Making Good

Gosh, I have to admit, I have been very lazy at blogging. Other things somehow just took priority and grabbed me of my time these days. I am glad that I can come back to blogging about something I am really passionate about – cherishing Mother Earth!
These are two cheap IKEA pieces in my house now. I know, IKEA items really don’t last sometimes, but with those prices, what unreasonable expectations shall we have right?

The adjustable table has a small story behind it. My maternal grandmother used to stay with us every few weeks and the old lady must have her all her meals with her dosage of television! Hence, my sis brought this back home one day so that this can be made Grandma’s table. Well, sometimes, when we got careless, we forgot to place newspaper on top of the table, and the heat from the bottom of the bowl and plate (after numerous times) caused many ‘bubble’ to develop on the ‘sawdust’ board table top. The surface was uneven and it looked really bad.

Eventually, Grandma could no longer move around, and she no longer came to stay with us. This became my iPad reading table. So, I thought why not make it look really nice, and since I work with fabric quite a lot, I decided to add fabric to the table top! Since there were bumps, I took a piece of old mattress topper, cut it to shape and lay it over before I used a staple gun to staple the colorful cloth over. The bottom of the table certainly doesn’t look so neat, but it was my first staple gun ‘artwork’ so I guess it is not so bad? I think there are improvements to be made, but for now… there’s no more items at home that are available for my modification practice.

As for the chair, it had stains on the sitting surface that are no longer possible to remove, so I just unscrew the 4 nails and stapled over the same colorful cloth over the cushion part. Then, I screw the 4 nails back, and voila, same chair new look and no more stains.

      

My projects are usually simple because my hands aren’t that agile, and my skills really not that good. But I guess it only goes to show everyone can at least try on making good? 🙂

Thank you Kareena for introducing me, and next up we have Vicky, based in UK, who owns a really creative Etsy Store that has handmade handbags, bags and purses, often with a focus on eco friendly.

Do follow through the Making Good Blog Train and get inspired on repairing/up-cycling tips! With every bit of effort, we can only make our earth a better place for every one.

This post is part of a blog train hosted by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy on “Making Good”. What is repair, and why do we even bother to repair the things we have? Some see repair as a way of reconnecting with our possessions as we extend their lives. Others see it as a form of creative potential and an avenue to express their craft. The rewards for mending varies from feeling immense satisfaction to prolonging the life of the product. Follow the “Making Good” blog train this month and see what we have repaired and reconnected with. Have you mended anything today?

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The Kampung Spirit

Recently, I have been blessed with very good and sweet jackfruit for free. 真有口福啊!You must be thinking, how can there be free lunch in this world, especially the increasingly expensive Singapore? Now, that’s where the Kampung Spirit kicks in. The jackfruit are a courtesy of my youngest Uncle (no 7!) who works as a car mechanic. There are several jackfruit trees at his workplae and the employees can help themselves to the fruits! Imagine my surprise when I first saw those huge fruits with white pulp like material revealing those little yellow lumps of sweetness and aroma. Because I just got married, I started doing my own grocery and I was shocked to see 8-10 pieces of jackfruit going for $4-$5 in the supermarket. And, money aside, they are usually pale, not fragrant and not sweet! Sometimes, my parents manage to get better ones in the wet market fruit stalls for $3+ but even so, nothing beats these ‘home-grown’ ones that my Uncle has shared with us so far! Thick sweet succulent fruit flesh! And he generously gives us half the huge jackfruit each time, which yields about 30-40 pieces of the fruit. That’s easily $15-$20 market value!

I feel blessed to have such a generous Uncle and my few thoughts:

1) Sharing is good, really good. Above is a perfect example, in turn we often share other good food or even clothes or other materials with our Uncles. If not for the sharing, each of our family will end up spending more money or lose out on the possibility of tasting such good fruits.

2) Homegrown is really good and I really wish to do more of this but my capability and available space now is a limitation. But still, such a story really inspire me! At least I have started with a small pot of sweet basil plant and it turns into lovely pesto sauce for my pasta!

3) I mentioned local growing and I am reminded of this young boy who actually got permission of the town council to give out 100 mangos grown on roadside trees to give out to some old residents. Singapore is a literal garden city; and we do have fruit trees and it is a real pity that the only harvest we see are from techno-farms, those HDB small plots (allocated to at most that few residents) and small amount of urban farming on top of buildings. Why can’t we make use of our exisiting fruit trees or some scattered space for growing fruits/vegetables and let us enjoy own grown fruits and vegetables. I have read before that vegetables are really grown in Korea’s road side because the idea was – since we are growing something green, why not something edible and useful!

Anyway, just my thoughts. Note to self: although delicious, jackfruit is very heaty and high in sugars so I better don’t overdose on them. 😀

Don’t Forget How Fortunate We Really Are

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Image Source Credits Here

I will never forget the impact that was left on me when I saw the same lines a few years ago. Quite obviously, I still remember to look for them today. Sometimes we get too swamped with day to day trivials or issues that we forget that there are less fortunate people around us who need our help, however little or trivial we may want to think of it.

Since I started working, I have donated a small amount of money to community chest monthly from part of my salary. Now that my salary has discontinued since I am on a break, I have been looking for new avenues to donate a small sum to – legitimate, meaningful and more importantly impactful. Months ago, I saw this TV programme of a Singaporean mother fostering a baby, despite having 3 or 4 children of her own. During the interview, the mother said something along this line that left a strong impression on me, ‘Of course we understand we will not keeping this baby with us forever, but since we are able to, we would want to help give this baby a good start in life so that he/she can develop better in his/her own way.” By the way, they are just an average working couple living in a HDB flat, I will never forget how noble they are. Henceforth, I have decided that the first organisation W & I will donate to this year is the Children’s Society, it only makes so much sense.

Then a few months later, I chanced upon OCBC Today Children’s Fund whereby OCBC will match every $2 of our donation with $1. This is double the joy, because the donation gets enlarged by 50% more from a bank so why not? Harness the money spinning power of these financial institutions!

W & I have a Little Blue Man Fund, it is basically some coin bank pictured below. Every time we have some small change, we will feed Little Blue Man. In fact, W is the one who started this habit. Previously, once the coin bank is full, he will pass it to any organisation of his choice. I suggested to him that the coin bank is probably a clutter/liability for the organisation (seriously, if everyone does that, what use do they have for this), they are probably better off with just the donation. Hence, this time round, we deposited the coins then made the donation via the OCBC Today Children’s Fund website which accepts a few modes of payment, including credit card.

 Little Blue Man FundThe donation is only $85 based on the coins we have collated, but thanks to OCBC 50% matching, it will translate into $127.50. I read more and found that this amount is still $27.50 short of the cost of a week’s of therapy programmes for a child. To me, what matters is the thought and the community effort. Do remember how fortunate we really are and share something, even if it is $10 or $20. I guess you can only feel better.

What’s in my simple x green Saturday?

Like any Saturday, I wished to stay away from the weekend crowd. Hence I suggested lunch at Pasar Bella, because W & I love Le Patio mixed Seafood Paella and the iced earl grey tea. The portion is decent at $13.50, with squid, mini octopus, a big prawn, several mussels and tender chicken chunks topping the paella rice. Make it a set with my favourite ice earl grey tea for $17.50. So, two person can enjoy this Spanish delight for a good $8.75, a small indulgence at a reasonable price, you also don’t overstuff your stomach.

After a good belly patting meal, we did our usual round around the farmers’ market. And this time round, I got a small bonus, SG Organic who owned a small corner in Pasar Bella was holding summer sale promotion and I got very good organic lettuce and pumpkin for 95 cents each! I was really quite happy with my buy, a 100g organic pumpkin can cost up to $3.50, after all for the amount of work, a fair value has to be given.

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Side track a little, I do wish to have a small organic garden patch when W & I get our own house in two years’ time. Does anyone has experience in planting organic veg in HDB or small spaces? If you have any tips on how to start very small, please share!

And then it was time to catch 开心鬼! As part of Happy Ghosts’ 30 years’ anniversary, Mediacorp is broadcasting 开心鬼 I,II, III today, and next two Saturdays (12 and 19 Jul) respectively, 2.30pm on Channel. I’m a fan of nostagic hongkong movies and please don’t say go Youtube and watch lah – the feeling is just very different when you abide by the timing and then switch on the TV with a delightful squeak.

Dinner consisted of homecooked dishes by my Ma and Sis who are both excellent cooks – stir fry greens and prawns, otah omelette, steamed sambal fish, and a big pot of herbal chicken + black fungus stew. As part of my self initiated education to know more about food prices (haha I know, so lame…), I asked my Sis how much did it cost her to prepare the pot of herbal stew and the answer was $10 to $15. By the way, six of us reported for dinner! Can only say it’s really great to be able to eat together as a family. It is much more cost effective, and it is nicer to chit chat and bond in a cosy yet quieter home enviroment. Seriously, I hate to be out for dinners during the weekends in SG, it only cause me potential gastric reflux with the crowd, noise and neverending queues.

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I find my Saturday spent in a pretty simple yet enjoyable manner that didn’t have to cost a bomb. Perhaps it isn’t really that green, unless you count both of us sharing food and minimising wastage, because W actually drove to Pasar Bella (although parking is free at Grandstand). If there is one thing most un-green about us, it’s W’s darling car. And that will be a thought for another day. Meanwhile, there is also the option of the free shuttle to and fro Grandstand every hour. I will try it very soon.

 

Quick Prata & Curry Fix

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Sometimes, I am quite certain that my mum may want to get married off on my behalf, then cook on my behalf and then clean on my behalf. Because, I am just not that adequate in these areas. It is ironic that my Sis and her are very capable in domestic terms (no, I wasn’t adopted. I would like to maintain that I am just more developed in other areas like being fussy about food).

Anyway anyway, being a good (overaged) girl who tries to listen mummy, I decide to make some effort once in a blue moon to learn at least a few dishes. It is all based on whatever I can find in her fridge, basically it is always too hot/humid for me to walk 5 minutes to the nearest supermarket. So so so, I saw sweet potatoes, and instant prata then somehow the dots connected. Lunch would be prata with vegetable curry. Instant food bad for health, curry also bad for health leh, but what to do, I feel like a sinner today. And basically, I only do dishes that can be cooked in a old Tiger rice cooker, fit for steaming only due to metal base defects, or our all wonder Meyer pot.

It was quite messy because I was trial and error-ing but it turned out quite yummy. So, I ran through the steps in my brain, lean six it and would like to share the below one-person recipe with all similar souls:

  1. Find sweet potatoes / potatoes, carrots, pumpkins (mixture A) in the fridge. Deskin the necessary and cut into cubes. Just some of each will do. More of sweet potato though. Same for onions / tomatoes but just some will do too.
  2. Place mixture A into steamer for about 20 minutes. Mash them up with a fork.
  3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of curry paste then stir in onions/tomatoes and return it to steaming for another 10 minutes. Add some water to your own liking.
  4. Meanwhile, on low heat in a pan, heat up the instant prata. Flip it constantly and remember low heat to avoid any chao tar situation.
  5. Add 1-2 teaspoon of yoghurt to the curry then serve together. Can squeeze some lemon/lime juice over. Lettuce tastes excellent with the curry dip, so add that in too!

For steaming in our house, we use a old Tiger rice cooker method. Rice cooker is like the best invention in the world okay. Give me that over a hair iron anytime please. For heating up the prata, we have a big Meyer pot at home so I just use that.

For instant prata, my favourite brand is Spring Home, although Sakura has rolled out a crispier and thinner version that often goes on sale now because they probably need to gain market share. Do not, do not remove the prata from freezer until pan is hot. If not, you will face sticky dough situation, literally.

For the curry paste, I found Ayam brand and A1 brand in the freezer so I just use a little of both. Oh, I intended to use some HL milk but found that we ran out so I just found the next best, some yoghurt. It works fine too. But add by teaspoon because it will make the curry too sour if you overdo it.

Lastly, if the portion ended up too big, you can cool the unfinished and then freeze it. Use the same bowl and just cover with a dish for ease of steaming and serving! I would probably use them up within 3 days, although I know some people freeze things for ages. I was thinking of using it for either fried rice, baked rice, curry bread toast or even curry noodles etc etc.

The steps are quite simple and because the curry paste already has oil mixed in, I don’t add in any oil or seasoning. Guess it’s still lesser of a sin compared to what we get outside? Now, let me go drink more water to ensure the sore throat won’t come back again…

 

 

Simple Yoga

It is absolutely hot in Singapore in recent days, and also crazily humid. It’s 9.30pm and I can sit down typing, and sweating. Yes, it gets annoying, to the extent of hateful.

But I still count my blessings, it’s the perfect weather for hot yoga. I practise yoga for the sake of only one thing, my chronic back ache that has been getting back at me for 6 years. It was a neglected sprain that was not fully treated, and further worsened from long hours of computer work fatigue. Specialist treatment has proven ineffective, and yoga is the only saviour.

Back to simple yoga. It’s a trend to pay $20-$30 for a session of hot yoga in a nice yoga palour (I call them palours because most are so classy these days), but the heat is artificial and personally I find it tad too high for our pores and body (although many love the apparent detox effect). It is not suitable for everyone. Instead, I make use of this hot and stuffy weather to do my regular yoga, without fan or aircon on, and I sweat sufficiently too. I find it a good balance, not too strenous but warm enough to help me purge out my sweat.

Of course, it’s also for people who have practised yoga previously. I have practised yoga under supervision for quite a long period of time, so I am able to do all the simple poses at home myself.

Yoga is also a way for me to recollect myself, and regain some awareness, via a short mediation session at the end. I hope, I will be able to commit to myself to keep practising yoga in this simple fashion until I am too old to move.

Eat Simple x Green Experiment

28/4 Mon
Breakfast: Pumpkin+fish porridge and steamed broccoli
Late snacks: Matcha Latte soft serve and takopachi $10/2 = $5
Dinner: Ramen Santouka $28 (groupon)/$2 = $14

29/4 Tue
Breakfast: Oats
Lunch: Real Food Cafe, baked rice, stuffed veg salad, dumpling soup, orange carrot juice, wheatgrass apple juice $50/2 = $25
Teatime: Latte $4
Dinner: Joint dinner effort, W takeaway Boon Tong Kee steamed chicken (no dressing and oil at all) and Mum cooked vegetables. Dad had to spoil it with fried fish and tofu $24/4 = $6
Desserts: Weather was so warm and we just had to share a blackball $6/2 = $3

30/4 Wed
Breakfast: Oats
Lunch: Ichiban Boshi, last day to redeem my $10 reward and foc adegashi tofu. W ordered Katus Don (I’m staging a protest against this already) and Korobuta Pork (tasted real bad and also expensive) while I picked the grilled Sanur fish that turned out well. We shared the rice because they always give a big portion. $34/2 = $17
Tea: warmed up banana tart $2 from Donna Manis plus pears and strawberries by the side
Dinner: steamed cabbage + otah (expiring so must cook it lah)

1/5 Thu
Breakfast: Oats
Lunch: I made some simple pasta for myself that was flooded with chopped vegetables (I am really a poor cook), cannot gauged properly and ended up with only 2 mouthful of pasta. Fail.
Early dinner: Mum’s homecooked dinner – rice with soup (I get a small chicken thigh every time, haa), fry veg with mushrooms and braised chicken
Late dinner: must catch up with my friend, ended up at Little Diner again – truffle fries (very bad), a salad, deep fried crab cakes, apple crumble with ice cream (tasted bad…), ice coffee for her and ice tea for me $62/2 = $31

2/5 Fri
Breakfast: Oats
Brunch: Au Chocolate, 3 of us shared the awesome mushroom chicken crepe, king’s breakfast, truffle fries (yes, again, I fail) and an OJ. $81/3 = $27
Tea: couldn’t resist going over to Tsujiri for some matcha fix after the stroll at Gardens by Bay, $15/3 = $5
Dinner: Ah Poh Seafood stingray and crispy noodle, how to resist when it’s a Friday you tell me, $14/2 = $7

3/5 Sat
Breakfast: Oats
Lunch: Monthly gathering with old friends at Skinny Pizza, 3 pizzas and 1 truffle fries (yes again, I only ate 3 okay), $18
Tea: Lousy overly sweet weird milky Fuji drink from Teadot, ended up wasting half of it (sugar is toxin, I just cannot bear to overload), $7
Early Dinner: so hungry because Skinny Pizza not filling at all, so ended up at Pepperoni and had a Pesto Pasta (90% by myself) while W had his coffee and I succumbed to some chocolate dessert that I regretted having (not nice), $36/2 = $18

4/5 Sun
Breakfast: Oats
Snack: Johan sinful mini crossiants and cheesecakes to share with my friend who kindly gave me a movie treat of Rio, $6/2 = $3
Lunch: Terribly watered down Korean beanpaste soup at Westgate food court, but at least it’s quite healthy, only greens, tofu and beansprout,with rice $7
Dessert: Coconut Pudding from Isetan Supermart, $3
Dinner: homecooked dinner by Mum, so healthy and happy again

Note that I didn’t take down the separate fruit servings I had.

In total, I spent a whooping $202 eating out for the week, considering the discount from the voucher and the Ichiban reward card. And clearly, I have indulged in way too much sweet food over the week, which is weird for a non sweet tooth person like me. If I had cut down on those desserts/juices/sweetened juice, I could have easily saved $45 for this week. Even if I just take once, I will able to save $35-$40. And I don’t even feel any pain not taking desserts most of the time. $150 is definitely a more acceptable amount for eating out, although I should just aim for $100 $80 (update: quite guilty after I just read this, average spend is only about $250 per month)

Improved awareness is definitely needed. I really need to eat more at home or steam more vegetables or okay learn how to cook better. Also, I really must keep to desserts once a week (sugar is toxin for the body).

Maybe in another month’s time or so, I will conduct another ‘self audit’. Clearly, I am still a long way from living simple.

Eat Simple x Green

I have to admit, I like to eat (lah). Or rather, I like to sample food, the more the variety the better. There were always two concerns, the health (increasingly exploding waistline) and the bleeding pocket. These days, a No 3, eating green for sake of the environment and sustainability. It is a form of awareness to me.

On Instagram, I have seen many devoted and hardcore vegans whose diets comprised of raw food and home grown vegetables (using DIY organic compost, I am so jealous, I want to be able to do the same in the near future). I won’t be able to achieve this completely, but I do try to make an effort.

Last week, I conducted a small experiment to check if I am really eating simple x green. Painstakingly summoned my old hand and brain to record down what I have been eating.

Breakfast – basically the same every single day for past year. 30ml of Quaker Instant Oats (smooth and creamy) in a cup of hot boiling water. I do try and remember to take in 1-2 servings of fruits an hour after my oats. Once a week, the oats will be replaced with the ultra nutritious pumpkin + fish porridge that the expert my mum prepare.

This consumption habit didn’t start because I woke up a self declared health guru one day, it started after years of incessant torture of gastric problems. I will share more next time. Anyway, this boring habit won’t change. I even lug my oats everytime I travel – yes, hardcore.

Lunch – usually the indulgence meal, it can be anything. From hawkers to bistro to cafes to restaurants (no thanks to several groupon deals that I couldn’t resist), it is basically the chance to try and taste something different something nice.

I have started using pindropapp and I basically pindrop anything I wish to try, mainly because I’d rather not eat the same food and spend the money and some possible visceral fats on something different.

I believe in a weekly spread literally – max 1 x fried food, moist cooking method preferred vs dry heat, variety of mushroom/soy/fish/seafood/chicken/pork in sequence, carbs are not avoided, unless excessive. As for salads and vegetables, I do avoid eating outside unless I can get super nice or special ones because I find that the price is just not well justified (I will prepare them myself!). Of course, I will target those mains that come with small side vegetables to fulfil 1 serving if possible. I avoid over-ordering so that I won’t overeat because I really hate wasting money and food.

Oh, and I do look at the price, affordable range ($10 to $25) most of the time and a small indulgence maybe once a week.

Oh oh oh and I have weaned off processed meat more or less – no sausages, ham or luncheon as much as possible. And it helps that I do not take beef/mutton/lamb and pork appears once in a while because my mum used them for soup broth and because I can’t give up my pork cheek at Ramen Santouka.

Dinner – this is when I get my vegetable dosage and also because I am a no fuss cum lazy and struggling cook giant kitchen hazard who loves steaming vegetables and making turkish salads (literally tomatoes and cucumbers).

Half the week, I will have dinners with my parents and my mum the talented (this talent has been passed onto my Sis, I am just not cut out for it hah) will do her veg, tofu, some meat dishes, soup or a simple beehoon soup, very healthy + yummy. Of course there will be once in a while sinful stuff like curry chicken, tze char takeaways, which I will just join in and enjoy the food of course.

The other half of the week, I have dinners with W, and I usually steam vegetables or do my forever favourite Turkish salads with whatever else I feel like I can find (it was otah once and gyoza the other, not so great). Rice is dependant on how heavy lunch is. Some days, we will have indulging add-on like the McDonald Mala Burger that W just had to try, or the Ah Poh BBQ sambal stingray that I cannot forsake.

Snacks/Tea time – in the ideal world, we eat fruits and unsalted nuts. But the world is round and not that ideal, so sometimes we do hop off for a waffle, an ice cream or the ever satisfying latte (always got a new cafe right?). But it also means no carbs for dinner if possible. And, I am actually quite coffee sensitive, so I only take sips of W’s latte and take my own latte-with-no-sugar once a week (best accompanied with a good cake/waffle). Otherwise, I am forever sipping the boring but good hot green tea (I even cut down on my favourite Pokka canned green tea that obviously has added sugar).

Okay, it doesn’t sound that that that simple but I basically have developed these small rules that I build up over the years so it is not that complex for me, and I believe I am about 30 to 40% green. It is still a decent start.

Update: after I posted this, I posted down details of the week’s eats and was a little taken aback by the sugar overdose and pocket bleed. Obviously, things (or rather maybe my choices) didn’t go according to my own perceptions very fully. It only shows I have more room for improvement.

 

 

 

Some things to stop tolerating in your life

If we practise mindfulness and always remember impermanence, we can work towards changing many of the things mentioned below.

1.The decision to settle for mediocrity. – It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what life is all about. Don’t settle.

2.Your own negative thinking. – Your mind is your sacred space. You can close the windows and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in. It’s your choice. The sun is always shining on some part of your life. What do you typically think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths, or your weaknesses? The best that could happen, or the worst that might come to be? Pay attention to your self-talk. Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking.

3.Other people’s negativity. – If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. Remember, if you do not respect your sacred inner space, no one else will either.

4.Unhealthy relationships. – Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships. Be with people who know your worth. You don’t need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are. Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.

5.Dishonesty. – Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life. Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period. Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.

6.A work environment or career field you hate. – If it doesn’t feel right, don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in. Keep searching. Eventually you will find work you love to do. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re on to something big. Because hard work isn’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.

7.Being disorganized and unprepared. – Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches. Clear the clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t use.

8.Inaction. – The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live. You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. The best time to start is now.

9.The lingering of unfinished business. – There’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of unfinished business. Stop procrastinating. Start taking action to tie loose ends. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.

10.The choice to mull over past mistakes and regrets. – If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down. The next time you decide to unclutter your life and clean up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and anger. Let it go. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one.

11.A mounting pile of personal debt. – Financial debt causes stress and heartache. Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not buy stuff you do not need. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Always live well below your means.

12.Your reluctance to say what you need to say. – Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head. It’s always there watching you. It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line. And once you become accustomed to the watchdog’s presence, you begin to think it’s opinion of what’s acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths. But they’re not truths; they’re just other people’s opinions. Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches. He can’t actually control you. He can’t do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain. No, you shouldn’t start shouting obscenities and acting like a fool. But you must say what you need to say, when you need to say it. It may be your only chance to do so. Don’t censor yourself. Speak the truth – your truth – always.

~Marc & Angel Hack

Source: http://yogachocolatelove.com/post/19243828706/12-stressful-things-to-stop-tolerating

A few good things

Throwback to one week before I left my last job, a few good things x awareness –

Often, multi-tasking has been sold as a good deal, a good skill. In fact, my primary school teacher used to train us hard at this. So I grew up feeling proud of this attribute, and this was further reinforced as a very useful skill set for work. But like all over dosages in life, I come to realise how tiring and worn out every day has become when I am always rushing, always multi-tasking with my brains ‘partitioned’ into portions for various activities. When was the last time I can really focus? Why does it seem like my memory is getting worse and there are more slip ups in my judgement call?

I have basically lost my sense of awareness and ability to focus on a single issue properly, what more several issues together.

This year, I will start to return to simplicity and re-learn how to focus (like babies for example, they focus really well even on smallest task like grabbing someone’s finger and hold onto it really tight) and build up my sense of awareness. When I speak to my loved ones, I shall be paying full attention. When I eat, I shall enjoy the food and the company. When I travel, I shall thoroughly enjoy myself and live in every moment.

Yesterday, I focused on ironing my clothes (it’s somehow therapeutic for me). Today, I focused on catching up with people at work as I am unlikely to see once I leave my current job. Just now, I focused on the good company of W.

A few good things are all we need in life, so focus.