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What Went Well


What Went Wrong
Bill used to say he takes the time between Christmas and New Year to reflect back on what happened in the year and “plan” a resolution for the new year.

It took me this long for the idea to finally sink in.

If you’re like me who made a new year’s resolution just because we’re just “following the crowd”, STOP. How about taking this time, as the year comes to an end, to ask ourselves:

What went well for you this year?

What is it about it that you like?

Can you keep replicating it and even improve and expand on this?
What went wrong for you?

Is it something you can re-right it?

What could you do?
Another thing I learnt is, to be happy and to live a happy life, LET IT GO! It is when we fight for something that gets us caught up in that “thing”. In my observation, men are pretty good at “forgeting”. They don’t hold a “grudge” as much as us women e.g. if they didn’t clean up the table, we react pretty quickly but they don’t react the same way we do; if we just LET someone overtake us, we’d be happier instead of fighting or finding ways to get even. Have you ever “won” a situation and the feeling was “so, what now?” So for me, I’m going to learn to let go. Another thing, it just takes too much effort to be (stay) unhappy. So, let go and let’s go and live life!




Woke up this morning still niggling over what happened 8 hours ago the night before. It started off well – nice BBQ at a friend’s place with good company. 3 hours later as we said our goodbyes, we were asked to pay our share of the dinner. Each person 4 EUR amounts to 20 EUR for the whole dinner. Cheap, yes. Good (food and company), yes but it leaves a bad taste because I had and will never charge my friends anything for coming to my place for dinner because if my friends made the effort to come to my place and join me, as a hostess it’s the least I can do is give them food and drinks. We brought a little something each for the dinner last night – a person made anti-pasti, another made a dip. I made a chocolate ganache. I was going to bring home the left over ganache to share with other friends but the friends at dinner liked it and asked for a “doggy bag”. It’s my pleasure that they liked it and no, how could I charge friends any money for something so trivial??


It is ridiculous. To charge your friends for something you could have easily afford to treat them. The total for all of us is 20 EUR. If it were 200 EUR and I were hosting, I wouldn’t even dare ask my guests to contribute because I will invite friends to my place only if I am able to afford! Why treat your friends like a transaction??


I asked some of my (other) friends what they thought. A close friend S said she didn’t see anything wrong in that. S and I have known each other for many years. Like me, she won’t charge her friends – her guests – for cooking for them or even letting them stay overnight at her place BUT she didn’t see anything wrong with what happened to me last night. She just think that my friend who hosted yesterday just have another belief: she believes that it is alright for her guests (friends) to pay for the food she put on her table.


Belief is very personal and very important.

We are what we think


All that we are arises

With our thoughts.


With our thoughts,

We make our world

The Buddha

Or for Christian believers

As he thinketh in his heart,

so is he

Proverbs 23:7

Belief that leads to conviction can be good and dangerous at the same time. If you believe you need to lose weight, nothing might happen but if you are convinced that it is necessary then you’ll do something about it (take action). The danger is when you have a fanatical belief and conviction like the suicide bombers or people who attack and kill others in the name of religion.


I consider myself fortunate that an event a year ago opened my eyes and see the need to reflect. Without reflection, you can go on believing in what you believe and be blind to alternatives and do the things the way you have done.


Like Anthony Robbins’ take on the concept of Deming’s and eventually the Japanese Kaizen concept, he asked if we can lead a life of CANI = Constant And Never-ending Improvement. Can we ask ourselves:

What have I learnt today?

What did I contribute or improve?

What did I enjoy?

By constantly reflecting (ourselves), will it improve our ability to enjoy our life and richness? Will it make us aware and learn to be aware of our environment incl. friends? Until one has had the opportunity to realise the power of reflection, you can’t fault them for their beliefs.


Can we un-do Stubbornness?


Where is the Love?


What’s wrong with the world, mama
People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that’s exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all


In times like this where we are bombarded with these headlines:

The massacre in Orlando: targeted LGBT

Orlando: Hate as a public health crisis

Flint Water crisis: Race hatred

“They did it because it’s a black city, it’s a poor city.”

Munich shooting: Teenagers? Foreigners?

18 year old Ali Sonboly went on a shooting rampage because he was bullied by his peers, “psychologically disturbed and only wants attention” wrote one of his acquaintances and suffered from mental illness.

Anders Breivik’s “hate towards people”


I have a dear friend who is always happy and always smiling. I have never seen her angry or upset. I mer her children for the first time a couple of months ago. What nice kids they are!! She just celebrated her birthday and her teenage sons posted how fortunate they are to have her as their mother. As parents, I believe you want your child(ren) to grow up “balanced” although it is not necessarily a parent’s responsibility how we end up but the experiences we “met” along the way. In general, I think we need to have 3 things in life:


There are many crimes committed by people who claimed that they were abused, bullied by others and/or un-loved as a child and growing up which makes me question, does love come naturally, or was hate planted in them?

Value of life.

The value of life, how you value life is linked to your emotional health. If you have love inside you, you’d tend to value life; if you have hate inside, you’d want to kill, isn’t it?!


(and accept that we are different).

At the end of the day, however we are brought up to be where we are today, we need to learn to forgive, value the life we have and the lives around us, accept that others are different from us. Love.


The local radio has been playing this song more frequently these days; I have a playlist complication of happy songs and whenever I play it, my mood is lifted. Can the Media do more to promote love, value of life and forgiveness in times of Crisis?

Can we stop the hate?



Gold inside

We are all heros and we are gold inside. That’s what this video said.

Here are a few “take away” from the video:

You need to go into the dark to come out into the light.

Push yourself because your life is the fruit of your own doing.

Most people live in a kind of a hynopsis. If there is no death, there is no life, there will be no transformation. If you want new insights in life, you will learn to keep dying.

Our life is not what happens to us but whatt we do with it so go and explore for yourself and follow your bliss – not being selfish and heinous. Go back and find out what made you different when you were younger, the thing that made you “lost in your own world”

Find a place where there is joy

and the joy will burn out the pain

Joseph Campbell

Do the things that scare you, stop fighting yourself but love yourself and face your fears and overcome them.



Guest on earth


We are all guests on this earth. No one knew when we were coming here and definitely no one knows when we are leaving.

This morning, my colleague told me that her husband passed away a day ago. He was only 63 years old. She is barely 50.

It wasn’t a sudden death as such. He has been in “semi” coma for about 6 months now. He never really woke up from his operation.


I’m not sure what it was but years ago when I had an atroscopy on my knee, it was the first time in my life where I had to sign a waiver form to receive a general anesthesia (GA) before the atroscopy. The anesthesiologist wanted to waive off her liability should something happen to me like not waking up?!

Lethal. I remember having that fear.

A few years later, true enough, my late brother never woke up from a series of operations. I suspect it was the GA that killed him ultimately.

Same with my colleague’s husband. He was healthy but went through a series of back/spinal problem, wrist, hip i.e. he went from one operation to another. And he never woken up again.

While medicine prolong our lives, does it shorten our lives too by a “prick” of an injection?

At the end of the day, we are only guests on this earth. We should live well and live without regrets.



Do what you like

I was OK until I saw the toilet roll hat on TV and nearly spilled the soup I was having. Who would have even thought of such an absurd idea?!

Chindougu 珍道具ちんどうぐ is made up of two words. Chin ちん means “curious” or “strange.” Dougu 道具どうぐ means “tool” or “device.”


Dr. Kenji Kawakami is the father of such “unuseless” inventions.  “He believed it was a new art form and everyone should be allowed to participate.”

One of his inventions I was amused with was the bodysuit mop for babies who are learning to crawl. That is exactly what my mother always said whenever she sees one of my cousins’ babies crawling that they (the babies) should use their time more efficiently. She would have been pleased if the suit was available when we were babies. Too bad for her.

Last night I met at least 3 other women my age who are successful, intelligent, pretty and independent. Another “attribute” we share, we are all singles. No boyfriends, no husbands, no children. We had interesting conversation and ideas. We are not odd. Nothing is wrong with us. WOO! We can blame the men we met in our lives or the (lack) of the chance-meeting. Yes, we know (who) we want but most of all, we can do what we like. We don’t need the society incl. our friends and family to determine what is right/good for us or how our lives should turn out. We don’t need that kind of life “others have” if that doesn’t make us happy(ier).

Instead I aspire to be Dr. Kawakami:

“Things that should belong to everyone are patented and turned into private property…the world of patents is dirty, full of greed and competition.” In addition, he waives the speaker fees any time he gives a talk and donates any money he makes from books and articles to his favorite causes.

There is a cause, a purpose to be discovered in our lives and it doesn’t have to be Susie’s!


Truck and Me

When you live in a place where everything works, where (law and) order are highly respected, do you carry yourself in an auto-pilot mode or would you still look around before you cross the road?

A few years ago while I was on my bicycle to work, the lights had turned green which is a signal for me to proceed to cross the street, right? I was on a designated bicycle lane too. As I pedaled off, something made me turn and look behind. A driver wasn’t paying attention and had turned right. Luckily I was able to brake in time to avoid a collision. I re-told this incident to my friends and a radical one said it’s my fault, I should look. How many people look behind when it is green for them to cross? I couldn’t get it out of my head that she put the fault on me. At the same time I never fail to look whenever I am going to pass a garage-exit, a small road, a green light i.e. even though I have the right of way so to speak.

This morning, something similar happened again.

I was on the bicycle path. A dumptruck made me look like this picture:

or this

The truck was coming out of a construction site. The driver had looked to his right. Luckily I stopped (on his left) to see if he was going to look at me. Technically if I have the right of way, I didn’t have to do this but hey, I was the David, right?!

He didn’t look to his left (at me) and I remember feeling disappointed. Why did I feel disappointed? I don’t know. I just stood there and rang the bell. He realised too late because when I did, he was already moving off. I could have been crushed like a cockroach if I hadn’t taken care to stop for him to notice me.

Such is life huh?! You can never get enough attention.