Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Wrap-Up

There were ups, and there were downs. But I felt the downs were more prominent. I was pretty messed up at work, mentally and emotionally, due to the sharp learning curve I had to achieve without much help and guidance, and the verbal 'threats' I receive from the boss, not to mention having to cope with his bullying-like attitude and toddler tantrums. This is perhaps very normal to some people and I really take my hat off to those tough cookies handling this on a daily basis. For me, this crept in and then hit me the hardest this year, almost like a roller coaster. I lost my confidence, purpose and security.

It was depressing, negative and hopeless and I even considered resigning and making a career switch to teaching. I was so convinced that I wanted to be a teacher that I enrolled in an Advanced Diploma in Teaching at Open University Malaysia. I paid the semester fees in full, read the entire module's reading material, attended the first class, completed a couple of assignments which practically robbed me of all my free time. I hated that part the most, and for the fact that social science writing is really frustrating! Suddenly, I hated teaching! I was convinced that I'm just not cut out to be a teacher. This is my epic fickleness. I felt weak, ashamed and so uncool. But now, I feel happier that I let that go. I just had too many things on my plate. So the cool side of me is telling me to get up, brush off the dust and toughen up. Yeah, grow some thick skin and learn to bark a little.

With a new perspective, and good progress at work, things got better. I feel a lot more positive today. I think this is also attributed to my recent interest in revisiting the Holy Bible in a new approach, thanks to making new Christian friends at my workplace through the Alpha course. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways.

This is also the year I decided to let my domestic helper go. She has been with us for 10 years! Due to her aging parents and family pressure, I could see that her heart was no longer here, and was yearning to go back for good, so we sort of came to a mutual tentative decision to end her service here. It was difficult to come to this decision at first, but gradually, as I set everything in place, I began to find new purpose at home. I felt I gained back the control of my household, that freedom I can't describe. I threw out a lot of old things and reorganised everything. It felt sooo goood! The biggest change I made for the house was to revamp her room, which is now our cosy hideout and my ironing room.


I managed to give away the bed frame, mattress and cupboard to Amitabha Centre Johor Bahru.

New laminate flooring (Robina's Plateau Oak).
And everything in this photo contains IKEA products, haha!
NYHAMN sofa bed, HEMNES open wardrobe, JOHANNE large cushion cover, FISKBO photo frames, STUK wardrobe storage, SOPROT pull-out storage and the rug I bought some time back. This is like my little IKEA showroom.

The husband's biking 'uniform' on display now.

Cactus art from Taobao.

Very happy with the transformation! 

We're on our own now. It feels scary at first, and I realised how dependent we were on our helper, and how 'safe' I felt to leave the household matters to her. Now, the major tasks are delegated among us. My father-in-law chauffeurs the boys to school and takes care of their lunches, we get tin-cart dinner delivered to us on weekdays, Daniel does the daily laundry, Darren folds the clean clothes and puts them away respectively in everyone's wardrobe. He is also in charge of cooking rice! Haha, let's see how this lasts... *fingers crossed* For cleaning, I have been engaging part-time cleaners from 2 agencies ie. Happy Maid and Dust & Shine to come on a bi-weekly basis. Basically, they vacuum and mop the floors, clean the windows and fans, dusting, wash the toilets, clean the front and backyard, and change bedsheets when it's time to do so. So far so good.

I guess my 2018 was a year of change and challenges. And for the past 18 days of clearing my annual leave, I've accomplished so much on my to-do list and never felt happier. Change is inevitable and it will come sooner or later and take that comfort zone away, but it's good. Change is growth.

And with that, I pray for a better 2019. For you and for me.

A Little Fun Getaway In Sentosa Island Of Singapore - Skyline Luge - SEA Aquarium - USS

I have worked in Singapore for 18 years and I've never experienced this part of the country which turned out to be so relaxing and fun! As always, I had to clear my leave days which I usually save it to the end of the year, so I planned to spend a couple of days in this lovely island of Sentosa.

I booked a pair of adjoining deluxe room at Siloso Beach Resort for my boys, mom and cousin. We absolutely loved it! It feels like an eco-hotel, surrounded by natural landscape, lots of greenery and just across Siloso Beach.

The side of the resort facing Siloso Beach Walk which is a private road reserved for pedestrians, trams and buggies, perfect for a relaxing stroll. And it was so easy getting around the entire island. There were monorails, trams and busses that can get you to and from any points in Sentosa island. The monorail goes all the way to Harbourfront station where Vivocity mall is. How convenient!

Path to the beach.

Siloso Beach Walk.

 Entrance to the resort. I parked here for the entire trip and we took the free trams, busses and monorail everywhere.

View from our room.

Bright and airy corridor to our rooms.

View of the pool from our floor.

The spring water stream pool where 100% spring water is collected and filtered through natural sand  filtration followed by an oxygenation process and the passes through an automated sand filtration. A portion of this water is then directed toward irrigation of trees and plants within the resort while the rest goes through a salt ionizer to the swimming pool. So no worries about chlorine!

Our itinery on Day 1. After a pleasant early check-in, we walked along Siloso Beach Walk for 5 minutes to the Skyline Luge. The boys were not expecting this, haha. Surprise!

After getting tickets and our helmets, we took these aerial lifts to the summit. 

At the summit, each of us rode a Luge cart down the track filled with twists and turns. It is impossible to take a photo while you ride because you have to hold the handlebars with both hands. 

This place opens until 9.30pm and the view is something else! The boys said it was delightfully lit up with colourful lights along the track.

At the end of the track, you get segregated into lanes to disembark orderly. I lost count of the times Darren went on the ride, he kept asking for more!

Our second activity on Day 1, S.E.A Aquarium. I'd totally recommend purchasing the tickets from klook as I saved SDG$30 for 5 of us! 

The shipwreck section.

Tunnel of sharks.

The Glow Room where you learn about biofluorescence and bioluminescence. You can draw or write on the walls with fluorescent pens that glow under UV light. 

Holiday greetings from divers.

 The Joyous Jiggly Jellies. It's just a big aquarium filled with jellyfishes and LED lights that change  colours. It's quite mesmerizing watching the jellyfishes.

The Touchpool where you can get your hands on starfishes, sea cucumber and urchins.

That was our Day 1. After this, we went back to the resort to rest while the boys had a fun dip in the pool. I didn't plan our dinner beforehand, so I thought we could just walk along Siloso Beach Walk and see if there was any nice place to eat, and we came to this beautiful and casual beachfront eatery called Coastes. The sun was setting at the time and it was a lovely ambiance.

Dessert in the form of coconut ice cream and shake, just opposite the resort. That was our amazing first day on the island.

On Day 2, our last day, we went to Universal Studio. Again, I purchased the tickets from klook and saved SGD$35 for 5 of us. Couldn't be happier, hehe.

OK folks, this is it. The only picture I took in USS. Gah!
And I'm proud to say that Daniel and my cousin took the Cyclone ride! The scariest ride in USS where your feet dangles in the air and you get swooped left right up and down. They did it!!

When you go to USS in December, it's all about Christmas, so joyful and festive.

We were so lucky that we had 2 rain-free days prior to the daily rain we experienced for weeks.

We bid goodbye to USS, left Sentosa Island and proceeded to Vivocity mall for dinner.

The big Christmas tree at Level 3 Sky Park.

That concluded our memorable fun-filled trip in Sentosa Island of Singapore. Will definitely visit again!