A busy day

06 June 2020, Saturday.

It was a busy day for me.

I started sketching after breakfast and kept myself busy and peaceful for the whole morning.

She was once my best friend when I was 17 years old. And I haven’t seen her for a long time. Her husband was also my good friends in school. We were all in the same school.

Two weeks back, I posted my sketch of Dwayne Johnson on my outdated Facebook – Let The Thoughts Fly and she commented: “Practise with your family n friends photos? Lol”

I did not reply, but in my heart, I promised myself she’ll be the first person I’ll sketch since her profile picture is pretty clear.

I’m happy with the outcome, though I have drawn her eyes bigger than the original picture. What’s more important is that she is happy with the sketch and changed her Facebook profile picture to this sketch.

I spent the whole afternoon packing and re-arranging mom’s room, so that it looks neater and more spacious. And after showing her the new layout, mom was happy and laughed, commenting that it is now much better and thanked me.

Then I vacuumed and mopped the floor, before I shaved my hair and washed the toilet.

Mom is now like a little girl, and I just need to make funny comments or facial expressions to make her laugh. I do not know what is going on in her mind, and most of the time, I leave her sitting alone on the sofa doing nothing, especially when I am working.

It seems to me that life is a cycle. Mom and dad brought me into this world, taking care of me, making me happy and laughed by making funny faces (I assume as I have lost all of my childhood memories). And after 50 years, our roles have changed, and I take care of mom’s daily meals, remind her to rinse her mouth after meals, making sure that she showers every day, giving her medicine daily.

She is now under my care. I am happy that now her room is more spacious and she’s happy with it.

Who would know that dad would have a relapse. Sis updated us on the group chat that dad is now back to feeling worrisome and anxious again. I can imagine how challenging it can be for sis, for I know her patience is not much better than mine.

Or perhaps, my patience is now much better than hers after these few years of meditation. Still, I’m not a saint.

Our message exchanges in the siblings’ group chat triggered my thoughts once again.

I felt that I need to talk to dad but do not know how. I scanned through my mind on the approaches that I can take – to show him love and patience, or to shake him up? To share how blessed he is by bringing him to the hospital where people are seriously ill or to the dark corners where homeless people sleeps?

I really do not know and I feel lost.

Somehow, when the title “Seven years in Tibet” starring Brad Pitt fell into my eyes, I was attracted to it. I knew it was the word “Tibet” that drew my attention, and I have always dreamt that one day, I will be in Tibet. As I read the summary of the movie, I knew I need to complete the show and I did.

It was about an arrogant and selfish man who spent seven years in Tibet and met Dalai Lama which changed his outlook on life.

It was really a nice movie and there were a few words of wisdom that really touched my heart or made me seek within.

“Do we need any reason to offer help to someone who is in need?” It is a short but powerful statement and I love it very much.

“You admire the man who pushes his way to the top in any walk of life while we admire the man who abandon his ego.”, the Tibetan woman told the Austrian man. There is no wrong or right, either way, courage is required, just differences in culture but I prefer the one with abandonment of ego.

“If the problem can be solved, there’s no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good. So stop worrying, Heinrich.” It’s always easier said than done, and I wish I can tell this to dad as Dalai Lama spoke to the Austrian Heinrich.

But I do acknowledge that I am practising this in the recent months. I have had my fair share of fumbles in my work, either missing out something or lacking in communications with customer, resulting in my projects hitting road blocks.

And I reminded myself at the end of the day that it was what it was, the only thing I could do was to do recovery and not worrying about whose fault it was.

I love wisdom words like these that can remind us not to worry too much about life. And I hope to practise them and lead by example so that people around me can be influenced by me.

It so happened that I forgot to wash my coffee cup this morning, and by the time I remembered, ants were crawling in and out.

Instead of washing it the way I used to do and killing the ants, I knocked the cup gently to let the ants dispersed. I made sure that no more ant was in the cup before I proceeded to wash.

It is really that much I can do to respect life, something that I have been mindful for the past few years.

I recalled that one day, Charlene noticed an ant on her arm and as she was about to slap her arm, she stopped and then she blew the ant away.

I looked at her with approval and smiled at her. She smiled back and said she was about to slap and kill the ant.

I knew at that moment that I have influenced her somehow, or at least, my presence reminded her to be kind to other lives.

I am thankful.

Now, I know I need to be at peace with myself, so that I can have a good talk with my worrying dad, and hopefully, I can find the best approach to be his best friend.

May all my loved ones be blessed with peace and health.

06.06.2020

Francis Lim

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