Category Archives: Happiness

The first semblance of Fall

 

It’s been a while since I could open my windows and take in the cool breeze from the Hudson River. This summer in New York City has been so oppressive, and I’m just so thankful for the nice cool breeze today. Its around 24c now, which in american terms is around 75f. There is something so immeasurably simple, yet gratifying about the cool weather.

 

 

 

I woke up at 7am this morning and finished doing laundry, cleaned the house, made traditional Chinese ginseng chicken soup (for my salaryman), made healthy smoothie shakes for the both of us and its not even 11am. YAY! I love feeling like I have accomplished a lot before 12. Oh the possibilities for the rest of the day!

 

 

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(Ginseng chicken soup + my organized pantry and ‘heart shaped mittens’ from a dear friend)

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(This morning’s window situation)

 

So here I am, with my Singapore mug filled with aromatic coffee and a magazine, taking in the sunshine, glorious cool weather, with a heart filled with gratitude for my life. Its the little things, its always the little things.

 

Mindful Living.

I’ve tried to change my life a little recently, a little bit of yoga, meditation, making little switches over to environmental household products, bath products and organic skin products. The use of essential oils and yoga has made me so much more at peace.

At the risk of sounding like a whack job, I think the latter has  CHANGED my life!

I now take time to love my body a little everyday. A stretch or two, a whiff here and here, slowing down more often and being more aware of my breathing. It’s amazing how little changes can make my life so much happier. Today after yoga and during the shower, I suddenly feel this burst of gratitude for all the good in my life. (I know it sounds silly) But I was just happy and at peace with myself, perhaps it was the warm water, perhaps it was the exercise, perhaps it was the lavender oils or just the combination of everything! Life has been really good to me and I’m immensely grateful for everything. Moving here was hard before, but Kris has been the most amazing husband you can wish for, my new extended family has showered me with so much love and I’ve also met some really nice people here in NYC.

So with this new invigorated energy, I’m ready to end the year with lots of festivities and start the new year with renewed hope and positivity!

Namaste!

My yoga studio uses this bamboo chairs that are not only eco friendly but so pretty and surprisingly comfortable. I took this photo this morning before yoga class. Aren’t they cute?

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Back to school: with a plethora of emotions

Today marks the 1st day of class for my Masters in Educational Psychology in Hunter College. I am ridiculously and unapologetically excited. I feel my heart fluttering and beating quite quickly just thinking about it.

For this semester, I opted to just take 2.5? classes (The norm is 2 and there’s some pro seminar thing which I don’t know much about yet)  I wanted to slowly ease back into the system and enjoy the process. Unlike during my BA and Post Grad Dip days, where I had to run from tuition kid to tuition kid and/or part-time jobs, after/before classes. I now can luxuriate in printing notes, looking through class materials and blogging before class. This feeling is AWESOME! I must remember to thank my proud sponsor and loving husband for it all.

I’ve always wanted to study outside of the Singapore Education System and given my financial background in the past, I could scarcely afford my UBC exchange program without the two scholarships, I was extremely lucky to get. This time I feel even luckier because for once in my life, I need not worry about how am I going to pay the bills! I can just enjoy the process of studying and not have any stress about paying for books, maintaining a high GPA to be kept in my scholarship program or worry about my tuition kids, who often had the same exam periods as mine! I might get a part-time job/internship for the exposure to the educational field in my 2nd semester tho. Or perhaps, I will just continue volunteering for New York Cares because the organization is great and I enjoy working with less privileged children.

I feel ridiculously blessed to be at this stage in life where I feel I have no major struggle.  Honestly, I almost feel emotional just thinking about it. I was raised in a way, circumstantial or otherwise, that I was never just given stuff. I had to work hard for the things I wanted. Both my grandparents were from extremely humble backgrounds, endured great hardships and hence I was taught that education was an extremely extremely important means to live a better life, in a strictly financial sense (unfortunately). However, I now have the opportunity to engage in education in a ‘self actualization’, vis-a-vis education to satisfy ‘physiological needs’. I can learn for the sake of gaining knowledge and for betterment of self. Perhaps I shouldn’t have viewed them as dichotomous relationships, but I used to; for the instincts of survival was too overpowering.

I was never extremely intelligent so, in order to do well in school and in work; I compensated by having to work harder than the average Joe. I used to bemoan the fact that I wasn’t naturally gifted or handed silver spoons while growing up. But now, I’m extremely grateful that I have had to work hard to achieve the opportunities I have now. For it has given me clarity of thought, a mature and well grounded attitude in life and more importantly it has taught me to  be grateful,humble and content for the things I have. I’ve grown up to know,  not to feel entitled, and more importantly be responsible for my life because nobody was going to ‘rescue’ me. It is with this belief that I’m not going to pay for all of my (future possible) kid’s college tuition. I will give them a fixed amount, and they would have to work hard to get their own scholarships to fund the rest. Or perhaps they can choose to go to NUS or NTU which are world classes institutions at 1/4 the price of a private American college on par in terms of ranking (according to the Princeton Review). Yes I am very proud of my home Universities!

I have worked hard in the past and now, have reaped some of the benefits of that hard work in my youth. I acknowledge that I have a long way to go, and more hard work needs to be done, but I also realized that it is time for a well-deserved pat in my back. I have always been unnecessarily harsh with myself, and that has impeded much of the happiness in my journey through life. Through my quest for happiness and meaning in my life, I’ve finally realized that contentment and gratefulness are important trajectories of happiness. It’s not just about how much you have, but how much you appreciate what you have.

Appreciating the little things!

 

 

As with any married couple, Kris and I have disagreements. It ranges from minor squabbles to full blown “I’m going to box your ears right now” disagreements. Marriage is no piece of cake, the coming together of two (sometimes) completely different and ‘oh-so-stubborn’ individuals is challenging at best. BUT!!! There are days when you cozy into each others arms after a long day, receive kisses on your forehead after a bad day and bask in the quiet comfort of knowing that is always someone to go home to. There are days where joy is doubled and sorrow is halved.

 

Today I was feeling particularly irritable (and I must admit for no good reason), possibly due to the 4 massive load of laundry I had left sitting in the baskets. I blame summer for the compelling need to change clothes every couple of hours! Coupled with our my new exercise regime, I seem to be doing laundry ALL THE TIME! The sweetie pie hubby, knew that I was feeling grumpy, (quite obvious given the grey clouds storming above my head), decided to come with me to the laundry room to help me load the clothes before proceeding to work.

 

It might be a tiny gesture of love to most, but it reminded me again of why I married this lovely man! He’s not good with grand gestures, but in his quiet demeanor he notices little things similar to the above, doesn’t judge me, never ever tells me, “OH STOP WHINNING”, but instead goes out of his way to love me, showers me with unconditional hugs and mostly loves me exactly the way I need to be loved.

Learning to appreciate what you have right now

I was reading a blog entry of someone who has (IMHO) a pretty kick ass job, wonderful husband, 2 adorable kids, tons of luxury items, full time help (a big deal in this part of the world) and a shiny brand new home. At 31, I thought that was pretty awesome achievement. But yet she wasn’t happy. I could come up with a few reasons why, but I that is not the point of this post.

The point of this post, is to remind myself of the importance of appreciating what you have right now. There is never enough wants in life. There is always a better job, a better house, better kids, more CRAP to buy, more luxurious items than what you currently have, but to what end?

Instead look at the things you didn’t have a year before and start appreciating what is currently on your plate!

To that note, it seems like we cannot move within the building so my husband has dictated that we stay put. To that, I’m grateful for the awesome view. Its so easy to take for granted what a nice place one currently lives in and moan about other things like the crazy ass price tag. But hey, I shall focus on the good instead. I shall be glad we saved up very hard to be able to continue staying here without much income and that the stock market has been awesome in the last 12 months. It will *ahem* continue to be awesome!!!!!!

I’m happy that I’m going to college, have a kick-ass/sweetie-pie/hulk-like/ hubby and also I’m going to visit Singapore soon! YAYYYYYYY!!!!! CANT WAIT!!!!

I’m so excited about school and so grateful I got in. I met a classmate of mine who applied to Fordham, Columbia and Hunter. She got in to all except Hunter, she was bemoaning the huge price tag and how she might not have enough financial aid to get by. While I’m thankful that I don’t have that problem, I hope she is able to solve her problem by finding financial aid somewhere (luckily she’s American, so she has quite a few options)!! Which brings me to the next issue, I need to think of a research question for my thesis and think the steps I should take to land me a satisfying job upon completion of my Masters Program!

Onward soldiers!!! TROT TROT TROT!!!!

Achievement unlocked!

This week has been the best week of 2014!

I have not only, gotten all A’s for all my assignments in the language class I’m taking, but also have been accepted into a Masters Program in Educational Psychology. The former is worth mentioning because I took a college class partly to ‘switch on my engines’, in preparation for graduate studies. It’s swell that I’ve done well, because it gives me greater confidence in doing well for Graduate School.

I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to school again. I aspire to do more with my life and I feel that this is taking a HUGE step in the right direction. Once again tho, I must remind myself that the journey is as important as the destination. While I want to graduate well academically, I must make sure that I fully enjoy and embrace the learning process.

I’m enjoying the lovely spring weather and looking forward to making a trip back home to my lovely country, Singapore. I miss my family and friends dearly and can’t wait to see them again! Oh, and all the super-yummy-drool-worthy-delicious Singaporean food!!!

I feel so happy that my chest is ballooning in happiness. I’m not sure if that even makes any sense to anyone. However, it does to me!

Special mention must be given to my sweetie pie hubby and all who love me, for their constant support!