Simple Contentment

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sometimes I wonder, is it better to be contended easily or does it pay to have higher standards, for the lack of a better word. For the former, I suppose one will be happy more often but yet, might not be motivated to chase or be made aware of better things that lie ahead. And for the latter, one might feel overly miserable. Then again it seems to me that I enjoy classifying things especially when I write, into black and white, right at the extremes of the spectrum rather than considering the grey areas, which should be a good balance of both. 

On that note, I've come to realize that my parents are both people who are contended easily at attention they receive from their children - in this case, it would be my brother and myself though more so from my brother as he doesn't really talk to them and thus the words he utters are deemed as more valuable and treasured, compared to mine but I've gotten used to that so I'm good. In fact, even I elevate my brother's opinions and thoughts though I'm definitely growing to be more discerning. They also seem to be pretty happy with their lives - perhaps it's because they've reached an age where they realize it's kind of the limit and they've outgrown their prime and thus have moved on into feeling joy for their children's experiences. 

I didn't want to just let my parents support the things I do (financially, most of the time) and wanted them to experience some of the things I enjoyed doing with my friends that I rarely do with my family and so I took the first step by bringing Mama Yap out for a day of tourist-y activities last Friday (14 November 2014) when she took leave from work and I don't know why but she was elated. It was mindblowing to me, how something as simple as this could make her so, so, so happy. I know I'm making it sound like she's been living under a rock or that my family doesn't go out at all but normally all we do is to visit restaurants or go shopping, and they're usually done in a rushed manner, there's no time for proper one-on-one bonding time. My family used to frequent tourist attractions when my brother and myself were still toddlers/ young kids but it's definitely been a while since my mum has been to these places properly. She commented that the last time she visited the museum was actually when she was in primary school. She also secretly enjoys having her photos taken, so I made it a point to bring my camera with us.  

It made me so happy just seeing her face so full of wonder but more so, probably at the thought that her teenage daughter was spending time with her at "hip" locations rather than with her friends. Honestly, it's no big deal to me but in her head, she might have thought it was a huge sacrifice. It's such a simple act on my part, which I should do more often but it was such an important and exciting day from her perspective and that makes it so bittersweet. I feel like the older I get, the more she will treasure these things and that's so heartbreaking. It must be so difficult to be a parent, to nurture someone and watch him/ her become an independent being no longer in need of your help, yet having to feel proud for him/ her at the same time. 

This was the simple route that I planned for the day: First stop - Strictly Pancakes

Second stop - Singapore Art Museum! 

The previous time I was there during the SWF period, majority of the place was cordoned off as they were in the midst of preparing for the new exhibition, which just happened to open on the very day I decided to visit it with Mama Yap. It's the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2014 Finalists Exhibition, and it's definitely worth a visit. 

The third stop was supposed to be the National Museum, but she was suffering from museum fatigue so we decided to skip it, which was a good choice since only the temporary Singapura: 700 Years exhibition was up. 

Fourth stop - The Art Science Museum, which we decided to give a miss as well and ended up doing a bit of shopping at The Shoppes at MBS. Also, outside the museum, we took self-timer photographs which I normally did with my friends if I brought my camera along with me and Mama Yap was quite astonished, saying "aiyo, so that's how you normally do it!" (she stalks my Facebook, and calls it 'huh? what stalking? I'm just looking at it') 

Fifth stop - Gardens by the Bay!

Finally, we ended the day at Bugis, which was a nice respite from all the cultural/ touristy locations (though Bugis does have its own cultural and tourist elements, in a very different form may I add) - immersing oneself in all these artsy fartsy things can be rather suffocating and I was glad we had good old hawker food for dinner :-)

It was such a great way to start my holidays and I'm so glad I spent the day with Mama Yap, who was great company.

No comments

Post a Comment