Celebrating Change

Posted by M ws On Thursday, January 10, 2013 0 comments
I have passed the half century mark. In the last couple of years, I have lost many friends and relatives to various diseases and the big C. 2012 was the worst year of my life in many ways and for many reasons. Last month, the mother of my son's violin teacher passed away. When I paid my respects to the grand dame, tears were brimming in my eyes as I had strong recollections of my mother.

Just yesterday, Angela told me that she lost another member of her family. The third one in the last six weeks or so. My deepest condolences to her and her family. Life is so short and it is always good to reflect and take stock of our lives.

Before 2012 ended, I resolved to live life to the fullest. To spend when I have to spend and not to be too frugal until I live a miserable life. I threw caution to the wind and changed my wardrobe completely. I bought 11 dresses and two skirts from one boutique and another six dresses, three blouses and a pair of linen pants from another online store. As if that was not enough, I bought six pairs of Clarks shoes when there was a Clarks warehouse sale at Straits Quay. I bought two handbags, two wallets and some bracelets from a friend's daughter. And I am much poorer but VERY MUCH happier. All this was before December 21st 2012.


I thought to myself, heck - if the world were to end on December 21st, I will never have the pleasure of spending my savings. And that is why I revamped my wardrobe. To make way for a new me. After all, I could feel the change within me and it was time for a change of image.

So I packed my old clothes and unused handbags and gave them to the maids of a few friends and also to a recycling centre.

The point is - for soooooooooooooooooooooo long I lived such a simple life. Dressed in shorts, old t-shirts and faded denim jeans or denim skirts, I sort of forgot to pamper myself.

The irony of it all is I was so busy with my family and other household chores and learning how to do photo editing that I completely forgot about December 21st- until my younger son reminded me that hey mom - we are still alive!

The world did not end then and I am much happier.

And a dog came into my life.


Around lunch time, a friend whatsapped me and asked how I was doing and I said - I have never been happier than how I feel today.

Having lived my life within the confines of the classroom/lecture room and my home, I guess I lived in an ideal kind of environment whereby I was in control of things and I expected things to be going my way.

That was until I started my mini business. It is progressing slowly. Everything takes time. But, I did not do that to get rich for I am a simple woman.

When I started my business, I saw the world as it really is and people/friends as who they are and how business is conducted - rivalry and camaraderie included.

And I thought to myself - whatever it is, I am NEVER going to be emotional or fearful of anyone or anything except of cockroaches. I am NOT going to react to people and not going to be disappointed by them.

In the last few months, I have learnt to detach myself from situations and people, not to react, to remain calm even when things get rough, even in a traffic jam and I can safely say I am really happy.

For a person like me, it is tough NOT to love. And the problem with me is LOVING TOO MUCH.

The one person who really taught me to let go in life is none other than my son.

Despite the many parenting blunders I made over the past two decades, my son has matured so much and I am very proud of him. The same for my younger son. Amazingly, both boys sit down with me and tell me...Mom, we love you but we need to tell you this...

E.g. after my wardrobe change project, my younger son would tell me that I do not need to buy anything else and should not buy any clothes/bags/shoes for the next five years. My older boy would tell me that I must learn to let go and don't worry.

Looking back, my greatest achievement for 2012 would be letting go and NOT WORRYING.

Two persons have been instrumental in teaching me to take it easy. One is Kuan Aw and the other is Lee. Both friends have been reminding me a lot about the importance of meditating, emptying our minds of worry and taking stock of our lives. And I am thankful for their input.

At the same time, blog readers such as SK and his wife and YK not forgetting Poh Joshua, KM, Linda and Angela have been precious friends in my journey of life.

In Penang, I probably have only less than five people whom I can call as friends. I told my son that I am not sure if anyone will come for my funeral as I have so few friends but it does not matter. I told him what matters is for all of us to be happy when alive and leave behind happy memories in the hearts and minds of those we love.

Ever since I stopped blogging on political issues on January 3rd 2012, I have been reading less and less news items.

Initially, I only read MK, TMI and The Sun. Then I only read the headlines. Towards the end of 2012, I only read the stuff that Angela/SK/YK etc send me. Now, I only glean through emails with political content. I have to say that during the times when I was reading political topics, I had become so aggressive and critical. Over 2012, I gradually morphed into a more positive person and I am very happy with where I am today. The end has yet to come and I have yet to be transformed into the person God wants me to be but I will try to live each day to the fullest, to be happy, contented, positive and productive.

So, for 2013, I will be celebrating change...whatever change that is needed in my life before I breath my last.

I have been meditating lots, reflecting, recollecting and even reminiscing. But through it all, one thing is for sure. I have kissed goodbye to the sentimental me and changing into a very strong, secure, stable and happy woman today.

The following collage features some of my favourite photos of myself.

Top row - 1965, Dec 25th 1976 - my baptism day, 1983 after my graduation, 1992 in Yosemite National Park.
Second row: 1993, Muir Woods, 2001 Brisbane, 1998 Chiangmai, 1999 Pedu Lake
Bottom row: June 2008, 50th birthday, October 2012 and November 2012.

When I reviewed four decades of photographs, I realize one thing. In all my photos, I am always smiling happily but the ones taken in the last few months have a certain strength that was never there before. I can see how even the photos showed how naive, vulnerable and foolish I was in believing 'people' but no way now. Wisdom, strength of character, detachment and resilience have come into my life through the school of hard knocks.

I guess learning martial arts and training on my own has helped a bit. Whatever it is, I still thank God for all that I went through although deep inside, I wish I had done it differently but I will not look back with regret.

All I can say is that for the rest of my days, I just pray for the health, happiness, safety and security of my family not forgetting the success and future of my boys, their future spouses and for me to live to a ripe old age when I can play with my grandchildren. (Note: 'play' and not :-) babysit)

In closing, I wish you health, happiness and the best that life can offer...and may the love you have in your life for the ones you love...grow and grow. Have a great day!

CLICK HERE for one of my favourite songs.

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