I don’t consider myself as someone with even the sligthest talent of art. Not even a little bit. During my school year, I was struggling to draw a Durian. I was so hopeless that my drawing look like a hedgehog with fat needle. I ended up asking my friend’s help to draw the damned Durian for me.

But, things change when I was faced with a toddler, my 3 years old son. He was fond of windmill, and often bring in front of me, a clean sheet of paper and different colour of marker, and asked me to draw windmills.

So, here I am, in front of a toddler, who don’t really judge whether the windmill even look pretty or not. He only care that the drawing has a cross mark on it. Why should I bother? On that day, I express myself in drawing 10 different windmill with 10 different colour, on a piece of paper.

Sepuluh Kincir

Ten Windmill, Ten Colour

For me, it is the best windmills that I’ve ever draw. I don’t know whether my son agreed or not, but he seems to be content. Well, the truth is that, it seems that I have some artist in me after all.

This post is written for WordPress weekly photo challenge: Express Yourself. Well, technically, this is not a photo. I put this up anyway, because this drawing is the best expression of myself to date.

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In Response to Daily Prompt: Brain Power

So, if it is true that at the moment, I’m only using 10% of my brain capacity, and have access to 90% of the rest, this is what I’m going to do:

  1. Keep using the same brain capacity for today’s daily function: 10%
  2. Invent Faster-Than-Light (FTL) Travel: 20%
  3. Invent teleportation: 15%
  4. Learn everything about healthy living: 15%
  5. Be a spiritual leader: 15%
  6. Become stock market investor: 15%

There it goes, total of 100% Brain Capacity

In response to daily prompt Kick the Bucket

It took me a while to come out with list of things that I will never want to do. So, after almost 1 month of thinking, this is the thing that I will never, ever, want to do for the rest of my life.

  1. Taking PhD. I told all my friends when I got my Master Degree: “I will never, ever, return to formal school to take my PhD. Remind me, knock my head, and wake me up if I ever tell you guys that I want to go back to school for PhD”. Six years later, I still chant the same line to friends who asked whether I still plan to go back to school.
  2. Climbing the Everest. Yes, it is the highest mountain in the world. Yes, it is the pinnacle of human endurance. But, the thing is that, I don’t feel challenged or intrigued. I never really have much affection towards mountain anyway.

So, that’s all for now. I will come back to this post again should I have another in mind.

In response to today’s daily prompt Oasis

When someone mention the word “Oasis” to me, the first thing that come to me is ocean. The word Oasis is generally attached to an area with water and lush vegetation in the middle of dessert. Oasis was, and still provide water and relieve to the weary soul that has been passing through. And so does ocean to me. Whenever my soul feel tired or weak, getting to the beach, or even just inhaling the smell of ocean wind will usually recharge my soul.

Waiting for Surf

There are one occasion in 2004, when I was traveling to Bangkok fur business trip. I was so tired, weary, and uncomfortable from the trip, for the reason that I don’t know why. The symptom was only relieved when I smell the ocean from the boat that is cruising along Chao Phraya river.

Another oasis that is less potent, but still able to provide significant relieve to my weary soul, is not actually a place, but an activity. Running has been my escape when I need to catch my breath, whenever I feel tired. It is much easier to do than going to a beach.

Of course, the most perfect oasis to catch my breath will be running on the beach, barefoot.

Edit on 9 Jan: Starbucks have also become a new Oasis to me (Thanks vinuhwin for the reminder). Each time I need to catch my breath, a simple chat with Starbucks barrista (sometime as simple as: how is your commute today?), and people watching will provide the necessary relieve.

2015In less than a week, we will officially be in 2015. After the year full of achievement and changes, I’m looking forward to do things that is more personal, and more spiritual in 2015.

I must admit that, as we approach Christmas a few days ago, I don’t have the same attachment and expectation to it. This is quite unusual, as I used to look forward to Christmas months before. Probably I was having easy months, so I don’t really look forward to Him. It is during the hard days that people usually look for divine power, don’t we?

Well, I want to change that in 2015. My first goal for 2015 is to return to Church more regularly. I used to hold something against the Church, which I wrote in this post. Well, I do still really resolve it, but I just want to be closer to Him.

I also want to introduce God and Catholic religion to my son. Before I got married, I signed a paper, promising to teach my son in the way of Catholic. I would like to fulfill my promise in 2015. How we should do it is still being think about, as I need to juggle our weekend between running, church, parent visit and some other personal agenda.

Then, I’m looking forward to do more in charity. Me and my friend started a charity back in 2007, called Ribbon of Love. Seven years later, it is a bit neglected. We owe the charity to our donor, who trust their money to us, and to our benefactor, who depends on us. I would like to improve our communication to our donor, such as regular financial report, as well as communication to our recipient.

In the former year, I resolute to run at least one marathon a year, to remind me never to stop moving forward. I think I got enough marathon, and wouldn’t need to be reminded again in 2015. I want to do something else in the field of running, and in general, in the field of health and fitness. So, I promise myself not to run a marathon in 2015.

Instead, I want to run for charity. I want to run for Ribbon of Love, to spread the message of what we are doing, gain more exposure, with hope that we can recruit more donor, and volunteer to keep our program running. At the moment, I plan to write ribbonoflove.org, our website, at the back of my running shirt.

I also want to run to compete. This might be a gar fetched goal that. Ight extend to 2016, when I plan do do ultramarathon. So, for 2015, I aimed to run 10k under 60 minutes. I think the commitment required will me more manageable compared to marathon training.

On a broader view, I want to improve my general and fitness in 2015. I want to lose weight, but more importantly, I want to lose weight while lowering my cholesterol and blood sugar level to a healthier level, and having more stable energy level throughout the day. It will took more than running and weight training. It will also include paying attention to what you eat. I’ve done it before during my Penang Bridge Marathon training, and have feel the benefit. I’ll do it again in 2015.

So, am I going to forget what I wrote in my bucket list? Hell, no! Among my bucket list, the one that I want to focus is to buy a property in Bali. We took the first step in September 2014, when we started to contact property agent and scout some land. I really look forward to complete the purchase in 2015.

There it is, I already have so much on my plate for 365 days in 2015. Lets get to work to make it done, and make it great!

This is it, the time of the year again. Today is Christmas, and as years before, the day has been the happiest day of the year. And with New Year 7 days away, it is time to look back and see how 2014 has been so far.

I’m going to say that, the first half of 2014 is the moment of great achievement. In the first 6 months, we manage to launch a big system, for a big client. It was achieved with a lot of sacrifice. Never before I put so much time in such prolonged period, like 60 hours average per week, weekend included. Sometimes, I would arrive home at 9pm, sparring some time to play with Ethan until we put him to sleep. Then, I would slip away, back in front of my laptop, crunching slides for 9am presentation. Nights will be filled with Coffee, Pizzas and other fast food. And days will be filled with high tension meetings that drain your energy. And in between meetings, phone calls was coming from people asking for updates, or ask for things to be done at that moment.

Eventually come the migration day. I skipped the first migration due to family reason. In the second migration, I spent 27 hours at office, from 8:30am on 28 May to 11:30am on 29 May 2014. The satisfaction and pride of the success is much more than winning a $2 million project. I think, it is because winning a project is like having a job half-done. Launching the system will complete the other half of the job.

Things changes on second half of 2014. In fact, a lot of thing changes.

In May 2014, Grace has finally open her own business. She has been working as food curator for a food court in Pacific Place Jakarta, as well as planning to open her own food stall in the same food court. An in May, they finally open for public. I’m happy for her. It has always been our dream to have our own business, and in May, Grace made the dream come true. She is now a businesswoman.

Then, in August 2, 2014, Ethan started his first day at school. We finally pick Cikal Serpong for Ethan’s pre-school for 2 reason: Cikal have a big outdoor playground, and they have 3 days per week class. The first day went well than what we expected. And after we drop him at school, it was a strange feeling to sit in the car, two of us once again, with our kid with someone else.

Grace getting busy with her business means less time to take care of Ethan, while at the same time, Ethan need greater commitment from us, as now he is going to school. We need to be strict on time, to put him to sleep, to wake him up in the morning, preparing breakfast and other thing for him to be ready for school. And soon, he will start going to school 5 days a week. To fill the gap between Grace’s less free time and Ethan’s higher commitment needs, I decided to leave my current employer.

On October 29, 2014, I tendered my resignation. My friend at my former employer offered me a position. My former employer’s office is much closer to my home, so it is possible for me to drive. If necessary, I can also pick Ethan home from our family’s home, where he usually spend time if Grace need to go out, and put him to sleep before 10. Plus, historically speaking, my former employer has less working hour expectation than my current employer. At least, you are not expected to work on weekends, so I can take care of Ethan if Grace need to work over the weekend.

So, I’m going to 2015 with a new job, and new hope. There are many personal things that I have put on hold in order to grow my professional career. All was culminated in the big system launch. Now, it is time to recover the lost moment, to pursue my personal aspiration. There are many that I expect to achieve in 2015, which will be in my next post for 2015’s resolution.

Merry Christmas…….

The last time I move to another company is because of a rejected promotion. And this time, it is because of another priority comes in my personal life. In fact, I’m moving back to the company that rejected my promotion.

For me, moving to another company or job is never been easy. There are a lot of uncertainty of what you are going to do. And there will be awkward transition period. First when you are going to say goodbye to everyone, to co-worker, and to clients. Then there will be another awkward period of adjusting in the new company, learning their new culture, business process, getting to know more people, and new clients. And finally, the possibility of going back to the same clients that you just said your farewell!

So, the trouble of moving to another company, and the fact that I’m back to a company that was rejecting my promotion? What priority that is so damn important that make me took the decision? The answer, well, you might have guess it: My family. To be specific: My son.

A lot of things happen in the last 6 months prior to my decision. First, Grace has finally started her own food business. Taking care of a business took a lot of time, reducing the time for her to be at home with our son. Adding to that, our son has started to go to school in August 2014. It was only 3 times a week, but starting August 2015, he will go to school every day. Someone need to make sure he go to bed before 10, and wake up in the morning, and prep him to school.

There are times when our son was only picked up at 10pm by Grace, when he is supposed to be sleeping before 10. Then, he will only sleep at 11pm, and has difficulty to wake up the next day. On other instance, Grace need to have a business meeting on Saturday, while I also need to be in the office. Our son ended up being in someone else’s custody on the weekend, in addition to the weekdays.

Well, someone has to let go. I support Grace’s business, as it has been our dream to start our own business ever since we got married close to 5 years ago. So, I relent, and swallow the bitter pill. I submit my resignation to move to my former company two months ago. My former company is closer to home, making commuting easier. It also has better working hours, and very seldom needing weekend work.

In this reflection, I also think how true the old saying is: Don’t burn the bridge. As much as I hate when my promotion was rejected, I never badmouth about the company, or the person who rejected my promotion. Well, at least never in the public, or in social media. Yes, I was so much inclined to post something in Facebook about the person and the company. But fortunately, common sense come before I did something stupid. Badmouthing in the social media won’t do anything good to me, except a short term ego satisfaction and probably some publicity. Besides, when I think about it, that company is still a good company. And a one person act doesn’t make the whole company a bad one.

And having said that, I still intend to return to my current company, once things got more manageable at home. Once my wife able to have more free time, or when our son has grow to be more independent. Until then, I think I will need to put my career in the slow lane.