The Impermanence of Life


Life is strange. So many uncertainties yet one definite truth about life is that it all ends at one point in time. How it ends, how it stops, how we spend our last breath is one we do not know. When reading the many articles and literature on happiness (humans seem to be obsessed with finding happiness), one advice that often comes up is to think about life and death.

This week I’ve had many reminders. Many opportunities to think about life and death.

First, having dogs that are innately hunters, I am constantly reminded about the circle of life.
My happy dogs like to bring me gifts from their day’s play. Sometimes it’s a dried up dead lizard or snake. Sometimes its animals which I’d rather not see and have to ask Alex to dispose of. This week, I found a poor bird whose life has left its winged body on my porch. It was such a pretty little bird who had a ‘bad’ day. For dogs, hunting is everyday life and play. They hunt, they kill, then they lick me happily on the face and take a nap. I love them dearly.

My second reminder was on how weak physically humans are. I caught the flu. A vicious flu that showed its full strength just as I had to travel for work. I have had my annual flu vaccination and been exercising regularly. I believed I was in pretty good health, but yet it still took a great many days to overcome this vicious virus. I am still not completely well. I survived meetings through aids of medication and vitamins then spent nights trying to sleep amidst the fever and congestion. Once I got home, the adrenaline that kept me in working state vanished and I was left feeling frail and weakened. Muscle strength vanished and appetites disappeared. Thumping headaches followed. It’s been a long time since I felt so weak and such an invalid. Life is indeed fragile. Although a flu is nothing compared to other illnesses, it’s enough to remind me.

My last reminders were news of a dear friend’s family loss. The next day it was followed by the lost of a dear colleague’s family loss. Just a day apart, they have had family members who suddenly parted. One morning, you wake up to what will be another day, like every other day, but by evening it is not so. So quick and fleeting is life. So final.

So impermanent is life like everything else. Let’s remember to enjoy and be grateful for our lives. Let’s live in the present. Let’s not worry so much about the future, we forget to live in present.

Let’s do something to help our world. As Benjamin Franklin once said we should constantly remind ourselves and ask ourselves is “What good may I do in the world?”

I’m searching for a cause I would like to devote my energy to helping make a difference in this world. There are so many I can’t quite decide. What are some causes that drive your passion? Please share. 🙂

Saxophone Monday

It’s Monday and on Mondays, for some reason, it always seem to be that little bit more difficult to get out of bed and on the way to work.   The other day I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to listen to an inspirational story of how dreams and perseverance can lead to success. Yes, stories like these are good for the soul. My office had invited the owner and founder of “Vibrato” to give a talk about how the world’s first polycarbonate saxophone came into being.

Not a saxophone expert nor in the music industry, I have to admit I didn’t even realize such a thing existed. Last time I was in the school band (don’t ask me how long ago that was) we were still playing with brass and silver-plated saxophones. No such thing as polycarbonate saxophones existed.

Now that it exists, you might wonder, why wasn’t one invented earlier? Listening to the inventor, I have to say producing one required more than just capital and an idea.  It required a passion for saxophones, a desire to provide people with an affordable instrument, and a perseverance to see it accomplished. Not trained in mold injections nor design, he was armed with a passion for saxophones and a willingness, a push to see his idea take form.

Of course, it required faith and I think most importantly, positive thinking.

With over 300 parts in a saxophone, it took over four years of design before the saxophone ready for a trial. However, the molds required to make the saxophone were so expensive that he had to mortgage his house. A big risk to take, considering that when he did so, he didn’t even know if his idea of a polycarbonate saxophone would produce any sound.

It didn’t. Not the first time he blew into it. I imagine that his heart must have dropped to the ground in a loud thump.

He kept working at it though. Unfazed by the ‘tiny’ obstacle that the saxophone didn’t make a single sound. It took another two years before it would be ready.

Then when it came time to show it to the world, his story reminded me of what it must be like to be the first man on the moon. You are going somewhere, where you don’t know what will happen, what it will feel like nor what the outcome will be. Yet you take the risk.  You take the step.

And now, thanks to that risk, polycarbonate saxophones are sold worldwide to saxophonists. It’s affordable for the masses, it’s light, waterproof, and it comes in beautiful colours with accessories. (Don’t you just love that?) Colourful interchangeable buttons.

Oh, and it’s Made in Thailand.

I wish I knew how to play the saxophone, but with a price of roughly 300 dollars, I have to say it’s tempting for me to go try it out.   Afterall, music is good for the soul right?

I hope this inspired you!  It inspired me 🙂  Follow your dreams and just work at it!

Vibratosax founder and I

No Recipe for Life

Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that can boost for your soul or simply make you happy.   Simple things like cooking or baking.  Ever since I was 5 or 6 years old I’ve been baking and cooking up dishes in the kitchen with my picture cookbook (which I got from one of my best friends and still use till today. Thank you!).  Some dishes turned out well, some turned out funny, some turned out to be something else, but overall it turned out to be a generally good experience that can teach one a bit about life.

It is the experience of cooking or baking that counts despite the sometimes failed attempts.  Thirty years on my parents seem to recall perfectly my initial attempts at making brownies that turned out to be little black squares of rock-like substance that seems to have been part of a volcanic eruption or how my “Eggy” bread” gave everyone a good laugh.  My husband reminds me of how my cookies turned out to be scones or how cakes turn out to be bread.

What ever happens in the kitchen though can be a little reminder of life in general.   There is no one recipe that fits everyone.  Whilst the recipe might work for some, for others it might require tweaking, changes in measurements, or need techniques to get the desired outcome.  The outcome depends upon the ingredients, the sequence in which they were combined or how fast they were mixed.  Even things such as humidity (which are hard to control) play a big role.  The trick though, is to keep finding out why it worked (or didn’t work) and to keep working on it.

That too is life.  There’s no perfect recipe.  You may spend your life trying to do everything “right” but in the end, we are all human.  There are good days, bad days and days you wish you could just stay in bed all day.  Life is all about the experience; finding the recipe, getting the ingredients, imagining the desired outcome and finally seeing the ingredients come to life step by step.  I love the thrill of seeing the outcome.

Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes it doesn’t.  Don’t worry when things don’t go the way you want it.  Don’t worry when you find yourself out of some ingredients.  Improvise and find an alternative.  Figure out why it didn’t work and try again.  If you don’t try, you’ll never get it right.

Happy Baking (or Cooking)!

Three Hundred Nights

Tonight is the night I break the lucky 300th post.   I therefore want to give a special note of appreciation and thanks to my dear readers.  For each and everyone of you have and continue to inspire me.  Your comments, your thoughts, and your support are an invaluable source of motivation for me to continue on writing.   I also want to thank Alex who is always there by my side prodding me along whenever I need it.  Thank you.

Without your support, Having “Me” Time would most probably have been left to gather dust in a little corner and be one day labeled as “internet junk.” (Perhaps it might be so in the future, but not just yet. Not anytime soon.)  I have to admit that writing out into the abyss of the internet day-in day-out can be somewhat of a daunting task.  There is so much out there.  The internet is a vast universe of its own and we occupy but tiny corner of it.  A nano sized speck invisible to the human eye.

For three hundred nights I have sat in front of my computer screen and for three hundred nights, I have smiled upon seeing your comments and your support.  Thank you my readers.  You mean much to me and I hope that Having “Me” Time will continue to be a part of your lives.

Together we have lived through political turmoils, reflected upon lost lives, prayed for tsunami victims,  explored various corners of this earth, and enjoyed the great cuisines of this earth.  Most importantly, we do all this without forgetting that it is essential to live healthy.  Life is full of such unexpected events and there is much to experience in this short life time of ours.  Let’s go out, have some “me” time and enjoy what this world has to offer.  It’s too precious to just let it pass by.

Take care and sweet dreams until tomorrow night.