Friday, 6 January 2017

1st Day Back At Work

It was hard. Over 2 weeks, I've slept late, woke up late & napped plenty. I didn't sleep well as I felt really hot despite the temperature being in the 20s. I was awakened at 1 am by the hot mattress on my back. I couldn't get comfortable no matter how I flipped. Work wasn't too hard, a nice way to ease back into work. I did some cleaning, traced the lenses for all the way up to Wed & ordered the ones we didn't have. Job done.

There's a 5.15 pm Body Combat that I wanted to get to. I went to take a nap (oops) without setting an alarm, thinking that I would wake up way before 5 pm. Obviously I was wrong & I missed the class. I must say that Body Combat is really powerful. I went for the Tuesday evening class & I ached the worst I've ever been in my life the day. Probably didn't help that I attended Konga on Wed morning either. I literally ached from my shoulders all the way down to my lower back & my arms as well. I had difficulty putting on & taking clothes off. Walking & changing positions hurt. By Thursday it had subsided plenty & there's just a tinge left in between my shoulder blades today. I was looking forward to another session of torture but silly me missed it. Work will be full on next week. I better enjoy the weekend while I can.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Goals To Work Towards In 2017

I dreamt again. Zombie apocalypse. I know, I watched too many such shows on Netflix. Although I was trying to escape in my dream, I was helping others do the same, trying to keep them safe. It is a far cry compared to my dreams from when I was younger. I was always afraid, always running. While there's still the element of fear in my dreams now, I'm either fighting to protect others or trying the best of my ability to help others. I'll like to think that it signifies a shift in my subconsciousness or perhaps a strengthening of my character. The dream ended with me successfully helping the group escape to the aid of an army group deployed to kill the zombies.

Hubs went back to work today. I don't start work till Friday which hardly counts as work. We're just supposed to do some cleaning & for my part, check & order lenses for the cases on Monday. It'll probably take about half a day. Home alone, I attended the 9.15 am session of Body Balance at the gym. We have to sign in & collect a tag for the respective class. This lady was trying to see the class roster underneath the sign in clipboard & she said, "Sorry, dog." I could have taken it as an insult but it would speak more of me if I chose to take offense. We always talk about kosen rufu in our Buddhist studies. Kosen rufu means world peace. For world peace to prevail, it has to start from me. I brushed it off as her strong character which was later very evident in the class. I do the same with my manager as well. Besides, dogs are very endearing. :)

I thought Body Balance would be easy for me since I've been doing yoga for over a year. Granted, we did stop yoga session for over a month now which we will pick up again this weekend. But I didn't expect it to be so hard. I had to stop & rest several times during the class. I kept up better with Konga which was much more fast paced. It did bring up my weak spots, namely, balancing (all the 1 legged poses) & quads strength (all the warriors & holding of lunges). At the end of the class, I verbalised that to the instructor & she told me to keep at it & I'll get better at it. Through conversation with her, I also found out that she teaches Body Combat as well, which is what I'm planning to get to this evening. Sometimes gym work (jogging on the treadmill & weights) can get repetitive. Going to such classes mixes things up & work on different sets of muscles. I truly find them very enjoyable even if I can't keep up.

Rather than resolutions which I consider "must get there no matter what", I'll go with goals to work towards. It's a bit more lenient & allows a bit more leeway should I fall short.

Physical Health/Fitness

  1. I shall aim not to give up going to the gym that easily. It's ok not to see results. Just focus on how good I feel after each session. 
  2. I will like to master at least 1 inversion by the end of the year, starting with head stand.
  3. I shall eat well & stop deprivation diet becoz it just doesn't work.
  4. Instead of a weight goal, I shall aim to build more muscles & lose more fats. 
Mental Health
  1. I shall sing more to my dogs. Singing is 1 of my favourite past times. I sing during the journey to work & back home everday. Hopefully they'll enjoy it.
  2. Cut the self doubt. Whether I can or not, as long as I've tried my best.
  3. Cut the self degrading talk. I'm as good as the next person. 
Spiritual Health
  1. Human revolution is a life long work in progress. I shall continue to polish myself so that I will shine even brighter.
  2. I shall contribute a little bit more to kosen rufu than I did last year even if it's something very small.
  3. I shall aim to further apply the Buddhist principles I've learnt in my life. 
  4. Finally, never stop doing the 3 pillars of faith, practice & study.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

1st Post of 2017

Is it a bad omen to be having a nightmare on New Year's Day? It's supposed to be a start to the new year with new determinations. But I woke up dreaming that Wang Wang has passed away after he "生了一场大病" & refused to eat. Naturally, I demanded to know from my dad if he brought Wang Wang to the vet since he didn't do so for Puggy. But before I got the answer, I woke up. Perhaps even my subconscious self is afraid of the answer. 

As per tradition, we went for the New Year meeting at the centre in Osborne Park. The encouragement given was that a new year is the time we make new resolutions & reaffirm our goals. Life will always be full of ups & downs. The Gosho says that nobody, not even sages or worthies can avoid problems. So let us all strengthen our efforts to overcome & transform the negativity in our life.

After the meeting, hubs drove us to Northbridge where we had dim sum at Dragon Palace. There's a lot of hype around this dim sum restaurant but we both felt that the food was average. I think our goal is to try all the restaurants offering dim sum to find the best of the best. Lol. Hubs felt Silver Seas in Morley (if you don't like queuing as Wang's is always super busy) is best while I felt Springs in Beechboro is best (but unfortunately they stopped selling dim sum a year ago when their dim sum chef went back to Malaysia). The times we ate dim sum here in Perth way way way exceeds the times we had dim sum in Sg.

Whenever I'm not working, I'll take an afternoon nap. Which means I've been napping for the past 1 week. 🙊🙊🙊 This time in my dream, I opened the sliding door at the back of the house. Instead of our tiny paved yard that leads to the garage, the back of the house was just a vast area of sand. Like unconstructed land. I turned back to hubs & said, "Hey, maybe we can expand the house outwards." Then I looked to the sky & there was a triple rainbow in the sky! It was an amazing sight.

In real life, I've ever only seen a double rainbow & it was here in Perth. A triple rainbow perhaps signify hope & the promise of better days. It's a good dream to end the 1st day of the new year with.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Final Post of 2016

It may be NYE, but like all previous years, we have no plans to celebrate it. We were initially invited over to W&Y's place for barbie but Y fell sick yesterday & hence had to cancel. 

1 week of my 2 weeks Christmas shut down gone. But we've kept ourselves busy. Hubs took 2 days leave on the 27th & 28th to spend time with me for my birthday which translated to 6 non working days for him. The thing with me is that if something costs a lot, I need to get it on impulse. If I allow myself to think it over, it never happens. So on impulse, I went to Power Fitness on the 23rd & grabbed 2 sign up forms. (I've long discontinued my work place gym & have extra flabs to show for it.) I thought I would have a hard time convincing hubs to sign up due to ongoing costs. But surprisingly, he didn't protest. Perhaps it was becoz I told him, "This is something I want you to do with me & you can't say no." We headed down the next day to submit our forms, have our photo taken, orientation done & access card given to us. I signed myself up for gym plus unlimited classes & hubs for gym only since I don't think he'll be interested in classes.

Christmas Eve. We went to the gym for the 1st time. When we got home at 7+ pm, I noticed something was wrong with Basil. He wasn't as energetic, he was shaking, he wasn't very interested in his food which never happens. I was concerned & in the end, I made the decision to bring him to a 24 hour vet which cost me $200+. His lower back was tender upon palpation & the vet thought he may have hurt his back. He was given a painkiller injection which made him very woozy. Half an hour later, she felt that he was still responding to palpation & wanted to do some scans & hospitalised him but I chose to bring him home. Otherwise it would have cost us more than $200. I made a good call though for he was back to his usual self the next morning. Sometimes we have to remember that they're a business & we as dog owners do know our dogs better.

We were in Yanchep for a Christmas BBQ lunch organised by my group leader. I learnt it the hard way not to buy Mascarpone on Christmas Eve. It was sold out everywhere. Apparently, tiramisu is a very popular dessert during Christmas time. I was forced to use cream cheese instead which was less than ideal as it taste completely different. I had 3 cocktails & 2 glasses of champagne over the lunch & possibly dinner party. When we finally left at 5+ pm, I've had some barbie items, a fair bit of the various salads & heaps of desserts. Not exactly the best way to start the gym journey. Lol. Well, to our credit, we got home, rested a bit & worked out at the gym. I thought we were very "on", gym-ing at 9 pm on Christmas Day & that the gym would be deserted as everybody's partying away. Hah! There were many others at the gym working out too!

26th. Hubs was asked by his colleague to help feed his fish while he's back in his hometown for 4 weeks. He asked hubs to feed the fish 1, 3 & 5. Hubs questioned the fish not being fed on Sat & Sun but he was told that it was alright. This was Monday on week 2. When we got there, 4 out of 5 fish were belly up. I know nothing about fish other than they're very fragile. Did they die becoz they weren't fed on Sat & Sun? Was it water ph or temperature or lack of oxygen? We didn't know what to do & hubs just scooped out the dead fish. Sorry, I think dogs will fare better with me than fish. Since we were already all the way down south, we went to Cockburn Gateway to buy me my birthday present. I wanted an IPL machine & I just told him to pay for it. When you've been together for so long, presents get increasingly hard to choose. I had $85 (was initially $120 but I spent some of it) birthday money from my colleagues & he just topped up the balance. 

I think it's very true that if you leave it to a man to plan something, it is always left for the last minute & in the end, you have to make do with what's available. I see it in other couples, even more so for hubs. He didn't make any reservations for dinner till 1 week before my birthday only to find that it's all booked out everywhere. (For his birthdays, all plans were already in place 2 months before the actual day.) In the end, Nobu was the only restaurant with availability on 27th at 8.45 pm. We were given a table overlooking the pool. You'd think that it being fine dining, the noise level would be low. We could hardly hear each other talk & despite the waitress attempting to speak really loudly, I still missed chunks of what she said. Dinner came up to almost $300 but it was so good I didn't mind the price. Not that I was paying anyway. Haha.

28th, my birthday. Started the morning with Konga at the gym. It was hard but I did manage to keep up majority of the time. Drove back home & found hubs just waking up. We had lunch at Bullcreek Hawker as recommended by 1 of my colleague. We loved their salt & pepper squid tentacles. It being Wed, we headed down to feed the remaining fish only to find that it had died. Hubs then said that he will return on Friday to drain the tank. It was gym in the evening & though I managed to finish my routine, I struggled badly most likely becoz of the exertion from Konga in the morning. I didn't feel older but I did feel that I really need to stick to a regular exercise regime. I'm not working at the moment which makes going to the gym easy. It is when I restart work that the challenge really begins.

So, we've come to the end of 2016. I've put in good effort at work, which, of course, I'll continue in 2017. I shall make a firmer resolve to take better care of my health & increase my fitness level. Health & peace to all. 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Struggling With Puggy's Loss

This week had been nothing but an uphill struggle. I received the news on Sunday evening. I hardly slept that night, resulting in my previous post at 4 am in the morning. At 5 am, I texted my colleague who lives halfway between me & our workplace, if it was possible that I carpool with her. It takes me an hour to drive to work & she's 30 mins from me. I thought I could hold it together but when we got to work & the usual "How's your weekend?" greetings came, I simply burst into tears. Between sobs, I recounted the story. Even the surgeon came to give me a hug. It was a long day, with us finishing at 6 pm. I didn't eat. I didn't feel like it at all. My eyes felt like sandpaper from all that crying. I finally got home at 7 pm that day.

I was exhausted, sleepy mostly. But despite being so tired, I found myself unable to sleep again. I repeated this routine, arriving home after 7 pm everyday. Hubs tried. He kept asking me how can he make me happy. He brought me out to dinner. He gave me massages every night coz my body was just aching terribly for no apparent reason. At work, I talked, I chatted, I laughed. I still feel the loss. I just didn't show it. I didn't want my colleagues to feel sorry for me.

It's a curse every pet owner must go through. The pain will dull with the passage of time. In the meantime, I just have to sit it through. Everyday, I pray for his soul. I wrote a eulogy for him 2 days ago when FB shared a picture of Puggy that I posted 6 years ago. I spoke from the depths of my soul & I hope wherever he is, he'll receive my message.

6 years ago today. 6 years later today you're gone. If you had only waited just a bit longer, you would be savouring the life we have in stored for you. You're so similar in character to Basil that I'm sure you guys would be the perfect partners in crime, stealing food you know you shouldn't have. I can just imagine you cuddling up with Basil on the doona on cold winter nights.
You were still young, we thought we had time. But you were so suddenly & so unexpectedly taken from us. I chanted for every dog that I know who passed. Everyone of them came to say goodbye. Even DX who detested me came to say goodbye. But I couldn't see you. I couldn't even feel you. Where have you gone? I don't want to hold you back from your next destination. I'm sure a beautiful life awaits you. I have to learn to let you go. You will always be my naughty 2nd son, the one who ate the dining chair. I love you, my boy. Till we meet again.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Puggy's Gone

I can't sleep. I'm consumed by sorrow, anger & most of all, guilt. 11th December. 1 year ago on this day, we brought Basil home to live with us. It started off with an intention to celebrate his 1 year anniversary with us. Nothing out of ordinary. Woke up, watched a movie on Netflix. Hubs had to help a friend collect the tool set he bought from gumtree. Went to Gallaria to buy Chris Cringle present for my work place. While we were there, I bought ingredients to make a meatloaf for Basil from Coles. Came home, watched another movie while fixing up the meatloaf.

Then, I received 2 consecutive missed calls from my dad. I don't answer when he calls becoz I will call back with the calling card which is obviously way cheaper. 2 consecutive calls meant that it was urgent. I quickly called back. He started off by telling me not to get too worked up, that Puggy has passed away. Then he went into cremation details, like how they will collect Puggy the next day, that it will cost this much if we want to leave the ashes at the columbarium & that it will cost this much subsequent months & that it will cost this much if we decide to keep the ashes.

Immediately, I stopped him & demanded to know what happened. At best, it was a story with no head or tail. At worst, it was a load of crap which I couldn't even understand. He said he was walking Puggy when he tried to bite someone. 1st, Puggy has never bitten anyone & being flat faced, I don't think he can actually open his mouth big enough to bite someone's leg. More likely, he wanted to charge at someone. So he yanked at the leash to hold him back. No details on what happened in between. Just that his tongue was hanging out of his mouth. Then, a young lad told him Puggy has no pulse anymore, his body was limp, he had already gone cold. How many hours have passed??? Who is this young lad??? Why didn't you bring him to the vet???

He said he doesn't know where the vets are. When I left for Perth, I gave my parents the names, addresses & phone numbers of 2 vet practice. 1 was for the nearest vet & the 2nd was for the 24 hr vet. This year's CNY when I went back, that paper is still stuck on the wall & I reminded them again about it. Now he's saying he doesn't know where the vets are??? Where did you bring him??? Then he went back to telling me the young lad told him no point in going to the vet coz it would just cost extra & there would have been nothing they could do since Puggy was already dead. He gave my dad the number for cremation services & he went on to repeat the cost of the cremation etc. I stopped him again. I said I wasn't interested in all these. I want to know exactly what happened. He went silent for a few seconds. Then he started to repeat the story of the cremation details again. I hang up on him.

From his half ass account, I think he either broke Puggy's neck or collapse his trachea pulling on the leash. But wouldn't that have taken excessive force? If it's only collapsed trachea, if you go to the vet they can perform emergency surgery. How many hours passed before he brought Puggy to this young lad that his body had already turned cold? Who is this young lad? Pet shop? I called the pet shop nearby but the guy on the phone said it wasn't his pet shop.

I feel so guilty becoz all of this wouldn't have happened if I brought him to Perth like I did with Ton Ton. My decision cost him his life. Why on earth did I think my parents would be capable of taking care of the dogs? They didn't want me to bring Ton Ton over, saying that they know how to take care of the dogs. Why must I bring him over? If I hadn't, Ton Ton could be dead too. I left Wang Wang becoz he's more of my dad's dog than my dog. I left Puggy behind becoz I thought it cruel to take 2 out of 3 dogs from my parents & also we didn't have enough money to send 2 dogs over. When we went back for CNY this year, I saw the less than best state they were in. Overweight, not much life in their eyes. I gave strict instructions on their diet once again. Why the hell didn't I decide to bring Puggy over then? Now nothing can bring him back.

Pug's life expectancy is about 16 years. He's not even 10 years old. I thought we had time. I tried saying goodbye with reiki. But I couldn't "see" his face in my mind, I couldn't even feel him. It's like he was just gone. All I saw were trees, in a forest or some sort. Then, a blob of light exploded into thousands of glittering lights that floated up into the sky. He really is gone. He isn't even on earth anymore. I caused his death.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

7 Years Ago

7 years ago today, hubs & I started dating. It's an anniversary that I hold more dear than our wedding anniversary. It was a new beginning, my 1st relationship after my divorce. New relationships always start out with trepidation. You're learning about each other, wondering what the future holds.

I had an early finish today & we went out to swap our empty gas canister for a full 1. On the drive out, I teasingly asked, "Aren't you glad that you started a relationship with me 7 years ago?" There're no perfect marriages. We quarrel, sometimes really badly. We have good times too. We're such opposites. He doesn't think much of being politically correct. I prefer to be nice. But on the other hand, it'll only mean that he won't pretend to like you but secretly curse you in his heart. At the same time, we're so similar. Our love for food, our love for travels, our mentality towards marriage & finance.

I still send him off to work with a hug & kiss. He still greets me with the same when I get home from work. We irritated each other to no end. In fact, we all have nicknames. It started with Ton Ton. He has always been possessive & somewhat territorial. If he's in the bedroom, he doesn't allow Basil in. Similarly, if he's already on the sofa, he'll growl & bark at Basil if he attempts to jump up. But if it was the other way round, he'll just step all over Basil before planting his ass on Basil's head. So I called him the "big fat bully". Basil is no push over either. He'll push Ton Ton out of the way while Ton Ton is receiving scratchies from hubs so that he can take Ton Ton's place to be scratched. Hubs came up with this new nicknames for all of us. Ton Ton, the small (referring to size) bully. Basil, the big bully. He, the big fat bully & finally me, the house bully, becoz I bully all of them. That cracked me up good.

It scares me to think of the many couples who stay together without love between them & the possibility that we can be 1 of them. I'm thankful for the painful divorce I went through. Pain is a good teacher. Hopefully, I'm a good student.