Monday, March 25, 2013

finding Ariela within

I have never written any emotional posts here as I have other places to write on such facets of my well-being, but I thought to write a post here as it affects some of the goals that I've made for the year.

Perhaps it's because that time of the month is coming for me, but I haven't been doing too well emotionally these days. Just a few weeks ago, I had hit somewhat of an emotional pit and I had to make some very painful decisions for me to literally find the courage and strength to face each day. Thank God for friends whom He sends my way - literally at the most crucial of times.

These days, I have been debating whether to go to a discipleship training school in Hawaii for a couple of months - just to get my relationship with the Lord back in order, and perhaps find some healing to move in a more empowered way in life. Thing is, the course would span over 5 months, is some 35 hours by plane from home, and would cost me a bomb to go. Not to mention that it would also mean that I wouldn't be able to make any orthodontic visits throughout those 5 months...which would mean a 5-month extension of my treatment time. :(

I haven't been sleeping well either, in fact I've been plagued with insomnia, which honestly isn't helping. Sleeping just four hours a day for prolonged periods can't be too healthy. I've been secretly battling a couple of bouts of the sickies too (secretly, cause being in the position I'm in, I can't quite tell people I'm feeling a little unwell so often these days), and it has been taking a toll on me.

I'm feeling a little low today - as if a lot of things just seem to be falling out of place.

Ariela, you gotta find your courage and fight this.
Be brave.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

goal focus: bahasa indonesia

Okay, I know the word should be "speak".
I didn't make it, it just came like that.

Google Calendar tells me that today will be the first day of my new language class in Bahasa Indonesia. Yay! One more thing to strike off the annual goals for the year. It's a 3 month course I hope I'll be able to really persevere all the way through - so that it really counts. I still have my German and Japanese classes and exams to take along the way, but right now I'm just inching into the goals one step at a time.

Somehow, my determination to follow through with my goals for the year has surprised me...even though the efforts toward the achievement of few of them are still a little lacking, I know that I will somewhat make it there.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Empowered vision

I think there might have been some sort of breakthrough in my life this past week as I've found myself somewhat a lot more empowered in my work. It's a little like a burst of vision and excitement to the world ahead. Perhaps it is due to the people I've been meeting this past week, as well as the real director-level projects I've decided to tackle. Thoughts of international expansion and trips out of the country has started a blaze within me to really push the company to a level which it has never reached before under all the people who were before me - from MBA level managers, to people with decades of experience - I have somehow developed a deep desire to leave a truly remarkable legacy in my time at the reigns.

Something is happening, I know it. And just have to be a good steward of it whilst it has been placed into my hands.

On other notes, I've decided to conduct a little experiment by getting a little more scientific with my desire to speed up my process of getting my teeth in order. My silly little plan - to constantly drink hot water throughout the day. If the metal in my teeth work with warmth, perhaps giving them a little more constant encouragement might just make a difference. It's just a curious little experiment, and considering it's not a big deal to implement, I might as well give it a shot. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I have a spring in my mouth!

Days since I got my braces put in: 79 days
Next ortho visit: 5 April 2013

Can you see the coily spring?! :D
I don't know why my teeth look
disgustingly yellow here, but I think
it was the lighting.

After weeks of lamenting and worrying about my poor rejected tooth, the ortho finally put in a spring (also called an orthodontic coil, I believe) in yesterday and I was ecstatic! How exciting! It feels like tangible progress! The spring is meant to create space for my little left-out canine in the back and I'm so excited for my teeth to move enough so we can put a little bracket on it and bring it out where it belongs!

I was so thankful to my ortho I could have hugged him! (Except that he seemed a bit moody that day, and I don't really know him that well, and I'm not a cute little five year old so it's a little social inappropriate for such outbursts of affectionate gratitude, so I refrained.)

I did ask the ortho as well about how much longer it looks like my teeth are going to take to be "surgery ready" and he said "one year". :((( It has been almost 3 months since I got my braces in and I was hoping for the whole process to take a year... and now it's been lengthened. Naughty teeth. I was pretty sad about it, so I told my dad and his reply was a typical dad-reply. "That's good, it means you have strong teeth and gums!" Haha. My dad somehow always finds a way to be optimistic and encouraging in pretty much any circumstance.

In case you're wondering, the orthoman (yes, I think it sounds nice to call him that henceforth) is Dr Wee who practises at Dr Cheng Orthodontic Clinic. I was referred to him by my jaw surgeon who told me "meet him and see there is (dental) chemistry" before I met him to get my braces done. Both of them are pretty young so I guess they probably studied or practiced together at some point. Interestingly, as with what most people in my tech-savvy generation would do, I googled the clinic and found that he managed a clinic blog and read some of the posts. The writing style reflected a pretty nice and witty personality...with some lame and kinda cheesy jokes at points, but I guess it helped at least to know that my dentist wasn't going to be some dreary jaded practitioner of sorts. (Side note: He doesn't seem as witty and spritely in real life, but hey, he's still somewhat friendly...and that's still better than the jaded dreary deadpan scary ones. *flashes of scary compulsory primary school dentist visits* *shiver*)

On other notes, taking pictures of my jaw nowadays is freaking me out a little bit. These pictures below was my iPhone's camera angle, but gosh do my teeth and jaw look really messed up! Look! (Note: the phone camera photos are on a horizontal flip so the "left-out tooth" is on the wrong side. :/)

My top and bottom teeth are suddenly so obviously misaligned.

From the top... my teeth have been pushed out so there's a hole now...
And my left-out tooth looks like the kind of teeth thatt a witch, or something, would have. :((

Okay, this one was taken straight-on with photobooth on my Mac so it should be more accurate.
But goodness! Jaw misalignment is pretty scary!

Nope, witch's tooth still there. :((

Note to self: No more photos from the iPhone which gives freaky weird angles. 
And only closed-mouth smiles from now.

I still remember my family had a photoshoot together a few years back, and as I tried to flash my happiest, most exciting smile (as I thought of many happy having a photoshoot with my family) the photographer kept telling me not to smile too wide. It was a little disturbing and sad. But I guess that shall now all be fuel to why it is important to me to get this jaw surgery done (yes, other than the more important reasons about the risk of arthritis and stuff in my jaw in later life). I can't wait!

Friday, March 15, 2013

goal focus

It's amazing how powerful the setting of resolutions can be. I know a ton of people who would diss the idea, and it seems that the new trend nowadays is to set the resolution of not setting any instead. I guess that idea never quite flew for me because I always believed in spending time at the end of a year and charting your desired road ahead; including what steps you'd like to take in reaching that self-actualizing goal... and how fulfilling it would be to know that at the end of the year, you'll be able to look back and really consider all that you've put in for the year - and that your one year of life was well-lived.

This year I've been pretty on-task with my goals. It seems like I've found myself really pushing myself through meeting them one by one, with the desire to see, if not all, then at least 50%-70% of them met. It's quite exciting really to see the little steps that I'm taking to slowly cross them out. I suppose it helps to see them quite frequently on my blogs that I am constantly reminded of them and why they are important to me.

Just two days ago, I got back from a trip to Thailand with some friends - probably something I might not have agreed to if I didn't have the resolution to travel out at least once this year. And today, I signed up for my Bahasa Indonesia class that I've been wanting to go for for a while now. And tomorrow,  I think I'll also send out my volunteer form to KKH for the children's ward to see how I can serve the children there...just like I did a little more than 10 years ago with the children at Assisi Home and Hospice. It's truly amazing to just give your time and love to these children whom, I believe, often have so much more courage than me.

Tomorrow, I'm also going to try to start running. I keep telling myself "tomorrow, tomorrow" and now instead of the "130" days I had on my marathon countdown ticker at the start, I'm left with less than 80 to the marathon and it is more shameful than you can imagine how I have been procrastinating. For the next 3 months, I'm going to shelve everything aside and focus on marathon training. I really want to cross that off the list. I really don't know how I'm going to do it, but I will. No matter how hard, or painful, I will cross that finish line. I have to do it for myself.

Route is out! Time to focus!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

lacking motivation

Nope, haven't even been
slacking in my running shoes. :/
It has been a harsh day of work today and I'm been consuming way too many ferrero rochers for my own good. I hit a record of seven little delicious hazelnutty pops today. (Yep, I officially don't really care about soft foods and my braces anymore. Haha. I'm so naughty! =_=)

Was supposed to go running today, but my heart has been too heavy recently to really think about it. I'm lacking a lot of motivation to start the marathon training and I'm getting a bit worried about it because it's less than 3 months away. Motivation is at... zero.

I think I just might tidy my office today and think about what I want to do with the rest of my life today... or something. Going shopping with some girls tomorrow, and then I'm off for a trip to Thailand for a couple of days. Hopefully the break will help me pick myself up again and spur my motivation to train. I really want to complete it this year. 

Motivation, where can I find you?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

food post to celebrate the new layout

I've finally found the time to change my blog layout and I'm so happy with how it now looks that I've decided that I should celebrate it by doing a food post on the things which I have been eating nowadays (many of which, you will see are a lot more naughty #^_^#).

Hope you like the new layout as much as I do. :)

I been keeping to my egg white omelettes for quite a while.
This one I mixed up with furikake. :)

Discovering Quinoa made me so happy.
I just made it a little Italian this time, along with a side of egg white omelette.

I knew I was going to be okay the day I found myself having a muffin at Starbucks.
At the start of my braces, I thought I would have had to swear off it.

This was the day I really felt like I needed healthy food.
That's a salmon belly soup for Omega-3s, cranberry juice for the antioxidants,
and a new western-mediterranean style egg white omelette with olives.

This was what it looked like - with my standard cheese and nori,
but this time I added chilli flakes, and olives. It tasted like a pizza. :)

You were SO delicious! <3

Super naughty day where I chose to try Gado Gado.
I could only eat a quarter of this, and I couldn't eat any of the keropok, but it was still SO good!

Salads are apparently now edible for me! :) I think my teeth are a lot less sensitive now.
This was a Japanese pasta salad with pomelo and nuts on fresh butterhead. :)

Singapore had the Prosperity Burger promotion at Mac's over the Chinese New Year festivities.
I couldn't resist! So I had half (maybe a third) of a burger. Made me so happy.

This was my dessert at reunion dinner.
It's Sago Gula Melaka without the coconut milk. (No saturated fats for me! :))

Mac's for breakfast at our newly renovated office! :)
I can't believe I ate a fillet o fish. 0_o

Picked this up at Takashimaya after my February adjustment.
They were nice and soft, so it was perfect.

Picked these up for my staff at a Japanese-French bakery at Takashimaya.
They were too cute!

This was mine. It's a brown sugar granulated covered soft bread. <3

Common foods I'm eating at the office nowadays.
I can't bite straight into the cookies, but they are perfect with tea. :) 

There were, and are, days where I just need something soft and happy for my body.
Raspberries and soft weetbix in low fat milk is perfect for those days.

This is Quaker's Life cereal in skim milk topped with half a banana and some random fruits and nuts.
The random fruits and nuts were such a pain to eat though. :/

This was a breakfast perk-me-up at Ikea.
Organic mushroom crepes. They won me over at "organic".

A naughty day.
Dry fried laksa with an omelette and blanched broccoli.
Even though the broccoli was probably the saving grace of this meal, they are possibly the most annoying vegetable to eat for one with braces. :/

Quinoa topped with avocado, silken tofu, furikake and nori.
It was delicious and superbly healthy!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

profile shots two months in

It's been a long time since I posted and not much has been happening with my teeth. I have been a lot naughtier with my diet nowadays though. I remember when I started, I was really strict to porridge and soft foods and what not. But these days, I eat whatever I want... including a daily intake of ferrero rochers for comfort (yes, even though those annoying little hazelnut bits unfailingly find their ways to get stuck somewhere and leave me the pleasure of the "extraction game" which is basically a tongue-wrestle riot in my mouth for the next half hour or so).

My teeth have been severely disobedient! They haven't really been moving as fast as I'd like them to! The last time I went to get my wire adjustment, I asked the ortho about their progress and it was the same "very slightly" answer. Sigh. And what their stubborn disobedience has resulted in was the frequency of my appointments being lengthened to every 4 weeks instead of every 3 weeks. :( I think once I get that last bracket in though, I will revert back to the 3-weekly visits. I would really like to finish this ASAP!

Here's the progress of the naughty little buggers

Soooo slooooooowwwwly. Come on friends! You can do it faster!
I can't quite see much of a difference to be honest... other than that the bottom few incisors and my premolars on the bottom left seem to be straightening out a little. I can't wait to put a bracket on my last little bottom incisor though. I feel so sad for it... as though it has been discriminated against. Doesn't it look like it's sinking into depression? I need to ask my ortho to help it out soon. Maybe I shall write my ortho an email today about his plans for my poor little friend.

Here are some other closer progress photos...

I guess things are straightening out... except my poor little left-out incisor who's retreating out of loneliness. :(
We will get you out of there to be reunited with everyone else soon, lovely!
Maybe it's accentuated by the lighting, but my teeth look a lot more messed up at the start.
Come on, friends, we can do it!
I can't wait to see the end of this. After ten years of debating, I'm glad I finally started.

As you can see in the photos the healing of my mole excision has been progressing alright. The one of my nose has been doing well, but the one on my cheek is still a little reddish and looks like it's developing into a little crater.. :( It's quite saddening, but I'm just keeping up with the care-routine of using Vitamin E oil and seeing how it goes. Apparently it may fill up over the weeks. Will just see the progress and pray for the best. No turning back any way.

Progress on my marathon training has been.... non-existant. I haven't been running at all. I kinda have less than 3 months to train now and I don't know why but I honestly have no motivation at all. :/ I guess I already know that it's going to really hurt when it comes. I think I'd be really upset if my heart gives out though... cause that'd mean I wouldn't be able to complete my braces and surgery. Drat it. Okay, I really should start. I will make an effort this week.