Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Things Worth Celebrating

Things Worth Celebrating

I came across The Petite Cadeau’s blog post calling for participation in their linky blog party themed “Things Worth Celebrating”.  I got really excited about it and started putting the word out to fellow blogging friends egging them on to participate in it too.

My enthusiasm stemmed from the numerous magical things that had happened to me in the last few months.  These were things worth celebrating:

  • Dad recovered very quickly from his stroke, enough to get discharged on Christmas Eve.  I could never enjoy a Christmas party without him.  Having him there at my Christmas party was the best present I have ever had.

  • My business, Sun Goddess Tarot saw a remarkable growth in reputation and clientele.  The breadth of work I have been doing with my business expanded to teaching Tarot and Numerology, and conducting corporate workshops on these subjects.  I had even delivered my first presentation to an international Tarot audience at a conference, sharing my experience on marketing strategies for Tarot businesses.

  • Over and on top of running Sun Goddess Tarot, I have a full-time job doing what I  loved  to do  – Marketing and Public Relations.  The best thing about that job was my ability to guide the team at work to create a marketing and public relations machinery within the company that had been regarded by the management as a highly efficient team.  I loved mentoring.  My marketing and public relations experience has happily allowed both my day job and my business to co-exist synergistically.  What is even more amazing is that this evening, because of the sheer hard work of my team, the company won a Bronze award for the best product launch PR campaign at the inaugural Singapore PR Awards 2014.  It was the first time, the company garnered an award for PR in more than 80 years of history.  I was mighty chuffed.

  • My son Joel finally accepted that going to nursing school might potentially have limitless possibilities for his future.  He need not have been worried that he would be labeled as Gaylord Focker.  Hence, he had been putting his whole heart and soul into his nursing course, and surprising me every now and then with excellent grades in some of his test papers or projects.

  • My husband David turned his passion for photography into a little business as well, much like what I did with Tarot and Numerology.  Through sheer hard work, he had managed to establish a reputation for himself as an events photographer specializing in sports and rock concerts.

The list of things worth celebrating was by no means exhaustive.  These were just some of the key highlights of the last few months.  If I had a lot of time to table all things worth celebrating in detail, a single blog post would not have done it justice.

So, I reviewed once again the mental list of things worth celebrating in my head and realized that what was truly worth celebrating was really, my family.

Here’s What ‘s Truly Worth Celebrating

You see, for all the work and business achievements that were well within my control  because I steered the daily outcomes through team work and effort,  the quirky differences of each of my family members were another matter altogether.  

I found the annoying differences, and the idiosyncrasies  of each and every close family member quite endearing, and they did add even more color to my life.    I often looked to the bosses and colleagues at work, and even clients  for whom I did my Tarot and Numerology readings, for inspiration.  However, right before my eyes, my family members were my greatest inspiration.

  • How many times have I called Mum crazy although all she wanted to do was, in her loopy ways, nurture and provide us with as much love as she could?  When she cooked our favorite food, often she modified them with no salt, no oil, no taste, just to help me manage my hypertension. When I was about to reach out for a pinch of salt, she growled at me like a cornered bear. – I celebrate Mum’s Love.

  • How many times  I had thought Dad looked defeated by his stroke and dementia?  When I talked to him about his old friends, he could remember all their names.  When I reminded him about his old jokes, he would laugh heartily. He may be weaker from stroke and dementia, but certainly not defeated.  – I celebrate Dad’s indomitable spirit.

  • How many times I had thought Joel lacked ambition and determination?  When Joel found joy in talking to his patients at the hospital,  or when he recounted how he helped processed the “last office” of an AIDs patient and felt gratified that the patient did not die alone as Joel was with him, I was pleasantly surprised. – I celebrate Joel’s determination.

  • How many times I had thought David was an unromantic Scotsman who would rather club me on the head and haul me into the cave rather than take me out to a nice expensive candlelight dinner?  I was rampaging through my handbag today and found a crumpled little square corner of a serviette.  On it was a drawing of a cute teddy bear which he drew and it said “I love you”.  When I was clearing my camera roll in my Iphone, I came across a photograph of a cup of coffee taken one morning a long time ago.  On it was a heart shape drawn by him across the foam.  As I had been invited to do Tarot readings at the ELLE Singapore event last week, I wore a bracelet accessorized by charms that had Tarot images on it.   I remembered that David got that for me as a present, even when he was vocal with his skepticism about my metaphysical practice and often asked me where I had parked my broom. - I celebrate David's quiet romanticism.


Have you seen that animated movie "Brave" which detailed the adventures of a Scottish princess, Marida,  who  unintentionally  hired a witch to cast a spell on her mother to transform her into a bear just because her one wish was that her "mother would change"?  

I may have more nuts in my family than a fruitcake but I would not want them to change in any way.  Just a handful of people with their little idiosyncrasies could have a major impact on my life and me.

Wouldn’t you agree, they are truly worth celebrating?  To read about the things worth celebrating from the perspective of my fellow bloggers, please visit:

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketing professional at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son and 3 dogs with personality disorders.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".   Together, we create a home made up with more nuts than a fruitcake but filled with plenty of love.

Things Worth Celebrating

The loony Ash Family

Friday, 7 February 2014



 I used this term often and it had become the “salve” that helped my team at work move on to focus on more important issues when they faced obstacles or came in contact with colleagues that were not willing to play within the  established rules of engagement.

At home, I used it when David and I had differing opinions about certain decisions, or when Joel turned into an  angsty monosyllabic creature after a tiff with his girlfriend.  I used it when the dogs had decided that together, there was a greater chance of opening a packet of crisps that fell off the dining table, when one held on to the edge of the packet and the other tore at it with his teeth.

 This term was not a reflection of an apathetic attitude nor was it a reflection of a lack of passion.  Rather, it was a reflection of knowing which battles were worth fighting for, and an acknowledgement that challenges will exist no matter how prepared we were.  So why not turn them into opportunities?   It was also a reflection of our appreciation for the differences in our highly interesting world filled with quirky people and bumpy roads.  Life would have been mundanely monochromatic without them.

Appreciating The Differences

David’s approach to the Chinese New Year celebrations underscored my point about appreciating the differences around him.  He was not new to the Chinese culture having spent half his life in this part of the world from Hong Kong to Singapore.  However, what I thought most remarkable was his appreciation of what was beyond the cultural celebrations but also the cultural expectations of his role as the son-in-law of the eldest child of the Ong family.  He took that role seriously, even when it meant ferrying my parents around when they needed his “ferrying service”, visiting my parents weekly, paying respect to my Granny and my parents on the first day of Chinese New Year, and eating whatever my Mum served at the table even when it looked like it was still moving.  David just went with the flow, embraced the whole family traditions and accepted the family quirks with this attitude – Whatever.

When we attended mass every Sunday as a family,  he went with the flow of the service and stood when he was required to, sat when he was required to and sang the hymns when he was required to, in between laughing at the old lady sitting next to him, who went off key.  When he was required to “offer a sign of peace”, he even politely bowed to that same old lady next to him, bowed to the other church-goers who sat  behind us, and gave me a kiss on my forehead.  For an atheist who had no concept of a divine being unless he could whip up an exquisite Banoffi pie, I truly appreciated the way he tagged along and just went with the flow of the service with the same attitude – Whatever.

Acknowledging That Challenges Exists No Matter What

At work, the same attitude - Whatever - governed the way we managed issues.  When big projects got unceremoniously dropped on our laps, we just took control and did what we could to launch them successfully.  These provided me with the opportunity to showcase the team’s strengths and highlighted their respective talents.  When the going got tough, the tough just kept going at it.  And the trick was to stay focused on the deliverables.  When obstacles got in the way, we would mutter “Whatever” under our breath and just got on with it.  We knew where best to invest our time and energy – on the projects – instead of mulling over obstacles, grieving over nay-sayers and nitpicking over the nitwitted ideas of marketers-want-to-be.

This morning, we encountered a colleague who snapped at us because she thought she was the only  one who had to deal with issues on a daily basis.   Funnily, my entire team has never snapped under pressure.  They were always composed, calmed and assured of their skills enough to get on with it.  To that colleague, we said, “Whatever.”  The opportunity presented itself for the rest of the company to see what a complete idiot she had made herself to be.

Picking The Right Battles

 Whenever my day did not turn out the way it should, I would just throw my hands up in the air and say, “Whatever,“  before taking a walk for a wee while.  Those precious few minutes should not be underrated because they gave me time to think about which battles were worth fighting for. 

 Lately, Joel had not been joining David and I, when we went out for dinner or a movie.  For one, he would do anything possible not to be seen with us two old fogies.  It was just “not cool”.  Secondly, he had his social life down to pat, what with a girlfriend and a busy schedule with his industrial attachment at the hospital.  I missed him tremendously but…oh well, whatever…If he needed me, he would know where to find me.
Whatever – The Magic Word

Whatever had become a magical word that swept the frustrations, grief, anxieties and anger away.  It kept us more focused, hence more productive.  It made life much easier because with that word, we all learnt to just get along with each other, even when we had differences of opinions.   We learnt to accept each others’ quirks and dismissed them as “WHATEVER”.  We opened our hearts and minds to new experiences, because we approached every challenge along the way with this attitude -  “WHATEVER”.  It turned differences in opinions into friendly banter when "WHATEVER" was used as a response to skeptics who thought my gifts as a Tarot reader and Numerologist was "wanky". 

When I posted the word "WHATEVER" as my Facebook status update, a friend asked, "Really, Jo? Whatever? Not like you at all."  I answered, "Yeah. Whatever. This is the year that I shall not sweat the small stuff, shall not bother with small-minded people, and shall not bear  grudges within me.  Whatever."

Try it from time to time.  It might save you from bursting a blood vessel just because some things did not go your way.   

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketing professional at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son and 3 dogs with personality disorders.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".   Together, we create a home made up with more nuts than a fruitcake but filled with plenty of love.

Photo credit: David Ash,