A New Year… Get a Life

Happy 2014 to one and all. This is the 5th year consecutively that I have written my new year hopes and wishes. Bring Me There has really grown and matured and hopefully one day will become a testament of my life well lived in faithful service to God.

Although it is customary to say happy new year, I am not very happy at this point in time. I had all my plans sorted out for the next 4 years. I was going to do my best for the organisation by bringing its public comms to new heights. With a firm mission, vision, desired outcomes and a strategic roadmap, that was what I was set to do until 2017. After which, I would take a step back from work and focus on my children who would all be in primary school.

But God is ever ready to remind me always, that while many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of The Lord that will stand (Prov 19:21). Indeed, a solemn reminder that ultimately he is God and we are not. Why do I sound so dejected? Well it seems that there is new life inside me… again for the fourth time.

Seriously? After Benjamin, I was ready to totally close shop and no more children, no more babies. We struggled so hard to keep Benjamin and made a resolution to stop at three. I even started tracking my menstrual cycle and ovulation period but all that was naught. God for his own good reasons decided that we should have a fourth child. Sometimes it seems like punishment. The wicked shall have no rest.

But what can I do? I will never terminate a life. So everything I have planned, everything literally is melting before my eyes. So as I look to the new year, I can no longer say with resolution and certainty of what holds for me. In fact, if I didn’t get the promotion, it would be some kind of a relief. How can I tell my bosses in the very year I get promoted, that I would be disappearing for 4 months?

So what do I look forward to or plan to do in 2014?

1. Joel starting morning session, which means changing my schedules. I will wake before the sun rises, have breakfast, send him to school and head off to work, earlier than I have ever been in the last 4 years.

Perhaps it is a good turn of events because then I will be able to knock off earlier and spend more time with the children. Another blessing is that my bosses have gotten me an iPad to help me work from home so it is easier to just pack up and leave because most times I can continue during my commute.

The irony of it – some 4 to 5 years ago, I was struggling so hard on whether to buy the first edition iPad and now I got one for free. Most times though it is being used by my children for their entertainment. I have to say this is really a handy tool.

2. Elizabeth in K2. Preparing her for primary school becomes more crucial. I am less worried about her academic abilities than her older brother but what bothers me is her fear of trying out new things and experiences especially when people are watching. She can be so excruciatingly shy that I am worried she might not be able to cope with the first few months of primary one. Which means, having to really work hard on opening her up in this coming year.

3. A new helper Sumaiyah. We decided to send home our helper of almost 4 years. Her attitude was deteriorating and I couldn’t stand having her anymore even though we had grown so dependent on her to prepare dinner and get the children dressed, fed etc.

It was a fearful journey to bring home a completely new helper from Indonesia but thankfully her 5 years of previous experience in Singapore shows and she is an extremely neat person. In the two weeks she has been with us, she has taken to task to clean and pack every nook and cranny in our kitchen, toilets and the rooms without my instruction. This is new for me. And the children seem to take to her quite well.

4. Financially with impending promotion for both Theo and myself, we should be in pretty good shape. We have gotten the keys to our place in JB and are taking our time to set it up. The water and electricity is up and we’ve inherited quite a bit of furniture and electrical appliances from my brother.

He bought a place in KL and managed to rent it out but the tenant did not want the existing furniture so my brother off loaded it on us. What is left is to clear the defects. We managed to also sign up a really good deal for auto gate, lighting points and solar film for all the windows. Will need to set aside budget for additional renovation for the kitchen, and for air-conditioning and heater.

Happy to see the neighbourhood taking shape and hearing from the contractor, many of the residents are PMETs and quite a few Singaporeans as well.

5. Careerwise, the path is pretty set for now. I won’t be changing much since it is a very new role for me and I have a lot of room to grow and learn. Although I will have a new pseudo HOD to report to who hopefully will be able to give me more guidance on dealing with media. I don’t have much hope to be ambitious this year with a baby in toll. Four kids in the family, and I will need to rethink my priorities quite a bit.

The bookstore idea didn’t quite materialise with the change and increase in portfolio. The books are neatly packed and inventorised but otherwise not moving. I hadn’t have the chance to find a suitable kiosk to sell them but more importantly not having any weekends available to put it up. I just hope I will find time for it in 2014.

6. Last but not least, the baby. I am still grappling with this turn of events and pleading with God to make it go away. Failing which, I can only trust that God knows best and He will give me and Theo all the strength, courage and wisdom to carry this family through. I don’t understand why my life has been slated to be spent on behalf of others. When will I have time to do just do the things I want?

Like going on a long long long trip. With the baby, I guess my planned family trip to Japan will probably be put on hold. I don’t know when I will be travelling again. Perhaps that is why God allowed me to have my fill of India, HK, and Bali this year.

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