Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cecilia, you are the shining model of living life to its fullest

Cecilia, you are the shining model of living life to its fullest

My dear Cecilia, when your request over Facebook for me to write your eulogy came on May 8th, I brushed it off as another one of your warped humour. We have all expected, as usual, that you will be well again!

I am usually not stuck for words but with this piece, I was lost.
Lost not because I have nothing to write but lost in how I should write it to embody such an incredible human being.

Then I found my answer.
It cannot be about grief.
If that, you in your inflated ego, will kick me in the butt!
It has to be YOU, a celebration of LIFE!

When I think of our first meeting, the only word that came to mind was SHOCK!
Your bright red hair began the series of shock for the short time we had together.

You shocked me into realization that life is about what you want it to be.
You shocked me into understanding that at the lowest point in your life after your mishap with your leg makes you look higher and be happier
You shocked me with your down to earth attitude where heaven can exist
You shocked me that friendship can be as thick as blood in a short period of time

In short, you shock the hell out of me... and brought me to the heaven of bliss, passion, contentment, love and no regrets.

My dear Cecilia, we are here to celebrate you!
Celebrate what you have done to our lives, albeit in your own shocking way, which you may or may not know.

I salute your intensity to realize your passion of being what other people cringe and may shun, a zoo-keeper.
I salute you for being yourself, in your glowing red-hair and your rainbow coloured outfits as a show of confidence and individualism which bred followership.
I salute you for your focus to make an imperfect leg walk better than anyone and the miles to chase your passion.
I salute you for your disposition - contagious, brightens-up-the-room, can't-get-enough-of.

I miss you for stopping to show us the way, so soon.
I love you everyday for what you have given us and taught us to be what we are born to be.

There. Done. And with no tears, for tears is never for my darling Cecilia.
Just laughters, smiles, happiness and love can only be worthy of your legacy.

Fare thee well my sweetie.

Till we all are together again.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome to my box...

To many, the saying 'Life begins at 40' is just that, a saying.
However, to some, how you feel and thus how you look is within your hands.
To a few, that is a realization and acted on it!

In my passing of the last 47 plus years, I have heard of people making excuses for things that they like to do, far more t han making excuses for things that they do not like to do. Guess that is human.

In a quite recent school reunion, my 5-year old niece and true to the nature of 5-year-olds who speak their mind - a quality we lose as we grow older - asked my classmates how old they are. To the bemusement of a few of them who took to 'bullying' little girls came the answer :' Silly girl, we are your uncle's classmates. Therefore we are of the same age!' came the unexpected and rather to-the-heart reply : 'Then why do you look so old and fat!' (in relative to her uncle!)

This entry is by no means an account to show-off nor a guidance to shape-up.
It is merely a reflection of focusing on what you want to do, impacted by 'market' forces, and derived at the end-in-mind that you desire. Best of all, it is an account of what is possible. Impossible is nothing, says Adidas!

Well, as I passed 40 years old, with a rotund 38" waist and over 26% body fat, I fit into the usual mould of an UNCLE, AH PEK or PAKCIK. Gone are the days when I was called ABANG, KOR KOR or simply MISTER. The former salutation is by way of respect (for my coming of weight.. of age I mean.. as demonstrated by my imposing waistline!). The worst thing was I was readily accepting it!

Then came one fine day when my friends and I went island hopping in Phuket, pre-tsunami period in 2001.To their rather witty and sheepish question of whether I am wearing a swim trunk, my RASPUTIA-belly stood flacid and round over my not-so skimpy trunks, I knew they were telling the truth. They, knowing how I take to challenge like any hot-blooded Leos would, issued the challenge that by my next birthday - 12 months from the day - they wanted to see 6-pax! 6-pax to me was a dream which remained shy and hidden. I knew it was there but I also knew that it was cushioned by the layer called FAT!

I duly took up their challenge and engaged a personal trainer on my return to Singapore.
The beginning of the ordeal was painful, nonetheless.
One notable incident was when the Honorable David Levine, US Ambassador to Singapore at the time, asked if I was OK, seeing that I was walking like someone who has hernia. This was the week AFTER I started training.. tell me if you would not be walking like that!

A note to remember : Personal trainers comes in many shapes and forms. Some are just counters - do not show you what to do but only counts the reps you did. Some are tele-PT, meaning that they are on their phone sms'ing whoever all the time you are yelping for help. There are ones who cheats, who signs for you the sessions that you did not have so they can clock in more revenue. And of course there are those few that does it for the right reasons. I was unlucky to begin but ended up with a PT I call a friend for the last 8 years!

So, welcome to my box! What box is that?
Over 40!

To cut a very long story short, it is not impossible!
I called it the 3 + 2'D' regime.
What is that?
3 D : Discipline - I wake up at 5 AM daily to be at the gym at 6 AM. Drive - you MUST want to do it! You must have the end-in-mind.. beyond looking good and lastly Diet : You are what you eat. Best way is to cut off carbs for dinner. No carbs after 5!

The other 2 'D's?
Haha! Daniel and Din, my PT friend... (Hey, I m in Marketing!)

So I have had many queries of HOW to do it... Upon which I talk about my 3Ds. Many retorted - I love my donuts. I cant do away with Maggi noodles at 10pm etc etc. Well, you are after all what you eat. If you are comfortable having a donut around your waist, then indulge and be happy!

Lastly, do whatever you feel will make you happy.
As I started, I am sharing, not prescribing.

And do not cheat, buying a size bigger pants to have a relatively smaller (growing) waist is only for short term happiness!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

ULTIMATE HAPPINESS... The true end-in-mind of life and living

ULTIMATE HAPPINESS... The true end-in-mind of life and living

Many of us - yours truly included - tends to put things off, procrastinate. Excuse being, we will do it tomorrow. This is then cushioned by our human ability of making excuses for everything we want to do.. or in this case, not!

Now for a minute there ponder this. Why do we always think that there is a tomorrow? As the song goes.. 'If tomorrow never comes..', what would you do?

The greatest regret anyone can have is to be drawing our last breath and having it! Regret(s) that is!

Firstly, if the ultimate happiness is the end-in-mind, regrets must first be minimised or eliminated, or even better, not be created.

What are regrets?
Something that we want to do, hopeully in the creation of happiness, that we failed to, owing to whatever reasons.

So first, NO REGRETS.
Do not ever regret doing anything.
In my Bucket 1 and 2 discussion in earlier blog entries where Bucket 1 contain things that you canNOT change and Bucket 2, things that you have control over, you have every tool to cushion the impact of Bucket 1. Also to my earlier entries on THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HUMAN AND AN ANIMAL IS THE ABILITY TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR THINGS THEY WANT TO DO, brings me to the fact that if you have chosen to do what you want to do, then let that be the choice, good, bad or ugly as it may be. Live by the consequences. Do not for a minute think about what it could have been if you did not. (Well, that should already be part of the analysis BEFORE you did what you did)
Why? Because if you did it, you cannot go back in time and not do it. (Read : UN-doing something is not the same as NOT DOING it in the first place! Have you seen the crack on a broken porcelain plate glued back?). This SHOULD NOT give you an excuse not to make amends... a crack is still better than a broken plate, although not perfect.

Second.. DO IT NOW!
If you do not know if you are going to live tomorrow, why wait?
In my Facebook survey on 'If this is the last weekend that you know you have to live, what would you do?' came scary and sometimes sad answers like 'I will call my parents up and tell them how much I love them' and 'I will walk up to the person I have loved secretly for so long and tell him/her how I feel'. Hmmm... my supposition is a future date.. what if you die tomorrow... You will be drawing your last breath, with regret. And guess what, you cannot do anything about it!

Why wait to whatever future time to do it... DO IT NOW!

Money. Health. Relationship. All these are part of a myriad of components where happiness can be derived. It is however also a source of the opposite. Heard of the fight stemmed from will reading? Or two people being jealous of one another in the excuse of love.

HAPPINESS is the end-result, end-in-mind. It is not the components. If having money brings you happiness, then be it.. but will you be happy being the richest person when you are suffering from a disease? On the other hand, even if you are sick, can you not be happy?

Having someone to love who loves you - and at the same time (see why a delay in this case on either side will result in very different outcome) - is the most blessed thing one can have in a lifetime.. whether rich or poor, healthy or otherwise. But there are people who does not express their love.. and regret it... only to find out that the other person suffered from the same...

So what to do so that HAPPINESS is NOT DELAYED?
Well, if you have bought a birthday present today for someone whose birthday is 5 days down the road, give it now. It gives the recepient 5 days more of happiness... and you too! Tell your loved ones that you love them, NOW! Go out and have yourself that meal and start today and save up for the dream trip or simply take a day off to be with yourself.

What ever that brings you HAPPINESS... NOW!

Kuala Terengganu - a breath of fresh air... and GREAT food... at wonderful prices

I cannot remember when I was last in Kuala Terengganu (KT) but I can remember it was not a clean town, smelly and with clogged drains!

This Good Friday weekend changed all that.

We flew up from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and drive with the family to KT on the very scenic highway... bypassing (and not missing) Kuantan.

We stopped at Kemaman for the famed stuffed crab but was utterly disappointed. It was relatively expensive at RM7 each but was dry and unflavourful.

Finally, we arrived at KT, not before we stopped along the way to buy some SATAR, a sweet fish-chillie barbqued concoction, followed by boiled sweetcorn and peanuts. Yummy!

We rushed out to get my all time fav - keropok lekor.. You can have it steamed or fried...

Next we ended in KT and ate dinner at a HALAL Chinese seafood restaurant near the hotel (next to one called OCEAN). Food was good although the environment can be better. We saw many having steamboat. Guess it is their specialty, We celebrated dad's birthday there.

Next morning was a start of a marathon of food.. started with fried radish cake at Kampung Tiong with historic relevance (The first well where Chinese settlers get their water), Paung - the ever wonderful baked fresh bread, with or without the coconut fillings; nasi kerabu - vegetarian rice; pulut liper...

Lunch was at ERWINA nasi padang - RM92 for 10 people and lots of good food!

Dinner was from a stall beside the Batu Buruk beach road - from nasi lemak, nasi kuning, nasi kunyit and my ever favorite nasi dagang! YUMMY!!!!! All at RM2.50 each!

Next morning, we left early, with over 40 plates of roti paung in tow and over 60 pulut liper to buy the ever famous nasi dagang from Mak Ngah - a pink 2-story house on the way from KT to KL - 10 mins away from town center. Go early. The sweet old lady closes at noon!