Friday, March 27, 2009

Thoughts on marriage

Pre-marital counsellors should always advise on the forefront that when your spouse hurts you, it is THE most painful thing that you will ever experience, apart from childbirth, of course! Then again, since couples who are about to wed are often so madly in love with each other, they have wide angled blind spots and would probably regard the counsellor as being neurotic! They would say, "Who needs pessimistic counsellors anyway? We're in love and we'll always be in love. Hey, baby, we're in this for the long haul!"

Little do they know what lies ahead. I'm not saying don't get married. I'm saying that nothing can really prepare you for the hardships that lie ahead. It's all a matter of having the right "tools" in place and a deep sense of commitment and courage to see things through; to live up to the "till death do us part" portion of your wedding vows. Of course, in order to meet the objective of this vow, you are not to kill each other to speed up the process!

Personally, I don't think I have all the tools in place. There are still times in my marriage when I am surprised by how much hurt and pain can occur overnight. It's like a "two steps forward, five steps backwards" dance with plenty of toe stepping along the way. After such a draining routine, it is not a surprise that there are days when I just want to give up dance class all together and throw away all dance instructions manuals!

Does this mean we don't get married? No. God created marriage. It's a good thing and when you get it right, you feel invincible. A force to be reckoned with. You have companionship, a refuge of safety and completeness. For those who have taken the plunge and are actually enjoying it, I salute you. For those who wouldn't want anything to be different from what their marriage is like now, please go write a book and have it published! The world needs to hear of such good marriages and your secrets to success.

I'll be the first person to buy a copy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I have a new leash of life!

I have been waiting anxiously for the assessment of my first writing assignment which I handed in a week and a half ago. When I checked my email messages this morning, I was thrilled to see it waiting in my inbox. My tutor is a writer herself and she used to teach English at the University of Central Lancashire in England. Now, she owns her own publishing company.

She was very kind with her comments. The tutors of this course are very mindful not to crush the students' self confidence. They know that it is very fragile especially at the early stages of this course.

Here's some excerpts of her thoughts on my first assignment:

The piece on "Why I want to be a writer?":

"You have tackled this first assignment confidently, explaining fluently why you have decided you would like to improve your writing skills. You have set yourself some sensible goals, achievable with hard work and a good bit of luck."

The short write-up of Osh Osh's school's arts and craft fair:

"I enjoyed this piece. You've succeeded in packing a great deal of colour and movement into a short space and really convey your enjoyment. I like the way you include some snatches of conversation - direct speech always helps to bring a piece of writing to life."

I know I still have a lot to learn. The second assignment is harder as I need to write a non fictional piece aimed at submission for publication by a magazine of my own choice. For now, however, I will allow myself to bask in the positiveness of these comments!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I only have time to write when I am sick? That's not good, is it? Which part, you ask? Being sick so often or not being able to find time to write? Both! I have so many thoughts in my head all the time on things to write about but am unable to pen them down. Last night, I told DH that I wanted to write an article about toe nails! I know it's a flippant idea but who knows what it might lead to? To give DH credit, he didn't laugh and actually took me seriously!
The doctor at the clinic told me that my immunity is low due to stress which is why I'm so prone to coughs and colds. Sigh. I've heard this advice before. I know I should slow down or maybe even stop work for a while. However, I can't bring myself to do so. I feel that if I stop work, I will putting such a big burden on DH financially and it just doesn't seem fair that I don't do my part for the family.

A good friend recently wrote this to me, "I sense sadness in your blogging, think it's not just one particular thing, but life being ... awfully complicated." I've been thinking a lot about what she wrote. Does life for me have to be so awfully complicated? Or is it just my own doing?

DH is very supportive of my idea of stopping work and just taking time out for myself, to focus on my writing course and spend more time with Osh Osh. I feel that I am selfish if I take him up on his offer as he can't quit his job. It's very tiring for him to work and study at the same time as his working hours are long. It is very difficult for him when he is often torn between wanting to spend time with us and studying as his exams are so near. He keeps a lot to himself as he doesn't want me to see how stressed and pressured he is. It just doesn't feel right for me to indulge in my own pursuits and be happy whereas he barely has time to sleep.

So, yes, I am making life complicated for myself. Work takes out a lot of me and the challenges I face there are often overwhelming. I'm not happy with my current working life and that's where most of my time is spent. Should I take up DH's offer? Is this the right thing for me to do? Would God consent to this? Or am I just being a whiny spoilt child, shrugging the responsibilities of life?

I don't have any answers today.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I know, I know... I don't write for weeks and now, I am posting another blog post! What has gotten into me??
This is a short one. I'm on a writing overdrive today. I blogged earlier, replied some personal email messages and here's the biggie! I completed my first assignment for my writers' course and sent the articles to my tutors. Boy, am I nervous! What would they say? Would they be kind? Would they "massacre" my work? If I were to bite my fingernails, I would have bloody hands now!
I was asked to hand in two short articles (between 300 to 500 words). The first one is to tell them why I want to write and what benefits I am seeking to gain from the course. The second part is to write a story (first person account) on an interesting event like a concert, a fair or a sporting event. Guess what I chose? I wrote about a fictional art and crafts fair at Osh Osh's school! I wonder if they will find that interesting. Anyway, I am too embarrassed, protective and even supersitious to share what I wrote with all of you. I don't want to jinx it! Am I making sense?
However, I promise that when I receive my tutors' comments, I will let you know the outcome. If they are good (or mildly humiliating but leaving my dignity in tact), I'll share my articles with you. ;)
Have a good weekend, everyone!


Things are back to normalcy for us. What does that mean to us? We revert to our delicate dance and juggling act of balancing work and family activities in our lives. My Mum left for home yesterday morning. My Mum and DH left the house earlier than DH's usual hours as her train was due to depart from the station at 740am. When Osh Osh woke up, he automatically looked for his Poh Poh (that's what he calls my Mum). I told him that she had already left and explained why she didn't wake him up to say goodbye. He slumped in the middle of the corridor and cried. The sight of him crying broke my heart. Mum's presence in our home has always been a positive influence on all of us. Osh Osh enjoys his time with her as she dotes over him. Both DH and I have more time together when she is around. So, it's hard on all of us when she leaves.

I gave Osh Osh a big hug and just held him for a while until he settled. I asked him if he wanted to wear his Omnitrix watch and he said yes. Before long, he was shining the light from his Omnitrix on the wall and projecting all the Ben 10 Alien Force images and happily naming them. I'm amazed at how resilient he is, in how he deals with his emotions. I believe that he has a very happy personality and I hope this stays with him all the way through to adulthood. He will need this resilience and maintain his happy nature in order for him to deal with life's struggles.

We took the train to school together. It's a treat for me to be able to spend one to one time with him as I've been jetlagged since I returned last Saturday. We also let him spend more time with my Mum as she doesn't visit us very often. He was walking happily to the station, singing the theme song from Bob the Builder. An elderly man whom we passed, commented that he's a clever boy. Osh Osh beamed and told me that he would like to tell Daddy about what this uncle said. At the station, he also held the elevator door open for a man who was running towards it. The man smiled and thanked him and Osh Osh beamed again. He said he wanted to report this incident to Daddy as well. I can see that Osh Osh loves being kind. I like to take credit for it but I don't think it's fair. I believe that Osh Osh has a very kind heart and again, it's in his nature to be kind to others.

Things have been busier for me at work since I returned from the business trip. It's as though we all got "homework" to do now that we're back. I cherish these little moments with Osh Osh and keep them close to my heart. They remind me that there is more to life than finishing that report, getting the laundry done, balancing the cheque book and other "must-do"s that we grown ups have on our "to-do" list.
One particular memory sticks in my mind as I type this. Osh Osh was standing right outside the arrival gate at the airport, wearing a blue T shirt and a pair of dungaree overalls (the only time I made him wear overalls was during our vacation in Perth last year) with a red rose in his hand. I didn't realise it was him until he called out, "Mummy!" as I nearly ran over him with my luggage trolley! He looked so happy to see me. He gave me the rose and a big hug. I carried him in spite of my injured elbow and he happily chatted away while touching my face. He held my hand all the way until we got to the car, looking up at me every now and again and smiling. At that moment, nothing was more important to me than the excited little boy in the dungaree overall.

Now, that memory makes normalcy bearable for me today!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A night at the Accident and Emergency!

I had a freakish accident yesterday evening. One of those that you would laugh about if it was shown on America's Funniest Home Videos or YouTube. However, we didn't film it and when it happened to me, it was no laughing matter!

It was raining heavily yesterday evening. The rain water was splashing hard into our balcony. Osh Osh was concerned about his plant which was somewhere in the middle of our balcony. He asked me to save it and to prevent it from dying. So, I stepped out onto the balcony.

I don't recall exactly what happened next but I must have lost my footing and slipped on the wet surface. I came crashing down and instinctively, I used my left elbow to break my fall. My elbow hit the sliding aluminium door track. I felt intense pain and screamed for DH, who thankfully was home this Sunday and not on weekend duty! I held my left elbow with my right hand and when I took my right hand away to look at it, it was soaked in blood.

DH and Osh Osh helped me in. We first went to the kitchen to wash the wound. DH applied pressure on the wound by pressing on it with paper towels. The pain was very sharp, given that DH was applying strong pressure to stop the bleeding. I started to feel faint. We tried to make our way to the sofa but I felt very faint. I couldn't walk further and ended up sitting down on the floor between our living room and the kitchen.

Osh Osh was very sweet. He quickly got a pillow from the sofa which I put under my head as I laid there on the floor. Osh Osh sat next to my head and bent forward to look at me. He was smiling and asked, "Not my fault?". Of course, I said it wasn't his fault and that it was an accident.

After about 20 minutes or so, I could get up and walked to the sofa to lie down. Osh Osh followed me and kept asking if I was feeling better. He sat beside me and asked me if I wanted him to pat me. I used to pat him everytime he needed comfort. Therefore, he thought if he patted me, it would help. He patted me on my tummy and asked me again if I felt better. I was very touched.

However, despite applying so much pressure on the wound, I was still bleeding. DH decided that it was best that we go to the accident and emergency department of the nearest hospital.

DH called his Dad to come over to look after Osh Osh as we didn't want to bring him to the hospital. At this point, an hour and a half had elapsed. We hesitated in going to the hospital because DH thought that the cut was small and the bleeding would stop but it didn't.

Finally, at 930pm, the ordeal was over. My left elbow was X-rayed. Nothing was cracked or broken. I had stitches and the elbow is now bandaged. I also got an anti tetanus shot. The doctor said that I didn't need any strong painkillers, just paracetamol if and when I needed to dull the pain. I'm to change the dressing every two days and he gave me a medical certificate for two days off work. The stiches will have to be removed in two weeks time.

As some of you would know, I'm due to fly to London for a four day business trip tomorrow night. I have sent a text message to my boss (she is already there) and she said she understand if I can't make it. However, I know how important this three day meeting is for her and my other colleagues will also be going over to support her. I'm sure I'll earn a lot of brownie points if I show up.

My Mum will be coming over this evening. I had asked her to help out during my absence to care for Osh Osh as DH's work schedule is still very heavy with night duties. A blessing in disguise as I will now have her around later to fuss over me as well!

There you have it - my "courageous" tale of saving a plant from drowning. I can picture the headlines if this was reported in our local daily. "Mum nearly bled to death while saving drowning plant". Yes, that is an exaggeration but I'm sure it would have sold papers!

Appreciate all your prayers for a speedy recovery!