChen -China
Puput-Ubud,Bali,Indonesia
Noel- SouthDallas,Texas
alessia-toscana
botlhe-Botswana
With the exception of computer games, he noticed that toys haven’t really changed over the past three decades or so. And there is something reassuring about that. “I’d often find the kind of toys I used to have,” he says. “It was nice to go back to my childhood somehow.”
Ben Machell – The Times Magazine
Taken from http://eng.tzuchi.my
"I have been poor my entire life. I was born into a poor family and have known only hardship and deprivation all my life. I see people making offerings to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. They say that in order to reap blessings, we need to sow blessings, and that if we wish to become rich, we need to plant the seeds by practicing giving. But, I am destitute and have nothing. How am I to practice giving?"

The Buddha smiled compassionately at the man and told him, "You don't need to be rich to give. Giving doesn't require money. Even in poverty, with no material possessions to your name, you can still give."

"How is this possible? What is considered 'giving' then?" the man asked.

"Let me teach you seven ways you can give without needing any money at all," the Buddha replied.

"The first way you can give is to smile. When you see people, be amiable and smile. Don't bemoan your fate and wail about being poor and miserable. Life is hard for you, but when you complain, you are negative and bitter, and people will keep away from you because your attitude makes you unpleasant to be around. So, don't do that. When you see people, be friendly, warm, and amiable. That is the first way you can give."

"Secondly, when you see people, always say nice things to them. No matter what they say to you, don't say anything unkind. Always say good things about others, both in front of them and when they are not around to hear you. Speaking kindly and positively is another way you can give."

"Thirdly, keep a good, kind, and charitable heart. Don't think negatively of the people you encounter. Instead, you should see everyone as a good, decent person who is nice and approachable. Also remember that you are a good, decent person too, so be friendly in reaching out to other people. That is another way you can give."

"Fourthly, you can give with your sight. If you encounter people who have poor eyesight, you can help point out the way to them and guide them in the right direction. With your healthy eyes, you can be of help to people who cannot see well."

"Fifthly, you can give your labor and physical strength. There are some people who are not so healthy and strong, so they cannot take on physically taxing work. When you see them needing help, be it moving something heavy or doing physically demanding work, you can go and help them or even do it for them. That is a kind of giving also."

"The next way you can give is to show people respect. We need to have respect towards all people. The elderly deserve our respect, but we should also treat people of other ages respectfully and courteously. This is the giving of respect."

"Lastly, you can give by offering people your love and care, such as by supporting and helping children and people who are poor or physically impaired. Living in this world, we should have love toward all people, and even toward all living creatures."

"These are all ways you can give, without needing to have any money or possessions," the Buddha told him. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Colleague L of almost 3 years, plays a substantial part in my life.
Both of us have resigned from our respective fields ( we both hold degree papers) and found working in this very sedentary, and almost menial work to be conducive for our situation.
(Both of us had history in breaking down at previous workplaces.)
Also, we share the similar approach towards work, unlike the majority.
Unfortunately, that is as far as our common area is stretched.

Due to our similar background, I had mistakenly trusted her with my delicate history.
I recommended coping mechanisms, support groups, and had driven her to see doctors on several occasions.
I thought we were good friends.
I finally learnt better when the gossips resonated back to me.

I never try to hide the fact that I'm battling with depression when asked by others, whereas she'd tell people that she's merely having 'sleep problems'.
She tells people that she had a terrible 'auto-mobile accident' and can no longer work in her old field of work.
I think that till today, she doesn't seem to fully accept her mental status issue.

Recently she asked,
"How come you don't really talk to me these days?"
I smiled and said, "I think it's already very good that we don't argue."
"You're so negative!" she shot back.
I continued smiling.

I mentioned her to another friend, E.
"I wish I'm friends with L. But sadly, we can't be. A colleague is all she can be."
"But you talk about her a lot."
"Well, we DO see each other everyday .. sigh..."

E is right.
I should find other things to talk about.
Why do I keep feeding this negativity?

** ps - a colleague opened my browser history in a shared work computer and found this blog. He had the cheek to tease me about it. I told him in a serious tone not to tell anyone but I doubt such person would understand discretion. So, to that guy - "I really should have shown you the middle finger there and then. Gossips can't possibly hurt me more that what I've been through"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It was Friday and we were spending beyond our usual lunch budget at a classy Italian restaurant. (classy for us, at least)
I was humming the famous local Hokkien song, the part where
 na si wa uh cit pah barn, wa beh ce puey kee
wa beh eu seh kai, e-ta-li lim ko pi
lo pee ciak speh-geh-ti (lo pee ciak speh-geh-ti)
“if I had a million dollars, I’d travel to Italy to taste the spaghetti”.

I mentioned to my colleagues that it’s a sweet, ambitious dream to build on.
We went on talking about the famous Elizabeth Gilbert’s - Eat, Pray , Love ; and how we could follow her footsteps.
Quit our jobs, blow all our savings on travel, yet need not worry because we'd write a best-seller book and get someone as famous as Julia Roberts to play us, and we all can retire in our Hollywood homes.
Hahaha. Sweet dream, alright…
On a more serious note, what is Life without a passionate, deviant desire burning in us?

 *Smiling to myself* "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás"? "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" ?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Don't ever think that you're alone on this battle.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Something to cheer you up =)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How a Cup of Tea Sparked a National Movement : Brilliant Campaign
Bablu Jatav's wife, Shanti, died on 20 September, soon after giving birth to their first child in Rajasthan state. Mr Jatav, 38, says since there is no-one else to look after the baby, he takes her to work with him every day. Now a local charity has agreed to help Mr Jatav take care of the baby.

"Shanti died soon after delivering the baby at the hospital. Since there is no-one to look after my daughter, I keep her with me even when I pull my rickshaw," Mr Jatav, who lives in the town of Bharatpur, told the BBC. "We had this baby after 15 years of our marriage, my wife was so happy when we were blessed with a daughter, but it is very sad she passed away."
Taking the baby to work has created its own set of problems - on Tuesday, she had to be taken to hospital to be treated for dehydration. Mr Jatav says life is tough and he is struggling to keep afloat.

"I have to pay 500 rupees [$9; £6] a month as house rent and 30 rupees daily to rent the rickshaw," he said. Mr Jatav said he was afraid to re-marry because "my first priority is to care for and bring up my baby girl".

Meanwhile, after a report on Mr Jatav's plight was published on the BBC's Hindi website on Thursday, calls to help the family have been coming in from India and abroad. And on Friday, a Bharatpur-based local non-governmental organisation agreed to help Mr Jatav care for his baby.

Taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/asia/india/

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I took up the Online-Coupon gym offer recently.
It was only one fifth of the usual monthly fee.
I have bought many Online-Coupon facials and spas to know well enough how 'hard-sell' the promoters would be in getting me into signing up for memberships.
I'll just need to be thick-skinned, once again =)

It's quite a high-end gym and I can really feel the air of elitism.
Naturally, my self-defeating mind played tricks on me.
**I edited and deleted the examples of the negative thoughts here**

But I suck it in and chant in my head,
"I'm invisible, they can't see me. I'm Invisible. They're not looking at me. I'm INVISIBLE."

It worked.
And I love how it sounds like INVINCIBLE.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Letter to myself

This is a therapeutic idea I got off the Internet.
This is the letter I'm writing to the 10 years younger-self.

Hey you.
Things are going to get real rough.
The pain that you feel now is going to get worse.
Horribly worst.
And you will think you wouldn't survive.
You'd think that suicide would be your ultimatum.

But no.
The fortune teller was right.
Things do get better once you hit 30.
Not fairytale better, but believe me, you'd be grateful.

You'd start doing what other ordinary people are doing.
You'd start enjoying what other ordinary people are enjoying.
You'd begin to believe that you can be better, do better.
And you really will.

The main source of depression was because you cared too much what your family said and thought of you.
You had wrongfully placed your identity with your family, nothing wrong with that,
but girl, you know your family.
You can't put your self-worth based on your relationship with them.
That almost killed you.
Let's not go near that mentality ever again.

10 years later, you will remind me again that not only what my family thinks shouldn't matter,
no one else's does.
Babe,
Find and listen to your own voice.
You will be ok.


Saturday, March 09, 2013

Online conversation with E. She's applauding my initiatives to improve my lifestyle.


E = Yeah, your blog entries are more positive now.
Me = I do feel 'better'. My former mentality was just to 'delay death'. But now, I want to taste life.

** I still surprise myself sometimes.
Yesterday, I exposed myself when I gave this blog link to a new friend.
The first UN-depressed, real -life friend who actually wanted to read this.
=)
I hope I don't regret this spontaneous act.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Went to this Tzu Chi neighbourhood event with Mother.
She needed someone to drive her there.
I could sense her desperation and relented.
She promised that we'd leave in an hour's time, after the dinner.

But after we had eaten, I felt it was a bit rude to leave as it would have been too conspicuous.
The exit was too far.
So, we stayed on.

There was a segment of games and this old uncle volunteered to play.
It was charades.
The paper the answer was written on was quite transparent and people at the front could see it.
But this uncle didn't realised it.
He was very into the game and we could see just how much he was enjoying himself.
How his face would lit up when we had the answer.
We, at the front, didn't spoil the fun for him either.
We didn't guessed the answer immediately, instead, we just play along until the 'right' time came for us to just give the answer.

He was very happy when we were announced as the winning group.
No prize whatsoever, but he was very delighted.
I could see that he really made effort to dress up for the occasion, unlike the rest of us who were overly casual.
That night really mattered to him.
And because it mattered, he found joy.
And because I felt people like him mattered, I took this photo.
And because I applaud people who organise events like this, I wrote this post.
Humanity is not lost.