Corner of Bliss

Needing some peace and quiet, from the noisy workplace, and, you’d, stumbled across, this small piece of heaven on earth, and found your peace there! Translated…

Having a work environment that resembles a garden, it’s, an amazing thing, but, as I was, about to transfer to the office surrounded by the mountains, I was, a bit, hesitant, it isn’t, at all, convenient, the closest 24/7 mart is over ten minutes by foot, and so, it wasn’t, my ideal workplace. But, the move was set, and, I can only hope, that I will, get adapted to this new location quickly.

a place like this one, maybe???  Photo from online…查看來源圖片

The moment I’d set foot into the office, to the moment I left the community, all day long, I got stuck, in the office spaces. When the air-conditioning wasn’t running, if other coworkers complained of the loud traffic from the nearby freeways, or that the construction was too loud, refusing to open up the windows, I’d felt, a bit, depressed, sitting in the center of the office. After a day, my body and mind, completely, stressed out, and, I’d, taken all of my displease from the office home with me, week, after week, after week, it’s, so damaging to my health.

One day after lunch, I had the thought, of escaping from this stuffed up place. I walked down to the lobby, and, as my curiosity urged me, I’d, pushed the backdoor open, walked toward the other end, I’d, strolled to the big pond. The gentle sun kissed my face, and, I’d heard the concerto of quacks, I’d focused my eyes, there were, geese, ducks, and mergansers, leisurely enjoying the afternoon. As I approached, they’d, started their impromptu performance, the white geese started with their waltz, very elegant, such amazing dancers in the water. The ducks’ singles dances were, very cute and lively, I, the member of the audience, was enticed, to start dancing myself. And, the couples dances by the mandarin ducks, were intoxicating to me, they’d taken turns on the dancefloor, kept my complete attention, and, would waddle to the shores, and sat with me in the audience, to give the performers, the biggest kind of applause.

The sonata sounded off by the tips of the branches, it was, the embellishments of the spring breeze, the various colors, the flowers that bloomed out of the branches, became, the must-have stage setting for these dances on the waters. Everything that entered into my eyes, were the breaths of springtime, very relaxing, intoxicating, it’d, helped me wave goodbye to the stresses I was, feeling.

Every time I was hit by the pressures, I’d, walked over, to this garden in the back, a sonata performed by nature, a dance on the waters, it’d, helped alleviated my stresses instantaneously. If you want a recharge, come, to the pond, what a, corner of bliss, I’d found!

meditating by a pond…photo from online…查看來源圖片

And so, because you’re, STUCK where you worked, that is why, you’d, needed to, find a place where you can go, to relax, and you’d, accidentally, stumbled upon this small haven for yourself, and, in the few minutes you have away from work, you’d, come to this particular spot, to relax.

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Another “Opening” on My Body

Adapting to that extra opening on your body after your cancer, learning to live in peace with it, stop seeing it as an inconvenience of your life, and just, accepting it as a part of the brand new you now, translated…

I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, last time I’d worked up the courage to write out my own story, it was, six months ago. I’d not dared state that I’d, encouraged other patients of cancer, but at least, I’d, given some courage to those I knew.

On my birthday last year, I’d, passed through the trials of life and death again, I’d gotten a new partner on my body——an enterostomy. Although I was diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma, but that cancer loved, running around my body, metastasized to my abdomen. As I’d gotten my enterostomy, I’d felt troubled when I head out, and worried staying out too long, and every time I’d gone back to my oncologist, I’d asked when I can get the opening closed?

After I’d stayed home for about a month, not dared going out anywhere, I couldn’t say no to the temptations of food my friends and families used, started staying out of my house longer. At first, I’d, become, so nervous, everywhere I’d gone, I’d, cased out the place, to make sure that there’s a place I can go, and clean myself off, and I’d felt safe and securer. With the passing of time, I’d slowly gotten better off along with my enterostomy, and, in these past six months, I’d not only fitted myself into kimono to go to a sake tasting, headed to my seven days in Disney Tokyo with my older sister, gone to a salsa class which I started taking from before I was diagnosed, dressed up to the nines, in my high-heels, to my best friend’s wedding! And, my pack for heading out went from everything I may need, to, just a small bottle for water to clean off myself with.

查看來源圖片what it looked like in a “diagram”…from online…

Since I’d had a enterostomy, every time I’d seen that poster of giving the priority seats to those in need, even though they don’t appear different, I’d felt, deeply touched. Everybody needs to get taken care of, like there’s no way I would need to, or feel compelled, to lift up my blouse to see my needs at all time; now, as I see those younger faces sitting on the priority seats, I’d no longer stared.

There’s an exit on my body now, and, it seemed, that it’d, helped opened up a brand new window to my heart too, I’d become, more open minded, with a little more experimentalism. I hope to develop a bathing device for myself, so I can get away from being wiped for my baths (although there are the enterostomies on the markets that allowed for showers, but there are still, many inconveniences).

I’d no longer asked my oncologist when I can get my enterostomy sewn back up, and accepted that it’s, a part of who I am; with it, I’d even become, an observer in the restrooms! Perhaps one day in the future, I will write another article on how I’d used the restrooms with my enterostomy.

And so, you’d, finally, slowly accepted this opening on your body as a part of you, and, this took a lot of time, because treatment of cancer is never easy, especially the aftermath of it, even after you’d gotten surgeries, to get rid of the cancer cells, there are still, many things that came afterwards, the regular follow-ups, along with many more inconveniences in your lives, but, you’d, finally, learned, to adapt yourself to your “discomfort” and started coexisting in peace with it.

The Smiley Curve

A lesson her middle school home ec instructor taught her, that’s not a part of the curriculum, which she’d found useful, and grateful over, in her elderly years, translated…

As winter started last year, I was overcome, with a sudden illness, hospitalized twice, and after the trials of the surgeries for a few months afterwards, finally, I’d, gotten better now. Thanks to the Goddess of Mercy, the doctors, the nurses, as well as, my families.

查看來源圖片training to smile…photo from online…

Recalling how I was, playing with my grandchild as I usually would, then suddenly, I’d felt my stomach turned, vomited then had diarrhea, and, as my loved ones rushed me to the E.R., they told me that it was a gall bladder stone that blocked up the ducts, causing the inflammatory response. This shock had, made me come face to face, with the uncertainties of life for the very first time in my life.

As I was bedridden, I saw my own reflection in the mirror, my cheeks slid in, that look of worry crawled all over my face, plus the effects of gravity, deepened those lines that the years left on me. I’d felt, that I looked, old, and, I’d, curled up the corners of my lips, started, smiling in the mirror; suddenly, my face looked, up, this fifteen-degree angle rise, made my eyes and brows looked happier too.

Then, I’d, recalled my home ec instructor from middle school, she’d always worn a grin on her face, she was, loved by all her students. Once she’d taught us to make a traditional Chinese snack, and, other than teaching us the techniques, she always wanted to instill that positivity in our lives. The students were all very motivated, and, as the dough floated in the fryer, with the fire, slowly, turned golden, then, pop, so aromatic. She’d told us, “Does it not look like a smiley face?”, we were shy and students, we’d circled around the pot, and, sucked in our saliva, smiled and nodded toward her.

or, like this, perhaps???  Not my photo…smiling into a mirror 的圖片結果

The attractiveness of smiles is unimaginable, to this very day, I’d still remembered how my instructor showed her canine teeth, smiling so sweetly at us. This smile had, awakened me, that life is everchanging, happy, that’s one day, regret, that’s also, one day, why not, just grin, making ourselves feel at ease, and, it’s, equally, pleasing for the outside world to see us too. In my elderly years, I’d, hoped, to open my heart up, and, face my beautiful future, with this, “smiling curve”.

And so, this important lesson that your home ec teacher from middle school had taught you all, you’d, finally understood what it meant, in your elderly years, but, it’s still, NOT too late, because now, you’ll, have that optimism to face whatever comes your way, as you remember, how easy it is, to turn that frown upside down into a beautiful smile!

What Flower Taught Me

Lesson learned, from an animal, translated…

About a month ago, the poodle that was owned by Aunty Chang downstairs, had “unknowingly” given birth to a puppy who’s coat color was darker, “Flower”. Reason why it was weird, was that Aunty Chang stated that Flower had been spayed, so how can she have an offspring? Could it be that she was, mistaken, that Flower never, got spayed?

And, because flower junior was born, they’d needed to look after her well, but, her mother-in-law was hospitalized, and her husband, ill, she couldn’t have the energy to care for Flower Jr., so she’d asked me to help, that she will come and pick up Flower Jr. after her mother-in-law was discharged from the hospital. I’d never owned a dog before, and, my impressions of dogs stayed at the cute puppies printed on the calendars. But, think on it, I’d only needed to feed it, take it outside, it shouldn’t, take up too much of my time, and, I can help my neighbor, and have the company of Flower Jr., so, why not?

from this…not my photo…查看來源圖片

As Aunty Chang wrapped up Flower Jr. in a towel to hand her over to me, I was stunned, by that small puppy, the size of a banana, with her eyes still closed. She wasn’t anything like those puppies I’d imagined, the ones that run and played, seeing the young Flower, I’d started regretting agreeing to care for the puppy, without getting the handle on the situation first.

Flower was very light, and yet, as I’d held my hands open to take her in, she’d felt, so heavy to me. And, Aunty Chang started telling me what I’d needed to watch out for feeding her, cleaning up her poop, and to keep her warm, along with the likes, I’d nodded my head, and told myself, that I will NOT, let Mrs. Chang down, entrusting me with Flower Jr.

The first few days, she’d stayed put inside that small quilt that covered her, and other than feeding, it’s, sleeping, there wasn’t, that much trouble. About two weeks later, her eyes became, twice their original sizes, and, every time I’d called out her name lightly, she’d, extended her neck, to see where my voice was coming from, and started, showing signs of wanting to move, moving her front legs, attempted, to, lift up her body. By the third week, she could already, stand up on her own, but still, wobbled as she walked around and about.

And, although the way she looked was very foolish and cute, every time I took her diapers off, she’d, peed and pooped all over, again, and again, and again, I’d just wiped my hands, and needed to, go wash up again, I’d felt, very annoyed by this. There were, a couple of times, that I was, impulsive, in wanting, to bring her back to Aunty Chang, but I’d, put that thought out of my mind.

to this…not my photo…letting the owner know that s/he needs to go outside to potty!

In order to train her to pee and poop in the bathrooms, I’d layered the newspapers in, then, closed the doors, thought, that it would go my way. But, I’d waited for her, and waited, and waited, nothing happened. But, as I’d, let her out, she’d, immediately, peed in the living room floors.

Once, she’d pooped at the entry of the kitchen, I’d let out a loud yelp. She’d, immediately, run and duck for cover underneath the couch. Seeing how fearful Flower became, I’d, blamed myself for being too hard on her, and thought, that I’d, hurried her too much, a dog that’s not yet a month old, how can she know what was expected of her? I’d needed to, hold my horses, and teach the ways slowly.

With this new mindset, I’d, trained her more times during the day, and, in the process of waiting for her to go use the toilet, I’d read or listen to music. And, maybe it was that I’d felt, more relaxed, or maybe, Flower had, grown, one day, she’d, peed on the newspapers. And, seeing how she’d, rubbed up against my heel with her muzzle after she’d peed, I was so happy, and so moved too.

With my careful taking care, Flower grew by the day, her curly brown coat was, soft and shiny, her eyes, bright and shiny, very cute. In a couple of days, Flower will go home with Mrs. Chang, I’m truly grateful, that during this period of time, she’d shown me the joys of watching something mature, along with, training me to be more patient as well.

So, this is what keeping a pet does for us, it trains our patience, makes us, more understanding, of the needs of others, because a puppy that young, needs a ton of care, and love, and attentive, and, if you don’t watch it closely, it will do things that will make you mad, and, when you do get mad over the things that happen when the animal was in your care, you’re actually, ANGRY at yourselves, because it’s YOUR fault, for NOT noticing what the animal needs.

Finally, Understanding Why Her Own Mother Had Been So Superstitious

The changes in this woman’s belief systems, because of her family, translated…

When I was younger, I’d gone to the temples with my mother often, being young, from the way my mother looked, so sincere, offering the incenses, I’d understood, that this, was something that was, very important to her. As I grew older, after I’d become, better educated, I’d thought, that offering to the Gods on the first and the fifteenth of the Chinese calendar months was superstitious, and burning the offering paper money is also polluting the air, and I couldn’t understand, why she was, so stubborn in doing what she does. The number of times I’d gone to the temples with her, became reduced, with the increases in my academic studies, and the increases in my social activities. Before I married, I’d, rarely gone to offer the incenses on my own, so naturally, after I’d wed, I’d not done that too, other than moving in to a new home, along with the major things in our lives, and we’d, considered our elders’ feelings, that, would be when we actually, offered the incenses.

from this…walking past a temple in China 的圖片結果photo from online…

Until that autumn, shortly after my child entered into school, he’d fallen ill, he’d run a high fever. I’d not paid it much heed first, after all, which child grows up without any sickness? But, after we took him to the doctors, and, gave him his meds, his conditions didn’t get better, and, other than his fever, there were, no other symptoms, and what worried us the most was, early in the morn, when my son woke from his nightmares, and, kept telling us how scared he was, of the shadows on the walls.

Where, are the shadows? When I was all alone, I can be fearless, and, at this very moment, I’d, felt, all alone, panicky, how do I, protect my own child? And, my huge ego became, very humorous, it appeared. I’d talked to people all around, to help with solving cases like this, and, with my heart true, I’d, kneeled before the statues of Buddhas, to beg, and, I’d become, the mom who’s, superstitious and stubborn that I’d always, despised. At that very moment, it’d finally, dawned on me, that as I was younger, when my mother offered the incenses, she was only, asking for family to be safe and sound.

to this…photo also from online…進廟裡參拜 的圖片結果

Although I’d have a set religion, but now, I’m carrying that attitude of respect, and fearfulness, toward the ritualistic behaviors of all religions. Every now and then, I’d taken the fresh fruits to temple, to offer the incenses, to let the majestic chants to, soothe my angst; and as I’d passed through the churches, I’d gone inside, to feel that peaceful atmosphere, and allowed the sunlight that shone through the glass, to chase away the darkness inside of me. The world is so full of colors, nobody can predict, what happens next. I’m truly grateful, for everything I’d been, given, and, greedily, I’d, prayed, that there’s, enough good luck and good fortunes, to bless everybody that I loved. It’s quite ordinary, but it’s, my one and only wish, passed down, from the love of my own mother.

And so, this woman finally understood why her own mother was so “superstitious”, that it wasn’t because she believed in God, but because she wanted her loved ones to be safe and sound, and as she’d become a mother herself, she’d wanted the same things for her own family too, and that, was why she’d become, a “believer” too…

Traveling Together, Making Memories

Children are, growing up, so fast now, and before you know it, they don’t need you anymore, and they’d, stopped, wanting you, the parents, to tag along! Translated…

These past couple of years, I kept, wanting to travel with my children again.

When they were younger, every season, we’d find opportunities, to head out together, or to go to the theme parks away from home to visit, or the National Parks, it didn’t matter if the locations were far or near, how long the trips were, or if we’d gone to the theme parks or not, the focus was, in making more memories of the time we spent together as a family.

With their coming of age, their course loads became, heavier, and, there’s, not many chances we get to, head out to travel as a whole family, and slowly, when I’d, invited them along, they’d, had that look of difficulty on their faces, even as I was only asking them to head out for a walk with me. I knew my children loved staying at home, and that there are, many reasons for them to not go out, but, although, I’d, intentionally, ignored, I’d had to admit, “the parents’ dates of expiration had, passed”, they’d started, focusing more on gathering up with their friends.

I understood the minds of teens’ wanting to hang with their friends, looking back at my self, it’d started for me, around this age too, the companions I had shifted from families to friends, then, due to school, work, going abroad, and, I’d, stopped, hanging out with my parents, or siblings, this was, merely, a transition into the adulthood years, nothing more.

But, even so, I’d still hoped, to go out with my children again. After a while, in this desire of mine, I seemed, to have caught a glimpse of my own parents, aren’t they also wondering, when they will be, traveling all around, with their own young once more?

Ahhhhh, I guess, I need to, plan a trip with mom and dad this next time then.

And so, this, is the attitude adjustment of this parent, from when her kids were still younger, to adjusting herself as her kids are, older, and, how the children wanted to, hang with their friends more, than their parents or grandparents, and this reminded the writer, that she may need to, shift her focus, to traveling with her own aging parents, instead of, keeping hoping, that her kids will, travel with her, because the kids are only, growing older by the day, you CANNOT have those innocent children who’d, relied on you 24/7 back again!!!

Going Home, for the Holidays

Touched, by his roommate’s tale of his life, and he’d now, decided, to change his plans for the holidays, heading home, translated…

Right after the final exams, we’re all, ready for the winter breaks, and because there’s still, quite a few weeks from New Year’s, some of my classmates didn’t plan to head home straight away, instead, they’d, planned out the activities during this period of time. But, my roommate on the upper bunk, Yu was hurried, in packing up to get home. I’d asked him why the hurry? He’d told me, that it’s, this sort of connectedness between him and his siblings, that at the start of the winter break, they’d all, rushed home early, to clean up, to usher in the brand new year.查看來源圖片the way home, is already, paved…photo from online…

He’d smiled and said, that he grew up in an orphanage, and was looked after by the director of the home and the volunteers, every time around New Year’s, the college age older siblings would all head home, to help with the stresses of the holidays with the director mom; sometimes, they’d used what they’d earned from their part-timing jobs, to buy some new things for the orphanage, but the director told them to keep the money they’d made, to be used, as a foundation, for their future starts in life. As for those who are already working or married, they’d bring the meals, and, prepared the red envelopes for the director and the younger children too.

After I’d heard his story, I’d decided, to pack up quick, to head home for the holidays, to spend some time with my own parents as well.

Apparently, this person’s roommate’s tale had, awakened that sense of love and care and concern, the individual felt a lacking of, and, that, is sometimes, all that’s needed, someone’s stories, to reawaken that sense of kindness, of connectedness in us, for us, to make the moves, to visit home, to take care of our loved ones…