Sunday, January 24, 2010

Marriage... who needs it?

Frankly, why do we need to be married anyway if being married will not bring you more happiness but more heartaches?

Speaking from a women's point, why would a woman decides to tie the knot with a man whom she feels that she would want to spend the rest of her life with? Technically, is it just love and companionship alone? Or building a future with that person? Or is that someone is a person that you cannot live without?

I agree that marriage is never a bed of roses nor will it be on cloud nine as most young in love would think. Marriage is all about commitment, bonding and strengthening the relationship despite whatsoever difficulties that having a family would be. There will not be a bed of roses if both parties do not play their part in making the marriage run smoothly and successfully. And this will take a lifetime to make things work as hurdles and challenges get tougher by the year and by the decade with the constantly increase in one's age and probably with the shortening of one's patience and temper.

Despite being married for more than a decade, I still find marriage an uphill challenge for me to keep up with. As patience draws shorter, and tempers flares more often, disagreements and arguements is hiking up the ladder. And depression sets in.

Very often, trivial issues will ignite the spark and generate into a massive fire that will end up hurt both parties badly. Why can't the understanding level be deeper now despite being together for more than a decade? Why can't the level of tolerance be greater when things could be done and resolved in a better manner? Why would hurtful words be hurled to the a loved one that once was protected far away from hurt? Why can't after a decade, both do not see better through each other's eyes but distancing from one another by the day? Why would one take the other for granted and never gave a second thought if what actions or words would cut the feelings of the other? Why would spending time with a loved one seems more like a dutiful chore rather than something that's needed from the heart? Why would the asking for a little time from a loved one be like a challenge to do when one is in the midst of doing a chore that can wait? ~ I still can't find answers to the questions that thronged my head constantly. Worse of all, why would one wants to stay in a marriage if she can't get any happiness and satisfaction out of it? Why should she still be tied in marriage when she has been busy caring for everyone and none bothered about her in return ~ more like an "ah sum" to everyone, but queen to none.

I think I might go bonkers soon...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dragging my 2 feet!

How many of you will feel as if both your legs weighs a thousand pounds each side when Sunday nights rolls to an end and Monday mornings strikes the time for you to pull out of bed and get yourself ready for work?

That is exactly how I had been feeling for the past few months since I lost my great mentor and another great colleague at my workplace. I had not been getting the "recharged" energy of going back into my old speed, focus and mind ever since both of them stepped out of the plant to venture into other personal interests.

I believe many of you who have added me in your Facebook contact list would find my rants on work stress and crazy work-schedule a little too hectic or more like too much to bear as for the past months that rolled along. Well, this post of mine will provide you with a better window or answer on why I had gathered this negative-charge for work as well as Depression that happened in the last couple of months back.

To cut long story short, we all understand and know that sh*t happens in every organisation that we work in. It's a matter whether can you accept it and work along with it or you do not jive with it, you just move out from it. Same theory applies here in my post. The earlier times we had was tremendously hectic with long working hours, short or frequent no lunch or dinner breaks and usually we don't get to see the sun that often (guess you should understand what I meant here ~ we'll be at work at 7am and will only walk out of the plant after the sun has retired). No doubt our lifestyles were more fit for zombies, but we were a damn happy team and we enjoyed everyones company within the team.

Just like a fairytale movie, when everything is nice and smooth, there comes Cruella. And also just like Dalmation 101, our Cruella is also a lady (minus the crazy toned hair and ugly features) but a heart that matches the evil-rate of Cruella's if not for more. And she has her side-kick also that replicates her character that has been giving my immediate superior the hardest time in managing her. So, what more can I express from here... conflict and clash of personalities happens, my boss decides to call it quits and serves her notice to end her service with the organisation.

That's when all hell broke loose... everyone in the team (except for Cruella's sidekick) was so distraught by her sudden decision, but being with her and experienced the same thing she has been experiencing, we all understood that this is the best option for her since she had 2 encounters of having her blood pressure shot up to 150 due to disagreements at work. And my senior team-mate who has more than 20 years of seasoned experienced decided to leave the pack in view that the leadership is not a good one to continue the battle for. So, what's left behind? The top level people were so worried that I'll be the next to go, sent a representative from Singapore to come in to fill the gap for the temp moment while they hunt for the 2 replacement, and they came in to do damage control with me ~ persuading me not to "go look" and be with them, and they will take good care of me *rolling my eyes in disbelief, but not trusting a word that was said to me*.

Technically, whatever that needs to be done has been highlighted, and whatever that needs urgent attention has been neglected by rightful authorities without a single glance or thought. Well, that's why when my superior decided to call it quits, she totally had no qualms left behind as she has done all she can in her ability to do and salvage what she can.

So now... what that is left of me is being half-heartedly in my job, and I no longer possess the urge, the courage, the strength nor the spirit to go on working for people that I feel do not deserve my respect nor my hardwork in slogging the extra 10 miles like what I used to do before.

If any of you would have alternative advise or suggestions, I would really welcome them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Voice after the Long Silence

I had to agree that my blog had been "dead" for the last five months to be exact. And I am really terribly sorry for the MIA period as there has been multiple happenings in my life that literally left me speechless or more like wordless, and I could not express my thoughts, feelings and mind.

Well in short, I have been spending my last 1 year in my current employment, which in fact happened to be one of the most life-changing phase in my career life of 15 years. I could not agree more that I have learnt the most important thing in life during my last one year of working life ~ LIFE!

Technically, I lost my life ever since starting my journey in my current employment. I totally had no time for myself, my family or even a holiday out of Penang! Can you imagine that? Even if I were to travel, they are all genuinely business trips that are back to back without any slots for personal use.

In truth, I have to admit that I am really very tired of this lifestyle and I am really longing for more spare time for quality things in life such as my family and my children. Try imagining the pain I felt when I heard my baby started calling my maid as "mama" *wuaahhhh* ~ That's it! That made me made the point of decision in my life ~ if I do not do something with myself and my not-for-human schedule, either my family is going to disown me or I am going to get lost myself.

So, while I am crossing my fingers and praying that the next decision that I am planning in my life to happen smoothly and gain success gradually with hardwork, please do keep me and my dreams in your prayers too. *hugs & kisses*

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Locked" at Home

As alarming as my topic of this entry may sound, my children and myself have been "locked" at home since Monday. In direct words, we self-quarantined ourselves.

Why is there a need to do so? Many of you will be asking me in return. Reason is Shawn has gone for swimming last Friday and he started having fever, flu, sore throat and coughs on Sunday. We tried to give him plenty of fluids, rest and some Panadols, but his fever never subsided. In fact, it turned furious on Monday morning in the wee hours and shot up to 39 degrees celcius. We sponged him and had ice-cubes wrapped with towels placed on his head to prevent the heat from going higher.

Early Monday morning, I quickly brought Shawn with James and Lucas in tow all to the clinic for immediate medical assistance. James and Lucas both have flu and cough individually but minus the fever. Doctor informed me to stay indoors, avoid public areas and to refrain myself from others with a minimum distance of 3 feet away – for the fear of any potential AH1N1 virus that I might carry.

Though Shawn is not a confirmed AH1N1 case, and his fever subsided in the afternoon till the wee hours on Wednesday morning (that’s right – early this morning). I had developed mild fever since early Tuesday morning till present, as my mild fever did not go away. I made another trip to the doctor’s early this morning fully dressed ready to work right after I obtain clearance from them that I can go in to office to work. I think you should know the answer why I have time to blog about this when I am at work – yup! No clearance was granted as my mild fever has to be monitored by the doctor.

So, I thought of sharing some information I found via the world wide web with all, since most of us still can’t draw the line between a common cold and the much feared AH1N1 influenza and some health tips to keep ourselves at bay from the viruses :-

Common cold, is a contagious, viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system, primarily caused by rhinoviruses (a picornaviruses) or coronaviruses. It is the most common infectious disease in humans; there is no known cure, but it is never fatal. Though it is never fatal, here are some recommended tips on how to avoid and cure it.

Stop drinking cold drinks, cold water, ice cream , yogurt, chocolates etc. instead, drink warm water, ginger tea, or hot coffee.

Every 4-5 hours, drink warm milk with little turmeric, salt and butter in it. It will help to make your throat smooth which will help you to breathe properly. Gargle with warm water with little salt in it. Do it as many times as you can.

Make sure that you get plenty of fluids. They say that cold drains your body fluids. Rehydrate yourself by plenty intake of fluids. Try orange juice and hot tea with lemon and honey.

Get a plenty of rest. It will do well. If you feel your feelings get worst, seek for experts’ recommendation and follow it for easier recovery.

Acute pharyngitis or sore throat can result in very large tonsils which cause trouble swallowing and breathing. Some cases are accompanied by a cough or fever. Most acute cases are caused by viral infections with the remainder caused by bacterial infections, fungal infections, or irritants such as pollutants or chemical substances. It may also lead to serious disease if not treated well. Below are some ways to prevent and cure this :-

Take a glass of water and put it in the microwave and heat for 40 seconds (I would personally suggest boiling it instead). Add two teaspoons of salt to the warm/hot water and stir. As the water is still hot and tolerable to you, gargle the salted water. Gargle for five seconds and repeat till the water in the cup is gone. Repeat this process four times a day. This makes the pain of the sore throat subside moderately.

Avoid sweets. But preferably, try hard candies or cough drops. Eat fruits and drink plenty of water.

Just like common colds, it is advisable to get plenty of sleep. Take a rest until you can get through the pain.

Flu keeps you stocked in bed. Influenza or flu, can be transmitted though cough or/and sneezes. The most common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. Fever and coughs are the most frequent symptoms. It may get serious if not aided immediately. Here are some tips to avoid the virus from spreading.

Since it can be transmitted, avoid sharing drinking and eating utensils with people who are sick. Wash your hands before eating to keep germs away.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably those with Vitamin C to boost your immune system.

Plenty of water. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Herbal teas and diluted fruit juices are good options for increasing your water intake.

Get enough sleep, plenty of sleep. Stress and lack of rest are mere causes of flu because it weakens your immune system.

Take a multivitamin every day to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals.

Regular exercise is proven to enhance your immune system and to avoid you from getting these diseases. Schedule yourself from mild exercise to hard. It will help you stay physically and mentally alert.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On that Fateful July 25th...

I have a real tough time to write this, even summing up the energy to recall the incident would make my heart thump like crazy and my palms and feet would break cold sweat. You’ve got to picture how nervous and restless I am now with my 2 legs folded up and tucked beneath my thighs, occasionally wiping both my sweaty palms on my hand towel as I proceeded to type the entire incident – taking a minute or two break at every interval to peek on other websites to calm my nerves down. It is certainly taking me longer to write than to speak-out on the actual thing – and I really want to get this through and never to have to remember it again so that I will not be haunted by the memory of the case.

This happened on a Saturday, on the 25th of July 2009. It was the same day which I had a long list of errands to perform and the same fateful day of my life that is marred by my greatest frustration ever. I had it all planned and organised well so that all of our errands can be completed that day. Having said that, it was also a day which I carried the most cash with me as I planned to settle off my car instalments, bills, terminate my Celcom 3G broadband and also purchase both skincare and some medications as well.

Usually, I will not bring any handbags whenever I were to go out and will only use wristlets. But it was also because I had a lot of items and things to carry, which explains why I opted to bring a bag to store all my stuffs in case I left out any behind. It was as if I had it all in my head, I told Nick that I was carrying lots of cash with me that day and asked him to be alert as well. I had asked him to bring me to the banks first so that I could drop off all my cash before we head to Gurney Plaza that morning, but he mentioned that it was out of the way to turn to the banks and suggested we could do it on our way home as the route will pass by the banks. So, I went according to his plans. We had our lunch and purchased both my mom’s and my own skincare items at L├│ccitane Gurney before we left that place. On the way home, I told him that there are 2 options to purchase our much needed vitamins from either in Farlim, Air Itam (which is a little out of the way but cheaper) or in Island Glades which is on the way. And Nick was thinking to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, he suggested Farlim as there is a place where we can get some fresh veggies that are brought down from Penang Hill for sale in the afternoon at the indoor wet market in Farlim. I went along with the idea as I too thought I could get my another month’s supply of detox medication from a branch located right in front of the indoor wet market.

When we reached that place, Nick stopped me to walk-up and get my detox medication while he and James waited in the car. I came down quickly not long after getting my supply and hop back into the car. He drove over the border to the indoor wet market and parked right in front of the entrance. By that time, James was already in dreamland – so, Nick asked me to stay locked in the car and he will hop down to get the veggies, so I agreed. After Nick left the car for about 15 minutes, James woke-up asking where is his daddy. And me being silly to think and allow Nick to do the wet-marketing has started to feel the guilt of having a man to do a woman’s job. I asked James to join me and got out from the car and met Nick inside the building to complete the marketing.

We came out together, but Nick was having both his hands full with a week’s groceries, so I had to take care of James and opened the car door to safely put James into the car. At the same time, I was careful to have remained between the cars during that time when Nick was loading the groceries into the booth of the vehicle. God had me this time – I was quick to have noticed Nick was going after something that fell on the ground when he opened the booth, and me being always kiasu if he ever notices that there were cars or moving vehicles beside him when he chased after the balloon James had got from his walk at the Gurney Plaza. I walked out from my “safe zone” to be the eye for Nick without realizing I was actually being watched. Nick too was caught off-guard. He quickly tried to load the balloons back into the booth with his hands still holding onto the other groceries. So, I chipped in to help him to load the balloons into the back-seat when those snatch-thieves decided to strike at that point of time.

Initially, I felt a very light tugging feeling on my arm when I was half-way through with my chore, and I thought it was James that was pulling on my bag – so, I did not immediately reacted to pull back in case James were to trip from my force. But then again, I felt that the tugging was a little too strong for a 3 year old, and that’s when I noticed that it was those culprits that were pulling on my bag. I was really caught in a state of shock, and I could not say anything even to call for help other than to scream “hai!”. My immediate reaction was to pull back my bag knowing I could not afford to loose my bag, but my other hand was not free as I was holding on to something. They forced the pulling and the other culprit decided to turn on his fuel to hit for a run on the bike as at that time Nick had turned back.

I could not feel anything if I was hurt in that moment, but just to recover my snatched bag. And that bloody culprit has got the cheek to even give me a smile right after relieving my bag from my arm. I could not find any stone that was within my reach to take and hurl at that b*stard (mind my words please), even to take off my shoes was considered but I was wearing a buckle-up heel and can’t take off in time to have it hurled at them. Two Indian ladies that crossed the road told me that they saw these 2 culprits were watching us from a distance (but why didn’t they care to sound us even from the distance? – are Malaysians that caring by the way?), and another 2 guards for the indoor wet market just stood there and shouted back at those 2 culprits when they saw them sped off. They did not immediately start their bikes and tried to catch-up with them either. It was with my almost begging request, they did so.

Well, to end the story – Nick took the car to follow on the trail but we failed to locate them, neither did those 2 security guards. Went we walked into the nearby police station to lodge the report, those police officers can tell me that it was 2 malay youngsters riding on a black Honda EX5 that did that unspeakable act but they fail to catch them. My question here is – why aren’t our Malaysian police doing their job? They can setup “booby traps” to bag these idiots rather than sitting there in the police station saying that by the time they reach the scene, these people are gone for good. I lost more than RM6k in that incident, had the troublesome hassle of cancelling all my cards, accounts, reapplying for my IC and driving license – but most of all, had the worse trauma I could get. I had sleepless nights right after the incident, and I have to admit – my degree of faith in God has also shrunk after that toll.

On Understanding Shawn

In early July, we were having a little hiccup with Shawn and his progress both in school as well as at home. Shawn was turning to be a little violent during our absence at home with his younger brother, James and our maid, Ann whenever he is being denied from anything. His tempers would flare and he would hit both Ann and James – forgetting himself for that moment, and only to recover a while later asking for forgiveness for his emotional breakdowns from the two of them. And when we are at home, he would be so timid and could not even share his thoughts, emotions as well as feelings with us. He also behaves the same timid way when he’s at school too. This has alarmed us tremendously, especially when I caught him throwing mild tantrums at himself in his own room once which he then refused to share what has caused him to be so emotionally pent-up and built-up.

Shawn being a “special” child that is on a daily prescription of Ritalin to control his attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and to have such disturbing emotional flare-ups – is something that would require our immediate attention to get it resolved soonest possible. We spent hours talking to him, understanding the deeper him on what had kept him so emotionally upset and worked up within him that could have possibly caused the emotional lash-out.

And the findings we’ve got was that he is coping hard in school – the particular government school that he was attending. He gets isolated from his teachers because of his disorder, being unable to sit still or concentrate in class. They practically never care to be bothered about him, or more so on lack of time to spend when they have over 30 children to teach in their 30 minutes to an hour of class. On his schoolmates, he gets bullied all the time. Can you imagine your son returning home from school every week with a new issue to tell you? Issues such as a shoe-print on the front or back of his white shirt (indicates that he is being kicked by another), swollen lip, swollen eye, once even with a bloody lip, school shoes marked with dirt, mud and even cow-dung caused by others stepping on his shoes (he will be busy apologizing and explaining to us the moment he step through the door with those shoes), his spectacles have been replaced umpteen times caused they were broken due to either he’s being punched in the face, eye or pushed to somewhere. Worse of all, he does not know how to express when he’s back home with us. He can only say, “my friend hit me mommy”, and when I asked “why would your friend want to hit you?”, he would then answer me “because I asked him to line-up when he cut queue”. I would always advise him in return “It’s ok Shawn, if they bullied you because of that, you have to report him to your teacher”, he would then either keep quiet or answer me “I reported him to the teacher, but the teacher never bothered also”. But, like any moms, we’ll tell him to forgive and forget about the incident.

There were many times too which we as his parents tends not to understand him entirely. He has an issue to concentrate in class, and mostly unable to copy down whatever homework, notes or assignment given by the teachers. Thus, unable to complete his daily homework. With that, comes the red-marks on all his activity and exercise books where the teachers take the “extra” trouble of complaining to us that our son is not performing or not concentrating enough in his/her classes so much so that they drew extra large question marks and wrote sarcastic notes that Shawn is literally not paying attention in their classes. Of course, as blind as a bat would be – we took care of our faces more than understanding our son. We had him lectured, punished, locked in a room to think and even to some extend of disciplinary actions for those “red-marks” in his books. We did not actually spent time having heart to heart talks with our Shawn.

Having understood our own mistakes, and upon understanding Shawn’s scenario entirely, I frantically search for an alternative option to proceed with Shawn’s future education. Nick even suggested me to be a SAHM to care and mend for Shawn if there are no other alternatives. But, God was gracious, I managed to still draw my memory to Joanna, a lady whom I’ve met during the United Marriage Encounter which I have attended back in 2007 who dedicated her time entirely to home-schooling her 2 boys in Sungai Petani, Kedah. Though, I had last spoken to Joanna more than a year ago on the home-schooling option for Penang folks, I was prepared to be disappointed again when I took my chances to ask her again this time round if she would have any knowledge if someone here in Penang that offers the same home-schooling program. I was not disappointed this time round, in fact, I was overjoyed when Joanna replied me “You know what Mabel, I have just the right news for you – three weeks back we went for a dedication ceremony for Cecelia, a lady who attended the same 2007 UME together with you has now started the program in Penang”. I was leaping with joy as I heard the news.

I wasted no time, and immediately contacted Cecelia, proceeded to obtain all the information and gathered all knowledge to go about with this option before I break the news to Nick and his family. I also took Shawn to see his regular specialist, consulted the specialist on my alternative solution for Shawn and had his medication changed. All the time I had been asking Shawn if he wants to change to a new school, his response was always the same despite how creative I post the questions to him – they were all “wait first mommy, I want to see how is the new school, teachers and friends first”. With that, I was determined to have him exposed to the new school environment, teachers and friends, and boy... you should see my immediate relief when I saw the real Shawn reappearing between his new found friends and new environment. That reassures me that my choice for him had been right, and I made no attempts to further delay his arrangements. I had him stopped from the government school with immediate effect, returned all his books and belongings of the school, and purchased him a new laptop for his new chapter with the centre. All of this happened within a week’s time.

Oh yes! I almost forgot to mention. Sandra Rocco shared her experiences with School of Tomorrow program with her daughter, Indiana in KK, Sabah – I was so awe with the school’s program and elements that were the key driving factors for the children that they teach. I was literally burning with desire if the same program can reach me here in Penang. Little did I know that both Joanna’s and Cecelia’s centres were operating under the same big umbrella! I only got to know about it when Cecelia gave me a hand-out to read more of the school’s program, and the information that was printed behind the hand-out reads ~building lives for the future~

The Whirlwind of Life!

Apologies for my long absence and silence. There has been a string of happenings in my life which I really do not know where and how to start also since there was a short re-lapse in my memory. But, I’ll try to capture those happenings as much as possible in almost chronological order for the understanding of all.