One stone down

Three more to go

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A quick catch-up

In the wink of an eye, it is now April.

Where has all the time gone since I last blogged?

There are a few things I want to tell you, so here we go with catching up…

27th February 2017. GD finally enlisted into the army. After all the agonising, he is finally gone. In the weeks and months leading up to his enlistment, I have found it crazy how disproportionate his fans’ grief is as they lament and bemoan the fact that they will lose their idol for the next 2 years. They weep and bid farewell as if this man is dying, never to return again. The negativity and sadness from the entertainment news were really weighing me down, which actually made me wish that he would just go quickly. Go quickly and return quickly- that’s my policy. In the meantime, while GD is gone, I am motivated to use these 2 years as a time target for my own health and fitness journey. When he is discharged on 27th Nov 2019, I want to be a new me. A beautiful girl unashamed to go and see my favourite artist in real life. If I have reached my own goals when he returns, I will go to his comeback concert. New GD, be prepared to meet the new me (in 2 years).

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Speaking of my health and fitness journey…. So, after Christmas and New Year, I bloated up SO BAD.  Despite being convinced that I did not overindulge over the holidays, the weighing scales did not lie. I had piled on the pounds. All my hard work had gone down the drain… and I was back to square one yet again. I saw a picture of myself on Chinese New Years day (when eating Hotpot with Laura) and was *shook* (pardon the grammar… this is a new young generation term). My face was so round… my arms so thick. I hated that picture, and hated myself for it. I was starting to feel really despondent. 2 years of exercise hasn’t done anything, 2 rounds of BBG hasn’t done anything, slimming world worked for all of 2 weeks, reducing my chocolate/ coke/ cake/ cookie intake hasn’t done anything, healthy-eating/ meal prep hasn’t done anything… nothing has worked! One day at work, I was randomly chatting to one of my juniors about my (lack of) weight loss… which was when she suggested using myfitnesspal to help me track calories. Now, I have never tried calorie counting before so this is a brand new adventure for me. I was initially worried about the math and work that this was going to involve… now, I am 6 weeks in and the app has worked a treat! The ability to add calories to your daily count simply by scanning the barcode of the food you eat has made this seemingly tedious chore much more of a breeze than you would expect! I think I am starting to see some result… I have certainly had at least 2 people come up to me in the last week commenting that I have lost weight. Some days I am immensely motivated to keep within my calorie budget, other days I really just want to give up. Yet, I have to keep reminding myself that “Rome wasn’t built in a day. You didn’t get fat overnight” and “good things are worth waiting for.” Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks and months! I am excited to see what changes my body will undergo! In the mean time, God please keep my food cravings at bay!

Badminton and body pump. After 2 rounds of BBG, I gave up BBG on week 7 round 3. Why? Because it was getting really really boring. The exercises still hurt, but it was so boring and my body was starting to resent going to the gym in anticipation of the pain. And so, as a way to spice up my exercise life, I engaged SH to play badminton with me every Saturday morning. We bought some cheap rackets and shuttlecocks on amazon and starting playing at the university sports hall. We are amateurs, so we play without any rules or boundaries. Our aim is to keep a rally going for as long as is possible. So far, it has been a tonne of fun. The cardiovascular exercise of running around chasing a shuttlecock has been awesome. The times when we manage to really keep a rally going has been exhilarating. It has been so much fun being able to play with a friend and our friendship has certainly deepened as a result. SH and I have actually made these Saturday mornings into “Play and Pray” sessions. We play badminton, catch-up a bit on life, and then pray for each other for the coming week. I love both bits of this P&P and look forward to it every week! On top of spicing up my cardiovascular exercise with badminton, I have also started going to body pump classes to help me with my strength training. After 2 years in the gym feeling too scared to step into a class (there is a constant worry about not being able to keep up, feeling embarrassed, and not being to escape!), I finally bit the bullet and went on 27th January. Bodypump has been great! It is nice to exercise with 20+ other people, led by an instructor who knows how to train and motivate, and to lift to some really good groovey music! Admittedly, these low load high rep exercises really kill my muscles… but when I have overcome them and as I walk away with jelly legs, I am filled with a sense of pride that “I did it!”

Best registrar. I went to a MET call the other day with one of my SHOs. The patient had a low GCS and needed to be intubated on the ward and then transferred to CT scan before going to ITU. On arrival, I took charge of the situation and quickly made decisions as to what needed to be done for the patient. As usual, I asked for the names of the people I worked with and assigned jobs to them on a first name named-person basis. I tried to be methodical and calm, aiming to take control of what would otherwise be a chaotic situation. We vocalised our thoughts and plans and verbally went through our pre-intubation check-lists. The patient was eventually stabilised, secured and packaged before we set off on a little adventure around the various departments of the hospital. The patient took up a good part of 2 to 3 hours of my time. When I eventually returned to the theatre coffee room, I found my SHO was there having her lunch as well. This was when she said some really precious words to me, to the effect of “I just want to let you know that I think you are the best registrar that I have ever worked with. I really admire the way you handled the situation. You were so clear, and I could totally follow what your thought processes are– something that I struggle with some other registrars when I just don’t understand what they are thinking! I want to be just like you in the future.” It was such precious feedback! These words are something that I hold closely to my heart– to think that I am a role model to one of my juniors! All too often, I beat myself up over the things that I could have done better/ should have done/ shouldn’t have done… so much so that I forget that I can be quite good sometimes! Obviously, I am not going to let this get to my head… but I want this to stay in my head, to remain as a precious reminder that I am still deemed to be “fit-for-purpose” and to stop doubting myself and my competence so much!

I am done with being the organiser of the PFMs. After a year of really hard work at overhauling the format of the meetings, after multiple frustrating emails to and from the associate head of school, after being on the receiving end of non-stop moaning from the registrars, the PFMs have become a precious baby for me and V. And so, it was actually really hard to give it up…. to trust other people to carry on the good work that we have done. But it was necessary, since I finish training this summer and V will be off on maternity leave in February. Our last meeting was a roaring success. One of the speakers from London even sent an email to SM to commend me for my good work- what a wonderful way to end off this term of being PFM organiser!

It is Easter Sunday today! On a day like this, this song shouts out to me…

As my saviour hung nailed onto the tree, his love was poured out to set us free.

Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid

Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He’s risen from the grave

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

Praise and honour unto Thee

2018

Productive first day of the New Year:

  • Sorted out my BMJs/ BJAs to throw/ recycle
  • Threw out my broken and useless electrical goods
  • Sorted out my GD pics for the wall
  • Cooked about 6 meals for the coming week
  • Folded the laundry
  • Gone grocery shopping
  • Watched a lot of YouTube
  • Practiced brush calligraphy

Hopefully this productiveness will carry on through the rest of the year.

In 2018,

SMILE and BE CONTENT.

I hope that this New Year brings:

  • Joy in the workplace. I want to enjoy my work more and feel less stress, fear and frustration
  • Improved brush calligraphy skills
  • Better eating habits and more exercise, hopefully accompanied by noticeable weight loss
  • More travelling
  • More friends and deeper friendship
  • Love and relationship
  • Prayerfulness and complete trusting in the Lord Jesus

Whatever changes 2018 brings, remember that nothing changes how you stand before the Lord your God.

You are saved, sealed and sanctified.

You are a child of God.

You are forever loved.

Sweet love?

Found these online.

Very cute illustrations of all the things I have ever hoped to do with someone special.

Made me smile. (:

Loneliness knows me by name

Tonight has been a really difficult night for me.

Randomly, I am awash with a really deep hurting inside.

There is a heaviness weighing down in my heart,

A throbbing ache in my gut,

A desperate sorrow that I cannot even begin to describe.

Somehow, tears of loneliness have found their way out of the sockets of my eyes.

I am terribly missing something that has never been mine.

I am overcome with agonising wanting.

For companionship, for friendship, for relationship.

If ever I knew a lonely girl, I am the one.

My singleness is slowly but surely eating me away.

It is the thorn in my flesh, my cross to bear.

I want to love and be loved.

I want to treasure and be treasured.

I want a hand to hold and another pair of footsteps next to mine as I journey along this road of life.

Yet,

God never promised to fulfil these earthly desires.

So far, His answers have been no, no and no.

The NO refrain is a hard pill to swallow,

Especially when so many other people have been given the yes, the go ahead, the try again.

Why, oh Lord? What do I make of this suffering of singleness?

What can I learn from this hopeless loneliness?

I do not have an answer.

But I know that your will is mysterious and always good.

I know that well in my head.

Yet tonight, my head refuses to speak to my heart.

Rather, this heart refuses to hear reasons from a level-head.

This bitter heart wallows in sorry self-pity.

This broken heart is screaming out its pain.

This wretched heart drowns out the whispers of your love tonight.

Father God, forgive this irrational, grief-stricken heart.

Comfort it and draw it back to you.

Love is nothing, if love is without you.

 

32

Whenever my mum sends me messages like this, my heart feels all warm and fuzzy and I feel a little bashful. I am so thankful for this beautiful and resilient woman who gave birth to me and raised me, and till this day still loves me so unconditionally. On a day like this, my celebrations are now so much more about her and less about me. Thank you mama, I love you to the moon and back.

In these last few years, I have really struggled with conflicting feelings on each birthday. On one hand I feel like “this is SUCH A SPECIAL DAY, I need to cherish every second!” Yet on the other hand, I do not really know how to celebrate anymore. I do not throw parties, or invite friends to dinner, or want to make much of a fuss these days… largely because I don’t really have many close friends left in this city, but also because I am too lazy, and also because I do feel burdened by the weight of every rise in the numbers that indicate my age.

Perhaps on a day of emotional conflict like this, it will be best to spend some time in thoughtful reflection. Here it goes..

Things I am thankful for:

  1. I am finally in my final year of specialist training. This time next year, I will have CCT’d and be eligible for a consultant job. At last, after so many years on the conveyor belt of exams, WPBAs, registrar on-calls and ARCPs, the end is in sight. Imagine me, a consultant, a boss!
  2. I have found a creative outlet/ hobby at last! Since October of this year, I have taken up brush lettering. It is perfect for a person who cannot commit to doing things at fixed times at specific locations like me. I can practice anytime and anywhere. All I need is an ink-filled brush pen and some paper. I am in awe of people who write beautifully. I hope my practice pays off, and I can eventually graduate from brush lettering to modern calligraphy.
  3. I SAW GD IN CONCERT THIS YEAR! I breathed the same air he breathed. I saw his charming, bashful smile in real life. The excitement of seeing GD made me feel alive again.

Things I am prayerful for (short-term):

  1. Smooth sailing redecoration of my parents’ house. It is an exciting time- we are renovating! The 20 year old, yellowed and creaky built-in cupboards, desks and shelves will finally be hacked. The tiny holes on the floor will finally be filled and the tiles polished. We are installing an oven in the kitchen. The greyed walls will finally receive a fresh coat of paint! I am so excited to see our old flat look new again. We have been packing and throwing- that was all I did when I went home in October. It is such a challenge to try and throw out the trash we have hoarded for the last 30 years (I found it particularly hard to throw away stuff from my childhood) and to pack everything into boxes. I was exhausted after only 2 weeks of that… I hope my parents cope better as they have to continue this process till the actual renovation begins next February/ March. I pray that mum will not get too stressed out and that the whole process goes a lot smoother than we ever expected.
  2. What happens next in my career. I have come to yet another point/ cross-road where I have to apply for jobs again. What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? What does God want me to do? Where does God want me to work? I am thinking of a post CCT fellowship, potentially at the tertiary paediatric centre in this city… but I am also thinking about Canada, or Australia, or even Singapore? I also want to go and work on Mercyships for a bit. However, if I leave the UK, does this mean an end to this chapter of my life? Moving on after 14 years is not going to be easy.
  3. I need some new friends. New good friends. New best friends.

Things I want to fully trust God for (longer-term):

  1. Health for me and my family. I have started exercising regularly, and have certainly started taking a keen interest in what I put into my body. At present, I STILL haven’t seen much change in my body but I need the Lord to help me persevere. I need to lose weight, and I want to look beautiful for myself. Quite honestly, I would like to have a 6 pack at some point in this life. I hope this point is now.
  2. A husband and children. When I was about 14 or 15 years old, my mum suggested that it was a good time to start praying for my future husband. I took her advice and have done so for years. Yet, I am 32 and STILL single. Cycles of posts have come and gone on my social media. Friends posted about their new boyfriends and girlfriends. Then people started getting engaged. This was followed by a flux of wedding photographs. Baby pictures then flooded my FB feed. And now people are posting about their 2nd, their 3rd or their 4th child. Other friends have gotten divorced and are re-married. Through all of these… my relationship status has remained unchanged. Single, a little desperate, and seemingly unwanted. I’m not entirely sure why men are not interested. Perhaps it is my fierce independence? Or maybe I am just too boring? Now that I am 32, I’m thinking that I may be too old? Whatever it is, I hope these will be overcome and that the Lord blesses me with a single, Christian man. And if possible, a couple of wonderful children.
  3. Contentment. People love to ask the question “If you were to have one superpower, what would it be?” I’ve thought long and hard about this… and whilst most people will tend to suggest “invisibility”, “telekinesis” or “time travelling”, I think I would prefer to be blessed with the power of feeling content. I would like to be content and happy in any and every situation that life throws at me.

Dear Lord, hear my prayers.

Perfection Personified

So, last night was amazing.
I feel like I got drunk on GD last night and am nursing a hangover today. A really good hangover. I cannot stop thinking about him and my heart continues to ache for him.
GD was THE BOMB.
He was so beautiful and charismatic.
He looked so fashionable in everything he adorned.
Every dance move, every flick of his hair, every finger lifted was just oozing with manliness.
His songs were like lyrical whirlpools that sucked me in and drowned me in the sea of his melodious dulcet tones.
He spoke to his audience only very briefly, in English. And though his pronunciation carried a strong Korean twang that was difficult to decipher at times, you cannot help but love him more, simply because he tried.

Admittedly, the sound system wasn’t the most impressive and at times I struggled to figure out if I was hearing him sing live or if it was the back-up track.
Admittedly, it was too crowded in the standing zone with everyone pushing forward and that felt uncomfortable.
Admittedly, my feet were hella sore from 4 hours of being on my feet.
But despite all these, it was all worth it.
GD was perfect.

It was so good to be able to see him up close. For 2 hrs, this man of my dreams was real- standing right in front of me, breathing the same air I breathed.
I melted when I finally saw that gorgeous breath-snatching smile for the first time in real life- the magical smile that has powers to push the corners of my own lips upward.
He was mesmerising. I could not take my eyes off him. I could not even bear to look away for a second- not to watch his backup dancers twirling around beside him, not to even glance at the band members he was introducing, and certainly not to look at my camera’s view finder as I struggled to capture every blessed moment of him standing right before my eyes. My gaze was completely and utterly fixed onto him- my GD.

I am besotted.

However, despite all that perceived perfection, I got a strong feeling that he was sad. I could not see any fire in his eyes. He sang song after song according to the plan… but I found him wanting. Wanting of soul and passion and of joy. At times, it seemed as though he was just going through the motions. Other times, he would cover his eyes with his hand or hat or even bury his head in his arm to avoid eye contact. The melancholy that he always seems to be shrouded in was even more obvious in real life. It felt as if this stunningly successful young man was secretly but seriously hurting on the inside. My heart went out to him when I saw tears welling up in his eyes, and I just wanted to pull him closer into a sweet embrace.

Tonight, GD plays his gig in London. I, on the other hand am leaving Birmingham to go home back up north. I miss him dearly already.

Ji Yong, please stay safe in the army and come back soon after your 2 years of military service. In the meantime, I will work hard on learning Korean and losing weight to become the best version of myself… Hopefully, I will see you again then, and you will see me too.

Waiting for GD

It is the 23rd of September!

After waiting for months, I am finally here in Birmingham waiting to go and see Ji Yong at his concert.

I have been beside myself with excitement this past week whilst on nights… I could not help but keep talking about going to his concert to my SHO (poor girl, she had to put up with me and my never ending nonsensical rants).

It really has been a while since I have felt this kind of excitement. This kind of looking forward to something. This kind of feeling breathless and queasy with anticipation. Life has been so mundane and routine for so long that this feeling of exhilarating excitement has been a real breath of fresh air. It makes me feel alive again! Truth to be told, I feel as though I am waiting to go on a date- something that I have desired for so long but have never experienced. Now, I can’t wait to see this beautiful man! I really hope that GD’s gig doesn’t let me down tonight. I want him to sing to me, to make me dance, to charm me and to take my breath away.

.

.

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This made me wonder…

Do I look forward to Jesus the same way? Am I feeling sweaty with palpitations anticipating the arrival of my beautiful bridegroom Jesus? If I claim to love Christ so much then why am I not talking about him animatedly to everyone around me, whether or not they seem interested in hearing about it?

As I am waiting for GD, do not forget that I am ultimately waiting for GOD.

For the times when I am fearful and doubtful

Chorus:

Be strong and courageous
The Lord of the Ages
Holds all His little ones,
Safe by His side
Be strong and courageous
The Lord of the Ages
Holds all His little ones safe

Do not fear the fire,
Do not fear the water,
Do not fear the thunder,
Jesus has conquered them all.

<Chorus>

Do not fear the darkness
Do not fear the sadness
Do not fear the sickness
Jesus has conquered them all

<Chorus>

Do not fear the enemy
Do not fear the poverty
Do not fear eternity
Jesus has conquered them all

<Chorus>