So far it's been very hazy in Singapore and Malaysia due to our good friend Indonesia who smokes up annually to the dismay of all its neighbours.
The haze this year is really bad - I feel ill when I walk outside for a short while. It gets in your throat, gives you headaches and even makes you a bit nauseous.
Then it rained yesterday, and as I was walking from the train station to work, I sniffed the clean air and felt very lucky and thankful to have clean air.
This got me thinking : my biggest problem right now is not having clean air, but this is going to clear up in a few months. We complain and gripe from our ivory towers but we are so incredibly lucky in every other aspect. I follow Humans of New York on Facebook, and I love (and hate) at the same time reading the refugee series. I love it because it's thought provoking and opens up your mind to what other people are facing, and I hate it because there is too much unnecessary cruelty in the world. I read about people who are fleeing war-torn countries, who are beaten by the police when they enter a new country, who are chased away like animals and have nowhere to go. These people are looking every day for food, water and a place to sleep - pure, basic survival.
Then you think about all the people in the world who don't have access to clean water or even electricity. It's hard to imagine, especially being in Singapore, where everything is perfect and in great working condition, where we frown when trains are a few minutes late or breakdowns happen. I'm not saying that we shouldn't complain - because efficiency is what Singapore is known for - but thinking about how blessed I am in my life puts things in perspective. The problems I have are not problems. I have a nice bed to sleep in every night. I have never worried for when my next meal will come. I have clean water. I long for nothing.
There was some bad news at work the other day, but two things cheered me up. The first was a colleague (but a better word is friend) who left a little cake for me at my desk to perk me up.
The second, which got me thinking was another colleague who told me "Sometimes, unluckiness is luckiness."
Perhaps this is another way of saying 'There's a reason for everything,' but I found great comfort in this statement. Also, the news I received was not terrible news in any way - I was not fired or yelled at in any way, and nobody was hurt from this. In fact, work is going great. I am heading to my dream job next month in my dream country!
I think perspective is very important in every situation. You really can choose to be positive or negative about any situation, and most of the time, there are more positives to it (even if it may really not feel that way at that point of time).
Earlier this year, I felt really down and low about things. It's a really great feeling knowing that the year is ending so much better than it has started. There are so many new things to look forward to and so many adventures to go on!
All in all, I am incredibly thankful and feel very blessed with everything I have right now. My life is perfect. (See, I was almost going to say nothing is perfect, but I feel that's a very pessimistic way of looking at things.) There will be quirks and irritations in everything we do in life, but the sum of it is a rich tapestry of life that teaches you some painful life lessons, but also gives you so much growth.
Happy weekend, everyone!