Sunday, April 24, 2011

Allow Me

I learn a lot of things about myself today.

I learn that it is okay if I don't keep my house in perfect order.  It is home.   

I learn that I don't have to be a chef for my family to like my food.  It is home cooked - that makes it special.

I learn  to trust in myself,  my creativity, my unique gifts.

Most of all, I learn to love and accept    

photo credit: shetakesflight.tumblr

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Go for it

Whether you are dreaming about what you want to do

or you want to do something different in your life,

run, dive, swim, go for it.

Make it happen.

picture credit:  shetakesflight.tumblr

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You can do better than that

You realize how important or talented you are, when someone who has been working and guiding you, tells you straight in the face,

"You can do better than that."

These words were not uttered to me but to my 12 year old daughter from her piano teacher.   She has been teaching piano to my daughter for the last 3 years and is instrumental to my child's development.   I can understand the teacher's frustration with her as 45 minutes of guidance a week is not enough to maximize my daughter's talent.     She needed to practice 30 minutes in the piano every day, because daily regimen is part of the discipline.   My daughter is lazy to play the piano everyday as playing outside or chatting with her friends are more fun.   No amount of my nagging her to practice worked.  If she really wants this, it has to come from within her, and not because of us.

As a matter of fact, my nagging to my husband to quit smoking didn't work too.  But he quit smoking, cold turkey 2 months ago.   The reason - it was getting expensive to maintain it.   When he calculated how much he was spending (the taxes in Canada are really high) on the cancer sticks, he decided he will quit.   Given the tight budget that we have, it made sense not to waste our money on this item.  He quit because he wanted to.

My husband talked to my daughter about the necessity of playing the piano on a regular basis like after coming home from school.   He said that she is very talented and has a gift which no one in our family has.   He was very forthright with her:  to not use or waste the talent is like throwing away a gift someone has given you during your birthday party.   That if she really believes that she has the talent, then by all means use all the opportunity and time to hone it and develop it 100x times.  If your teacher believes in you, then believe in yourself.

"You are better than this. "

My daughter kept quiet for while and told us, "I am going to practice everyday now."  I want to believe that because she wants to,  she will do it.

Has there been someone in your life who believed in you and what you can be?

Picture credit:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Personal Challenge - Poetry Writing

Thanks to everyone who visits my blog ~ 

I have set a personal writing challenge for myself.   After getting encouragement from my son who is into poetry (Street Poetry), I decided to try my hand in composing and writing short poems.

I have not written poetry for the longest time so it is a bit of challenge to coax my writing muse out and give her the free rein.   I set the following goals for myself:

10 entries - poems about Love 
10 entries - poems about Life
10 entries - poems about Friendship

I hope to hit my goal on or before the end of May.    

I also set up another blog just about poetry but it is set to private so I can freely draft and compose my thoughts.   You might asked where my inspiration comes from and what do I do to  let my imagination run free.    

I chose these 3 topics because they are the most popular searched topics on poetry.   They are general enough to start with, and with my life experiences, I think I can write something about it.   

Next, I listed down random titles or topics concerning each category.    It is amazing what titles I can think of regarding Love, Life and Friendship.     Next, from each title, I randomly choose one, and just started writing about the title.     I usually play with words and phrases, so it is fun just letting my fingers write the words as it pops in my mind.   Sometimes, when I am done with a poem composition, I revise the title to fit my post or I come up with a different story altogether.

So far, I have about 10 compositions in draft, so it seems that the word prompts from the working titles are working.    To also get ideas, I read stories.   I don't read the poems of others at this point, because I want to develop my own style of writing.   Original content to me is important because it is what readers are looking for.     It is also the same when I started blogging,  I didn't read other's blogs until on the 3rd month when I was more confident of my style and presentation.   I didn't want to be intimidated by how well others are doing but after a while, I wanted to compare my style and improve on it.   That was when I started reading and commenting on the blogs of others.   

On the subject of improving my craft, my son encouraged me to join a forum or community about poetry so I can post my work and get feedback about it.   I have signed up for this, but I haven't yet posted my work.    I think I need to get pass my fear of negative feedback from others about my work.    Of course, I am my worst critic...  I don't post it until I have polish it enough to give it its unique message.     I am also careful not to overdo the editing part - it will never be perfect but if it is good enough, then I publish it.     

If you are into poetry writing, let me know what works with you.         

Hope everyone has a good weekend ~


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Footprints in the sand

I came across this poem when I was a young girl.    I thought then that when God carries me, that he will magically solve all my problems and all my cares will be gone.   Now that I have a family and daily challenges to cope, both at home and at work, I know realize how fortunate I am to have a Divine Hand to guide me, comfort me and hold me close to His Bosom.   Not that all my problems will disappear like magic, but it is comforting to know that there is someone helping me carry my burdens and cares.   Through the kindness and good deeds of loved ones, friends, and even strangers, we can feel His comforting and merciful Hand. 

One night I had a dream.

I dreamed I was walking along the beach

with the Lord.

Across the sky flashed scenes from my life..

For each scene, I noticed two sets of

footprints in the sand,

one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord..

When the last scene of my life flashed before me,

I looked back at the footprints in the sand.

I noticed that many times along the path of my life

there was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest

and saddest times in my life.

This really bothered me

and I questioned the Lord about it:

"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,

you'd walk with me all the way.

But I have noticed that during the most

troublesome times in my life

there is only one set of footprints.

I don't understand why

when I need you most you would leave me."

The Lord replied:

"My precious child, I love you and would

never leave you.

During your times of trial and suffering,

when you see only one set of footprints, it was then

that I carried you."

poem by Mary Stevenson

Picture credit:   Luke Tscharke

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Go with your heart

We visited our friends yesterday and had a wonderful time walking in their new town (the weather was cool) while catching up with news and updates.   Both our families have migrated to Canada and had our own share of challenges while taking care of our children.   We agreed that the future belongs to our sons and daughters.   We, as parents and older professionals, will just have to make the best of our lot, and move forward.

My musing after our visit:

Your choices and decisions determine your path in life.  Be brave to spread your wings and see what lies ahead and beyond.  It doesn't matter if you eventually discovered it is not for you.   At least now you know better.    Don't regret your decisions because you are always a better person and a stronger individual in making a firm stand.   For me, what is pitiful is for someone to go through life, with half their eyes closed, afraid and fearful of the unknown and never experiencing nor having their heart touched by deep passions or emotions.   Live life to the fullest.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." -Confucius

Picture credit:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

There is something wrong with the scale!

So says my hubby after weighing himself in the bathroom scale and finding himself at 165 pounds.    He has lost 5 pounds during the last 2 months, and he has been eagerly checking if he lost 3 more pounds.    We have recently changed our diet to include more vegetables and salads for meals, and mixed nuts instead of chips and popcorn for snacks.

"How can that be?"   I said and weighed myself.   Not bad at 120 pounds.   "There is nothing wrong with the scale.  Have you forgotten that we ate out for lunch (though we shared the American sized meal)?"

Yesterday, we have taken a day off from work to watch my daughter compete for her Grade 3 Piano Competition. We had not badger or pressure her to win the top prize, as we just wanted her to have this fun experience.  Well, my daughter didn't win first place.   The girl who won this year was elated as she got her medal.   My daughter remembered that she didn't win last year.   I commented that the winner must have worked very hard during the year because she played beautifully this time around.    My daughter, who won last year's first prize, was a bit disappointed but she accepted gracefully her 4th place standing.    In retrospect, she said her teacher didn't fully prepare for this event, and she underestimated her co-players in the competition.    I hope she learned something more than just hitting the right key notes that day.

Sometimes, when things don't go the way we want to, we can look at other reasons why it didn't turn out the way we wanted it.   We can blame the weather, the teacher, the school, the computer, and yes, even the weighing scale, why things are not so picture perfect, or why we didn't get the first place award.  Why... because it is much easier to point at other things and other people, than blaming ourselves for our failures.

On the positive side, we learn from our disappointments and failures.  We learn to try harder next time, and put our best effort in the things that we want to achieve.

Turning now to my hubby, this means less or no snacks at night after dinner for you.   And no, there is nothing wrong with the weighing scale.

Have you ever blamed the weighing scale for your added pounds?

Hope everything is having a good week!

picture credit: toinspireyou.tumblr

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The same tree, the same humanity

Since I live in a multi cultural city in Canada, I am always amaze of how different people are and yet are also alike in a lot of ways. Sure, we originally came from different countries, race and upbringing, and it is reflected in our food and clothing, and also religious faith, if any.  But once you get to know individuals and families, you discover that you share the same values, and appreciation for life and your country.    As a mom, I share the same concerns with any mom with a growing teen daughter.    As a working professional, I share the same health and family concerns like other working women.  In the broader context, I believe in freedom of expression so I sympathize with other people in other countries who want to break away from political tyranny and oppression.   It is heartening to realize that you and other individuals share the same compassion and sadness when others are hurt and suffering, and happiness, when families, teams and countries come together for peace and understanding.

Also, because I believe that despite our external differences, sometime back in ancient times, all of us are connected or related in one way or another.   If we can appreciate this, then perhaps we can be more tolerant of each other's differences and learn to co-exist more peacefully.

Do you agree that at one time, we all came from the same tree?

Picture Credit:  Luke Tscharke

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jon Bon Jovi: Love is a bed of roses

With divorces and separations common among celebrity couples, it is heartwarming to witness one enduring marriage in Hollywood - Jon Bon Jovi and his wife,  Dorothea Hurley.

Dorothea Hurley and Jon Bon Jovi have one of the most solid marriages in Hollywood.   They will be celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary this coming April 28. They have four kids together (Stephanie, 18, Jesse James, 18, Jacob, 9, and Romeo, 7.)

Dorothea and Jon have been dating since High School.  Once, she and the rocker broke up, but he started to missing his sweetheart and went back,  begging her to take him back. During the New Jersey Tour, Dorothea and Jon went to Las Vegas and got married -April 28, 1989. It was a spur-of-the-moment ceremony at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here is a fan video of an interview of Jon Bon Jovi.   What struck me was what he said at 5:10 of the video, "I don't like change.....".

Some other interviews by Jon Bon Jovi:

Certainly Dorothea appears to be made of impressive stuff, "I wouldn't trade her in for anything," he says fondly.

"The fact that she's independent and isn't needy or possessive helps and she is just a very strong woman (being a karate instructor can't harm).

"I've been cognisant of the fact that relationships have been breaking up around us, but it hasn't made me cling to her or the other way round.

"And although everyone says we're about the only couple still together in the rock business, it's not really true.  There's Bono and his wife Ali and Bruce (Springsteen) and Patti. We're not the only ones."

So there will be no trading his wife in for a younger model, as is a rock star's wont?
"No. I find that women are much sexier when they age gracefully. I want to see them in cowboy boots and blue jeans and not with so much liposuction that they can't even close their eyes.
"You see women with it everywhere in Hollywood and, urgh..." he grimaces, leaving the sentiment unarticulated yet completely understood."

In the 2002 interview:   Rocker Jon Bon Jovie says  his 13-year marriage has survived touring,  groupies,  and fame because his wife Dorothea keeps him grounded.   "She's been there for me for the ups and the downs. She was there for me before there was an up," adds Bon Jovi.   "She's the muse for all the syrupy ballads I write."

Cheers to you both!!!!