Sleepless in Singapore

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The title was inspired by a movie “Sleepless in Seattle” but it’s not about that story as the focus is on my homeland, Singapore.

Many of us are working the daylights out of our lives and end up with less sleep than needed. It doesn’t help that the lights don’t really go out in Singapore as it can be quite bright throughout the night till day breaks. 24-hour supermarkets, eateries and cafes are in abundance and how can a sleep deprived nation get better in life like this?

6, 7 or 8-hour sleep is a luxury for anyone (babies not included) in Singapore. I bet that most working adults, when asked whether they will `binge sleep’ on their day off will respond, “Of course!”. I also believe the motto of most younger adults would be to work hard and play hard.. so that equates to? Long days and long nights = Sleeplessness!

Many Singaporeans go on tour or travel as far and wide as possible. This may be a common phenomena in all developed or developing countries but it could be a cry to get out of this country, to have some kind of rest or respite from the pressure cooker life they have been living. Of course, many dream or desire to seek a bigger, spacious, more scenic or cheaper place to spend, enjoy and relax before they go back to the grind… and some chose not to come back. So this explains why so many Singaporeans travel frequently, young and old.

I am a light sleeper and don’t get to fall asleep easily. People who fall asleep easily and can sleep anywhere at anytime are considered gifted or blessed when compared to my ability to sleep. Also, when it comes to naps, if I do take one, I will not be able to get the full nights sleep for that day. It’s like a timer for the amount of sleep I am allowed per day, so I don’t take naps. However, it’s not that bad as I still get to sleep and empathise with those who have insomnia and that’s another big struggle altogether.

Dreams are not something I recall vividly and more often than not, they were fleeting things that either take the form or shape of happenings during that period of my life. It’s like what matters or affects you may evolve into some kind of dream or nightmare. You wake up feeling uneasy or blurred by the dream but I would brush it off or pray for it not to bother me as I face another day. When I do pray or meditate on God’s word before sleeping, I find that I have better sleep. So I believe it is good to quieten down and do some reflection before sleeping but please don’t go and worry about stuff as that would probably keep you awake.

Some people who lead a more disciplined, orderly life would have planned their schedule and day and this usually help in getting a good night’s rest as the stuff for the next day has been planned. However, those who are anxious or tend to worry might not get to sleep well whether they are organised or not. So it’s not just about getting enough sleep, but the quality of sleep is equally important.

Hear ye O Singaporeans! The lack of sleep is NOT a good thing as it will take it’s toll on your mind, body and soul. It’s not something you can get back in your later years or something you can pay back by `binge sleeping’ on your day off. The body is not engineered that way so don’t try to beat it. Count your blessings and costs, sleep enough and sleep well. Remove your digital devices from your room, including your TV or game remote. It’s really not worth it.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye!

[The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”]

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Grief of a Nation

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At the birth of a nation, he wept on national TV. The votes were 126 to 0 for the expulsion of Singapore from the Federation, leading to the independence of Singapore on 9 August 1965.

On 2 October 2010, he wept for the loss of his wife and said in his eulogy:

“Without her, I would be a different man, with a different life. She devoted herself to me and our children. She was always there when I needed her…

She has lived a life full of warmth and meaning. I should find solace in her 89 years of life well lived. But at this moment of the final parting, my heart is heavy with sorrow and grief.”

(Read more from a news article here)

“But nothing seemed to comfort Mr Lee in the days after Madam Kwa Geok Choo, his wife of 63 years, his best friend and confidante, died on Oct 2, 2010.

He slept erratically. A memory would bring tears to his eyes. When her ashes arrived at Oxley Road in a grey marble urn three days after the funeral, he wept.

It took three months before he began returning to normal…

But he told his friend Dr Schmidt, who visited in May 2012, that his wife’s death had left a deep hole in his life and nothing could fill it.”

(Read more from a news article here)

On 23 March 2015 at 3.18am (Monday), this great man, our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, passed away, aged 91. The nation of Singapore wept for the loss of this great man.

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All local TV channels, newspapers and websites are in the state of mourning with news, features, articles, color theme, etc acknowledging and commemorating this loss.

The nation will mourn for 7 days till the state funeral on Sunday, 29 March 2015.

I believe our nation will feel somewhat like how he felt for his wife, where there will be “a deep hole… and nothing could fill it”.  This is because it is extremely difficult to find a giant of a man like him to lead a country, a nation like Singapore from what we were, to what we have become today. We are blessed to have him and are grateful for his lifelong sacrifice and dedication.

May he find eternal peace, joy and comfort.

The Daily Prompt: Threads

The Unseen and Unheard

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fly on the Wall.”

There were many occasions where I read in the news about a member of the governing body whether opposition or ruling, professing to carry out a cause or trying to change something. Somehow, when it has to do with the opposing party issue, you get the feeling that they were only doing it to nit-pick or find something to cause the other to fall or fail.

It is the same for almost any other country’s news about their elections or issues that one side raise would somehow aim to go against or for another power. What has this got to do with being a fly on the wall anyway?

Yes, specifically, I would like to be a “fly on the wall” at a closed meeting of both sides of the camp to hear and see what actually transpired. This is in the hope of finding out what this all really mean for the general public and how it would impact us in the long run. If both camps were to display only self-serving intentions of gaining power and control over the country without true considerations for the masses, I will come down from the wall and show the people who they really are relying on.

Well, knowing how the world is and how connected the forces of these powers are, I think the fly will face a giant electrically-charged swatter before it could even leave the wall.

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Take care everyone 🙂

This Silly Little Thing Called Love

As I read a recent post from a series of postings by my niece and seeing The Daily Post’s writing prompt’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.”, this post is made.

The series written by my niece was titled “this silly little thing called love” and you can see the latest post here.

The perspective of someone more than 20 years younger, made me realise that love knows no boundaries to age, gender, race, color or creed, including the knowledge and learning from it. For those who choose to love, they may be scarred, burned, scorned or choked but they may also experience or learn about forgiveness, healing, mercy, grace, friendship, humanity and what really matters and what don’t.

A very old song rung in my head when the title of the prompt was read. It was “To know him is to love him”. Although this does not seem to flow with what was said earlier…. does love always flow that way?

[In response to daily prompt : “I Want to Know What Love Is.”]

Alphabet Soup – It is finished.

Write down the letters of the ABC. For each one, choose a word that begins with that letter. Now, write a post about anything — using all the words you’ve selected.

Always be grateful for the blessings you have each day
Living each day to the fullest and make it count
Insist each day has an act of giving
Vanity is always fleeting
Eternity gives meaning

Love is not an answer, it is a price
Love cannot be bought, it can be paid
Love has no cure, it is the cure
Love endures, it knows no end

It is too painful to let go
Yet in letting go, it is true
It cannot be grasped or understood
It can be given and embraced

It seems ironic, even paradoxical
But without it, you are doomed
Being alive is to love
Love keeps you alive.

It is finished.

Alphabet Soup – DP

Sweet Little Lies – Bitter Truth

As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?

Born and raised in Singapore, the smallest country in size in South East Asia, I cannot recall being told that lying is wrong. I think the older people around me then had more pressing concerns than dealing with my truthfulness.

Growing up in a rustic village was more action packed than wordiness. We did not spend time talking much and ran around playing games screaming our heads off more than anything else.

If I were to come home dirty, bruised or with bloodied knee or elbow, it will be an earful of scolding and dagger stares from my grandma. No room to lie. The common reaction of adults who see me at the end of an adventurous day was the shaking of heads or eyes rolling.

I do feel that they had given up on trying to communicate with me. On calmer days when I was not let out to play due to family dinners or festive occasions, they would say very few words to me like, “How are you girl?” or “Study hard ah?”

So until I was able to hold decent conversations perhaps teenage years onwards, that’s when the issue of lying became a matter of right or wrong. I know it clearly from the Ten Commandments that Thou shalt not lie. I know that lying makes me dishonest and made me fool another person.

Till today, I cannot comprehend the term white lies, half truths and gray as a description of lying being right or ok. The truth hurts, it is hard and may make things worse. That I can understand. It is the choices we make that determine where we stand.

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Sweet Little Lies – DP

All or Nothing? but there lies the truth…

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath

Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?

Seriously, my answer to this would be… wanting.

The first few words of a child would be, “I want!” without coaching or coaxing. It can be heard loudly and ever so often when children are faced with ice cream, candy or toys. Of course these items will change as they grow older and they would want other stuff which includes living things as well.

It is not what you want that can be dangerous but why you want it. If someone wants nothing, there must be a reason, likewise someone who wants everything. It is the reason behind these wants that will give the measure of danger or threat, if any.

This want is not referring to want of basic necessities like food or water for survival, it is with reference to having aspirations and purpose in life. So wanting in itself is dangerous when there is no direction or purpose as it would just meet the basic physiological needs, a mere existence. So you can want everything or nothing but without a purpose that goes beyond mere existence, it is pointless.

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All or Nothing? – DP