Losing Yourself

I spent my Lunar New Year holiday watching criminal documentaries – “American Murder: The Family Next Door”, “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” and “Trial 4”.

The two latter documentaries were intriguing and well made but the first one really touched me the most.

It is about the story of a husband and a dad murdering his pregnant wife and 2 beautiful daughters, so that he could, hopefully, moved on into a “happier” relationship with his new girlfriend.

The documentary showed very personal texts between the couple and also conversations his wife had with her friends about her suspicion about his cheating. The struggles that were shown in the documentary is very real, especially in this day and age where both parties are less dependent on each other and any lack of effort can very quickly lead to straying by a party and/or other unfortunate events.

I watched the documentary with my wife and we both wondered why can’t the killer just go for a divorce since he is unhappy in this marriage, even though he has 2 kids. That’s better than where he is right now, incarcerated and with no possibility of even leaving the prison.

That’s when I told her that when we reach a stage where we lose ourselves, our logical mind starts to become silent. The other mind then starts to “problem solve” and sometimes, the route towards the resolution charted out by this mind may not be logical and is most probably irrational.

How do I know? I know because I have been at the edge before. The step out of the edge is direct and tempting. But I am lucky that I did not cross that line.

It is truly sad to see that two beautiful girls were killed because he lost it. It is unfortunate that his pregnant wife had to lose her life too because she also most probably under-estimated his capacity to act so viciously. He had been a mild mannered guy and it did not helped that he had this new green pasture that was so ready to move on to – towards a new chapter with the love of his life.

I am writing this to remind us all that it is really so easy to lose yourself. Stress over money and family are very slippery slope down the scary path. It is imperative that we stay positive and hopeful and not allow ourselves to lose our compass. No matter how big a problem is, some boundaries have to hold.

I am all over the place with this writing because I am so deeply touched by the story and saddened by it. But I also understand that a sane person would not have done what he has done. I also believe that if given a chance, he would have chosen differently. But life is not a game, there are no save or reload points. It is easy for someone who is not in his situation to judge, and I am not saying that it is not his fault. It was his fault but I also understand that when we are so overwhelmed, it is easy to lose ourselves.

That’s why it is important, so very important, to be emphatic, to be vigilant to watch over your loved ones and friends, to be there when they are down and to hold their hands when they need help. We truly never know when one of them or even us would lose footing on this earth. Be less critical, embrace and be genuinely concerned towards people. And for ourselves, remember that it is so easy to lose yourself, so please always reach out early before it gets too late.

In loving memory of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts

An Honest Review for 2019

Do you remember the moment sometime last year where we felt hopeful and inspired to start afresh in 2019? We then proceeded to jot down our goals for the year and went into the year feeling that 2019 will be a defining year.

Fast forward to the end of 2019, I guess it felt like de jevu, all over again, back to reviewing the past year, goal setting and encouraging ourselves that the new year will bring new changes.

Some of our goals will be achieved while others will seem like a “failure”. Personally, I did achieve some of mine but I remind myself not to put myself down for not achieving the rest.

There is a fine line in making sure that we are accountable to our commitments and goals and bashing ourselves and making it more than it should be, thus demoralising our own spirit.

So this post is just a quick reminder on the importance of goals, an honest reflection and the way forward.

1. Goals

As the name suggests, they define our goal posts, areas for us to score, so that we know we have achieved something. Without them, we would be aimless. Thus, to have a successful year, we have to be clear with what we want to achieve.

2. Reflection

Reflecting on our past years help us identify bumps on the roads that caused us to not reach our target and goals. Reflecting gives us perspectives and at times, takes away the subconscious guilt that we do place on ourselves for not achieving something. Reflection (honest one) gives us knowledge and power to set us up for probable success in the new year ahead.

3. Way Forward

The simplest way would be to list a new sets of goals for the new year. However, a more effective way and efficient one would be to use the information gathered from our reflections (point 2) and implement strategies to help us cope and ensure the rate of success in achieving our goals rises.

Every “failure” and moments of work are great learning experiences. While many of us (in this perfectionist and well informed society) may not like the trial and error process, great inventions and moment of brilliance in life were still products of this timeless strategy. We should never let lack of information or the need for a perfect strategy stop us from moving forward.

I guess the best way to look at 2020 is to head into it with renewed hope, an improved strategy, and the guts and tenacity to do our best to make it better than 2019.