Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Already February In 2023

Time truly flies and it is not as if I am having fun. On the contrary instead, I have a jam packed schedule that never seems to abate at all.

Today is Chap Goh Meh or the final day of the 15 days of celebration for Chinese Lunar New Year. I also learnt today that Chap Goh Meh is the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day and that single women would usually toss Mandarin oranges in the river or canal to find true love!

Bah…I will never find true love and gave up on that a long time ago. These days, I just plod on and do what needs to be done for my folks, my work and for self.

Life is what gives and my good doctors have offered me philosophical advice –

“Live for today as tomorrow is just an illusion” this is from Fair Maiden who has achieved meditation master status and is my good doctor.

” Each surgery, each time is unique to itself, just like life itself.
One step at a time, look forward.”
– this is from a Zen master who is also my good doctor.

We now have air balloons in the skies of USA – another spat is in the making as it does seems lame for China for to encroach onto their airspace. I do not know much about the “political underpinnings” of what is going on, but it is a tad wrong to encroach onto another’s air space I feel.

I hope tensions do not escalate as we do not need China and USA to be at war like Russia with Ukraine. This war between Russia and Ukraine is just taking too long to resolve and it is not doing anyone in the world any good.

I have a full week ahead which includes seeing White Coats to sort out my medical issues, volunteering to do some social work and being interviewed and sharing on how to spot signs of dementia as my father has cognitive issues.

I must stay positive. So should all of us really!

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Look What My Mum’s Neighbor Gave Her

Mum’s neighbor is a staff nurse at a restructured hospital. She is a frontline warrior as I call her as she braved Covid-19 and up till now, have not been able to take annual leave.

Staff Nurse lives with her brother. Both are singletons and they dote on my parents, helping me by getting my parents their meals on weekends as they work shifts.

Staff Nurse’s colleagues are very creative and used hong bao wrappers to make a nice basket for me.

This is the year of the Rabbit and the hong bao wrappers all carry images of the Rabbit

I find this paper basket useful to hold tissue paper for my use. It is also handy to hold my knick knacks like eraser or that elusive pen or a small bottle of embrocation oil like Tiger Balm or a tube of Bengay.

I had no space to take one of these ornate Chinese New Year decorative centrepieces.

Beautifully done, it decorated my parents side cabinet top and dining table.

Yes, admittedly, nurses are talented artists too. 😀

I am grateful to my mum’s neighbors who shower my mum and dad with love too.

Thank you both for helping me.

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Fear Of Not Being Agile Or Adept In Embracing Change

As a minion of people management, I often see how minions are resistant to change or refuse to change.

A floor above mine, is Yul Brynner’s Pop’s Kingdom. Pop is the scion of investments and the one with the Midas touch. Yul Brynner I feel, is Pop’s preferred child above the other docile one.

Pop’s kingdom is like T Rex land when compared to Yul Brynner’s turf, which is IT savvy, paperless and completely in tune with digitalisation. Hot desking, shared spaces and truly an open concept without distinction of hierarchical class in space for directors and above.

If you walk into Pop’s kingdom, people minion will say if they adopt change or digitalization, they will walk. People minion rule the kingdom and Pop is okay with it as he is also of this generational mindset.

Whilst we toggle with laptop to beam our digital presentations onto Smart TV screens and or large Dell monitors, Pop’s kingdom uses projectors.

I was told by IT that Pop is now adopting our style of using 75″ or above smart TVs and will finally adopt and use it. This is indeed a stride in the right direction.

But they will still like the feel of paper and have claims filed using old school paper copies, with sign off before minions get credited.

Mindset change is important and I am always singing the mantra in my heart that we must all be adept and agile to change – adapt or be left behind.

Gen Zs and millennials are not a problem – post baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y are less savvy whilst the Strawberry Gen is caught in the middle.

I was very sorry to hear from Piglet that her spouse was laid off as the industry changed and evolved under new management. I likened it to the case of my MR EX when he realized that his real estate business was in a dog eat dog world in the 1980s and till 2000s. Had he remained in it, today is boom town Charlie for him as head honcho of real estate business as rentals are sky high, sales are booming.

MR EX diversified into coaching and mentoring business. He sold services based on ” saliva” as capital, not assets. The Pandemic taught him to innovate and use Zoom. Today he is on Tik Tok trying to catch the trend.

When I compared to Piglet’s spouse, I felt for Piglet who is stressed by her spouse’s state of worklessness at this current time.

When I reflected on Piglet’s spouse situation, it was akin to my charge of minions when I had to say goodbye to a chap who worked with us for 15 years as he refused to change with the digital world. He lost the fit for his role.

I asked self if Piglet’s spouse had also lost the ” fit” for his old role and if he will be able to bounce back to a rejuvenated environment where paper sales is extinct and one sells different things to different folks?

The fear is real when moving towards change. But as I always tell my charges – one must change with the times or be changed out.

If one can afford to be out of work, then it is fine else those in their mid 40s and above will find it hard to reintegrate back into society’s working world.

My only advice for those struggling to get a job back is not to be afraid.

Take a step down, to take a step forward.

Abandon or perish the thought that you will still get the same salary for what you used to do. There are younger folks out there, willing to work for lesser and can deliver the same, faster or take on more work load.

Change industries if need to and you will survive as you get down and dirty to learn the new ropes, new trade and begin your new journey to excel in it.

If I can do it, so can you.

I was under evil lords, like Electrical Lord and Scorpion Lord. I am glad I left them as they are not doing well, especially Scorpion Lord. As for Electrical Lord, if not for his siblings, he would be down and out.

I learnt, I adapted and I moved on.

I am also aware that there is no iron rice bowl (Mao’s theory back then in historical China) and no one owes anyone a job.

This is also painfully true as to why Singaporeans cannot afford to retire as there is no free handouts to allow anyone to choose not to work.

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Think Thoughts

I cannot help but think how life will pan out for me? I am pretty sure, every human I have known have asked this question of themselves. Yet, none of them are the wiser, including me. But wait….unless that person is on a higher plane of think thoughts, achieved an attitude of letting life go on its course, to the exactness of fate then this question will never arise.

Mr Malaysia, a business partner of my minion role, suffered a retinal detachment in one eye. It took him some 3 days before he decided to act on it. He drove self to Singapore to seek medical treatment without medical insurance coverage. Surgery cost him $48,000.

Mr Malaysia is zen about things in life. He is the only Malaysian I know who will trust society and leave his car parked without locking it in Malaysia. It is not a cheap make or model and yet, his trusting of the society he lives with did not leave him with any theft!

I admire his ability to zen out and not fret or be upset about anything. He is fully covered under company insurance to have his surgery taken care of in Malaysia but he could not find an available slot.

Dr James, a neurosurgeon, thought about doing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) some years back and today when I broached the subject with him, he told me he completed his class and is now doing TCM clinics on Wednesdays. I should give him a try and see how the outcome for my stiff spine.

I am warned of not overdoing things else my S1 spine will need another screw. My spine is and will continue to be stiff says Dr James. Sigh, the price to pay for doing a lot of things in life and working hard, but not smart.

So, back to my think thought of how my life will pan out? I have a big fear that my old age will be tough as mobility will be a challenge.

I will never be free of White Coats and I have to accept that.

In terms of activities, there is a lot I cannot do anymore.

Aaah well, I guess I can still hug Garfield, my inanimate furball and know he is loyal to me, never leaving my side unless I stupendously misplace or leave him somewhere!

I should just advise self to stop thinking as nothing can be done for me.

Fate….

Divine intervention…..

Karma……

Whatever it may be, que sera, sera!

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National Day Awards – Public Service Star

HRH President Halimah on stage taking us all in the hall through our National Anthem
These 3 men are Aides De Camp. They are professional uniformed men in Police Force, Army or Singapore Civil Defence Force. Major Ang from SCDF was assigned to take care of me. She and the other ladies were just superb.
The prestigious medal

I was treated like a star, fom start to the end! My car was escorted to a specially reserved lot and I was met on arrival by Major Ang.

I was personally shown to my seat. My dad was given the same VIP treatment.

I saw men decked with medals. I stopped and chatted with an Assistant Superintendent of Police at Marine Parade station. He showed me his scars from fending off a crook who slashed him. I am glad he is okay and still proudly serving as an officer.

I met a high court judge, who was also coroner and now heading the investors compliance unit based in Prime Minister’s Office.

Thank you Singapore, my lil red dot for letting me serve you.

I share my medal with my team of doctors who have kept me alive so that I can continue to serve society.

Without them, it would be impossible.

Thank you Drs Boey Wah Keong, James Tan Siah Heng, Lim Yi Jia and Lui Hock Foong.

Goodwood Hotel was the official caterer but the wide variety of food from Malay, Indian, Chinese, Dessert, International stations were cold when it should be warm.

My dad and I did not enjoy the food and so we left. I was so lucky to see that Neighbor hung food on my gate. Fried noodles!! Yummy!

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The Long Awaited For Moment

Tomorrow is when I get to meet yet another Duchess of Yore and the other Dukes and Duchesses for the award ceremony.

Mr Nice texted me to ask if he needed to publish a congratulatory note in the newspapers for me. My reply was candid – “who am I?” and “not necessary” as I do not need the pomp, pageantry and fanfare.

To be honest, I did not like donning a monkey suit to go on stage and get the award. Such acts of dressing up is such a chore as I am so used to dressing down since Covid-19 threw fashion vogue out the window.

I have decided to wear my black New Balance sneakers and pray that my right leg and spine co-ordinates for me to climb those few steps to get onto the stage and shake the hands of Duchess of Yore. Yes, I will need to sanitize after to ensure I do not take home any unwanted viruses.

I have put in my father’s name as plus 1. I felt if he saw what I did to garner society’s accolade, he might stop looking down on me and feel that comparatively speaking, I am a little better than his useless other 2 children. But I know it will never happen as I am always a pariah.

I did inform the aide de camp managing me for the event that I will be bringing my father who has cognitive issues and that he needs to be eyed over when I am on stage in case he needs to use the bathroom facilities.

Aide de camp are honorary active members of the forces who serves the President of the Republic of Singapore. I was told there are 103 of them appointed by the President to manage events of national or international significance.

The event will take 5 hours as I need to sit through all the awards ceremony. I cannot leave after taking my medal.

In 2015 when I received my first medal, I could bring both my mother and father to witness my ceremony. But since Covid-19, the organizer has restricted to only 1 guest.

Last night my right hand middle finger started to trigger and it was entirely stiff. My right leg was also stiff with pain. I sincerely hope my limbs behave tomorrow to make it up the stage and down without embarrassing me, myself and I.

Strangely, I am not proud of myself. I should be but perhaps it is because I do not see a need for a medal to show or remind me what I have done. Life is impermanent and after I am gone like dust in the wind, these medals are of no significance to me.

It is not as if I have a loving family to honor my existence. Besides, I did what I do to help society as I know what is it like to marginalized or looked down upon as an insignificant person. My family taught me life’s lessons and I looked outwards to serve and gain what I felt could benefit others like me.

In fact my parting words to the head honcho of Singapore was that I could help society but not myself.

Such a shame I felt.

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Prof’s Diagnosis – I Might Be In Trouble

Today was my appointment with Prof.

He was very kind to let me know that he has spoken with a very good dental surgeon colleague who is not only a qualified peridontist but a pathologist. He felt that this dental surgeon would take very good care of me during the procedure and will be able to figure out why my gums keep bleeding and are heavily inflammed.

I appreciated Prof’s care as he counselled me by advising me to let go of my stressors. It was clear to Prof that my stressful dysfunctional family was wreaking havoc on my health, stirring my autoimmune disorder to rear its angry head.

I asked the same hard question that I asked my earlier Peridontist if this condition is symptomatic of cancer?

Prof’s reply was the same as that Peridontist. Constant inflamed cells will possibly turn cancerous. Hence the need to tackle it.

For now, topical application of Oracort E up to four times a day and or gargling with crushed Dexamethasone 4mg per dose.

Long term oral consumption of Dexamethasone will drive adrenalin and increase blood sugar. So it is not a good drug for me to take long term.

To help me save consultation fees, Prof will help me by speaking to his identified surgeon on if I can be seen as a subsidised patient. In Lil Red Dot, subsidised medical care doea not allow anyone to have a surgical doctor by choice. It has to be by the luck of the draw and usually a junior doctor to manage such cases.

I am tired. The last year has seen me undergo 3 major surgeries back to back. I do not want to battle cancer again 🙄

Meanwhile I wait for Prof’s email to confirm date of the biopsy I need.

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Why Forgiveness Is Hard – The Proverbial Argument

I hate it when soothsayers or motivational speakers verbalize words or throw out saintly advice such as ” Forgive” and you will be happier! Or ” Forgive and feel better!”

I admit I cannot do it. Easier said than done in my opinion. I look at a murderer who for example murdered someone and the family members are “expected” to grant “forgiveness” ? This is a tad hard I feel.

Or I present a less stark example – a cheating husband. How will the wife feel? Forgive and pretend it never happened? Will things be the same?

Marriage counselling they say and a divorce is managed. But how can the wife believe that the man will not stray again?

I cannot understand how motivational speakers can do a song and a dance or a jig amidst blaring music to whip up the aura of forgiveness just like that!

I had the opportunity to hear off the lips of the same motivational speaker who tells me what he spouts at these thunderous and prosperous sessions to sign up unsuspecting victims to part with their monies to buy their motivational books or digital recordings that it is all “crap” and that they prey on the emotions of the people they want to earn income off!

How nasty is that?

I read on Facebook, posts about “forgiveness” and literally roll my eyes.

In honesty, I find it hard to forgive. Even if I can bring self to forgive, I can never forget how nasty people have behaved towards me, took advantage of my kindness for weakness and for that matter, my own family.

I would be silly to begin to believe that such persons can change and the secret silent wish of them changing is taxing as I tend to get sucked back into the abyss of fakeness and the whole vicious cycle begins again.

I have learnt to say “NO” and I have not yet learnt to forgive 100%.

Sure, if I can genuinely forgive 100% it would be a medical reason as in amnesia, or dementia. Otherwise, I can never achieve 100% forgiveness really!

Can you sup and shoot the breeze as if nothing happened with the same partner who used you for your business contacts and when all means are exhausted and you find self cast aside?

Can you sup and shoot the breeze as if nothing happened with the same murderer who killed someone you loved?

Can you sup and shoot the breeze as if nothing happened with the same person who drove into someone you loved?

Can you sup and shoot the breeze with the wife or husband you married who had a string of extra marital affairs?

Can you?

Honestly, I can’t!

Sigh!

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Monday Is Almost Over…Garfield’s Happy!

The wet weather has prevented me from dunking Garfield into the washer for a wash, spin dry session.

I am a silly adult who refuses to let go of a cottony furball that brings me solace and comfort in times of sadness, pain or frustration. It is easy to pretend to be an adult but it is harder to let the inner child out.

I am not psychotic but Garfield has become a coping mechanism of life’s realities and ugliness.

Everyone has a coping mechanism I feel. Some turn to vices such as gambling, drug addiction or medicines to find the relief.

I am too cheap to do any other method except hug Garfield and it works, without harming me.

I know I will be in trouble if I hear Garfield having a conversation with me but so far, I am pretty sane! LOL!

I believe everyone has an Achilles heel of sorts. Even the most endowed or blessed have something that makes them tick or work.

Chicken found solace in meditation.

I found solace in Garfield.

Ms B took to loving her four furkids and be lost in her world of work and furkids.

JerkFace is happily in retirement, showing tours of his estate to friends though I did advise him to charge a fee and run a full bed and breakfast as no harm being paid to do it and feel of use. But I guess he is doing well and can afford not to earn dollars! Lucky him!

Mr Nice flew back from Bangkok last Friday evening and is now packing away to fly out to Europe, Italy and the Romance countries for a spot of wining, dinning and enjoyment. This comes after he and his brother battled prostate cancer. He will need to return for radiotherapy after his Europe trip. So, I can understand his need to have a bit of fun.

I am unsure what I can do when it is time for me to retire? I have not put any thought in it as there is still alot of life left in me to work and plod on.

Surely I want to retire? Yes but not at the expense of being poorer for it.

The world economy has veered off course. Inflation is up, everything costs more and mortgage loan interest is killing a lot of good folks.

I suppose when the time comes, I will live in a tinier pigeon hole and be part of an integrated community though I must prefer to have privacy in my life.

I do not want a life of public scrutiny and want to have the power of dollars to do what I choose to do with volunteers and continue to make a difference. Big words, but in reality, I know that the next few years are going to be hard challenges for a lot of folks.

I hope to be able to continue on with my job and still contribute.

Will I have physical mobility functions intact? I saw how my peer born with Muscular Dystrophy is living life to the fullest through the use of a motorized wheelchair. Will I end up like that? Big question – if it does, I must plod on right?

What if I need more surgeries on my spine in my 70s – will I survive it and overcome the recovery and therapy attached to it?

Surely my strength and gumption to overcome will wax and wane over time?

Maybe I am looking at things all wrong?

Maybe there is that golden glimmer of hope to find true love and live happily ever after with that missing knight in shining armor as we tiptoe through the sunset years?

I shudder to think of the positives as my life thus far have sent me smack into negativities.

I am afraid to think positive as it is a fallacy of sorts and then I set self up to fail.

Go ahead, say it, ” I am chicken shit!”

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Brother Flies The Coop Soon

It is easier being the transient child – flits in and out, lesser responsibilities and easier to disassociate self from the demands of familial life.

My life will return to the humdrum hustle and bustle of sleeping with one ear open, as I have always done for a long time.

I had a difficult 2 weeks. I started to disassociate self from my brother and avoided seeing him. It gave me greater sanity and control of my life.

It is best not to see, hear nor know what he wants to do to help or not help. If he decides to help, well and good. If he chooses not to, I must accept that it is not his expected duty to do so. Afterall, I am the designated (unelected, nor appointed but self inflicted responsible one) go to point person.

I have questioned life again and again.

What is life?

What has life got to do with religion? Are both intertwined?

I have thrown out religion, realizing that religion is a form of soliloquy moment for one to wallow in and try to soothe self.

Today I threw out the last 2 prayer books – enough! Also the amulet from Carmelite Monastery. Belief is as much as faith only and since I no longer believe, faith endeth.

I no longer believe in family as the word, ” family” is a misnomer to me. I can be ” family” to anyone for that matter so long as there is reciprocity or some element of kindness, acceptance and appreciation. But therein lies my fault!

Must reciprocity be expected?

Must kindness be expected to be returned?

MR EX started to get testy with me because he felt that I ought to start showering him with money and meal treats. I refused because being the Asianized woman and seeing how he splurges on just about everyone but me, I felt it was not in my place to condone his wants or needs.

Was I selfish? Probably. But I wanted him to pare down and decide that I was one to be valued and not used.

In managing my motley crew of brother and sister, I realized our recent spat arose because my brother was cross with me for buying a new car. I had no choice as my sedan type car was not helping my spine and I needed a car to be a chauffeur to my parents and run their errands. I was stuck getting in and out of my sedan as my spine was terribly stiff.

Bro condemned the choice of my new car (not that he played a part in paying in any way for me) citing how he knew the legal team of this company’s car models and that it was a “cursed” car.

Of course these allegations were baseless! There have been zero reports on the demerits of this SUV model. So I am unsure of his intentions.

Things came to a head when I approached him to help me collect the car and be a person of moral support.

His snide and curt reply was, ” your car, your problem, not mine!”

I thought back of the errands he wanted me to run for him when he was away and the things I had to do for him. I did not understand why. I never used such words with him and helped with all intent and purposes as both he and my sister acted like arm chair CEOs directing me to do their bidding for things they need.

No, I do not get paid a stipend nor am I compensated for parking fees or gas to to get their errands done. I am their unpaid minion and I just had to suck it up and do it, which I did! I never looked at compensation as to me, this was helping family.

I could attribute to the fact that my siblings were always looking at me to fail. They always put rocks in my path, steered family politics to veer my father to disown me so that I am one share lesser in the family wealth apportionment department.

My philosophy has been simple. If it is mine, it will be mine and if it is not mine, it will never be mine.

Working hard made me tenacious. It toughened me. It made me realise that I needed to rely on self to put food on my table, a roof over my head and work 3 to 4 jobs to outlive, outplay and outwit.

I put self through grad school and constantly upskill to stay adept.

I read voraciously to understand what is going on in the world and how it it will impact me.

All these hard life’s lessons, put a toll on my life – my health gave way as I worked long hours to survive.

I never regretted working hard as it gave me pride to know that I can do it. No matter what my siblings tried to foil in my life’s plan and to see me fail, it did not work.

Does it mean alot for them to see me fail? I guess so! I know they want to see me miserable, poor and defeated. But I refuse!

I am tired of lemony treats and have stopped making lemony treats. Instead I face the bull of issues by the horns and take it on.

I want to stop lying to myself that my health will improve or that my family situation with the toxic duo will get better. It won’t! If it does, then voila! A miracle of sorts!

Recently an elderly mother and son were found dead in their flat. This was in an area where I volunteer at. The decedents were in their late 80s and 60s.

The stench emitted let volunteers know that something was amiss.

I do not want to end up like that. So, I reminded Boy, my neighbor to look out for me and call the police if he sees newspapers pile up on my gate.

So, what is family again?

It is a just a noun of no meaning.

If someone is nice and can be nice, striking a good and meaningful friendship for relationship, then it is akin to something.

I will not use the word ” family” anymore as it is such a bad word.

If the word ” family” is a noun for persons of interest to use, manipulate or garner self interest agendas, then I rather kill this word.

For me, Garfield, my inanimate furball is there 100% of the time, giving me warm hugs and comfort plus solace.

For my college mate, B, she found ” family” in her four fur kids, after getting out of a difficult marriage and letting go of her pet bakery business in San Francisco.

Family means squat to those who do not know it nor want to cultivate it.

Family means manipulation to those who want to profit from it.

Family, if it genuinely exists to those who treasure it and live by it, are precious to those who have it.

Thus far, Chicken, Bird, loads of others that I know of, have weighed in and shared with me their tales of Family horrors!

Sounds like an epic Halloween block buster waiting for Stephen King to materialize it.

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