“February – the month of love..?!!
No wonder the shortest one in the calendar.”
― Dinesh Kumar Biran
Every year, I will get all emo during this month. Turning a year older was not always a joyful event. Perhaps when we were kids, we look forward to birthday celebrations, people wishing and singing to us and people giving us presents. This is not always the case when we grow into adults. In adulthood, birthdays come and go like the season. If we are lucky, there will be people around us who wants to celebrate, if we are not, birthdays simply act as reminders of how much time has passed. Not everyone’s birthdays are like the colourful spring, sometimes it can be as dry as autumn and sometimes it can be as cold as winter.
I remember a couple of years during the teenage years ago when I did not celebrate my birthday at all. My teenage years were stressful and troubled, there seem to be nothing worth celebrating so it simply went by just like that.
Fortunately adulthood was better. During my 20s I was too busy working but being surrounded by wonderful colleagues and friends helped me to regain the faith in myself. It was during these years that I discovered my passions, my strengths, my calling. It really made a big difference to have a calling. Suddenly life became meaningful again.
Now in my thirties, I have taken a step back to try and take things slow. Too many passions to explore, too many places to go to, too many close friends to spend time with, too many things to do, I wish I had the time to do it all. I also wish I had discovered all my passions earlier in life, when I was not too busy with work and personal commitments. However, such is life, I guess, everything will happen at its own time.
This year is no different. This year I felt that I should take more time in reflecting and appreciating life itself. The past 2 years has been eventfully difficult. Now, I appreciate people’s presence more, I appreciate being healthy more, I guess only when we are faced with calamities, we begin to be grateful for all our invisible blessings.
I would like to thank everyone who took time and effort to celebrate my birthday. Truth was, I was also celebrating your presence in my life.
17th February 2017:
Early celebrations with the bananas. We wanted somewhere convenient so we chose to meet at Mad Jack in Nex. I remember us here too a few years ago to celebrate Sheila’s birthday.
Debbie and Juliana were not well so they could not join us. Food is always good when you are with good company. Thank you for ‘grilling’ me and asking me a lot of questions about my fiance lol. Jackie wanted to make sure it wasn’t a forced marriage lol.
Happy birthday Sheila!! Still so gorgeous and don’t seem to age at all after all these years! Truly miss the times when we get to dance together every week!
Thank you my banana babes! ❤
21st February 2017:
Morning surprise by my colleagues who made me cut the cake at 8.15 am before they ran off for level meeting lol. Look how everyone is used to making crazy siao face during photo taking? Well done!
I had classes the whole day so I was cooped up in the classroom. I came down for a short while at 12.00 pm to grab my lunch before going back up for my next class. Imagine my shock when I saw this on my desk in the office.
A bouquet of beautiful flowers. At first I thought it was from my bestie (because I sent her flowers during Teachers’ Day) but after reading the note, I realized it was from my lovely fiance. This bouquet of flowers came with a box of famous amos cookies, oh my, my absolute favourite. Inside the box was this hand-written card. I will not share what was written on the entire card due to privacy reasons but the ending made me cry.
I was just relieved that everyone was in class and there was no one around to see me like that. Only Chor Hong saw me and insisted I took photos with the flowers. I was too surprised.
I am usually exhausted on weekdays so we rarely go out on weekdays but since he has been so sweet, I decided to meet him since he requested to meet for dinner.
Thank you my dear. Love you too. Like I said before, there is no need for gifts because your presence is a already a precious gift to me. Looking forward to our new chapter together soon inshaAllah. ❤
I received another surprise when I reached home. A whole ondeh ondeh cake! Omg.
This time, it is from the bestie. A smaller cake this year, because I need to lose weight leh haha. Thank you Nurul for celebrating this day every year. I have lost count of how many birthdays we spent together. Is it from when we were 18 years old? Now, I am 25 so that makes it 8 years of celebrating together lol.
So now I have 2 of this book. One from Hani and one from the fiance. I will be happy to give one copy to anyone who is getting married soon lol.
23 February 2017:
Today was such a crazy busy day because I had a few difficult meetings with difficult people but I was looking forward to the end of the day because of lunch with colleagues!
Going out for lunch is a luxury to us. Usually our lunches in school are squeezed in between busy periods at our desks.
Thank you girls!!! We need to do this more often to destress!!
24th February 2017:
No surprise for Xiaomei today because she knew I was coming for class. Lol. First time in many years, I get to celebrate her birthday on the actual day! I was also happy that she ends class at 8.30 pm (for many years she only ended class at 9.30 pm lol) so this meant that we could go somewhere nice to eat!
Always nice to sit down and simply chit chat. Happy birthday to my Xiaomei Jesseca! No matter how many years passed by, you will always be my baby sotong who nags at me too much ! Stay healthy, cheerful and happy always! ❤
25th February 2017:
Finally, a simple celebration with the family.
Thank you to my brother and sister in law for the gifts. Actually at this age, I don’t think I need any more gifts, really. I am happy with good food and time spent together. Also, all the help for the wedding preparations is taking lot of time, effort and money from everyone. I truly appreciate it.
Our family wefie together as usual. May all of you continue to be blessed with good health and wealth inshaAllah.
26th February 2017:
Dinner with my sotongs who are also among those who never fail to celebrate with me every year. We met for dinner at Muugu Fork, Bugis.
I must say that I have been feasting the entire week which was why I made my way to the gym for kb and zumba before meeting the sotongs lol.
You know how these group of friends have always known about my struggles, my continual injuries all these years. I still remember how they graciously and painstakingly made time to visit me when I was on long mc from the surgery. They were so concerned and wanted to visit in the hospital too. Sorry for making everyone worried. I also remember how they ‘entertained’ me via group chat asking me to watch all the korean dramas while I was stuck at home. Lol.
How many years has it been? 7 years? 8 years? I always look forward to spending time with them because they have always been my ‘da-jies’ (big sisters) and always nagging at me whenever I injure myself. Missing Linda this time and it is so hilarious how someone will always lose their way during our meet- ups. Lol, I guess this is why we are always known as the sotongs!
11th March 2017:
Last but not least, a celebration with the bestie. I am still getting used to her working on Saturdays lol. No more impromptu overseas weekend trips since she gets this new job. Oh well, I am just glad this job is better for her.
First time here at Royal Steakhouse. The bestie is the only one whom I can speak to about anything in the world! Again, actually no need for gifts, just hand written notes or cards will do, really. I keep all handwritten cards and notes from all these years.
Lost count of the number of ondeh ondeh cakes I had this year! Gosh, I never get tired of it….. this means I need to go for more workout next week!!
Stopped by the Sultan Mosque for maghrib before rushing to National Library for a play. She had bought tickets to a play for me so yay! I remember when she brought me to my first musical too a few years ago and it was so magical! #jakun
This play ‘Those who can’t, teach’ was so relatable gosh. We were sitting in first row and I was pretty sure the actors and actresses could hear us laughing too loudly lol. Thank you bestie for the wonderful gesture! I really enjoyed myself. ❤
I truly appreciate all the time, the gestures and the gifts. This February has been wonderful meeting and spending time with all my loved ones. It is not that I felt unloved last year but this year I felt extra loved by everyone. Now that I am getting closer and closer to 40, I appreciate everyone who has stood by me all these years.
In good times and in bad times, in sickness and in health, only those who cared has never failed to show up in my life, time and time again. There are no words that can describe how wonderful everyone has been. Even though occasionally I am grouchy, sad and angry for no reasons, thank you for understanding that I am only human. I am just an ordinary girl surrounded by extraordinary people.
Looking forward to celebrate more time (and presence) with each of you again soon. Thank you for making my life so colourful. ❤