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Monday, 5 January 2015


The pursuit of our next breath.

Isn't that the essence of living?

Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. And noise. 


We are most aware of our breathing when we are engaged in exercise like jogging, brisk walking, aerobics, sports, etc.

Hard breathing.


Interestingly, we are even more conscious of our breathing when we are trying to still the mind with yoga, meditation, doing relaxation exercises, etc.

Deep breathing.

Candle in the wind

Let's not even talk about critical illnesses where we see our loves ones wearing oxygen masks trying to catch their next breath.

Just take a common illness like the flu.

With a blocked nose, sore throat, and a heavy head, we are suddenly living in the moment!

We can't picture beyond our next thunderous blow of our mucus. How's thinking coming along?

What was that "one thing" we only care about when we are sick?

One more breath. 


  1. Hello SMOL,

    The first Chinese phrase that came into my mind was "何必呢?"

    I don't know why.

    1. S-Reit System Investor,

      The Chinese phrase is a word play as it has double-meaning.

      The reader having read the post in English may come to the same conclusion as you - 何必呢? - even if the reader has no knowledge of Chinese ;)

      Indeed, when we are gasping for the next breath, all the past hated, frustrations, joys and happiness - they don't seem to matter as much....

    2. Actually, doctor can force in more oxygen to keep one alive. So it is up to next of kin to decide. Do or Do Not.

    3. CW,

      Hence it's good to have the Advance Medical Directive ready.

      This way, we still make the decision and not delegate the tough decisions to our loved ones.

      It's interesting.

      If I have lived a good life, what's there to regret?

      If I am a spiritual person, what's there to fear unless I am certain I am going to that fiery place?

      And if I am an atheist, what's there to fear?

  2. Speaking on this sombre topic, my wife and I agreed that if either one of us move on first, it will be a small three-day memorial event at a nondescript funeral parlour, followed by cremation and scattering of the ashes over the sea.


    Alas, I am polluting the sea even after I am dead.

    1. Once I was fishing at Punggol beach; one man came near me and started praying and then scattering ashes into the sea.

      Are ashes acidic or alkaline?

    2. CW,

      No idea. My O' levels Biology never teach :(

      But I know preserved plums are alkaline and lemon juice is acidic!

      The exam marker will say: "Good try but answer not relevant to question."


    3. S-Reit System Investor,

      Well, you have to explain to wife if DIY and not outsourcing to professionals - make sure to scatter your ashes over the sea in a way so as not to let others 起烦脑.

      I mean it's not cool to go near a person fishing by the sea and start scattering ashes...

    4. I see in drama serials, the lead character goes on a bumboat ride and scatter the ashes in the middle of the sea wor. No?

    5. S-Reit System Investor and CW,

      Yes, renting a boat out to the middle of the sea with no one else in sight is best.

      Throwing ashes near the jetty with people fishing nearby or by the beach with holiday makers playing around is not a good idea ;)

      Courtesy to our fellow men.

    6. the sea off the coast of changi jetty is designated for these sea burial procedures, and you can hire the bumboat driver to take you out to the marked area for the scattering of the ashes, and then turn back. that's where my dad rests now.

    7. ladykiller,

      Ah! Thanks for sharing.

      Now we know.

      My regards to your dad.

  3. Hi SMOL

    That's why.

    We eat junk food eat instant noodles when we are healthy.

    Once sick, we promise ourselves not to repeat such instances and to live a healthy life.

    Once recover, eat junk food and repeat again to live in the moment.

    Once bitten not shy, twice not shy, thrice.....

    1. B,

      Hence we repeat the same things over and over again and expect a different result each time ;)

      We all have short and selective memories. We remember what we want too remember :)

  4. Hi SMOL,

    Hmm, if we don't want to 争口气, then how about we 不争气? It's about expectations, isn't it? Failing to live up to expectations (不争气) and striving to live up to expectations (争口气).

    Literally, 争口气 (fighting for a mouth of breath) and 不争气 (not fighting for breath), which is better? I think everyone will fight for yet another mouth of air...that's a survival instinct. We are all literally 贪生怕死. Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die LOL

    I say so much but also say nothing hahaha

    1. LP,

      You noticed? LOL!

      My take is:

      Those who matter don't mind; those who mind don't matter.

      Of course it's not for those who are weak-willed ;)

  5. Hi SMOL

    Many just 只为争一脸面 。 昙花一线 , 雾里看花 也看也花。

    1. Small Time Investor,

      That's why I deliberately chosen these Chinese characters.

      1) One reading is to stay alive.

      If we are not in the here and now (not in the here-after or before we were born), all else suddenly doesn't matter. What of our plans and goals?

      2) The other reading is living for others.

      Those plans and goals - are they for us or for the approval of others?

      If living the life others expect of us, then hitting our goals and plans merely mean we are moving further and further from our true heart...

  6. 人活着必须争气,而不是争一口气!

    1. Rolf,





    2. Hi SMOL, u r the master.... Hehe... I know little except below


    3. Grasshoppers and Ants again!


    4. Rolf and CW,

      Shades of grey.

      Just as long we know who we are and what we want, there is bliss ;)

      Some married with children always speak with "I". Their plans and goals don't include others...

      Some singles like to speak in "we". Perhaps they are conscious even if they hit their goals and plans, there is no one to share and celebrate their "success"....

      What do plants live for?

      What do animals live for?

      I wonder do plants and animals pose such questions during the still and quiet of the night?

  7. hey jared! happy new year! here's hoping that this new year will be bountiful and healthy one for you.... with lots of 'breathing' ^^

    1. bb,

      Happy New Year to you too!

      Girl, nice hair ;)

      Long straight tresses have an effect on men....

      If a girl runs her hair to the back of her ear with one hand, a coy look down and a glance back at me, that where I'll take a deep breath.


      Guys, master your body language reading skills!


  8. "只为了争一口气"

    More often it is than not. Especially when your self-respect has been violated or your integrity has been taken lightly by someone.
    "Beh Song Semit Du Boh Tang Kong"
    On the hand,
    "Hua Hee Tu Ho. Semit Du Asai"
    This is where the snake-oil saleman or your boy, boy or girl, girl can practise this "只为了争一口气" weakness of human beings.
    i am sure everyone of us has at least been taken advantage of at least once in our life. Some of us (me included) have been more than once already.
    Ha! Ha!
    Can not escape lah.
    Can you?

    1. temperament,

      This is where the wisdom of Wang Sha and Ye Fong's comedy routine comes in:

      年轻人, 尿可以忍,气不可以忍。
      老年人, 气可以忍, 尿不可以忍。


  9. Incidentally I am reading this whilst I am sick! Nursing a flu now.. indeed living in the moment

    1. RetailTrader,

      First things first - wishing you a speedy recovery!

      I guess falling sick is nature's way of telling us to take a pause and recalibrate ;)

      Glad another trader in you has joined this watering hole.

      Ebony and ivory working together in perfect harmony....


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