The art of taking a break

My friend often told me that I tend to arrange things back to back. And as a result, quite often I was rushing from one place.

I feel accomplished when I finished all my errands. And I think it’s somehow addictive to me.

Until recently, I easily fell sick due to pack activities. Or rather, my mind was quite tense maintaining all the details for the errands.

And when you fell sick, your physical strength drops so, it will make you rethink what’s important and what’s not.

Suddenly things which you think it’s important, doesn’t seem so important anymore. Your body tells your mind that, why don’t you leave it for now, and come back to it later.

When you’re healthy, you feel like at the top of the world, want to conquer the seven seas and can even go to the moon.

Don’t keep pushing your luck. Or rather your own body.

Don’t you think in the end, how fast you complete it doesn’t matter?

Old saying said, when it rains, it pours. It’s true to some extent. If we already pack our time till no more time left. Doesn’t it also mean that we don’t allow for deviation? No more space for other changes. When changes happened, we (or rather I) tend to be panic.

Know your body, know your priorities, and when it’s time to rest, just rest. Things to work on will never get finished. It applies both to work and personal.

I think I should learn more from cats. They know when just to curl up and rest, and when to be active and play.

Cat in shoe box

(Again, not my cat. It’s just a neighborhood cat which like to use me as his scratch machine :p)

Don’t you think so?

Live a little more

If I were mixed up with you
I’d be the talk of the town
Disgraced and disowned
Another one of the clowns

But you would finally live a little
Finally laugh a little
Just let me give you the freedom to dream and it’ll wake you up

It was part of the lyrics from a song titled Other Side by Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.

First movie in 2018 and it, was, amazing! I was having goosebumps when I watched the movie, and I still feel I have it when I was replaying it.

I really inspired with the character of PT Barnum. The movie highlighted that he was poor, living as office worker, started to lose his dream and live without passion then things happened. I won’t tell any further, no spoiler. He’s not perfect, but then his resilient to make things come true, really, got me.

I asked myself again, when will be my time to have this kind of moment. Especially when something happened, not in a so good way, the question usually just floats again.

But hey, I believe there will be a pop in your brain when it’s really the time. So, give your brain a break, don’t need to keep asking that question. There will be time for everything.

So, if you haven’t watched the movie, give it a go.

PS: Musical movie is a hit and miss to me, I slept while watching La La Land, but I was watching it in the plane. But hey, I really enjoying Les Miserables. Do you get the connection?

End of year reflection

So, this is it. We are at year end, or rather the last month of this year. It’s still first week, isn’t it? A little early to do it, no?

This post will be a long one. As these are dedicated to few moments in 2017.

Well, I think it’s never too early for anything, as having too much time sometimes make me procrastinate more.

First, about fandom.

Ever since I watched Thor Ragnarok, tumblr and Pinterest had sucked my soul. And after quenching the thirst of MCU, I feels like I should watch another British production.

So, I’m having catch up with Sherlock series by BBC. It’s overdue since few years ago. I know it’s another fandom, which can make you stay there forever.

When I proofread my blog, I’m reading it in Sherlock (or rather Cumberbatch’s) sassy tones. Really.

Fast forward few weeks, now is Christmas weekend and I finally completed my Sherlock catch up, with some replays in some of the episodes. That’s a good thing to do binge watch, I don’t feel tormented while waiting for the new episodes.

I tried to focus on just following Japanese only drama to practice listening, but I don’t feel the motivation anymore.

Lesson to note: don’t try too hard or go extreme on one thing. Be balance. Like diet, when you deprived yourself from one thing, the rebound will be double.

Second, about races in 2017.

This week, I tidied up my agenda, joined the first half which I took out, with the second half, prepped the 2018 agenda and rewrote the first 3 months into it.

I told myself, you did well in 2017.

Maybe, it sounds like self consolation, but I think, most of the times we didn’t acknowledge ourselves enough. Get jealous when friends are happy, competing who has more happy things or even sufferings. Strange isn’t it. But that happened to me sometimes.

After tidying up the agenda, it made me wanted to tidy up one of my wardrobe as well. The sport gears and the race bibs & medals. Here are the 2017 collection.

2017 medals

Then, it leads to find the precious years medals

All medals

I found the “key” that started all of these, it flashed back to 2010.

Yellow Ribbon 2010

“One ring to rule them all” for me is “one run to start them all” but I’m happy where I am today. Perhaps it’s one of the best decision I made few years ago.

Lesson to note: when you challenge yourself for something and you need to practice or train for it, it will teach you something. Whether you cross the finish line or not. It’s the journey.

(Which leads to) Third, about younger self.

I find that sometimes my younger self is wiser. When I read my past blog, or randomly found my notes/scribble commenting on my life events or decided to do something (most of it on impulse) which makes my current self think it was a great decision or cool thing to do or try.

Or maybe I’m just getting old and sentimental :p

Lesson to note: being organized is good, but embrace the mess, then you’ll have less stress. Consider the risk, and be spontaneous like your younger days. Take the leap.

Fourth, about relationship

I learned *A LOT* from people around me this year. I learned first hand that not all of them are genuine. Friendship and/or relationship need 2 hands to clap. You can’t be the only one, always, making effort. It’s hard to let go at first, but I think it’s necessary to move on. But, through that journey, I also find gems. The people who genuinely care about you. There are 2 types of people will come to your life, to care about you and to teach you something.

Lesson to note: trust with caution. Don’t afraid to open up first. Reach out. Be warm. Be genuine.

Lastly, about priorities.

There was a quote in Pinterest sometime ago, since tumblr and Pinterest had owned my souls for the past 2 months, that if you’re not willing to change, don’t complain about the situation you’re in. Sometime I dragged myself to take action, but I kept complaining about it. You’re not a tree, do something.

While there are few things had been bugging me, some are milder than the rest. And again, I repeat the mantra that don’t rush it. Take it easy. Do it one thing at a time.

Lesson to note: there will be time for everything. Things may seem to fall apart, but it allows right piece to come at the right place.

So, that’s it! Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year. May the force always be with you.

Luffy Christmas

Thank you 2017. You’re great. Thanks for all the life lessons, friendships and adventure.

Hope 2018 will be kind to me. I’ll be at your care. 2018年よろしくお願いしますね。

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I thought this is a teen drama like Juno, but I was wrong. It was deeper than just a drama. This movie drew my attention while browsing what movie I should watch during flight to Shanghai because of Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. You know Emma Watson, but Ezra caught my attention because of The Flash in Justice League.

And with Ant-Man inside too.

There are many memorable lines, but there are two which I find very memorable:

One, which I feel so meaningful is

Sam: Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?

Charlie: We accept the love we think we deserve

which actually what Bill, Charlie’s teacher told him earlier.

It made me think, that are we being picky then? Or will you stay in bad relationship and endure it, because you think you’re not deserve better?

Anyway, I’ll let that line linger in my mind for awhile.

Second line which I really like is

We can’t choose where we come from but we can choose where we go from there


It’s just like the water which gives hope in the desert. Okay I was being too dramatic here.

By the way, there is a continuation of the conversation between Charlie and Bill

Charlie: Can we make them know that they deserve more?

Bill: We can try.

So, it’s really a good movie. It made me laugh, cry and think about many things. If you haven’t watched it, give it a go.

And let me know what do you think. Or share your fave lines from the movie.

The essence for our growth

I: Isn’t it fun getting better at the job?

C: it is

I: isn’t that the main strand of your career that you’re getting better at the job

C: well, it could only get better, it couldn’t get worse

Inspiration of the week is a chat by Cate (C) Blanchett and Sir Ian (I) McKellen in Actors on Actors show (link)

They were discussing about things they are not so good at (geez, they are so humble, o’rite). Cate replied Ian that she feels they just need to be asked by someone to do it (as a challenge for themselves)

In imaginary world, if I’m an actor, I think my bosses will be the director of the show. They are the one who set the movie direction. And I just need to do my best as certain role in the movie.

I’m guessing that directors also have their own unique style, perhaps like Quentin Tarantino or Michael Bay or Peter Jackson.

Clashes are unavoidable and uncontrollable, but our respond to it is controllable. As there was a conflict happened this week and I can’t help to keep thinking about it. I kept asking why to myself to the extent it hounded me.

However listening to Cate and Ian, I feel that after it’s all happened in the past, their present self can just laugh at it. They grew from their past self.

The image of 7 deadly sins comic starts to appear in my mind when I was hounded by the incident. That I was activating Pride and Wrath in me. And what I need to activate is Acceptance now. So, don’t feel angry or sad, just be better. One step at a time.

Thing happens for a reason. As always.

Ask and you’ll be given. Whether it’s something important for your growth or the answer to your problem.

What do you think?

Extra note:

Doesn’t time feel so fast passing by when you are in the last quarter of the year?

I flipped through my agenda and find that October inspiration page was blank. Although I had my October filled with activities.

November, on the other hand, has been giving me valuable lessons. It also the M-1 for the big event early Dec.

One thing that blogging helps me to be better is

The phone buzzed, a reminder to blog showed up. Ah, it’s time for it again.

Sometimes I have the idea around mid week, and I started to write it, set it on schedule and when the reminder showed up, just ticked it, and I’m done.

There are also days when I don’t have the idea until the reminder is showing. Or, on top of that, I have other commitments which made me unable to set aside a time to write.

So, I asked myself, did the week just pass by with nothing interesting happened to me? Or without learning something from it.

That question reminds me of my sensei’s statement to us during classroom. As she likes to ask random question to us, like do you meet strange people while going to class, or do you find a money on the street, so on, my classmate and I tend to be quiet. Partially, we are thinking how to answer her, and the other half, is trying to recollect of those happened to us.

She’s jokingly saying, that we are not interested in the world outside ours (i.e. phone).

And I find it somewhat true.

Most of the times, I don’t pay attention to what happened around me during commuting, it’s all going on auto-pilot mode, leave the house, lock the door, walk to MRT, get the EZ link card, tap on the gate, go up to platform, wait for the train, hop in (or squeeze in) and so on.

Speaking about this auto-pilot mode reminded me of an old talk by Ajahn Brahm. That we are not living in the present and lack of awareness.

And the funny thing is, both of them suggested similar method. For example, instead of always turn right after a building, we turn right earlier or later (but make sure there is a path to go to our destination), we might see different things along the way. Or, when you brush your teeth, do you always start from the left side or from the right side, top half of the mouth first or the other area of the mouth first?

Back to the question I asked myself, yes, I have one or two events which I found it memorable. I’ll share here some other time. Thanks to that, I’m able to remember more important lesson, which is to be in the present moment.

How about you, can you remember all the events happened to you last week? Or maybe your lunches.

PS: this view might be the opposite of why Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs always wear the same color shirt and same jeans everyday. They prioritize making decision over choosing a style. Hence they go auto-pilot on wardrobe.

A note from last week

I saw that pin from Pinterest app.

And I’m amazed how coincidence it is because of what happened to me yesterday when I was in the middle of completing a race. Halfway mark I felt my legs were giving up.

The talk by Simon Grimstrup when my friends and I were in Vietnam emerged from my mind. He said, usually he had 3 options in his head, option A is to complete the race within xx time frame, option B is to complete it within yy time frame and the last option is just to complete the race.

I asked myself, it’s halfway there, what do you want to do? Flag a cab? Why am I rushing? To meet my friends at the finishing line? How about if I can’t meet them? That’s okay too isn’t it? I still can meet them some other day.. and, comparing to your friends, you have a cut off time (on top of the race cut off time). Because you still need to go to class after this. Do you have to go to class? You were skipping few lessons back then because of races too.. so..?

After having all of those convo, I decided to go with option C. Just complete it. I’ll think of the rest later after crossing the finishing line.

I listened to my legs, they barely could run for 500m, so, I walked almost the last 8km. But I jogged in between especially when I spotted cameraman.. for few seconds of glory, the legs agreed.

And darn right! The feeling crossing the finish line was incredibly awesome.

PS: I still went to my class, although was late for 20mins, then walked like penguin back home, tried to take a nap but the euphoria made my mind alert somehow. So, I decided to watch Pokémon while having light dinner. (Although I entitled for 2000 calories meal) Did some rolling as my friends suggested to ease the pain and call it a day.

PPS: I’ll do my best to enjoy the soreness before the next one (wottt) and back to civilian life

To worry or not to worry

When did the last time you feel worry before you are about to do something? It could be something very important, and if you screw it up, it would be a nightmare. Or, it could be something you’re going to do for the first time.

Well I still feel the butterfly in my stomach on D-1 of my race. Regardless the distance or the sports. But those tensions are more like a self-impose pressure. Without realizing, I put pressure on myself when I’m doing something. Be better than your previous self. And I hate to lose to myself (lol)

There are more things that I learned from the manga Haikyuu! that I read this week:

1. All you need at start is just a bit of curiosity.

When you begin doing something, you don’t need an “unshakable will” or “impressive motivation”. Little by little, what you’ve begun will naturally become important to you. – Kiyoko Shimizu

(When Hitoka Yachi was uncertain and not confident about being volleyball club manager)

It’s okay to not to have the better result after every event I joined. Keep the “how do I…” flame alive, find out more from friends, research or reading. Give it a try, remember the outcome and learn from it.

2. There will be next race

Isn’t it defeat more like a trial to overcome? Of whether you can stand up and walk again after falling to your knees. If you remain on your knees like that, then it would be a sign of weakness.

(Takeda Ittetsu to Kageyama Tobio and Hinata Shoyo after their defeat against Aoba Johsai during Interhigh)

As long as you properly recover, train more and better preparation next time. There are so much things you can control, but there are also other things you can’t. Train well, and translate those into the actual race. Without panic or worry.

PS: to myself, I know you usually like to grind more (put more effort) than the actual required (read: in RPG game = level) and there is always “I did not … enough” thought lingering. As long as you have done your best, isn’t it good enough?