Pause

Yet again another 1 month ‘break’ of blogging before finally managing to get down to writing/blogging something yet again before October comes to a close. As I was telling C in the office the day before, that time passes really fast when you least sense it ……

Over the past 2 months, had many ideas to blog about food, yoga …… only to have this writing/bloggers block continue. Definitely a recurring theme throughout year 2017! And an area that I really need to work more on as this writing block is not just limited to this blog alone, but also in my work/business outreach and in my daily journaling as well.

Back to the theme of ‘Pause’ – had pretty grand plans to do a solo beach retreat / getaway, only to have perfectionism and procrastination get better of myself. Had originally targeted to leave last week of October, and as I’m writing now – we are IN the LAST WEEK OF OCTOBER!

Guess solo beach retreat / getaway is not going to happen anytime soon as I have opportunities to write more business for this last quarter of 2017 before banding year close. It will happen one day when all stars align again.

Beach Retreat Phuket

Be it Phuket or Koh Samui or Okinawa, no harm putting up a picture as a form of goal visualization for the future. Will also update my vision board with this picture as I intend to do a Version 2 Vision Board sometime down the road as well.

A quick note on my yoga practice – the main thing that I write about these days (if I ever get to write that is) …… slowed it down quite a bit for the past 2 to 3 months due to struggling with various strains (hip, lower back, right shoulder rotator cuff) and struggling with my energy levels. It was pretty telling when I totally stopped doing Core and Power classes since mid-July onwards, until the Deepavali holiday last Wednesday (18th October) when I finally got myself to a Core class. Struggled big time with the drills – which was precisely what I needed to get stronger once again as I go into more difficult poses/asanas.

Guess that’s all for now as versus to a long rambling entry 😛

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Two-Thirds Of The Long Weekend So Far ……

Another long weekend beckons ……

And a much needed one as well after running pretty much at full steam end May / June. Of course some pretty unpleasant stuff / minor setbacks occurred over the past week – putting a brake to the ‘momentum’ I have been building up, to my discontentment.

Which means its time to take a step back, take stock for a bit and do some necessary ‘re-charge’ to get back to a more ‘optimal’ state of mind again.

Long weekend started early for me as Friday was my usual-out-of-office day. However couldn’t shake off my restless state of mind (must been the angst I have been carrying out throughout the week). Meditation …… heart opening yoga sequence (only to end up struggling on the balancing poses) did not help much. Guess I need more time to get over this ‘bump’ ……

Yesterday (Saturday) – went back to office as planned to do my monthly scanning/clearing/decluttering/archiving. Somehow, at the half-way point of the year, I feel that my progress on the scanning/clearing/decluttering/archiving front has been rather slow. I’m still working on older stuff (pre-2013 materials) before even getting to the newer records (year 2013 onwards) that I will need to start extracting from the common data folder provided by company. Not sure if just 1 Sat afternoon per month (which I started only in April proper) is sufficient to finish up by end of this year …… but just like yoga/life, have to keep going …… and going! Perhaps for the next round in July, I shall try to reach office earlier (around 11) to give myself a better headstart.

Of course, the highlight of going back to work on a Saturday is always filling myself up with a nice lunch. Initially planned to have pasta at Everton Park, only to realise said restaurant is closed on Saturdays. So walked to Amoy Street Food Centre …… saw that not many stalls were open.  Ended up walking further down right to the end of Amoy Street, and settled for Korean lunch @ Wang Dae Bak – one of my ‘more regular’ favourites that serve tasty and value for money Korean set lunches.

Had a seafood soup + seafood pancake …… and together with side dishes, it made for a pretty appetizing and filling lunch. Moreover, I had a pretty light breakfast and was kinda hungry as well 😛

Packed up and left office a little after 6 …… and came home just in time for dinner. Decided to take a break / day off from yoga practice / stretching (have learnt not to guilt trip myself for taking breaks) …… and sat down to finally think about and start jotting down some ideas/things to do/destinations for my next holiday!

Nothing firmed yet. The only thing I know right now is it will be 90% a solo trip as I desire to have some space & quiet this time round. I hope I can make it happen, at the time period that I’m looking at (Q4 2017). Being in the last lap of the banding year, there are also work considerations to think about. It will also mean $$$ spent (versus saving it) …… but let’s think abundance 🙂

Rather than wasting away my Sunday, got up nice and early to go for my once-a-month YIN yoga class @ Yoga Inc Gulliemard – as a ‘treat’ to myself for the long weekend. Probably my ‘longest’ break from YIN class – 6 weeks to be exact as my focus was on rebuilding strength and flexibility post Bali and post food poisoning (a.k.a Bali Belly). As one would describe YIN class, it is about feeling 1% uncomfortable (in the form of holding poses for longer periods – up to 5 mins) to be 99% comfortable (i.e. to allow the muscles to relax). And the tightness in my hips is apparent …… and it does feel slightly uncomfortable and getting used to be holding poses for long periods again after all the ‘yang’ workouts that I have been doing.

The bonus was the rain, and it was really chill and calming to have the cool air coming into the studio. Just like the saying from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow goes – The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain. 

And enjoy the moment!

The theme of ‘courage’ floated in my thoughts throughout the 1 hr 15 min class – it will be something I will think about/reflect/meditate upon in the next couple of days.

Preferred to have local food for lunch post class, and so braved the rain (with umbrella in hand) and walked over to Lor 28 Geylang to check out Fishball Story as originally planned. The noodles did not disappoint and I am very happy with my lunch. Realised there are many coffeeshops within Geylang itself and wondered why didn’t I venture out earlier (the default choice is always to walk to Old Airport Road FC after class for a meal). Gonna google some food bloggers’ Geylang recommended eats as I type now 😛

Took a bus down to Bugis after lunch – specifically to Sephora at Bugis+ to get a new shampoo to try. Starting to feel the YIN in my legs, and so headed back home, lazed a bit and writing this blog entry.

Probably gonna play catch-up on some work and my journalling (super back-log dating back April *gasp*) after dinner. Was deliberating between doing 9am class @ Yoga Lab CBD for another early start tomorrow versus a longer self practice …… but since the 9am class is waitlisted (it was still book-able during lunch), it seems like self practice will be the plan for the last part of my long weekend!

Weekly Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!

A good 4 + months since the last photo challenge and so, its time for another one!

Although I’m late by a week, this challenge really speaks out to me as 2017 has been pretty much a ‘GREEN’ year for me!

Starting from Li Chun 2017 where the lucky colour for my zodiac is green, and I wore green to bank in my money. In terms of money inflow for this year, so far so good. Customs aside, more important is to keep an abundance mindset.

And of course, when I finally decided to use some of my shopping vouchers to get a yoga towel (i.e. got a Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel eventually) – it was co-incidentally green as well. Together with my Yoga Inc umbrella (free gift from package purchase) – that was also green!

So we have 2 different shades of green here 😛

Still on Yoga Inc. Always love practicing at Gulliemard Branch where it feels more rustic, calm and serene. Especially when I go for Sunday morning YIN class.

Spotted this cute little swing (also in green) when I left the studio after class to go towards the same gate to get to Old Airport Road Food Centre.

Finally non-yoga related. A bowl of healthy and hearty bibimbap with lots of greens from Paik’s Bibim (a franchise outlet of Baek Jong Won’s Food Empire from South Korea).

The original challenge entry here: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/it-is-easy-being-green/

Skipping Over February

Finally have the time, space and energy to sit down to do a blog entry proper!

Now where did February go? Definitely the 1st time in a long while that I didn’t blog (or rather didn’t manage to blog anything) in 1 entire month and the time just went by like that ……

January ended with the CNY festive season. After which, it is straight back to work and daily life.

And yes, one significant thing that happened right before CNY was the breakdown/’death’ of my Lenovo laptop. As documented on this blog, after the initial replacement issues (when 1st bought), and an earlier breakdown of the hard disk just back in September, the Lenovo decided to hang by itself when in office one fine Monday afternoon. To cut the story short, after calling the technical support line, dropping everything down to head to the service centre at McPherson for 2nd diagnosis, and another opinion from a repair shop at Jurong Point – the final conclusion was motherboard failure. The replacement would have cost $500+ …… and thus it would be a more feasible solution to just get a new laptop instead – which is needed as I had work to finish right before CNY beckons.

And so, I bought a new Acer Swift 3 that is gold in colour for a ‘golden’ new beginning.

The laptop has been working great for the past 2 months that I have been using it – and this is my 1st blog on this laptop 😛

In a figurative way, the Lenovo represents frustration and pain through the 2 years and 4 months that I have used it. And I will be better served with a fresh start with a newer and better machine going forward. Sounds like how my life has been going for the past 1 odd years 🙂

February is also another month where I experienced numerous body wiggles post-yoga (right achilles tendon pull, tight hips, on and off wrist strains on my right). Also came down with sore throat / flu for a good part of the month which recovered, then came back again after Hot Yoga 101 (believe I caught a chill as the room as stuffier than usual which even the instructor felt so as well), which is reduced to chest cough on and off still as the virus has yet to go away 100% – which sucks!

Partly as a result of some of the ‘muscle imbalances’ that I was experiencing post-yoga, took the plunge to try Yin Yoga as I have read on some of the benefit of Yin Yoga include increased circulation, fascial release and greater joint mobility (through holding poses for 3 to 5 min long) ….. which was something I needed to ‘repair’ my body and feel good again.

After my very 1st Yin class (on Sunday morning) where the final pose before savasana was a reclining head to toe stretch (with a bolster placed right across the tight) – my hamstrings loosened immensely.  After which, I attended my semi-regular Tuesday evening Hot Yoga 101 class. Even after some pretty intense work in the class, my thighs/quads no longer have the intense post work achne (the technical term for it will be DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness) that will take me the entire evening and the good part of the following day to recover from. I have always had tight hamstrings and quads which I finally realised was a result of inadequate post workout stretching from my running and spinning days. The increased flexibility from holding stretches 3 to 5 mins is real indeed. Not to mention feeling much lighter and more relaxed for the rest of the day, and enjoying improved sleep.

I have decided to incorporate Yin to be part of my regular yoga ‘programming’ as I target to do it once every 2 to 3 weeks. Plus waking up early and going for the early 1015 Hrs Sunday morning class at Gulliemard is a great way to re-adjust my bio-clock and sleep patterns – as well as to re-connect with my body and wind down the weekend.

Before March comes to an end, I also hope to try another new type of class (most likely Hot 26) -which is part of my personal goal/resolution to try 1 new class every month.

Friday The 13th

Welcoming the weekend on a slightly sombre note (and unable to sleep) after a pretty shitty day (Thursday) as the following unfolded:

Missed my morning alarm again – set it for 0815 hrs, snoozed it until I finally woke up at 0855 hrs. (At this point, not so s**t yet)

By the time I had my quickie breakfast (black coffee + bread with peanut butter), packed, changed and left my house, it was already 0935 hrs. Product kickoff that I signed up for starts at 0930 hrs!!!! Already running late but still thought I could reach at 1000 hrs if I managed to get a taxi/Grabcar. So skipped my usual morning mediation and left the house.

Decided that it wasn’t worth it to spend $20 on a ra-ra kind of waste time launch/kickoff event …… and so MRT-ed in to Tanjong Pagar. Reached Tanjong Pagar around 1020-ish. Decided to pop by Duxton to pick up a premium cheque (+ forms) so that I need not walk out from office again post lunch. On my way back, popped by lululemon to look at yoga mats again (still agnonizing over lululemon vs Manuka Prolite).

Got to office around 11, and started to get ready client paperwork (that was prepared yesterday) to submit.

1st major disturbance came about when U**le A called and started complaining about why the insurer was so slow to settle his claims (mis-matched expectation as said person interprets 14 working days as 14 calendar days despite the fact that there were 2 public holidays in lieu, and not forgetting weekends). Rather than listening to my instruction proper on getting the ‘correct full settlement’ receipt that insurer insists they need (but somehow they did not have the courtesy to inform the client), said person started rambling/complaining about forking out $$ for follow up consultations/tests/scans for post cancer follow-up treatment. This is despite me already laying down the marker that these post follow-up costs are NOT CLAIMABLE if there was no stated major outpatient procedure/related hospitalisation involved – as per Integrated Shield Plan T&C. I’m neither a doctor nor a claims officer who can make decision on this matter, but as far as I’m concerned, this T&C has been highlighted to him loud and clear (and in the presence of spouse and children too). In the end I ended off the conversation abruptly by saying I’m not a doctor who can advise on what treatment he needs, and I need to clear some documents before my 1215 lunch appointment. Hate it when people try their luck to manipulate situations to their advantage (Between D thinks said person just needs help and I shouldn’t be so sensitive).

Then around 12, client called and asked me to hold on to the paperwork and not submit it because he/she is concerned about market volatility now in view of some Trump remarks again (and this is after insisting that analysts have said US Market will rally in Q1). If you do not know how to market time, do not be a smart-aleck. And if you cannot take risk, just don’t invest. Don’t be so selfish, fickle-minded and inconsiderate to others – especially after spending 2 hours of my life on Wed doing unproductive paperwork for your fund switching (not 100% client’s fault, 50% is because my company makes the processes more tedious and cumbersome).

And finally, the next bomb! Over lunch with S, S asked me about clients who talk crudely (esp. over whatsapp) and I mentioned this fella who has a tendency to behave like this over whatsapp. And true enough after lunch, said person claimed that why insurer did not mail out the documents direct (Note: The documents will reach me 1st, I will scan and e-file before mailing/delivering them to client). And gave me an angry emoticon when I said I have yet to receive it on my end. What’s up with this crude passive-aggressive behaviour? 1st I never said the documents will be mailed to you direct, I just said will inform and advice on payment details on my end once I receive the documents. I haven’t receive anything – what’s there to advice. However its true that insurer has already send them out since last Friday 6 Jan 2016, and I should have received them already. Of course my company insists they did not receive (although the mailroom has a record of losing mails etc.)  – and because of the carry-over effect from client, I really took it out on the mailroom peeps!

Despite starting my day early, it turned up to be more infuriating rather than productive.And having very tight calves and tense shoulders – which sort of undid the tension release after Wed evening’s Hatha Yoga. And so I ended up ranting on my blog!

Realised a pattern – when I skipped my morning meditation on Tuesday, the day turned out quite horrid. Took Wed out of office, and did an early evening yoga class instead that lifted up my mood tremendously. Today I decided to prioritize early start over essential meditation and once again the day turned out pretty shitty. So immediate action is to resume my usual morning meditation and get my yoga practice back on track on Friday the 13th, clear my mind and start serious work on my major Q2 goals! And before all of that, some quality sleep (was very bothered by the heatwave this entire week)!!

Ending 2016 ……

Its only now – with 1 more day to go before 2016 comes to an official close that I finally have the time to wipe some dust off this blog as I’m working from home today.

December has been a busy and relatively productive month. I hesitated to say ‘productive’ or ‘very productive’ as I felt I could have managed my focus and energy levels much better …… before I can confidently say I’ve been productive. More important is the self-awareness to realize that …… and this will be something I have to keep working on in year 2017.

Sometimes plans, how well laid-out it can be, will not always go swimmingly / within our expectation.

One thing I have set out to do is to do more yoga over the festive season (christmas eve right till the new year) – as versus to just 1 class per week. My original plan today was to take the day off, go for lunchtime Stretch @ Yoga Lab …… followed by a relaxing lunch and some shopping in town. However a last minute quotation request from client came in last night. And so in the end, I sacrificed my home practice last night and sleep (eyes were already closing at 11+) to send out the quotation requests so that I could get some indicative responses by noon (as some insurers may be on half-day).

In the end, no indicative quote was forthcoming (as this is a specialized risk). Thankfully, I managed to seek client’s understanding that the time frame is too rushed, and we can only see some outcome in the new year.

And so I’ll do home practice today instead and go for a Stretch Class tomorrow morning. Interestingly, my original intention/workout plan for this week is to do a Stretch Class either on Friday or Saturday after attending a Hot Yoga 101 Class earlier on Tuesday evening. Flip-flopped a bit last night by putting myself on the wait-list for Yoga 101 at 1745 Hrs later, only to eventually cancel it (after getting a mat) and reverting back to my original plan of doing Stretch Class.

Which brings me to another point – setting and managing expectations.

When dealing with clients, clients will always want their needs to be attended first and on asap basis (even though it may neither be urgent nor important). Looking back now, although I wasn’t able to get an indicative quote today (which was the ideal scenario I had in my mind) – most important thing is that I got my client’s understanding that it may be difficult to firm things right now since its festive season. And he/she was pretty cool with it. So after some rough hiccups in the business relationship along the way, it is a sign of progress that I’m able to handle fickle natures a lot better now – by managing expectations accordingly.

And that brings me to the next point(s) – patience and intention.

Ideally, if the quote could come in today, I will be able to close off my work and have the afternoon off. Or from another perspective, simply tell the client that its not possible and let’s wait till the new year – and have the entire day off to do what I want to do. It was good that I kept going at it – despite the less than positive outcome for now …… and eventually we should be able to come to a more reasonable timeline to firm up something soon once everyone is back in normal working mode (and also when client manages to firm their equipment leasing details on their end too).

When this deal (and the deals/cases that I have been working on pre and post Christmas) eventually comes through – the rewards/fruits of labour will be that much sweeter and more precious. And so a little waiting here for now after having put in my best efforts!

And having the above clarity meant that I was able to go back to my original intention of closing year 2016 with a yoga class …… after starting my Christmas holidays with Hatha Yoga Class on Christmas Eve (where I completely blocked out work) and to end 2016 with another yoga class (with no distractions). As I have learnt in mediation and from yoga – setting your intention is important, as that will serve as our original purpose to why we set out to do that particular activity.

What was meant to be a random musings entry turned out to be a longer reflection piece (unplanned). It definitely feels good to be able to crystallize my thoughts and blog/write once again.

10 Days Into September ….

Pretty busy month in August with work keeping me occupied enough …… while my personal time management leaves much to be desired.

Essentially, I have been gradually straying from continually building/re-building good habits and maintaining a steady morning/work/exercise routine. To the extent that I have yet to get the yoga membership done up to start proper after talking about it from end July till now *gasp*

So I guess its a testament to how FAST time really files as we are 10 days into September! Pretty eventful start to September as of all things, laptop went dead on me over the weekend …… which means another breakdown for the Lenovo for the 2nd time in less than 2 years since it was bought, sigh. And so this means having to drop almost everything and get the laptop fixed ASAP – as I use it for work/business. Very bad timing as I had intended to get some strategic/planning work and paperwork (business placement) done.

Despite, all the bad, after going down to the Lenovo Service Centre @ Paya Lebar on Monday afternoon …… and explaining my situation to the staff there (not before some argument about the warranty registration which was due to some mix up in records on Lenovo’s end), I managed to get the repairs expedited. They replaced the hard disk (as the original hard disk failed) ASAP and I managed to collect it by Tuesday afternoon. At the same time, I was also able to pop by client’s office in the East to get a renewal cheque in. So it did not turn out to be so bad after all *grateful*

Got it back, struggled with paperwork and came to a realisation that P**S’s business placement processes need to be greatly improved as everything is too manual and requirements too rigid. If not, its time to walk! Spoke a bit with C on Friday evening in the office …… and came to a realization about a problematic client that I have been dealing with. (Note to self: Will tackle this issue after much procrastinating/sitting on it asap).

Finally have the long weekend to properly catch up on some strategic/planning work, and properly review/track my work/business …… as well as to finish up the 1st round of online assessment (mandatory T&C requirement). And also to rest/relax my mind, do some enjoyable stuff before another work week beckons!