In between

Dear Reader,

How is it like in your corner of the world today?

It’s Day #3 of the Restricted Movement Order here in Malaysia.

I am up early ahead of the rest of the family. Expressing breastmilk in a silicone collector as my youngest is not awake to nurse. Next in line for list of activities would be to put the cloth diapers into the washing machine and to gather the trash for my husband to take out when he goes out to get groceries.

Unlike many other families within the Klang Valley, we did not stock up food in anticipation of the Order. We only bought enough to last us for about a week during our last grocery run, and the week is almost up. Hence, I will need to plan meals very soon (within the next hour or so), and wake my husband to get to the stores as early as possible since we don’t know what stock levels are like in our neighbourhood stores yet.

From what I heard from a friend staying in another part of our city, it was crowded at the shops within their community. I certainly hope there won’t be too much of that where we are at.

I’ve generally always thought of where we live as being one of the quieter, less noticed part of Petaling Jaya. And yet, we kept hearing of Covid-19 cases in several nearby areas, giving us the notion that the virus is literally all around us. The most disturbing was the case of a preschool teacher who got it. This preschool had been opened recently at the mall where we normally go for our grocery shopping.

My husband only started taking this Covid-19 pandemic more seriously after he visited that mall on one of the days where they were still disinfecting the preschool and screening all shoppers seeking to enter the ground floor (where the preschool was located) for any signs for fever.

Now he finally wears a mask or brings a long a small bottle of hand sanitiser while he is out. He promptly cleans his hands upon his return from a trip out, and changes his clothes. There was an occasion where he even decided to bathe right away.

For our household, things aren’t too different during this Order than they are at regular times. This is because my husband and I are both self employed at the moment. A situation at work worsened around the time our youngest was about to be born, and so he left his full time job and has been in limbo since.

At the time the Order was issued by our Prime Minister, he had already begun taking on projects for this new consultancy gig he has embarked on. There had been relatively positive signs lately, and several possible work projects have been popping up.

On my end, my freelance writing work was finally beginning to settle into a routine after the abnormal activity I had over the past few months where I was serving a new client in a temporary role that ended in February.

Now everything is more or less slowing down due to the Order. We are wondering if we will get paid on time. Or whether there will be multiple delays and even a lack of work opportunities in the near future.

I know there are families out there with an even bleaker outlook to their household income sources than we have. Some cannot even work at all right now because their jobs require them to be out, or to be meeting people. There is no Work-At-Home option for them. I wonder how they will cope.

It’s only supposed to be a 2 week exercise, but my husband and I anticipate that this Order will be extended beyond just a fortnight. As it is, with the way many Malaysians are behaving, we might even see a far greater spike in Covid-19 cases. The thought is chilling.

I think of my two very young kids and I worry. They are happy with us at home at the moment. But will we be able to keep them happy and well once our funds run too low? Can we continue to afford preschool for our eldest one?

And what sort of world will they be growing up in, given the terrible turn of events that we keep seeing both on a local as well as global scale? I sometimes wonder if it would have been kinder to have not introduced them to this cruel, cold world.

But as I tried telling my husband last night, perhaps the best thing to do at times like this is to just keep looking ahead. To just keep focussing on the very next step. Because I think that’s all we have the capacity to do right now.

It’s daybreak now and I must go. I hope things are brighter where you are, my dear Reader. Till I return, I wish you a good day.

Small

I have tons of stories to tell. But I feel like they’re trivial.

While others have such grandiose topics to showcase their intelligence on, all I have are these tiny tales of things observed, discovered and experienced.

Having reached a midpoint of some sort in life, it gets harder by the day to convince myself that what I have in my head and heart counts for something.

It all seems so small.

Do I lack confidence? Not really. What I described is just a feeling, a sense of things; possibly right, mostly wrong.

What’s YOUR current view of life?

Do you see or feel what I have mentioned too?

Or perhaps you have moved onwards and upwards and have a better clue on what your life is amounting to and a greater discernment of what matters or doesn’t?

Almost there

Jamie showing his yet unborn baby brother some love.

This pregnancy is almost over and I almost cannot believe it! (I’m at Week 34, FYI.)

I guess in some ways I feel a bit sad about it all because this is likely going to be my last one. Deric has said before that ideally he’d like to stop at 2 kids, so that’s what we’ll go with (barring any accidents that might happen along the way, of course).

Jamie has been nothing short of positive this entire time, right from the moment he found out he was about to gain a sibling. I guess what helped a lot was that many of his other friends at church had also recently inherited new siblings or have one on the way. So it’s like he feels he is part of this cool growing gang of peers who have brothers and sisters and who can call themselves “Kor Kor” (big brother) or “Che Che” (big sister).

Of all things, that has been the greatest source of relief. To know that he is looking forward to this new phase of our family life, and that he intends to love his “Di Di” (younger brother) to bits.

Although we’ve been making effort do get certain things done in preparation for baby’s arrival (which is just next month aargh), it still feels like it’s not enough. We do need to step up the pace. It’s just that… it’s tiring enough as it is being pregnant, and sometimes I do feel like I’d want to be doing things I enjoy for a change and not just the stuff that needs to get done.

Due to my personal health quirks and upon recommendation of the Ob/Gyn that we are consulting, I will most probably have to go for a planned C section to deliver this baby. The very thought of it somewhat scares me because I had an emergency C section the last round and recovery was not fun at all. But I tell myself, perhaps a C section may be a good thing this time round, as it helps eliminate some of the unpredictabilities of the onset and duration of labour, and other ad hoc decisions that tend to take place in a normal delivery.

With a preschooler on hand and parents that aren’t exactly very involved when it comes to babysitting, I guess being able to say I will be delivering the baby on such and such a date and time will make things easier for everyone. Just perhaps not so convenient for me.

I do not look forward to confinement month (due to the expected painful recovery and the usual fare of responsibilities I might have to shoulder at the same time) but beyond that, it’s going to be loads of fun with 2 boys at home with me. (Not being sarcastic here, I do honestly look forward to happy as well as crazy days with them). I only hope we can continue with this arrangement of me being at home with the kids yet carrying out some form of freelance work. (Finances are undeniably a concern).

Ah, I am sharing too much personal details which may be boring you, my dear reader. But you know, some days, it feels almost as if there is no one else to listen to my thoughts or to take an interest in what’s going on at my end. So it might as well be you that’s reading this and keeping me company.

Thanks for stopping by as usual. I certainly hope to write more frequently in the coming days (I know, I know… I always say that… sigh).

Got tons that need doing around here so that’s it for now!

Visibility

It was Valentine’s yesterday. We didn’t celebrate. We never really have.

Although, in the early days, when we were dating, we did make Valentine’s night a time where where we would cook dinner together. I think I have some vague memories of doing that at my parent’s home a long, long time ago. Although… I really must ask Deric what we cooked because I don’t seem to be able to recall.

Yes, it’s really been QUITE SOME TIME.

Mostly, we don’t do the typical Valentine’s date thing because the thought of being out and about when dozens of other couples are too just feels like too much effort. Also jostling busy joints just to get a meal or grab a coffee. Not my cup of tea. Heh.

And the only time Deric ever bought me flowers was, actually, in our first month of dating. It was a rather funny thing to remember. We were having lunch at Pasta Zanmai in Sunway Pyramid and he had excused himself to make a trip to the washroom.

I remember thinking he was taking awfully long to be at the toilet by a guy’s standards. And then at long last he finally reappears at the table. With flowers. That is and was the only time I ever got anything of that sort from him. I guess I told him somewhere along the line that I wasn’t too big into caring for dying blooms and would rather have more practical gifts that last way longer so he took heed.

We did go out yesterday, but it was to the hospital, and it was with Jamie in tow. No one was ill though. It was checkup time for me. While we were there, there were visible reminders of others celebrating Valentine’s. People toting pink balloons walking around the hospital and the hospital staff joking amongst one another about Valentine’s.

Deric told me yesterday that he noticed many of the ladies at his office had flowers sent to them.

I’ve always wondered how that feels like because I never had that done for me. Ever.

(In fact, the only time I ever had a Valentine’s gift, it was from a guy I had no feelings for. It was a really sweet initiative on his part and I appreciated it. But I actually accidentally lost his gift a few days later. Note: It wasn’t flowers he gave, it was jewellery. I wore it to uni, and it fell off somehow. Yup, that’s the kind of person I am, I guess. :|)

Anyway, back to what I was saying… Valentine’s. Flowers. All these public professions of love.

Me being the private person I am, I often think that the best kind of love is the quiet, steady kind. The type that isn’t so readily visible to the rest of the world, but yet is strong and undeniable. Sort of like a well kept secret. It is more special that way, because even though the rest of the world is oblivious, you know it’s there. And it brings a smile to your lips, even in the moments you are on your own.

Not going to belittle Valentine’s traditions that you and your significant other may have, of course. We all ought to do whatever we need to in order to keep our feelings and commitment to each other alive and well.

Just that… This is my view of love. Or rather, the version of love that I have been afforded in this life. But I am thankful for it.

For the love that is expressed through dishes done and meals made when I am too tired to handle it and have passed out in bed. The little snacks brought home just for me. The responsibilities shouldered to bathe, play and put Jamie to bed on most nights. That sloppy kiss and that cheesy smile. Punny jokes and those same old stories, told over and over again.

All those little things and more that make being together special. Even if it’s not Valentine’s today.

Oh, here we are

It’s 2019 and I have been absent from the blogging scene for quite some time now. And regrettably so, too. So much has happened, and it could have been stuff I blogged about and shared with you. But I didn’t.

Everything always feels so haphazard here. All these disconnected thoughts and ideas. The good intentions that remain just that.

Maybe it’s like this for me because on the Internet, everyone’s got their public profile so carefully polished such that it makes me feel that whatever I have to offer is so meagre and pointless. Like nobody is going to read it or care about it.

But every time those kind of sentiments engulf me, I ask myself again, why do I keep a blog? Is it just to collect thousands upon thousands of followers? Do I write to inspire? Am I doing so to make myself feel good or to solicit some form of validation from others to convince myself that my writing is legit and of sound quality?

It’s hard to write blog posts, perhaps, because writing is my trade. If I let a typo slip through the cracks, it feels like it completely blots out my credibility as a writer. So I keep putting off posting anything till I feel I have something worthwhile to say and the time and space to put it down in proper words.

Thanks to this ridiculous tendency to self-censor what I write though, I end up not posting ANYTHING most of the time. And that’s terribly sad.

I’d like to try blogging more often. I would like to say once a day, at least, whatever the content might be, but that feels like it’s a goal I’m going to break within less than a week. I don’t know. I feel like such an indisciplined bum.

I need to write to improve. I also perhaps need an outlet to say stuff that I feel matters.

I don’t really have any Insta-worthy pics to put up though. And no revolutionary topics to bring to the fore. I only have these tiny thoughts that bubble up from inside me. And this desire to bring cheer and encouragement to someone else who needs it.

I’m into my 30’s and I do realise that probably almost half of my life may have already passed me by. I don’t know how much impact I can have, neither do I know whether the rest of the years I have left will be enough for me to get good at all those things I should have worked on earlier in my life.

But perhaps, this year, I will try a bit harder to keep this blogging habit alive. No promises though.