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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rough ride ahead - part 2

Spent the last few years rebalancing our portfolio and cutting out some worthless crap.

Hopefully it is enough to sail through the days ahead without too much of a dent.

Yield wise, results have been satisfactory.  Managed to achieve my annual dividend (based on last 4 years portfolio)  collected in the first 4 months this year. That's what I was working towards.  Doubling the dividend yield and actual amount collected. Hope it all turns out as expected!

Wish me luck !

Rough ride ahead I think....

Singapore unexpectedly eases currency policy http://www.cnbc.com/id/103545932

Friday, January 22, 2016

Is it any different in Primary 3? - Part 2

For some unknown reason, Kaira seems a little more responsible with the start of the new school year.  The change is "sudden" in my opinion ..... it's like just a few days before the start of the school, she was still the same old 8 year old ;) but with the start of the new school year .... i can see a slight positive change.

For one, she started to be more responsible with respect to the homework assigned by her teachers.  For the last 2 years -- as homework was rather infrequent, maybe she isn't used to it ;p -- she will forget that she has homework and she usually never did them until reminded by the teacher or if for some reason I am aware of it, i will ask her about it.

But with the start of the new academic year, she surprised me by doing her homework without being asked/told.  and no complaints whatsoever.  What a splendid change i thought!  How that happened, i don't know.  Maybe it is a - going on-9 phase??

#2, in the past she hardly tells me the instructions that the teachers give.  Or if there's any communication. she will tell me that she has forgotten or she will get the details wrong. But this year she is communicating the instructions more! and they are usually accurate.

#3 used to have to take the longest time to wake her up in the mornings!  This year, miraculously she has been very cooperative so far! no dragging her feet whatsoever in the mornings.  so much easier to wake her up compared to the last 2 years! Praise the Lord.

Certainly hope that these positive changes will continue and that there will be more positive changes!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is it any different in Primary 3?

This year marks the start of a new phase for little (well maybe not so little afterall) Kaira.  Primary 3.  Why new ? Introduction of Science as an additional subject. and believe it or not, more homework and expectations from the teachers!

I am so not used to it honestly.

So to a certain extent, it is true - P1 and P2 years are honeymoon years!! And looking back, I am kind of glad that i chose to be more relaxed during the 2 years and her days are filled with playdates and fun times after school.  Once this phase past, we will never get it back isn't it?

of course it doesn't mean that she doesn't do any studying or work.  but my emphasis was more on her weak areas -- through the worksheets/test results that she received, i was able to identify certain areas of weakness in her academic work -- and i chose to focus on these areas rather than just push her to do well for everything. my rationale was that better that she builds the foundation for the more difficult academic requirements ahead .....

to be honest, i think if i had chosen to push her harder in "studying", doing additional worksheets -- she could possibly have done better. maybe average of 5 more points per subject so that she gets closer to full marks ??   but i am not sure if that is worth the effort ................

i mean if she naturally scores full marks  -- then good for her ......... .  but if with whatever effort she puts in, she gets between 90-95 -- i think it's also good enough for P1 and P2 lah.

but 1 important "lesson" that she learnt in P1 and P2 -- which i hope will stay with her in the years to come -- was that she can do better and more if she chooses to put in the time and effort.  and stop whining and complaining!! for some reason, she has the bad habit of "complaining/whining" about how difficult things are ....that she can't do it .... and she will give up halfway because she feels that its too difficult. 

i am not sure where this trait came from ... but it became fairly apparently with the start of primary school.

So .....one of the subjects that she didn't like very much initially is Maths.  She is not the kind that find pleasure or satisfaction in sovling challenging maths problems.  I know some kids are.  They are motivated to do well and they will try to solve the problem because they take pride in being able to solve the problem. My daughter is not one of them.

Once she encounters a more difficult problem -- which actually if u break it down and maybe think about it -- it's not that difficult afterall -- she will just say she doesn't know how to do it. and sometimes refer to the answer key..... 气死我了! this more so in P2 as the problem sums gets a little more challenging.

for the last term in P2, i spent more time with her on Maths - explaining the answers to her and getting her to practice.  and of course, reminding her to be careful and to check her work (she is simply very careless in her work -- so much so that she can miss out an entire page during tests....).

finally in her SA2 maths paper -- she scored a perfect score and i can tell that she was very pleased and happy.  and i had to reinforced the point that hardwork and being careful can make a difference.... now, i am still using this as an example to encourage her. and she acknowledges that because she went through the process and she saw the improvement in her results. 

I am grateful for this teachable moment.

This year, i told her we will have to do the same for her English and Chineses --- for they have been neglected during last 2 years....haha..... especially her English! So atrocious now. let's see.

i do feel that she seems to have less time after school these days as she comes home with homework everyday! what a difference from P1 and P2 :(  i don't want to add to her burden by giving her more work .... but o well, let's see how things go.




Sunday, January 17, 2016

Standing in the gap.

So there I was sitting in church and struggling with the behaviour of a specific individual that has been made worse with our relocation to Singapore 4 years ago... so much so that i wish at times that we are still living overseas.

At this point where I am struggling with anger, resentment, indignance. .. God chose to put a thought it me.

A thought that I would love to reject but I know I cannot.

Honestly I have mostly tried to ignore or pretend to be unperturbed by the specific individual. But I know I am. Deep within, subconaciously the resentment has grown so much in me that it has taken a toll on me and my closest. Especially in the last 4 years. The negative thoughts I have entertained were endless and scary.  So much so I am angry at the individual for being a stumbling block in my life.

Alot of times I feel terrible because I felt that I shouldn't be such a small minded person. That i shouldn't be so judgemental.  That i should be more accomodating, loving, thoughtful. And that I should try to accept the behavior/comments -- at least don't be too disturbed by it.   But I found that I can't.  Maybe it is pride.  Maybe it is because i am opinionated. Maybe it is because i believe that while basic respect is a given any more needs to be earned regardless of seniority. Maybe it is something else.  I don't know. Maybe I am just being difficult and spoilt.

I find it very difficult to accept something that I feel is wrong.  This has been a point of contention for me for the longest time.....

And yet God says let us put this aside. Whether I can accept it or not does not matter. (What?!?) Whether I like it or not makes no difference. I am to stand in the gap and pray. Pray for the person.  What??! Pray for someone that is driving me nuts??

O dear. Can I do it? By my own physical strength and human mental capacity - honestly no.

God knows i cannot.  So He even put the gist of the prayer into my mind and so here goes ....

Dear Lord, I pray for myself (and the person I am representing) :

- I pray that you will forgive me (and the person I am standing in the gap for) of my focus on myself;

- help me (and the person) to let go of the past and break the chains that bind. Chains of low self esteem, insecurity and lack of significance;

- soften my (and the person's) heart so that I am open to your words and wisdom and the counsel of the people around me.

- remove my pride (and the person's) as it is standing in the way of your work in me. 

- help me (and who I represent) so that I can enjoy and experience the freedom that is in you. Free to love, free to receive, free to give. Free from expectations. Free from self criticism. Free from the negativity that others generate.

I pray all these in Jesus' name. Amen.
======================

The reason I am writing this prayer down is to remind me to pray. To continue to stand in the gap. To encourage myself to follow the ways of the Lord rather than wallow in self pity and feeling indignant. 

Reminder that while I may not agree with the behaviour and I don't accept the comments, thoughts and behaviour -- I can continue to pray for the person.  It doesn't mean I embrace all that the person says and do.  But it does mean that I acknowledge that any improvement or change that I see is the work of God for there is nothing that I can do. I can only pray. 

It seems impossible. But I am therefore praying for a miracle that things will change and improve. That God will move wondrously.

It is only possible with the grace of God.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

尊重

认为别人不尊重你 - 是不是应该先检讨一下自己的言行举止。

觉得自己没错, 那是不是该考虑略有 不同的观点? 为什么别人会有不同的想法?

我想有些人的固执。。。 害己又害人。

对别人总是表现的非常随和, 明白事理, 处处为他人着想。对子女的不同观点却一点也不试着了解。总喜欢把带有"威胁"性的话挂在嘴边。。。到底是什么用意?  什么不尊敬, 不体会你的感受, 没跟你多说几句话。。。是我听了也觉得莫名其妙。

执迷不吾的钻牛角尖只会令人反感。

Blessing or Not?

When your blessing becomes more of a burden to the recipient - maybe it is time to reconsider what constitutes a blessing.

Maybe it is the recipient's own perception or lack of self esteem that makes the blessings a burden.

Maybe it is what is said and how it is communicated that the blessing unknowingly becomes a burden.

Either way -- it is a sad thing. Something that is meant to be good and beautiful becoming a burden.

And sadly people don't reflect much on their actions and their consequences.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Langkawi

In Dec 2015, we went for a short getaway to Langkawi in Malaysia.

It was more enjoyable than I had imagined ... haha... maybe it was because i wasn't diligent enough in my research and had relied on my "hearsay" knowledge of langkawi.

I have never visited Langkawi prior to this. Kind of embarrassed saying that considering that it's such a near destination and many of my "foreign" friends have visited langkawi! LOL.

"Touristy", "expensive", "crowded", "nicer beaches elsewhere" -- all these were comments/feedback that probably made me give less consideration to Langkawi as a holiday destination.

And to a certain extent, these are true statements -- but that shouldn't put me off visiting a destination i suppose.  Afterall, Paris is touristy and quite expensive too - and hoardes of tourists still go there!

Langkawi surprised me with its laidback feel even though it is touristy! i don't know how it achieved it, but i guess it has to do with the culture and people ;) and touristy has its perks -- everything is well-oiled -- everyone knows what should be done, how it should be done and even though its chaotic sometimes (like when we went island hopping) -- there is some sort of order in the chaos and everything just functioned smoothly.  Very minor hiccups. 

Travelling with a child, I think that is an important consideration for me especially since we usually travel free and easy (don't think we have gone on a packaged tour with kaira at all, except for cruises); And Langkawi ticked all the right boxes.  I loved the eco-tourism activities - and honestly they are not that expensive now as the Ringgit is quite weak.  Even accomodation -- there are so many choices from backpackers inn to family resorts to high end resorts -- for budgets of all sorts. and taxis to the major attractions are fixed price -- so we don't have to worry about haggling and being taken for a ride.  I guess i am beginning to appreciate touristy ;)

Langkawi - we will probably see you again sometime.


 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

父债子还

那天看了电视节目, 一位印度男子为了帮爸爸还债,离乡背井来到新加坡工作, 放弃大学学业。 好个孝顺的孩子。感人之余带些遗憾。但至少这个债还的清。

虽说“父债子还” -- 但如果“欠“ 的 是人情 - 还, 也应该适可而止吧。接受了他人的祝福/帮助就大大方方接受吧。 当然也不是说应该觉得人家给予的帮助是理所当然的 - 礼上往来 这个道理我明白。 不明白的是, 为什么 要表现的自己似乎因为接受了帮助而变成了二等人士? 而觉得要还得比较多才安心?我想这不是他人所要的吧。诚心给的起的人应该不会想你还。如果不是如此,那那些人有何居心我不解。 又或者他们太鄙视他人了。 

别人的意见总是比较好, 比较对。别人的需求也通常 比较重要。或许别人看到的是你那 “乐于助人” “处处为他人着想” 的 好心肠。遮掩了你自尊心低,永远比不上别人的心理。

说实在的, 要还你就还个够吧。没人能阻止也说不上对或错。但无形间把负担转移到下一代-- 要求子女也须有这种心态 - 是不是有些不可理喻? 这还也还不清的”债“

可能我不善解人意;自私; 太过自我 没试着站在别人的立场;为他人着想。又或者我没试着了解,接纳;又或者怜悯心不够。

绝对不是那个好人的问题; 一定是我这个小人心胸太窄。


有些想法因为我不认同所以永远不会理解。又或许因为我不理解所以我不认同。勉强接受就只会让自己难受。 何必呢?