#Gratitude for Awesome People

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Let me tell you something.

I know some amazing people. All kinds of amazingly intelligent, kind-hearted, there-for-you kind of people.

It’s noticeable to me that I gravitate to a certain type – we all do. But it’s really interesting when I think about the range of people that have come into my life. Having met so many people from different countries, cultures, and life experiences, you’d think it might be hard to adjust to ways of thinking or understand someone else’s background. But in the end, what really matters to me is what kind of person you are. And those people are thoughtful, reliable, and probably best of all – they challenge my thinking. Those are the kind of people we all need in our lives.

I’ve got my friends from long ago that have taken different paths from my own, but it doesn’t change the respect we have for each other or the way in which we value each other. I’ve got sets of friends from more recent years, having changed work and living environments that I also just can’t imagine my life without.

Perhaps the turning of a new year has got me thinking. It’s a hard time of year for many people for a few reasons and so I wanted to just throw my teeny bit of gratitude out into the atmosphere. I value the updates and conversations, the sharing of thoughts, the venting, and celebrations we have with and for each other. I think of you often and you know who you are. I just wanted you to know.

affection appreciation decoration design

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

 

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That Time I Went Surfing

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Our family trip this summer was to Waikiki. I hadn’t been since 1997, and the rest of the fam had never been, so why not head into the islands of the Pacific?

I prepped a little by watching a few episode of the new Hawaii Five-0, so I was ready for some ‘O ka’oihana Hawai’i.

One of the things we kept bringing up in conversation throughout the week was whether we should go surfing or not. Despite it being the end of August and fairly “quiet” in the water, there were still a lot of people out riding those waves. After many conversations of deliberation, we finally decided we would check out the surf lesson stations and just do it. We were in Hawaii, after all!

I was unsure until the last moment if I was going to boogie board with Bray or get on a big ole board…

Well, had I not gone surfing, I wouldn’t have said hello to Scott Caan as he swam by on his own board.  So I made a good decision. 😉

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brucyebabes/5610481153/

Obviously I didn’t take this photo. I was busy surfing and saying hello to Scott. 04-08-11 Oahu, HI Exclusive: Actor Scott Caan out surfing with some buddies in Oahu, HI. Scott is in Hawaii shooting the hit TV show ‘Hawaii Five-O’… Exclusive Pix by Flynet ¬©2011 818-307-4813 Nicolas 310-869-0177 Scott

Volunteer Time at Food Bank Singapore

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Foodbank.jpg

I’ve been doing a lot of volunteer time with the folks at the Food Bank Singapore for the last couple of years. When I lived in New York, our school would often have food drives for the NYC Food Bank and so when I moved to Singapore and found that my school had the start of a relationship with the fairly new Food Bank Singapore, I thought that this some work I could carry through from my last experience.

In my roles at the International School, I supported the development of the relationship of the school and the Food Bank by inviting representatives to give information sessions to students, enabling students to hold events to support the Food Bank, and organizing volunteer Saturdays for staff and families.

Although I have left that school community, I didn’t want my relationship with the folks at the Food Bank to cease because this is eradicating hunger is a cause I strongly believe in. The system isn’t ideal here in Singapore, but they are doing fairly well securing donations from large companies, hotels and the general public for beneficiaries. This community support clearly benefits the 10% of Singaporeans that are food insecure, but of course, the hope is that over time these beneficiaries will be able to become food secure on their own (as with any public service to the community).

If you are looking for a place to volunteer, Food Banks offer a number of different opportunties. Here are some of the things I’ve helped out with:

  1. Inventorying food at the warehouse
  2. Packing food bundles for beneficiaries
  3. Help littlies pack bags for delivery in the community
  4. Canvassing at the Food Expo & other large events
  5. Raising awareness of local food waste problems
  6. Assist at the Grab & Go (free food pick-ups to beneficiaries)
  7. Leading students in sorting food
  8. Chatting with many volunteers
  9. Data entry of requests and food distribution
  10. Researching worldwide food waste issues, etc.

Likely there is something that you may be interested in helping with, so get out there and do it!

 

 

Just When You Need It

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The last couple of weeks at work had me running near empty. Feeling like I was torn in so many directions, all energy spent. While still keeping up with the fitness routine as a way to barely stay balanced, I felt myself slipping into the abyss of exhaustion and negativity.

Since moving to and starting work in Singapore last year, I had mostly removed counting down to the next holiday because life became more manageable. But isn’t it true that the longer you invest your time in a place, the more work you take on? I’m a bit of a “yes” phase right now, and I’m okay with the saying yes… it’s just more like actual adulting again. So anyway, because the start to the year was more hectic than last – but in different ways – I found myself counting down to the long weekend.

And then it arrived! How glorious! The long weekend and a nice weekend getaway to Langkawi with Brett and a few friends. True be told, we all needed a recharge. Just a couple of days relaxing at the pool bar, reading, eating and enjoying each other’s company.

Grateful to have these opportunities to get away like this, especially with such lovely people.

travelwireasia.com

travelwireasia.com

Let’s Not Push It

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The start of a school year is more than exhausting for teachers and students on so many levels. Levels that many people do not realize.

Only a couple of weeks into the year, and teachers and students alike are suffering from colds, bronchitis, and such, thanks to the germ-fest we call school. During the school year it often seems impossible to leave time to rest when you have to attend meetings, plan, get ready for students and live your life.

It’s easy forgot that we are people with limits. That we need to eat, take a break and to have some quiet for bits of time. Balancing teaching and life is really difficult, but balance is the key to healthy teachers and kids. Most of the time what we think has to be done right now, really doesn’t. We need to prioritize what’s essential to have the next day run smoothly, and everything else will get done in due time. We need to lay off the idea that things are so urgent. We should ask ourselves where that pressure is coming from? Most of the time, likely it’s our our extremely high expectations of ourselves. So let’s evaluate what actually needs to get done, and not push ourselves beyond unreasonable limits.

Make a agreement with yourself. Maybe you don’t take work home during the week. Maybe you put your phone away an hour earlier than usual. Maybe you watch something mindless to help you unwind. Do SOMETHING for yourself. Because pushing yourself out of healthy limits isn’t worth it.

I Need To Be Out

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Ok, finally have settled into summer… It’s taken three weeks… But that doesn’t mean I’m relaxing full time. I’ve got things to do like work out obsessively!

I had been feeling a little tired in the mornings until this week (maybe from so many boot camp classes?) so would generally wait until late morning (9am – ha! 11ish) before venturing out and establishing my “summer routine”.

When out, this is what I noticed:

  1. I draw my energy from my surroundings. I need to be out soaking it up. When I’m not, I feel tired and lazy. When I’m out, I’m good to go! (No surprise here 😉 )
  2. I don’t mind the copious amounts of sweat dripping down my back in the humidity.
  3. I don’t mind walking for miles, feeling the tiredness in my feet watching people, looking at the architecture, flowers, snails, birds, geckos, trees, construction, the river, the bay, construction and more construction. And please note – I do actually stop to smell the flowers.
  4. I look forward to stopping at a local store or coffee shop to get an iced drink or take a look at the new treats I can find like some random flavor of Oreo or Kit-Kat.
  5. I prefer walking for miles than sitting in one place for too long.
Flowers I smelled at Gardens by the Bay

Flowers I smelled at Gardens by the Bay

While I didn’t actually learn these things about myself, I was reflecting the person I am and why I do the things I do.

It’s because I have ADHD (self-diagnosed, of course), or TADHD (the teacher version of ADHD) which you know if you’ve been reading my blog over time!

Ok, enough sitting. The day is almost over – it’s noon! Must get up and go somewhere else.

Life=Vacation

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Instead-of-wondering-when-your-next-vacation-is-maybe-you-should-set-up-a-life-that-you-dont-need-to-escape-from.

Well, Hello Jibber Jabber followers!

While my Singaporean adventures are posted on nextstopsing.wordpress.com, I have been thinking a lot about what to write back here on Jibber Jabber. I have a lot of ideas as usual. But if you have been reading since the beginning of JJ&H, you know already know I often have so many things to say/write, that I end up with nothing actually written.

So here is something I’ve been thinking about for the last several weeks…

I’m very fortunate to be able to travel while living in Singapore. Weekend getaways are very doable as there are many beautiful locations within a couple of hour flight time. Did I weekend travel when I lived in New York? Sure! But here it feels different. Every weekend away is a tropical vacation.

In fact, since I’ve moved to Singapore, my life feels like a vacation. Oh wait – before I left New York I started feeling like my life was turning vacationesque because of the role I was in at work and because I knew I was leaving the city with all it’s harshness…

Yes, I teach here – and it’s a hell of a lot of work. But because of the Groundhog Day weather we have, I never really know what day it is, or even month for that matter. I find myself really thinking about the date some days, like I have no clue that it’s winter. What a wonderfully refreshing way to live.

I recently read a quote that has really resonated with me since I read it. In a nutshell – “live a life you don’t need a vacation from.” How profound is that? Seriously profound! For too many years I felt like something was getting in the way of what I was wanting to do even with all of New York’s available opportunities.

I discovered that it’s way easier to live a vacation-life when you love where you are in every sense of the word. Did I love New York? Of course! But life is exponentially easier here. Is it a perfect place to live? No, but something so simple like not looking at the Weather Channel app before you get dressed makes life so much easier. I love the same weather everyday, I love the people I’ve met, I love my job, I love the travel, and I can’t say enough about the amazing opportunities at hand. When I travel now, I don’t actually need to say “I’m going on vacation” because I don’t need a vacation like I used to. For me, traveling has become what it should be: a priceless collection of life experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Share the Path

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I’ve been focusing diligently on being a kinder person, particularly to strangers, as a way to spread goodness in these turbulent times. It’s been going pretty well, I’d say.

So today I was excited to go running in the park, first time in at least a month. One of my most favorite things to do. It was nice to get out and be with other runners even in the chilly morning air.

I was about 2/3 through my run and I was having an impressive internal monologue, my mind beginning to clear as I rounded the bottom of the loop.

And then I see them. Three abreast and I can tell there’s no intention of moving over.

m.runnersworld.com

m.runnersworld.com

As much as I love the running community, the running pack mentality drives me crazy. When you see someone running toward you, isn’t it common courtesy to share the path? Maybe move behind one of your pack members?

Well it’s not. I moved over to the outside line, adjacent to the bike lane so the three could stay in their formation. Because I’m practicing kindness and patience, I decided it was not a good idea to slam into the side of her (which I’ve done), but instead just included in my monologue that she doesn’t know any better, that she is unaware of any sort of space considerations to others on the course… sigh…

Of course I didn’t let her lack of regard for another runner ruin my bliss, so I kept on like nobody’s business. I think about these things runners do, not because it interrupted my run or thoughts much, but because I know this is a common practice of hers and many others. A thoughtless practice.

Come on people, move! I’d rather smile at you while you move over than scowl because you didn’t. 🙂

I Miss You Warmth

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Walking around a little after work today getting some errands done helped me remember that winter will pass, but the walking around did make me miss some things I used to really enjoy long ago and not so long ago… particularly in warmer weather…

… running through the sprinkler

… after-work yoga at Laughing Lotus with Monica

… walking home from yoga in my yoga clothes

… ice cream treats from Dickie-Dee

… riding my bike to Red Rooster/Tags with Joc for our daily slush and donut

… jumping on the trampoline

… the smell of lip smackers

… listening to ’80’s hair bands on repeat

… frequent stops for froyo

… lake time with Jill

… Green Bay Resort in the Okanagan with Joc

… road trips to wherever

… green leaves and blossoms in Central Park

… walking out the front door and walking or running for hours

… patio dining

… long hours of daylight, waking up with the light and going to sleep as the sun goes down in the late evening

Sniff… I can’t wait for warmth.

Outdoor-Summer-Fun-300x200

The Reason I Can’t Sleep

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It’s probably not exactly the reason you may think… yes, I’m a little jet-lagged but I have been finding it harder to go to sleep recently. I’m an eight-hour sleeper usually so this six/seven-hour business is throwing me off! After some pondering, these are some reasons why:

1. I don’t want the day to end/I’m not ready to start another day

2. I am thinking about all the things I want to do

3. I want to read

4. I want to watch a movie/TV

5. Time is going too fast so sleeping means that more time is gone (translation – getting older!)

6. I’m over-tired

7. I’m afraid I’ll miss something, good or bad

8. I’m on my phone

I’m sure most of you can relate to at least half of these! What’s keeping you up at night?