Time after Time

This post was inspired after watching some re-runs on local free-to-air channels on television. Yeah, what can you expect from public broadcasting right?

Anyway.

The movie was ‘Jupiter Rising’. Not that we are into the details of the movie, but one of the dialogues caught our imagination. You see, the dialogue went something along these lines: “In your world, people are used to fighting for resources… like oil, or minerals, or land. But when you have access to the vastness of space, you realize there’s only one resource worth fighting over… even killing for: More time. Time is the single most precious commodity in the universe“.

Yep.

We’ve often said time and again on this blog that it is but the only precious commodity that one cannot store, put away or save for later use. It ticks past you, and it’s gone. This is what inspired us to look forward to each day be it at work or play. Yeah, times will be hard at work and sometimes downright hell. But if one has to be at it, why not make it a good one?

Don’t you now feel inspired to make the most of each and every day of your life?

Transforming bad to good memories

We came across an article a couple of months back. This one’s a pseudo scientific piece in which the author investigates and suggests what and how we may transform not-so-good situations during our travels into something good. We interpret this to mean that memories that are easily recalled and pleasant.

Well you be the judge of our take on this article here.

But what we do want to focus on today is not exactly how the memories are transformed, or for that matter how. What is more important to us is that one has memories in the first place. We’ve often heard friends and colleagues with children lament that they wished they had more time to spend with the young ones. To be there to see and participate in the lives of the children. Memories no less right?

What are the most memorable things you can recall from your youth? Times spent with parents? Heheh… probably not. Perhaps with friends more! That’s why our friends seem to want to build these memories with their children to have a ‘share of mind’.

For we have said countless times here in the blog, memories are but the only “things” that remain with us. Don’t you agree?

Red Day Valentine’s day!

Do you know the origins of this celebrated day of love? Was it really in dedication to the martyr of a Saint with this name? Or was it a disguised form of fertility worship to Faunus? In the last two years we wrote about this special day (for us anyway) celebrated while we were in Tokyo.

Well this year’s different.

We’ve changed the city to have the celebration. Because once again this year this day happen to also fall close to the lunar new year, it had to be ‘deferred’ a little till we get to that city.

Now it does not mean that today is only dedicated to love between a couple. It can also be dedicated to all of your loved ones especially family. To whom you send a message reminding them that you are thinking of them. And that they have a special place in your heart. Sure. It does not only have to be this day where this is professed. Have you walked the talk?

Yes it may be hijacked by commercial interests these days. But it does not matter if this celebration was truly in commemoration of the saints, or the continuation of a pagan fertility ritual, one more thing that could be worth pondering. We also exchange greeting cards with each other. With the cute stickers and romatic prose, we “mail” them to each other and display them on our glass cabinet. Not all treasure needs to glitter you will know… and yes it does clutter the cabinet for a couple of week… so?

Do you still send cards? Or have you moved to the digital realm for this too?

Honeymoon your whole life!

Married couples listen up!

Most and indeed probably all would have gone honeymooning after getting hitched. These days, the younger crowd is more adventurous. Imagine diving in Iceland (again!) to gain bragging rights that you have swam between two tectonic plates.

Back then it was mainly plain vanilla kind of honeymoon journeys. Mel and Suan thought we had it exotic traversing across Spain, Morocco and Portugal over the millenium weekend of the year 2000.

Be careful though, and do not end up like Carly, who had a real scare at the start of her dream journey.

The point of this post is this – why only consider honeymooning at the point of getting married? Why not continue with that romance beyond those initial months (and perhaps few years) of bliss?

For those with children, it seems innocent enough to say that it is hard for the couple to get away. Who says it has to be a journey away from your own country or far away? These days, staycations are vogue. Hotels and resorts in your home country may well dangle good offers that you’d find enticing. These lucky folks in them US of A and Canada have so much choices! (I like the Banff one). And we are sure there will be similar ones around your own ‘backyard’.

We did not seem to have addressed the challenge of those with kids.

As a childfree couple, it is indeed hard for us to understand. But we have heard of couples seeking help from the grandparents. Perhaps packing off the kids to an aunt? Seem to have read that somewhere before recently!

Letting go of your responsibilities is hard. We get that. This is an old post from the Huffington from 2 years back on how to keep those sparks alive. Interesting read here.

The point being, you have to take the effort to make your own time. Sure, build you memories with the kids as they grow up and figure out life. But also remember to build memories with your other half as you grow old together.

In case you do grow old and travel together, don’t end up like this story.

Fighting couples.jpg

Off again for another week of travel

One of the things about working corporate is the amount of time that one needs to spend on the road. I am having it easy and only travel 5-6 times per year. I have peers that are perpetually on the road.

So this post is not about going off FROM work (which I prefer), but going off TO work.

There has been a lot of thought and research into the perceived impact of too much business travel. There has been some contradictory ones too that suggest that some amount of travel does boost a person. Frankly like all things, moderation is key. There are those who relish being on the road and do the utmost for the duration of the journey (aside from work that is).

Business travel
Why is it only these cities?

To be honest this was my life prior to re-joining the big G in late 2012. For nearly 18 months prior, it was an incredibly hectic schedule covering 10 countries in Asia. Sometimes I wonder if these kinds of job roles are designed wrong. Without sufficient support, it is more than a stretch!

But then when I was working in the big G, something happened. Then you are suddenly thrown from a wonderer’s life to one of dreary drudgery in an open concept office. Where the only fun thing seems to be constantly hounded by people asking you why things aren’t the way they are expected to be, and being an annoyance at that. It dawned on me that that’s not the kind of corporate life I wanted either.

So the search begun for a goldilocks environment, one where there is a touch of travel on the occasional side, and enough time to ‘deliver something of value’ to the corporate masters that send me my pay check every month end.

Well I think I have found it. A smaller outfit, less people, less complexity. Aah, heavenly. Quiet. Let’s call the place where I work now little C.

Yeah, here in little C the usual office politics are still there. But you know? At this point in my life I don’t give a hoot. The only thing I now care about is how I can finish the work in a satisfactory manner and get back to my own life – such as writing and posting this post. Where else would you think I can find the time to do all these writing anyway?

So I travel a little and spend a good amount of time at the office in the home country. Which means I have time to consider where our next journeys will be. It is quite securely funded from the job, we have no mortgage. Perfect timing to accelerate that travel handprinting. I also spend time with the missus too.

But lest you think little C is an easy place to work, let me reassure you that it takes quite some effort to be in this position. And that is to work smart. Then you can have your work-life balance that so many people apparently crave but then do not know what to do with it. Sorry I digressed, let’s brings me back to the topic of travel handprinting.

Memories.

We believe that only things you can bring along with you are memories and not your worldly possessions when you expire. And I read an article recently that reminded me that memories are made when you experience the moment – eg the first kiss, getting on your knees to say “let’s apply for a HDB flat” etc (it is a very Singapore thing). If you create memories you are hallucinating or worse, having a neurological disorder.

Travel handprinting is our ‘childless’ way of building memories in our lives. Sprinkle in friends and family, the melange is attractively sweet and contenting. And contentness weeds out stress. Stress appears to be the source of many maladies. Thus we acknowledge that we have been fortunate to be found in this position, despite our humble beginnings. No stress, live every day as if it was your last. How time flies. Its’s almost the end of 3 months into 2016. It seems just days ago that Christmas was celebrated. Now it’s Easter chocolates that are making the rounds!

It’s a Sunday morning. And I am here at the airport lounge.

Bided farewell to the missus early in the morning and slept on the taxi as it ambered ~42km from the west end of the tiny red dot to the other. Soon I shall be on a flying piece of aluminium arriving Tokyo 7 hours later. The start of a week to memories from the business travel which I will write about, but it will not be the same memories I wish for – that the missus is here with me to make them.