January 2013 Reflections

I am slightly disappointed in myself today. I woke up this morning and realized it is already 30th January 2013. I was bumped that I will be ending the first month of the year with no accomplishment whatsoever. During the ride to work, I thought of my January. What have I done? What happened in January? Was there any learning experiences? Was I at least kind to anyone? It cannot be that bad that I have nothing to be proud of at all 😉

As I sit in the office, I realized I have not done my reflection for January. I was so occupied with things needed to be done and I forgot to sit and reflect. I forgot my plan to reflect daily the good things and the challenging stuff that goes on in my life. I’ll slap myself later.

January has been a really interesting first month of 2013.

January started with 2 of my friend’s birthday. Ren Wong my roommate for 3 years in University of New Brunswick (Canada). She turns 47….all my friends will be turning 47 this year ;). Ren now lives in Colorado with her husband and 2 children. I don’t get to see her often enough. I love her dearly and miss her all the time!  My other friend is a teacher who turns 47 also. She was my secondary school form mate. Rosleena or Leena is an awesome teacher and lives in Kuantan, my hometown. We get to meet a few times a year when I go home.

I remembered that in January, the case of the Delhi girl who was gang raped became big news. She died on 29th December and the news kicked off. With her death I was sure the matter will soon be forgotten. As I wrote in my facebook:

Will this anger die with her death….one wonders
Will there be change with her death….I wonder
Will there be hope for other women…..

There has been more gang rape since then – reported and unreported. I will not lie in regards to my anger but I will also not lie that I have not done anything. I have not signed a petition nor have I written about this. I believe that the Indian citizen has to fight for what is right. I would gladly help to put pressure on the government but without the shift in the way the community thinks, it is fighting a lost battle. I am not an expert in this and I may be wrong. But when there is little respect for women/girls in a society, it requires a huge paradigm shift – spiritually, morally and ethically. I do read that there are slight changes in how the women are being treated….any slight change is good though it does require consistency and continual change.

First week of January passes with nothing much done but I remembered thinking about what is it that I want to do this year. I remembered the poem by Christian D Larson – Promise Yourself. I thought that it would be a good way to start the year and not just make normal resolutions. I don’t keep my resolutions most of the time. I love that the poem covers all – to be strong, optimistic, to be the best, enthusiastic, to forgive & forget, to smile, to encourage and having faith. Being all of that is good resolution for 2013.

And on being the best, I strive at making the tastiest butter cake. My mother-in-law is probably above 90yrs old and she loves butter cake. January records a high number of butter cake baked by me – made 4 butter cakes and 2 butter marble cakes in January. And after looking at a twitter friend posting up French Apple Cake on her instagram, I tried the recipe. Awesome! See my cake here … French Apple Cake….I think that covers me being enthusiastic. Thanks @titbiz for the recipe.

I am beginning to think this blog is slightly too long now that I reflect my January. 7th January is my sister in law’s birthday. She was retired and now back working. She’s an excellent baker and mom.

My other sis in law lives in London and came for a visit middle of January. She had a chance to take care of her mom & dad, visit family and friends and of course savor on the local fruits and food. We stayed with her during our vacation in UK and had a wonderful time visiting France & Belgium. I packed all sorts of goodies for her to take home as my appreciation to her kindness….a fulfillment of deeds…definitely.

And the last event of January – our family car was broken into while at a stopover. We were on our way to KL to send off my sis in law. We lost all valuable stuff we had. I was feeling violated but was not angry. As we file the report, I was already going through what this event meant for me. This event is spiritually, mentally and physically draining. I acknowledge almost immediately that I will not see almost all the items taken. Hence I decided not to dwell on it. I would be lying if I say I do not feel a slight sadness. I was sad that all my family pictures and memories are gone. That was valuable for me. I felt that my situation reflect Larson’s poem – “To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,and too happy to permit the presence of trouble”. I have actually really matured at 46++ yrs old. I do not even know how. I’ll figure that out in future postings….hopefully.

So there it is…the January I thought contains no accomplishment whatsoever.

We constantly feel ordinary and normal because we choose to see our life as ordinary and normal.

When I don’t reflect, I felt monotonous and dull. It is like I don’t lead an interesting life. Once I do, I know what I have done and how I can do better.

I have not included my career experiences above….it is even more challenging. Sometimes I did not even notice how much I inspire someone until they tell me. At times, I don’t realize how stressful I have made someone feels until they declare they cannot do what I have asked them to do. I forgot to be empathetic.

So by reflecting often, I am able to acknowledge my positive and negative points, own my flaws, decide on a change, do it and in the process, stay happy. No, I don’t think intelligence has anything to do with it…..just common sense and the will to do. May we all be able to reflect often and do better.

Have a good February, everyone!!

P/s: So you know..am not a good writer and I believe that most of the time I write aimlessly. If you don’t get the point, it is OK. Both of us are allowed to be clueless. Just move on 🙂

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