Thursday, May 31, 2012

Barley - My favorite and a saver

For some reason, I was feeling a little light-headed again on Tuesday, and the weird thing is, I don't really feel that I am sick (not to that extent) and I suspect it was more of fatigue.
However, I am not ready to take any more chances considering my last illness cost me three weeks of freedom and therefore, I decided to drown litres of water to cool my body down (the heatwave was really getting to most of us too!)

Then I made myself some barley...yeah, I can cook my own barley drink these days, so I am not that spoilt!

Looks good, although I left it to cook a little longer than I should, but I was busy fixing my phone :-P

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This drink is one of my personal favorites to drink on any day, but more so whenever I am feeling unwell or excess heat in the body (fever or sore throat) as this is one of my best bet for a natural life-saver and health booster.
The best part is it is packed with fibre to keep me going when I had no appetite!

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I love chewing on the barley grains although lots of people would usually discard them after cooking as most of them do not like the grains but I am totally the opposite; as I am so into them.

I did feel better after a round of barley drink the next day, and a good thing.
Good ol' barley is always the best remedy at the early stages and even when I am already sick; good to cool down fever and reduce the inflammation of a sore throat.

I am proud of myself*

Expectations from marriage

Two years ago, I was floating on cloud nine when my guy proposed to me while on one of the most beautiful vacation overseas and then after dancing around in my dreams for a little bit, it was time to launch into planning mode to throw everything that I ever wanted/dreamt of as a little girl to realize that perfect wedding.
The whole process took an entire year; and that was one year ago, I still couldn't believe that it is now behind me and today, I carry the title of a Mrs. and I am officially married to someone.
I have a husband now and even my posts on my blog are about 'us' instead of all me nowadays.

It's funny how things have taken a turn for a change; but of course, I see it as a good change and also, part of growing up. Entering a new phase of life means taking on new responsibilities and perspectives on life.
What used to be me and me alone now becomes 'us'.

To be honest, I have wrote about a lot of things about 'what happens after I do', settling into my married life and also my personal thoughts on being married and there are just so much more to write about that I have running through my mind since October last year. However, while we are enjoying our journey of being married, we also start to face certain expectations.
We have known each other for some time and therefore, we have skipped that part of settling and fitting in each other's life as we have gone through most of those in discussion and in dealing with each other during our courting period.
Therefore, I am not talking about expectations of each other; but rather I was surprised that there were other expectations coming from other sources; for instance our parents, families, relatives and even friends.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it in a negative way, but it just surprised me although I have been told by my friends and family earlier yet it still kind of struck me as funny yet amusing when I realized it.
If you are guessing about pregnancy, yes, you got it right.

I know it is a norm to be expecting the newly weds to have children; but I just didn't expect it to come instantly.
I was pursued with questions of "When are you planning to have a baby?", "Are you pregnant yet?", "Are you guys planning to have kids anytime soon/at all?", "Are you guys on family planning mode?" and a lot more of such nature even in the first month of my marriage!

I just find it a little all too rushed and the best part is, we are not even the ones who are in panic mode.
Some are telling us (the older aunties and uncles) that we ought to plan for one as soon as possible while young or else we could be old when the children grow up.
It is ironic that these people could be more anxious compared to us; people who have the potential to become parents, although I am assured of their concern and kindness. I do know that everyone means well.

Family planning is something that everyone is concerned about; I am sure after one enters the phase of marriage and while we can be hearing questions and friendly advices on the right way to plan for a baby and other worldly experiences from our elders, there are also times when the couple themselves need to decide for themselves whether to bring a new life into the world on their own will and not succumb to pressure.
I was told that this is only the tip of the iceberg and after that, more and more questions will come knocking on my door.

I have recently heard of friends who have gotten pregnant; actually, there are tons of them that it almost seemed like everyone around me is pregnant or were pregnant. I have even heard of two miscarriages from two of my close friends and my heart cries silently for my friends' pain over the loss.
I know that most people are enthusiastic about having a baby, and some of my friends even told me that the pregnancy came unexpectedly.

As for me, I am not sure when I will be joining the circle of expecting mothers or enter the realm of motherhood as it is not just up to us to make this decision but also something which lies in the power from above; to whom I am leaving our fate to.
This is usually the answer I give to concerned people who asked me about whether I am pregnant or not, after being married for a few months now; or half a year. 
To us, having a baby may sound like an easy thing but there are just so many things to look forward to besides having that new member in the family. Financial stability, mental and physical maturity, our readiness to take on a new role, and also many other things. It is not just about following the majority or giving into peer pressure to have a child at the 'right' time/age.
The human issues versus our divine destiny is just usually the answer I give to concerned and anxious people around us; God will let us know when the right time is?:-)

Perhaps the time will come when I write in my blog about the joys of becoming a mother and how it is like to be expecting, or maybe the blog will fully revolve around the new member.
The time will come, I am sure, for all of us and if it is not meant to be, well, that is also something we should be prepared for.

When the day comes, I will definitely write more in my blog...and that time, don't ask me the next question, "When is the next one coming along?" 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The day I was called by a headhunter

Headhunter is a term that I have heard for a while, and I was often amazed (and) impressed with the stories of people who have been contacted/located by them.
(In case you are not familiar with the term, do not be horrified by the thought that the hunt is for one's physical head as this is just a literal way of saying that one is hunted by their reputation. A rather profound and widely acknowledged term used by recruitment agencies on the hunt for potential candidates for their position listing by their clients).

I have heard of them recruitment agencies and how they work, and the way they earn from their clients and also job seekers when their services are engaged are somewhat similar to that of a real estate property agent. Well, sort of. From what I have heard, they will need to extract at certain % from the company seeking for candidates to assume their vacant positions; if they engage the services of a particular recruitment agency, that is and once the candidate is hired. I am not really sure if the candidate should also contribute as they were sought by the agency, but I do know that they will have to if they registered with the recruitment agency to look up a job and their job was found by the same agency.
Sounds complicated? Maybe, or maybe not, as I did not really pay much attention to this anyway....Before it just chanced upon me.

I remembered my dad telling me that only people of respectable reputation are sought after by the recruitment agencies, or let me just refer to them as headhunters and it makes perfect sense for with their remarkable performance history and track record, they no longer need to seek jobs but rather, jobs come knocking on their doors even when they are attached to another company. Sounds too good to be true, right?
I found myself amazed with a big 'Wow' when I heard of stories of managers or big shots of respectable companies being sought after by their competing companies and being offered a much rewarding, not to mention attractive paycheck and wondered, will the day ever come for myself too?
Maybe it will, sometime in the future, but not at the moment as I thought I was just working my way and learning things the hard way.

I was surprised when I first received an email followed by a phone call from this lady in Singapore who informed me that she was from a recruitment agency and that she was interested in me to match a position in a multinational corporation. Guess what, the first thought that came to my mind was, was this some kind of joke or a fraud?
Well, we talked and it then occurred to me that it was for real. I was being contacted by a headhunter; yes, that word sank in after some time!

It was apparent to me, and not just that, I received another call; no, not another headhunter but a HR manager of another prominent MNC who was interested in discussing with me about an available position in the company. Anyway, the latter did not fit my profile or I did not fit them perhaps; my background did but my experience did not supplement enough to suit me for the job required which left me with the earlier offer.
Initially things seemed to be going quite well, and recently, she offered me another higher-level position which sounded really exciting and discussions are ongoing.

Alright, I am not writing about this to brag about being head-hunted; but rather, sharing my personal thoughts and feelings on the whole experience.
Well, to be honest, I am not quite sure how I felt about the overall elxperience as I was a little overwhelmed by it all that I still felt like it was surreal. I was not quite sure whether I should be delighted, jumping with joy, proud, honored or even just simply give myself a pat on my back for being considered by these companies for important job roles.
Perhaps I should, considering that this is some sort of a little achievement, or an honor, as my dad would say to have captured the attention of the key industry players of my tiny existence in the big world.

Nothing is for sure yet, and I have learnt from experiences that high expectations could sometimes (or maybe  most of the time) lead to major disappointments. It's not that I don't think positively nor am I confident of my own capabilities, but I never do believe in counting the chicken eggs before they are hatched for I always felt that it would somehow just jinx the whole thing. I prefer to leave everything to God, for I know that He had arranged all these for me, and He is always there for me when I am down and needed guidance.
Some may say that I should be proud that I am doing a good job, but honestly, I am not trying to act humble but I do owe it all to God for He determines what I should do and where I ought to go.
Perhaps this is a little test from him, or a little carrot from him; but I thank Him all the way for showing me a little light in times of darkness.

Whatever the results shall be, it is still to me an achievement that I know I should be proud of for I am considered worthy to even be contacted by these companies. I still have a long way to go, and I am not going to be all conceited and think that I am way up there when I am still all the way down here.
It is a great opportunity of course, and one that I am silently rejoicing and telling myself that I need to work harder.

I shall not revel in the expectations but rather find more ways to improve myself to stay competitive at all times, and that means more and more hard work.
Whatever that comes, I will accept it as I leave everything to God.
Come what may...and at the same time, I shall continue to work....and work :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What defines a soulmate...

I define a soulmate as someone who knows me through and through; be it my outer and inner self, my physical and mental, and is one who could just know what I think or about to say before I even have to open my mouth. It is definitely someone whom I could trust, and know that I could depend on when I am in need. There is no longer a need for words or any act and the person is just almost another of me, but in thoughts and in unity with my soul.

Sounds complicated?
Not so, but it definitely requires somewhat of such complexity to be called a soulmate; or someone who eerily knows you so well next to yourself.

The journey to find someone of such qualities is definitely not one to be easily predicted and sometimes, there is no need to really embark on a search for that person right beside you could be easily your soulmate. Maybe it is the long time spent with each other, or it is the depth of understanding that can really define a soulmate, or so some may think.
It may be funny that there are those that you have just met for a short while, yet you could just feel it in your bones that he/she is definitely the one you are about to trust or can truly depend on.

There are many who thought they have found their soulmate when they married that person they love or thought they know very well, only to find that he/she was not the person they are looking for nor do they understand them well enough to work together in a crisis. Some even found in another whom they could talk to when they needed someone instead of their own spouse; who should rightfully be the soulmate.
It is really one's own definition really; but of course, spouse, being that one person who is in close affinity to us after our own parents in terms of love, trust and thoughts, is usually the first person who comes to the mind when one speaks of a soulmate. However, what if, your soulmate is someone who is not your spouse? Or what if it is your best friend?
What is the problem with that? There is no clear rule that says that your best friend cannot be your soulmate, nor does it says that your soulmate must be someone you are in love with or married to.

It is an interesting journey of discovery, and some may go through their whole life without truly finding their soulmate while some enjoy that privilege of being surrounded by people whom they could call soulmate and have a hard time to define that one person whom they could really trust.
There are certain points when there are certain individuals, I am sure that we would have encountered in our life that we thought with certainty that is the soulmate only to be disappointed when things don't turn out that way.

Perhaps I have found my soulmate, or perhaps I have not? I am thankful that I am surrounded by many people whom I could call understanding friends and whom I know would not leave my hand dangling there in the air when I needed another hand to pull me up.
I will continue to enjoy this journey called life, although it will not be all pleasant and along the way, encounter my very own journey of self-discovery (which I believe I am on at the very moment and find that soulmate who holds my mind and invisible hand as I walk along the way.

A soulmate will never let you down, nor judge you when you are in need, but instead stand there in the shadows waiting for you to come around.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What really changes after I Do?

Many have asked me the question "How's married life?" since I have walked down the aisle and professed my vows before God last year, tying the knot with someone whom I am to spend the rest of my lifetime with.
Someone whom I know call my hubby, the man who takes his place beside me as long as we both live.

It is a common question; and rather expected out of the mouths of friends and relatives of a newly wed couple as a way of greeting and striking a conversation with the couple. The response was rarely heeded; as though everyone knows the type of answer which will come out of their mouths which will be a polite and one of a positive note, like the following:
"Great, we are so in love with each other!"
"We are just having so much fun"
"We simply can't get away from each other, even if it is just for a few minutes"
"I can't tell you how much I am loving it"
and the list just goes on as each shares their own account of their thoughts on their new phase of life.

Of course, most will nod their heads in agreement for it is expected of a newly wed couple; as they enjoy that early days of knowing each other better and exploring beyond the normal everyday boundaries which were hidden beneath the seemingly perfect surface of their other half.
That is an exchange of the secret lives between the two people now sworn to spend their lifetime with each other, and everyone would be expecting that they will be enjoying the experience of discovering each other. After all, it is the honeymoon period, isn't it?

As for me, I do not deny the above responses which I would probably agree with, but whole-heartedly and at the same time, I would also like to say that for hubby and myself, we somehow felt that nothing really changed after saying "I Do".

Yes, we have entered into our new phase of our lives, by sharing our lives together as one; and no longer as two single individuals but yet, we seemed to just ease so comfortably into our roles as though we have been long married. Perhaps it was the long time we have known each other and took to learning and understanding each other or perhaps we just feel so close that we could just share on our own respective life stories and backgrounds ever since we knew each other.
The number of years we have had and the ups and downs we have encountered during our relationship attributed to the strong understanding we have of each other today.

Things were not easy when it first started and there were doubts and insecurities as question after question rises when we were deciding on the direction of our relationship, which first started as friendship. However, as we roughed it out and smoothed the differences through our experiences and learning from our mistakes, we soon started to enjoy being with each other and really understood what it is like to have someone in our lives.

We were both new in relationships; never having had a boyfriend/girlfriend before. Yes, we are both our firsts, which is really sweet and something which I wished I could have ever since I was younger. Back then, I often wondered who I am going to meet in the future, and what kind of person I will end up marrying or will I even get married someday. (Haha, I am that hilarious:)
You could say that I was an extremely cautious person when it comes to trusting people; and especially to enter into a relationship. Call me conservative or even dumb, but I thought of relationships as romantic and that it should be filled with love and trust and it must last until marriage. I was not looking for flings or dates for fun even at a young age; I knew I wanted someone whom I would marry someday. A guy once told me that I should try dating to know what kind of guy suits me; I know he's not wrong, but I also told him in return, I don't want to try, I know I will know when the right one comes along.

It sounded like a cliche line from one of those romantic movies, I know, and the funny thing is, I didn't really know when the right guy comes along! It shows that things are never what they seemed, but time proved everything.

Entering into marriage is a first step to know each other better, as many before us tells us. It is time to know about the deepest secrets, the good and the bad habits, the background and life journey about that very person you are about to spend your lifetime with.
For us, we have done ALL that when we took that journey through our years of relationship to finally confirm that we are ready to be married.

We did not do it the other way round but instead, we decided that we must know each other before we take that step.

So what really changes after we are married today? (since we claim to know each other so well before marriage)
I can say that we are familiar yet unfamiliar with each other's grounds, but we are using the familiarity and knowledge of each other to venture into the unknown. We work with each other, to understand each other better. While many may have encountered feud when discussing about finances and home maintenances, we have reached our own common understanding since we knew of each other's style by making the best of each's expertise in our respective fields.
For instance, I could do planning in fields such as home; shopping for the groceries and necessities or planning for parties and events with the family while hubby could make decisions on the travel, vehicles and major planning. It is something that we must be able to agree upon, and not doubt each other's decision. To reach this, it requires trust and respect for the equality which exists in the relationship.

To say that we are experts about each other is definitely still an understatement for even couples who are married for decades still claim they will never stop learning about each other.
However, I truly appreciate the longer days we spent in our relationship and going through the ups and downs to prepare us for our marriage and joining our lives as one as we understand the best and worst of each other.
We are now more knowing of each other, and sometimes we just know what each other thinks without even having to say another word.
We will continue to discover more of the ups and downs or marriage, but we are confident we will be able to handle them all as we have during our courtship.

As for blending in with our respective families, it was something we had done even during our courting period, as our parents are well versed with each other and with us. Living or dealing with either side of the parents is not an issue; and in fact, we now have 2 sets of parents that we equally love and care about.

I won't say that everything is going to be a breeze or a fairytale, for there are bound to be ups and downs, but I will hold his hand and together we will counter them all.
Nothing changes after marriage?
Yes, a lot has changed...we are making ourselves a better couple from our past and sharing our new life as ONE.
THAT, is the main change after marriage :-)