018 Make Time To Enjoy Each Day

  • Why Do You Want To Live That Long?

“Why do you want to live till 100?” I am often asked. But no one asked in a more humorous way than ZH, an old friend of more than 3 decades.

Out of the blue, he sent me a satirical comic that left me in stitches.

The comic illustrates a boring-looking man who wishes to live a long life but seems totally clueless about the pleasures of life.

ZH probably thought that I am living like a puritan. Someone who believes in hard work and self-control.  And hardy know anything about enjoying life.

I don’t blame him. Just look at the serious stuff I’ve been blogging: life, death, health and values.

I think ZH was not merely sharing a comic, he was making a salient point,

“What is the point of having a long life if you do not know how to enjoy it?!”

  • Make Time for The Simple Things You Enjoy Doing

Sure, I am enjoying my life. All it takes is to turn some simple things that I enjoy doing into daily habits that keep me healthy and invigorated.

Here are four ingredients that make a day of happiness for me–exercising, blogging, reading and singing. Sometimes, people wonder where I got so much spare time to do all these stuff. I don’t. I make time, that’s all.

  • Make Time To Exercise

Like most working parents, my body clock is synchronised with the reveille time for my two school-going children. A typical day starts at about fifteen past five in the morning.

While my elder son Kyan is getting ready for school with the help of his mom, I spend 15-20 minutes exercising with my younger son Conan at the gym almost every morning.

After sending Kyan off to the school bus at 6am, I hit on the road for a slow run of about 50 minutes and complete the routine with roughly 15 minutes of weightlifting exercises in the gym. That still leaves me with ample time to enjoy a healthy breakfast and be ready to leave home for work at 8 am.

Needless to say, I have to be an early riser to maintain this routine. To do so, I usually sleep by 10 pm at night.

  • Make Time To Blog

Where do I find time to blog then?

I commute on bus and train daily. It takes 40 minutes to reach my workplace in the morning, and 10 minutes more to return home in the evening. That gives me plenty of time to blog on the move. When I travel overseas, I have even more time doing so in the airport and on the flight.

Occasionally, I get too busy to blog. Work has to be brought home to complete in the weekends. Even at such times, I never fail to write an article before my self-imposed deadline. To me, blogging is not so much about writing. It is really about a commitment to self -reflection and a way of communicating with my loved ones and friends.

  • Make Time To Read

I pick up books of interest to me whenever my family visit the library in the weekends. It is part of our weekend routine that lasted more than a decade.

My new-found interest in health and wellness motivates me to find books that are relevant to health, wellness and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) regularly.

Some friends share similar interests. They send me interesting links to websites for reading online. That is how I got ideas to experiment with tea-making, taking hot foot bath before sleep and eating spelt grains porridge at dinner.

After work, my time is often spent on the studies of children in the evenings. Usually, I can only find small pockets of reading time before bedtime. Not enough, I often think, but I insist to read a little before sleep. It keeps my reading habit alive.

  • Make Time To Sing

I love to sing. But I knew long ago that my voice was merely mediocre since the youthful days in junior college.

A good friend HP and I belonged to a Xinyao (新谣)group, a group of young people who gathered to sing locally-composed songs, often accompanied by the acoustics of a guitar.

When I sang, I received little attention. But when HP sang, everyone, especially the gals gathered around him in adoration.

To make myself useful in the group, I quickly moved behind the scene and found a niche in writing songs. But I never stopped singing.

I sang most frequently when my children were young. At one point of time, I could easily remember the lyrics of nearly 200 children’s songs and rhymes. I became convinced that those days of singing to my children enhanced their vocabulary and fostered their love for singing at a young age.

Even after my vocal chords were adversely affected by the thyroid surgery I received last year, I never stop singing. I find singing therapeutic. It soothes emotions and raises spirits.

Making time for singing is a no-brainer. A song takes no more than 5 minutes. Now, with karaoke apps like “smule”, it becomes easier to record songs in a studio quality, albeit at a cost.

  • Create Your Own Formula Of Happiness

Exercise, blog, read and sing. Do we share the same interest in any one of these four activities? It’s nice to find like-minded friends of common interests.

Of course, you should find a formula that suits your interests and lifestyle best. I would be most interested to learn from you.

Already I have been thinking of expanding my interests to other stuff such as food therapy, meditation, yoga, qigong, academic-research, stocks and property, and personal financial investments. Anyone care to show me the ropes?

Oops, that sounds like a lot of things to learn. Perhaps, I should focus on one thing at a time. Seriously, can’t you see why I have no choice but to stay healthy and live up till a ripe old age of 100?

William W K Tan

12 November 2017, Sunday

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