This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Yesterday Once More

Note: I’m travelling in November, so there will be no new posts. Instead I will select and re-blog some older posts here.

When I was young
I’d listen to the radio
Waitin’ for my favorite songs
When they played I’d sing along
It made me smile

Those were such happy times
And not so long ago
How I wondered where they’d gone
But they’re back again
Just like a long lost friend
All the songs I loved so well

When I was in primary school, I only needed to attend the morning class for half the day. Knowing there was someone who shared my desk in the afternoon class, I started to communicate through written notes put in the drawer. The other student was a girl and she replied. We mostly talked about the school life, the subjects we studied, our teachers, and exchanged some exam tips with each other – a way to communicate before the time of internet, email and social network.

After school, I normally back home and had lunch, did my homework while listening to the radio. At that time, people still wrote letters to the DJs and dedicated the songs to their friends. Grand-mum would be busy in preparing dinner by late afternoon and I might watch some TVs – superman killing monsters, adventures to outer space, protecting earth from aliens. So, I always dreamed about having special power and changing the world when I grow up.

Parents arrived home from work in the evening and the whole family had dinner together. After dinner, I continued doing my homework or revising what was taught in the school. Homework seemed never ending. Was I too slow or day-dreaming most of the time? At night before I slept, I might peep through my bedroom window down the park below and see if I can find any ghosts – there was a rumor that the park was a graveyard before. The girl next door was always practicing her recorder by that time and I could hear the notes over the night air.

Every Sha-la-la-la
Every Wo-o-wo-o
Still shines
Every shing-a-ling-a-ling
That they’re startin’ to sing’s
So fine

When they get to the part
Where he’s breakin’ her heart
It can really make me cry
Just like before
It’s yesterday once more

In memory, my parents were always busy at work. So, my childhood was mostly spent with grand-mum. When I started high school, I needed to stay at the school for longer hours. It would be around four in the afternoon when I arrived home and I usually felt really hungry due to the early lunch at school. Grand-mum’s hot soup noodle became the highlight of those school days.

In a public housing environment, we had close relationship with our neighbors and knew everyone living in the block. Kids with similar age naturally became friends and played together. Our doors were seldom locked and it was normal to walk to my friends’ homes, chat about stories at school and in the block, borrow some reference books or stationeries, and then back home. We ran a lot those days – running up the stairs and racing with the lift (lift was proved to be faster most of the time); tracing each other through the corridors that connected the buildings; and playing basketball in the playground.

Lookin’ back on how it as
In years gone by
And the good times that I had
Makes today seem rather sad
So much has changed

It was songs of love that
I would sing to then
And I’d memorize each word
Those old melodies
Still sound so good to me
As they melt the years away

I studied in a boys’ high school. It had an indoor sport hall and an outdoor football/basketball court that we used alternately for our PE classes. However, if this was our turn to use the sport hall for the PE class but it was not available due to public exam or other activities, we would have a cross-country run. At that time, I didn’t enjoy running that much, it was exhausted as there were a number of up hills around the school. I also felt embarrassed for everyone saw me running on the streets, especially the girls from other schools. But it might give me a good foundation to pick up distance running many years later.

Half way through high school, everyone started studying hard for the entry to higher education or university. Those textbooks, lecture notes, reference books, mock exam questions were my every day companion. I attended tuition classes, formed study groups and studied in the library till late. Although I may now forget most of the knowledge gained from school back then, we need to do things in vain at different stages in life.

Every sha-la-la-la
Every wo-o-wo-o
Still shines
Every shing-a-ling-a-ling
That they’re startin’ to sing’s
So fine

All my best memories
Come back clearly to me
Some can even make me cry
Just like before
It’s yesterday once more

Those years, fearless and being wild; the world was much safer and warmer; people were closer and the music was better. My family, friends, classmates and other people I met – you all gave me a unique and happy childhood. Although I don’t have any special power, I hope my existence might in turn change your world a bit. Also to the childhood’s me, thank you for living so fully in those years – the passion and excitement about life; and the attitude in questioning and challenging everything. Although life alters those dreams and leads to a different path, what we remember from childhood we remember forever.

The Cracked Pot

Note: I’m travelling in November, so there will be no new posts. Instead I will select and re-blog some older posts here.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” She continued, “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

Till the End of the Journey

Note: I’m travelling in November, so there will be no new posts. Instead I will select and re-blog some older posts here.

My friend’s friend passed away because of cancer. My friend is depressed and sobs whenever we talk about this. I’m not good at comforting people, the only words I can think of are: “Your friend may now rest in peace in a happier place without suffering.” I wonder how a healthy person can be conquered by a terminal illness. God, why did you punish them, make them suffer, and eventually take them away? What did they do wrong?

Not until the end of the journey – you will not know how important you are to your family and friends; you will not know there are professionals who decorate you and organize your final farewell party; you will not know those sweet memories you had given to the people around you; you will not know there are so many stories about you that can be shared; you will not know there are so much love, and so much tears.

You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised in a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days

When your health is getting worse and you know your time is ticking, you cannot go for those luxury items on your bucket list such as traveling or do a parachute jump. You will spend more time with your family, meet those precious persons in your life once more, and return what you had borrowed from others. That’s what my friend’s friend did in her final days of life.

No matter what’s happened, we need time to digest. After some time, the sadness will fade away and everyone will adapt to a life without you. Darkness will be broken by the dawn and spring will come after winter. But occasionally, you will be remembered by someone in the rainy days, when wind howling in the middle of the night, when your favorite songs are played, when those photos are viewed, and when your life adventures are mentioned.

Nothing compares, no worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

There are two things in life we can’t choose: birth and death. To live is to embrace death. Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today. Try to make each day your masterpiece. When you wake up, think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. Don’t be afraid your life will end, be afraid it will never begin. At the end of the day, only memories will live on forever.

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Lyrics are extracted from: “Someone Like You” – Adele

Try To Remember

Note: I’m travelling in November, so there will be no new posts. Instead I will select and re-blog some older posts here.

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow
Try to remember and if you remember then follow

How do you feel about September? In my childhood, a new school year would be started in September after a 2-month summer holiday. On the first day of school, I would meet my friends and talk about what we did during the break. My friends would look a bit different, some gained weight, some got tanned, and some had a different hair style. Everyone seems to change over time. I would be excited in moving up the next level in school with new classroom, new seating plan, sometimes new teachers, and all the new challenges ahead. In contrast to the Northern Hemisphere, September in Australia is the first month of spring when the weather becomes warmer and plants start to grow. September always feels like a new beginning to me.

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender that
Dreams were kept beside your pillow
Try to remember when life was so tender that
Love was an ember about to billow
Try to remember and if you remember then follow

We were fearless in our youth. There was no bullying; we fought for any conflicts regardless who the others were. We wouldn’t mind the teacher punished us by hitting our palms with his thick wooden ruler. We took the short-cut back home without worrying being kidnapped. Those years, the world was our playground. But we change after we stepped into the real world. We started to worry about we cannot live up to the expectations of others. We try our best to learn from our failures and become a better person. We develop courage by surviving difficult times. In the game of life, after we have earned enough reward points, we get our new weapons, raise our game levels and release a new version of ourselves. At the end, we find that the simplest goal of life is just to fulfill our basic needs.

Deep in December it’s nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember
Without the hurt the heart is hollow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember
The fire of September that made us mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember and follow

There are 91 days between September and December, so December begins on the same day of the week as September every year. How do you feel about December? Will you think of Christmas, the holidays, New Year’s Eve, or your new year resolutions? In contrast to September, December feels like the end. This year, people may be talking about the world is going to end in December. The calendar of the Mayans ends on December 21, 2012. A distant planet, Nibiru, is predicted to collide with Earth this year. People normally will not imagine how to live their last day, but why not use this date as a reason to revisit our bucket lists and live everyday like it’s our last day? In case you wake up in the morning of December 22, you know Nibiru has missed us. The Mayans calendar starts a new chapter and so is your life. Another date for end of world will be predicted. But the end can actually come to us at any time. So, lighten up, enjoy life and remember those good moments.

The World Weeps


My heart goes out to everyone in Paris and people in other countries who are suffering in the wake of terror attacks. Let’s all do our best to spread as much love and kindness to those affected as humanly possible. Hope we can soon have true peace and justice instead of violence.

Two Brothers

Note: I’m travelling in November, so there will be no new posts. Instead I will select and re-blog some older posts here.

Once there were two brothers who inherited their father’s land. The brothers divided the land in half and each one farmed his own section. Over time, the older brother married and had six children, while the younger brother never married.

One night, the younger brother lay awake. “It’s not fair that each of us has half the land to farm,” he thought. “My brother has six children to feed and I have none. He should have more grain than I do.”

So that night the younger brother went to his silo, gathered a large bundle of wheat, and climbed the hill that separated the two farms and over to his brother’s farm. Leaving the wheat in his brother’s silo, the younger brother returned home, feeling pleased with himself.

Earlier that very same night, the older brother was also lying awake. “It’s not fair that each of us has half the land to farm,” he thought. “In my old age my wife and I will have our grown children to take care of us, not to mention grandchildren, while my brother will probably have none. He should at least sell more grain from the fields now so he can provide for himself with dignity in his old age.”

So that night, too, he secretly gathered a large bundle of wheat, climbed the hill, left it in his brother’s silo, and returned home, feeling pleased with himself.

The next morning, the younger brother was surprised to see the amount of grain in his barn unchanged. “I must not have taken as much wheat as I thought,” he said, bemused. “Tonight I’ll be sure to take more.”

That very same moment, his older brother was also standing in his barn, musing much the same thoughts.

After night fell, each brother gathered a greater amount of wheat from his barn and in the dark, secretly delivered it to his brother’s barn. The next morning, the brothers were again puzzled and perplexed. “How can I be mistaken?” Each one scratched his head. “There’s the same amount of grain here as there was before I cleared the pile for my brother. This is impossible! Tonight I’ll make no mistake – I’ll take the pile down to the very floor. That way I’ll be sure the grain gets delivered to my brother.”

The third night, more determined than ever, each brother gathered a large pile of wheat from his barn, loaded it onto a cart, and slowly pulled his haul through the fields and up the hill to his brother’s barn. At the top of the hill, under the shadow of a moon, each brother noticed a figure in the distance. Who could it be?

When the two brothers recognized the form of the other brother and the load he was pulling behind, they realized what had happened. Without a word, they dropped the ropes to their carts and embraced.

On Change

Note: I’m travelling in November, so there will be no new posts. Instead I will select and re-blog some older posts here.

Did you ever feel that your childhood friend suddenly becomes a stranger to you? But will this be the same from the view of others about you? We had been together, separated, took different paths of life and reunited again. Our values, principles and priorities are changed along the path. In this city, some may after money and power; others for relationship and desire. The world becomes complicated and is not only black and white. We live and make decisions in the gray area most of the time. We are physically the same person but with different thoughts.

We drown ourselves in after-work drinks, sports, gossips and corporate-jokes to be more sociable. We become more reserved about other people after all those betrayals, lies and traps being set-up for us to step in. We turned from a young rebel to a balding middle-aged human with a beer belly. We start questioning our beliefs and blame other people for their faults as it’s never our fault.

Life is so busy that we don’t even have time to pay attention to the morning sunlight, the sound of rain, clouds in the sky, trees swaying in the wind and the face of someone you love. We cannot see the destination in the road ahead and we start forgetting our dreams somewhere in the journey. There are all sorts of compromises in life for growing up.

Change is the only absolute in the world, nothing stays the same. No matter you like it or not, tomorrow will come, bringing with it new beginnings and sometimes unexpected endings. Instead of holding on to the past and getting left in the dust; why not choosing to jump on the ride of life and living a new adventure with perseverance and an open mind?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 217 other followers