Who Do You See Yourself Compare With

He asked: who do you see yourself compare with?

Myself, I said. Just saying everyone has their own path and I don’t wanna compare myself with anybody else. So long I am doing better than my old self.

This week I closed case- a group account that I couldn’t manage 5 months ago.

Yesterday I cycled 18KM bike ride that I couldn’t complete 6 months ago.

Today I managed to do a difficult yoga posture that I couldn’t make it 3 months ago.

There goes second quarter of year 2022. I think my progress has been satisfactory up to now. Scored merit for one of my certificates yesterday before went out for cycling. 2 more to go! Cannot wait for them to end already by end May!

Can I just say I feel much happier than previous year. Not sure why though, prolly I know myself better, I see things differently, and mostly I prioritize myself than anything else. This year is a good year, so I really want to make every moment worth it and memorable.

Recently, I got a lot of compliments that I am getting better and slimmer. Some said it is inspiring to see me for being who I want myself to be. It made me feel proud of myself. Guess we all just have to never stop dreaming and work for it! At least, I tried. No regrets.

My parents are coming down next week which I am glad. I have done all them itinerary. Can’t wait to bring them around, a place I called home for a decade. Looking forward the new week already! Not to mention, it is a 4 day work week woohoo!

The 5-Minute Journal #3

Today I am grateful for:

  • Getting new work laptop ✨
  • Receiving Christmas gift from Lina ✨  
  • Retrieving my lost spectacles ✨
  • Fixing my I-thought-it-spoilt shoes ✨
  • Having lunch with colleagues at Sanook Kitchen ✨
  • Be punctual at work ✨
  • Getting popular at work HAHA ✨

Today’s affirmation:

  • I am thankful for what I have, for what I receive 💖
  • Feeling so good to receive good energy. Law of attraction indeed 💖
  • I always do my best, for myself, for others 💖

Here are few amazing things that happened today:

  • As I will be flying overseas soon, my colleague actually prioritized my queue in getting new laptop so that I can fly at peace 😊
  • Gotten a sling bag as Christmas gift, something I have been wanting to buy for my phone 😊
  • Lost my spectacles 2 weeks ago. So lucky that someone actually helped to keep and return me! Not to mention, I just changed them this year! 😊
  • Wore one of my favorite heels to work today. I thought it spoil, but I managed to fix 😊
  • It has been awhile since I had lunch with bunch of colleagues at work. The food was good 😊
  • More and more people knew me at work, not sure why. Maybe I have more authority since I am working in office. But sure, since I love helping people 😊
  • Managed to call for Grab early and reached office on time today, was difficult to call for Grab for the past few weeks 😊

Birthday Diary

Waking up to plenty birthday wishes in the morning. I still woke up as if I am going to work since I am heading temple for prayers in the morning. I think I have been through a lot these days, especially in November. It was indeed rocky. Finally, able to get some well-deserved rest after hectic work weeks. Though I might occasionally on my laptop to check emails, but still… Yay!

I received a lot of personal messages, some even texted me in the middle of night when I already knocked off in bed. One of my toxic traits is I know how to love but I don’t know how to believe I am loved… Or rather I forgot I am loved by so many people sometimes.

I replied texts by texts while prepping myself. These days, I started a new habit by meditating, praying before sleeping and after waking up. For well-being of my family, friends and myself etc. (let’s keep it as secret hehe)

Did simple make up, wore birthday dress pairing with le favorite pink little bag. I always go to the same temple whenever I am lost, I need a listener. I hate worrying people but desperately need someone to talk to, that’s the place I always go to. For many years. Somewhere I can find peace. As usual, I cried while talking to God. Saying how thankful I am, to be able to hold on and surviving strong.

To be honest, I wish I am not strong or over independent sometimes. Wrong impression on me mostly as I think I am quite soft hearted that easily cried lol. If you know, you know. But then again, who can I rely on when I am not mentally strong. Career change, completed advanced certificate, met really nice people at work, few good months of dating (though we did not proceed further). I believe everything happened for a reason.

Went for Japanese buffet fully sponsored by dad. My brother was complaining he didn’t get anything from le dad on his birthday. Oh wells, he should know I am dad’s little princess. Whoops. I don’t really eat a lot nowadays, so I am doing just fine, but my brother was complaining (again) that he barely eat any staple food. It’s surprising to see so many people on weekdays. We went for movie later on. Spiderman, like finally! No spoiler alert, just saying, despite not being a Marvel fan, it is a great movie!

We had western cuisine together. I am really thankful for him that he actually took leave to keep me accompany the whole day, especially when he has limited paid leaves. Though he still judge me for not able to remember some Marvel scenes, I am glad I am able to stick with him whenever I need.

Also, I have been receiving gifts like food and beverages, spa treat, skincare, cosmetics etc. Oh, I bought myself a bouquet of flowers too! I rarely receive flowers, prolly people think I might not like it idk. But actually, I really love sensual gifts which are visually nice or smell lovely. Like flowers, scented candles, nice hand cream, aromatherapy etc.

Guess my birthday has really come to an end. Officially, 26+1 now. I never liked the idea where my age is an odd number. This year was indeed rough like what I expected but somehow it turned out better than I thought. I don’t wish everything is smooth in life as I know that’s not possible.

Instead, I pray for strength to conquer challenges when times are bad. Always reminding myself to be thankful- appreciate for what I receive, for what I have. I really love how people wish me to stay safe, pretty, healthy and happy. Guess that’s all I need.

Last but not least, I thank everyone for their well wishes! Wishing them good luck, and keeping them in my prayers. Happy Birthday Alison! 🎂

Slowly but Surely…

Finally, back to office after 2 months. Apparently, it was my very first week working in the office after internal transfer. Having a million-dollar view, I finally made it, I thought. I feel so powerful standing tall after working hard from one office to another, from west to east, and now at one of the skyscraper buildings in central business district.

Though I might still be struggling with the workload, but I am sure I will push through. It’s just a matter of time. Le boss just announced some good news where we will be having bigger team, apparently the workload has spiked tremendously as compared to last year, hence with the increased staffing, hopefully we are able to close more cases at our end.

Also, I am assigned to complete a curriculum with regards to my profession within 2 years. I felt weary at first as I just submitted my assignment few days ago. I had so much sleep debt to pay back. But to think again, I am thankful for the opportunity.

The program actually serves like a management trainee program but more in AML/ KYC aspects. With the courses being heavily subsidized, I will definitely grasp these opportunities to better equip myself before reaching another new height. Totally looking forward to it! One step closer to my dream career, even better now with company providing resources and roadmap to us!

Now that I have more time on weekends, I plan to:

  • Organize meet up or virtual ones (keep it small)
  • Go for candlelight concert
  • Donate blood again
  • Complete 15 new books
  • More paintings
  • More karaoke sessions (at home lol)
  • Improve French (work on listening)
  • Practice Cha Cha (work on routines)

Slowly but surely… 🙂

I Was Issued Quarantine Order!

You might not know this, but I was issued Quarantine Order (QO) under the Infectious Diseases Act for quarantine for 10 days. It all started on one fine morning, where I woke up to an SMS from Ministry of Health (MOH). I will be contacted with more information including transfer arrangements, it stated.

Just in case, you wonder what is QO:

A QO is a legal order issued to individuals who is, or is suspected to be, a carrier of an infectious disease or a contact of a person confirmed to have an infectious disease. MOH will establish if a QO should be served out in the home, dedicated Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs) or hospitals, based on an assessment of a person’s contact history, state of health, and the suitability of the home.

I was all good in quarantine hotel with no symptoms at all. Tested negative for both Antigen Rapid Test (ART) & Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests in the mid of quarantine, however I am still required to complete QO.

Some tips to share:

  • Always on your Bluetooth (token or phone) as my possible exposure was not shown in Trace Together (TT) app- a tracing application used in Singapore. Likely I came in contact with Covid confirmed personnel on public transport as I was nowhere in any clusters too.
  • Always wear your mask. Never remove it unless you are eating or drinking. Shut up when you are on public transport, to avoid exposing yourself to potential carriers.
  • Don’t anyhow touch- in “Singapore slang”. Reduce physical contact whenever possible. You might not know if the person/ item is a potential carrier.
  • Walk away from those who cough or keep sneezing on public transport. Those who are ignorant, might still go out, and it’s us to protect ourselves !!!
  • Stop sharing food with others. My mind was a blank when I was issued QO without knowing any contact history or so. No records were shown in TT but big data kept with MOH which is confidential. Not to mention, I went out with a friend few days ago. But, it is then confirmed I got exposed a day after meeting her.
  • Don’t go out whenever possible. It’s tough with lesser gatherings, outings, but it is vital to stay safe. My parents totally freaked out when I told them about my QO. 😦
  • Reach out MOH proactively if you are the only one (in household) being contacted to serve QO. Rightfully, you should stay away from same household for health concerns. Driver will contact and inform you on the designated quarantine hotel and pick you up thereafter. So, pack your bag beforehand.
  • Download “Homer” from app store to update your temperature and symptoms. It is also used for your location tracing as well as health status. You might be contacted or do expect house visitations if you fail to do so. It’s a breach of act if you leave house while serving QO.
  • Bring a pack of facial masks with you as it is dry and cold in the quarantine hotel room. Always moisturize and hydrate your face, otherwise it will eventually crack and become flaky like mine. It’s darn painful!

I am truly blessed to have considerate boss, team members as well as landlady. They have been checking on my health status and asking if I am well, or need any help… Not to mention, it was my second day with new team when I first started QO. My friend even sent desserts to me. What a lucky girl! 💖 Also shout out to the staff where I have been well taken of during my stay. They often reach out to me to check if I need anything, send reminders for food collection and attend to all my queries. 😀

To be honest, I was quite anxious in the beginning for not knowing any details i.e. contact history, state of health (no tests taken), being traumatized if I might have Covid and spread to others, especially people from the same household. Well, life still goes on right. It’s important not to feel low when we can change nothing. I constantly remind myself how blessed I am to have a roof to stay, food on table and clean water to drink.

It was not a bad experience, but I certainly do not look forward for the experience again. Despite serving quarantine order, I thank God for the well-being for still able to work, catching up with Olympics, read book, study for my paper, write a blog, do some Tabata, attend online French class etc. Yup, I did not put my time into waste.

Nonetheless, take care and stay safe everyone xx. We shall see each other safe and sound someday! Cheers ✨

Ps. Feel free to reach out to me if you are *touch wood* being issued one too. I can share more details based on personal experience. 🙂

Expat Story: A Different Chinese New Year

Marking one year not returning home aka first time celebrating Chinese New Year (CNY) overseas. No reunion dinner, no new clothes, no visitations… initially! To be honest, I had no plans on how am I gonna spend time during CNY since I am pretty stuck in Singapore, not able to go home for celebration. However, kudos to my cousins and friends, they actually made initiatives to meet up for lunches and dinners. For that, I am beyond grateful. Not to mention, one of my friends purposely drove me some cookies and tarts right before CNY. What have I done to deserve this! *Crying inside

Ended work prolly 3pm during eve, rushed home to change before eating out. Oriental restaurants in Singapore were either fully booked or mainly closed. We managed to have dinner in a German bar with delightful pork ribs and barramundi. Eating out in an occidental restaurant without parents during CNY eve indeed feels very different. We used to gather to cook and eat together for many years, so much laughter in the house. Sitting in the bus on the journey back home while thinking how others spending time with their families, I had never felt such empty in my life.

Video-called parents first thing in the morning after washed up during Chu Yi (1st day of CNY). Chit chatted quite a bit, as it was their very first time spending CNY without us (me and my brother). Was invited to one of my friend’s house for lunch. We did potluck. All of us are expats working in Singapore, despite meeting them the very first time, we got bonded quickly. We had fun playing board games and pokers. We stayed for the day, spending quality time with my friend’s aunt and herself. Feel so good to have such good host to cater us, feeding us with good food. We left for the day with stomach full of food.

Visited another friend’s house during Chu Er (2nd day of CNY). The husband and herself even prepped us lunch. She texted me few days beforehand, asking if I have any plans, otherwise I can pay them a visit and have lunch together! Got to meet a new friend, eating themed doughnuts, and of course having steamboat together. Left for dinner with le cousins thereafter. Made reservation a month ago, since social distancing required with limited slots in a restaurant. We managed to video-call our families in every corner of the world. We greeted and sent our regards before eating. Despite being thousand miles away, it’s nice seeing everyone enjoying themselves and in good shape. It was a decent dinner, having Lohei together, checking in to see how everyone is doing, especially during this pandemic.

Met secondary school friends on Chu San (3rd day of CNY) aka Valentine’s day! Glad to hear everyone is doing fine, with one of us just got married and had job change; another one got his PR status of late. It’s always good to hear good news as it somehow motivates me to work harder, in achieving my goals while my friends are working hard for theirs too! All of us have not been returning home for a year, and God knows when would be the next time we meeting our families…

Writing this to remind how blessed I am. Have been telling my parents that despite not able to return home, I am doing very fine with friends making me feel like home overseas. Handwritten letter, handmade cookies, visitations, red packets (it’s a blessing!), lunches and dinners, CNY goodies etc., it makes me feel like I am not alone overseas.

It is a very different Chinese New Year to most of us. Not able to travel home, seeing each other via Zoom calls, limited visitations and so. However, without my knowing, God actually sends more people to me. Look forward to the day I am able to do more for them, my turn to host them in future! Happy Niu Year all !