About Group Chats

I don't really feel comfortable about being a member of WhatsApp group chats, because, well, people nowadays tend to use WhatsApp to broadcast hoax, fake news, hate speech, and whatnot. There's only a handful of whatsApp group I actually have for now, because somehow I have impulsively left a lot of groups years ago. But frankly speaking, I still find some of the groups that I am in now useless and annoying, because even though it's an extended family's whatsApp group where I can utilize it as an effective way to be connected to brothers, uncles, aunties, and cousins, it really irks me in some way or another that most of the members of the group purposely forward messages and send links to the information that correspond to their self-righteous standpoint. For example, like some people who don't very fond of the current ruler of our country, hence, whatever they could talk in the group every day is just about what our ignorant president and all of those corrupt institutions under his rule did wrong.

Every time they started shaming the government by sending links to news or videos of events that convey message about how the government couldn't do their job right, I felt like yelling to them, "Come on people, get a lifeeee!". As if your life doesn't complicated enough, that you keep trying to find the flaws of this winning candidate that you didn't vote back in the election. I never got myself said or written anything though, because, simple, haters just gonna hate. So in most cases, I only read yet never buy anything, not even write any reply.

image source

I am really getting old I know, I can't stand and be any more patient toward this kind of attitude, but I simply don't want to give a damn about it. I clearly think that I don't have the time and energy to waste just for this, so I just ignored and walked away. I often say to myself, if they are so full of hatred to the people whom they couldn't be close enough to doing what those people do, then it's their problems, not mine.

Anyway, I just want to randomly tell what I went through this morning, someone in one of my group chats sent this link, an article in Jakarta Post that wrote a report about Jakarta and Denpasar being recently voted as the world's most polluted cities this week. I am not accusing or judging though, but I'm so used to this, and I know what this implies, yes, it's just a matter of fact so that they could blame to the government, time and again. Okay, maybe I'm judging, but seriously dude, what's wrong with you? You just throw issues to other people to take, but then never use your brain (or fingers, in every case we could just try Google) hard enough to think and come up with a solution. I'm nothing different though, I also have no idea now to reduce pollution in a big scale national context, but at least I know a little that changing our habits and altering the way we live our comfortable life could make a difference. 

Of course, we all do know that. Dont you all tell me that you don't know these simple things we could start doing to help reduce air pollution. If you really don't, okay chill, here it is:

  • Conserve energy – remember to turn off lights, computers, and electric appliances when not in use.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.
  • Participate in your local utility’s energy conservation programs.
  • Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking.
  • Combine errands for fewer trips.
  • Keep your automobile well tuned and maintained. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on routine maintenance, such as changing the oil and filters, and checking tire pressure and wheel alignment.
  • Avoid excessive idling of your automobile.
  • Use electric or hand-powered lawn care equipment.
  • Be careful not to spill gasoline when filling up your car or gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full.
  • Choose environmentally friendly cleaners.
  • Use water-based or solvent free paints whenever possible and buy products that say "low VOC".
  • Seal containers of household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals to prevent volatile organic compounds from evaporating into the air.
  • Purchase and use low-polluting outboard marine engines and personal watercraft (4-stroke and direct fuel injection 2-stroke outboard marine engines).
  • Advocate for emission reductions from power plants and more stringent national vehicle emission standards.
(I googled and copied this list from here.)

So please please please, stop being such a pathetic person, stop blaming the government which you believe would just do nothing about this issue, but instead, be the change you want to be starting from yourself. Try ditching your convenient private car and use public transportation, perhaps?

And if you really can't stand the nightmare of your city's public transportation, and then just stop complaining. If you can't conserve energy by reducing air conditioner at home? and stop sending us this kind of information, as if you care. Thank you.

Social Media Quotes

During my social media break, I switched to another apps that I thought would give me more benefits; news, insight, information, motivation, inspirations, etc. I'm glad I did that though. And so since then, my spare time —that was usually used to check the feeds on social media— has been mostly spent reading a lot of interesting topics on Medium, Quora, and Pinterest. These quotes above are some of the gems I found on Pinterest, I pinned them to my board to keep me stay away and say no to social media.

The quoted words above are from these pins:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

watercolor confetti background is Designed by Freepik

Toilet Training Pt. 3

And hopefully this is the last part of the journey.

We've been trying for months since the December last year, and all of the efforts and concerns finally paid off now. At the first two months, we still put diapers on her bum when we went out and about, and I thought that made the process a little bit longer than it should, and then I decided to totally ditched the diapers. When there was no more stocks on disposable diapers left and the stash of her cloth diapers has been packed in a box stored on the very bottom of the cabinet, we had no other option other than embracing all the wetness all over the place coming from the accidents. Fortunately, S was very cooperative when she's outside, up to now, she barely has accident in public space, though she had one or two accidents at school in the first week she went diaper-less. 

I can say it for now, that she nailed it for this kinda rite of passage, although she still got accidentally peed her panties once in a while only when she's anxious or not feeling really well.

This success journey has been helped a lot by the guidance and advice I got from Jamie Glowacki's Oh Crap! Potty Training book, and of course, the child friendly toilet facilities provided in public places throughout the city, which made doing toilet business when we're out become very handy. I couldn't thank Singapore enough for that. 

I'm so looking forward to welcoming another milestones. What would that be? Early literacy skills, perhaps? 

Dear S,

Message from Rasulullah(peace and blessings be upon him) to Abu Al-`Abbas `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him).
Hadits narrated by At-Tirmidhi.

watercolor background is Designed by Freepik


A few days ago, my cousin sister told me about her plan to have a impromptu three days vacation with her little family. At first, she considered going to Singapore, but haven't bought the tickets yet, cause she still hasn't decided the destination, she was still thinking about Singapore, KL, or Yogyakarta. Well, finally they left for Yogyakarta, her husband's hometown. I told my husband about this and when I finished telling him, he turned the question around to me.If you were given those choice, which place do you prefer? And I, enthusiastically, answered "Bali, of course!" hehe.

When was the last time I visited Bali? Maybe back in 2011. Since I got married in 2013 I pushed aside the thought of going to Bali, because, I didn't think is suitable for my husband, you know, appearance-wise. But it's just my silly thought, I know that whatever you appear to look like, Bali or any other places would be a good idea as long as we're going together.

Road tripping to Mount Agung with friends, 2010

Maybe some day, though not in any near future I suppose, I could visit Bali again. 
And reminisce the good old days exploring Bali with friends and colleagues.

PS. My prayers are with all the people residing in Bali. Hopefully the condition there will be going to be better.

Life Without Social Media

I intended to post about this so called self-challenge more than a year ago, but then I thought it would be better if it's discussed when it's already done, just to see what's the result. So I just left it in the draft folder. Well now after a year challenging myself to life without social media, I  guess this post is due.

Circa May 2017, I scrolled my Path's timeline —the only social media app I used to have back then— and found nothing new, no one from my small amount of friends posted something new. I did it several times every once in a while until I realized that I did open the app and check on them every five minutes! No wonder if there's no new post, everyone's either busy with works or their children, before they went back posting something again. I started to find what kind of phenomenon that's just happening to me? Is it FoMO? I've read about it a lot on the internet. Am I experiencing it? Well, maybe.

I need to remind myself again the definition of it, so let's take a look here.

FoMo or Fear or Missing Out has been defined in one of Computer in Human Behavior's journal as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent, where it is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing (Przybylski et al., 2013, p. 1842). According to the authors of the article, FoMO was strongly linked to higher levels of social media engagement, it was shown to mediate the effects of certain personal characteristics (need deficits, emotional problems) on social media engagement. And the most terrific statement of all is that FoMO was associated with lower need satisfaction, mood and life satisfaction.

When I read about it at that time, it felt so close to me, like, all of these articles were talking about me. I believe we can actually relate with it, who's not using social media apps these days anyway? But the problem is (at least for me) that we don't want to admit that we have that kind of behavior in us. Checking social media while driving? Yes. Checking social media during class? Yes. Checking social media on the dinner table with family? Yes. Checking social media in the dark before bedtime? Yes. We —or in this case, me— are so afraid to miss any update out  from our friends' lives if we miss one or two of their posts, and we deny that this behavior is one of mental health problems. You see, my friends, FoMo frequently derives in unhappiness, maybe when we're not feeling really great about our life. From the study of the journal mentioned above, it's found that those with low levels of satisfaction of the fundamental needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness tend towards higher levels of fear of missing out as do those with lower levels of general mood and overall life satisfaction.

Upon realizing it, I began my journey of finding the way to overcome this issue. I believed that I have FoMo —it's absolutely not a good thing to begin with—, and I needed to beat it out. After reading and analyzing some articles on the internet, I found out that most of them recommend people who are struggling with FoMo to take breaks from social media and try to focus more on the environment and people around them in the present moment. Well,  I have come to terms with it that I had to leave all of social network site for a while until I know that I can use it properly, be aware that I'm on social media purely to connect with family and friends, not because I am unhappy with my life so that I stop paying attention to real life and turn to social media instead, to make me feel better.

What happened after a year of living without social media? I can tell that I feel quite happy about my ordinary life, I may not be able to go on a family vacation every two months like all of the people in my social media timeline, or I may not be able to buy designers bags or any branded items, but I feel enough with what my husband provides and with what kind of life I have, because I don't see the importance to compare it with other people's lives anymore.  You know, when we're on social media, we have this kind of unavoidable comparisons to the 'perfect' lives presented there that makes we feel we have less. Now, I believe that what people present on their social media sites are only the good and beautiful ones, but that doesn't mean they're not struggling, everyone's struggling with their life, but they just don't show that ugly side in their cleverly curated social media account. I also can say that I finally could get over my FoMO, I don't need to give extra effort to know the updates from people I care who do care about me too, because eventually they will tell me in person. As per today, I still have my social media account (not deactivated yet), but checking social media again, again, and again? Never. Hopefully for good.

Przybylski et al., 2013 A.K. Przybylski, K. Murayama, C.R. DeHaan, V. Gladwell Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out

image elements' source:
watercolor floral border
watercolor social media icons

It's been a while

Yes, it's been a while since the days I was eager to write blog. And yet.. here I am again.

A lot of things has happened in the first half of this year. And I would really like to write it down here for my own memory as now I've regained the zest for blogging, which I have been doing for more than ten years since I was a university student. Oh my, I'm so old.

The first thing I would like to highlight is that in the early of this year, we started sending our daughter to school. Even though she just turned two and it is not compulsory for her age to go to school, we still think that it's a good thing that she could be exposed early to English and let her get the chance to socialize with friends of her age. 

Another thing is that back in March we visited Jakarta for the first time in 2018 as the first term of school holiday took place. I was actually reluctant to go because I had an unpleasant occurrence during our last visit to Jakarta in November with a certain people in some places, and it somehow put me in a really bad mental breakdown for months. But we did go anyway. We've been away for almost four months already, so our family back home demanded us to fly as soon as we have the chance to. Therefore, it's not surprising that during the visit I was depressed again and I held so much distress that I could only gulp down. It was the gloomiest week in my recent years. I didn't know how to handle the emotions myself then I just became very angry to my husband by blaming him as the cause I had to endure this kind of pathetic occurrence; a point where it almost crushed all of my self esteem, self worth, and self love.

It's a relieve that this one week 'torture' being in Jakarta has finished and we could finally fly back to Singapore. But unfortunately, all the negative feelings; the depression, hatred, anger, didn't go straightaway. I first thought to myself, maybe If I was away from the people that caused the distress, I could feel better. No, it was not. I still couldn't communicate properly with my husband, and I thought this was for the better. I didn't hate him or those people though, I just hated myself that I put myself in a situation where I became someone worthless where I thought I was good for nothing, so that people could justify doing the things they did to me. I was thinking about going to psychiatrist, but I could imagine how those people would consider that it's too much, that I was just exaggerating it. So I buried that thought and just tried going back to my daily activity.

Three weeks trying to rebuild myself and handle my emotions by living the daily life as usual, I found out that I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was over the moon and I convinced myself that I had to throw away all the distress and negative feeling towards people around me, because, hey I am pregnant! It's a very big blessing. You see, it's that easy for me to finally forgive my husband for the mistakes that he refused to acknowledge (he said it was just on my mind). I was content, we're going to have another baby, I finally could give my daughter a sibling, and I didn't care about the people causing me depression. I didn't give a d*mn about the damage they've caused me. I just wanted to focus on this pregnancy and loving my firstborn daughter more. 

Anyway, I was 8 weeks along when I had a missed miscarriage, but didn't found it until the pregnancy approached 11th week. I had no cramps, no spotting, no other symptoms of a miscarriage when the fetal stopped growing, and I still had the morning sickness kicked in all day long, I thought everything was fine. Until one day on the end of 10th week, I got light spotting that continued for consecutive three days. I refused to think negative and always said to myself maybe I was just too exhausted and I needed to cut myself some slack. On the fourth day, I began to feel that there's something that's not quite right with this spotting, so I visited the gynae to got it checked that morning. That's when I finally knew that my baby didn't grow, the heartbeat has stopped growing three weeks before. It didn't take so long to compose myself after hearing this news, I didn't want to forever in denial thinking that everything's okay and the gynae must be wrong, I saw with my own eyes how my gynae tried to thoroughly see any signs of my baby's life from the scanning, I could feel it myself too that my nausea was slightly getting better I didn't vomit anymore since the last three days. I just knew that I have to let it go. It's just not meant to be. I decided to have a D&C the next day, May 11.

Even though the baby couldn't make it to see the world and I couldn't hold him in my arm, I would never forget him. I'm happy that he brought enlightenment to my life so that I could finally see things better. 

As of now, I can say that I don't hold any anger to those people again, I try to understand their circumstances. I am a lot healthier than them so I should be the one who can think clearer. Moreover, I need to be healthy both mentally and physically so that I can conceive again and carry the baby to term. Aamiin.

Watercolor background is Designed by Freepik