Showing posts with label Experience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Experience. Show all posts

Jul 8, 2011

Comment on comments

Comments, are they important?.  I started writing for my own personal reasons and need to put down my journey in a blog. I left it open to share my thoughts, to expose more of me, to get feedback, .if anyone thought my posts were interesting or boring or disagreeable, abnormal or real or funny or sad etc let them say so.

While I was not counting on getting many comments, somewhere along the way (a year after) it became important. Sometime after, when I was thinking about pacing my posts, it hit me,  why was I doing that? If I'm writing for me ..  write... why pace.. because I wanted to give more readers time to comment?.

So when did my objective change?  I'm not saying it's not important, it's great to have ..( I welcome it), it's good to know people are reading, people care and what they think i.e ... if I've gone off my rocks ...or are they nodding their heads and going 'yeah me too... I'm not the only strange one then.." etc..

Most of my life I have been influenced or distracted from being me and this was part of that exercise of 'learning to be me' and so in this I should stay the course. I realize writing about my current drama is a form of catharsis too and HELPS.

Like many of you, I am busy, but I have developed a fondness for reading other blogs too and seeking out those searching for answers, those with a hard climb in life, those who are muddling thru and  those who have found their way. Recently, at the height of my anxiety, I desperately searched  and found some helpful and insightful blogs to deal with the drama in my life and I am grateful these women have sought to share. 

I think it is good to leave comments where you have something to say or add and certainly very kind if it is to show you are listening. Otherwise why does one do an open blog . There must be a reason for wanting others to be able to come in contact with you, either to build an awareness or just reach out for a constant reminder that we are not alone. Cry along with me or laugh with me, comments are important to how we see ourselves, it supports our thoughts and even actions.

When my current problems get overwhelming, it helps to hear readers and read post that are encouraging.
I am grateful for those who share their experience so that I may learn.

It's a good place to rant and just being heard can be enough.

Jun 15, 2011

Weaving a stronger Me

To subsist, to exist or to live life as much as is possible ?

Do I decide or do I let it choose me? 
It's about putting as much into it and getting the best out of it. And it appears so, I have done more than my fair share. And while I keep thinking, isn't that what marriage is? You give it your all.
So now it's time to take it back. Does it work that way?

I can make ends meet.  I'm advised, it's not about greed. It's about satisfaction and demanding your all that you are entitled to.
She makes a good case for me and reminds me 'very diplomatically' that I'm being a shmuck by giving in and thinking that I should settle for less.

It's time to assert.OK. So I'm following her advise and I'm thinking, why do I keep falling back on this pattern.
I have to stop this, I have to stop serving myself short.

I've learnt a few things, 
- Motherhood has it's price and it's compensations and there's no haggling.
- hope and trust can be a weakness each, combined it puts you in a coma.
- courage is something you work at but fear is something that sleeps in you always.
- and that being nice does not get you a good night's sleep.

If life is about balance how are we ever going to find it, if we don't know where the middle is.  

Oct 14, 2010

Still processing...

I've been searching but can't seem to locate bloggers who have been through the similar experiences that I have or had. I suppose not everyone is able to talk about it or share.  The domestic abuse is one thing but this divorce business is something else.

My sister is very supportive 'good riddance to bad rubbish' and so on.

I get twinges of flashbacks and momentarily wish this nightmare was just that, a nightmare.  Yesterday as I read a book and it came to the scene of a wedding, I saw that moment in my head, when my father walked me down the aisle and it brought tears to my eyes.
There's a pragmatic side that knows this is for the best, the emotional side is just weak, and mourning the waste of years.  My life since marriage has been like a garden gradually overrun by a terrible weed (- that weed being my husband-) I tried for too long. 
How forgiving should one be ? 

I am looking forward to fresh scents, brighter days,  clean air, a smoother road, consistent calm - a peaceful garden for the four of us.

Like my blogs, I shall have to separate memories to store away those moments as they turn up - good, bad and ugly.

Nov 27, 2009

Taking the Ordinary for Granted

Over the years in meeting with different kinds of individuals you learn that nothing can be a norm even living within the same society,  in other words I should not take anything for granted..

- riding on 2 wheels - I learnt that when I was a kid with other kids, but I have friends who cannot. I couldn't imagine that (I was shocked) and then I thought about it. The reason is simple, they grew up without a bicycle, there was no opportunity for one among themselves or their neighbours, I had my neighbours bicycle to borrow and scratch my knees with. When I taught years ago, we brought in a couple of bicycles to teach those who did not have the opportunity. There's nothing like moving and balancing on your own steam and riding with the wind in your face.  To me, riding a 2-wheeler should be an elemental part of growing up years.

- swimming - I didn't learn it til I was in my late 30s. I had a colleague who laughed, and thought we were joking when we mentioned we wanted to arrange for an instructor. My colleague of the same age, couldn't believe that, why because she learnt it in school and everyone else she grew up with could. I think many of us couldn't afford such luxuries in those days. But I think I appreciate the fact more than she does.

- having a child that always takes one of the top 3 positions in the school every year for the past 13 years. My colleague takes her child for granted. She does not check on his school work.  She cannot understand why I take so much time out to spend with the kids over study and yet they are never near the top. Well she is lucky, and she complains he doesn't focus.  How does that happen? He just is smart.  Wow I can't imagine what life would be like, living with such a child.

- eating chocolates. Years ago when I taught, I had 1 student who had never had a chocolate. When he stood to tell his story about what foods they had never eaten before, the rest of the class laughed. I was shocked.  It was not that he could not afford it, but it was because his parents had forbidden it, they were against it for unknown health reasons.  Is it possible to go through life without ever tasting chocolates?

- watching TV.  I have a couple of friends married to each other and who are doctors; and when they had kids they decided they would not allow their kids to watch TV because of 'bad influence' and it 'distracts learning', something like that. I thought to myself 'poor kids'. I cannot imagine that for a kid. Anyway they had changed their minds by the time the oldest child was 11 or 12. The reason was because it had made no difference to the child's learning capability. If anything they weren't sure if it was the reason she was not as smart as mummy or daddy.  My kids cannot imagine that. Well it take all sorts doesn't it... 

- I have 3 kids, we tried and we had. Seemed simple  I know of at least six different women friends and colleagues who tried but could not and still do not have any kids. That is sad. I cannot imagine what that would be like. I am grateful.

- climbing a tree. My boys have never really climbed a tree, but I have. It is a memorable experience.  Have you?

I suppose there are many more things that we each take for granted.

Oct 24, 2009

A Journey from Fear to Strength.




I have some fears still but I have overcome much fear.  But as much as I would like to let them all out and 'release' them, I can't talk about it because my daughter reads my posts sometimes (yes u dear) maybe my son/s too.  I can't share more yet but you will get a gist of it.  Revealing anything more other than strength is not a good idea just now. They need to be strong for themselves, not for me.  I think I reveal more through my comments at others' sites. There are dark shadows in my life but there is light too.

When feelings overflow, it does come out in bits, now and then through some of my posts, [Volcano,  couragechild's anger, The bully ] when I'm upset, or angry, sad, or when there's a small triumph in  personal life. My role for my kids is to be strong for them, and seek out the best objective solution for them. My life for the last 20 years has been less than imperfect and I am working to getting it to just imperfect. The perfect life never lasts, I don't need it.

Joyce Meyer's Testimonial (Just Be Real) , The Narcissist and Janice's Diary ,  these blogs/ posts tell of realities that centre around  'abuse' and 'narcissists'.  In the last 20 years or so,  my kids and I have personally become acquainted with some of the painful experiences that these individuals mention. I have not slept a full night's rest for so long I don't really remember what it feels like anymore just a constant tired feeling.  The experiences of bloggers who have lived through so much more hardships, who are able to personally share (vent anger, realize peace, survive)  and comments from their supporters is heartening, it helps very much and keeps up my hope. 

I never talked about it, I hid my problem life so well. Why, because it was just unheard of in my circle. As I began to 'leak' a little of what  I faced with friends around me, I came to discover that we all hide something,  we seem to think everyone else has perfect lives and so we dare not reveal our unhappy lives. Everyone has different crosses to bear .  I was so uncertain, so afraid of the unknown outcome, blur of llines that were not quite black and white.  I was not a blogger nor a blog reader before I overcame the first major hurdle either, perhaps it would have moved me sooner.

About a year ago, I felt a 'bursting' feeling and there came a real shift within me, which came in the form of awareness and even a rude awakening through different close friends in my life. Finally being able to talk about it  had helped to push me forward, to be less afraid. 5 months ago I made that first move, for the past 4 months there has been some change for the better for my kids, we have come a long way, but we're not done.  5 months ago I couldn't talk about it without breaking up, but today I can.

What I have learned too about the social system of help, is that they can assure you some of the way but cannot commit all the way, it's only easy if it is definable in black and white, not for the grey.  Abuse is abuse isn't it, is there a question of how much or how little?  This is where naive me learnt a valuable lesson too and I will be more ready to face the next round if it comes to pass. 
It was just after the first milestone that I started this blog (healing). I had started an earlier blog  as a record of episodes in our lives; I believe that putting down the words also helped to precipitate action. But that remains private for now. Apart from the immediate problem, one precious element  that has been suppressed is self-expression and we are learning to let our minds fly free.

Where is my faith in all this, it's there deeper than it has ever been. I used to blame God but have come to realise all things happen as a consequence of our choices.  And so we need to deal with it the same way and not expect God to solve problems of our own making. When I thought (for years) I should be just praying and waiting for God to do something, he was actually pushing me to do something first, only I did not get that. As in Ted Loder's prayer (see sidebar) I desired to 'be bold'. I had to discover courage.   HE is there, and I know that.  At this stage, I still don't know what is God's will, we have come to a fork in the road, waiting either for God's move or man's. 

The bottom line is do what I have to do to improve the lives of the kids and yet make some difficult choices for myself . Mercy seems to be what God wants me to attempt so that I can say I gave (it) a chance for change. When the time is right to cross that line, I will know it,  and then I will know too that it is the right way to go.  As JBR aptly describes the emotions,  I too have not fully surrendered I have not learned how to yet. I am still climbing that mountain, (I forget sometimes) by myself.  His way has made me stronger. I pray that peace comes soon. For those who do not believe in God, call it what you want, but something greater has pulled me out of my hole.
For all those who have only darkness and no light, I pray that hope shines your way and that you will be able to step out of the shadows.

This quote holds a truth in the first part, we hope soon for the fullfillment of the second part.
If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be. -John Heywood

Aug 26, 2009

Inspiration and an answer

Elizabeth Mahlou's blog is inspiring. Her self-discoveries and her actions encourages the 'doing'(i.e. walk the talk).
I had a question in my earlier post 'Is it wrong if I can't forget even though I forgive'.
After reading Elizabeth's post
Blest Atheist: Monday Morning Meditation #5

the answer ... it's true forgiveness only if you forget.
*

Aug 19, 2009

Family - the Most Beautiful Tree you can have but the Hardest Seed to Grow.

There’s a concern that there are not enough marriages and not enough children being produced. The government produced commercials for the awareness of family (touching on the filial issue, companionship). Are the people that produced the campaign shining examples, how many children do they have ?.
You have to walk the talk on this topic, to be able to genuinely communicate this.
Will incentives produce the right fruit? What do the campaigns do? It is not a new concept, it‘s not a travel destination – it s a lifetime commitment..

There’s lots of talk of work-life balance (plus family) but is there action? Who is expected to act? The mother, the father, the gov’t or the employer? 10 days leave, exams, CA. well, there’s only 24 hours in a day, and even if we don’t need sleep, the kids need at least 10 hours.. Talk is cheap, living is costly (unless you’re willing to forgo some of the ‘living’ .. now there’s the irony ). Quality ? Let’s not go there.

There’s much more to ‘living’ today than yesterday and that is likely the main issue.
Cost of living today is not equal to yesteryears.
Young people want to live well and enjoy life. What does having a family entail giving up ? – A lot. Teaching them not be selfish is one thing, but teaching selflessness, that’s another thing that today’s distracting world makes more difficult.

Is there quality family time to savour today? The perceived future of young persons will mirror their past and will be summed up in order of proportion as labour, cost, entertainment/leisure and a small portion to whatever- is- family.
Examples, experiences and expectations of modern society and family provide other hindrances to both young men and women alike.
{The father owns the ‘family’ car, his time is more his own; a mother does not seem to have that ‘luxury’. Dad works so hard, doesn’t get to enjoy much?] It doesn’t help to hear their parents explain limitations due to financial obligations and sacrifices.

You can tell by rising teenage and unwanted pregnancies; stories of family basics(issue of filial piety) gone wrong that family commitment even for todays’ 2nd generation parent is a challenge. Of course, there is the root of evils - money, be it cause or consequence.
You could turn it into a religious or moral issue here – purpose of life, vocation , higher calling etc.
We know it’s tough, are they capable of what’s required. It’s not about planning and plotting.

Wanting a family involves selflessness, it is about desire for constant companionship, a home and a desire for children. It’s about feeling whole. How do you force warmth or love?
Possibly most can understand this, but then having a family is a big question of readiness.

Sure, you can help the process of meeting for those who desire that path in life. But pushing for kids is an entirely different matter.

The ideal campaign ground is within the family of today.
So aptly put by the Minister – you ‘can’t legislate love’.

http://groups.google.com/group/mothers-always

Aug 18, 2009

I Finally Learnt To Swim

Wanting to swim was one of the few things I had dreamt about being able to do for a long, long time. I wasn't lucky enough to learn while growing up. I had attempted to learn with a friend of mine like 20 years back but both of us did not manage to learn and sort of gave up and thought probably impossible...
As a working mom, I tend to prioritize time to everything and everyone else before my wants or needs and that too provides an excuse to procrastinate.

An opportunity came again with a bigger group about 9 yrs ago (someone had introduced a swimming instructor), but I was expecting my third child then, so I had an excuse not to. There were about 6 colleagues who undertook lessons. What amazed me soon after, was that within like 6-7 lessons they were all able to swim and even tread water.
I thought to myself I could have been one of them. I was green with envy and regret.

But then a 3rd opportunity presented itself (the charm as they say), well I had more excuses - 3 kids, less time even. I remembered the earlier bunch. I decided if the earlier lot could it, I could do it too - just make the effort (it’s just 1 night a week for a few weeks, do it for myself).
Finally about 7 years ago, I learnt to swim (really swim!) and tread water. That was a major feat for me.

I need to remind myself constantly that time moves forward, do what you can today, don’t procrastinate. You will be glad for it when tomorrow comes.
I thank God too, the opportunity came looking for me, cos I would not have gone looking for it. Yes, I could have learnt sooner.

Aug 17, 2009

Education System

Some of you know or may have heard about our education system. Requires lots of discipline and is stressful on both parents and child. And this is compounded by the ‘kiasu’ syndrome – everyone sends their kids for additional tuition (those who can’t afford it send them to the various community support groups) .

Locals with kids have migrated because of it, but there are foreigners sending their kids here for it. When I speak to my cousins in Australia, schooling seems like such a breeze for the kids.

There are pros and cons to the system. Leaders at the top are attempting to change it to suit a changing world and supposedly reduce the stress. But I’m not sure if it’s the changing world they should be adapting to or the changing child who is still local. Less rote more creativity, I think that’s the current aim.

Bear in mind that while local parenting styles have changed, to what degree is it widespread, to what degree has it evolved? There is an openness and exchange; kids are exposed to more worldly entertainment and information. But our society mix is pretty diverse. Yes there is a large middle class. Soon there will be a large emigrant class too. Is the child prepared for the new style in school or is it imposed on them because it is assumed they have been exposed to think differently in the home?

The current system appears to be an attempt to have their cake and eat it. The old system had its merits, apparent through some international competitions. It's still a pressure cooker.
There appears to be more information in the syllabus and along with that learning, the child must be able to think application. Previous system adhered to steps, but the current system appears to skip rudiment steps (specific rudiment teaching is missing or has that been classified as rote) and mesh them into the next step (application). Problem sums are so enhanced in the delivery that even adults need to read it more than once. Is it hurried along to meet the additional requirements of the syllabus within the school year. Add to that, let’s not forget between institutions too, there is the ranking system and within schools there is performance pressure. Who’s stressed – everybody.

I started out wanting to talk about keeping my patience while helping my son with his maths homework and in the end I deviated. The reason for holding on to my patience is because the teaching method had not segregated the basic properties(angles on parallel lines) for my son, to learn first and understand. Instead he had gone directly into problem solving and those ‘properties’ are submerged and not apparent to him. I kept asking what are the properties he learnt and he looked at me as if I spoke an alien lingo. This is only one example where basics seem to have been skipped and merged into step 2.
I‘m sure you local parents have similar horror stories about problem sums, but I shall not get into it further.

http://groups.google.com/group/mothers-always

Aug 3, 2009

Inner Struggles

I walked once with shoulders down
My head up in the haze.
My thoughts not on home
but on work, in hollow cheer.
Burdened yet unfazed
I hid there,
it was easier.

I looked at my children.
I saw.
The pain,
it started to seep in.
They too hid
in school and at home.
I prayed for the cure,
that pain would go away.
How much more to endure?

The stress,
instead it grew, more not less,
desperation and despair.
When would change come?
Pain then anger.
Anger to energy, it moved me.
Why did I linger?

The silence from within,
overflowed.
My head felt, my heart heard,
all that was hidden.
Why did we abide?
Hope, compassion…
don’t be foolish, think of them,
put it aside.

I will be brave,
I will not fear,
Grant me strength
to persevere.

(HA –June 2009)




http://groups.google.com/group/mothers-always

Jul 27, 2009

Timeout - do a mental Re-boot regularly.



Creating a quiet time requires energy. We all need to do a mental reboot periodically to clean out.. housekeep.. to enable ourselves to move forward daily... (not soul searching, that's another story for another time).

A year or so ago, we had a biz client who literally occupied us day and night.. day was the actual stressful work, night was about recovering from client outbursts and getting it together for the next day...literally daily and so it went on for 2 years. My colleague would say as we were leaving to go home .. 'I just want to sit '. There were 3 of us in this team and we understood. We just wanted to be able to be still.. feel the quiet; do and think nothing.
Cos of the daily load, I decided I needed to 'sit' more frequently, usually it was monthly or less often.

During this time, I missed the kids alot cos they were in bed by the time I got home. The weekends was the time I spent most with them. It was terrible trying to 'make up' and also it was a different sort of stress coping with 3 kids of varying schoolwork and temperaments (spending time with them can be timeout too unless it's homework).
The 'quiet time' to recoup I assigned myself weekly, was after work on a Thurs or Fri. I realised after a while it wasn't working.

To be able to get the essential ( calm, a peace, a sense of well-being.. .) out of the 'quiet time' you cannot be totally tired out. You need a bit of energy to just 'sit' ..a conscious effort to clear a space..put away , clean up baggage, be positive. It can take 8min or 20min it's about the quality of the time.

I survived the account I'm glad to say with sanity and job in tack.

Timeout was on Sat mornings. It turned out better for me and also for the kids (cos I'm told 'mummy didn't freak out as much') .

Of course it also helped to have whining sessions with your best buddies on and off!

Jul 26, 2009

The Choice to Make

Bringing up kids to be confident is hard work. I talked about my middle child earlier. Inspite of his constant pessimism and attempts to push me away, I keep telling him I love him anyway because I just do. He comes around eventually when it sinks in but also forgets soon enough. .. I just have to keep knocking at his door.

This brings to mind the line - ‘We do not have to love. We choose to love’. .. .this is a good place to share where it came from.
I spent the morning hunting for the book, there were many good examples in there, I recall about relationships and how to love. In dealing with kids, we need to consciously think and act positively to the child’s advantage in any given situation (especially in the bad) and build on the circumstance for their growth rather than react. Evaluate, look for the positive.. let the child learn...

Stephen R Covey’s book (7 Habits of Highly Effective Families) puts it very simply that the difference between us and the animals is that, we are capable of placing a ‘pause’ between stimulus and response. We are capable of pro-active behaviour because we have 4 gifts to use during the ‘pause’ to help our response to another human being; these being self-awareness, conscience, imagination, and independent will.

The quote is by the writer M Scott Peck who said
“The desire to love is not itself love….Love is an act of will …. Namely an intention and action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore not love despite our good intentions. On the other hand, whenever we do actually exert ourselves in the cause of spiritual growth, it is because we have chosen to do so. The choice to love has been made.”

Keep at it!

Jul 15, 2009

Emotions, right or wrong.




Children and emotions? Each child is different in how he deals with them and age is really not a factor.

I can tell when they are upset but seldom do they let it all out. It's easy enough to rationalise it for them when it is about 'normal' child behaviour.

But what happens if it's anger, when you yourself can't rationalise it because you know they are justified. How do you teach not to hate but be forgiving. Forgetting comes easy for kids but so is remembering.

The right thing to say and the honest thing to say are sometimes not one and the same. I can calm them with words, a hug and hope but it's not enough, I don't think even the child is convinced. If it comes from the deepest part of your heart, they know it and if it's not they sense it.

With the older child I think she is able to discern the wrong and the right in the discussion of it, but with the younger kids I don't want to go there yet. It's easier to teach the positive than the negative but still it is something that must be discussed when they are older. Not being totally convinced only leaves it behind in their memory as unfinished business that's temporarily shelved. Like all residues, (remnant of bad memories) it will need fixing or clearing but at the right time.

Jul 14, 2009

Middle Child ?

To whoever came up with middle child syndrome, why could you not give us the cure too?

Why is the middle child so different? It's not the nurture part so it's got to be the nature part. The oldest and youngest overshadow him vocally and he suppresses his expressions all the more. The more I try to bring him out, the more he resists. I have to try to catch him on his own time when that window opens. Oh but ... the time?

The youngest engages him often but it's for more overt things like gaming instructions and who's who in Pokemon land.

And when that window opens, it is for a very short while, when he is ready it's hard for him to get the words out. Why?
Use helping words, examples ... how to see what's in his head?

Jul 10, 2009

Loyalty?

Loyalties Misplaced

I am glad
I made friends.
Where I stood,
that was not meant to be.
But I am glad
I changed that to be
else you would not be my friends.

I am not sad
to have left,
a place so suppressed.
A collar must be stiff ,
a short chair made tall,
air so musty,
no substance,
a second home, I did call.

Now I know
what I did not see
what I did not do.
See through the curtain of charade
stiff and starched,
give it a stab,
watch it crack
At the start
nothing was there,
But an empty shell.

Now I see.
Now I feel.
Now I think.
I am free.

I laugh out loud
Now I am who I am

Should have walked away sooner
Caught in a spell
made by a
shell.

- (written Dec 2006)
The moral of the story - don't offer your loyalty to anyone til they have earned it.

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