A New Beginning

on Sunday, 11 December 2005
Know what? My engagement ring is sitting on my girlfriend's finger. And you all know what that means... Woohoo! I'm now engaged and no longer available (not that anyone else really cares whether I'm available or not...).

And that's not the only thing that's marking the start of another phase of my life. We just placed our booking for a rather nice house; it comes with a rather big price tag but we have support and encouragement from both families so we went ahead.

Wow, two big commitments in a single day. Time to really grow up (and tighten my belt... no more snacks and supper). Have to budget things really carefully now, both to pay the initial payment as much as possible, and to leave enough to get some basic furnishings as well as preparations for the coming marriage.

Thank you Lord for such a wonderful family. Thank the Lord for my beloved. And thank the Lord for all His blessings.

A Fork in the Road

on Sunday, 4 December 2005
I've recently arrived at a fork on the road of life. I got an opportunity to work in a large multi-national corporation as opposed to staying in this current small start-up company. Let me organise my thoughts...

The pay's only slightly better, but the benefits are definitely very much better. Of course, given the new location, the transportation costs and traveling time may well increase, so it's more about the job.

It's a change of environment and is a new beginning, with lots to learn and opportunities for new contacts. But I'm neither fond of changes nor making new contacts. I wasn't good at people skills to begin with and haven't picked up enough yet. But of course, I have to learn at some point. Also, let's just say that my technical skills probably won't be in any challenging or interesting situations; which is bad, since I'd much rather face a computer than a customer.

I'd get to periodically travel to new locations. That might be good, except most of the time, I'd rather be at home. Being away from weeks and months at a time is, well, unexciting at the very least (to me anyway).

The job doesn't feel bad at all, but I can't help feeling apprehensive about it. The road seems to lead to a point where I had no interest in going. So what's wrong with changing again if I don't like it? Because there's still quite a bit I can learn by staying. There's an expert (a damn good one) in the house.

Currently, things might not feel stable, but I was reassured it's more stable than it looks. And I did say I'd stay until Chinese New Year, to see how things go after all the hand-overs. Plus, I have this promise of a good job with even better pay after the festive period... we'll see.

Oh my... I'm leaning towards staying. Can you believe it? Truth to tell, after quite a bit of chats with my (relatively small) circle of friends, I do, in fact, rather stay on than change jobs.
What?! Are you crazy?! Yeah, yeah, maybe I am. I actually feel sad about leaving. There's so much potential in the product, if only we can get past that point of actually selling it. Some of the objections put forth by my pals (my beloved included):
  • Wait for Chinese New Year lah, more jobs, find more alternatives.
  • You donno how to talk to customers wan lah, sure kena bully.
  • You sure? I thought you just like to interface with computers?
  • Ask you mamak oso you lazy, some more want to go overseas ah?
  • A bit waste loh, since haven't close shop, faster ask for promotion lah!

Well... as mentioned, sooner or later you'd have to learn. Right now, I'm thinking later. All those talks and ponderings have actually brought out some resolutions for next year. I even made a list of things I need to improve on. But first and foremost, I need to pick up:
  • Better code and design skills. Basically, more technical know-how.
  • Professionalism. These days, I haven't been working as I'm being paid. Letting morale and feelings cloud my judgment. You can hate your job, your colleagues, or your superiors; but work is work. Personal feelings should never influence the results of which you're being paid for.
  • Leadership and team skills. I need to learn this anyway, so what better way to do it than in a working environment I'm familiar and comfortable with?
  • Basic business logic. I need to learn this anyway, so might as well try to pick up some concepts.

Bad choice, good choice? Only time will tell (wah cheh, like I'm making a really big decision like that... :P ). But a decision has been made. I better go apologise to those whose efforts I wasted.

You are Blessed

on Friday, 2 December 2005
A colleague forwarded this to my inbox yesterday morning. It's very meaningful in that we should always look at what we have and not what we don't have.

If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.
If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.
If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.
If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.
If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.
You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.

My pastor talked about covetousness during the previous mass, about the tenth Commandment. We should always be content with what we have, and not only lament what we don't have and dream about what we want. It's probably difficult to achieve (since I'm guilty of it in so many ways), but when you do, you'll find life much happier when you feel like you already have all that you need.