Monday, 12 August 2013

Enjoying A Very Long Weekend

Vacations Are A Waste Of Time

I am a nightmare to my team at work on my days off.  I usually spend my vacation time feverishly responding to emails on my Blackberry,  sending them on  panic-stricken wild goose chase around the office in their bid to respond to my decisions made remotely while on vacation.

If you thought I was a nightmare to my team at work on my days off, you should have a chat with my family who would usually revolve their time and schedule around my vacation time so that they could get some conversation time with me.  Usually by the end of that vacation, the husband might be looking for a butter knife in an attempt to slit his wrist, or the boy might decide to elope with a local girl.  All these just because I kicked up a fuss about the Angkor Wat not having any WiFi, or perhaps the nearest Starbucks in Siem Reap was an ocean away back in Singapore.

My vacation time was never fun, I never felt relaxed and I felt that there was more stress while on vacation than when I was at the office.  Having a day off was definitely frivolous and decadent to me.  I saw it as a complete waste of time when I could do so much more with my time.

My Stressful Moments

However, in the last few months, as I was thrown into a neck-breaking schedule of balancing the management of a huge project at work with my Tarot coaching and reading appointments,  there were so many stressful matters on the family front that had been simmering under the surface within my environment.  

Joel had a "meltdown moment" with his nursing course.  While he loved the hands-on practical side of nursing during his industrial attachment at the hospital, he disliked the academic aspects of studying for the examinations.  It did not help that one of his course mates had decided to quit the course halfway to pursue other interests.  I could see despondency and confusion setting in his mind.  Clearly my boy needed me.

My grandmother had a fall 2 weeks ago in the bathroom and broke her wrist.  The accident affected her ability to walk and because she needed physiotherapy, she was warded in the hospital for 2 weeks, with her arm in a sling.  Granny is a spritely old lady with a mind and a spirit of a 25 year old.  Most of her misery at the hospital was due to the fact that she did not have many people to talk to and worse, she could not play mahjong.  This was compounded with the fact that half the family were residing overseas hence leaving Granny with only a few people who could care for her.   Clearly, my granny needed me.

During those 2 weeks when Granny was in the hospital, my Mum did the grand tour of hospitals in Singapore because Dad was also checked into one to get his Glaucoma fixed and he had to have medical check-ups before and after that surgery.  Dad and Mum clearly needed me.

Then there was David.  This hubby extraordinaire  had been standing by as my pillar of support.  He fetched and sent me to the hospital to visit Granny,  accompanied me to visit Mum and Dad, counselled Joel during that meltdown, and throughout all that, I forgot that he needed me too.  David usually took on work stress in his quiet and stoic way.  I was the more verbose of the pair and would be talking at length about how stressful work was or how upset I was about Granny's fall or Dad's surgery or Joel's meltdown.  In the Tarot world, I called David my King of Cups (more on the King of Cups can be found on the post dated 12 Aug. 2013 at, always calm, composed and nurturing.  I was on the other hand always high-strung and perpetually dramatic about everything happening around me.  

So I had decided that vacation time was not about toting the camera to climb Mt Kinabalu or slathering on the sunblock whilst sipping on a glass of pina colada by the pool.  My vacation time was quality time with the family just doing nothing but enjoying the moment with them.

Much To Be Thankful For

Incidentally, Singapore celebrated its 48th National Day last week  with a long weekend that coincided with another public holiday when my Muslim friends celebrated Eid al-fitr ( ).  I love long weekends because it meant I had more time to blog, walk the dogs, sleep in, and wake up to a scrumptious brunch.  However, this National Day celebrations got me thinking about how much I was thankful for.  We were in a stable and prosperous country, with an eclectic mix of races that provided me with friends from all walks of life and my family was safe and happy.

So I had decided to make the long weekend even longer, by taking another 2 days off work to enjoy some time with the family.  It was timely also because I wanted to make time to celebrate Mum's birthday with a day dedicated to pampering her.

My Very Long Weekend

So my very long weekend was spent:

1) reminiscing with Granny while visiting her at the hospital, about that silly time when she had decided to purchase a scooter to relive her youth.  I remembered she fell off that scooter while riding it and ended up with a fracture too;

2) gallivanting around town with Joel to find accessories for his newly constructed terrarium.  I cannot understand his sudden love for plants.  I might have rubbed it off on him;

3) tending to wee pots of Lavendar, Strawberry, Caribbean Chilli Pepper and Coffee together with Joel.  As a birthday present, Joel got me some dirt...yes, dirt, and some seeds so that I could cultivate my green fingers on my days off;

4) watching Dad's favourite programme, Ellen together with Dad.  I cannot understand Dad's obsession with Ellen DeGeneres, but he loved her humour and it thrilled me to see Dad laughing heartily while watching her antics on her talk-show;

5) flying kite with David at the Marina Barrage.  Let me rephrase that.  David would be struggling with getting the kite up while I held on tightly to the dogs for fear that one of the wee dogs might get entangled onto a neighbouring kite-flyer's  kite-string and fly away into the sunset;

6)  having dinner and drinks with our BFFs because one of them was celebrating her first National Day as a new Singaporean. Ok, being originally Malaysian and always claiming that our Singapore national dishes were actually Malaysian, she was too embarrassed to have her Singaporean status made too publicly known, so I would spare her by not mentioning her name here;

7)  spending the day with Mum, taking her out for a shopping spree, enjoying a scrumptious lunch with her, introducing her to the world of cafe au lait, cafe lungo, cafe piccolo and cafe latte and just having a nice mother-daughter talk about the trials and tribulations of being a mother.

Enjoying My Days Off

My days off spent most simply are always the best.  No expensive shopping trips and exotic beaches could replace the time spent with the family.  Because I had sufficient time to catch up with my family and enjoy every moment I had with them in the last week, I am now more ready than ever to go back to work very much recharged, re-energized and well-rested.

"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want. " ~Bill Watterson,   Calvin and Hobbes

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 years old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when loosely translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".

David and I enjoying a picnic with the mutts.  Spot that kite all tightly rolled up waiting to be flown?

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