What’s your Cheese?

The other day I read an interesting book called “I Moved Your Cheese.”  It’s a book that follows on the famous “Who Moved My Cheese?”  and I find it interesting for it tells a story of three mice in a maze that challenged the maze in which they lived.  It’s fascinating.   The story is simple and you could finish the book in one night, yet it makes one think.  It is a reflection of what life should be.

The three mice in the story were not like the other mice for they thought outside the box.  They questioned the fact that “cheese” was indeed important for everyone and if they should in fact pursue this “cheese” just because everyone else is pursuing it.   Follow the cheese and find it.  Adapt so that one can consume this cheese.

To put things short, the story basically teaches us to do some self reflection.  Think about what this “cheese” is for us.  To some, it may mean getting that limited edition bag, to others it could mean going on a trip, or for some it could just mean sitting at home on the couch with a good book with the person they love.  Discover what it is in life that makes you happy and pursue that. 🙂

Follow your own dreams not other people’s dreams. (or other people’s dreams for us) 🙂

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Words & Power

This year has started out in a storm for many people I know. Even the weather gods are thinking that too with thunderstorms roaring across Bangkok when usually it is dry, sunny and cool. Nevertheless, let us not keep us from enjoying the wonderful year ahead of us. 🙂 Today I want to write about something that sometimes we forget. We use it everyday, we use it all time and yet we forget to think about them. (I do forget often times) What am I talking about? Words. Yes, words like the ones you are reading now.

Words to me are powerful and should be used with care. Words spoken or written have enormous influence and have resulted in either love or wars amongst men. It is with words, that people communicate and it is with words that others sometimes feel love, compassion, sympathy and understanding. Used otherwise, they cause others to feel anger, resentment or even sadness. Words can sometimes be therapeutic and healing, yet words of angerness, bitterness, judgement can also invoke within others pain and destruction. The words you hear, you say, you read affect and influence the person you become. Sometimes decades later, you hear people talking about words that were said. It can be that powerful.

For example think of children being bullied in school. Words from bullies can break down children’s confidence, wreak them emotionally and years after some may continue to remember those painful words. Yet at the same time, words of tenderness and love may keep many going on and on for years. (I’m thinking of those movies where the girl waits for her man at war.)

Words are powerful, so use your words with care this year. Becareful of what words you use. Remember to be aware of your words when you speak for that is when we often slip. Positive words generate positive energy whilst negative words generate negative energy. The world is stressful enough. Why not make it a little more pleasant by watching what we say for words form who we are and form those around us. 🙂 If you want it to be positive, use postive words! Kill those negatives!

Socks

It’s almost the end of January, I have a zillion things to do yet right now all I am thinking about are socks. Yes, you read it right. Socks. Those soft cushy things you put on your feet to keep warm and wear with shoes. What? Are you serious? Yes, I am. I am very serious. I have to confess, I have actually been thinking about socks for a few days now so it’s about time I wrote about it.

It all started when I resumed my running schedule after a few weeks of rest. Most days, running is a bore and I do it just so that I can eat and have that delicant piece of sinful chocolate that melts in your mouth. However, one day a week or so again, I ran and ran and for the first time in a long time, I felt that running was enjoyable.

It was fun, relaxing and I enjoyed feeling my feet pacing up and down on the treadmill. I felt bouncy and my feet were happy. I could run more than I had for awhile.

I wondered if it was runner’s high, but it wasn’t. I thought that maybe it was because I had slept a lot the night before, but it wasn’t or maybe it was because I had eaten lots of carbs. It’s true these things help running, but on that day the only deviation from the norm I could think of was the socks I was wearing.

I had just rediscovered my Thorlo running socks that I had bought in the US and hardly use. I have to tell you, they are in a league of their own from the normal sports socks I usually buy. I mean, socks, you put them on your feet and stuff them in your shoe. Why spend lots on them? Now I know why. They make the exeperience that much better. There was soft cushioning on the base and the material with which it was made keeps your feet dry and cool. Awesome. Now I’m fascinated by socks and am no longer going back to those skimpy running socks I used to buy.

My sock world has now changed. I am going to splurge for happy feet. (I guess it will make me enjoy running more too) What about you? Do you have any running socks you like in particular? Please share.

In case you want to try out some cool socks, I found a review on socks on runner’s world (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-320–13925-1-1X2-3,00.html) Have fun!

The Accident

Accidents do happen. When they do, no one wants it to happen and no matter what kind of accident it is, it always brings up a range of emotions. Yesterday, I crashed my car into the car in front of me while waiting for a turn. A dumb accident indeed caused by my somehow stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake. Good thing it wasn’t serious. It was my first real accident ever after over a decade of driving (that’s if you ignore motorcycles leaving their paint on my side mirror or another car hitting the corner of my bumpber). I’ve been fortunate and count my blessings. Most importantly though, yesterday’s lesson reminded me of an important lesson : have a positive attitude no matter what.

When I realized what had happened and stopped the car, I immediately got out and went to see the lady in the car in front of me. Luckily she was alright and together we decided to move our cars to the side of the road to avoid causing any traffic jams. It was dark and for awhile both of us were sitting in our cars calling the insurance firms and others we needed to tell.

Then we both got out the car and started chatting. What struck me first was how positive the lady was. After I had said sorry who knows how many times, she just told me to not worry about it and smiled. She said, “It’s alright, no one wants to hit someone else. At least we both have insurance.” She even laughed and said it was indeed not such a good year for her as the Chinese Astrology says. She had earlier also been hit by another car and not yet had the opportunity to go fix her car, so the time to fix her car had finally come she said.

As she jumped around avoiding mosquitoes she told me how she had just come back from the fitness, bought food and was on her way home to have dinner with her boyfriend. The lovely part was that she was so sweet and even waved her hands around showing me how she had been exercising. Then we exchanged names and work information. We lived and worked not far from each other and she also had a friend who worked at the same place I did.

What a small world.

And so we had a lovely chat, talked about this and that and waited to see which insurance company would be faster. We laughed at how she could stick her finger into a gap between the car body and her back lights, and commented on our dated driver’s license cards. (We both have the old versions where it’s laminated pink paper) Even though, it was late, dark and we were both hungry, she made everything seem okay. Of course, we exchanged numbers. Next time she comes to my office, we will probably meet up.

Who knows what life brings you right? Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining and maybe I will have found a new friend amidst unexpected circumstances.

So next time something happens that you didn’t want to, remember this, be positive. Attitude makes a difference. If she had banged on her car and made a big affair over it it, we would both have had a horrible evening and gone to bed with angry hearts. Instead we laughed it off and went hope to a good meal and good night’s sleep. Be positive, be happy!

The Child Inside

It’s a new year and I’m getting older. Yes, these are two facts that one cannot avoid. Especially the painful truth of getting older. You sense it more when some of your colleagues no longer recognize the songs you listen to nor recognzie the ones that were famous years ago when you were still in school. No matter, I believe there is still always a child inside each of us and age are but numbers.

Amidst the different New Years present I received this year, I have to say one of my favorites was a box of 120 crayons. Of all the stationary and art supplies I’ve accumulated over the past few years, I have to say crayons are something I just didn’t have. Never thought of buying. Now I have them. Thank you 🙂 Ever since I could remember I have loved to draw and colour and cherished my box of coloured pencils and markers. To this day I still have my complete set of coloured pencils and do occasionally still take them out to use, although those times are now limited to once or twice a year.

Playing with my crayons the other day, I abandoned by adult self, threw away the mask, and became a child once more. I admired the different colours and how neatly they were arranged in the box. I looked at their names and wondered who thought of all these names of these varying shades of green or pink. I wonder if these names ever changed or if there was a standard for them. Then I started to just scribble and randomly drew a few pictures. I know I’m way past that age where you sit down with a piece of paper and draw, but who cares. If you can’t have a little fun and be a child at heart every now and then, life would be so boring wouldn’t it?

So what was something you loved doing as a child? Maybe this year find a little time out and do something you used to love. You might find that it can be quite fun! 🙂 Let the child resurface. Maybe climb a tree or jump on the trampoline. Do becareful though. Our bodies aren’t that flexible anymore. 😉

A little corner of happiness

Sometimes, happiness can be found in the littlest places. You do not need much space to be happy as a friend of my discovered this past two months during the recent flooding in Bangkok. Happiness is something that for different people comes from a number of reasons. Even though this flooding was disastrous it actually brought a little happiness to some people.

Now, let me give you some background. My friend is usually is a lady who is extremely house-proud and will spend most of her waking energy looking after the house, cleaning and putting things in order. Yes, everything is top notch shining, bright and everything is set in its proper place. Not an inch too far to the right or to the left. She enjoys it and enjoys having a house that is always beautiful to look at. No trash left lying around. No shoes or books left where they shouldn’t be.

Then the flood came. Everything had to be moved to the second floor. Everything that was movable that is.

Everything was stacked on top of each other (in an orderly way of course) and the second floor ended up looking like it was a furniture warehouse. There was hardly any space to walk around nor move. Only the sofa provided some seating. The ground floor, on the other hand, looked like it was a newly constructed house with nothing but a few plastic chairs and a table left below. Even the curtains were removed.

Yet up there on the second floor, my friend found a little corner of happiness. Sitting on her sofa amidst the towering stacks of furniture and decorations, my friend sat there smiling. Smiling because she was happy. Smiling because the whole family was home and smiling because she did not have to spend the day doing any house work. No putting things in order, no rearranging the furniture or the decorations, and no grocery shopping. (Being without car and supermarkets were mostly out of stock.)

It was indeed a happy time for my house-proud friend.

She got to rest and relax. In a tiny little corner of the furniture warehouse, she sat there resting, reading, watching television and feeling not in the least guilty that she had to be responsible for looking after the house. Having no obligations, she was happy. Now that all is over, my friend is back to being the person she was before the flood, running around and getting exhausted.

Happiness can indeed be found in the strangest places. Where are you happy ? Do you know what makes you happy? If you do, why don’t you recreate the happiness more often? Happy Holidays! 🙂

A closet too big

I want to write about so many things, but I cannot do it all in one night so today I thought I’d write about a little revelation I had today. It has to do with clothes. Yes, girls never have enough clothes, shoes bags and accessories.  We love our little fashion items and do not hesitate to buy more even though we have closets full of similar stuff at home.   Then we run out of space and need more.

Today I went to pick up a suit I had made.   On the way out,  I passed by some stores and spotted several nice dresses.  Thinking to myself that I am always wearing the same style of clothes, a dark skirt and a shirt,  I thought to myself that I should get something different.  (I suppose that’s the excuse I give myself.)

I went in and tried on dresses, pants and shoes.  I eventually bought myself a dress and a jacket. Yes, I now have something new for this holiday season. I am happy.

Upon returning home, as I always do when I get something new, I decided to take out something old from my closet and put it in the bag for donation.   As I started going through my closet, an idea struck me.

I will rearrange my closet into outfits so that it is easier and faster for me in the morning.

(I do this before going to run, but I have never done it for my entire closet.  Some of you might have already thought of this, but this is a new thing for me. How do you organize your closet?)

No longer would I sort my clothes according to type and colour:  Pants, shirts, t-shirts, etc… white, black… Arranging my closet this way resulted in me always grabbing any old shirt and a skirt that matched.   I dressed almost the same week after week.  I wore what was convenient.   Black skirt and a shirt.   My weekend clothes would be jeans and a t-shirt.   How boring.  I started getting bored of myself.

The revelation that came to me through all this was not about putting clothes into outfits, but that I had so much clothing, just work clothes alone, I had enough outfits to last me five weeks!

This means that for five weeks (with five working days each) I would not repeat a dress, a suit, a skirt, a shirt, a cardigan, a scarf nor a belt.  I even had shirts to spare.

For someone who always felt like she did not have enough clothes, especially work clothes, this is a HUGE revelation. For the first time I realize do have enough work clothes.  I can dress everyday without repeating my clothes and best of all, I can wear and utilize my more expensive clothing.  My nicer clothes had previously been saved for “special” days but those do not come that often so I might as well just take them out and enjoy them before they get old!

Weekend clothes?  I could go many months without repeating. Different styles too. Not just jeans and a t-shirt. It’s crazy. I have too much clothing.

After today, I think I will continue to arrange my closet by outfits.  This way I know what clothes I need and what needs to be donated.  I hope it works!  (This has also literally put a stop to any excuse I have to keep on shopping.)

This holiday season, why don’t you go through your closet and see how much you have? (You might be surprised!) Take out old clothes that haven’t been touched or don’t fit anywhere and donate them to those less fortunate.  Happy Holidays everyone!