My priority ring (An actual ring)


One night about a year after I had Q, after a particular harried day trying to balance my incredibly full plate of obligations, errands and what have you, I had a massive meltdown. It was not your average huge cathartic cry type of meltdown; but a real questioning of “what the heck are you doing?” that I think shook the depths of my very being.

The full gravity of motherhood (having a tiny little thing fully depend on you is a scary scary reality to behold), the massive weight of growing a company, the colossal undertaking to constantly keep it together was simply too much to bear. I think most new moms, or even more seasoned ones, sometimes hit that kind of mountain. It makes you doubt who you are, what you are doing, your self worth and it’s a slippery slope.

Anyway, I waded through THAT quagmire and somehow found my footing again- yay to my amazing mummy support system; but I felt like I needed to find a physical anchor, like a reminder of what I needed and decided to design myself a priority ring. Also, another excuse for new jewelery (yay!).


The design is fairly simple: two distinct but connected bands (at the base). One thin and gravelly, one broader and smoother. The thinner band was to represent me and my “me life”. I asked for it to be sand blasted so that it was gravely to touch and textured to look at which represented my imperfections.

The thicker band was to be in smooth gold (though it’s now sporting a slightly more worn look) and represent my other identities: my being a wife to W, mom to Q (and now Ev), a daughter to my parents, sister to my sisters and a friend.

Both bands are joined at the base, ultimately, a connected life of personal space and growth and my life’s obligations, duties and priorities.

I deliberated over the order of the words for those became my priorities and it took me a long while to decide that my first priority is to be a WIFE, then a MOTHER. That whilst mummy duties take a lot of time, energy and effort, it is important that my better half is, well, my better half and kinda my partner in the whole parenthood business so, it makes sense that I remember that.

Of course, not to say I’m going to run off to do frivolous things with W while our poor kids languish at home like unwanted latch key kids. But that the husband has to matter. That its dangerous for a marriage to simply get caught up with being a mom, or parenting. So, yes, WIFE, then MOTHER.

I had wanted to write child-of-God right in front, but it wouldn’t fit hence I made the ring out of gold because I have always loved Job 23:10 that says:


So, the ring reads:

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.

I never used wear the ring much, but I find myself wearing more and more, even daily, these days as I find that life today so often means we so easily lose track of what is important to us. We are so caught up with doing stuff, we forget to give weight to the things that should matter.

That amidst all the doing, I’d always be reminded of the being.

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World Day: Suicide Prevention Day (10th Sept)

I only know this cos I am an avid follower of www.postsecret.com : September 10th is the annual day the world observes as World Suicide Prevention Day.

Global figures seem to suggest that almost 3000 people commit suicide daily and for every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. It is more likely someone will die from suicide than from homicide. For every two people killed by homicide, three people die of suicide*.

In Singapore, over 350 people commit suicide annually; more males than females and aging people are at the greatest risk. In China someone takes his or her own life on average every two minutes. China accounts for nearly a quarter of the global total of suicides with between 250,000 and 300,000 suicides a year*. In America, someone attempts suicide once every minute, and someone completes a suicide once every 17 minutes. Throughout the world, approximately 2,000 people kill themselves each day*.

Over the last decade, the suicide rate among young children has increased dramatically. In 2002, suicide was the sixth leading cause of death of five- to 14-year olds and the third leading cause of death in preteens. Suicidologists are alarmed that children as young as age two are also increasingly attempting suicide.*

(*Evans, Glen, et. al. 2003. The Encyclopedia of Suicide. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc)

I happen to be a talk my friend was giving on the 10th and at the end of the talk, he led everyone in a moment to remember Suicide Prevention Day by writing the word LOVE on our wrists. Some of the students at the talk asked if I had lost anyone to suicide, I have- unfortunately. A young life, gone too soon. An older one that saw no future.

The stories are never quite the same, but its usually rife with despair and, when we look back, there were signs. And we are all always left wondering “what could have been.”

 

 

between the shadow and the soul

My friend S texted me the other day about a helicopter crash that claimed 12 lives, one of which was an acquaintance of hers; she is also friends with his widow, and his brother. He leaves behind a young wife (after a whirlwind courtship), a two year old son and there are expecting their second child in a little under five months.

She ponders how his widow would feel when she delivers, what it would be like to lose the love of your life after only being together for such a short time. She heart wrenchingly questions how things would be later that night as mother explains to toddler why daddy would never be coming back again. And she concludes with these words: “It’s a truly very big ask and I am thankful that God has not asked that of me.”

I recently said goodbye to a friend who was only 31; there was no “real” reason he passed away, his heart, brain and general physical being was in tip top shape- coroner ruled,  sudden death syndrome.  He was Possibility personified: he was successful, well liked and an all round amazing guy. He was a great son and brother and the world was his oyster.

I’m not yet 32 and have buried several friends called before their time: some to illness, some to accidents, some self-inflicted. Its hard to comprehend how or why things happen. The famous question we ask is :why bad things happen to good people. And really, there’s no answer except the belief that the “will of God will never send you where his Grace cannot keep you.”

The day I became a parent, the notions of life and death took on a different perspective completely. The frailty of life, the fragility of our humanity beckons at these moments and I find that sometimes I find it hard to breathe if I dwell on “what it all means”.

I look at my young sons and I learn that I cannot take tomorrow for granted- who knows what the future holds? But what I do have is Today, the now and for most days, that’s enough.

This is why I love George Carlin

This is why I say George Carlin was a genius…

From the naked mind of George Carlin

1. When cheese gets it’s picture taken, what does it say?
2. When someone asks you, A penny for your thoughts, and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?
3. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted?
4. When someone is impatient and says, “I haven’t got all day,” I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?
5.I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?
6.If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
7. Is a vegetarian permitted to eat animal crackers?
8. What if there were no hypothetical questions?
9. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
10. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
11. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s just stale bread to begin with.
12.I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.
13. Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
14. If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?
15. Electricity is really just organized lightning.
16. Women like silent men, they think they’re listening.
17. “I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence?
18. Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.
19.If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
20. Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
21. Why is the man (or woman) who invests all your money called a broker? 
22. There’s no present. There’s only the immediate future and the recent past.
23. As a matter of principle, I never attend the first annual anything.
24. Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.
25. Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
26. I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.