Friday, 19 August 2016

The Dream World

They say dreams are a product of your brain processing your subconsciousness while you're asleep. Sometimes, they bring to mind someone whom you haven't thought of in years. I can't remember a dream that is a replay of reality life. They've always been works of fiction. Several weeks ago, I had a night plagued with dreams. Out of the many, I only remembered 2. 

I was reversing my car into a parking lot when I reversed it into a SUV in the next lot. I got out of the car immediately to inspect the damage to the SUV. Instead of speaking to me, the mother sent her 13 year old daughter to discuss the proceedings. I've not seen them in many years. In 2004, I took care of this girl in the ward. She was an anorexic at that time. She didn't look 13. Due to the malnutrition, she obviously missed all the growth milestone & probably looked like what an 8 year old would look like. What the psychiatrist thought was that the dad had the typical Chinese mentality, loved only the son, paid attention only to the son & that it was her way of seeking attention & love. I had a feeling that was why she stopped eating. She was at the puberty age. Anorexia will stop puberty on its track. She only wore pants, hated skirts or dresses. She refused to grow her hair long like what most girls desire. Instead, she would always get a boy's cut. She would put on weight in the hospital, only to lose it all & had to be readmitted shortly after she was discharged. The mother couldn't force her to eat back home. I don't know what happened subsequently as I was transferred to the Operating Theatre at my request. It's been 12 years. In my dream, she was still in her 13 year old body becoz that was how I remember her to be. Why did my brain drag out someone I've not even thought of in 12 years? Funny how the brain works. I wonder if she's well.

That same night, I had a totally different dream. I was going to meet friends for a meal in a restaurant. For some reason, I decided to go wrapped in a towel. Like just out of the shower wrapped in towel naked. Everyone else were dressed, except for me. I was feeling quite comfortable about it actually. It was only until I saw an ex-boyfriend in the same restaurant that I started to feel really self conscious about being almost naked. This dream I understood. I was comfortable about being barely dressed with my friends but I'm afraid to be "naked" around this ex-boyfriend. I care about what he thinks & I can't open up to him. This was the only boyfriend I had that we parted still in love with each other. I guess a part of me will always wonder how we would have turned out. 

Yesterday early morning, 2.43 am. I had a blueberry muffin with me. I entered this "cafe" which looked exactly like the instrument processing room in my previous work place (we call it Theatre Sterile Supply Unit or TSSU). In the front of the room, an ex-colleague, a healthcare assistant working in the department was mopping the floor. When I passed through the doorway to the back of the room, it looked nothing like the real TSSU. Instead, the back room was a patisserie, selling different kinds of pastries. Another ex-colleague who is an EN had just knocked off having worked there as a server. I asked for Dolly & she helped me get Dolly from behind the counter. I handed Dolly the blueberry muffin, wished her happy birthday & gave her a hug. She was very happy. Upon seeing that, my ex-collegue, the EN, took a chocolate croissant from the counter, gave it to Dolly & wished her happy birthday as well. 

It was her birthday yesterday. So this was also a dream I understood. I woke up from the dream at 2.43 am from feeling too hot & sweating. I whatsapp her immediately, told her my dream & wished her happy birthday. I don't usually text people in the middle of the night but I know her well enough that I wouldn't wake her. Lol. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Honesty & Integrity

Being right is so subjective. In your mind, you're right. In my mind, I'm right. So who is truly right then?

You treat people with honesty & sincerity only to be taken for a fool. You know such people are aplenty. You know you shouldn't let it affect you.

At the same time, you know it is exactly becoz the world is full of cynics that it is all the more important that you remain true. For you can never change someone else, only yourself & the way you view the world. Becoz you know for a fact that it only takes 1 person to effect a change & that person has to be you.


Friday, 5 August 2016

If Only I Knew...

I don't know what triggered my childhood memories while at work today. Perhaps it was the not so fast surgeon, allowing me plenty of time to stare into space while scouting. I was bullied from Primary through to Secondary school. In Primary School, the girls were the vicious ones with their name callings & disparaging remarks. In Secondary School, the boys took it even further. They made retching noises when I walked past. I was allocated a seat in the back of the class by the teacher. Once, when the teacher returned our exercise books (to be passed down from the front), each boy took turns spitting inside my exercise book. The awful name callings. The "cool" girls just laughed at my misfortune.

But I was a quiet, awkward teenager. All I wanted was to be included. To be liked. To have friends. Even if they're not sincere.

If only I knew, that in this world, consumed by greed & violence, being popular is the least important thing of all.

If only I knew, that in the end, the only thing that really matters is kindness.

If only I knew, that even if it's not a big deal for you, it could mean the world to the person receiving your words or acts of kindness.

If only I knew. I would have started younger, creating a life of true value. If only I knew.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Reason For Living

It certainly has been a while since I last blogged. After 27 months in Perth, we've fallen into a routine, especially during weekdays. During Masterchef season, I would rush home to catch airing episodes without fail. Now that the season is over, I'm back to the gym even if I finish work late. Speaking of that, I'm finally doing 6 km jogs on the treadmill which is a milestone for me. I hope to get to 10 km someday. My Saturdays are pretty packed too. I have yoga every Saturday & discussion meetings every other Saturday. I'll be planning where to go & which new restaurant to try on Sundays which is why I haven't found time to blog.

I've already planned our next camping trip seeing that we haven't really camped in a year. We stayed in chalets but I don't count that as camping. Itinerary has already been typed out, tickets for a few attractions already booked & paid for. 2 fine dining restaurants reservations in the region have already been made. So much so that hubs asked me, "Are we camping or fine dining?" Lol. Absolutely looking forward to it. I love travelling. Back in Sg, we'll go on holidays up to twice a year. Now all my annual leave is saved up for Christmas shutdown & trips back to Sg. I suppose I can skip going back a year & use the 2 weeks to go somewhere else. But my parents & my dogs (Puggy & Wang) are getting old. They're far more important than going on holidays. Perhaps I can plan to go somewhere next Christmas which still leaves me 2 weeks to go back to Sg. Some serious plannings need to take place.

Hubs sometimes say I spend too much. You know, we need to rid ourselves of the illusion that we have all the time in the world. Today is never guaranteed, much less tomorrow. Something can happen in a split second & your life can be over as you know it. If you feel like having an expensive meal, go eat it. If you feel like trying something new, by all means go try it. As long as you're not doing any harm or spending money you don't have, why not? I didn't come here to repeat my life in Sg. To work & work & work & die. It's about the experiences in between & the memories you create together. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Essential Oil Craze

I've used EOs since my teenage years when it became increasingly popular. Back then, I would diffuse the oils in a burner that was heated by tealight candles. Subsequently, I "upgraded" to an electric burner. More recently, I used it to make soap. Sometime last month, I participated in a "make & take" workshop which opened up many avenues where EOs can be used. After the workshop, I signed up to be a member. (doTerra is a MLM company but I'm not interested in recruiting members. I'm only interested in using EOs in my daily life.) 

I received my starter kit several days later & have been playing around with it. I made a further "upgrade" to an ultrasonic diffuser based on the knowledge that heat destroys the beneficial attributes of the oils. 
My collection thus far. Some of the oils are really expensive at over $100 for a 5 mls bottle. Some of the common oils like citrus oils are just over $10 for a 15 mls bottle. So I'm going to have to order a bit each month. I've made a doggy breath spray, doggy odour spray, deodorant spray & a perfume roll on. The perfume roll on is my favourite. I wear it every day. 
I also made some lip balm but I feel that it is too hard. Perhaps I'll half the amount of beewax from the recipe next time.
DIY car freshener.
Moisturising foot soak.
Made just this morning, toothpaste. At the moment it's more of a dry paste than a liquid paste due to the presence of coconut oil.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Some Day, Again

There were only 2 times where I was so distraught that I couldn't chant daimoku. The 1st time being the end of my previous marriage. In desperation, I contacted an ex-colleague who previously introduced me to Nichiren Buddhism. I didn't follow on. But I've tried every means to save my marriage & that was my last hope. She met up with me immediately & brought me to the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) HQ in Tampines. Once there, she bought me prayer beads & a pouch for the beads. Then, she led me into the hall where people were chanting. I could barely gasp out a single daimoku, my body racked by uncontrollable sobs. My prayers were not answered. But that was the beginning of faith. Of course, now I understand the significance of my failed marriage, it being the catalyst to the beginning of my human revolution. I still have a long way to go but I know I'll keep at it no matter what.

The 2nd being at Dawn's memorial service, 2 Saturdays ago. Even hubs cried as he sat beside me, chanting along. Many times I had to stop & compose myself so that I could offer daimoku to her. Eulogies given by her close friends revealed the Dawn I didn't get to know. How she offered a friend, suffering from severe burnout & depression, to stay with her while he took a break from the hectic life in Sydney. Knowing that he had estranged relationships with his family, she arranged in secret, for his family members to show up at the restaurant where she was celebrating his birthday for him. How, even in her late 60s, she went to Lady Gaga's concert & danced with the youngsters. 1 member who's known her for 16 years thanked her for being such a good friend, to which she replied, "I'm sure we'll meet again."

I'm terrible in my knowledge of the Gosho. But I know there is this passage where Nichiren wrote to his disciples, saying that they'll meet again at the Eagle's Peak, where Shakyamuni is. (Eagle's Peak is a figurative peak of the tallest mountain, where they can overlook the entire world.) In my heart, I imagine Dawn being at Eagle's Peak, discussing Buddhist philosophies with the Buddhas & sages who had departed prior. So long for now, Dawn. Some day, we will meet & we will discuss Buddhist philosophies once again.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Loss Of A Dear Friend

It's been a crazy, crazy fortnight. My work hours are over the roof. I clocked the most number of hours worked in a fortnight in my 2 years here. That's despite missing work last Friday as I had to fly off to Sydney for a work related conference. I got back on Sunday night & it was bang on again the very next day. My manager was away & I had to cover her duties as well. The 1 day that I finished early, was last Wednesday.

Following the news of her deterioration, I tried to contact her to visit her at home but I couldn't reach her. Shortly after, I was informed that she was found to be confused by a friend who visited her & she was sent to the hospital. In just a few days, she deteriorated further & was in & out of consciousness. I knew it was my last chance to see her. After finishing work at 4 pm last Wednesday, I drove to Glengerry Hospital where she was warded in the palliative ward. She had already slipped into a coma. I read her a quote from President Ikeda & held her hand the entire time I was there. Her close friend who intended to stay the night told me that she had a very aggressive type of cancer. As it was over a major vein, the portal vein in the liver, it was inoperable as a tiny nick will cause her to die from massive blood loss. I stayed for 3 hours & left at 7.30 pm. When I got home, I continue to send reiki distantly. I was very upset. She didn't look good at all. All along, I continued to hold hopes that she will overcome it. But seeing her in person, I knew it wouldn't be long.

I worked till 8.30 pm on Thursday & flew off to Sydney on Friday. My return flight was delayed due to busted brakes & I only got back to Perth at 11 pm. It was full on again from Monday with late finishes the entire week. I was telling hubs that I would like to visit her today, Sat. Then, I checked my email. The email informing us of her departure came on Thursday afternoon. Instead of visiting her at the hospital, I'll be attending her memorial service. I laid in bed & cried till I fell asleep. I only woke up becoz Ton woke me up, wanting to pee at 1.20 am. I haven't been able to go back to sleep since.

I don't know what to say. Just feeling overwhelmed from the loss of a dear friend.