My Old Oak Tree

Few days ago, I sat down to start a post that was never completed
It was the first day of school, both boys attended the same school for the first time, the big boys school

Back in Singapore, this would only happen when Marcus turns 7

So things are kind of different here, Marcus is only turning 4
Both of them leave home at 7 in the morning and for the first time in close to a decade I have the whole morning to myself

That is more than 5 hours of time all to myself

Here’s what, 10 years ago, during my exit interview in an IT company, my ex-boss, a lady in her forties with children herself warned me about my decision
Basically she didn’t think quitting my job to stay home to take care of kids was a good idea and she felt that I would regret my decision

I soon realised that this dilemma plagued most women, especially the educated ones
But somehow, the choice was clear for me then

So I had been warned by mothers about the fateful day that when the kids leave the nest
After having dedicated all their time to the kids and family, they suddenly find themselves lost, disconnected with the world

I told myself that I would never be caught in that position
And that was part of the reason why this blog exists

This blog is not just about who I am and what I aspire to be, but also about who I am not and a constant reminder of what I ought not to be

So in a way, I have been living for this day

It was the first day of school and at 7 o’clock in the morning my husband packed the kids in the car and drove off
There I stood at the garage door, with the next 5 hours all to myself

I could go for a jog, write a blog post, read a book, research on that recipe or craft idea that I never had time for because the kids were bugging me all the time
I could even go take a nap and make up for those lost hours of sleep

There were so many things I could do yet I realised that none of them were really urgent
I could go learn to play an instrument like I always wanted to or sit down and write though there was always the chance of me ending up with a blank screen and a whole morning gone by

It made me nervous knowing that I would end up accomplishing nothing
I realised that all this while I have been multitasking and I have gotten so used to it that now when I was given all the time, I couldn’t decide what to focus on

I felt lost

And I was in dismay that I couldn’t escape this fateful day
That was Day 1

It’s been a week and I am glad that I am slowly figuring it out
I remembered why I blogged, part of the reason was to remind myself that life is to be savoured and often it is about the simple things

I went for a jog
I knew I never go wrong with that (yet it’s easy to slip away)
I came back refreshed and recharged
It was easier to look at things at a different perspective when one is so

My 1-week old carnations never looked this beautiful

I made a pretty breakfast for myself like I always wanted to and experimented with various shots and angles with my under-utilized DSLR because I seldom have the chance these days with the kids around

If there is anything I have learned over the past decade, it has to be the importance of finding my balance and learning to focus

All my life I have been following the herd and I finally broke away from it when I decided to be a stay at home mom

I am still finding my way and tuning my own compass but I know I am never this close to my oak tree

I realised that the scariest thing isn’t about losing touch with the world and not doing what everyone else is doing
The scariest part is about not finding our passion, knowing who we are and what we believe in




  1. Sharon says:

    I came over cuz I am naturally attracted to the word Oak Tree… Loved your reflective post and your pretty breakfast! Yes, like wine, life is to be savoured slowly and simply, then only will we be able to taste its sweetness.

    • malmal says:

      thanks for dropping by Sharon. great analogy, I am still trying to find out the specie of this tree in my post … I think it isn’t an oak…sorry if u came for the oak tree 🙁

  2. Corsage @ A Dollop Of Me says:

    I don’t yet have 5 hours off in my mornings, but I relate so much to this post. Considering how you are in a faraway land (again), you do so well in being centered, and this I feel, will be what anchors you, and keep you from losing yourself and your innate passions.

    • malmal says:

      hey Sharon, thanks for the comment … I need constant reminder too. Having this blog and reading others’ blog, is a good way to remind myself the what-I-should and what-I-shouldn’t 🙂

  3. Pamela Tan says:

    Lovely post. Can so identify with what you’re feeling. I liked how you said:”All my life I have been following the herd and I finally broke away from it when I decided to be a stay at home mom” That’s how I feel now that I’m not in the workforce proper!

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