Happiness is... finding your inner compass

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 08, 2018

Life is a constant journey of self-discovery.

What do you hope to achieve at the end of it? What makes you truly happy? What are your objectives, priorities and concerns in life at this stage? What more do you want to accomplish? How can you live life to its fullest? Call it a mid-life crisis if you want, but these are some of the questions I've been pondering about this year.

While blogging will likely always be a part of my life because I feel that it is ingrained in me to want to pen my thoughts and write about my life experiences, it has taken a backseat recently because I've realised that it took over my life so much in the past few years that I might have lost sight of some of my other passions in life.

The month of July was a good time for me to start thinking about my life direction and what I wish to do with the limited time I have for myself every day. Actually, on some days, I practically have none but at least I do get some moments to think about life before I go to bed every night. Do you think a lot like me too? In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about finding my inner compass and reigniting my passion.


As some of you already know if you follow me on social media, I joined the Parent Volunteers committee in the big girl's school this year and that saw me having quarterly meetings with the principals and teachers, organising events and taking charge of projects such as Teacher's Day. July was a huge milestone because after over three months of hard work, we held our much anticipated Family Day event.

It was similar to the KidZania concept and we had dozens of occupations in over 20 booths for the children to try out. Yes, they could don uniforms, learn about jobs and earn $$ from every station in exchange for gifts at the end. From the proposing of initial ideas, sourcing of materials, making of props (gosh, I was the props I/C somemore!), designing the game flow, getting all publicity materials ready to running the show on the day itself, my team and I amazingly accomplished everything together.

It took us over three months to get all the props done, I tell you. Yup, all just for a day of fun for the kids and their families. Take for instance, we had a mini supermarket and over time, we collected lots of recycled bottles and food packaging, labeled each and every one with a price tag gun, made shopping bags and fake credit cards, and even made shelves out of cardboard. We also set up a hotel, a bullet train, a firefighting station, a brick wall, a road safety park, a media hub, a laser maze and a smoke chamber and many more establishments. There was seriously a lot of work involved and for nearly every day, I would bring the toddler with me to school to work on the props, so much so that he earned himself the title of Toddler Volunteer. Haha. He is now an expert at sweeping floors and cutting paper and sticky tape too!

The security guards became familiar faces and they always said "You all do so much work and don't get paid a cent." Which is true and yet, the sense of satisfaction we got when we saw how much our kids appreciate our efforts and how other kids enjoyed themselves immensely during the event, that was absolutely priceless. Next up, I'm gonna take charge of coming up with 130 gifts for the teachers and school staff. Wish me luck!

We did a filming project with MOE and while I initially had doubts if the girls could pull it off, they surprised me by doing a better job than I could have done myself. The filming took place over three days in different locations (one was in a school at the other side of the island and we spent our entire Youth day holiday there) and the big girl had a script to memorise, with everything being spoken in Mandarin! It was such a good learning opportunity for her and she was praised by the crew by how she didn't forget her lines and could even add in emotions at the right timings. You go, girl!

On the last day of filming, the story was about how the kids surprised me with a handmade card and lovely cake for Mother's Day and I thought it was so sweet and apt that we got the opportunity to do it together as a family. Those were definitely some precious memories that I would cherish for a long time.

No matter how busy life gets, I hope I never forget that there's always time to let the kids play, to be free, to simply enjoy their childhood. Weekends are as usual very precious to us and we've been hanging out at indoor playgrounds, arcades, libraries, cinemas, swimming pools and so on. Our parents also remind us on how it is important for the family to get together every once in a while and we did our part by organising a BBQ for the extended family. And the following weekend, our parents told us that four of them were going for dinner and karaoke lor. So nice, right?

It's fun to play dress up but we seldom have the chance to do it as a family. The hubby's ah ma turned 102 years old (yes, she is a centenarian who is going strong and loving life!) and to celebrate this special occasion, we had a Superheroes themed party for her and everyone was tasked to dress up. Even though we ended up as the only family who sportingly did so and took efforts to actually make the costumes, it was still good fun and the kids and I enjoyed the process so much. See my little Incredibles? It took me less than a couple of hours to make the eye masks from black felt and print out and laminate the logos for our shirts. I still love crafting a lot, you know, which is also why doing the props as a PV felt so immensely satisfying too.

Talking about crafts, we are in the midst of doing our own Teacher's Day gifts and I'll be sharing more about it soon. It is always a huge mess trying to craft with three kids but I'm glad that I am letting them have the chance to be creative once again. Yes, it's high time to snap out of the procrastination or keep saying "I don't have time to craft!"

Besides crafts, I'm also trying to let them help in the kitchen too and this month, we made homemade pizza and konnyaku jelly. It was so awesome seeing their happy faces when they gobbled up their own creations and I think they learnt that nothing falls from the sky too. Yup, gotta work hard for what you want! On a side note, we watched a few clips recently on Syrian children and how they had to resort to eating grass and it really pained me to know that so many people are wasting food while these kids are struggling to stay alive. Which is why I never allow my kids to pick out their veges or say things like "I don't like to eat this and that". Whatever food is served to you, be thankful and eat it all up.

On a spontaneous trip to Sentosa (I can't even describe how much the boy loves to ride on cable cars lor), we made our way to Fort Siloso and this time, we made sure we followed all the heritage trails, entered every room, explored all the underground tunnels and watched every informative video too. It was quite an eye opener for the kids who learnt more about World War II and how tough life was during the Japanese Occupation. Never take peace and harmony for granted!

In other updates about myself, I've started on an exercise regime this month and that is also why my late nights are dedicated to doing workouts rather than staying up to blog. Okay, Netflix plays a huge part of my late nights too because it's how the hubby and I connect and spend some we-time together. Anyway, yup I try to keep up with the exercise routine and do circuits 2-3 times a week in the comfort of my home and let's hope I achieve the objective of losing some of the tummy fats and be able to fit into my old jeans! The hubby said he was so proud upon seeing my determined look (I think it was just my gek face when trying to do glute bridges) but I'm glad that I finally quit finding excuses not to sweat it out too.

My big girl is a huge fan of butterflies so this month, we had the chance to raise a few caterpillars (thanks to my mum-in-law's plants) and watch them turn into chrysalis and then transform into beautiful butterflies. Yup, we let them go every time but sometimes they chose to stay around in our house before taking flight through the window and exploring the outside world. I realised how important it is to support my kid's interest and to always be a source of support and an encouraging parent. Sometimes, we can be too critical, too demanding and too cynical and forget that life is actually very simple in the eyes of our young ones.

We were so lucky as to be part of the NDP preview and I have to say that the show is spectacular this year. Nothing beats being able to watch it live and I'm so proud of our armed forces for the impressive aerial display, the Red Lions and navy divers for making our hearts skip a beat, and the performers who gave it everything they had. We will still catch the live telecast on 9th August and I hope you will tune in too because it's a time to show our patriotism and recite the pledge with honour.

Happy 53rd Birthday, dear Singapore! 

I guess that marks it all for the month of July. I have a milestone coming up in August and it involves me doing something that I have not done in the past nine years. Till more updates and thoughts on happiness then! 

P.S. Can you believe that we are nearing the end of 2018 already? Where does all the time go? Alamak I still have so many growing up videos of the kids to do and their birthdays are coming again, very soon! Gotta keep chanting "I can do it!" and let's hope I can really!


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