6

The surprise gift basket

gift basket

Just two days ago I wrote about the gift baskets I collected and I thought that’ll be all for my collection this year.
This afternoon,  I spotted this beautiful maroon basket across the street where I lived.  It’s a beautiful and sturdy looking gift basket.  Life is full of surprises!
I was feeling a bit under the weather today and I believe this gift basket carries with it a simple yet poignant message just for me:

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2

These gift baskets waited for me

 

I love gift baskets especially those made from bamboo/cane. Since the beginning of this year,  I had collected five baskets that were abandoned on the roadside in four different locations.  I believe these baskets were meant for me and each carried a meaningful life-lesson.
The Green Basket

green basket

I found this basket about 50m away from Shaye’s school.  This is a basket of nature. The colour of this basket may have faded but it is still in purrfect  condition.  Just like this basket, growing older is inevitable. Though taking care of our outward appearance is important, we must not neglect what’s going on in our hearts and in our minds.  We need to focus less on ourselves and focus more on enriching the lives of others.  May we all grow old gracefully!
 The Twin Basket

big and small baskets

I saw these twin basket a few blocks from my home.  I was rushing to send Shaye to school and I did not have time to turn back and pick up the baskets.  I told Shaye I will collect the baskets on my way home if they are still there.  Well, the baskets waited for me alright. 
The baskets were exactly how I found them as shown in the photo.  It’s looks like a mother protecting her young child.  It shows a mother’s important role in nurturing her child early in life.  It is a reminder that children are young only once and we cannot turn back the hands of times.
I am a full time mom and a freelance event planner and banner/backdrop designer. Honestly, I do not make much but I believe in investing my time in my daughters’ lives.  And I look forward to the day they are mature and independent and I can humbly say, “I have made a difference in their lives.”
The Brown Basket

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This basket waited for me about a kilometer away from Sydelle’s school.   In life, there will always be troubles and challenges.  This is a basket to put all our doubts, worries and fears away.  We have to focus on the positive and possibilities and make the right choices to overcome our problems.
The Red Basket with Gold Lining and Yellow Lily

red basket

This is the last basket I collected two days ago somewhere near the place where I found the green basket.  The colour red signifies strength and courage.  But we need to be careful not be carried away by these traits or we will become egotistical and self-righteous.  After all, there is a thin line between self-confidence and selfish pride.
The gold lining on the basket is a sign for us to remain kind, compassionate and generous.  And just looking at the yellow lily on the handle brightens my day and made me smile. Don’t you think this would make a beautiful Christmas gift basket?
That’s all folks! Perhaps my next story would be the case of the missing baskets.

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10

The homeless man – NBC

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The other day, I was walking behind this homeless man after getting a few things from the grocery store.

He’s most likely in his mid-thirties.  He seemed normal and healthy and in no way inadequate though his clothes looked old and worn out. He often carries a plastic bag with what looked like the few essential items he possessed.

I often see him loitering about the vicinity where I lived.  I wonder why he is homeless and if he had a family.  I’m sure he has a life story to tell like everyone else.

There were a few occasions I saw him sitting in the playground nearby writing in a notebook.  And he just kept on writing and writing.  

Otherwise, he can be seen standing outside a 24-hour convenience store where he would place a plastic container for anyone who is willing to spare him some loose change. He seemed to have a kind of dignity and confidence in him that I could not explain, unlike most homeless or beggars I have met.  I am sure he knows who his regular supporters are.  After all, this is a very small suburb.  And most long-time residents here respect and accept him for who he is.

Apart from that, he is self-sufficient and content to live his life this way.  Once, we happened to be both queueing to buy our food from a food truck.  A four-wheel drive drove pass and stopped in front of us.  A middle-aged woman winds down her the car window and handed the homeless man a bag of Chinese takeaway food.  To my surprise, he told her in fluent Cantonese “No need, I have food today.”  But the woman was persistent and said twice, “Take it, I bought it for you.”  And again he told her no.  The lady then drove away bewildered by the rejection of the homeless man.

Here is a person who I guess had not eaten a decent meal in at least a few years and I cannot help to think how often we are guilty of overindulgent when it comes to food.

There were days we too may feel just like this homeless man – unloved, lonely and disconnected. The only difference is that we have a place we can go to, which we call home.

My wish for everyone is may we never end up like this homeless man.  Life has its ups and downs and so often life seemed so unfair and our suffering unbearable.  But in those times may we be grateful to have a roof over our heads and food on the table.  And most of all to have our family or someone by our side,  to love and to be loved is enough.  

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3

A walk into the rainforest – NBC

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Today,
I will take a walk into the rainforest 
to forget about myself.
I will feel and inhale the wild fresh wind.
I will listen to the tropical birds sing.
I will embrace the beauty of the waterfall
where the crystal pure water
would cleanse away all pain.
For there is no better shrink
who could soothe
and bring healing to my soul and being.

 

 

5

Lagom – the Swedish way

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Pronounced ‘lah gom’ – this Swedish way of life is about things being ‘just enough’ or ‘just right’ – something that’s neither too much of one thing , nor too much of the other but somewhere in between.   
Finding balance is the key  to this concept which is rooted deep in the Swedish psyche. It permeates all aspects of life. Along with the idea of balance in all things, there is also a conscious unselfishness about lagom.
If you feel like there’s just too much to do or modern life is too busy and goal-focused, you may want to adopt this attractive mindset and strive to be simply good enough or just enough.
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“Let’s go home now, Kakashi.”

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“Ahh….just nice.”

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“Two pets are perfect for now – Candy (Pug) and Kakashi “

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“We’re neither good dogs nor bad dogs – just okay dogs.”

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“Two cookies are enough for me, mom”

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