Monday, September 15, 2014

The Tin Anniversary

My 10th Year Anniversary with the hubs is in November this year. Here's the thing, is it a big deal? One friend of mine spent it like any other day, had dinner at home with the kids and in-law, and another friend booked a 10 days vacation in France to celebrate it.

So I looked up for a little 'guide' on the internet and found these information nuggets.

"The tenth year of marriage celebration is the first of the major milestone anniversaries. As you celebrate this special 10th wedding anniversary, think about the durability of your commitment to one another for a full decade."
That's what a decade feels like. Wow. And first of the major milestone. Uh-oh, my firsts are usually disasters. Our first anniversary was nothing. Literally nothing, until the last minute. No restaurant reservations were made, no flowers, no gifts, nothing. When we did go to a nothing-fancy restaurant, I cried. YES, I CRIED. I cried because I was disappointed and my expectations unexpectedly crushed. I thought it was a general rule that men would know what to do about first anniversaries. So it seemed then, it was my first lesson about men. The good that came out of it is that, from that year on, he always made the effort.

So how about the 10th? Should I expect something? Should I do something? Or should I resign myself to a usual nothing-fancy day.

And then the truth hit me. Beneath this superficial question, there is a deeper question I should answer. Are we really happy in our marriage? There is this thing about concluding that you're not actually happy, when you overanalyze. A lot of things become questionable when you overthink. Isn't it?

Today at work, I was involved in an audit. All these years, I've never had an external audit where another party assess and evaluate everything about my workplace. Our 'relaxed, practical and informal' setting was questioned. All of a sudden, I felt that my workplace isn't that well-managed after all. And there were many things we could improve to bring ourselves to greater heights.

Is this same for marriages? What is a happy marriage? What is the benchmark? It must be occupational hazard because I need a reading! Some kind of measurable results! But feelings cannot be measured. 

Love cannot be measured. But I'll take the number 10 for now. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letters To My Boys: Read this when you're in your 20's

Taken from here.

Transitioning from a lifestyle without significant responsibilities into the “real world” makes your 20s a decade of tough lessons.
Wherever you’re at in your 20s — whether you’re on your own or still with your parents, figuring out your career or going through grad school — you can learn from those who have already been through it.
We took at look at the Quora thread “What are the most difficult things people have to learn in their 20s” and highlighted the best answers.
Here are 20 hard lessons that everyone should learn in their 20s:

1. Your world view may be seriously flawed.

It’s natural to feel like you’ve got a solid life philosophy figured out by the time you graduate college, but you’ll likely redefine how you see relationships, politics, your career, and anything else you can think of. As Rachel Laine puts it, “[Y]ou discover everything that you thought you had all figured out was tragically wrong, laughably confused, or utterly delusional.”

2. It’s harder to get away with lies and excuses.

Maybe you made a habit of getting away with things by making up stories for your parents or professors. But lies and deceit won’t fly in your professional or personal life anymore.
“The truth has a way of rearing its ugly head, so the sooner you can come to integrity with yourself and the world at large, the sooner you’ll be able to get working towards what you really want, who you really want to be,” says Arjuna Perkins.

3. You can’t party like you used to.

Back in college you may have been able to spend a night binge drinking until two in the morning and make it to class by 11 a.m. That sort of lifestyle is incompatible with most careers. And you’ll come to find that as you progress through your 20s, your body has a harder time dealing with excess, Perkins says.
Enjoy your vices in moderation, exercise, and eat well. Your future self will thank you.

4. People will resent you if you try to always be right.

“Let go of having to be right about things — this isn’t a contest,” Perkins says. “It’s not a game. You don’t win at life. So say, ‘Thanks for your perspective. I’ll think about that,’ or, ‘I was wrong. I’m sorry.’”

5. Life is hard, and it never gets much easier.

As your responsibilities begin to pile up in your 20s, you’ll realize that just getting by — let alone becoming very successful — requires a lot of work. And there will always be failures and setbacks.
“You will fail in life, over and over and over. It won’t feel fair. Maybe for decades. You’ve got to keep moving forward. Keep going,” Perkins says.

couple shadow holding hands
Meaningful relationships require sacrifices and dedication.
6. Meaningful relationships are difficult to maintain.

If and when you decide to consider marriage or at least a serious romantic relationship, you’re going to realize that it requires plenty of sacrifices and work. You’ll realize the same goes for your closest friends, who will also be changing as you grow older. But these relationships are more important to your happiness and fulfillment than anything else in your life, says Rich Tatum.

7. You’re replaceable at work.

Many companies like to portray themselves as families, but at the end of the day that’s just semantics. If your company can no longer afford you or thinks it can invest more wisely in someone else, you’ll be cut from that family pretty easily.
“The company does not love you. It has no heart,” Tatum says.

8. You don’t have forever to find and pursue your passion.

The money you make from your job will mean nothing if you’re not actually enjoying life,Tatum says.
If you pursue a career solely for a big check and set aside the things you love to pursue later, you’ll find it becomes significantly harder to change careers or dedicate yourself to a passion project the older you get.

9. You’re not entitled to anything.

It’s necessary to be humble, Tatum says, especially about advantages you may have received through sheer luck. And never think that just because you put in work for things like degrees from elite universities that they guarantee you privileges in life.
Be grateful for what you have, and realize that in a single moment you can lose the things you take for granted.

10. Picking fights and holding grudges will make you miserable.

“Avoid fights. Seriously. Avoid them like a plague: Nobody wins in a fight, even if you walk away unscathed,” Tatum writes.
Accept apologies and apologize when you make a mistake. Don’t fill your life with negativity.

boss, feedback
You will need to always be developing your communication and negotiation skills.
11. You must keep learning if you want to be successful.

Your education is far from over after you leave a classroom for the last time. Dedicate yourself to learning things that will help you in your career, including “the abilities to assimilate, communicate, and persuade,”Tatum says.

12. Decisions that take a few seconds to make can have long-term ramifications.

Never make a decision on an emotional impulse. “[S]tupid decisions made in the moment can rob you of years of joy and happiness,” Tatum writes.

13. Money is hard to earn.

When your family is supporting you, it can be difficult to grasp how much a dollar is worth, even if you are not spoiled or selfish, says Rahul Bhatt.
As you start living on your own, however, you’ll soon realize that frivolous things you would normally not give a second thought about purchasing are not worth the hours of work equivalent to the price tag.

14. Your friend circle will likely get smaller.

As you go through your 20s, you’ll naturally start to drift away from some of your friends. Gone are the days of partying with a room full of your buddies, Bhatt says. You will realize, though, that the friends you put the effort into staying in touch with are the ones who mean the most to you.

15. You’ll probably have a bigger role to play in your family.

“Family is very important. Till now they supported you, now it’s your turn,” Bhatt writes.
Your parents may always try to nurture you as if you were a child, but they will need your emotional — and perhaps even financial — help as they get older and you become your own person.

16. Hard work isn’t always recognized.

You should accept that your boss may not always notice your contributions, Bhatt says.
Do not let that be an excuse to become lazy, and don’t protest if someone else gets credit for your work.

17. Debt will haunt you.

A full 70% of college students graduated with debt last year, averaging $30,000 in loans. But the fact that most young professionals are living with debt doesn’t make it something you should live with for a long time. Prioritize your spending to get rid of it as quickly as you are able to.
And at some point in your 20s you’re probably going to get a credit card — use it wisely. “Realize that you will end up paying double, maybe more, for that round of drinks at the bar because you put it on credit instead of saving the cash,” says Thea Pilarczyk.

18. There is always someone “better” than you.

“There are always going to be people who are smarter, better looking, more sociable, and just all around ‘better’ than you… To be happy, then, you have to learn to accept yourself and your shortcomings,” says Brandon Chu.
Pursue success on your own terms, not by living someone else’s life or forever living in the shadow of someone else.

19. You’ll never have it “all sorted out.”

“Remember when you thought you’d have it all sorted out by 30?” Chu asks. You’ll realize how silly that is as your 30th birthday draws closer. The truth is, you’ll become wiser with age, but you’ll always question your decisions.

20. Becoming an adult is not some magical transformation.

Being an adult is more a matter of heightened expectations than any tangible change, saysHugh Powell. As he bluntly puts it: “[N]o matter how good you get at playing the adult, you won’t forget that underneath it all, at any age, you are always a scared little child, with no real idea of what you are doing.”
Use this knowledge to recognize that everyone else is in the same position as you, no matter what image they project to the world. This can help you become more insightful, compassionate, and forgiving, Powell says.

Monday, September 01, 2014


My father is a smoker. My husband is a smoker. And now that my smoker father-in-law has kind of moved in, I am feeling 'it'.

If I have a mole on my body that indicate I am surrounded by smokers, I will remove it. Without pain killers. Hold on, are they given in the first place?

All of a sudden, I have this rage against smokers. All these while, I said nothing, in fact, I accepted it. But lately, I am mad!

It takes a smoker to understand smokers, I know that. But I think smokers must also accept what a non-smoker thinks and feels. Right? So, here is what I think...

1. Smokers are self-indulgent. They will satisfy their craving regardless of anything.
2. Smokers have a weak willpower. The really addicted ones.
3. Smokers don't care about children.
4. Smokers get mad when non-smokers complain about them. Oh, this one really gets to me. They ask for understanding when we complain, but they don't spare a thought for the people around when they smoke! Like WTF!

I don't know how other folks succeed in making their partner's quit. For those who succeed, it is usually because someone in the house develop asthma, usually kids. And I can foresee that if I enforce in full gear, the smoker will get mad because I didn't use the soft approach, you know, the gentle coaxing and reward bullshit system. Seriously. W.T.F.

There, I've said it. After all these years.