The “Bouncy Castle” Run

Hi there,

When I seen that the Inflatable 5k Run (or as my friend liked to call it the “bouncy castle” run) was happening, I immediately assembled and invited the running squad to join and I am so glad everyone was down for it! The inner child in me was ecstatic!

When we got there, we seen the cutest dog ever, we had to take a video with it!

Cutest Dog
So fluffy!!

The obstacle courses were actually tiring, I don’t know how my friends had a boost of energy running quite a distance to powering through them. I fell quite a lot and was shoved by my friends HAHAHA.

Mind you, I haven’t ran since the Great Scottish Run half marathon last September and only had a practice run of 2km 3 days beforehand. I was tired and panting, my stamina has fallen back to square one.

Obstacle course that I gave up on and crawled underneath instead

Seeing primary school kids surpass us with their parents makes me feel so unfit. Salute to them for actually training for this and keeping their energy levels up! We seen so many runners in costume too, to name a few: Mario and Luigi, Iron Man (Body Suit, that guy must be sweating buckets), Team Captain America.

Us, we’re supposedly the Power Rangers Bandana Squad but we didn’t have all the colours :)) More like Team Cap and the Grey Crew.

Medals at the end YAY!

….and that’s another fun run in the bag! So glad to have done this with my friends. All laughs and falling over.

“I can’t believe we paid nearly Β£30 each just to bounce on some bouncy castles.”

Looking forward to the next fun run or half marathon hmmm still unsure.

**Late Birthday Post

Hey guys,

I’m a month late but here’s my birthday update yay!

Just had a simple small celebration with my family at Benihana, it was our first time there and when we walked in, we were greeted by the staff and escorted to the bar. They were so friendly and the place looked classy!

They serve the cutest cocktails, mine was the Japanese lantern. We were served by Chef May and she made us feel welcome and entertained us with her stories about Thailand. The food was delicious, if I remember correctly I ordered Steak Teriyaki, ohhh wow it was absolutely filling. I would definitely go back there! The prices are quite high but Benihana is such a good restaurant for special occasions!

The staff sang me a Happy Birthday, it was quite funny how many birthdays were sung before me, by the time they got to me, they were probably sick of singing it HAHAHA.

I loved my birthday, a nice and peaceful one this year. After waiting for over a month after my exam, I finally got my ARSM Piano Diploma certificate. God’s birthday gift to me, perfect timing! πŸ™‚ I’m so grateful for it, all of my hard work for the past 4 years has gone down to this moment and I finally have it, with an unexpected Distinction result too!

I’m looking forward to what 22 has for me. I wish for more blessings, faith and love. πŸ™‚ Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Catching Up On May-Time

Hi there,

It has been a month since I last blogged, reason being I needed to catch up with myself. It’s been constant work for me for the first quarter of the year and I decided to take some time off on my birth month πŸ™‚ It’s May-time. *plays NSYNC It’s Gonna Be Me*

I hit a creative block and just wasn’t happy with what I was doing, the stale routine of going to work, lessons and teaching. I also fell ill for a week which isn’t fun at all! Despite all of that, I pushed through the weeks and tried to make as much out of my social life.

I caught up with friends and family:

  • Went to see one of my favourite pianists perform, Valentina Lisitsa in Edinburgh
  • Done the Inflatable 5K Run with my friends
  • Celebrated my 22nd at Benihana with my family
  • Caught up with distant friends
  • Went to a Make up Masterclass

I missed spending time with them as I feel distant and disconnected from others.

Honestly, I have not been kind to myself lately and have been so harsh when I’m not achieving anything nor being unable to help out with my effort. I’m soul tired and in need of a retreat or holiday. I just haven’t really been paying attention to what’s going on around me and being caught up in my own thoughts – typical me eh?

A lot has happened in the past month until now! So grateful for friends and family to be there for me, reaching out does help πŸ™‚

22, Another Blessed Year

It’s May the 4th and I still haven’t watched Star Wars HAHAHA

….and it’s also my birthday! *sings happy birthday*

I turn 22, another year older. *play Taylor Swift’s 22 on Spotify*

Here’s to 22, praying for more growth in faith and welcoming more opportunities for the better!

Here’s to 22, to live freely and honestly.

Here’s to 22, to make more genuine connections and to love fearlessly.

Here’s to 22, to more blessings and to appreciate the beauty in this world.

Here’s to 22, thank You for giving me a wonderful family and great friends.

Here’s to 22, to treat myself kindly, to care more and to love myself.

Lord, I thank you for giving me another blessed and beautiful year.

9 year old me πŸ™‚

Xoxo, Patricia

Hello Spring! :)

Hi guys,

After being away from blogging for about a month now. It feels good to finally have time and the inspiration to blog again. Let me catch up with what’s happened so far in my life.

I have sat my ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) Piano Diploma Exam and unexpectedly got a distinction result. I was completely over the moon when I found out! Yay me, I’m so glad that’s out of the way and that my hard work truly paid off.

I took some time off and spent time with my family, we went to Edinburgh and St. Andrew’s during the Easter break. (Speaking of Easter, I failed my promises during Lent, sorry Lord!)

Here’s some pictures of my sisters and mommy. Ladies family trip to Edinburgh! Bonding time is always a treasure. We just spent the day wandering around and we ate at Byron Burgers! I’m a huge burger girl, well honestly, I’d eat anything as long as there’s food, I’m a happy girl!

That’s probably the best burger I had in a while, it’s juicy but not too greasy, filling but it doesn’t make me bloated. Don’t get me started on the cheese fries and crunchy sweet potato fries. The service was great and the waiters were smiley and friendly! πŸ™‚

We also went to St. Andrew’s and was blessed with beautiful sunny spring weather. I wanted to get away from the city rush so I suggested that we go to the beach! That 2.5 hr journey was worth it and the views were amazing!

It’s our second time visiting St. Andrew’s – it’s such a cute little town! It was our first time at West Sands beach though. We’re literally at the edge of the east of Scotland! We had a wander around.

Fun fact: Golf originated from St. Andrew’s Scotland in 1560! How fascinating is that? The Open Championships is the only championship outside of America. (I’ve to double check that fact though!)

Our trip isn’t complete if we didn’t grab a Jannetta’s Gelateria ice cream on our way back!

Vanilla and Chocolate Chip double scoop! YUM!

It felt good to get away from the rush, a lot has been going on in my head and it’s great to destress from time to time. I always have to remind myself to treat myself more often and that I’m allowed to relax!

That’s my personal update on welcoming the Spring season! I’ll blog about my musical experiences soon too – I’ve done quite a bit up to now.

xoxo, Patricia

Making the Conscious Decision of Doing Nothing

Hi there,

I wanted to ask you this: When was the last time you made a conscious decision to make time for yourself to relax do nothing?

If a million thoughts ran through your mind reading this, like perhaps:

“Do nothing? I barely even have time to do this, this and that.”

Relax? I cannot relax, I have many deadlines to meet.”

….and probably many more, that I can’t think of.

That’s exactly the point I was trying to make. We all live at a crazy fast pace, sometimes barely even making it. The thing is, what is it that we’re running towards? Are we just constantly keeping ourselves busy just because that’s just how society is?

Let’s all take a moment to breathe.

I’ve recently attended a Mindfulness workshop and it made me realise how much we overwork, overthink and expect from others and ourselves. When things don’t go as planned, we tend to blame ourselves or others for the setbacks. Thoughts like “If only….” and “Why is this happening to me?”, often degrade us.

It got me thinking. Our mind is often in the past dwelling on mistakes or imagining what the future is like but what about the present? Why is it easier to find fault in ourselves instead of praising our efforts and achievements? Why be so harsh all the time?

It all starts with ourselves, to learn to be kind to ourselves by simply sitting still, being aware of the present moment. Doing nothing, just focussing on being – our breath, where we are, what we see, what we hear.

You’ll be surprised on how aware you’ll become of the most subtle things that were always there but not acknowledging it as much when we’re at full speed in life. Your mind will wander but once you realise that it’s wandering off, slowly bring it back to where you are now and focussing on being.

Slowing down and being kind to yourself once in a while. Breaking routine, going off auto-pilot mode and finding the things that will make you appreciate life more. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at the start/middle/end of your day, will change your life drastically.

Go for a walk.
Read a book.
Write.
Listen to Music.
People watch.

It has only been a few days and I’ve learned to be kinder to myself, cutting down my to do lists and prioritising self-care. I’ve had time to read more, to journal, to blog, TO PRACTICE!! Now, I’m enjoying it more.

I realise that I tend to spend more time worrying on actually doing them and that causes me to be demotivated and procrastinate a lot.

Being aware and recognising what you’re feeling or thinking is the first step. It’s what you’ve to do to change that to make yourself more time and space. It’s unbelievable how vast the time and space we have once we’re in control.

Please reach out and do keep in touch!

Patricia

Adulting: What Social Life?

Rare Social Life

Adulting.

Did the idea of adulting scare you? It definitely scares me. We’re out pursuing our own careers and soul searching – it feels like we’re thrown out into the deep end and that we have to figure it out for ourselves.

With the pressure from your peers, you see them getting married, having children, graduating and securing their first full-time jobs. Sometimes, you can’t help but feel left behind BUT never dwell on that.

All of us have different clocks, I have learned to accept that it’s okay to be where you are right now. This will teach us how to grow and mature. Our own experiences are unique and that’s what makes us different from one another.

Since we’re all busy with our schedules, it’s so difficult to find the right time to meet up for a catch up! That’s why for me, I have no social life. At work, I keep hearing about my colleagues’ plans for the weekend or the previous night and as for me, “What social life?”

The only social life I have is within the workplace, community and during teaching. Barely have one for leisure! I keep telling myself to make time and effort to meet up with others but you know how it is sometimes, plans never work out.

However, I’ve made time to finally catch up with some of my friends outside of work and the community. I missed having a social life so much, enjoying a good conversation while having lunch or dinner with delicious food – I’m a big fan of Japanese food and now, Korean.

These few people that I make time to meet up with are the friends I cherish the most. I’m so grateful for having friends like them, hearing about their progress in life inspires me as we’re all heading in the right direction of pursuing our dreams.

Adulting, I’m actually enjoying it. Keep striving and hang in there.

Much love,
Patricia

Going Offline: Today’s a Gift

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

Bil Keane (American Cartoonist)

Every time this quote comes across, it always makes me wonder. Whatever it is that I’m doing, this serves as a reminder to live with purpose and make the most out of each day. To invest time into things that really matter, instead of wasting it on social media and trivial things.

The Lent season made me focus on things that matter, to realign and review my priorities.

I recently gave a talk in the SFC community about Loving Your Neighbour. It is a challenging talk as I struggle to do so everyday. One thing that really stood out to me was how Loving God and Loving Your Neighbour can be showed on the cross.

Credits to owner

Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.

Mark 12:30

On the cross, Loving God is written on the vertical axis. To always remember to lift everything up to him during our triumphs and failures, to pray and be grateful that God has given us this life for us to lead.

I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.

John 13:34

When God created us, he gave us His unconditional love. We should learn to love one another and spread love even to those who are difficult to deal with as we are all created in His image. We’re all brothers and sisters in Christ. Like on the cross, Loving Neighbour is written on the horizontal axis, which is to be spread to everyone around us.

Recently, I had an epiphany. Love goes around, we need this. Why is it so difficult to love sometimes? Why do we put up a wall to hide our imperfections? Is the world that afraid to be true to themselves and be known and accepted for who they are?

I learned that hiding does not solve anything. In fact, it drains us. We should learn to be courageous to face our problems and struggles with the guidance of our Lord.

Today’s a gift, I have learned to be more understanding and forgiving as we only have one life to live. Wasting your time holding a grudge on someone or something is not worth it, it refrains you from experiencing true and sincere love. I always ask myself, “Will this matter in 10 years time?” If in the present moment it doesn’t, let it go and move on and if it will matter, fix it and forgive.

It’s easier said than done, but it all starts from within. Surrender and seek guidance from God and you’ll experience His unconditional love. I healed because of Him and I’m so grateful for that.

Make today filled with purpose as it’s a gift.
Let’s keep in touch.

Much love,
Patricia

Going Offline: Living in the Moment More

Throwback to the Collaborative Bridge Week Project in 2016 at the RCS

Hi guys,

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with updates on my blog lately.

It’s the Lent period, so I’ve decided to go off Instagram and Twitter and focus more on my work. It’s a time of reflection for me and to get closer to God in prayer and community service. I’ve also cut down on sugary drinks and snacks as well as junk food so hopefully I’ll make it through!

Just a quick update:

  • I got into the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland! – I am absolutely over the moon and third time lucky! I’ll be starting this September in the Music Education (BEd) course there and I’m looking forward to it!
  • Taking part in a Digital Exchange Project – I will not say too much about this as it has only started but this is such an exciting (international) collaborative project.

I am so grateful for these blessings! Grateful to God for giving me the strength and perseverance to keep pursuing my dreams and for giving me a wonderful support group in my family, community, work and in the RCS.

I’ll keep you all posted! πŸ™‚

-Patricia

The Importance of Planning & Preparation

Hi guys,

I hope your week goes well! How many of you plan ahead? Plan your week, day, what to wear or bring in advance? Or do you simply live in spontaneity and go with the flow? You could be either or even BOTH!

Sometimes, I tend to get carried away with the amount of work I have to do and catch up on. When it gets overwhelming, I always procrastinate and distract myself. Chores and work isn’t going to magically do itself, you know. Guilty? I’m glad we’re on the same boat.

It’s also nice to have a little spontaneity in life, but I personally find it better when I have everything planned as I do not have to worry about anything I haven’t done.

I take Sundays as my planning days to make my life slightly easier. I plan my week ahead, review my schedule and do as much as I can to progress – that’s if I find the time. I have adjusted my work schedules so that I can have my weekends off to rest.

Previously, I was working non-stop, weeks in a row – balancing teaching and working part-time in retail. It’s exhausting, I’ve burned out so many times to keep myself busy to the point where my body couldn’t handle it.

Planning and preparation is essential, I need to get organised for me to think clearly and be stress-free as much as possible! It keeps me on track, as I tend to be forgetful (I am getting old!) which caused me to miss important appointments.

You never know who you might encounter or what opportunities may arise, you always have to be on your A-Game. First impressions last forever and you certainly do not want to be known for your unreliability, you could lose potential clients or connections.

My Essentials for Planning and Preparation

  1. Planner – Daily, Weekly and Monthly
  2. Trackers – Habits & Budget
  3. Journals – Practice, Personal, Study

Planner
I have a 2019 Diary, Weekly Overview and a Calendar and I keep them on my desk and in my phone, open to the current week and month. I keep it visible so that I am aware of what’s on and plan what to do. Last thing I want is to be late and unprepared for anything – not a good impression.

Tracker
I have an app which tracks my screen time and habits on my phone. The amount of time I spent on my phone is absolutely shocking – it tracks how many hours I spent on social media and how many times I have opened the apps. Ever since, I have cut down my time on my phone and my productivity has increased.

I am big on saving money, I keep a separate notebook as my budget tracker knowing my saving and spending habits. Keeping a budget for every category such as Food, Transport etc. (I could make another post about Budgeting, it is effective and I enjoy it a lot!) I also put a percentage of my income into my savings that is left untouched and I’m surprised by how much I have saved in a short amount of time.

Journals
I have 2 journals – one for reflections and the other for Piano & Teaching practice (Music). I like to keep a personal diary to jot down my thoughts and feelings as it calms me. I use my Music journal to take down notes and establish my goals during each Practice session, the same goes for my Teaching and Audition preparation. Seeing how far I have come is very fulfilling especially when you’re feeling stuck.

After starting some serious planning, I have seen huge improvements and achieved more than I expected. If you’re feeling like your schedule is hitting you like a truck, I suggest you start planning and preparing. It makes your life a whole lot easier.

Here’s to a stress-freeΒ  lesser stressful life!

Much love,
Patricia