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blog reads

This has been a ‘thought-ful’ week from the various regular blog posts I follow:

1) What gets me out of bed every morning – Chris Guillebeau whose goal is to visit EVERY country in the world by  April 7, 2013 (that’s when he turned 35) and he’s done 151 countries so far – “what if you didn’t have the obligation; what would you get out of bed in the mornings for if it was completely up to you?”

2) Savouring the moment – beautifully worded by Andrea from Portland. Almost poetry. Wish I could write like that – “one moment folds into the next and then it’s over. and I am left hoping maybe this one will stick.”

3) Life Happens while you are doing something else – another well-written article by Donald Miller – “What gets built with God’s help, then, is less tangible. The Kingdom of God, at least on earth in our time, is perhaps a relational construct.”

4) Gotta share Improv Musical – a musical parody on social media in our daily life. Hilarious but oh-so-true!

5) Back to Silence – A local Freo blogger that I follow to know what’s going on in my community. I couldn’t agree more with him on this – “Why do people need all that constant music. Are they afraid silence will force them to think and connect with the inner self?” Which is why I love to drive in silence unless I am on a roadtrip. I had never found that weird until friends who had sat in my car were surprised that I don’t have any radio or music on while driving. But that’s how I like it. It is my quiet time when I can be still before God and even myself. When is the last time you did that?

this season: simplicity

This Christmas, I keep finding myself returning to the word: Simplicity. So that led me to the work of Leo Babauta – one of the world’s top 25 bloggers and his latest e-book offering, ‘focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction‘. I haven’t finished reading it yet but so far, these are what resonated with me:

  • It’s not that ‘less is more’, but ‘less is better‘.
  • We’ve come into this Age (of Distraction) without being aware that it was happening, or realizing its consequences…while the opportunities offered by the online world are a good thing, the constant distractions, the increasingly urgent pull on our attention, the stress of multitasking at an ever-finer granular level, the erosion of our free time and our ability to live with a modicum of peace…perhaps we didn’t realize how much this would change our lives.
  • Because we’ve created a new lifestyle very rapidly, and I am not sure we’re prepared for it. We don’t have new strategies for dealing with being connected most of the time,we don’t have any cultural norms, nor have we figured out if this is the best way to live life. We’ve been plunged into it, before we could develop a system for handling it.
  • Being connected all the time, being part of this constant stream of distraction, is an expectation that society now has of us. And going against that expectation is immensely difficult for many people – it requires courage…How did this happen? When did we opt-in to be a part of this? There was never a time when we agreed to these expectations, but they’ve evolved rapidly over the last decade or so, and now it’s hard to get out.
  • It’s not technology we should be afraid of. It’s a life where we’re always connected, always interrupted, always distracted, always bombarded with information and requests. It’s a life where we have no time to create, or connect with real people.

My own thoughts? Guilty as charged. I too have fallen prey at times to the constant need of staying connected and the need to keep up with what’s happening ‘out there in the real world’. Yes, that can be exhausting sometimes.

I also know I am not alone in this. Even though I run the risk of generalizing here (and I do acknowledge that is NOT always the case) I’ve observed that especially in our Singaporean friends when they are here for a visit. Even while on holidays, many would often bring along their laptops to check their emails (so that they won’t be inundated with emails when they return home) or they would be constantly checking their mobile for text messages or missed calls or going online etc. Or they would be feeling guilty for being away for work. So they are on holidays but obviously, part of them remained behind with all their work, ministry or personal commitment. And I wonder how many of those expectations are self-imposed.

Perhaps we all need to learn: i am not indispensable. the world can and does revolve without me. take a step back so others can step in and do the job. i don’t have to be there always. it is ok to be ‘un-contactable’ sometimes. being can be more enjoyable than doing. i don’t have to know what my friends are doing all the time. nothing beats a  face-to-face conversation, a hug and a hand-written note, anytime.

2nd anniversary blog giveaway!

Remember this time two years ago? It was when we embarked on a new chapter in our couplehood journey by moving to Perth permanently. Last year, we did a blog giveaway to celebrate the milestone. And the response was “overwhelming” – all thanks to Lionel and Jen (winner) who participated.

To continue the tradition, we are doing another blog giveaway to one reader who leaves a comment on this blog by this Sunday. The prize? The winner can choose any item(s) from the Oxfam’s spring catalogue up to $20! And by so doing, you are also supporting Oxfam’s cause of fair trade in Third World countries. All comments have to be submitted by this Sunday, 4 October, 2359hr. Hurry!

oxfam

www.theopshopgirl.wordpress.com

untitled2(Image generation courtesy of Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds.)

you know the week is off to a good start…

when you received a bottle of wine from your co-worker in the office after a long weekend break cos ‘this reminds me of your blog and so I HAD TO get it for you.’ Thanks, Mish!

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interesting read

I came across this article and thought it made a relevant piece of social commentary on the  present Facebook fad.

it’s thursday…

  • and I am floored by the responses to my latest blog project (see previous post). We are getting almost 200 hits on our less-than-4-days-old blog, not too bad huh;
  • and I’m thinking “this day next week, the house will be fitted with security screens and blinds for all the windows…nice!”;
  • and I’m looking forward to dinner because we had chicken with black beans soup cooking in the slow cooker since this morning;
  • and I had signed up for Grace Retreat for ourselves;
  • and I almost bought a nice peasant top during lunchtime but stopped myself ‘cos we still haven’t bought an additional chest of drawers for our clothes (yes, the walk-in robe is busted with clothes already);
  • and this is what I wore to work today – a  woollen Adidas dress bought at a steal:img_1395

a new blog…

I was reading an article in a magazine last week that featured a Brisbane-based photographer and mother of two who embarked on ‘365 Days of Grateful’, a personal project for which she would take a single Polaroid photograph of something she was grateful for – http://www.youcantbeserious.com.au (click on her ‘flickr gallery’ for photos).

Inspired, I decided to start a similar project but also wanted it to be a collaborative one to make it more interesting, having came across a blog which was written by two good friends who lived 3191 miles apart (http://3191.visualblogging.com/). So, I asked Mish the giant from work whether she would be interested to start a photo blog with me. And the rest, like we all say, is history…

Curious? Visit us at http://www.wordspixelated.wordpress.com. See you there.

‘cos its friday…

and we were trying to take some pictures of ourselves for a collaborative blogging project starting next week.

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creative project: week in our life

This week, we are going to embark on a creative journey. From Monday through Sunday, we will try to document a week in our life with photos and words. And then we will take turns to blog about it. We hope this will inspire us (and you, hopefully!) to live in the present and pay attention to what goes on in the life quotidian. Are you ready for the ride?

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