On Pain and Anger

It’s a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go.” –– Bertrand Russell

I guess like most people I do not like getting angry, not only because it takes so much energy to be angry but also I do not like the idea that the person who made me angry is living rent-free in my head and is controlling me! And I always like to be in control of ME!

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” — Mother Teresa

And what of pain? Pain, like anger, is also exhausting. But unlike anger that robs us of wisdom, pain most of the time, makes us pause and if we pause long enough to think, we actually gain wisdom from pain.

Just recently I was angered by someone, and then I got angry with myself for allowing the person to control my emotion. Then there was regret over the angry words that came out, and with regret comes pain.

It is so easy to say, ” We have to learn to control our anger!” But it’s seldom easy to follow through. It’s perhaps easier to control our actions, but how easy is it to control our words which sometimes cut too deep that the wounds don’t heal?

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” — Ambrose Bierce

Have a peaceful week!💕

T.

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Books, Language and Autism

E. at the Manila Ocean Park

My son is going to be 9 soon, but in his last appointment with his developmental pediatrician, he was assessed as having the language ability of a 3-year old.

Over the years, I have read articles on how to teach a minimally verbal child like him speak; he has had several tutors, special education teachers and therapists. Though he has progressed much in other areas, cognition and language are areas where he has made slow progress. Yet, I am still very hopeful that one day he will speak. What I keep reminding myself is what I heard from one speech-language pathologist a couple of years ago — for some kids, it takes a longer time for speech to come out. But as parents, we should keep “inputting data” (language) into their brains. Just because they are not speaking does not mean we have to stop teaching them to speak

And this idea is what gives me hope.

For the first five years of his life, I read to my son almost every night and that led to him being able to recite about 20 of his books from cover to cover. I started reading Beatrix Potter’s Jemima Puddleduck to him when he was not even a year old, and he loved the sound of — I’m not sure if it’s my voice, or the flow of the words, or both but he made me read it over and over again until he memorized the whole book. I would intentionally leave out a sentence, and he would say it to me over and over again until I said the line myself!

Being autistic with sensory issues, E. has a habit of chewing on things that he likes. And because he loved his books then, he chewed on all of them. Before that Jemima Puddleduck book became badly damaged from being chewed on, my husband came up with the idea of scanning it so our son could view it on the computer. But it wasn’t the same for E. . And that book was forgotten for a couple of years.

When our living arrangement changed, I felt bad not being able to read to him at night. Then one day I saw the scanned pages of Jemima Puddleduck and decided to make a read-aloud video of it. When I finally played that video for him, the smile on his face when he saw those pictures and heard my voice reading the book was more precious than a pat on the back anyone has ever given me in my whole life!

I have since made read-aloud videos of his other books, and my sister tells me they can tell when he’s missing me as he would ask to watch those videos instead of his favorite movies.

My husband and I had big dreams for our son — we had hoped he would get a much better education than we did and be interested in learning. We were eager to let him study what we, in our youth, were unable to because our parents couldn’t afford them. We had dreams for him to fulfil OUR dreams.

But life happens.

Those dreams came crashing down with his diagnosis. I honestly do not think any parent can say they left the doctor’s office thankful for the ASD diagnosis of their children. An adult person with ASD can probably be thankful for the diagnosis as it leads to an understanding of oneself. But for a parent of a child with ASD , it is different, especially when that child is non-verbal, and E. at 2 years old was still not talking. So yes, it was devastating.

But as parents, we can only be resilient. Though it took my husband a few weeks to get out of his depression, once he did, he accepted the challenge of raising a son with autism.

Now we have a new dream for our son, a much simpler and more practical one: for E. to live independently and happily.

But to get there, he has to have better language ability. And I have not only hope, but also faith, that that day will come. That with the help of his teachers and therapists, who teach him patiently and his family who love him unconditionally, he will be able to use the language that has been stored in his brain all these years. That my son will be talking to me non-stop; and I promise to God, when that day comes, I will not complain that he won’t stop talking!

Diet and workout update

Steamed spinach with tomatoes

Yesterday I decided not to use oil when cooking, so instead of having stir-fried vegetables for lunch, I am opting for steamed ones. I just added fresh tomatoes and onions to the steamed spinach and a bit of salt, pepper and soy sauce, and I had a really tasty lunch.

I’ve been serious about losing weight for almost 2 months now, and though I find it a bit slow I’ve lost 3 kg and my waistline is down by 2 inches! Yay for me!

A week ago, I was only doing 20-30-minute dance workouts confident that I would lose weight because I am on a 1000-calorie diet. But I’ve read several articles that said if you want to be healthy, a 15-20-minute exercise daily is good enough. However if you want to lose weight, you need at least an hour of exercise! And I’ve found out how true that is. Eating healthy and an hour of exercise daily for a week can surely show you positive results.

As for planking, I can hold a plank for a minute but after reading an article about waiting until you have really trimmed down before doing strengthening exercises, I just do it once a day.

It’s tough, but I am hopeful I can reach my goal. 😉 I’m sure you can, too!

Have a good week!

T.

Trying hard to stay healthy (and look younger!)

“But at my back I always hear, Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.” — Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

Peach tree sap/peach gum

Last week my husband made snow mushroom soup for me. It is what the Chinese call an anti-aging soup. That soup only had the snow mushroom, goji berries and dried dates.

Yesterday at the supermarket, as we walked by the Traditional Chinese Medicine section (there is one in every big supermarket here), he decided to add more ingredients to the next anti-aging soup he makes for me (he is more proactive in trying to make me look young than I am! Lol.)

This time he added lotus seeds, longans, peach tree gum and lily bulbs. Lily bulbs are supposedly good for the heart and lungs, too.

longans

lotus seeds

lily bulbs

I don’t know if these things actually work, but he wants and tries to get us to stay healthy, so I’ll give it a try!

Apart from watching what I eat, I have also started doing planks! This is the 5th day since I tried, and I can now hold a plank for 40 seconds, and it feels awesome to be able to do it.

I used to think it was hopeless for me to lose the stomach flab, but after watching this video of an 80-year old bodybuilder, I was truly inspired. Discipline. 😉 A healthy diet and regular exercise with tons of discipline — that’s all the recipe I need.

Have a lovely, healthy weekend!💕

T.

A healthy and enjoyable lunch

Spinach with dried scallop soup

I went to the island today for some errands and stopped by to see a friend. She was glad to hear I’ve been trying to eat healthy food, and we agreed to have a healthy lunch together. I told her I was OK with whatever she ordered, and I was not disappointed. Two of the dishes she ordered were so good, I just had to take a picture of them: the spinach and dried scallop soup and stir-fried mushrooms.

Lunch with my friend is always enjoyable as I enjoy listening to her talk just about everything. She is several years oder than I am, and I always feel I learn something new every time I have lunch with her as she can explain so many things to me about economics and politics.

I had a wonderful time, and I was happy I was able to enjoy lunch without ruining my diet!

Have a lovely Monday!💕

T.

Got a table by the window, but … buildings

On fake and real hunger

Celtuce and King Oyster Mushroom

Yesterday I had a pretty good lunch and snacked on a banana after a couple of hours. Around 5 o’clock as I was preparing to go food shopping, I felt hungry. Then I thought, “How could I be hungry again?” But I decided I was not going to eat anything until after I got back home. And that’s exactly what I did and actually forgot the feeling of hunger while shopping.

From what I’ve read, there is actually such a thing as “fake hunger. ” We may feel “hungry” even just an hour after lunch, but this may be because that cheesecake just looks so tempting (I swear I can hear cheesecake calling out to me every time I see one!) Or perhaps we are stressed and need to comfort ourselves with food that we like; or we may be surrounded by people we like and to spend more time with them, we order more food.

Next time you feel hungry, ask yourself if it’s real or you are just dealing with something that can be solved not by increasing your calorie intake, but by doing something healthier — drinking more water, doing exercise, talking with people, etc.

Webmd has a good article on checking whether you are truly hungry or not.

Stir-fried tofu

Have a lovely weekend! 💕

T.

Not Today

Sunset in Jimei

The bottle will remain unopened.

That pack of cigarettes will stay unsmoked.

Those cheesecakes calling me as I walk past the bakery will be ignored.

And the backups won’t be hearing from me anytime soon.

For as long as there’s a teeny bit of will left in me…

You’re not winning again.

Not today.

——

Be strong. You are loved. ♥️

T.