Monday, April 06, 2020

From a Distancing

The plague has arrived, close your house, keep your distance, put on your mask, wash your hands, and pray for the best. After the dive, it's time for a lockdown, or whatever it's called. For some of us, to stay at home is a relief, a chance to reconnect to the family, for other ones, it means a dead end, the loss of income, and a path to a bleak future. But for me, the real threat is to our humanity, our sociality, and our recognition of the vulnerability of life. We also learn about leadership, especially in a time of crisis. I've been through a number of crisis myself in the last couple of years, but not alike this time. A crisis of this magnitude keeps me thinking of whether we can get out of it, when, and what it's gonna be after. Always hope for the best, prepare for the worst, I guess.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

New Year's Dive

This year starts with a tide... a tidal wave. Nonstop rain during the new year's eve finally send water inside my house. One month later, it happens again. And there goes my good night sleeps.Every time it rains, my eyes just could not close. My heart beats faster, my mind keeps counting down the rain drops, my lips pray for it not lasts. My mind writes a list of things that must be moved to keep them from drowning. Every second counts and every rain drop means agony, every look out of window for early signs of flood.

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Fountain (of Youth)

In life, seriously, only one thing is sure, that's death. Death can come suddenly, or slowly ascending through disease, or from the court of justice. Death is inevitable, but no one, or maybe most of us, don't want to face it sooner, we even discouraged to commit suicide. Some of us even treat death as another form of disease, that must be cured. We want to live forever, or as long as it can be. Even after death, we always we wonder what will happen to our soul. In (most) religions we are told about the concept of afterlife and judgment day, heaven and hell. In another religion, there is a concept of rebirth and reincarnation. Is death really the end of our existence? Or death is just another phase of life itself? Like a star that comes to extinction, turn to black hole, then supernova, blast into a big bang, and eventually give birth to a new star (or even a whole new galaxy). Can we finally conquer our fear of death (and our sadness of our beloved one's death) by embracing it?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Rare, or Medium Rare?

It’s rare that you see men making the “choice” to scale back their ambitions and radically decrease their earnings so that they can be home with their kids;
 There's a saying that behind every big man there's an even bigger woman, usually his wife. From another angle, for a successful woman, do we ever place the importance of a man behind? Or we just assumed that they did it on their own? To make it more extreme, do we label the man behind a successful woman a loser because they didn't take their chance? Well, sometimes those men are also successful, even more successful than their spouse, just not as famous. When we make a commitment to start a family, and have kids, how do we position ourselves, share the responsibilities, and arrange our priorities? According to the quote above, you can become "rare" if you put your family before your job, but of course it can jeopardise your career (if you have one). It just took a misstep to get you "burned" to medium rare...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Taken for Granted

Are you working everyday to earn a good living, fulfill your passions and dreams, or just a routine to kill some times, maybe? If you work in an organization, of any size, do you just complete your tasks or do something more, like even help with your coworker's tasks? What do you feel about your workplace, your organization, do you feel recognized for your extra efforts and accordingly compensated or even accounted for? How do we recognized the good deeds we receive everyday or everytime, did a simple thank you or thank God is sufficient?. And why do I even bother asking these rambling questions?. It won't even make me feel better about myself, busting my ass off for a thankless job for years, a passionate job after all. When our priorities changed drastically, we keep on questioning ourselves if it's still worth the price. Alone at night when everyone's home, staring at the screen and punching more keys to save the day and the day after, for tomorrow is already arrived. It's just an ordinary day after all.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Back to Ordinary World

This year has been tough for us. Endless overtime, continous broken promises, and temporary shortage of lifelines plus a stockpile of debt. After what happened two years ago, I always thought the worst is over, but who knows what was just waiting on the corner. You would think two weeks with nothing to do or one month salary due is bad, imagine twice as bad, and you have a family. Looking back now, it's quite amazing, extremely lucky to be able to get out of the situation in one piece. Of course, we still clean up the wreckage. Hopefully, the worst is really over this time. One can only hope and pray for the best, and always learn to survive.

Monday, July 17, 2017

(We Are) Spirits in the Material World

Eid has passed, another procession of homecoming (sort of), family gathering, and the travel within. An annual pilgrimage that started with a thrilling hunt for transportation apparatus, back and forth. The logistical supply management came along eventually. When the deadline approach, the tension got higher, and the stakes got bigger. Finally, we make it through, complete with hectic journey and temporarily missing child. When the big day came, another journey in the heat to attend two family gatheering simultaneously. Just another routine, but surprisingly this year, these moments are a little bit interesting, even my wife thought so. When the themes for both occasions are completely opposite, talking about entrepeneurship and civil service as a life choice. Entrepeneurship, as in the jargon "Become your own employer" and "It's better to be a big fish in a small pond". Contrarily, the civil service is about the peace of mind and respectability of others. To complete the polarization, we have the third family gathering to balance them, to place spirituality vis-a-vis materiality. You cannot be more lucky (or confused) than that.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Immortality

My former boss died the other day, of stroke. He's just five months younger than me. When it's true that someone's death make us think about ours to come, nothing beats the death of someone close to us. Ironically, I've been ut of touch with him for about ten years, apart from social media interaction, which also rarely. I know that he seems didn't care much about his health. IT people typical, he works without limits, eat what he likes, and no (or minimum) workout. Knowing his death cause is the same as my father is still shocking though. And I still don't take the "explanation" that some curse causes it, no matter what the online noises said these days. He was a hardworking, no-nonsense type of guy. If we get the jargon "No Action, Talk Only" or "NATO" , for him it's "Big Talk, Hard Work". He always talk what he wants, spontaneously, straight to the point no second thought. Unfortunately, the social media heat lately has become poisonous and deceiving. As though we are forced to take sides, two extreme ones. Sadly, a couple years ago, a fellow programmer had an accident, got paralyzed, and eventually died. There were some coverage on the news, a couple of online website wrote his story sympathetically. Today, when he died, only a single coverage from online news website. The rest is followups to the curse and bullying, even sounds like a celebration of his death. This is a guy that works for his country, educating youth to create new IT developers, from any background. No mean of disrespect, but the late programmer I mention above was nothing compare to him, even when they both are good friends. And people will only remember his "blasphemy" and "curse" that lead to his sickness and eventual death.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Insipid (Dreams)

I watched a new "cartoon" with my daughter recently, only to realize that the film is too mature for her. Well, everything is too mature for a two years old girl, I think, The movie itself is quite funny, full of self-referenced joke (pun), such as this one: "Life isn't some cartoon musical where you sing a little song and your insipid dreams magically come true. So, let it go!". Everyone that's not sleeping away for the past three years must surely know where the reference come from. After the laughter and thrill is gone, somehow the words linger on. For your information, insipid means tasteless, lack of character or definition, or too sweet or sentimental. I guess it makes a great blog title, this blog especially. On the other hand, that quote give a good message: everything in life is not a given, you have to fight for it. Any two year old girl is mature enough for a message like that.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Life Begins at 40, The Game Ends at 41

(The card game, obviously). You know that when all the cards are revealed, it's all over. We live each day, suffling all our cards, take it in turn, hope to find the right one to keep. We already chose to collect a specific kind of card before. We wait and wonder if the next card will be the one to keep or even can finish the game. And then what? We all know the end of the road, the path to eternity that awaits. I dreamt about my mother last night, as if she never gone away. Funny how I never consider that to be such a big deal anyway. After four years, it seems that the gaps she left will never be filled. Finally, what if everyone collects the same set of cards? Did we really play the same game, the same rules, and the same deck?