Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Reviving the blog : What made me crack?

Hello World,

I'm baaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkk!

It's taken a while for me to get out of my shell - let's face it, moving countries, having a baby (who turned out gorgeous and is a blooming almost 19 month old, thanksuverymuchuterusandGod), finding a job, finding another job, losing that second job and settling down in a country that hates immigration (I'm looking at your political parties - what's with the hate man?) squeezes a LOT out of a sensitive Cancer like me. Poke and prod, and all I ever wanna do is stay in my shell, and once I'm there I don't really wanna come out until the sun is out and skies are bright again - and lately, it has been looking like that! :) I'm not gonna go into details just yet, but I can feel the grey clouds clearing, and hopefully, just hopefully things will all go to plan and I can breathe a sigh of relief and life can move on again!

So, on top of that big cheery vibe also came this article :-

20 Things To Do When You're 30 That Will Make Life Better At 50

and I can't even begin to say how much I LOVE it! It totally got me thinking, bloody hell, I'm 29 in a coupla months, and I've.got.to.move.my.ass to get somewhere! So since I'm starting at point #18 - Keep a Journal, I thought I might as well use that point to kick-start this blog and also as a reference to my future self where my priorities are, and where my priorities are! A bit like a Quarter of the Year Resolution really, hehehe..

1. Don't smoke. If you've started, stop immediately.

Never did it, never want to, don't really see the point. 

2. Stop eating crap.

Ok, this one is kind of a deal-breaker right, cuz I'm kinda addicted to KFC. :'( I have to say though, that we are all doing not so badly on this, since moving here - in Malaysia I think it's almost impossible since McD's are so friggin cheap and tasty, and convenient (drive-thrus hello?) and I just cannot tahan ok. But over here, it's quite expensive and I prefer to cook at home and make better burgers. Hehe. But if we're gonna say stop eating crap, full stop, we're gonna have a problem. 

HAving said that, I am on a journey now to lose weight healthily, as in marathon-like rather than speed-sprinting to the finish line. So I'm maybe 10% there? I'll let you know how this gets along!

3. Maintain (or repair) relationships with parents and siblings.

I think I have a pretty ok relationship with my parents and older sister - we chat quite regularly on FB and Whatsapp, and we have a healthy support system I'd like to think, if anybody is in trouble. However, being so far away again of course weighs on my mind constantly. I'm really hoping to be able to afford more regular meet ups and visits - working hard at it of course. I'm probably aiming for bi-annual trips between Malaysia and Canada, that would be friggin awesome. As it is, we already have plans to go back to Malaysia for Raya this year (woot! First Raya back home since 2011~) and perhaps a trip to America/Canada for my birthday next year (July 2016), insya Allah. Praying everything else falls into place so we can afford it!

4. Stop going out in the sun without sunblock.

Oh.My.Guiltyness. Yes, I've known this since my late teens, and I am so incredibly guilty for being so lazy to do this. Sigh. First port of call - to find a sunblock that doesn't feel icky on my face. Moles are already plaguing my face and ever growing in size (seriously want to remove some of them, but I removed the one on my ear and the scar is horrible :( ) it's just a blessing I live in a place with little sunlight! Ok, going on my shopping list for Malaysia - for sure!

5. Exercise regularly.

Oh god. This list is not going very well is it? One GOOD thing both Ezani and I have discovered about ourselves though, is that regular exercise doesn't really interest us - hitting the gym? Boring! But we DO love hikes, and nature trails (the flatter the better right now, but maybe we won't mind hills as much as we get fitter?) - and we're actively scouting places close by to go to on the weekends. The first time we actually went for a hike together was in Fraser Island, and it was Ezani's first ever expedition and he really enjoyed it, but the kicker for the both of us was when we had an impromptu hike with Nuha and Martin, Ezani's rellies in Germany - it was soooooo lovely, and I couldn't believe it when we later realised we had walked up and down hills for 2 hours and almost reached another town before heading back to our house! When we went to the Cairngorms as well, we went for a walk around Loch An Eilean which turned out to be a 4 hour walk through snow (with a very squirmy toddler who hated snow) but we really really loved it. Ezani and I love nature, who would've thought eh? :)

6. Start saving money. Even if it's just a tiny bit.

On this front I can feel better at saying that I've always been good at saving money. I read somewhere about this tip of paying yourself before paying others, and I've been doing exactly that ever since I've started earning money - and it really does make a difference. 

7. Learn to be content with what you have.

Good lesson to learn, you will never be truly happy if whatever you have is not enough. I love this point and will strive to be more grateful everyday.

8. Don't delay pursuing your life goals.

So true. Another thing I've probably learnt in my life, is that for me, money is not a goal. I have really proven time and again that I couldn't care less about money - it doesn't give me much joy to see a big figure in my bank account - although it may be comforting, but what really makes me happy is making a difference everyday and improving myself. Making a change in the world, even if it means serving up a good cup of coffee and getting positive feedback - that makes me truly happy. Of course I won't say I would work for free or for peanuts - I still need security and a decent enough income to live off but I don't want to be a millionaire who doesn't have time to enjoy life.

So what I'm saying is, I'd like to run my own business - dictate my own success and make a decent enough income to then enjoy myself with. Travelling, spending time with my family and kids - that's the dream.

9. Get some sleep.

No problem here, probably just need to send a Memo to Azalea to stay in her bed all night! Hahaha :D

10. Take care of your teeth.

You know what, I've always been the kind who is super careful about teeth, since I'm notoriously known for having pathetic teeth. I once had such bad teeth with large fillings that it kept cracking apart with me just eating a soft doughnut! I often cried after these episodes - especially since it was such a hassle to have to go see a dentist pretty urgently and at those times it was more often than not I was in an uncivilised area (having gone to not one but two rural schools - at least) and forking out bucketloads of moolah and enduring the pain to fix it. Sigh. And so I've always been pretty good with dental health, but now that Azalea is always whining first thing in the morning, I have been quite lax on this front and only brush my teeth once before bed! *cries* Gotta be better at this, as I've already got two dental crowns fitted after Azalea, and it truly is the worst - I hate my teeth now (which is probably one of the reasons I just don't care anymore) but I really ought to take care of the ones I still have!

11. Collect memories instead of things.

Not a problem - having grown up as a nomad, I don't care about possessions that much. Most of mine is quite portable anyway!

12. Give something back.

Ok, I might lose a bit of respect for saying this, but I've never been the charitable sort. Once upon a time, when I was much younger I used to beg Mama to give me money to give to beggars on the streets - and then I grew up, became cynical, and I even scoff at all those charity drives that plagues British TV - and having worked in a few charities myself, I've grown weary of how much really goes to the cause and how much falls into the many fat cat's pockets. Not to say that one day I'll find it in my heart to give back, but at the moment where my own very survival is on a hinge, I cannot see myself committing to this just yet. 

I much prefer giving directly to people I know can benefit though - like gifting clothes to a new mum whom I know doesn't have much, or giving in other ways that can ease their pain a little bit. When I was in college, I had pretty wealthy friends and a lot of their parents would be so kind as to give me a lift back home, sometimes stopping somewhere for lunch on their pockets and one parent actually, after having spent a weekend sleeping over gave me an angpow with RM300 in it (to which I declined politely as it wasn't even Raya or anything!) and he said "Don't be silly" and forced me to take it. Little did he know it truly was godsend as it was almost 6 times my monthly allowance back then. These kinds of acts are the kinds I'd love to be able to indulge in when my income is no longer a constant worry - and you know what, I'm really really looking forward to it :)

13. Be curious and do one thing that scares you every day.

This one just sounds like super duper fun - although I must say little scares me. Most people are afraid of high adrenaline activities, but I somewhat have a blase approach to such things, it's only when I'm actually at the brink of doing it (or sometimes halfway through it!) that I start getting panicky and usually it's too late by then. Hahaha.. Some of the things I DO want to do though are : 

1. Hot Air Balloon Ride
2. Hang Gliding, or Gliding in a plane
3. Skydiving (weird, that's 3 in a row involving air-boundness)
4. Caravanning in America - not scary, but something on my bucket list!
5. Seeing the Aurora Borealis - perhaps in Iceland?
6. Go to Antartica on a big ship/ferry

14. Read at least 10 books a year.

Just got my Kindle, so we'll pick up where we left off ok? I think I've read 3 books so far, so not too bad an effort! It doesn't count if it's bad books though, so maybe I could only count one. Hahahaha.. What's interesting is that my boss at work and I were talking about books, and we both agreed that our favourite genre involved children leads - doesn't matter what the setting is, as long as it involves a child. Weird right?? Hahahaha.. Anyway, I got a few recommendations from him so will be picking them up pretty soon!

15. Travel. As much as possible, whenever you can.

Always a priority in my books - travel will always be my number 1 passion! Next stop : America for my 30th birthday! Woot woot!

16. Learn to meditate.

Will probably benefit me greatly, but I can't even find a few hours a day to read, let alone do nothing and meditate. We'll KIV this one.

17. Stop comparing yourself to others

Picture really says it all! Everybody's awesome, and everyone should be celebrated rather than saying I want her hair, her thighs, her husband (woops!) but yes, why can't we be kinder to ourselves and say we are also AWESOME for having what we already have! #begrateful

18. Keep a journal.

I'm on here, so I'm already on one point at least! YAY!

19. Become a homeowner.

Buy a home at 30, and with the average length of a mortgage, the house will be almost paid off at 50. Friggin perfect concept, but we'll see about actually getting a mortgage in the nearest future with junior positions - it's probably more of a dream than a reality, but let me focus on the other points first yea?

20. Take care of your friends.

"Choose people who make you feel like you already are your best self, who challenge you by their example, and who you genuinely enjoy," explains Nan Waldman. "Nurture them. Laugh with them. Be silly too. Contribute to their survival and enjoyment of life. Take the time every week to be in touch."

This one kind of hits the sore spot again for me. Having removed myself so severely from everyone I love in Malaysia, it might be surprising to most people that I find it hard acclimitizing and finding a circle of friends here in Edinburgh whom I feel 100% comfortable around. The kind that I don't mind making stupid jokes around, and laughing so hard that a straw gets lodged in my bird's nest of hair (true story, and true moniker too - evil kids at SKBD I still hate you!) - it is so hard to jump across that cultural barrier and find people who GET us. Somehow I still find the Malaysian community the best nights in, but most of them have lives of their own and family's too, and not only that, their time here is usually borrowed and far too soon they are going away already - just when we're starting to have fun. 

Anyhoo, I think like all things, this will just happen overnight. I remember when I was up in Shetland, and was pretty lonely - I was staying with my aunt who was fab, and getting to know the other side of the family was pretty awesome - but I missed having a group of friends to have silly laughs and get up to no good with. Along came Shetland Forums, and all of a sudden I met a lovely lass called Rosie who introduced me to her housemate, who introduced me to her group of friends - and then suddenly I got invited to nights in, and movies and it was fabulous! It really did cheer me up so much to have a group of friends I could chat with and still keep in touch with til today (at least on FB!). So yeah, if it happens it will, and all we really need to do is find another "Rosie" really! :)

Wow, took me two days to write all this up - share with me what points are your favourites and if you agree with the list. I'm definitely gonna KIV this and refer back in 10 or 20 years time and see how it all went. Hahaha. Till next time, babai.

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