Monday, March 29, 2010

He sleeps in a storm

Glad, I still managed to squeeze in some time to read.

I've just learned something from my favourite author Mitch Albom in his latest 'have a little faith.' I'll share here :

A man seeks employment on a farm. He hands his letter of recommendation to his new employer. It reads simply, 'He sleeps in a storm.'
The owner is desperate for help, so he hires the man.
Several weeks pass, and suddenly, in the middle of the night, a powerful storm rips through the valley.
Awakened by the swirling rain and howling wind, the owner leaps out of bed. He calss for his new hired hand, but the man is sleeping soundly.
So he dashes off to the barn. He sees, to his amazement, that the animals are secure with plenty of feed.
He runs out to the field. He sees the bales of wheat have been bound and are wrapped in tarpaulins.
He races to the silo. The doors are latched, and the grain is dry.
And then he understands. 'He sleeps in a storm.'

My friend, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight. We will never wallow in the agony of "I could have, I should have."
We can sleep in a storm. And when it's time, our good-byes will be complete.

Taken from a Sermon by the Reb, 1975 (pg.93 Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's been 4 years since my sister Jennifer left us...seriously, that's how swiftly time passes by.
I realized that I still think and talk about her often and then, I know just how much I missed her. Her fiery outburst, her infectious laughter, her fighting spirit, her warmth...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some glamorous job titles...

It's been a week since I started working. I hope I won't end up in the rat-race again. I don't know. I only hope.
I think I'll probably not talk about my new job until I'm more settled. It is not very different from what I've been doing. Just different products, different boss, different people and different working environment and it's all a matter of adjusting myself. One of my new collegues here happened to be an old staff of mine...15 years ago! It is indeed such a small world!
My first week at work was a breeze. The team is few and new, and there are still some recruits reporting in next week and some next month. Therefore, getting to know one other is easy. The other day, my boss was about to print my name card and she asked me what title would I like to put in my card??? Ha! how funny...My previous boss actually asked me the same thing before!
I am a very practical person and am least concern with a job title. I am more concern about my job scope or the pay package.
Later I learnt that your job defines you as much as your gender and upbringing do. I was told that it gives an insight to your level of education and lifestyle. In other words, having a glamorous job title actually carries more weight especially when you have to deal with people of higher ranks later. Not true.
Hence, a janitor can also be called as a "Custodial Engineer". A man who fixes toilets can be known as "Latrine Specialist" instead of a plumber. Housewives are now famously known as "Ministers of Home Affairs", while "Eco-warrior" is a perfect job title for the gardener or environmentalist. An "Apparel Expert" is also totally acceptable for a tailor. Well, I've also came across a nurse who named herself as a "Helping Angel" and the physician, a "Facilitator of Hope". Some nutritionists even have "Wellness Master" on their name cards while financial planners are calling themselves "Wealth Analyst". Now even an encofineer is calling himself the "Director of Solemn Ceremonies"!
Whatever that be...
I told my boss that I will humbly adhere to the unglamorous and straight forward "Sales Manager". But it is "Retail Operating Manager" that she suggested for me. Well, please don't ask me exactly what I operate...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Two sides of a coin.

As I write this, I feel truly blessed.
And I've got to sincerely thank my husband John and my sister June for it. I thank God for them. Because of them, I was given a whole year to rest and to do what I've wanted to do. Because of them, I was able to free myself from the stress of the working world and live a life.

John and June are the only ones who understood why I needed the 'break' while the rest of the world just watched and assumed, "Ah, that woman has already made her bucks! That's why she can afford not to work!"
The truth is I am not loaded at all. I don't purchase branded goods, drive a luxury car or dine in expensive restaurants. As a matter of fact, those who made that assumption are far more loaded than me.

The saying, "If you fall from grace, you'll know who your friends are" is very true. I don't think it's a disgrace when one stop working.
But I did encounter an unpleasant experience where I bumped into an old staff who completely ignored me when we met. I heard she got promoted recently. A few years back, I would get upset over a situation like this but not anymore now. People like this do not bother me anymore...the rythmn of life goes on no matter how well or how badly we went through our own. Along the way, I've also met new friends whose lives inspired and shamed me. I've learnt great lessons from them.

Ah, fortunately there are always two sides of a coin.
It is touching to have friends who face so much themselves and yet always put time aside to care.
Then there is a teacher, now a busy CEO who remembers me in her prayers and never failed to invite me over for Christmases and birthdays.
A fellow volunteer whom I just got to know but cares to text me when I was ill and down.
A young boy with learning disability sends his love every now and then even when I do not ask for it.
A few good friends who never forget to have dinner with me on my birthday year after year.
An old nanny who always welcome me to her home anytime I urged for some good home-cooked meals.
A group of running buddies who share not only my running passion but also ready to offer advice and concern when needed. Thus making my Sunday morning run more meaningful.
A husband whose shoulders I know I always can lean on anytime.

What more can I ask? With them, it is so easy to be grateful in the midst of trying to be useful. With them, it is not difficult to remember what is good. And to them, I want to say a Big Thank You from the very bottom of my heart.

The knowledge of life that I gained from the past one year were enormous and the rewards are boundless. At least I feel a better person from it.

So now, after a year it's time to get back to work again - tomorrow. It will not be easy and I had mixed feelings, but I will go with an open heart, a clear mind and some faith in myself.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F Kennedy

Friday, March 5, 2010

The -

There are poems which I can read over and over again and not get tired of reciting it. This is one that I like very much. It defines the dash between our birth dates and our "expiry dates". The dash is our life, our legacy. And our decisions define our legacies and the lives we touch. It also serves as a good reminder for us to live our life. I'll just share it here...

THE DASH by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but we said that mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and how only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash midrange").

If we could just slow down enough
to reconsider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show more appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved them before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's being read
with your life's action to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?