The Long Haul

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I’m fairly fresh off a long haul flight from California, where I spent about 12 days with friends from around the country. Part of the trip was leisure (with work time) and part was conference. Just a quick thought about it…

Although I tend to groan a bit about having to sit in an enclosed space for the better part of 24 hours, I cannot imagination not making the trip. I may live on the opposite side of the world from my people, but the journey in both directions makes it easier knowing that there are people I love on both side of that long trek.

Those uncomfortable hours spent sitting in that chair, feeling the puffiness in my legs are definitely worth it.

 

 

Same Sun, Same Moon

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One morning last week, I had this great realization of how small yet completely enormous and magnificent the world is.

In a common morning Voxer chat with friends in North America, Meghan posted an amazing picture of the sunset as she looked from her window in Salt Lake City. 

Literally, in that same moment, I stood at my window, looking to the east, awaiting for the Singapore sun to rise. In response to her sunset picture, I took and sent a photo of that same glorious sun. Right then, I felt so close and so far away from my friends at the same time. It was a really cool moment to share with small of my dear friends that are so far away.

Many times I’ll take evening photos of the moon and hashtag it #samemoon, tagging friends that are abroad. It’s our way of showing we are thinking of each other, although separated by half the world.

But this morning’s sun was an occurrence that made me really miss my friends, and even though we are in touch often, I miss their faces and being with them. Maybe I’m feeling a bit sad about not having made the trip with Brett to North America for the holidays, or maybe I was just feeling a bit affected by the movie I had just seen (thanks Ryan and Emma, for #LaLaLand), or maybe I just miss my people. But that’s okay, I’ll see them soon.

 

Break Time

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It’s winter break, a time span of three weeks between semesters one and two. A time to recharge and replenish. And I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. This semester was such a highly intense time of so many things on different levels that I found myself running low on patience too often.

But now it’s the time for me to seriously “break” for a few days. Normally Brett and I would leave right away and go somewhere near or far, to detach as soon as possible. But this year Brett left for North America a couple of days before my semester ended, so I’m here in Sing on my own for a few days of winding down and getting the last bits of organizing done in the new apartment.

At first, I found myself quite uncertain about not joining Brett on the trip to North America. I wouldn’t be seeing my family or his this holiday season otherwise, but now…. now, I’m a bit relieved to have been absent from the whirlwind of driving to see as many people as possible in the tiniest amount of time. Brett has really jammed a lot in the few days he is there, so he is really taking one for the team this time around! Had I ventured on this trip with him, I don’t think I would have been the best version of myself, on so many levels. I just don’t think it would have been good for me or anyone to go right away! Seeing my family and friends virtually will do until 2017.

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I really needed some nothing time before escaping during this break. I’ve had three days and I’m still not to the nothing part, but I’m getting there, and let me tell you – it feels glorious! Shouldn’t be long until life is sorted and before I know it, Brett and I will be headed to Bali for some quiet time, amazing food and rejuvenation.

Just what we both need.

 

 

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.

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Versions of Home

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We all have our own versions of home. For some it’s the house you grew up in, for others it’s where family is.

For me, home is where I love to be, where I’ve grown and become a better person, and where my loved ones are. I’m one of those fantastically lucky people who has physical homes in three countries, and in versions of home in several locations sprinkled around the planet, wherever my loved ones happen to reside.

Last week I came back from a great trip to New York and Washington, D.C. I had been in New York in March and was unsure of my feelings about being back upon arrival. I equated the uneasiness to the poor weather, maybe not enough detachment time yet.

This time, when I arrived to JFK after a long 23 hour journey, I felt like I was coming home to this beautiful summery place. I guess I’ve already become a fair-weather New York lover, completely detaching myself from anywhere/time that will have a temperature less than 25 degrees Celsius… But there’s just something about the beauty of a city being in full bloom and people being in summer mode. It was so lovely and I looked forward to being there.

This trip, I really bounced around, splitting my nights between hotels and friend’s homes, which was fun. I managed to store my luggage as I moved around. Plus summer clothes make it so easy to throw things in a small bag for a night or two, and be on your way. I easily fell into the same summer groove that I’ve known for the past nine summers. The trip to DC was fun and normal, and my conference was fab as usual.

And at the end of a packed 12 days, I felt like I was leaving home to go home, a different version of it anyway. My most comfortable version of home is wherever Brett and I are together, and that could really be anywhere. I have a lot of people to thank for making my trip to my New York home an excellent one, and I look forward to all of my trips home, whether it’s Edmonton, New York, or Singapore… or wherever that may be in the future.

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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.

Restored Belief

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Let’s face it, the world is a huge mess right now: backlash against the police, non-peaceful protesting, shootings, hostage situations, and on… Luckily for me, I feel like spending time in Singapore has restored my belief in kindness and humanity.

Having time away from NYC and being able to spend time getting to know some new communities reminded me that there are places that can be peaceful, even in a large urban center.

My belief in the kindness of people has been stored…

How refreshing for a government agent to understand your circumstance and try to make things a little easier for you by giving you a few extra minutes at the counter to get your things together.

How lovely that people can just wait patiently in comfy chairs for their numbers to pop up on the screen at the post and government offices.

How peacefulness watching traffic flow without the constant blowing of horns.

How novel having a cashier that actually smiles and greets you because she enjoys her job.

How deliberate people are to leave the particular seats open on the train for people who really need them.

How calm a crowd can be, ensuring that everyone is enjoying themselves.

Of course I’m not saying there is no kindness in New York; it just seems few and far between when you go to a place where it’s so prevalent. Now that I’m back in the city, I’ll look be looking more diligently for that kindness. I want to keep my restored belief in people. But when I feel that belief diminishing, I will be the kindness and humanity, in the hopes that it will restore other’s belief in it too.

 

Five More Hours

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It’s 7pm on NYE and I could just head to bed and go to sleep.

Brett and I had a nice late afternoon lunch and beer stop at an Aussie place here in Robertson Quay. I was quite impressed with the food and happy to see a Boston vs Detroit hockey game on the TV.

And now we are home… at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. This is not new; we aren’t New Year’s Eve people. But for today we said we’d have a nap and head down to the pool later, hoping to see the fireworks at Marina Bay.

We will see if that actually happens!

Have fun tonight, whatever fun is to you!

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Something Is Wrong With This Picture…

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I was just reviewing my Jibber Jabber page, taking note of my widgets in particular. My running widgets, actually…

I remember a year ago at this time I was starting to feel a little sad about removing the previous year’s race widgets from the sidebar. Removing those memories from my blog… Yes they live on in my mind, my Instagram or Facebook, but I like having those little boxes reminding me of all the races I’ve participated in! There is one little box that will remain, of course. The OMG I DID IT widget box. That stays forever.

So anyway, as I was scanning down the page, I noticed something. There was wrong with this picture… No registered races for January! What?! None?!

I tried to find something to register for while in Singapore, but no luck. Because I am here another week and a half and I will be away the last two weekends in January also, I must look for a run to register for on MLK long weekend! Granted I will be doing my own running, probably mostly on the treadmill, but no races? Glad January is so busy but really! Usually it’s such a blah month I guess with it being pretty booked up so far, I didn’t notice! Oh well, it’s all good stuff! A great way to get 2015 started!

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Year of Change

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As 2014 wraps up, I think about how fast time has gone. Was it really a year ago that I had the crazy busy Christmas break? A trip to Edmonton to see my family, a wedding in North Carolina and then to Phoenix to be with Brett and the kids? Yes, it sure was.

The beginning of 2014 proved to be somewhat mechanical with Brett and I continuing to work in the same jobs we had for a few previous years. But then May came, Brett got an offer for a new job and the changes started rolling!

By June I found out I was accepted into ASCD’s Emerging Leaders program. Brett started a new job AND I was also accepted into the 2014 and 2015 NYC marathons on the same day.

In July I became somewhat of an anxious mess, but eased into my marathon training. Spent some time in San Diego with Alaa and Monica, then went to DC to participate in my first ASCD L2L event.

In August my training increased and I began mentally preparing for Brett to go to Singapore for the month of September. I also started a new job. No more teaching at the same school I had been for the previous eight years. Emotions and anxiety running high!

In September Brett was away and I started my new position. Many new routines and anxiety not improving! Pretty intense marathon training. A lot of newness this month!

In October Brett returned from Singapore but only for what seemed like a hot second because he had to be in Austin for a couple of weeks. Good thing was I was able to go to Austin for the long weekend to hang out with him. Marathon training became somewhat derailed for a week in particular due to two migraines! No bueno. But the good news was, by the end of the month, the anxiety began waning as the training tapered.

In November Brett made the move to Singapore – on my marathon weekend. Thankfully I had Alaa and Brooke with me over those transition days to soften the blow. Days at the new job were not ideal but at least I didn’t have the same stress of teaching. A break from running was okay for a couple of weeks, but then I ready to get back at it by mid-month.

And somehow December rolled in, becoming the second month of Brett being away. The job improves sightly but it’s still not necessarily what I signed up for… Going to Singapore for three weeks over the holidays was what I had been waiting for – despite the snafus with managers about the days off and the derailed departure because of a passport that would have expired in four months.

Now that I’m here, I feel like I have a clearer picture of what I need to do in the beginning of 2015. The first three months will be extremely busy with travel and fun friend/NY stuff. But it’s another year of change. Good change. Somewhat less dramatic, but also somewhat more.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading this year.

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