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

Archive for the ‘Contemplations’ Category

A Belated Happy Birthday

birthday

I’ve always run away from things that tie me down
My life I love, but love’s not for me
I see my goal ahead with nothing in the way
If love should come, then I’ll run away

2 days after my birthday, my ex texted me at 6 in the morning: “OMG! I suddenly remembered your birthday! A belated happy birthday and hope you had a great day!” I was grateful but also curious why she sent the message at 6am, was it a hangover from the night before? She replied, “No, preparing to breastfeed my baby :-)” I knew she was married but I was not aware of she already had a baby. I’m happy even we are not together in the end, we will still think of each other sometimes. Just a bit odd when preparing breastfeeding.

How many relationship can last longer than 10 years? With those happy memories, we both understand that we don’t owe each other anything. I should really let go and let someone else to take care of you, my duty is already done. It will be fun if we meet again one day, have a drink as friends and talk about the good old times that we had spent together in those years.

I’ve always been the type of man
Who’s dedicated to his cause
And it’s a lonely road I run
But I’ll stay faithful to my course
There’s only one direction

We will meet many people in our life. Fate brings us together but how our relationship turns out is totally depending on us. Some of them will stick with you for long time and some are just falling apart. Life is long – everything changes over time. Life is also short – even you focus on only one thing, you still can’t make it perfect in the end. But for each failure, we grow to become a better person. Sometimes it’s healthy to have setbacks to destroy our pride so that we can learn the lessons and try harder next time.

When meeting up with my friends, I always observe how they have changed – I will contemplate when did they become bald, how did they gain weight and listen to the things they complain about life. Some like you, compromise your freedom to form a new family. And some like me, continue to wander alone and seek answers to all the questions.

There comes a time when you must choose
About the path you’re gonna take
And you must take it, win or lose
And if you lose it’s your mistake
There’s only one direction

I need to walk through a park from the train station to my office. Tonight I had an overnight production deployment so I went back work in the evening. In the park, a little girl was feeding bread to birds and birds were flying from all directions towards her. A young couple was arguing at the corner and I saw tears dripped down the girl’s face. A pretty Asian girl was walking in front, checking her makeup using her phone camera, but suddenly she made a loud sneeze, this woke a homeless man who was sleeping on the bench. The man looked at her, feeling annoyed, then went back to sleep. And I was refreshed by the 1-hour power nap, kept my pace with the music from headphone, planning the work ahead.

We are all in our own journey and we all have our own path to follow in life. Walk yours with integrity and wish all others love and happiness on their journey. When the paths merge, rejoice for their presence in your life. When the paths are separated, return to the wholeness of yourself, give thanks for the footprints left in your memory, then embrace the time to journey on your own.

So when the race is won
And there’s nothing left to do
Alone again but where are you
Alone again but where are you

Lyrics: Graham Gouldman – Love’s Not For Me

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Magic of Our Own

I watched a magic show on TV when I was a kid. The magician broke a light bulb and started eating the broken glasses. “So cool, it comes in handy when feeling hungry,” I thought. At a click of his fingers, he flipped a stack of white paper and turned them into $100 notes. “Wow, this is my dream job.” At that time, I really thought what he did was real.

When I grew up, I know that what the magicians performed are just tricks and they simply cheat the audience through their quick movement and tools. But I still like to watch their performance. May be everyone is looking forward that there is magic in this world. At the end, it doesn’t matter it is truth or not, the important thing is what you choose to believe.

We may sometimes act as a magician in our life. Did you ever lie or cheat to achieve a positive outcome? It sounds odd to do the right thing in a wrong way. I see my job as a problem solver who deal with the problems myself and hide them from people. There were instances that I knew there were some major issues but I reassured others everything was fine. There were times that I had no confidence whether I could resolve the problems on time but I kept calm and claimed that we were making progress. I also made up excuses to convince people to give us more time to work on the problems.

We keep telling ourselves “we can do it” and we eventually believe that is true. I may not be a role model as a totally honest person, but like magicians, my tricks never mean to harm anyone. If people cannot help with the situation, why not let them sleep with a sweet dream and leave the worry to someone else?

I believe everyone in their lifetime comes face-to-face with a bit of magic. It’s the kind of magic that reminds us of the thing that can be easily forgotten – hope. They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world – someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. So, always give yourself something to look forward to.

– Originally published in June 2012

Proud of You

YouTube link for “Proud of You”

Love in your eyes
Sitting silent by my side
Going on Holding hand
Walking through the nights

Hold me up Hold me tight
Lift me up to touch the sky
Teaching me to love with heart
Helping me open my mind

I can fly
I’m proud that I can fly
To give the best of mine
Till the end of the time

Believe me I can fly
I’m proud that I can fly
To give the best of mine
The heaven in the sky

“Proud of You” is a song by the Hong Kong singer, Fiona Fung. This song will make you feel good and get motivated. Fiona has a good voice and the singing skills. She also has the talent in writing the lyrics for most of her songs. Other than releasing her own albums, she works as a backing singer and demo singer for various artists, and also a vocal producer for advertisement music and movies.

Fiona dedicates herself in her music career and she should be more famous. Unlike other artists, Fiona does not have a big budget to promote her and her music. She also did not sacrifice her time in other music unrelated activities such as acting in movies or TV dramas to make her more popular. Anyway, Fiona, I’m proud of your hard work and perseverance.

Stars in the sky
Wishing once upon a time
Give me love Make me smile
Till the end of life

Hold me up Hold me tight
Lift me up to touch the sky
Teaching me to love with heart
Helping me open my mind

I can fly
I’m proud that I can fly
To give the best of mine
Till the end of the time

Believe me I can fly
I’m proud that I can fly
To give the best of mine
The heaven in the sky

Looking back at those years and what makes you feel proud of yourself? Will that be those outstanding exam results, winning medals for sports, caring for your friends when they needed you, your volunteer work, or raising a family?

I looked normal when I was a kid. However, I have some unexpected behaviors – suddenly started running while walking, threw objects into the air and tried to catch them, made a funny face in front of the mirror, hid under the bed, spin the umbrella in the rain and got myself soaked. I liked that impulse to suddenly change the pace, derail from the original path, and stir up some ripples. Even my parents said I’m a bit unpredictable; once I was here, but gone the next moment. Although it seems out of the norm, I’m proud of those weird thoughts in my youth.

Can’t you believe that you light up my way
No matter how that ease my path
I’ll never lose my faith

See me fly
I’m proud to fly up high
Show you the best of mine
Till the end of the time

Believe me I can fly
I’m singing in the sky
Show you the best of mine
The heaven in the sky

People may judge me as reserved and risk-averse by my appearance. They may be surprised when they know I had finished more than 20 half marathons, or discover my other personalities when working or playing sports with me. This may sound illogical, but I admit that I sometimes find joy from suffering – when working under pressure, from distance running, from those continuous and long rallies in sports. When I see a mountain, I see an opportunity. And I’m proud of my self-discipline.

If you cannot think of anything that makes you proud, it doesn’t matter and is never too late. Why not just start with a little goal – to simply love yourself and be happy? Happiness is a journey, so start from today – work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, sing and dance like no one’s watching. We live only once; so live the way you want. The key to open the door to miracles is already in your hand.

Nothing can stop me
Spread my wings so wide

– Originally published in June 2012

Hospital Experience

My mum’s health started getting worse from last year, so we are frequently in and out of the hospital. Other than suffering patients, busy doctors and nurses, beeping sounds from the equipment, endless tests for anything in a human body, there are still some interesting moments in the painful time.

Nurse: What is the year of birth of your mother?
[She was trying to look up my mum’s records on the monitor.]
Me: Mm… 1924.
Nurse: Is that 1934?
Me: Yeah, it’s 1934.
Nurse: That’s 10 years difference.
Me: Well, at least I got 3 digits correct.

Nurse: Do you have appetite today?
Mum: No.
Nurse: Did you finish the meals from the hospital?
Mum: Yes, their size is quite small.

Doctor: When did your mum feel sick?
Me: This afternoon.
Doctor: What was she doing when she was feeling sick this afternoon?
Me: She was sitting in the lounge.
Doctor: What was she doing when she was sitting in the lounge?
Me: She felt sick.
Doctor: So, was she fine in the morning?
Me: No, but better than in the afternoon.
Doctor: Was she fine yesterday?
Me: No, but better than today.

Mum: The woman in the bed next to me seems scared that my disease is contagious. She always covers her mouth with her hands. Would you explain to her that my disease is not contagious?
Me: I actually talked to her. She said it’s not you; it’s her disease that is highly contagious. So she always covers her mouth in order not to infect you.
[Of course, I made it up.]

Abraham Lincoln said: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” So, live the moment, seize the day and you will find life is beautiful.

– Originally published in May 2012

Try To Remember

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. In 2012, people were talking about the world would end in December. The calendar of the Mayans ends on December 21, 2012. A distant planet, Nibiru, was predicted to collide with Earth that year. When we woke up in the morning of December 22, 2012, we all knew Nibiru has missed us. The Mayans calendar starts a new chapter and so is our life. And another date for end of world will be predicted. People normally will not imagine how to live their last day, but why not use these predictions as a reason to revisit our bucket lists and live everyday like it’s our last? The end can actually come to us at any time. So, lighten up, enjoy life and remember those good moments.

– Originally posted in May 2012

Without You

hope

No I can’t forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile but in you eyes your sorrow shows
Yes it shows

Your first relationship failure may be the first significant setback in your life. I had mine when I was studying in the university in UK. That year, I was in final year and lived in the university accommodation. It was a mixed flat – 6 boys lived in one wing and 6 girls lived in the other wing while the kitchen and lounge are for common use.

That Christmas break, all the local students went back home to celebrate Christmas. As the only overseas student in the flat, I stayed alone during the break. Two weeks into the break, a girl lived in the opposite wing came back. She claimed she needed to study in advance to prepare for the exam after Christmas. I knew she just broke up with her boyfriend who was also a student of the university.

Since there were only two of us in the flat, we talked more and knew each other better. Then we went shopping, watched movies, studied and even cooked together. At one time, I thought we were dating. But I was wrong.

No I can’t forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there but then I let you go
And now it’s only fair that I should let you know
What you should know

After the break, she met her ex-boyfriend in the library, they talked, laughed and gone. Within ten minutes, they were back together again. I saw they left happily together and knew that I misunderstood or simply thought too much. She might just need someone to kill the time. The reserve needs to disappear when the selected player back on the court. I should read that “Idiot’s Guide to Dating” or email Dalai Lama regarding human relations.

People have different ways to deal with setbacks in life. For me, I run. That night, I ran around the campus for long, long time. I didn’t understand why other students looked at me strangely when I ran past them, until I found out later that there was a mentally sick man who occasionally appeared near the campus and harassed the students. They might admire my bravery in running at night or think that I might actually be that guy.

After the run, I was exhausted, short of breath and lying on my bed. Sometimes you can just sigh, throw your despair to the world and let go. I would be alone tomorrow but those beautiful memories stayed. I could even feel the happiness one more time.

I can’t live, if living is without you
I can’t give, I can’t give any more
Can’t live, if living is without you
Can’t give, I can’t give any more

Soon I graduated and prepared to leave UK. I was clearing out my locker in the flat the last time I saw her. She asked when I would be leaving. I told her the date and other than “all the best”, I couldn’t find other more meaningful things to say. She might feel the same way and we didn’t say anything. There was a brand new bottle of pepper powder in my locker that was never been used and I gave it to her. She smiled and I thought this might be the oddest gift she ever received. I wanted to tell her that I was fallen for her that Christmas but I just couldn’t pluck up the courage.

Some of us learn things the hard way – adding experiences through welts, bruises and assorted psychic and emotional pratfalls. For those of us, life must be lived to be learned. It will be a fine day tomorrow and life has yet to unfold.

– Originally published in April 2012

Yesterday Once More

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 superpower 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); chasing 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 superpower, 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.

– Originally published in April 2012