Category Archives: Connections

When You Get Depressed…

Hey, don’t drag ME down with ya!  I just, climbed out, of that HOLE, not long ago, and yet, it’s, your, turn…

When you get depressed, my skies, stays dark, with the shadows, and the thunder clouds, rolling in the distances, coming, near, near, and nearer, threatening that huge storm.

When you get depressed, get your self out, I don’t CARE what you need to do, see that therapist, pop a ton of pills, eletroconvulsive therapy even, just, get it, F-I-X-E-D already!

like this…

查看來源圖片
photo from online

When you get depressed, it affects me too, because I’m, your wife (yeah, uh and you wish!!!), and, being, an emotionally-connected couple, we feel, EVERYTHING that one another’s, going through (and I still wonder, WHY can’t you go through MY labor pains for me here!!!).  When you get depressed, I knew better than to get in your way, I’d, ducked for cover, hide, underneath, anything I can find, and, keep my fingers crossed that it’s (whatever I’m hiding under???) sturdy enough, that my protective covers, don’t get, blown…………………

And yet, I still, get, H-I-T, by your thunder, lightning, and everything that, hurts!

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Filed under Connections, Enmeshment, Life, Marriages, Mental Health Issues, Perspectives, Properties of Life

With Tar Covering Up His Shoes, Huang Built the Bridges, Paved the Roads, for Thirty Years

Here’s a man, who’d, given everything he’s got, to better the lives of those in his, hometown, off of the Newspapers, translated…

Every morn, as the skies just turned white, Huang put on his work boots, and readied for work, headed out, this pair of tar-covered, heavier as the days went by pair of work boots of his, had followed him, as he’d, paved many a bridge, filled up, a ton of potholes on the roads, and, he wouldn’t dispose of them, until, they’re, opened up at the front.  As soon as he left his home, the Jia-Yi Goodwill Group’s road fixing crew is already, speeding close, the workers greeted each other good morning, Huang got on, and started the daily routines of fixing up the roads he’d begun some thirty odd years back.

The seventy-eight year-old man, Huang worked as a volunteer paver of local roads, builder of bridges, from before, because his older sister lived close to the office of the goodwill group, she’d gotten involved in volunteering first, and, she saw that he was leisurely on the weekends, she’d pulled him along, for him to exercise his muscles and bones, to help building the bridges, and, he’d become, “stuck” in this calling once he’d, started scraping the sands together, moving the concretes a day at a time, he’d laughed and said, “I can’t go back now!” of his volunteer work.

the man…photo courtesy of UDN.com

黃萬枝總站在第一線做最辛苦的工作。記者卜敏正/攝影

He’d told, that at the start of his volunteer career, he was still working at a public office, and he’d started, moving the items, digging for the foundations, mixing the concrete, although he felt tired in his body, but he was, more, fulfilled then, and since, he’d gone to help build the bridges every single week.

He stated, that over a decade ago after he’d retired, there are more time then, for him, to help pave the roads, later he’d, bought a professional tar truck that helps pour down the tar on the roads, more sturdy after the roads were, paved.

黃萬枝的工作鞋沾滿黑色瀝青,他卻認為方便工作。記者卜敏正/攝影
with his shoes covered in tar…photo from UDN.com

“The foreman, Huang was always first!”, the C.E.O. of his group, Goodwill Chiayi, Kuo told, that every time Huang helped with building of the bridges, to patch up the roads, he’d always stood first in line, worked the hardest job, his face was often covered in dusts, ashes, with that heavy layer of tar covering up his work boots, and others around him reminded him that he should get a brand new pair, he’d smiled and said, “the boots now withstands high heat, easier for me to work in!”

And so, this is how you can become, generative (in generativity vs. stagnation???) after you retired, find that something you can pour your hearts and soul into, and just do it, like this man, who saw a need, and, provided it.

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Filed under Connections, Helping Behaviors, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Retirement, Values

Point of Origin

One small act of kindness, and how it, generates, into, more and more, acts of kindness, affecting the individual on the receiving end of that kindness at first, then, expand outward, into the world, it all starts, with something tiny here!  Translated…

There’s a tiny sea turtle pin that I own, gold in color, about three, to four centimeters in size, it’s normally, kept inside that wooden box by the headboards of my bed, like it was, some sort of an heirloom, only on the special occasions, would I use it.  Because this sea turtle pin gave me the courage, to get up on stage.

Remembering back in college, my appointing professor had me stand in as the announcer of an international conference, to introduce all the sea turtle experts from in and out of the country, one of the lecturer from Hawaii saw that I was nervous, as I’d confirmed with him on the pronunciation of his name, he’d, especially, slowed down his speaking speed, and used the simple words in English, “don’t worry, you will, do well!  You’re still young, there are many more opportunities for you to get on stage in your future!”, then, he’d, handed me, this sea turtle pin, for it to wear it on my coat.

And, can’t imagine, that many years later, I’d, become, a lecturer of advocate of ocean environmental protection, while this lecturer, whom I’d called, “Grandpa Sea Turtle”, he’d become, my friend, and mentor too.  And even now, this sea turtle pin, was not only an item that brought me good luck, it was, also, a reminder.  Reminding me of the truly important things in my life, that the purpose of it all, is to, make someone feel good, comfortable, the kindness too tiny to take a note of, that is, the most, precious, gift we can, give to, one another.

查看來源圖片
like this, how an act can create, a huge, ripple! from online

And so, this, is on how someone noted how nervous you were about making the speech, and offered you that peace of mind, to help you relax, and, you’re now, passing this cycle of kindness that was, once, shown to you, because the important thing in life is, making a tiny difference in the lives, of others.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Connections, Friendships, Kindness Shown, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Values

Sharing Underneath the Starry Night Skies

A good way, to put that cadence on the past year, and start off fresh, on a, new note for this year!  Translated…

For the New Year’s in the past, we’d, gone by tradition, passed it day after day, gathered at the round table for the New Year’s Eve meals, gone to the relatives’ to wish everybody there a happy New Year, to the hot tourist attractions to visit……….it’s, a holiday, that “gathered” us all up.

But thinking back, that was, more like a, sort of, formality.  And, the protocol of that was, watching T.V., sliding on our cell phones, or, saying the words that don’t show any, real care or concerns.

illustration that came with this article, courtesy of UDN.com

圖/蛋妹

My ideal New Year’s, is to, REDUCE this sort of a vacant interaction, but with more conversation, communication.  Turn off the T.V., put up those cell phones, on the day like New Year’s, get out of the house, to sort through what’s on our minds.  Go to a place where you see your stars, lifting up your heads, sharing your thoughts with one another.  Everybody sit in a circle with leisure, and take turns, telling about what one gained in this past year, what touched us in the last year, to get rid of those formalities of how we are, supposed to, show our cares and concerns, and truly, listen to what one another is, sharing.  Becoming an audience, also, a part of the group that shared everything.

And so, this, is something that’s, needed, in this day and age, because, we don’t talk with each other in depth regularly, that’s why, we’d become, so, disconnected through the entire year, and, the New Year’s is a good time, to restart that connection, to share with one another, what we’d, endured through during the past year, to find closure to the year before, so we can, start off on another year, on a, clean, slate!

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Filed under Because of Love, Connections, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Life, Observations, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling, Values

Gnocchi

The translation of the comic strips: “What would happen when you get into fight with noodle?

“Fried noodles”?  Nope.  “Fried Noodles”?  Nope.  Noodle in hot water?  Nope.

“It would become…………gnocchi!”

P.S. the Chinese word for gnocchi means getting under each other’s skins.

the comic strip off of UDN.com

Puppy, Rui-Ji, Happy, Chestnut, they’re all, my best friends from the extracurricular back in my high school years, and now, it’d been, over a decade, we are all, split up, some of us, nine-to-fivers, some, taking over family businesses, some head off abroad, but, the group of four, stayed, connected.

No matter what they bump into at work, how stressed out they may be, of their day-to-day, they all need to, rant on in their group, the brothers getting into spats, going out together for drinks, for foods, then, all their worries are, all, away then.

The phrase, “happy to see you” applies perfectly to the four, so, Puppy always stated, that he was going to, use the unfunny jokes that only they understood, to write a song.  They’d not played in a long, long time, don’t know if, they will, reignite that youthful flame, with the cold jokes?

And so, this, is how close the friends you made in your schooling years are to you, you are each other’s emotional support, you guys meet out from time to time, to tell each other the BULLSHITS that happened to you in your separate lives, which works exactly like therapy, and you only needed to, pay for your drinks, and these “therapy sessions” don’t occur in a squarish office, with the lay-down couch and the chair by it!

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Filed under Connections, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Perspectives, Properties of Life

To Help Better the Interactions of Parents & Children, the Taiwanese Fund for Children & Family Foundation Workstation Opened its Workshops

The foundation’s attempts to shift the focus back to parents interacting with their own young, and hope this works…off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The joys of becoming parents from the start, may be gone, in the pressures of providing for our own children, the very first friendly space set up by the Taiwanese Fund for Children & Family Org “the Taipei Green Corner Wenshan Parent-Children Workshop” had its grand opening yesterday, differing from the normal services provided in the childcare realms, it’d hoped that through the constant companionships of professionals, it can help the parents and children find a positive way to interact with each other, and strengthens the values of parental education, which hopefully, can reduce the chance of child abuse, and be used as the first line of defense against child abuse.

a play place like this one, where the parents can interact with their own young…photo found online

The Taiwanese Fund for Children & Families pointed out, that every child deserves to be treated well, that the Green Corner Wenshan Close Corner Workshop in Taipei is the very FIRST space that the foundation’s set up that’s parent and children friendly, acting as a companion to all parents.  Using the community as a fall back, of prevention, to help the parents accompany their young to grow up, to show that every child is unique, a different and separate entity from the parents.

The foundation gave the example, the mother, Feng, was once very depressed dealing with her own children’s behaviors, the parent and child conflicted a lot, and through the intervention from the workshop, the mother restructured the way she’d interacted with her own young, and learned to be a more balanced mom, viewed the child’s uniqueness as positive, and the parent-child relationship slowly improved.  Another full-time mother, Jia-Jia has two children, and in the process of caring for her young children, she’d felt alone, and fell into self-doubt, in the social workers of the Wenshan Close Corner, she’d found the meanings to raising her own young, and found the values in herself too.

And so, this is, a necessary service, and thankfully, this not-for-profit organization found a way, to provide it for the parents who feel they’re, all alone on their own, raising their children up, and, parenting skills is a LEARNED behavior, and it’s usually, through experiences, that we will finally, acquire, the right methods to deal with our own young, and this not-for-profit center helps the adults BE better parents to their own young, which is WHAT we’re in need of current day.

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Filed under Connections, Family Matters, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Warmth that Flowed Through This Alley of Ours

Having good neighbors, makes the days pass, so much, easier!  Translated…

As I stood, with the early morning light, in my own yard, watching my Romain lettuce, my neighbor brought over a bundle of bananas, I’d returned her kindness with the Romain lettuce out of my own vegetable gardens, a short while later, she’d, delivered the avocado banana nut milkshake she’d made, and the freshly baked egg yolk pastries, the interactions of us neighbors, so amicable, it’d, warmed my heart.

Thirty years ago when I first moved here, it was right when my daughter was born, and, the boxes of cakes to celebrate her birth helped connected the families, we’d started, sharing the joys of our lives with one another then, we all had our separate ways of life, what we enjoyed doing, some of us are cooks, bakers, and green thumbs too, this is, the sense of connection with the neighbors that the city dwellers couldn’t understand.

the flowing kindness in the neighborhood…

查看來源圖片
photo from online

And other than sharing the goodies in this alley, the cares and concerns we neighbors have for one another, is also, quite, heartwarming too.  My neighbor in her eighties injured her hand and couldn’t manage to cook, the elderly woman who lived next door to her made some vegetable pork porridge to share with her, and, at dawn and dusk every single day, the neighbors from the left or the right would, walk with her, to help her stay connected with the rest of the neighborhood’s, goings on, she’d often stated, “my kids are so busy at work, thankful I have all of you, great neighbors, otherwise, I would totally need to get checked into the nursing homes, and looked after by a hired caretaker then.”  As my husband was trimming the star fruit trees, he’d fell from the ladders, our neighbor immediately gave us a lift to the E.R., and consoled with me, “he doesn’t look that seriously injured, it’s going to be okay!”, and, when something’s going on, it’s, everybody’s, business, we’d cared for one another, like how in the earthquakes back about a decade ago, when there’s the water and power outages, we’d, huddled together, to pass through that time, our neighbor hauled out that huge stove, and, cooked the soup noodles, to share, we are, more like a big family, than with our own, separate, families.

Remembering back twenty years ago, every Saturday night was the weekly neighbor supper get-together, every house brings three dishes, watching the kids in play, and we’d, made a pact, to grow old with each other together; and, in a blink of an eye, thirty whole years come and gone, and even though we can’t eat together every day, but we’re, sharing our interactions of our old age together, this, is our live-ing now!

And so, this, is a good “program” that this group of neighbor had, set up, they all cared for each other like families, and, so, there’s a ton of social, emotional support for everybody in the neighborhood to everybody, and this, is a good way, to grow old together, even if they’re, not related to one another, strangers!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Connections, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

The Ambassador of Peace on LINE

Trying to keep the peace, when members in your group are at each other’s throats, when they get on each other’s nerves, what can you do?  Try to mediate, in a round-and-about sort of a way, so you don’t end up, as the common enemies, but it’s, not that easy!  Translated…

My daughter-in-law one day, chimed excitedly, to the Family LINE group, how there’s, a night market close to her home, and the photo she’d sent to the group was a street, lit up with the lights during the nights, with a world of fried food stands, the arcades, I’d immediately replied back, “be careful as you don’t know the quality of oils the owners used to fry the foods, and the kids shouldn’t be allowed to play those arcades, as they may be easily addicted to these games…………”

As soon as I’d typed all of that, my daughter who’s away on another continent immediately added on, “it’s fine that you go and take that stroll every now and then.”  I was shocked, I’d, immediately recycled my message back.  Thinking about this calmly, if someone rained on my parade, it naturally would, make me feel, awful, and it wouldn’t matter if the words that someone was saying to me was right!  I’d, contemplated, and felt grateful for my daughter’s round-and-about-way of reminding me, so I slammed on the brakes before damages are done.

My friend was once the head of a certain club, he’d shared things on LINE quite a lot.  He’d told, that often, as a subject of discussion was opened for debate, some of the group had started, firing those cannons, some, quite stubborn, to one’s own beliefs, some swayed with how the winds were blowing, some agreed to others’ words, and the words were sharpened, ready for war.  The most often was the fight for the parties in the politics, some debated on the policies, some toward the incumbents, and, it’d, made it difficult, for my friend, who wanted to try and mediate between those who are then, engaged, and, he’d, spoken of his “New Year’s Resolution” aloud via LINE.

He’d said, “from here on out, no talks of politics, no personal attacks.  When we have a difference of opinions, DO delete those emotional words, to keep the conversation flowing smoothly, rationally”, and, for the six months that followed, there’s, more harmony within the group of LINE.

getting into an argument on LINE

illustration found online

With the inventions of the high-tech gadgets, it’d, made people leap into an alternative world, the parents are, disregarding the needs of their children more now, and the problems between the couples, the parents and children, worsened, as our heads, lowered to our high-tech gadgets these days.

But, think on it, it’s not the gadgets that are awful, it’s the mindsets of the users, and the timing.  If one can use the gadgets, and not let these high-tech devices control us, then, we won’t become, slaves.  Like how those who’d retired who don’t live with their children, sliding on their tablets or cell phones, sending the messages, their emotions found a viable outlet, and they’re, able to get some news and new information from everywhere around.  Sometimes, they’re even, having a webcam conference with the children and grandchildren who don’t live close by, the comfort from interaction with one’s own loved ones, although they’re, separated physically, but they’d become, more than, connected psychologically.  To the point when there’s an emergency, the high-tech devices are, very good for sounding off the alarms.

illustration from UDN.com

圖/Tai Pera

My friend’s older sister-in-law didn’t get along with her parents, although one live up north, the other, south, they’d still gotten on each other’s bad side over miniscule matters, and, as the two sides were getting heated on the group on LINE, she’d, privately texted her youngest nephew, told him to commend his mother on her cooing, how he’s, looked after so well, so the grandparents who lived faraway, in the southern parts of the island know, that they have a good daughter-in-law.  And, other than posting the messages on how to live well, my friend told her older sister-in-law that her parents had, commended her in their circles of friends, how they’re, so proud of her.  And naturally, the problems between this mother and daughter-in-law pair, slowly, resolved on their own.

Working hard, being the middleman of peace, at first, you may feel, tried, because you couldn’t make the results of the changes you want to see happen faster, but, after awhile, the results will, show.  The communications apps are of various sorts and kinds, with the members numerous, and, it certainly isn’t by chance, that we’d, found each other, in the vastness of the ocean-full of people.  If you can cherish this affinity, and, work hard, as a connector in every group you’re involved in, keeping the peace, for everybody’s sake, as you turn on the apps, it can only bring you joys in the days.

This is on, being, THE middleman, and, this woman has some valid points, but, I don’t, necessarily agree with her on everything.  I mean, it’s important, that you want to keep the peaceful flow of conversations on your LINE accounts, sure, but sometimes, you just, can’t ignore how someone’s words made you flare up, and, if you don’t find a valid way to get the angers you feel out, then, it will surely, damage you, and not just your relationship with that other person.  And yeah, a middleman who will help, diffuse this, lit up bomb, may be necessary in these cases, but not always.

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Filed under Awareness, Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Choices, Communications, Connections, Interactions Shared with the World, Messed Up Values, Observations, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling, Technologies, The Observer Effect, Translated Work, Values, Vicious Cycle

The Elderly Book Club, Life After Retirement

A group of mutual friends, reading together, sharing their adventures of travels with each other, connecting regularly, establishing that social support during the elderly years, translated…

Awhile ago, due to the outbreak, our “Book & Coffee Book Club” stopped for three whole months, and, every one of us, members started, getting bored, the host, Bi who was responsible for the month of May started the LINE book club meets, and assigned “Long as the River” by the writer, Yin-Tai Long.  And so, those of us who’d bought the book, bought them, those of us who’d, borrowed the volume from the libraries, borrowed them, I was, especially nervous, past eighty, of this book club meet, the gathering online was supposed to start at ten, I sat in front of my desk at 9:30 that day.

Recalling back in May of 2016, we’d, begun this book club on an article from the UDN News, we’d, read a book a month, and shared our thoughts on it, the group of us, ladies had, taken turns, hosting these gatherings, and, split up the costs, but the sponsors were all willing and able to, provide the snacks, the drinks, the fruits, and this is, our book club’s, fifth year.  And, the reason why we’d, operated well is that we don’t, limited ourselves, to reading books only, other than reading, we also, included, the movies to watch together too, and to go to places that we’d read up on, and share our own findings, our thoughts, and our feelings of these journeys.  And every time these meetings were held, everybody got all dressed up, and gotten passionate in our discussions, while in the luncheons or afternoon teas afterwards, we’d, shared with each other, the goings on of our lives, and, in the chit-chat, the bond we’d established became, stronger as ever.

like this???查看來源圖片a small, intimate gathering, of friends who’d shared a hobby: the love of reading…photo from online

And, in over four years, we’d, read over twenty books together, what I remembered the most were Yin-Tai Long’s “Listen”, the director, Zhang’s “Knowing the Artifacts”, the traveling writer, Hsieh’s “Walking Down This Path to My Dreams”, Yen’s “Finding My Self on This Map of the World”, and “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight.  A world in a book, it’d, allowed my group and I, to see what the writers experienced, and the wisdoms they acquired from their lives’ experiences, ahhhhhhhhhh!  Reading is, such, a wonderful thing.

Movies are also, an amazing thing too, what I remembered the most was “Me Before You”, and “Hidden Figures”.  The former was a romance, but the subject matter was euthanasia, it’d made us all cry; the latter was biographical, on three African American women who’d, made their great contributions to NASA, and we were, all in awe of them.  Because al of us, girlfriends used the public resources, the public digital libraries, the photo exhibits, along with the exhibition of Picasso, we’d not added to our knowledge, we also, stayed, young at heart.  Duan-Duan who’s an owner of a preschool provided us with the space, she was, the pillar of this book club of ours.

The most amazing, were the two girlfriends of our group, sharing their travels with us.  Huei-Huei went on a self-help thirty day trip to Central America, including Iguazu Falls and Easter Island; while Bi went from Western to Eastern U.S. for fifty days she’d trekked through the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Niagara Falls, and New York, and on her way, she’d, visited a pen pal from the States.  As she’d shown us the footages she’d captured of the trip, it felt like we’d, gone to those places ourselves too.

illustration from UDN.com圖/喜花如

Time rolled by, it’d been, four years since the start of this, book club of ours, and we’re still, all here.  And, I hope that we all have, amazing stories to tell, and I hope, that we will, age, slowly too, to do right by the creed of the silvery gray community.  As I got lost in thought, my cell phone sounded off, time to log on, and thus, begin, our, online, book club meet!

And so, this, is how you age gracefully, by finding a group of friends who share the same or at least, similar interest, like for this group, they’d started with the books, and, extended to the movies, and, shared their travel adventures with each other, enriching one another’s lives, adding more color to their lives after the retirement.

 

 

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Connections, Life, Old Age, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization

The Costlessness of Her Concerns

Showing that smallest amount of care and concern, to those around you, it just might, brighten their days, a whole lot, and you made yourselves, a new friend too!  Translated…

Remember when I’d first started working in the office, I felt tried, by the elderly woman who cleaned up the restrooms—she’d always, set foot into the slots the moment everybody stepped outside to check, if we weren’t, careful enough, then she’d, started, nagging at us.  And, because of how she took cleaning up the toilets so seriously, it’d made us, feel stressed when we go, we’d rather, go to an alternative floor for the restrooms, than to, bump into her.  And because, we’re all, very busy at work, that nobody ever stopped, to chat with the elderly woman who cleaned up the toilets, at first, when I’d started working, I’d wanted to, catch up to the fast-paced work environment, I’d, often, said the general greetings to her, then, rushed off too.

Later on, I’d discovered, that the elderly woman, other than keeping to her job, of, keeping the toilets clean, she’d sat down on that one chair outside the toilets, slid on her cell phone, to chase the soaps, or using the video-voice messaging, to talk to her young who doesn’t live close to her, and, on this, fast-paced, floor, she’d become, an odd sort of, a freezeframe.

Several short conversations I’d held with her, I’d become, acquainted with her, she’d treated me like a granddaughter too, shown me care and concerns, even showed me, how to wash my hands completely, before I leave the restrooms, without knowing, that I was, awarded, the champion of hand washing in my preschool years.  And I’d known, that her children and grandchildren had, immigrated to Germany a long time ago, that in her eighties, she lives alone, and there were, hints of, loneliness and loss, in her words.

After the lunch break that day, I brought two drinks back.  And, as I’d, handed one to her, she’d become confused and asked, “Why are you treating me to this?  I’d never, given you, anything!”, I’d smiled and replied, “it’s not necessary!  Grandma works very hard, I hope this drink will, keep you energetic and your spirits up for the rest of the day!” then, I saw that flower, bloomed, radiantly, on her face.

Think on it, the elderly woman, never actually, given anything physical to me, but, that sort of concern and care she’d, shown my daily, was way more precious, than any sort of materials.

And so, this, is how we can learn to, interact with one another more, but we often got trapped up too much in our selves, had all our heads, UP our own, separate asses, to ever realize, that someone else close by is feeling bad, loss, or whatever, and, because we failed, to notice that these individuals we come across from day to day are in need, we missed, the opportunities, to show our cares and concerns, and, lose the chances of, making that, important connection, and that’s, just, very sad, wouldn’t you say???

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Cause & Effect, Connections, Kindness Shown, Lessons, Life, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Story-Telling, Values