Life

Is it hocus-pocus if a tarot card reading gives you clarity and helps you decide what to do next?

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If you asked me to describe myself, “religious” and “spiritual” are words that would not be on the list. And yet, whenever I’m faced with a huge dilemma, I don’t make my final decision without first consulting the metaphysical. No, I don’t participate in seances or visit the temple oracle. Instead, my preferred medium (pun intended) is usually one where “spirits” aren’t so actively involved: tarot cards, fengshui, palm-reading and astrology.

My husband poo-poos the idea that these things could remotely have an ounce of influence on your life. My sister frowned a little when I shared that I had been to an astrologer before meeting her for tea. A friend told me how her psychology lecturer demonstrated in one class how horoscopes are written in a way that make them seem relevant to just about anyone. “Who doesn’t want to believe that ‘you have been hard at work’ and that ‘you will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel’?” …


Work-From-Home

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May 4, 2020 is supposed to be the final day of Singapore’s circuit-breaker. This, however, has been extended by another 4 weeks. Being prepared for this mentally is somewhat different from bracing myself emotionally.

I woke up this morning in a complete funk. After taking the dog out for a walk — our usual morning ritual for him to do his business — I crawled back into bed, hid under my covers, and teared up a little. We were supposed to have a long weekend with Friday, 1 May, being Labour Day, but I didn’t feel like I had one. In fact, since Singapore started enforcing work-from-home measures for all non-essential businesses, it’s as if my weekends have vanished into thin air.

All over LinkedIn, bosses, CEOs, and leaders seem to be wrestling for the “Most Positive During Covid-19” crown. They are setting the tone to assure their employees that they are keeping a cool head in these unprecedented times and, most importantly, that they are in control. They are showing that they do prioritise the safety of their people and that they are well-placed to thrive in the “new normal”. …


Covid-19

An app that lets you report people for breaking social distancing rules? Sounds like something taken straight out of a novel like “1984"

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Singaporeans are on the way to peak asshole-ness. We are contributing to a foundation constructed from hyper-positive community websites and Facebook posts showing how well we are coping with Singapore’s circuit-breaker measures, ignoring the darker side of this “we are all in this together” behaviour.

Not a day goes by where my Facebook Wall isn’t inundated with content encouraging people to stay home. These content either appeal to the goodness of our heart (“Our healthcare workers are doing their best for us, so let’s do our best for them. Stay home!”) …


Productivity

For years, I’ve always shared that I’ve had no issues with Work-Life Balance. But with Covid-19 making it a necessity for us all to work from home, I’ve discovered that not all of us will perceive this as a good thing.

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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

“How do you find the time to work out after a day in the office?” is a question I’m asked often. Even back in the days of working in publishing, with its oft-unreasonable deadlines, I would be able to leave the office by 7pm so I could be at personal training by 8.

Have I ever pulled an all-nighter at work? Honestly, no. At least not in the “If you don’t work through the night, you’re going to get fired” way. The late hours I kept were usually due to networking events, readers events, client-dinners, etc. …


Opinion

First, there was worry. Then, it was fear (a teeny bit). Now, I just want to pull my hair out every time I get a message from someone about somebody else not doing the right thing to keep everyone safe. Can we just calm our tits down?

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What I’m going to say here will make many of you uncomfortable, angry, and offended. I sympathise with those who have been infected and if you have someone who got infected, I empathise that you must be having a hard time dealing with it.

BUT.

I’ve just about had it with all that nagging, whining, moaning, and guilt-tripping.

It’s like … there’s a colony of people out there determined to drown the rest of us in FEAR. “Hey, you think it’s business as usual? Let me swarm your social media with news about lockdowns and new infection numbers! …


Learning

Whether it’s politics or the climate, we can all do better by making it a point to reduce and, hopefully, remove our ignorance.

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Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

The beginning of each new year presents an opportunity for every single one of us to become a better person. We make resolutions (whether or not we fulfil them is another story) in the hopes that we can make something of ourselves, build a better version of ourselves, and make the world a better place. We make lists declaring that we’ll lose weight, pick up a new skill, be kinder to one another, etc. etc. etc.

I would like to propose a new idea for everyone reading this:

The one big way you can give back to society, to the world, this year is to start making Learning a priority. Why do I say this? …


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My tattoo is colorful and it occupies a good half of my left shoulder. But, it hardly makes me a yakuza member.

Think back to the one time you felt embarrassed, as in red-faced embarrassment, the kind people with a fear of public speaking feel every time they stand in front of a roomful of strangers. Then multiply that feeling by 10.

That would be exactly how I felt when I got asked to leave an onsen last year.

You probably guessed it by now that the reason was because of my tattoos. Well, I’ve had tattoos since I was 21. When I accompanied my Japanese clients to review onsen inns, no one ever took issue with my tattoos. …


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Photo by Ben Koorengevel on Unsplash

It’s all about focusing time, resources, and effort in a meaningful structured way.

As the ski lift approached the station, my brother-in-law and sister assured me, “Okay, so, this is a beginner slope, it’s very easy. Don’t be scared.” I released my death grip on the safety barrier. It had been a very long ride up — at least in my opinion. A voice in my head was going, “If I fall on this slope, it’s a looooong way to walk down.”

We pushed off from the ski lift and turned left to this slope called White Lover. Immediately, I regretted agreeing to try it. To a beginner who had not taken a single ski lesson, the steep incline seemed like a sheer drop. The weather had turned windy and, with the wind howling in my ears and Rusutsu’s famous powder snow flying into my eyes, I felt like I was about to plunge to an early death. …


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Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

It’s not my body that needs fixing. What we need to fight is society’s belief that “healthy” looks a certain way, follows certain rules, and applies only to a very narrow set of people.

Every once in a while, a voice in my head would tell me, “You know, Debs, maybe you should just let it go.”

I’ve been struggling with my weight and my figure since the school nurse wrote, “Slightly overweight for her size” in my health booklet when I was just 9 years old. At 10, my Physical Education teacher publicly shamed me for not being able to do 30 sit-ups in under a minute. …


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Death comes to us all but how can our name live on forever?

“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Our friend XXXX passed away from a heart attack in Japan on x December. His body will be back in Singapore tomorrow and the wake will be held…”

I got this message on my phone yesterday morning. At first, I dismissed it as “you got the wrong person” message. While I did know someone with the same name, I didn’t think it would be him. One, I didn’t recognize the number. Two, the person I knew was just a year older than me; surely this was too soon.

Two hours later, at spinning, another message appeared on my phone, this time bearing details of the wake. I decided to check with other friends if this was true. When one replied to confirm the news, I felt as if I’d been punched in the chest. …

About

Deborah Tan-Pink

I get by on some food and whiskey but I can’t survive without my 3-hour long weekend naps.

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