An update

Si stava meglio quando si stava peggio – We were better off when things were worse (15th century Tuscan saying).

Came across the above phrase in Tamar Adler’s “An Everlasting Meal”, which is one of the most beautifully and eloquent book on food and cooking I’ve read so far (besides Nigella of course whom I adore very fondly). There’s no need for me to give a review, as so many others have done so before me, wonderfully and truthfully. This is the 2nd reading I’m doing, and I think there will be many more.

Many people and families  live well and happily on much less, and I think it’s important to remember that during my job hunt.


I met a recruitment consultant today for a 6-mth contract role at a global bank. While the contract part doesn’t faze me – I can always look out during the tenure – the fact that I’m getting interviews for marketing roles looms ever bigger in front of me. Is this what I want to do? No right. So what am I doing for what I want to do? Nothing.

Nothing spells a quarter-life crisis more clearly than the inability to define what I want to do, for a living and for my own interests.

I feel lethargic and drifting much of the time now. I want this to end. I want to start working and stop worrying. I want the worlds to collide and give me an opportunity to do good again. I want to feel the zest for my life again. I want to live again.

I believe many things in life are a matter of timing and providence. This period must be a test of my fortitude, mental and emotional energy. Will I pass the test? For my own sake and growth, I wish to do so with flying colours and brilliance. Wish me luck.

Is this right for me, and do they want me?

Met a lady today for a chat for a possible role. It’s a totally different industry, very different from what I used to do.

There will be more outings, less time in the office, possibly late hours. There will also be challenges, direct attributation of success and intrinsic satisfaction from doing the role well.

The late hours are pretty much a given for this industry, and that’s a dealbreaker for me.

Although the chat went pretty smoothly, the vibes I got wasn’t super and I can’t tell how the lady felt about me. We ended the chat with her advising me to consider carefully if this is what I wish to pursue before letting her know. I’m sure there will be other candidates, but let’s not care about that right now.

How badly do I want a job? My preference is still for Plan A to work out but that’s taking a while and it’s not a guarantee. If I lose that plus today’s possibility, I’m back to square one. However, if I do manage to get this role and Plan A comes to fruition thereafter, I’ll be cursing.

How do you work with decisions and choices when none of them provides a measure of guarantee?

Update @ 5 pm: I’ve just emailed that lady confirming my interest in the role. I felt the need to do so for myself, to give myself a chance. Given my low self-confidence lately, I doubt I will get the role. But at least I tried, and sometimes that’s the only thing you can do for yourself, to say that you’ve tried. So it’s finger crossing time now.

Loving today

This is the kind of weather that used to make me bemoan leaving the bed for work. The chilly, snuggle-in-blankie kind of weather, the curtain-ballooning type of wind blowing gustily through my window.

I have to believe that there’s some reason the higher-ups decided on a retrenchment in my lifepath – to let me have some time off enjoying time with my baby girl, enjoy sleep-ins like this and appreciating the joy of a chilly wind in bed than battling against a marilyn-monroe fly-up while walking to work in my work dress. Perhaps I will look back fondly on this period of my life in future, chuckling at mysef for being so stressed about finding a job. I do believe that things in life happen for a reason; the reason may just not be obvious right now.


Launch of WFD

I will be launching a new series called WFD or What’s For Dinner starting today.

I usually plan my menu on Fridays for the next week, utilizing the weekly promotions/discounts from the supermarket to strategize my family’s meals. Grocery shopping is on Sunday mornings. I use the handy Meal Maker app for this, and I must sing its praises. It is by far the only app I’ve encountered that allows you to detail a menu and the ingredients required for it, which goes into a separate Shopping tab. You can then click each ingredient when purchased to remove it from the list.

I find it very handy to have both the menu plan and shopping list within 1 app. I used to juggle evernote for menu planning and a grocery app for the shopping, which is undoubtedly confusing and time-consuming. As a bonus in the Meal Maker’s shopping list, each ingredient has a caption beneath it stating which meal it is for. I don’t know about you, but back when I was juggling Evernote and a grocery app, I sometimes look at the shopping list and wonder “why am I buying 2 bags of apples?” and I have to refer to Evernote to realise I have planned to make an apple cake.

So my Appstore Fab App recommendation: Meal Maker!

And back to WFD today:

♥ stir-fried shanghai greens + garlic + baby corn + carrots + abalone mushrooms

♥ chicken breast cubes + yellow pepper + firm tofu in homemade sweet-and-sour sauce

The sugar in the homemade sweet-and-sour sauce is staggering, and I am almost afraid to make it, and worse, consume most of it. Let me have the strength please to resist.

I have a 10-mth old baby girl, and she usually eats what we do for dinner. It’s part of the acclimatisation to table foods for her, so I don’t become a short-order cook. So for the menu above, I will remove the vege, chicken and tofu before adding seasonings / sauce for her. She has been happily gulping her dinner so far so fingers crossed.

My photographic skills are next to none, but I will try to upload an image if it is less than fugly.

Update! The vege was yummy and was fried with ginger instead of garlic. The sweet and sour dish was too sweet! Even my sweets-loving hubby felt so. He came home earlier than expected so I rushed through and only photog the vege below.


What now?

Ever since I was retrenched from my bank marketing job 2 months ago, I have been in a funk.

I was hoping to get retrenched, to allow myself to be a paid SAHM to my baby girl. However, when reality arrived, I was scared shitless and crying and wondering do I actually want to be retrenched?

I was with the same bank for a whopping 6 years and for this industry, it’s almost akin to being furniture in there. I never felt enough push or pull to find something new. Contentedness and high risk adversity sit pretty well with me. Why rock the boat? Why fix something if it ain’t broken? Eventually, the bank got rid of old furniture.

While I can honestly say the market downturn has been a reason for my inability to find a job, the deeper truth is that I’m taking the chance to examine myself and decide is this what I want to do for the rest of my life. I haven’t been performing the best at interviews (being too honest with the interviewer is usually the best mouth to foot strategy right) and been lacklustre in my resume-sending efforts for marketing roles.

To excel in marketing, one has to be pretty outgoing, interactive, creative and possess good planning skills. While I’m all good with the last 2, I’m dismal at the first 2. Not exactly the party-pooping sort, but also not the hi!-hi! type. I love to talk, laugh and joke as much as the next person, but at work, I’m just not like that. Which has (rightfully) earned me labels such as cold, unfriendly and other not very friendly terms.

Such feelings and realisations hence led me to the afore-mentioned funk. While we do not have an extravagant lifestyle, we do have financial commitments and a condo to pay for, necessitating a somewhat generous paycheck. But a generous paycheck will have to come from a marketing job probably in a bank, and do I want that? At this point, no. In the 2 months of finding myself, I think I have enough senses to realise marketing is probably not my forte and interest.

What are my forte and interests? I am happy to plan, guide, lead, solve problems, apply creativity, and come home to my family in time to make dinner and spend the evening. There is a job that fulfills all these, and I have applied for it. All that’s left is to await the result which should be out within the coming 3 weeks. So that’s Plan A. Plan B is to continue sending out resumes for the damn marketing roles. What’s Plan C?

Sometimes when one is in a funk, one consults the otherworldly powers. I consulted a tarot card reader 2 years back and decided to return for a consultation yesterday. This reader employs a mix of numerology analysis and tarot card reading to guesstimate your future. From my numbers derived through my name, DOB etc, the reader said my personality prefers practicality and efficiency and doesn’t do well at social interaction. Many times through the session, I had to control my reactions to his analysis and I always wondered if the accuracy stems truly from the numbers/reading or does the reader have a supremely sharp ability to infer from cues and read people well. In any case, I’m glad that the reading confirms what I know – that I’m just not cut out for marketing. I will always suffer from people problems, creating roadblocks for my career.

The reader also confirmed that I’m not a sales person – that I sooo know about myself. I can talk till the cows come home and not make a single sale. I’m just not that way. Another thing the reader confirmed is that Plan A will be good and suitable for me. So yay. Hopefully the outcome is positive. Otherwise, what now? What’s Plan C?

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