Friday, 7 March 2014



Every so now and then, I get an unexpected me-day and find myself with some space to write. Me-days are getting rare these days, you guys, because I suddenly find myself in situations whereby I can't quite easily see the people that I love; unplanned interactions with these people are suddenly a thing in the past. I mean, it's somewhat manageable given I am a natural planner, but I do miss those days whereby we would just hang out, you know, for no apparent reason other than, well, we can. The remedy to rare me-days is to schedule a me-day (duh!). This year, one of my non-new year resolution is to spend more time with people I actually like, so I have begun the not-so-simple task of sharing my me-days. Hey, sharing is caring, right? Right? I have never regretted this move and hope to continue in future because these people bring so much joy and laughter into my life. I am lucky, yes I know, I am grateful, every day. Not all day every day, because, I do other things too, but every day.


I have been really ill for most of this year, which is incredibly inconvenient on one end, but terribly nice on the other end. I often say that my family fusses over me when I am sick and I am home, but I don't get this privilege whenever I am not home. I get love from le husb, but he is not always around, you know, he's got stuff to do. However, when he is around, he does so much for me that I am actually tearing up as I write this. Like recently, my stomach has been playing up (my digestive system is very ... weak, for lack of a better description), and consequently, I lost my appetite. So, he took me out on an impulsive date nite to this restaurant that was recommended by a foodie, got me to pick the things on the menu that I wanted to eat, ordered all of them, and the amount of good food just broke the spell: the next day, I could feel that my appetite returned. Not so much with a vengeance (getting back to running would do this trick), just enough to get me excited about food again. The said stomach issue, however, has not been resolved yet - that would take time. One step at a time, and  being excited about food is a good start. As they have always said, when you love life, you love your food. Or something like that. Or it may be something that I said, actually. Oh well. I am thankful for marrying this person who loves me more than I love me. I know this because he loves me even when I don't like myself that much.


The majority of issues that I have are of first-world nature. I have been told that I should feel privileged for having them, but I don't wish to seek feeling privileged in a way that screams desperate more than grateful. Human contentment is a muscle, an emotional muscle, according to me. And just like any other muscle, it takes regular exercise for it to be strong. Without such exercise, it will become weak and useless. I am glad that I have the chance to exercise these muscles on a regular basis. These are not the best of times and often leaving me feeling empty and worthless, which are not nice feelings, even when they are felt only momentarily. I wonder if this is what depressed people feel continuously - plus helplessness for not being able to snap themselves out of it. I am lucky to have examples in my life whereby I get to witness people who passionately fight for their own happiness. These people may not be saving the world, but they are saving themselves, one step at a time. I don't know if there is anything else more powerful that you can do for yourself. I have a lot to learn from these brave souls.


Amongst the five languages of love, a lot of people mistakenly identify mine as words of affirmation. Their reason is errr... I don't know; but baby, let me tell you this: words of affirmation is not my love language. I don't care how many times you tell me that you love me, because I think talk is cheap. When you show me that you love me, by cutting fruits for me, for example, then I would feel loved, by you; it doesn't matter that cutting fruits is such a trivial thing for you (in fact, it is actually better because minimal effort for you, maximal impact for me). Yet recently I unexpectedly derive a lot of joy from these so-called words of affirmation. I realise that I have a soft spot for is people who write me cards - and no, they are not the generic form of "Merry Christmas - have a great one" or "Happy birthday, you old fart", but they are the blank cards filled with words that are written from the heart, the ones that you know perfectly encapsulate what you feel at that point in time that have been immortalised on a piece of paper. I know this because I have been the recipient of such cards lately, the kind that made me tear a little bit, and smile in remembrance. Sometimes, it doesn't even have to be a card, it can be a blank piece of paper, or even electronic ones: text message, an email or my favourite lately, whatsapp. Such a simple gesture can mean so much; simple may not always be the best, but the best must be simple.

Ok, now it's your turn to think about what you've been grateful for in your life. You can tell me about it via Twitter. Or even better, you can write about the things you are grateful about in your life, and then tweet me the link - use @drbelles. I am thinking of doing gratitude writing on a more regular basis, because I think there are a lot of good stuff in my life that I don't really notice, and even God forbid, take for granted. I am ashamed to admit this, but it happens despite the best of intentions. To see my attempt to un-superficialise myself, visit my other blog, and for happy pictures, my instagram.

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