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I write with no particular theme in mind, because I am random like that.

23 2015

11:19 PM

Life is Life

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Happy New Year 2015

Oh hej! I’m still alive. Just needed to say that, considering my last post was waaaay back in September.

Not going to say much about health because this is supposed to be a fresh start. Still battling things offline, and trying to write positive things online starting this year. (Occasional updates, yes but not full-fledged emo Nemo.)

I made 2 simple new years’ resolutions for myself on January 1st. Normally I’m not really into the whole resolutions-making thing, but 2014 was so downhill to the point where I felt I just HAD to set goals for 2015.

So, here goes. (In an ugly, ugly attempt at cursive writing.)

It’s currently the end of February, and I can’t say I’ve made much progress. But hey, baby steps. Plus, it’s a good thing that the year has been going largely neutral so far.

Here’s to a better year ahead. And to all of you guys out there still reading, may your 2015 be awesome.

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01 2013

Happy new year, every birdy!

The clock has struck midnight in Singapore. Happy 2013 to all of you out there, and may the year be filled with many awesome things to come.

Happy New Year!

Took the above photo 2 minutes to midnight. Yes, wearing a Santa hat. Because I go through this phase after 25th December every single year where I go around indignantly insisting that it’s still Christmas. (While the Christmas spirit still lingers in the West, there’s always this urgency to move towards Chinese New Year almost immediately after Christmas in Singapore and some other Asian countries, for reasons beyond me.)

Unfortunately, I still have no concrete plans on how to manage my obsessive perfectionist and workaholic tendencies as outlined in my look-back at 2012. Perhaps it could be a good thing – because making a concrete plan means that my perfectionist tendencies are still at work, aye?

So let me put forth a few liners which will be my mantras for 2013.

1. Moderation is key.
Dear Brenda, yes you love your work. And your work is a form of leisure to you. But still, take it easy. There’s such as thing as an overdose. And when you overdose on anything, you need to get your stomach pumped. Nasty, ain’t it?

2. Your health comes first.
Remember how you fucked up majorly in 2008, then 2010 and then 2012 because you failed to realize that you’re wearing out your body physically even though you weren’t yet stressed mentally. You don’t have much of your health left. Preserve your remaining mana, please.

3. Stop doubting yourself.
You have experienced enough ‘win’ moments in 2012 to show that anything is possible. When in doubt, put in more effort. Remember how you successfully delivered a 1.5 hour talk/sharing session and a 3 hour long workshop without cue cards (and with awesome slides to boot)? You always hated public speaking. Yet, you pulled it off. Keep that in mind, and walk forward.

4. Keep the curiosity alive.
It’s hard to keep staying curious when you’re going to the same places, doing the same things week after week after week. Visit a new cafe. Explore a new place. Just for goodness sake, STEP OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE more often. And keep reading on a wide range of topics as you already do. Keep on staying inspired.

5. You seriously need to chill
i. Yes, things are fast paced. Things need to get done. But you can never think straight when you’re flustered. When in a state of panic, take a walk. Or just zone out. You’ll save yourself from making bad decisions … such as saying something nasty, writing bad code, or beating the crap out of your laptop until it no longer functions (now, that will be a disaster).

ii. You need your me-time. Spend time with yourself reading a great book, lounging by the pool, cycling, taking strolls. And damn, you need to stop feeling guilty about it. The issue with being so emotionally connected with work means the constant thoughts of “Man, I could have …” or “Gosh, I should be doing …”. Stop. That. Right. Now.

Now, step forth and enter 2013 with your head held high.

25 2012


A pretty mixed year with plenty of peaks and even more crevasses. Let me talk more about the crevasses – because in order to prevent more from occurring in the coming year, some serious change needs to take place.

On the whole, 2011 was a much better year than 2012. Somehow, an internal switch had been flipped in my brain during the transition of the years, because I was extremely positive in 2011 and conversely, negative in 2012.

I’m referring to my general outlook of myself. In 2011, I felt like I could conquer mountains. I was self-assured and confident in my arguments, opinions and whatnot. I felt like I knew what I was doing. Whereas in 2012, I felt the complete opposite.

Late last year, I recall reading an article about the importance of continuous learning, and how one should never be complacent because change can happen anytime (which is absolutely true). I am not sure whether it was a direct effect of that article, but I was really tough on myself this year – mentally berating myself to keep pushing and pressing on harder. Methinks I may have taken it a bit too far, because I now feel that I’ve lost touch with who I was in 2011 (when I was at my peak).

In 2013, I need to start being kinder to myself. Strike a balance somewhere.

2012 was also a bad year, health wise. The number of sick days I’ve taken was ridiculously high, with one hospital admission and numerous more A&E admissions for chest pains and acute gastric. As much as I love my work, I realized there are physical limits. Moderation is key – you may love your chocolate but too much of it is bad for you. And I often tend to forget that with my background heart and autoimmune conditions, I have to be extra careful.

At one point in time, I used to agree that “sleep is for the weak”. In my university days, I used to be really proud of the fact that I can go for up to 48 hours without sleep to complete a project, or how I could stay up during the wee hours at night studying or writing code and still not be tired the next day. What I didn’t realize was that my body was silently breaking down, till it cumulated in one medical condition after another in 2008. Now, my mantra is “you need to sleep to not be weak”.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to moderate my working lifestyle in 2013, because it’s too easy for me to be carried away. I can end up coding or designing for hours, forgetting to eat unless someone reminds me to. I acknowledge that this is a huge-ass problem I have to take control of soon … so I’ll think of something.

When I was 10, I was told by a tuition teacher that I had an obsession with perfection. When I was 18, I discovered I had a Type A personality. I haven’t changed, have I?

Last year, I was asked what were my resolutions for 2012. At that point, I felt that I needed no resolutions because 2011 was a terrific year. Now, if you were to ask me what are mine for 2013 … fuck yeah, I really need resolutions because I screwed up this year.

I have 7 days until 2013 begins. I’ll have a concrete plan by then, I hope.

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