Break a Leg

I received a phone call last week from my former supervisor at master's school. And during our short conversation, he asked me this, do you still want to be an architect? or are just going to be a house maker?" Seriously, I was like I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that, No! Just being a house maker is not enough, but I don't feel like being an architect as well. It's rather frustrating I know.  But, maybe I should be honest to myself once and for all, after years exploring and scrutinizing things that I might want to do, I finally could see for myself that I enjoy being a researcher so much, I love reading, observing, surveying and making report out of it. I had a title as market researcher in construction industry for my first job right after I graduated from university, and then I was a researcher at a Value Engineering research group during my master's. If I remember correctly, it was stressful, yet I was happy with what I do. I don't wish I could go back to that time though —I love what I am and what I have now more than any other past time of my life— but I think it's okay to make a small step towards a new path, to something I'd love doing.

I can't say much for now, but all I can do is pat myself on the head and say, break a leg!
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Singapore Zoo

In the last week of school holiday, my husband spontaneously gave me an idea about visiting Singapore Zoo because he thought that it's already age appropriate to bring S to the zoo. S already knows a lot about the animals but she only got to see them from some picture books we borrow from the library. Hence, I supposed that it's a good idea, to the zoo we go! And it turned out that she really enjoyed the visit (especially the tram rides, water park, and pony ride) and was very eager to see the baboons, elephants, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, lions, kangaroo, and tigers that the she's already familiar with (from the books she read). I knew it because she still kept talking about the visit for the next three weeks, which means that she was impressed with what she experienced, and I'm glad that we could gave her this chance. We really need to revisit them someday in the near future. Until next time!

Get a Grip

This world isn't easy for any of us, it never has been, and it never will be. But if we want to be honest, we would find that we're not entirely innocent at all.

I think I've read this somewhere in a book and it kinda sticks in my head for quite a time that I don't quite remember the exact words now, just more or less. But nowadays, it somehow keeps popping and reminding me that in every new day, there's always another new chance to start living and making life better than yesterday, and —to make it specific— in my case, I need to stop blaming others for whatever that has happened in my life, and I really need to start making my own choice from now. 

Even though my options now are no longer wider than I used to have years ago, I actually still have a couple of them available, and it's already more than enough if I want to give the extra miles to one of them. I really need to though, so that I could begin to see and discover myself all over again. 

Actually, I'm quite pleased with my own recent little achievement where I've finally managed myself to get rid of my bad habits, one of them is how to stop wasting my spare time watching dramas (good bye to you, my biggest guilty pleasure!), and I kind of stop minding other people's business as well, though it means that I lose some good friends, but never mind, it's not like there's such thing as friends forever anyway.

These things and another have made me feel confident that I, somehow, still have the courage to take good care of myself and put it on the priority list as well. Thus, I realize that before doing this and that many things I want to start doing, I'm aware that the most important thing I need to work on is giving myself the love that it deserves. That is to say, I just want to feel loved so that I can love others around me better.

Well, life's not easy but it's in our hands. Either we want to get a grip of it or not, that's up to us. 

Look at Them

Look at those who are a little less than us in terms of wealth and appearance, and we'll see how blessed we are that we're given so many favors we couldn't even count. Please don't take our shelter for granted, our ability to spend our little money on our favorite food, clothes, bags and shoes, the fact that our spouses can go to work safely, the fact that the children can go to school and study peacefully. Don't ever take everything we already have for granted and feel less fortunate just because there are people out there having more than what we are. 

I write this for myself so I can try to be more patient about life when it's rather hard, and to always remember to be thankful to Him who has given me all His blessings.

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Trying Our Best

Ever since I left my Facebook and Instagram accounts I soon developed interests in Pinterest, Medium, and Quora. I think I got them as information windows to the world, to the places outside my apartment door. Even though I'm not so engaged with what's trending now on Instagram or Twitter, I still get to read and know not only some new information about people and events, but also to things I can reflect on myself from people's words or point of view.

Not so long ago, an old friend told me about her concerns regarding how she raises her children, And what I see from it is that she's still trapped in this old way of perspective where she kept comparing her children to the others' children just by looking to the images that the others have well curated on their pages. I mean, we shouldn't do that comparison in the first place, otherwise we'll end up blaming ourselves for not being able to give our best in raising our children. Because, you see, it's not fair; we are different with others, our circumstances are not the same at all, and so are our children. What works for other households would not necessarily be suitable for us. Let alone just by seeing people from their online presence. If we want to do the way the do it, whoever they are and whatever it is, we need to do comprehensive and thorough yet simple research and observation beforehand. 

While scrolling and reading someone's answer on a question about parenting in Quora, I stumbled upon these words, realizing how it's so true and written so well. Thank you for writing these and sorry I forgot to note your name as well, dear fellow Quoran.

I guess, one of the things I like about Quora is that I can get to read these beautiful and inspiring words that make me feel decent enough to be the parent I am now. I do hope my friend find her way to settle her concerns. 

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Batam Getaway 2018

 We didn't fly back to Jakarta this school holiday for some reasons but we did manage to spend two days and one night in Batam. A short visit but long enough to get some shopping sprees to supermarkets, bookshop, and clothing store (we love Indonesian products!), and of course, Padang Restaurant. We didn't book any tour packages because our only intention was to shop and bring S to ride ferry. But as we were there, we found out that our accommodation Green Rose Hotel is located near an amusement park named Ocarina. We decided to give this place a visit because it's said on the internet that this place has rides for kids, and a children playground as well. But after we were dropped off near the ticketing booth by our private hire car, we were a bit disappointed to learn that the place was very deserted as we barely saw any tourists coming while we walked along all the way from the gate to the park. 

Other than us and some students from local junior high school having a camping trip by the beach, there were no more visitors in the park. Even there were no operators near the rides when I approached some of the rides, it even didn't look like they were open at all. 

The only place that got people and children swarming in was the water park, but we didn't bring swimsuit along during this trip, so we just skipped it and decided to go back to the city to have lunch. I don't know why and what happened, maybe we just came to the park at the wrong time, granted, it's on Friday afternoon, I am sure the place will be crowded over the weekend. At the time we were in this park, my daughter was asleep sound and safe in her stroller. 

Overall, our short visit to Batam this time was okay, the food was great, the traffic was fine, but the only letdown was that the ride-hailing transport services were not as good as its counterpart in Singapore and Jakarta, because private hires still can't take passengers from public places like malls, restaurants, and public transport facilities like ferry terminals and airport.

Childhood Beaches

East Coast Park, Singapore

Every time I go to the beach, I immediately remember the old days of my childhood when my late father used to bring us all together on a vacation to the beach, his favorite destination. To be honest, I actually didn't really like it very much back then, only for the reasons as petty as its salty water, bothersome sand that gets everywhere all over my body, and the scorching hot sunlight. I do remember him bringing us to the mountains, caves, traditional villages, and other holiday destinations as well though, but the memories of them are not as strong as the memories of the beaches we were brought to. Looking back on it, I am glad that I have that kind of experiences with my family as a young child. 

I can't recall how many beaches we've ever visited because we went to the beach practically as often as every three months for a short weekend getaway. During the first decade of my life, we've lived in Sumatera, Madura, and Java islands of Indonesia due to my father's work placement, that was the time when we went to a lot of beaches. Pantai Panjang (Bengkulu), Pangandaran (West Java),  Pantai Selatan (Yogyakarta), Pantai Pasir Putih (Situbondo, East Java), and Pantai Lovina (Bali) are among so many beaches we visited that have special places in my childhood memory.

I really wish I could also give my child such experiences in her life.
It's not luxurious yet it's so precious to be raised with a lot of exposure to the nature.