Yesterday my neighbours T&D gave me a box of Alphonso mangoes which they acquired from Little India- Tekka Market ahead of India’s lockdown. Good thinking.
I was the lucky beneficiary as they know I like the lovely fragrance of Alphonso. But I declined saying I will only take one or two as they spoil easily. Not to be deterred, the resourceful T gave me suggestions of pressing them to juice, making lassi – Indian yogurt drink.
I decided that I shall cut one immediately. To my surprise, I realised that the firm Alphonsoes are already ripe. Unlike Thai mangoes which are sour when firm, Alphonsoes are sweet when ripe.
I have been keeping them past their shelf life, no wonder the previous box had to be thrown away.
Recently, someone, on hearing that I was taking another certification reflected. You dont need another course. Its time to just do it.
Why do we hoard? We hoard to store for a rainy day. Some items are perishable, and cannot be hoarded. They spoil or past their prime. We say No to chocolate cake. I dont like chocolate, its too heaty for my body. Extra calories with no enjoyment. I say no to alcahol and cigarettes. I say no to risky behaviour that I will regret at leisure. I say no to losing my temper.
“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” John Cage
Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more. – Andy Warhol
“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” – Andy Warhol
Today, I’m bored. (Most times, I’m boring). I’m an accidental Warhol fan and took his advice.
Embrace the place where life happens
I started with the most boring, unimportant and urgent task, cleaning my car windshield screen. A cleaner in the building walked past and asked if I was bathing my car. “Just as we need to bathe everyday, the car also needs daily bathing”, he shared.
Purpose and meaning to the ordinary
Very wise advice, “bathing” is indeed a boring but essential activity. That simple connection of our shared activity of cleaning. Perhaps that was how he saw meaning in his work. Zen of everyday living.
When I put attention to something, it becomes more important and more interesting. I am going through the book of Psalms which used to bore me. Recently I started reading it with the help of Ms Seah Jiak Choo’s video and resources of CS Lewis and David Pawson and fellow educators.
Going through it together, albeit virtually somehow made it interesting for me. Although I read the same poem everyday, I chew on each word, its meaning and significance in my life and greater context. No surprise, this is the year of the ox. Chew on it.
Boredom could be a sign of anhedonia or fatigue and burnout. If thats you, seek help and rest.
Christmas Tree I donated at Singapore Botanic Gardens for the Singapore Garden City Fund. I didnt see the tree at night but someone spotted it on PM’s FB.
Very purposeful project which brings joy for park visitors this season. Thank you to the teams at NTF Hospital and Jurong Hospital for decorating the tree. Thank you to all healthcare and essential workers.
What a beautiful morning with my friend A and our husbands. Walk and breakfast at Casa Verde.
In BMGC, we discussed companies such as McDonalds adapting their menus for different religions (Culture), such as not having beef burgers in India where cows are holy and Hindus do not eat beef.
Tomorrow is the Hindu celebrations of Festival of Lights. Yesterday, I was at Dunlop St, Little India and took a photo of this beautiful dancer wall mural. Interestingly a box of paneer (cheese) sits at the bottom of the photo.
Happy Holidays as you look around Singapore to catch sight of how companies both MNEs and local companies create value.
Do you think your life is a series of random events which you have no control?
18 months ago, I embarked on a learning journey with 10 ladies Ive never met, facilitated by an amazing loving lady Catherine.
We were paired with peer coaches. However, as there were three outsiders, we were put together. E, A and me. Unfortunately, three of us couldnt match our schedule as A was always busy. This was before we knew ZOOM as an option. E dropped out and joined another group. A and I never had a chance to meet up. She had a successful online business marketing health products and volunteered to help other ladies with their home business.
Last weekend, we were informed that A passed away. She was 55 yrs old. May she rest in peace.
Her life direction statement was “To use my joy and healing gift to evangelize, to pray and heal, so that ladies who are broken hearted physically, emotionally and spiritually can be restored.”
Indeed. May she be restored to greater joy in the arms of her Maker. Last lesson from my former peer coach on the brevity of life and to focus on the essentials.
This week I learned of an activity on gratitude.
Mental subtraction – What is that one thing when taken away from you, will be dearly missed?
I can think of two areas. My family – Beloved. Peace in my beautiful country Singapore. I am grateful for my family and the leaders in my country.
My thoughts of lovingkindness (Psalms 63:3) and compassion towards them, that they will live out their Purpose in Lovingkindness.
A guy goes in for a job interview and sits down with the boss. The boss asks him, “What do you think is your worst quality?” The man says, “I’m probably too honest.” The boss says, “That’s not a bad thing, I think being honest is a good quality.” The man replies, “I don’t care about what you think!”
I went for an interview for an office job today. The interviewer told me I’d start on $2,000 a month and then after 6 months I’d be on $2,500 a month. I told them I’d start in 6 months.
My daughter told me she wants to be a secret agent. Based on that alone, I don’t think she’d be a good secret agent.
23. Employer: We need someone responsible for the job. Job Applicant: Sir your search ends here! In my previous job whenever something went wrong, everybody said I was responsible.
Here’s some advice: At a job interview, tell them you’re willing to give 110 percent. Unless you’re applying to be a statistician.
I was asked what my greatest weakness was at an interview, and I said “my stubbornness”. They asked me to give more details, I said “no”.
The local police have asked me to come for an interview. I don’t even remember applying for a job there.
I was asked at an interview to describe myself in three words. I said “not very good at following instructions”.
I recently participated in a conversation that went like this…
A: J, good job at the presentation. You are a natural.
J: Im not a natural, we (B and C) put in hard work to polish the presentation.
A: J, you need a recourse on “Affirmation”.
What did A mean? After hours of contemplating what A meant, I finally realised she was trying to compliment me. But when I exercised more self disclosure by revealing that I put a lot of hard work, she replied in a group conversation saying I needed more work to learn how to “receive” compliments?
She could have meant it as a joke.
But Im not a natural in presentations. Should I lie about this strength to be socially polite?
Nah, I feel rewarded if someone compliments me on my strengths, like “wisdom”, “pursuit of learning”, “grit”.
Im not a natural in anything. Except eat and sleep.
Recently, my custard apple tree fruited. 3 fruits. Grown from scratch. I’m no natural gardener. I used to have serious anxiety when Dr Kiat Tan, founder of the Gardens by the Bay first sent me orchids, lots of them. They all died on me. I now can grow custard apple from seed. Years of hard work, experimenting, learning online from a virtual community of gardeners, my own “potgardening blog” which I discontinued as I maxed out my digital space.
Listening to each other is hard work. Have you been in conversations that go awry?
Another thought, what strengths do you like to be complimented on?
Keep going even when conversations go awry. 😀 Share with me your thoughts below.
During covid, I chanced upon an online course, “meaning-making, reflecting by Journaling by Preetam Raj.
Inspired by educationist Preetam Rai, esp on “gettinglost” which does not need to be an embarrassing moment of losing direction but an opportunity to gain a different perspective. We can reflect through different mediums, writing on paper and even through photos and other digital tools.
Quote from Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman, Penguin Education Specials.
Perhaps you will understand why we prefer the metaphor “meaning- making” to most of the metaphors of the mind that are operative in the schools. It is, to begin with, much less static than the others. It stresses a process view of minding, including the fact that “minding” is undergoing constant change.
“Meaning making” also forces us to focus on the individuality and the uniqueness of the meaning maker (the minder). In most of the other metaphors, there is an assumption of “sameness” in all learners. The “meaning maker” has no such limitations. There is no end to his educative process. He continues to create new meanings, to make new transactions with his environment.
Reflection by journaling is cornerstone to experiential learning. Experiences by themselves do not instruct. But when we look backwards, and “connect the dots”, we make sense of the event and how it connects to our life purpose.
Reversal theory has shown that our “states” or emotions can change in response to the meaning a person attaches to an event. Eg. a roller coaster can at times represent excitement and at other times, anxiety.
Im watching a Netflix documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Not being a basketball fan, this is the first time I see what it means to be an NBA basketball player. The footwork, the mid range throw, strategy, teamwork, 4 hrs practice sessions. MJ’s mid range throws improved as his athletic prowess diminished with age. 10 000hr rule. He improved over the years.
Food for thought on what such work ethics mean for my profession and my craft?
I pick up “Daily Rituals- Women at Work” by Mason Currey, page turned to Lynne Fontanne (1887-1983).
Currey researched Jared Brown’s “The Fabulous Lunts” and wrote that the theatre couple “worked out a meticulous routine for their sessions at home. Memorisation of lines came first…. Each would shout out the lines of the play without disturbing the other. After they felt reasonably secure in their lines, they worked in the same room, sitting facing each other… they began to exchange dialogue. If one of them faltered or gave the wrong lines, the other clapped his knees together and the scene began again. After several such sessions, their knees may have been bruised but they were letter perfect in their lines.” ( This reminded me of a comment of MJ when he played baseball. He practicised until his hands bled.)
“Once memorisation was complete, rehearsals began, with (the couple) playing each scene over and over again, each time modifying their characters” attitude and intentions. After multiple run throughs, they would come to an agreement about which version had been the most successful, and … another round of rehearsals “making small modifications to gestures, looks, points of emphasis, relentlessly polisgung every detail. Only after this (exhaustive) extensive “homework” would the Lunts be reasldy to rehearse with the other actors in a production – and even then, they continued to rehearse by themselves at home afterward.”
I stop copying here, not because Im afraid Currey would accuse me of plagiarism but because Im exhausted. Just the thought of this amount of practice. I always thought spontaneity would lead to materials being fresh.
Reading about “Ten Chimneys” their holiday home where the Lunts spent summers in personal amd artistic rejuvenation entertaining guests like Laurence Olivier and the likes of the creative folks. Its amazing to note that such sensitive folks do not feel threatened by others in the show business.
How much am I willing to put in to perfect my craft? If I get a coach, am I willing to listen?