I Choose to be Happy

It may seem a bit ridiculous but, to be happy is a choice we make daily.  In our action-packed lives we often forget to take a moment and consider what we are doing to ourselves – mind and body.  Somedays I feel like I’m losing myself and going down in a spiral of negative thoughts, negative energy.  And I have to check myself, rein in the thoughts and CHOOSE to be happy.  It’s an act of willpower, but once done it feels like…I can’t really articulate it, but everything just feels light light light.

So here is something I read today…

There comes a time in
life, when you walk away

from all the drama and

people who create it.

Surround yourself with

people who make you

laugh, forget the bad,

and focus on the good.

Love the people who treat

you right. Pray for the

ones who don’t. Life is

too short to be anything

but happy. Falling down

is part of life, getting

back up is living.


I have done it!  I’ve gone and created my own meetup group right here in Singapore.
River Valley Moms is now an official meetup group with 10 members and 5 more pending conifrmation!  All this within 12 hours of the group being launched.  I knew there had to be interest among the neighbourhood moms.  Strangely, there were no groups in the neighbourhood.  I wonder why?  Is the River Valley population too transient to sustain interest?  We will find out.  My first event is a tomorrow (excitement!!!).  We are meeting at a local playground.  Let’s see if anyone turns up… 
Oh, yes, I even have a tag line for the group –

“Let’s get together to laugh and play and create happy, memorable moments.”

Wise Words

I forget where I read this but it has stayed with me.

“Too often, we live our lives to meet everyone else’s expectations. If you design the life you want based on your values and priorities, you’ll be much happier.

Think of your life like a string of pearls. Every day, you want to find at least one pearl. It could be a fleeting moment—a joke share with your child, a compliment from a co-worker or hearing your favorite song on the radio. If you look out for positive moments and positive attributes in people, you will almost certainly find them and you will feel happier as a result.”

Singapore…An Update

My last post was in September 2008. That was almost 4 years ago. A lot has happened since 2008. For one, I now have two small children. For another, we have moved twice in three years and now own the apartment where we live. A lot has stayed the same. I still work for the same company, for the same client. I still like to cook, travel and read.

I have now lived in Singapore for as long as I lived in NYC. And this is home now; though a day doesn’t go by without remembering, reminiscing and recollecting. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. We have a full life here – with kids, friends, jobs, and each other. But it is not NYC.

Well, What A Weekend!

I used to be the avid Formula One fan once upon a time in Bombay. Then I moved to the U.S. where the idea of waking up before 9am on a Sunday morning pretty much killed the F1 spirit. I didn’t really miss it. Baseball kept me occupied from April to October and football from September to January. (No wonder February and March were always my least-favourite months, no sports!)
Anyway, this year Singapore debuted on the F1 scene. And how! A road race. A night race. Three collisions. A stalled car. An undetached fuel hose. Pit lane penalties. Bumps. Sparks. A winner who started 15th on the grid! Oh, what a race! And I almost didn’t make it. Yeah, I was incredibly blasé about the race. Didn’t even bother buying tickets. Then good ol’ Murzy showed up with two extra tickets and the party was on. F1 is so much more than a car race. It is a licence to party unabashedly. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up till 5.30am. I can’t remember the last time I came home from a night out and made eggs. It was like Sg had decided to do away with its sterile image for a whole weekend. When we left Clarke Quay at 5am Sunday morning, every eatery on the way home was OPEN and PACKED!
Sg put up a great show. In its own characteristic way it made F1 Uniquely Singapore. Will definitely be back next year.

Almost Nine Months!

It takes 40 weeks for a human to create another of its own species. So in the time it takes to create life, what have I done in Sg?
Well, first and foremost I have made it home. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Singapore is HOME. I like the way my apartment is shaping up and I’m looking forward to my first Diwali here.
Second I have tossed away my immigrant mentality and boldly accepted an expat mentality; just in time for global financial crises which should be reason enough to cut spending and adopt the frugal life of a new immigrant.
Third, I have worked harder than I ever have. At some point in the future I will look at this period of adjustment and be proud of myself.
Fourth, I have travelled to Vietnam and Indonesia. Not as much as I expected but something is better than nothing. In the same time, M has amassed about 200,000 Krisflyer points.
Fifth, I have become a better and more efficient cook. And it’s my number one stress-buster. How? Think chopping vegetables.
Sixth, I have learnt not to drown my plants. Hopefully the three new ones will survive longer than my poor basil plant.
Well, there have been other minor accomplishments but so much more to do (like buy our first house or have a baby!). As the year runs away from us again, I contemplate what the new year will bring (a return to the immigrant mentality for sure!). Top of my list – eat healthier and maintain an exercise regime. I still don’t know how veggie curry and rice will fit into that but constantly being frustrated at not finding clothes that fit well is a motivator as strong as any.

Six Months

It’s been a while since my last report from this new place called Singapore that is quickly beginning to feel like home. I have days when I feel uprooted and lost and I’m best avoided on those days. But mostly I feel good. Life is finally beginning to make sense again. My job is beginning to make sense. The roads, the food, the accent, the clothing sizes, the lingo (ok lor may sound like ok lah but there is a world of difference in the meaning), the odd stuff (they blow dry your hair before they cut it) – it’s all beginning to make sense. Phew!

I’m continually amazed at the human capacity to retain memories selectively. When I reflect at the time past I mostly have good memories. Of course, over-writing the memories of the recent past may take some time but I’m sure somewhere in the recesses of my mind the process has already begun.

I’m also amazed at the human capacity to adapt and adopt. Yes, I came to Sg kicking and screaming but once here I have quickly adjusted to my new environment. And now a feeling of always having been here creeping in. And that feels good.

Four Months

It has been four months since I moved to Sg. Four months since I started work. And it has been one roller-coaster ride. Everyone wants to know how I like it here, how I’m adjusting, etc. etc. And I’ve been maintaining a ‘so-far-so-good’ attitude.
But last night when I was coming home from a long day at work it hit me. Of all the places in Asia we could have moved to I’m glad/fortunate we moved to Sg. The city is a perfect counterpoint to our absolutely-out-of-control life. There is no chaos. There is a structure for everything. There is guidance provided for every step you take. There is a plan to tackle any and all issues. Everything is well-organized and fairly predictable.
The Bbayite and New Yorker in me may rebel and revolt at this statement but I’m beginning to REALLY like this place.

One More SQ Story…(Gosh, these are piling up fast!)

Back in December, M suggested I use his abundant miles to buy a business class ticket for my journey from NYC to S’pore. It was a good idea considering it was a long journey (18 hours) and I would be sad and maybe bawling. Surprisingly all 40-odd business class seats were sold out though you could buy as many economy tickets as you wanted.

Today, when M was taking the very same flight from NYC, SQ was looking for volunteers to downgrade from business to economy for S$2000 in cash and a US$100 in-flight voucher! I’ve never heard of anything like this!

I’m fast becoming a die-hard fan of this airline. Are they publicly traded? Can I own their stock? And when are we flying the A380 to Sydney?

Can’t Digest This Donut!

According Time Out Singapore, donuts are the new craze in Sg. There is a donut shop called Donut Factory in the mall adjoining my office. It’s a neat and hip-looking place with a velvet rope and all. At any time of the day people line up for up to an hour to buy the freshly-prepared donuts. One day the line was only 4-5 customers long, so I joined it. I’m sorry to say but the trans-fat loaded, probably frozen at some point, baked God-knows where Dunkin Donuts donut is much better.

This morning a man walked in to the office with three large boxes of Krispy Kremes. My eyes lit up (I don’t know why because KK always makes me sick). Excitedly I asked, “There’s a Krispy Kreme in Sg?”. He laughed out and replied “No, these are from Hong Kong!”. So this person actually got on a plane with three large boxes of Krispy Kremes! Talk about being crazy! And think about the donut ooops!…. brownie points he is going to earn!