3 Attitudes You Need to Ditch In Order To Succeed

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Success is relative to each person. For one, it may be the idea of getting married and having children. For another, it may be achieving the peak of his career. It may come in different forms for every person but the common ground for being successful is the feeling of fulfilment and happiness.

I have heard too many times before that successful people are the ones who were born talented or gifted but I think that talents and gifts are only a small factor in someone’s success. To me, character will mostly determine whether you will win or fail. If you have the right attitudes such as integrity, humility and accountability, success shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.

However, there are 3 things I have adapted on my list to avoid doing and whenever I catch myself in these behaviours, I stop myself as quickly as I can:

Photo credits 

1.         Self-entitlement

Self-entitlement is the belief that everything you have in life is a right therefore, you fail to appreciate the things that you receive. This creates a lazy mentality and people who are self-entitled tend to blame others for the inadequacies they experience in life rather than taking accountability. Instead of pointing the finger and waiting to benefit from other people, look for ways you can improve yourself and exert more effort in making your life better.

2.         Laziness

No matter how intelligent or talented you are, you won’t get anywhere if you are lazy because let’s face it: life is 90% work and 10% reward. The cake that you ate took several hours to bake but only 15 minutes to gulp down. You save up for months to take that 1-week holiday. It took you years to practice violin before you got that standing ovation on a 10-minute recital. All things are difficult before they become easy and life is a constant series of hard work.

If you are lazy, you won’t achieve anything in life because halfway through, you’ll get tired and quit. It’s like being impatient. You want things to come to you easily and blame others for your circumstances. The reality is, when you’re lazy, you get a lot of “rest” and “slack time.” That’s already your reward. You trade your dreams for easy life.

If you want something in life, you have to work hard for it. Instead of being complacent, keep working on your dreams. If you don’t quit, your hard work will pay off eventually.

3.         Arrogance

A healthy does of self-confidence is good but having an excessively high opinion of oneself is dangerous. Arrogance is characterized with feelings of being high and mighty to admit one’s mistakes. As a result, you will never learn and grow. When you are arrogant, you tend to be stubborn and you fail to accept that your actions sometimes result to your failures.

Instead of being stubborn when you realise your mistakes, try to be accountable of your actions. Perhaps, change is really needed. Being flexible and resilient are qualities that should replace arrogance because these characters will help you grow as opposed to being resistant.  

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Are You Qualified for Family Energy Rebates?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I think by now, all of us are being affected by the COVID-19 in many ways especially financially as most companies and businesses are hard hit too. If there's any way we could save up, then we should because we don't really know when this pandemic will last.

This year more than ever, make sure you submit your online application for Family Energy Rebate. The deadline for submission of application is on 18 June 2020, 11pm, so if you haven't submitted, might be a good idea to sit down NOW and do it before you forget doing so. It happened to me once and it was a great deal of savings lost to the household.

There are criteria to assess whether your household qualifies or not but no need to worry as it's all stated on the website.

You will need your energy billing/invoice with you, the Centrelink Reference Number of the energy account holder and your basic details.

Sample billing: NMI is usually located at the back

To submit your application, click here.

This is for NSW residents only. You may have to check with your local state for similar programs by typing in Family Energy Rebates and your state in Google.

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When Family Relationships Hurt

Sunday, May 10, 2020

For so many months now I have been troubled about what I did: I blocked my family members on Facebook. I cut the only practical tie I had with my original family, now that I live many miles away from them. This means I no longer see what goes on in their life and they no longer see mine. For now, I have to content myself with prayers that despite the distance, they are all kept in good hands.

I have always thought that we have close family ties. Growing up, our holidays were spent in a huge celebration of extended relatives, every single year. This made my childhood days memorable and I owe so much happy memories to my parents for that.

Family is an integral part of people. To me, it is my core foundation, my history, my upbringing and values. Who I am in general was because of my family. I have always regarded my parents, brothers, sister, cousins, aunts, relatives and in-laws as my sanctuary. 

My parents especially were the biggest motivation for most of my achievements in life. Seeing them happy is like a reward for me.

But as I grew up, I experienced the most hurtful relationships from my family. The most recent one made me decide to finally cut ties. Coming up with this decision was not easy especially when there's a lifetime of emotional investment involved.

I only had 2 choices: to fight for it or walk away from it. But since it takes two to tango to fight for a relationship, walking away seemed like the only choice left.

What is family?

Family is defined by the dictionary as, 

"a group of one or more parents and their children living together as a unit."

In simple words, family is us. It is where our first relationships were, and also where our core beings were formed because the past makes up a significant part of who we are now.

But there are interesting aspects to a family, and not all family are cut the same. Moreover, not everyone in the family have the same personalities and character even if they grew up together.

At the time I was hurt from a recent fall out with some of my family members, I was looking for self-help articles that could help me deal with the emotional turmoil caused by my decision to break ties.

I came across Lizett from wehavekids.com, who wrote in her article

"An interesting aspect about families is that people can tolerate more bad than good,"[sic] 
"Families can simultaneously be the ones to cayse you distress, but are also there by your side in tough spots."[sic]
"These relationships, when stressed or tense, are the worst to endure because family means so much to us personally and within our culture/society."

I couldn't agree more with what she wrote. I mean, this isn't the first time I've had fall outs with relationships, but it's hardest when the one involved is your family. It's just easier to walk away when there aren't too many strings that attach us.

My family is everything to me. I had a happy childhood and I have so much fond memories of my family.

Sad to say, I witnessed how our relationships started to fail. Despite being physically together, I felt that the members became more and more disconnected. 

Now, I barely see the shadow of the family we once were. My family, which used to be a picture of a bright and happy home, was no longer the same as I used to know it.

My family was no longer the same as I used to know it (photo by Elias Schupmann)

Strained family relationships

I have been away from them for a long time (since I moved overseas with my husband and kids). During those years, I was mostly unaware of what goes on with their life. There's usually just one side of the story I was allowed to see: the sufferings and bad ones.

It wasn't healthy, of course. Imagining my family suffer made me feel anxious for a long time. I often felt guilty over things I had no control of which led to feelings of frustration. My mood was often agitated because I forced myself to accommodate an extended responsibility of helping my family rise up from their situation. 

There were times when I dreaded showing any signs of happiness because I didn't want them to feel left out knowing that I was unable to provide all their needs as well. Sometimes I even felt guilty just because overall, I was living a more abundant life here.

It took me some time to realise that just like my life wasn't always dandy, their life wasn't always miserable either. I just wasn't allowed to see the happy parts because the painful realisation was that, when they were well and happy, they didn't remember me.

I denied this realisation for a long time but the more things unfold, the more I realise that I probably am not loved by my family in a way that I love them and expect from them as a family.

For years, I've been craving to see them again, but now I realise that this feeling might not even be mutual after all. For years, I tried to help them but it still felt like I was always lacking. For years, I had always included them in my plans but no one welcomed my suggestions. For years, I tried to reach out but it still felt like I was a stranger.

And the accusations I've heard were just plain hurtful: I was stingy, selfish, proud, greedy, insensitive. I was all these things to certain members of the family.

Cutting ties are never easy

I love my family, my siblings. My love for them extends to the ones they love too, partners, spouses, children and all.

But there comes a point when you get tired. I'm tired of feeling guilty for the things I shouldn't even be. I'm tired of being criticized all the time where everyone is quick to jump at my faults but nobody appreciates the things I've done. I'm tired of feeling like a stranger.

But mostly, I'm tired of feeling like I have to choose between my original family and current family.

It took me some time to come to terms with what I did but eventually, I had to CUT TIES for these reasons:

History tells it all

  • Historically, there was a point when I felt ostracized from the family in favour of someone else. Dating back to my cousin's wedding day, the day my mom decided to choose my cousin over me, and so did the rest of the family, I believe I had lost my place as a member.

They say past is past, forgive and forget, and I have. But these circumstances bring up such an impactful turnover in my life. On the night before the dreaded wedding day, when I was deliberately made to feel an outcast, I begged my sister-in-law not to go, she and her family at least.

My pleas fell on deaf ears. I was on the brink of suicide but nobody bothered. Whenever I am reminded of that day, desperation is all I see. To them, it must have been a happy day.

For everyone's best - at no one's expense

  • In terms of who will be much affected, definitely not them. Assessing the relationship, my family lives together overseas. They can look out for each other. My loss wouldn't be felt much less noticed.

How do they feel about me? I'm the villain here as always. Losing me wouldn't be an issue. They can think I'm dead and not shed a tear and that's how I want it to be. No dramas.

Enough of the stress 

  • I have been stressed long enough. This has been going on for years. I'm not saying everyday I get to deal with it because most days everyone's just quiet with their own merry ways. But quiet does not mean peace. There is an ugly wound that's covered. It festers and rots in the long run.

And I can't live thinking that anytime, something could explode. I was falling in out of the stress cycle and I finally had to do it.

It hasn't been fair to my husband and children as well, to be at the receiving end of my frustrations. It's not fair that my husband, who appears callous on the outside but was actually supportive to my family, gets dragged into this hatred. Not especially when his family never treated me uncompassionately.

Cutting ties hurt, but is sometimes necessary

I have set boundaries before, but I realised that sometimes, the only solution is letting go. It hurts A LOT and I can't tell you the number of times I cried at night, or the weird places I'm at when I couldn't control my tears and people would see me. It came to a point when I decided, enough and with tears pouring out my eyes, blocked them all, every connected person, one by one.

It hurts A LOT because I know not everyone in the family hates me. I know the few ones who still truly care but are silent about it. 

And if anyone accuses me again for what I did, so be it. I am angry and hurt, I won't deny that. But at the bottom of these all, I know I will still pray for my family, even the ones who dislike me and my most sincere wish is that they all live a happy life.

I may never become part of that happiness anymore but that does not matter to me. Just to have my sanity intact is more than enough for me and so it's time to say goodbye for now...

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Darla's 2nd Birthday!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Darla adores the pretty cake and was excited to blow the candles!

Last Saturday, we successfully celebrated Darla’s 2nd birthday. She turned 2 last Wednesday, 29 April, but it was too gloomy that day, so we decided to postpone it for the weekend. I’m so glad we did! The weather last Saturday was better, sunny albeit windy and cold. Plus, we were also able to invite over a close family friend despite the quarantine. 😊 Just right on time, visitors of 2 adults with 2 children under 18 were allowed from Friday on wards.

Thanks be to God for a successful celebration of another year for Darla.

Our lovely visitors

The master chef with his critic 😂

Darla with the pretty twins, ate Chloe and ate Claudine 👧👧

This year’s theme was Emma Wiggles. Unlike last year’s Under The Sea theme of purples and teals, Emma Wiggles is more of bright yellow and white colours. I tried to keep the decoration low-key this year. It was low cost too. I used fabrics I found from my old stash, a couple of wide yards of white and just enough yellow satin, some confetti and yellow balloons and a number 2 handmade with paper daisies.

I enjoyed making this! I wish I used yellow background though instead of hot pink

Thankfully, the birthday celebrant had a good nap around noon time so I was able to set up the party decoration peacefully. I had assembled the balloons early in the morning and the table skirt was a breeze. However, propping up the balloons was a challenge because the wind kept toppling them over the edge. I had to replace the clear glasses I used because they were too thin and tall. They didn’t hold much strength even when filled with water. I had to use sturdier 2 litres drink bottles. They ended up not as “aesthetic” as I wanted it to be, but it solved the problem ha-ha-ha.

The not-so-aesthetic drink bottle 😂

I don’t want to be biased about myself but I think it turned out just fine. 😊 Here are some of the photos from the party.

The initial set-up

We had to add another table on the side for more space 😁

Meanwhile, the food was a hit. The very devoted Daddy woke up early to start cooking. On the menu was stir-fry noodles, fried chicken and crispy pork-hock, crispy noodle salad with Asian dressing and Korean barbecue of prawn and different meats. For dessert, we had fruits and a matching Emma-themed cake made by my exceptionally talented friend, sis. Karen.

After the decorations and food were set up, we started to dig in even when the celebrant was still asleep. We were all so hungry from all the hard work. Besides, I’d be better off eating without the baby tugging at my sleeves anyway hahaha.

The Korean barbecue was yummy, hands down. It’s so much cheaper to do it at home too. All of the meat were thin and they cooked real fast and tender. The sauces made a good complementary flavour to the meat too.

We bought the meat and sauces at various shops in Strathfield.

Crispy pork hock, fried chicken, salad, prawns and Korean barbecue meat

The sauces were ssamjang, cham sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds

2-stove with wide plate for only $69 at Kmart

The crispy noodle salad was yummy too! It replaced the rice for me, while the stir-fry noodle replaced the rice for the kids.

At 2pm, sis Karen and bro Wendel with their toddler twins came by with the home-made birthday cake. Finally, the main attraction made it to the table. This time, I decided to wake Darla up so we could start singing and she could blow the candles. Of course, Darla had to change to her Emma dress and shoes too!

Very pretty cake, thanks to sis Karen 💓

It was good to see you again, Soria family!

Finally the highlight of the party, here is the very posh celebrant holding fried chicken on one hand and champagne glass on the other 😂

She loves her chicken and fake champagne glass 😂

It was a great afternoon and everyone had a great time!
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