Living Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Moments

Euphoria have taken over the country the last two weeks. It started with the relentless pursuit of virtual creatures and then went on through the victory of one man, who have become a hero and inspiration for many.

The media frenzy will eventually die down once another major world event happens, but in the meantime, I am suffering from social media fatigue from both news.

Sure we talked about the Champion at home. With K, we discussed how hardworking, determined and motivated he is, to have achieved what he has today. Positive traits that we can all learn from.

Then I posed this question to my hb yesterday morning, ‘Would you have done what the Champion’s parents did for their son, if you have discovered his talent at a young age?’ He answered with a resounding “Of course!” Then he came to a realisation, that hypothetically, this would be any parent would try to do for their child if they could. But realistically, our financial state was not in its best state 6 years ago. It became a challenge to even pay for monthly lessons, so it didn’t matter that K seemed to have showed promise for Tennis or Golf at a tender age of 2.

As for Pokemon Go, K and I discussed about the dangers of getting addicted the game and I showed his articles and photos of the masses who were gathering around a certain neighbour in their pursuit of the virtual monsters. While his school addressed the dangers of phone and game addiction during assembly this week.

The online mobile game does not seem to be not so positive with a group of players disturbing the peace in a neighbourhood and obstructing traffic in other places. And in comparison, there are much positiveness that can be garnered from the Olympic win, since it has provided inspiration for the many to aspire to possible greatness in their ordinary lives. It might have also awaken the latent ’Tiger-Parent’ in some who refuse to consider that their child will just be average.

It is always good to have ambitions, regardless whether it is an aspiration to be the Pokemon Master of Singapore where thousands of fellow Pokemon Trainers look up to, or be that person who have achieved accolades for his/her and become a country’s idol/hero overnight.

Upon retrospection, I realised that both events have a similarity. Both provided the masses emotion highs, although of a different kind, once is caused by instant gratification while the other, celebrates the victory and the glory of one man for the nation.

So what happens after these highs die down, most will be left with the dread of the empty feeling of having to deal with ordinary life. The Pokemon trainers will continue, being drawn to the feelings of instant gratification from the game, while the others will dive into their next goal or objective to reach for their child.

As for the rest of us, who have realised through the years that we are faced with this challenge of having ordinary lives and ordinary children? Pokemon Go is definitely not the answer, and neither do we need to catch them all to find entertainment or meaning from our otherwise mundane life.

There is magic in the mundane, although the world tells you that you need to become this, or have this or that to become happy. I believe we can make the most out of life by finding the joy in the ordinary. Things do not need to change, but our perception do.


I used to think there was a list of things that my son needed to learn before he turned 6, one of them was reading and writing, then swimming, and the maybe riding a two-wheel bicycle. He got around doing most of the things in the list by 8 years old, but never got to learn to ride a 2 wheel bicycle. I didn’t feel that I needed to splurge on a trainer bike when he was a toddler and like all other milestones, like being toilet trained, or sleeping in his own room, I believe there will be a day he would be ready to learn how to do it.

Just this week, it took him two 30min sessions of learning to balance by going down on gentle slopes on a $90 BMX bicycle, without putting his legs on the pedal. And he can now ride a 2 wheel bicycle at the ripe age of 9 years old.

Some parents might exclaim, “So what, my child could ride a 2 wheel bicycle when he/she was 3/4/5 years old.” You can give your child all kinds of ambitions, or relish in the achievement that he/she could learn to read/write/cycle/swim before a certain age, or even sweep up all the awards in school. Not ensuring my child to swim or cycle before the age of 8 years old, or having a child who do not win any awards or accolades through their academic life will make me any less of a good parent.

I stopped sharing K’s milestones or success in this blog or in social media the last few years, as I reflected on what the motivation behind that. I can be proud of my son doing some things, and hope to have friends in Facebook share my joy and pride, or it might make me look like a good and capable mother, or have a very smart/handsome/capable child but I found all of that pointless.

I rather find joy in the ordinary things and in overcoming ordinary life. And really, the biggest challenge in life comes with finding joy and contentment through our everyday.


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Avoiding the Social Media Trap

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A couple of weeks ago, I did an Instagram giveaway for one of my handmades.

So I just went through the motion of asking people to share my post on Instagram, so as to qualify for an entry in the giveaway. Coupled with the requirement of being a follower of my Instagram feeds. One of the Instagram accounts that I am connected to recently did a giveaway, so I blindly followed suit thinking it will be nice to have more followers.

Right after the giveaway winners were drawn, items mailed out to the winners. Then it dawned on me.

Why will I need more followers?

I have never planned to monetize this blog, so having more followers on my social media channels or readers to this blog don’t make a difference. In fact, from last year, I have ceased taking on product or service reviews and I have been turning down invitations for any launch or event.

So why have I stopped doing reviews or to cover activities that benefit my child or the family?

I am embarking on an effort to simplify my family life. You can say that I am depriving my child of being exposed to ‘new and fun experiences’, but I am leading the way for him to learn that joy and contentment doesn’t just come from external stimulation or experiences, but true contentment and joy comes from Who we are spending time with, and NOT What we are seeking it from.

The other reason is, I do not wish to participate in any form of activity that measures this blog or the ‘performance’ of my social media channels.

As a blogger, I think it’s all too easy to fall into this social media trap, where most look to our blogging metrics to define our self-worth in terms of what we think we have accomplished in the blogging world; though our blogging reach, social media followers, or from awards.

The recent reported spat between 2 popular lifestyle bloggers was a good example. So what does it mean to be a ‘top blogger’? If we look beyond the nice-to-haves; being paid to blog or not having to fork out money for some things. Popularity from the blog, or any form of success that we see from our pursuits, do tend to feed the ego.

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I think this quote by Henri Nouwen puts it very aptly, how our ego can be our greatest enemy;

When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth. And before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers. That means we are not only in the world, but also of the world. Then we become what the world makes us. We are intelligent because someone gives us a high grade. We are helpful because someone says thanks. We are likable because someone likes us. And we are important because someone considers us indispensable. In short, we are worthwhile because we have successes. And the more we allow our accomplishments — the results of our actions — to become the criteria of our self-esteem, the more we are going to walk on our mental and spiritual toes, never sure if we will be able to live up to the expectations which we created by our last successes. In many people’s lives, there is a nearly diabolic chain in which their anxieties grow according to their successes. This dark power has driven many of the greatest artists into self-destruction. – Henri Nouwen


I realized that as we age, we have less and less opportunities to experience the feeling of success from what we do, and social media can often give the instant gratification and re-create the feeling of success. It’s the same kind of feeling that we get from positive evaluation of good results, thank you-s from others, or having a popular blog. This immediate feedback of LIKES, Shares and hits on the blog and social media posts, not only gives a value to what we do online, but eventually who we are.

So what does it mean after saying these things?

I think metrics are good indicators of how we are performing on a certain task, in this case, blogging or interaction on social media. However, these metrics or the popularity of your blog or following can’t be the focus of your self-worth or success.

Our self-worth, is shaped by the mundane things that we do, the daily decisions that we make as a mom, wife, daughter, sister and a friend. Getting approval from others from what we write on a blog or through social media, isn’t going to provide us with a sudden revelation of self-discovery.

Self-worth is formed through the slow prodding journey that we take towards being a person of value.

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As for what this means for my blogging journey?

I will continue write about what I am able to see beyond what’s right in front of me, finding meaning and faith to this thing called life.

I will still do giveaways on this blog, on Facebook or Instagram. But the focus will be through sharing  ideas, joy and hope with others, or simply just giving away what I have hand-made or things that I like.

So even if it is just 5 or 50 people reading this blog, I am encouraged to keep on writing in this space.

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Solo-Parenting a 7 year old Boy

I have to admit that when I found out I was having a little boy, it was with a mixed bag of emotions. I would very much like to say that I was moved by the miracle of life and cried happy tears when my child was placed in my arms.

But the very first thing I said to my hb when I saw K was, “Why does he look like that?”

Well, this shallow mom have repented since.

Lately with the recent adjustments at home, I have been reflecting about my part of being one-half of a parent to K. I used to think that the relationship between same-sexed parents and children; i.e.. mother-daughter or father-son, are extra special. However, I found out that the relationship that forms the child, are the mother-son, father-daughter relationships.

I am not just saying this since I have a son, nor do I want to downplay the importance that Dads have on their son being role models. But this combination it seems, is the ideal parent-child combination for single parents.

I may not fit into a profile of a single parent, since hb and I are still happily married. Nonetheless, the solo-parent status applies to my parenting life right now.

I asked K this question recently, “Do you think you have a brave-heart?”

His response to me was, “No, I have a chicken-heart, as I cry easily when I feel hurt and I am sometimes afraid of insects.” Hb used to say that K was being ‘chicken-hearted’ when he got too sensitive, or don’t show enough courage for challenges that he encounters.

My reply to him was, “Not chicken-hearted. You have a tender heart, that can be brave and courageous as God is with you.”

I believe I still can be the parent who will let him understand what I see and admire most in men. Build his confidence, demonstrate that actions have consequences, help him gain a tender heart, and teach him how to love God with all his heart.

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I am K’s mom, I am not his dad. And I will never expect to be both, as I think I will fail quite miserably.

My focus as K’s mom is to build a heart connection with him, and will never try to be the dad that I can never be.

I guess I am still in a good place when it comes to being a parent. Even if I means that I am the one who has to pick up dead lizards and get rid of any insect that find their way into our room.

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P.S. When K was a baby, I used to be so envious of people who were able to make beautiful quilted blankets for their babies. I still haven’t got around making a blanket for K, since he doesn’t have a need for one anymore.

I have found the next best alternative; softies. This isn’t the first softie that I have made for him, as he still has the wonky-looking cat softies I made for him 3 years ago. But it is the first personalized softie complete with glasses and his first name initial.

Just one of the many reasons why I love to do hand-mades, as this will be the only softie bunny uniquely like this one.

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