Happiness is...staying positive in adversity

Posted by ~Summer~ on June 30, 2013

The month of June hasn't been the best month for us.

The hubby was down with a fever, runny nose and bad cough and was on days of medical leave. Usually, we would have loved having him in the house even if that meant he needed plenty of sleep and rest. Alas, the sad part this time round was that he spread the virus to everyone in the family, including Angel, myself and even our 6-month-old Ariel. Have you heard an infant coughing till she gags and the phlegm just gets swallowed back, or have you seen a crying baby with tears and mucus all over her face? So not funny.

For the elder sister, her fever came and went for many days. One night, she woke up crying badly and we realised she was running a high temperature. We drove out at 5am thinking of whether to bring her to the hospital but then decided we would wait till our family clinic opened in the morning. With the spike in dengue fever cases in Singapore, we couldn't help but worry if it would strike down a member of our family.

Thankfully, the doctor assured us it was just the common flu and all of us should be up and running in a few days. So we took a week to recuperate and when all of us were feeling better, we rewarded ourselves with a one-day trip to Angel's dream destination, Legoland in Malaysia.


The day when we visited Legoland was the day the haze started. The hubby woke up in the morning and said "The air might be bad today, do you still want to go?"

Obviously, the girl couldn't care less about the air when everything on her mind was Legoland. For us, we still made the choice to bring them there but we set off late and came back home earlier, spending merely a few hours there. Oh yeah, we signed up for the annual passes so it wasn't a wasted trip, we'll be back for more!

Many sights we saw here reminded us of those fond times we had at Legoland in Denmark, the first original Legoland. To me, it was pure joy that this time round, I not only had one, but two lovely girls with me and I could get to see their gorgeous smiles and enjoy every blissful family moment.

While Angel did throw a silly tantrum over not getting a Lego keychain (which she already has the exact same one at home) she got over it pretty soon and all I saw was my happy, chirpy, vivacious little girl who couldn't wait to get on every ride.

Yes, I'm glad we made it here despite that the weather was not fantastic that day. A happy day, a promise fulfilled, a dream come true.


While the haze didn't dampen our mood that day, we returned home only to find an escalating of smog in the air by the day and the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading hit an historic high of over 400.

People were scrambling to buy N95 marks and air purifiers. PSI readings, acid rain, haze parodies became the common topics of WhatsApp conversations. All day long, there were complaints about the authorities, the long queues outside pharmacies, the fire starters in Sumatra, the inadequacy of masks, the burnt smell in the air, the absence of certified masks for children, the boredom of staying indoors all day long.

It's not that I am not worried about my kids or my own health. I do, which is why much against my will, I choose to remain indoors when the haze gets bad. However, I still wanted to make every day a happy, fulfilling one for the kids and for myself. The hubby bought some N95 respirator masks for us which I find awkward to put on even for myself (no it's not because of facial hair), not to mention Angel tried once and decided she didn't like it.

So, despite it being less effective, she donned a surgical mask when we went out instead. As for Ariel, well, she put on the mask, gave me three seconds to take this picture, before she yanked it off and decided to start munching on it instead. What can you do in such a situation?

Well, you laugh it off and you move on with life.

The haze is unhealthy, yes. But as compared to wars, epidemics and natural catastrophes, we are lucky that this is going to blow over. 


In face of adversity, the mindset makes all the difference. You can choose to see the good in the bad and turn negativity into positivity. When the whole house was sick, it was a chore looking after the kids, but we laughed over porridge, made eating medicine a fun affair and the trip to Legoland was our rainbow after the rain. When the haze came (and is still coming), staying at home became a chance for us to bond with our kids, to inculcate values, to engage in imaginative play and to make us appreciate that going to the playground below our block can be such a luxury and joy.

We can't control everything that happens in our lives, but we can control how we think and how we respond. I actually believe that adversity is good in our lives, not too much and not too little of it, but just a right amount to make us stronger than who we think we can be, to make us realise that we can't take things for granted, to remind us of how we should treasure and be thankful for all the peace, joy and love that surrounds us.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. ~Napoleon Hill 

What are you HAPPY for this month? 

Happy memories have a special way of touching our hearts every time we think about them. Join in my linky party at the end of every month and let us smile, rejoice and share the simple joys of life. Highlight and press Ctrl + C to copy my button above, include it in your post/sidebar and add your link below. For happiness is all around us.


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