I write to collect, capture, and curate ordinary beautiful ideas.

A Complete List of My Writings Published on Medium

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Illustration by ©Zul Bal

My most viewed article

My most viewed poem

My personal favorite

Writing and Creativity

Does Writing Ever Become Easier?
When the Words Don’t Come Easily
Writing in a Time of Pandemic (a tribute to George Orwell)
Will You Write When You Feel Blue? (on being authentic)
The Magic of Embracing Stupid (on dealing with inner critic)
Why I Write To My Son?
My Escape From the Most Useless Place, the Waiting Place
Totally Random Thoughts

Self and Life

We All Have Enough Time
Learning to Lower My Mountain of Expectations
What Do You (Not) Have Time For?
Exercise Happier, Not Harder
Success is What You Mean It To Be
Does Science Need To Tell Us Why Affection Matters?
The Forest Spirit (a tribute to my friend and zero waste living)
When A Cow Walks Into a Bar (on hope and happiness)
How Quitting My Job Twice Saved Me From Settling for Less
If You Can Afford to Travel, Can You Afford Not to Travel?
So What If My Life is a Mess? (on using reverse psychology)
A Year if Letting Go and Letting Be (on setting an intention)
The Key to Healing is Within You (lessons from a Holocaust survivor)
When House Hunting Turned into a Ghost…

Reflections on my month-long break from alcohol

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Photo by Sara Cervera on Unsplash

January has always been a month of hibernation for me. I can’t remember anything significant that ever happened to me in January in the past ten years. I don’t know how the first month of the year became my least memorable month.

One legacy of 2020 is that it heightened my awareness of time and made me more attentive to my life. I no longer want to sleepwalk through it.

In my attempt to make this January more memorable, I’m taking a break from alcohol for an entire month. …

A ritual that helped me out of depression

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Photo by Ugne Vasyliute on Unsplash

Disclaimer: I wrote this story not to offer any advice about how to get out depression. It simply is my story about a ritual that helped me.

I have a ritual of hiking at least every other week. But I fell into a bit of a rut last December and didn’t hike at all. I resolved to get back to the trails starting on January 1st, which I did.

As I walked on the narrow muddy trail along a dense forest ledge, I hugged moss-covered trees whenever I thought no one else was watching. …

I’m hoping to connect with my friends in the New Year

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Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

I’m sitting here in a boring room
It’s just another rainy Sunday afternoon
I’m wasting my time, I got nothing to do
I’m hanging around, I’m waiting for you
But nothing ever happens
And I wonder

—Excerpt from Lemon Tree by Fools Garden

I woke up feeling icky about the “ground-hoginess” of my life. The monotony of going through the same routine day after day has recently gotten under my skin. Over breakfast, I snap at my husband for not sharing my feelings. He has never once complained about being holed up at home indefinitely.

We try going out every day to walk or do grocery shopping. Otherwise, we are home, day in and day out. …

Never underestimate the power of ordinary beautiful moments

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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Gingko leaves are falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
Gingko leaves are falling down,
My birthday boy

Collect them up with your naked hands,
Naked hands, naked hands.
Make this memory with your friends,
Bestest friends, bestest friends,
My dear son

As a toddler, my son liked to sing London Bridge Is Falling Down. Now he likes to dance to Dance Monkey. On December 21st, he turned 9.

Two of my son’s best friends came over to share pizza and cake with us in a neighborhood park. It was one of those beautiful days in Northern California.

The sun streams through Gingko trees and their golden leaves fall gently like snowflakes. The boys collect the fallen leaves to make a mound to jump and slide on. Soon the sliding game becomes a leaf-throwing battle involving all of us. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and mesmerized by these ordinary beautiful moments. I remember one of my favorite…

The universe won’t have our backs unless we back ourselves.

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Photo by Mehdi Babousan on Unsplash

This year we bought a Lego Town Advent calendar for our son. Every morning he sprints to the kitchen table to open a new window for his surprise mini-Lego. Today it is an ambulance car. His excitement lies in not knowing what is about to be revealed.

Life is a lot like this Advent calendar. It reveals what is in store for us bit by bit. …

Practical advice for life from a 17th-century self-help book

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Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash

A little green book sat on our bookshelf gathering dust for who knows how long. Neither I nor my husband has read it or remember how it made its way to our home. Today I finally picked it up to see what it’s about.

The book contains 300 aphorisms for navigating life safely and wisely. Flipping through its pages, I came across this one:

“Enjoy a little more, and strive a little less: others argue to the contrary; but happy leisure is worth more than drive, for nothing belongs to us, except time …”

Nothing belongs to us, except time.

I repeat this line several times. I feel hypnotized by these words. …

A compelling story is one we remember

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Photo by Hilthart Pedersen on Unsplash

I am a bit tired of reading listicles. I feel I’ve wasted thousands of minutes of my life reading stuff I can’t remember long enough to make any use of. It is as if I’ve deprived my body of vital nutrition by consuming empty calories instead of real food.

Even though I worry about my memory, it seems to be doing its job for the most part. I still remember some stories I read months ago including this incredible story by Drew Breez. So, why is it that I remember some things I read better than others? …

A complicated story of love and longing

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Photo by Alex Guillaume on Unsplash

Growing up without a father was difficult enough for Manna. Being bullied for not having one made life more unbearable for her. At the age of ten, she became withdrawn and didn’t even want to talk with her mother about her troubles with school bullies.

Her behaviour worried her mother, Hiromi. By talking to her daughter’s teachers, she found out that Manna was ostracized by her friends for not having a father and had no one to play with. Soon, she refused to go to school.

Hiromi had divorced her abusive husband soon after Manna was born. She didn’t want her daughter to grow up in a toxic environment. She never revealed to Manna that her father was abusive. …

Why I’m resetting my intentions this November

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

For me, November has often been the month for new beginnings. More so than New Years. It is because I feel more restless in November than in any other month.

I started writing on Medium in November last year. Though instead of celebrating my one-year anniversary with renewed enthusiasm, I find that I’m spending far less time writing, checking my Medium email, or reading this month than in past months.

Even so, I am proud of my decision to write here and the progress I’ve made so far. I am ever so grateful for the incredible writers I’ve discovered and connected to. They have made me feel much less alone. This period of detachment is only temporary. …

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