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Feeling Thankful With Getting Literal

Gratitude is an attitude

Thankful for The Move

House Move

Again, I apologize for having been missing in action.

This week has been quite eventful, what with getting the keys to my new home and the frantic rush to get renovations started. And, of course, there was work and the routine of daily living.

The challenges of trying to get approving authorities to understand my need to vacate my present home by a specific date have been many and trying. I have found myself in more anxious, than positive spirits, despite my lovely new apartment.

Through it all, however, I know that Providence has been watching over me. Everything seems to be running on schedule, and I look forward to a home that’s complete and well-renovated.

I am thankful for the many opportunities Providence has granted, and I know that it has me in mind. I ask for opportunities that will help both myself and others. I know that there will be chances from now on the platform I use.

I am thankful for my new home. The renovation and moving processes have been challenging, with many requirements and submissions to approving authorities, but I know that they will go well and on time.

I am grateful for my mother-in-law’s blessings. Although she is of a different religion, she has good intentions,

I am thankful that my brother will soon get married. There was friction about him within this family, but I know that God will grant us wisdom.

I am grateful for Cloudy, who has been a friend when I need her to be. She is excellent company during the downtime.

Things have been overwhelming of late. But I have faith that life will proceed smoothly.

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Thanks for mindset and other shifts

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Mindsets.They are challenging to change.

There are much stubbornness and negativity around us. So, we cheer when paradigms shift. It’s a relief when people (including ourselves) show an improvement in their attitudes. Of course, a change of environment helps as well.

My life has been about changing mindsets these few weeks. And I am thankful that the shifts have been for the better.

Thanks for Mindset And Other Shifts

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve posted on the TTOT blog hop. Of course, changes have taken place during this time. There have been shifts, both in mind and body. I am thankful for the triumphs and challenges.

1.Let’s begin with a physical change. I’m grateful that going to be moving soon. It means upgraded bathrooms and less noise. And of course, it‘ll Be fun to decorate my home the way I want.

2. I’m thankful that cloudy has managed to adjust to Misty’s passing. She showed signs of depression for a while and seemed to have aged. But she’s bounced back, and romps around as usual.

3. Work wise, there will always be clients who are unreasonable. I’m thankful to have met those who are. And they are a pleasure to work with.

4. I’m grateful for peace within my fractious family. It’s hard for them to get along, but they will with a little grace.

5. I’m thankful that my husband is in a better working environment with positive colleagues.

There’s nothing better than a shift in our mindset or a change in our environment to move us forward.

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Advice to “stay upbeat” and “keep your chin up” must be familiar to you. It can be tiresome and overwhelming.

Nonetheless, it does make sense. Positive thoughts push you forward, while negative ones keep you in shackles. The key to progress is to be a positive magnet. Hence I am thankful for a few positives this week.

My mother-in-law suffered a minor stroke this week. While that itself is not a positive, it did make the family more aware of unhealthy food habits. Steamed food fills the table these days.

Then, there was writing. I had the chance to meet lovely writing clients who appreciated my work this week, and I hope to interact with more of them.

There was roast chicken, which I am glad browned nicely on both sides. It is hard to time the cooking correctly in my oven, so I’m pleased that the bird turned out to be one worthy to be served.

Then, there are the dogs. They have a knack for seeing the brighter side of life. Misty and Cloudy missed a walk in a favorite park owing to the rain but enjoyed sniffing around the one nearby nonetheless.

May we be overwhelmed by positives this week.

Going With The Flow

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Life is an integration of puddles, streams, eddies, waterfalls and seas. It takes you to little-known places, and the only certainties about it are, as irony would have it, uncertainty and constant change. Your only option is to go with the flow. 
 
Not knowing where it is heading can leave you in a tailspin. You experience a maelstrom of emotions- fear, anger, surprise – to name but a few. You want it to stop at the right time, at your convenience. But this is, of course, a luxury. 
 
Still, it is wise, at times to flow along with it and see where it takes you, you may make a few exciting discoveries. I am glad that I went with the flow, and made a few of them this week. 
 
Going with the flow can take a bit of courage for a Roger, as Clark would say. Those familiar with the Wakefield Doctrine will know that Rogers are dependent on structure. Still, stepping out in small ways has its benefits, Roger or not. 
 
I am glad that I went with the flow when it came to working with clients. I usually worry about little details in their instructions and formatting their articles. I just let it be this week, which gave my creativity a stretch.
 
My gratitude that my husband went with the flow at work He has a unique opportunity, which I hope will work out well for him. 
 
Then, there is the weather, which is unpredictable. My gratitude that I went with the flow and took my dogs out at the right times. 
 
Technology can have its time and target as well, so I am grateful that I used the Internet at the right times this week when there was no lag. I managed to do what I needed to. 
 
Internet traffic can flow unstoppably, or not at all.  I am glad for when I sent out articles at the right time. To speak of time, my thanks for a trip I took to the Sembawang Hot Springs yesterday. Authorities had boarded up the area, so it was inaccessible. Nevertheless, I am glad for going with the flow, and a little exercise. 
 
Let life take you where it may this week; it may offer unexpected surprises.
 
 
 
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Hooray for Glorious Food

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“Food glorious food” goes the ditty in Oliver Twist. 
 
Dicken’s beloved orphan is not the only one who loves and needs it. Every country in the world has a rich food heritage, and it is not hard to understand why. After all, eating is a need; people of every culture try to keep it interesting and bring something new to the table.
 
Singapore is no different. Coffee shops outnumber the people here (yes, this is an exaggeration, but there is one on every street). One can tuck into the hawker fare Singapore is famous for-Chicken Rice, Char Kway Teow (flat white noodles) Rice with Roast Meat and Carrot Cake.
 
These little food corners are where both young and old gather to grab quick bites or cups of “Kopi” (Hokkien for coffee). For many, coffee shops are havens where they can get together with friends or unwind.
 
Food delights are my reasons for being thankful this week, among many others.
 
I am glad for Chili crab meat buns. These tasty morsels came in a pre-packed, supermarket package, but turned out to satisfy the palate. They are not a bad alternative if one is famished.
 
Then, there was the carrot cake I threw together on Thursday. Traditional hawker fare, it can be found in coffee shops all over Singapore. I made my version out of a radish, eggs, and prawns. With a little soy sauce and fresh red chili to taste, it was a credible first-time-fry.
 
My godson had his first communion this week and got to break bread. We celebrated by having three huge plates of monster curry after mass.
Then, there was laksa, noodles with seafood in spicy coconut gravy. I missed it, owing to being too stuffed, but my husband relished a plate for Sunday dinner.
 
We topped off the week with a family get together to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. Tasty chicken lettuce wraps were the hallmark of the celebration. The tender chicken pieces were to-die-for. That, and the hot plate of sweet and sour pork.
 
May we all be thankful for the food we have and be able to pile up our plates with more.
 
 
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Reunited

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“Reunited and it feels so good….” 
 
My mind wanders to Peaches and Herb this week. Their greatest 70s hit spoke poignantly to me, thanks to several reunification experiences. The original Peaches and Herb are no more, but new members sing in their place. 
 
Reunions can have some sting. They may bring to mind anger and conflict. They may remind us of awkward situations that we want to forget. 
 
But they shape us and make us the persons we are. We have grown, in one way or the other, because of our interactions with people whom we lost contact with somewhere along the line, They have either made us stronger or given us clearer perspectives of our lives.  
 
I am thankful for reunification this week, and for the pleasant memories that came with them. 
 
My highlight of the week was reuniting with a long-time friend, Z, whom I have known for over twenty years. We met as university students but lost touch with each other during a time when she was going through a personal crisis. She is now hale, hearty and full of zest for life, We look forward to reminiscing over coffee.
 
I reconnected with my blogs this week, after finding a way to toggle them with client work. I missed the fun of writing on them daily and hope to do so as often as possible. 
 
Cloudy had her share of reunions too. She met up with a Chihuahua friend, Yoda, after missing her for a while. She also met another friend, Scotch, a male labrador she has not seen for a time. 
 
To reunions,  for being the hallmarks of our lives.

 

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Inherent Compassion is a Gift

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“Why did you help him with that project when you feel so put out? You can’t even finish your work!” 
 
The reaction is predictable and human. Everyone extols the beauty of sacrifice, and yes, it is all too necessary. But it comes with pain and lack, feelings that are often impossible to ignore. Those who can give of themselves without batting an eyelid are truly commendable. Theirs is a gift, one which many of us secretly envy. It makes them inspiring, delightful personalities. The ability to bless with kindness is rare, and to be treasured. 
 
So, I pay tribute to the people in my life who have that gift. Their natural compassion has made a difference that they realize. 
 
My mother-in-law is one of the people who gives without expecting anything in return. The lady teaches the art of loving others, even when they are hard to love. She has stood by relatives in awkward phases of their lives, even when they are not appreciative of her help.  She reminds us to accord respect, even when there is little reason to make it due. 
 
There is my friend, Mary, a fellow alumnus of my University. As a teacher, she devoted all the time she had to reach out to the most hardcore recalcitrants in her classes. She has gotten a counseling degree and is now works to bring together students and their estranged families. She works tirelessly, accepting calls in the dead of the night.
 
This point may be one of contention, but to me, animals have the most innate compassion. The ever-perky four-year-old Cloudy, my West Highland Terrier, always waits for my older dog, Misty, to catch up with her on walks. She refuses to go anywhere until her “big sister” can catch up with her.  
 
These people are not unreachable heroes in a Touched By an Angel story (no offense to the series or its fans; the show is a favorite of mine). The fact is, inherent compassion lies in us all. Trying to make it surface can feel like a Mount Everest expedition, but remember that it always works better to move a person than any form of negativity. 
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For life’s straight throws and curveballs

ups-and-downs

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”  Thomas Paine

Those are pearls of wisdom from 18th Century political activist Thomas Paine and are a reaction to life’s curveballs. Life’s challenges do test the spirit, and if tough enough, can make or break who you are.

Trials. You can’t live with them. You can’t live without them either. I can’t say, in all honesty, that I appreciate them; they are emotionally exhausting, and I wish, sometimes sorely, that there were other ways to learn Life’s lessons.

But I have to admit that they bring the benefits of a healthy emotional workout when you manage to get through them. I cannot say that I am grateful for them without sounding hypocritical, but I can give them full credit for pushing me beyond my boundaries and being responsible for giving me some semblance of maturity.

And this is what I am doing today. I acknowledge, fully, the trials that I have encountered this week. When I came out of the week sane, I realized what emotional barbells they are. Of course, I acknowledge the good that happened this week as well.

I prefer to get the negative news out of the way before broaching the positive, so I begin by being thankful for the downsides of this week.

I met a few blogging pitfalls this week, what with a client reneging on payment and making unreasonable demands.  While I cannot honestly say “Kumbaya” that it happened, I do appreciate that it taught me a lesson in patience, and perhaps focus.

On the subject of concentration, there are my memory and attention difficulties, which accompanied my brain tumor removals. I have always ranked this among the trials in life which are hard to appreciate but do so for the resilience they bring.

Then, there was my Schnauzer Misty’s CLD (Chronic Liver Disease).  Her enlarged liver caused her breathing difficulties.  Apart from having to pay a humongous bill from the vet, I have had to change her diet. It means more time spent at the kitchen stove, but I am glad that my “marriage dog” of 15 years is hale and hearty. The situation was so dire that I almost had to choose to euthanize her, a choice every pet owner dreads.

Next, parents. Like all souls, they have their “off” days and have ways that sometimes cause my blood pressure levels to reach another astral plane. That said, they have never left me wanting for anything, and by all accounts, have always brought out the best in me.

Rainy days in tropical Singapore, no matter how dark, turn out sunny, and serene. Each thundercloud has an elusive silver lining, though you have to strain your eyes to see it. There are always the”ups” even if they appear blurry.

I am glad to have a background in English and Literature, which has helped a lot in writing. I find myself writing marketing articles most of the time,  and am thankful for language skills to tap on when I need an edge.

There is my husband, who is always an up. The man may have a short temper, but is frighteningly steadfast, and always has an eye out for others.  He is my sanity when I go nuts.

This list ends with writing clients who trust me enough to remain steadfast. I am thankful for them and the opportunities they have given me.

Life throws us both straight and curved balls. However they arrive, just play tennis.

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Hidden Blessings

 

If you’ve had hard knocks but are thankful for the bruises, this post is for you. The Powers that Be often showers us with gifts that are so well-concealed that we don’t notice them even if we try.

Something may have crushed your hopes for your dream home, but it turns out that the smaller one you bought is cozier. You may have lost your job, but got a better one the following month.

You get my drift.

These hidden blessings are hard to accept. How can you, when they are, well, hidden?

Being unseen does not change the fact that they are there, though. Whether they are obvious to you or not, it’s time to give them some credence.

They may have reshaped your life in ways that you never realized. With that, I am thankful for a few unseen gifts this week.

I am grateful that the rain disrupted my plans to visit Coney Island, Singapore’s latest nature reserve. It lifted the haze enshrouding the country.

I am glad that my tablet application to watch cable TV hadn’t worked earlier because the service provider substituted it for a more efficient one.

It’s good that my husband and I weren’t able to book an apartment unit we liked this week, as we have other affordable options.

I’m glad that I trusted my instincts and chose the right writing assignments this week.

I’m grateful for the hidden blessing of technology, which we use to express gratitude.

Invisible gift
The contents not clearly seen
Value unspoken

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