half empty or half full

Last Saturday, I met a new friend, Marielle. We were chatting over some random topics and she brought up an interesting philosophy which I did also read about it sometime ago. It was a great chat because that philosophy serves as a reminder to us. The philosophy we were talking about how we look at a half glass of water – is it half full, or is it half empty.

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How we define the half glass of water actually reflects on our attitude towards life – being an optimist or being a pessimist. We either feel appreciative, thankful and happy with what we have or be resentful and unhappy about what we don’t have in life. When life present something unfamiliar or uncertain to us, how do we react towards the situation does influence how we feel and subsequently how we handle the situation. A positive and optimistic mind will motivate and drive us far while a negative and pessimistic attitude will pose many fear and roadblocks even before we assess the whole picture.

The key to move forward in life is always be thankful and grateful. Be happy with what we have (good health, peace, love, family, friends) and also for the greater things that are yet to come. Be happy for NOW, for the very moment we are having right NOW. One of the things we are still learning now is to live in the present moment even as we plan for the future. For some reason, there is power in being optimist – not only to ourselves, but to our spouse and the people around us.

The key to happiness is simplicity. There may be luxuries and advancement of technology, but sometimes we found ourselves reminiscing the simpler things in life and reliving the nostalgia that we had in the good old days. More often than not, simplest joy comes in the simplest form, like a kind gesture, a smile, a home cook dinner, or by just simply being healthy. They are not expensive and most of them are free yet priceless because it comes from the heart. Money can’t buy a smile, because it has to come from a sincere heart. Home cook dinner are the best because it is prepared with love. Money cannot buy health because it takes time and effort to nurture it. While there are many things that are so dependent on money these days, never forget that money is not everything. There is still humane side of things that are free and worth the time in our life.

These days, when I am feeling dejected and jaded, I remind myself to cut the thought – the half empty thought that might give way to pessimistic and bitterness. Rather than dwelling in sadness and the negativity, we would rather invest the energy to improve ourselves or current condition. There is no point in sulking because sulking would not improve the situation. It is our choice to be happy over sadness and we should all forget about self-pities. One of way to draw positive energy from our surroundings is to always think big and wide, think out of the box. Go out and meet new people and always be ready to be inspired. There is always new things to learn every day.

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We recently moved out from our rented room into a small cosy home across the street. We are really grateful with this provision because for the first time, we are living happily without stress here in Singapore. Goodbye to all the stress that we had sharing with previous flatmates and landlord. Moving out and living by ourselves, without the presence of landlord and housemates is probably the best decision we had made. We had probably compromise the quality of life sharing a flat with others before this but I guessed we had no choice, given that the housing/flat rental in Singapore is way too exorbitant. Now that we are expecting a baby, this upgrade comes as a double portion blessings which we have been very thankful every day. All I could say is, one cannot stay in a shared flat forever. At some point of time, it is good to move out and live on your own, that is when you really start living properly.

The flat that we are currently renting is nothing fancy, but it is warm. There is a living hall with a small rectangular timber table which we got from Muji Store. It is also a space where @pandamopi loves to surf the internet and read. I personally like to occupy the sofa after a long day, lying down just reading or browsing from my mobile. We sometimes play our favourite music over the speaker or watch a movie together. Recently we watched Steve Jobs.

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We have a small corridor outside our flat where we dry our laundry and planted some herbs for own consumption. At the moment, we have tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, lemon balm, spring onion and orchids in our little garden. For some reason, the plants helped to spruce and liven up our house entrance, giving some life and energy to an otherwise a mundane flat unit. Every morning before heading out to work, we shower the plants with water and love. It brings us so much joy and happiness to see how plants are growing every day under the sun and outdoor environment (we previously kept our plants in bedroom which is very much deprived from sunlight).

The kitchen is always kept warm with me starting the day early in the kitchen preparing lunch boxes and cooking dinner in the evening. Occasionally, I love to snip a few of our home-grown lemon balm leaves and mix it into our cups of lime juice. The concoction of juice exudes positivity and wellness and our body seems to be happier these days with these little details and interaction with nature.

As the day is drawing to an end, we progressed to our simple bed room. It is a place we rest our heads. There is a small window by the side that allows natural ventilation to breeze through the room while we sleep and let the gentle light in as morning approaches.

For some, there might not be anything special living in this particularly small HDB or it might not be good enough for some, but like the half full and hall empty philosophy. We are more then contented and thankful with what we are blessed. It makes us feel happy to start the day and grateful as we end the day by retreating to bed peacefully. And as we close our eyes and allow the natural lullabies emitted from the good old fan, we say a word of thank you to our Lord Jesus our provider and kiss each other goodnight.

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