Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Social Network Diet

Kings Lynn one sunny Sunday.


My family and friends have asked why I haven't been visible much on facebook and instagram.  I was surprised myself because it wasn't a planned one.

It all started when I was in Cambridge a few weeks ago to do some systems training (the workplace has changed our software interface and added new features, thus all members of staff had to be on the training on a staggered basis. I did mine on the third week of August).

Cambridge is a good hour (and about 10 minutes depending on traffic) to drive to. Add another 2 hours driving back (peak hour traffic). The whole day was sucked up by the training and travelling.

On the third day of training, we moved to a different hospital which was so remote, there was no internet access.

By the fourth day, it was so liberating that you do not need your cellphone to keep updating yourself of what everyone is doing. Seriously, it killed my "nosy" side.

At the end of each day, I was exhausted from training and driving, all I could muster was the tagged pop up info on my page, and private messages. If you are like me, who like to start things from the very beginning and not start in the middle of your newsfeed, i kept telling myself that i shall update myself form the start of where i left off. (well, never happened. )

A few days after the training, i was starting to find I had more time to chat to people on the phone, and join in on after-work activities. I was finding I was able to cook fancier meals than i normally would. It made me realise how much time i spend on my social networks. And i tend to kill an hour each day just going through my feed each day.

I was hoping that at the end of the second week I will be able to go back to the gym, but that didn't happen (haha!).

My family tend to tag me on their posts, so its easy to go to their posts. So during these past few weeks, I have been a neglectful social networker.

This eventually lead to what I call the Social Network Diet, because I totally am not able to detach myself from social networking when most of my family are abroad. Diet, because I am trying to recoup my time back from sitting on the couch and try limit sniffling my curious nose on everyone's business.

It is liberating to know I could actually live without a mobile phone/facebook/instagram for an entire 12-16 hours. ( Since I moved to working in the community, I have had the blessing of being able to use my phone at a whim except when faced-to-face with a patient) which really indulged this bad habit.

By the end of the first week of not being as active, I felt "bleacch" to update. I felt nothing was going on in my life that interesting to share. I also felt that my mother and siblings are updated about me, and my girlfriends and I were still sharing on Whatsapp during all this time (we were trying to help an emotional friend), thus nothing crucial to share. I also suddenly had a weird over-the-top self awareness episode when i started realising what was happening. I felt, "oh shit, what was I thinking sharing those things online?". "Eww, how immature of me to write that". "Did i really need to post that photo?".  Everytime i wanted to put a photo on instagram, i had these weird thoughts stopping me. Eveyrtime i had the urge to post a facebook status, i had these thoughts screaming inside me. Weird.

On our last skype session, mama said she is happy to see me online, eventhough what i post are irrelevant weird nonsense, she feels happy that she could see I am alright (or not alright, but still alive,lol), it made me think, i need to get back into the action.

Its amazing what we get to learn as habits. It is so easy to be addicted to be online, and interesting enough, it may not be as easy, but it is not that hard to get off the internet if we really want to, or like me, unconciously detached from the internet due to work.

When one does this diet, you suddenly realise who are those that you miss most. (Its harder not to check on them when you are offline-- your family, and some special ones who are in some ways have been really kind and wonderful to little poor you). Those people, dear self, you keep close.  They are your gold nuggets.


Side note: I started reading blogs again, and fell in love with my old favourite bloggers and discovered new ones.

I am gifting myself more time here in my personal space. It doesn't matter if I have only two other people reading this space. Thats two more than me, LOL.x

Friday, 21 March 2014


..our lovely Mika, Dom, or Dominique is turning 5 this year. 

this talkative niece of mine is a bright little girl and has a really kind generous heart. (whatever she has, she always shares it and gives it to anyone who aks for it).

i am so thankful to have spent time with her this year, and i just fell in love with her even more.

she can carry a tune,too. oh, my heart. she definitely captured it.

a photo of her doing her favourite activity: swimming! 

i miss her. i cant wait to spend time with her again.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


..all i want to do is lazily lounge and enjoy lolling about in the park.

if you are able to, enjoy it for me. 

the weather last week was park weather, but this week, it started to get mild wintery again.
i am not complaining. this feeling of cool mild wind is something i actually love (as long as it doesn't get to freezing temperatures!). plus, my job allows me to enjoy being outdoors and indoors whenever i like, so, in a weather like this,its an added bonus.

this photo was taken last spring-summer (2013) when we enjoyed the Holkham Hall parkland. (note to self: blog about the hall,and the photos)

it was a lovely day and i learned a lot that day regarding some royal lineage living in Norfolk. but thats another blog altogether.

see you on the next entry.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


this photo was taken on my birthday last year.
nothing special except it was a celebration spent with my most favourite companion.

we stayed at a great hotel and what was even nicer was that we were give an upgrade (juniour suite!).
what was running through my head at that time was "let me take a photo of me, from this beautiful enormous bathroom".
this blog entry has no sense. i just wanted to break the blog drought.


the weekend that past was just perfect. we watched the Gabrielle concert (free invites!), and enjoyed it with our friends.

today, i received such sad news and disturbing news.
and on top of that, everything just went wrong with my day.


oh well, tomorrow is another day to conquer.
i hope i am armed enough to brave it.


i bless your evening/day, you, who drop by my small spot in space.



Monday, 24 February 2014

getting in the mood...

..for blogging.

Oh dear! my brain has turned to mush since i have not written for a long time. not that i am claiming to be a spectacular writer/ storyteller (dear gertrude,no!), but as the age old saying that goes, "if you dont use it, you lose it", i do believe that the more you write, the more the 'language' centre of your brain gets developed. thus,whatever little skill i had in writing along as i think, is now totally kaput.

the most practice i have with writing (daily, from monday thru friday and sometimes the occasional weekend on-call work) are SOAP notes. SOAP notes are our clinical notes/report we have to write after every patient/ clinical treatment. [To give a more specific example:  S- for subjective ( " Seen patient for upper limb rehab. Patient consented to therapy..") O- Objective ( "Patient was assessed using thera-putty and upper limb sensory work, using texture for sensory on and so forth"). A- for assessment (Patient still has minimal sensation on right upper limb on dorsolateral part of her arm...etc etc.") P-for plan (OT to continue sensory integration using textures and upper limb domestic tasks..etc etc)]. Documentation which requires strict guidelines and the use of clinical terminology that disables interpretation, as each report are stored and logged in a national database (for patient's records) and which are liable to legal scrutiny. Hence, my brain's creative lingual part is so underused that i am craving to write and stretch that part of my brain.

the last few exchanges with Aileen and Ate Lou over at facebook, made me miss multiply, our old hangout where we write stories of our days/lives and anything that we deem worthy journalling and sharing to like-minded people. there, friendships grew, talents shared, skills developed. it was an amazing part of my growth over the years, being away from my immediate family. i found friends and allies over the internet. but because multiply is no longer, and together with some coaxing from Aileen (one of my idol bloggers) and Ate Lou (who also is another admired person and blogger) for me to blog more, my soul just wanted to jump out of where i was that time (in the living room, on my phone, with the telly on), and start pounding on my Mac keyboards.

alas, i could never concentrate and hear myself think when the tv is on. i also do not like the lights on in the front room for that matter. it made me tired and uninspired. i promised myself, i need to find enough energy to be awake and set myself up to pour my thoughts onto a blog, thus, last night didn't happen. i was tired from too much moving and handling paralytic patients. tonight, i made sure, we ate dinner early enough so i could fight my jetlag without the heavy interference of food weighing on my stomach. i begged Adrian to turn off the tv and go to bed and read from his tab. he did, bless him.

now,i have this room to myself. and i write...about how i got here.

i suppose the point is: when i am not sad, or emotionally crippled, or undergoing some turmoil, i feel whatever i think of writing will always be nonsense, or basic, or irrelevant, or all of the three. when one is melancholic, the distress of whatever drama one is in is enough to yank open the door of my "writing geni", and the emotional baggage will act as doorstop to its hinges.

so when i am happy, satisfied, no dramas, no turmoil: my trick would be is to have the distractions of whatever it is around me minimised, and hidden. i need to hear myself think. to coax the story out of my psyche and buoy it with feelings.

to listen to my chest beat the crap out of my words.



shakespeare's workplace