Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The #1 Dating Tip Every Single Over 50 Woman Needs To Know

If you wait long enough life does come back in full circle. You get drawn once again to what makes you happy, what you're passionate about, and what lights up your face and forms a genuine smile across it.

Not many of you know that I was once a relationship writer, at a hip and happening lifestyle magazine, named Verve, when I was in my twenties.  I enjoyed writing articles about relationships as I was excited to be meeting guys, and getting caught up in the dating game just like any other twenty something. 

So when my editor, Linda, asked us to come up with ideas on what we were passionate to write about, I was drawn to writing about relationships. I found that many of our readers loved real-life stories of the highs and lows of a writer's dating life. Plus I enjoyed writing those stories and interviewing singles and couples on what made them tick! I was always looking for the perfect recipe for that perfect relationship, and happily ever after. 

Now fast forward two marriages and countless date nights, I find myself once again drawn to studying and writing about relationships but this time for those in my age group. Many at 50 or even younger are back to dating after a divorce, death of a spouse, or simply wanting to form some new friendships once they have reached a comfortable stage in their careers. Once the kids are older and not time and attention-consuming, the focus shifts back to us once again. 

After my second marriage broke down, about two years ago, at the age of 48, I found myself back in the dating scene. At first I felt so lazy to even bother to date. After two failed marriages, which now I don't see it as failed but just as 'completed time and experiences together', I was basically tired of men. It was either they liked me and I bullied them or I liked them and they bullied me, or the spark soon fizzled and we grew apart as the years went by.

I even joked to my sisters that wouldn't it just be better to exchange each other's hard-drive with all our information and be done with it, as dating was so time-consuming. And if we found each other interesting we then meet for our first date.

But that was such a wrong attitude to even begin dating again! I wasn't being fair to myself or the guys I was going to be dating. I asked myself what actually did I want. Am I fine with being single? Do I really need a partner or just some platonic male friends to go out with every once in a while. I already had a bunch of girlfriends who came from a diverse background. 

So, the number one dating tip for those who have dated and got jaded, and is tired of it all, is to have a correct mindset and attitude. Ask yourself if you're ready to go back out there and meet, mingle and have an open mind about dating. We all come with our own baggage, some small, some big, and some excess. But it's how we choose to use the baggage as a learning experience, and get back out there with a happy, good attitude that will attract people in the same frame of mind and energy levels.

Would you go out with a guy who is emotionally unavailable and bitches about his ex's? That's not sexy and a turn-off.  Same applies to a woman . When you decide to date and really enjoy getting to know the person you're dating, it becomes such a joy to go on dates. 

Ask yourself what exactly are you looking for? At 50 years old and a whole lot of experiences in life you should know what you want by now. A friendship, friends with benefits, a committed relationship or perhaps marriage? Be clear of your goals, then go out there and have fun! You're gonna meet lots of guys when you go out with an open mind.

And when the guy you're dating turns to you and say, "You're so much fun to be with. Your ex must have been an idiot to ever let you go!" You know you either have a sweet talker or just maybe you're on the right track!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Remembering my mom on her 5th year death anniversary

I can't believe it has been five years since my mom passed on after a recurrence of breast cancer after being seven years in remission. It feels that her presence lingers in every one of her children, some of us think or portray certain mannerisms like her. And when my siblings and I see that trait in either one of us, we highlight that fact and mention, "Oh My God, we are just like mom."

It's no surprise though as she had a big heart and even bigger personality. Writing about my mom, in a cafe in Bangsar, with a background music reminiscence of the good old days, feels like such a concidence. She loved music, and though she didn't exactly have a good singing voice, she could carry a tune or two when it came to her favourite songs. She loved the song, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and we played that song at her funeral. Till today I can't bear listening to this song as it makes me think of her and I  miss her so much.

During my childhood, music was always heard when she was around. She would switch on the radio from the moment she woke up until she fell asleep at night. Every now and then you would hear her sing to the songs played in her high pitch voice. She loved country and western music. It was something about music that made her happy to stay at home while she cooked, did housework and baby-sat a few kids. She really loved children and she looked after at least over twenty children; she stopped doing so when my daughter, Megan, was born in 2003 as she then helped look after Megan and my sister's daughter, Maya.

When she passed on Megan was only ten. My mom had hoped she could live until Megan was at least 12 years old. I had asked my mom why 12, and she replied, "Megan would then be able to be old enough to look after herself." I'm sure she is watching over us, and she would be happy to see that Megan and Maya are have grown into beautiful teenagers. I was sad that, though she tried her best mentally and spiritually, her physical body just couldn't manage the spread of the angio sarcoma to her other vital organs. She was suffering, and in death she at least didn't have to.

Every year when her death anniversary is approaching I feel down. This year has been no different. I have had to endure weeks of feeling crap, reminiscing the good times and wishing she was still here with us. Whenever she stayed over with us, we would have breakfast and read the newspaper together. Morbid as it was, we used to go through the obituary section of The Star newspapers, and check to see if we knew anyone that had passed away. that was our thing. I still do so today when I'm reading the newspapers.

May your soul rest in peace Mama, till we meet again! You may be gone but your presence lives in every one of us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

8 Things To Do When You're Feeling Blue

"When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do, is take a look at you, then I'm not so blue". In 1998, Phil Collins sang this hit song, "A Groovy Kind of Love".  I just played the song as at one time I was into this song. It brings back memories of youth, love, excitement, opportunities and dreams. I was 30 years old then, a copywriter in one of the busiest advertising agencies in Kuala Lumpur, earning big bucks, and engaged to be married. 

And today I'm just having one of those days when I'm feeling low. And to tell you the truth listening to "A Groovy Kind of Love" on this gloomy afternoon (the sun is hiding) hasn't helped one bit. Makes me want to grab a glass of white wine and get sloshed! But being a responsible adult that I am, I'm gonna tell you what I'm gonna do to get out of this melancholic mood. 

1.  Note to self: Don't listen to sad, love songs. Instead, listen to dance music; since I dance bachata and line dancing, those upbeat songs do help uplift my mood. I just have to play like 500 happy songs today.

2.  Go for some pampering; like a facial and hair treatment/hairwash which I did earlier today. I'm in a better mood for this. Try a manicure, pedicure, reflexology, massage, etc, whatever that relaxes you. If you don't wanna spend money, then DIY at home. Play music, have a glass of wine and soak in some aromatherapy oils.

3. If I had the cash, I would definitely opt for retail therapy. Buying those Chanel espadrilles if I can't get a hold of the Chanel mini bag will definitely make me smile and do a bachata move. Since I don't, then the next close thing would be looking at beautiful fashion on Insta,You Tube,Farfetch or Net-a-porter. Well, that's my go to. If you're not into material stuff and all for creating memories and experiences, then I would say go spend some time in nature. Go for a walk, or hike. I love going to the park, especially the one at Desa Park City, it's dog-friendly, and after that you have a few options of restaurants to chill at.

4. Exercise, I like hitting the gym for some HIIT. You perspire loads and you release endorphins. Endorphins help trigger a positive feeling in the body. So you're gonna feel happy. I wish I still kept my boxing gloves coz boxing is one of my favourite sports to get rid of this lousy lethargic feeling. 

5. I watch comedies. My favourite right now is Grace and Frankie. Those two are hilarious plus they give me a glimpse into the lives of older women who rely on themselves and not their partners, as both were left on their own by their husbands, who came out of the closet and decided to marry one another. When life just changed drastically for them in a bizarre way, they had no choice but to come to terms with it and make the best of the situation they found themselves in. They were playing women in their seventies and they still managed to start a business, selling vibrators for elderly women who suffered from arthritis. Talk about starting over at that age. It inspires me a lot. Keep your partner/hubby close, but keep your girlfriends closer.

6.Reminisce the good old happy days by going through family photos. Just looking at the evolving fashion, hairstyles and funny poses when they hadn't any selfies, and people printed photos, can make you laugh. Well it does for me, especially when I see some of the hairstyles I had when growing up. Gosh! So glad they invented the hair straightening cream and my mom allowed me to try it; my life changed for the better after that, I swear. I wasn't just the bookworm but started looking decent.

7. Stay away from sugar. You don't want the high then slump that you get when you take sugar. What I do is tovfill a large container of water and keep it beside me and take regular sips. This helps me to feel full and therefore not succumb to any sweets; not even fruits. It's like, that lie you tell yourself, "I'll only have one scoop of ice-cream", but trust me it doesn't end well, especially if you have weak willpower. I have failed many times, therefore, don't go there. 

8. Play Dr Phil, by that I mean you sit in a comfy spot and you look within yourself and ask yourself why you feel this way. Did something or someone trigger this feeling? In my case it's mainly from the tamoxifen I'm taking to prevent my cancer from recurring. It messes up with my hormones and makes me a sad, fat person. If you can't control this feeling or situation that trigger this feeling then do all you can to avoid them. 

If the suggestions above fails, I turn to my dog, oops I don't have one at this point in time, but just go find a dog (they have pet cafes that you can go and pet and play with random dogs) and hang out with it. Dogs relax me and understand me better than humans.

If nothing helps, then please seek professional help.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Find your joy, find your passion in dancing!

When I was eight years old, I had a classmate named Sara who was a dancer. Coming from a wealthy family, Sara attended ballet and tap dance classes; things that were uncommon during my childhood.

The majority of my other classmates and I were from middle-income families and extracurricular activities such as dancing that incurred a fee weren't within our families' means. Oh, how I loved to watch Sara perform during our concerts. She was a beautiful girl, both inside and out --sweet, friendly, and talented, and was well-loved by both her friends and teachers.

Sara knew that my parents couldn't afford dance class for me. Whenever we gathered around her to ask her about her dancing, she would show us some of her dance steps and even taught us how to do them. That made her even more popular. I envied Sara, and her life. I was so disappointed that my parents couldn't afford dance classes for me. Being the youngest of five children, my parents had other more important bills to worry about. But of course, back then I didn't understand.

All I knew was that I was so into dancing and wanted to learn just like Sara was. I practically begged and cried so my mom would cave in and send me to classes but my mom kept repeating to me that we hadn't enough money for that.

So every chance I had, I would ask Sara to teach me more dance moves, both ballet and tap dance, and she obliged.

I didn't let anything deter me from dancing; if it was free, I was in. Whenever I had the opportunity to learn dancing, any kind of dancing such as the traditional Malay dance taught by any of the school teachers, I would sign up for it. I was always one of the best dancers in the group, and during concerts the teachers would position me in front of the group to lead the girls.

While Sara excelled in her performances the wealthy could afford and the poor look up towards, I excelled and enjoyed learning dances that were taught for free and shone at concerts. My dad, who played the trumpet, and comes from a musically-inclined background, attended all my performances. He sat at the front row to show his support. And he would later go on to tell me how the other parents would compliment me on my dancing. I felt great and I knew he was proud of his little girl. I even remember leading the dance team, doing the Hawaiian Dance during the school sports day.

Move forward today -- the millennials are a fortunate bunch as they can take up whatever they want to as we, parents, can afford it. My 15-year-old daughter is currently looking for a contemporary dance dance teacher. Like any other parent I had enrolled her in ballet, tap dance and contemporary dance when she was much younger. She didn't show any crazy passion for any, sadly. But she did perform well and was the eye candy at her concerts.  Today I attend all of her performances, mainly acting, and some dancing taught in her school. I want her to be exposed to the different dances out there but to also be the one who wanted to attend this classes because she is interested in the dance. Nothing good happens when you force a kid to learn something that she isn't passionate about.

I, on the other hand, have enrolled in salsa and bachata classes, and recently, line dancing. It's more than six months since I started learning bachata and I truly enjoy it. It is a partner dance, led by the male. I think perhaps, in bachata, you are as good as the guy that leads you. I do get frustrated at times, so I have now started line dancing classes.

My teenager thinks line dancing is for older folks, so she told me I was old for doing it. Who cares, as long I have fun dancing, and meet other women who love dancing. It does help boost your memory as you have to remember all the steps and coordinated moves. I exercise regularly and yet I find certain muscles sore the next day after dancing; so I guess it is a great way to exercise too! My mom would be proud as we dance to awesome country and western songs and it does bring back fond memories of her singing to the songs.

Till today I think about Sara. We lost contact in secondary school. The last I heard she had quit professional dancing and was doing charity work in Singapore.

During bachata dance practice, April 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Why I went missing

Hey you all! I took a long break from blogging, simply because I wanted to get my life back in order.
I wanted to experience all that had been happening to me in all its glory. Feel the pain, go with the flow of daily life and see which path it takes me!

I've emerged. I've thrived!

Gosh, I did a lot of soul-searching, reading, studying, exercising, and making time for hobbies such as bachata and ukulele -- things that brought me joy. During this time I really got to know myself once again. What were important to me such as my family, and my happiness and wellbeing, became my priority.

I reduced socialising and kept my friends' circle small as I had used most of my time to start on my e-commerce business. I felt I needed a focus in life and didn't want my break-up and cancer to play the main roles anymore. I went for digital marketing masterminds in Bali, and actually just got back from one last week. More about that on a later post. I still love traveling, but not as much. Bali, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and cities within Malaysia were the places I had visited over the many months I have been quiet.

It's strange how fast time had flown by when you re-focus your energy on plans and goals that you set. Time wasters were knocked aside, and forgotten.  I forgot about breast cancer. I forgot about my break-up. I forgot about the abuse.

The mind is very strong. If you think you can, you can! And with a little bit of time, anything is possible. Despair turns into hope, betrayal turns into acceptance, hate turns into forgiveness. Anything is possible if you so want it to be.

Till later! Love from me.

Bali, March 7, 2018.

Friday, September 16, 2016

When someone shows you their true colours, believe them

You make me laugh again. Over silly things. You have seen me at my worst, and still choose to be with me. I may die in 5-10 years. Or sooner, who knows. You make me wanna live forever. Making the most of everyday. Unlike my coward husband who ran away.  
You nutter! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Control what you can and pray hard

It's a public holiday today, and I'm now sitting in a quiet cafe, having my meal alone and what better place to write in my blog. 

This place also reminds me of my first venture into business, whereby just behind the block I'm in now used to be the home of my former business; a massage and spa centre called Bliss Aromatherapy which operated from 2000 till 2004. Life was much different then. I was newly married and ran my own business, and planning to have a baby. My daughter is now 13 years old. 

Today ... well my life isn't too shabby. I got used to being a single mom. I do the best I can and at other times I'm just winging it. I try not to be around those 'perfect' moms so I stay sane. I've accepted the fact that my approach to parenting is rather liberal but will get more into it in another post.

The good news is my cancer seems to be under control despite all the stress from the break-up of my marriage. I just completed my quarterly medical check-up and the doctors seem to be happy with my health. I do suffer from the effects of Tamoxifen but if it's gonna keep me alive then I just gotta live with the hot flashes and daily trial runs of how hell would be like!

Some things in your life you can control and some you can't -- like those horrible hot flashes in the middle of the night and  your partner falling in lust with someone else.

For the past few months I have been trying to be physically fit. From working out with a personal trainer in a gym I've moved on to Pilates. I'm doing Pilates regularly because it has helped with my frozen shoulder. And also because I like how it has taught me to be conscious of the different muscles and how my body can be affected by just being aware of my posture while standing, sitting or driving. 

I just read an article by Anythony Robbins that advices one who is going though pain and grief from a break-up. It says one should not hurry through the process of getting over it and moving on as soon as possible, instead it says take the time to live through the pain, learn and grow from it. 

Also to take charge of things that you can control such as being physically fit so you can then be in a better place to control your mental and emotional 

Without realizing it I have been drawn to getting physically fit. It's like I wanna be strong to overcome the mental stress I've been going through. 

I've been also trying out new types of exercises like barre and also hula hooping. Just the other morning I went for a walk in the park. It was a refreshing change to be amidst beautiful greenery and to see other families hanging out. Makes me smile and feel all warmth inside that some people are lucky to have a great husband to love and support them, and to have a close-knit family.

It gives me hope that one day I will have my happy ending.  

And yes, I've started praying again.