Dec 12, 2016

2016: Everybody's Free (to have a clean sheet)

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, a clean sheet would be it.

According to a poll by the US National Sleep Foundation (yes, there is such thing, I'm surprised as well), 73% of people sleep better on fresh sheets. For couples, sleeping on a comfortable sheet does improve romantic lives. Not bad aye?

On the other hand, a clean sheet can also mean a new start. A fresh perspective. One of the things in life which all of us are constantly in need of.

When you are given a clean sheet, it means you can start over. It can also mean that you don't let your past defines your present. That being said, if you still can't figure out why things went the way they did, so be it. If there's something happened unexplained and has bothered you for years, get over it. It doesn't mean that you're stupid. It simply means that you're strong enough to finally "close the cycles," as Paulo Coelho put it.

And if you think in order to have a clean sheet you need to get professional assistance, then, by all means, go seek one. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with needing or wanting to get some help. In fact, I'll be there to give you a pat in the back for your honesty and bravery.

By the way, if along the process you need someone to cheer you up, I'll be there as well. Whenever I can.

Appreciate the people who accept you for the person you are. Hold on to those who have loved you way before all the titles and awards. Ones who support you. Ones who put things into perspective. And ones who laugh at you in your face, but never behind your back.

April 2016.
The one when I took a stroll down memory lane.

August 2016.
Left-right: Fadhilah -  Fadilla - Fadila

December 2016.
Celebrating HSS after 4 years. Finally.

December 2012.
One fine lunch with endless laugh.

Don't forget to also welcome those who make you a better person. Ones who inspire and prepare you to take the bigger role and responsibility. Ones who remind you about your values. And also ones who help you to find more meanings in life.

June 2016.
So-called "NAK groupies."

May 2016.
This proves that making friends out of events is possible.

June 2016.
Safe to say, it was life-changing.

Let go of the superficial. Admire good characters.

Build your support system. And as you do it, learn to appreciate the progress. Nothing good ever comes easy.

By extension, appreciate the fact that you're not the only one who scuffle. You can set the bar high (for your own self) all you want, but when it comes to others, just be mindful of the progress that they make. Be kind. It's never up to you to judge. Alain de Botton gave a beautiful advice, "feel sympathy, rather than contempt."

Check your own intentions. To help you to do so, check your questions. Stop asking "what" and "how" unless you have exhausted yourself asking "why."

If necessary, fly to Japan. You may probably find your answer there.

June 2016.
The Itsukushima Shrine.

Listen to the people who care about you. And listen carefully! Let their words sink in. That includes when your mom told you, "keep your cool and watch your words whenever you speak," and when your best friend warned you, "if you keep doing that, chances are that you'd lose the perfect gentleman ever walked into your life."

And if by chance you ever think they forgot to remind you, just know what Mark Manson as well said, "well, maybe if you had been listening, bsshole." (Oh, I guess Sheldon Cooper somehow got into him, he suddenly failed to say the A.)

But don't be too hard on yourself. It is okay to struggle. It is okay to slip and make some mistakes. And when you happen to hurt someone, immediately say sorry and mean it.

Don't be self-centered. It is good to take care of your need. It is better not to be reckless about others'.

Have a pet. Take the responsibility of taking care of a creature which will depend entirely on you. If you are lucky (or not), it may also teach you one of the most important lessons in life, that everything we have is bound to end someday.

January 2016.
The usual cat situation at the office.

Be compassionate. Be humble.

Never let your achievements nor titles ever make you think that you are special, even worse, that you think of others as less.

Take some days off, disconnect from your daily activities, and spend some time only with and for your family.

October 2016.
The day when Mom turned 62 years young.

Learn from your siblings. And learn from their kids. Learn from those beautiful souls. They will prove the fact that what you know is just as much as Jon Snow's. You'll be surprised to see how they can put you in your place.

And if that means you have to fly all the way to France, just pack your bag and go.

September 2016.
2 weeks in Pau: extremely well-fed, astonishingly enlightened. 

Laugh. It's the best medicine.

Floss. It will make your laughter an even better medicine to others.

Send postcards. Write letters. And treasure those who send you one(s). In the time when most of things are satisfyingly instant, appreciate the gesture that requires efforts. Remember, mailboxes are not always easy to find.

November 2016.
The one that was sent from B.

December 2016.
The one that was sent by B.

You know what, that "do what you love" advice is pernicious. Don't listen to it. Do what makes you a better and more responsible human being instead. Do what is good and kind.

Be smart. Even better, be wise. It's good to be able to pinpoint what's not working, but it's better to make the best of everything you have, regardless.

Has someone ever told you not to overthink stuff? Let me tell you how. Focus on things that matter and are in your control. Trust God to handle the rest. Never lose hope.

And if you have any problem, talk only to the one(s) who can help you out. Just know that not everyone can.

But trust me on the clean sheet.


Adapted from: "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"

Read also my previous post:
2014: Everybody's Free (to ask questions)