Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The happiness project-Gretchen Rubin

Chapter 5 of the book. I just wanted to pen some thoughts down before I forget. The topic is about "fun". The author decided to take fun more seriously. Have I given any thoughts to what I think is fun for me? Or am I mostly going along with the flow? What is the one thing I can spend hours doing, without feeling bored? An activity that has no economic or constructive value but which i still enjoy putting time and effort into? So far, the one thing I can do for a long period of time without getting restless is reading (which is such a given). The second thing is probably writing (another given!). I used to like scrapbooking but got bored of it. I also enjoy playing the ukulele and piano to myself but enjoy it so much less when there is an audience. Cycling, taking walks I guess are also enjoyable. It does seem like the activities I like are quite mellow and solitary. I also like the idea of escape rooms but haven't tried them yet. Who doesn't love treasure hunt of sort? I think there are many things i like and find interesting but few that I am truly passionate/ dedicated about. Anyway, I'm not sure if anything useful would come out of the book. I guess the happiness the author described is likely to be ephemeral but will elaborate more when I finish the book.

On a side note, I got a bit excited too when the author talked about starting a children's literature reading group after finding a kindred spirit. She had debated about whether to bring up the fact that she liked Harry Potter, as it seemed shallow to like children's lit, especially when one was speaking to a literary agent. Lo and behold, she later found out that the literary agent was equally fond of Harry Potter. She later added this quote from CS Lewis's "on three ways for writing for children":
When I was 10, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. 

I had read this excerpt in an article by brainpickings. I guess perhaps we shouldn't be afraid of being judged for what we like. We like what we like. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To love or not to love

Sometimes I wonder if we should judge who are worthy of our help and who are not? The politically correct answer is of course that it is not our place to judge. Yet, sometimes after lending a hand to someone, you just feel as if you have unleashed a monster. People who feel that your help is their entitlement, people who want more than what they had asked for in the first place, people who in the end just decided that you being their crutch is the only way out for them. God commanded us to love and that is the highest order that is seemingly simple, yet perpetually unattainable. How do you love everyone? It's tough enough to love someone close to you and who loves you back. How do you love someone who is "unloveable", someone who makes loving them so difficult? I don't know. It's easy to say that we can find the good, even the tiniest bit of good, in everyone but the actually doing calls for tremendous efforts. I guess maybe I'm not trying hard enough. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

True grit- bear grylls

Thought it might be nicer if he had included some of his own stories, rather than purely those of others. It might be interesting to know more about the backgrounds of all those heroes grylls mentioned in the book. Is there a common characteristic amongst these people with high endurance and survival instinct? Most people would have given up when caught in their situations but they didn't. Very admirable. The three main groups of people he featured in his book were war heroes (spies, POWs, etc), mountaineers, and pioneer explorers (the first explorers to reach the south and north poles, Antarctica, etc). Truly amazing but it also makes me wonder if some of these people had a death wish. I think I liked the war stories better than the rest. For the rest, the stories all blended into one another and sounded very similar-of people meeting with avalanches, trying to survive hypothermic circumstances, frostbite, starvation, etc.
But nonetheless, not too bad a read. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bday

Sis brought me and mom for lunch at Daniel Boulud's as a bday treat. It suddenly struck me as odd this whole birthday thing. Why do we celebrate our birthdays? What great things have we done to deserve a celebration in our name? It seems more befitting to "reward" our moms on our bdays, rather than ourselves, for the sacrifices and pain they bore for our existence. I guess maybe I don't feel "deserving" of a celebration, coz what I have done really? Has anyone benefitted from my existence? 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Time

Fighting against time, 
The mortal enemy,
Created by men, 
Feared by kings,
The mortal enemy,
That assaults all.

The fight is futile,
Wise men know,
Even the fools,
Time, it runs,
The sprinter,
That we can't race against.


Monday, December 8, 2014

The lock

Only the stars know my secrets,
The secrets I would never tell,
The secrets you would never know.

My silence is my safe harbour,
My silence that could never be broken,
The silence that only my heart understands.

If you unlock all my secrets,
Then you will see but you will not comprehend,
That the pandora box once opened,
Can never be the same again.
And that lock you picked,
Is the heart that falls apart. 
And that heart, 
It belongs to me.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The John Lennon letters -hunter davies

Quite a collection I must say! Very nicely put together in a chronological manner. Must have been tough tracking down all the letters that Lennon had sent throughout his life, and also the accompanying stories+interviews. John Lennon struck me as a little of a mad man, especially during his youth and also during his time with Yoko Ono. I guess there's a little streak of madness in creativity. 
I really like the cover of the book as well- a young Lennon with his eyes closed. 
The ending was a bit sad. A seemingly ordinary day. He signing an autograph for a fan from Hawaii, who later shot him dead. 
Also realized from the book that Lennon and Yoko Ono were in Singapore during 1976, and had sent some postcards to friends from there. 
I liked some of his writings from his childhood, where he had written funny, short, nonsensical stuff, including a newspaper he made up. 
He emphasized several times that he just wanted to make others laugh. In some of his later letters to his family, he kept reminding them that "I am still me!" People naturally assume that fame, money change people but sometimes, on the off chance, they do not. 
On a side note I just realized today,I had finished the book a few minutes before the day he was shot (8 dec)  34 years ago. Talk about coincidences!