Random Thoughts of a Morning Person

Waterfront Park, Charleston, DC
Morning calm in Charleston, SC. Taken during a visit to the town a few years ago.

I don’t know when I became a morning person. I just know that I haven’t always been one. For example, in college, I seemed to be the most productive at night. That was when I was able to churn out “A” quality essays and research papers. I would spend my days working, interning, doing reading assignments or conducting research but evening time was when all that day time business came to fruitation because it was the work I did at night that appeared before my professors and earned me my grade—not all that behind-the-scenes activity I did during normal waking hours. Continue reading

Living a Quality Life – #3

Reunited with my former colleague, Mr. Lee.

Among the many people I had a chance to reconnect with while in Korea was a former co-worker of mine, Mr. Lee. I know Mr. Lee from my days working for the Busan-Jinhae governments where we were both part of the Singapore, New York, and Dubai delegations. It was wonderful to have the chance to catch up with him after all these years. Like me, a lot has happened in his life and career since we last saw one another. Continue reading

Sometimes You Just Need to Splurge


Funny how society has wired us to feel as if we need to justify splurging. I don’t understand why we have to, although I’m just as guilty of doing it myself. The fact of the matter is, sometimes you just need to splurge. And splurging, I have found, means something different to each person depending on lifestyle, income, values, etc.

As for me, there are a few things I will splurge on from time to time, most of them contributing to the sanctuary I have turned my condo into (I tend to spend more time at home vs. going out these days, and I absolutely love it!): Continue reading

When you’re on the verge of breaking


I finally get why there is such as thing as “spring break.” I just wish mine came earlier. These past two weeks have been brutal: juggling competing, hard external deadlines with million dollar price tags attached to them; dealing with challenges in taming down the “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario; working long, fast-paced hours at the office; and managing the incredibly high expectations that have come with it all. What do you do when you are on the verge of mentally and physically falling apart?

Here’s one thing to remember: You will get through this.

That is what I’ve had to tell myself these past few weeks, and I’ll continue to tell myself this during the home run stretch of next week when come Friday, the tensions from this past month will be behind me.

We all have our little ways of getting through high-pressure times. Here’s what has worked for me these past few weeks: Continue reading

In a Life Full of Routine, How to Rediscover Joy


Years ago I picked up the hobby of card-making. I basically taught myself all I knew, which wasn’t much, but enough to keep me entertained. I would spend hours making (and eventually using) my own creations, experimenting with different patterns, cardstock, papers, and embellishments such as ribbons, stickers, and stamps. It was great fun and provided me with hours of creativity.

But after a while it started to fall by the wayside. Continue reading

15 Ways to Create Bliss in Your Life


What is happiness? Is it a journey or a destination? Is it a mythical state of being that we spend our entire lives striving to attain or is it a cumulation of simple joys that we look back upon with contentment and fondness? I personally think it’s a little of both, and the trap that many people fall into is something that happens to some people along their journey to finding happiness: they become blind to the small pleasures that scatter their path to joy as they are so fixated on their destination. When this happens, a real tragedy is written. Not being able to recognize the simple blessings in life is perhaps one of the saddest things that could happen to a person.

So what are the simple pleasures in life, and are they things we can create for ourselves or do they happen to us organically? Again, I believe it is a combination of both for there are some things we can control and some things we can’t. So what about the things we can control? How do we find these tiny moments of bliss? You create them, of course. And it doesn’t take much. Start by… Continue reading

365 Days for 5 Years: A Retrospective


A year ago today I was struggling. I was working in a toxic environment, living in an expensive, cramped apartment, and my relationship was on the rocks. While I don’t remember being depressed per se, I do remember feeling hopeless. I remember many sleepless nights, and I remember doing what I could to make my situation bearable, yet feeling so exhausted by the effort it took to remain as positive as I could. That was where I was in February 2016. Continue reading