- Do you have time for others?
Who has time for an evening of cooking and silly games with friends at home? Forget it, it’s too much of a hassle.
The preferred option nowadays is to eat out at a restaurant. Leave the preparation and chores to others. We have become too busy to spend time doing things for others.
Thankfully, some friends and I chose to spend time doing something together one evening.
- When Everyone Starts To Do Something For Others
It all started with a friend A who had an idea of having some friends to dine and chat in his house.
His wife, Q skilfully demonstrated how to make Okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake topped with ingredients like cabbage, green onions, bean sprouts and sliced pork. My friends quickly learnt to make this savoury dish, while I was quietly working on another dish.
It was my first time whipping up a dish in someone’s house. Determined to make an impression, I prepared my signature dish of broccoli and egg white with crabmeat (赛螃蟹, pronounced as saipangxie, literally translated as “As Good As Crab”). Too bad nobody seemed impressed.
That’s because we were spoilt for choice. F, another friend came with a Michelin awarded soya sauce chicken and roasted char siew, and not forgetting otah from Muar. A third person Y came with her home cooked mushroom fried rice. S came potato salad, wine and cherries. Too much food for a small gathering of five. But that’s what happens when everyone wants to do something for others.
The best part came after the dinner. One after another came ideas of silly games. Everyone played and sang along in good spirits. We laughed at each other’s silliness. And we shared sincerely the things we cherish in life. To our surprise, Y even came prepared with gifts for the games we played. That’s what happens when everyone wants to do something for others.
- Get-Together Reduces Stress
For many reasons, people have ceased to make friends gathering as part of daily life; we have to fabricate excuses to get together. We have overlooked the power of a regular gathering. It takes away the stress of every day life.
Spending time with friends feels good, and it improves our health. When people get together, oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone is secreted to eliminate stress. So, even if it is just for yourself, make time to do something for others regularly.
William W K Tan
30 Dec 2017, Saturday
This year end ended with a string of gatherings and fond memories.
Prior to the above-mentioned gathering, my family of four went to a heart-warming church Xmas party at the invitation of a kind neighbour Linda. We enjoyed the party games and line dance tremendously.
It was quickly followed by a gathering of my senior high school friends. It was a held in a cosy terrace in a friend Lishan’s penthouse. I marvelled at how much the children had grown up and how little the adults had changed.
Right after that, we spent plenty of family time together in Johor Bahru. I enjoyed most jumping on a mega trampoline with my children while my wife probably enjoyed watching the movie Jumanji with them most. Kids loved go-karting in Mount Austin Adventure Centre with their cousins. And we enjoyed feasting on durians and signature seafood porridge with my siblings and their families, and of course, with our parents.
And finally, I caught up with three old friends from secondary school times who had not met for ages. I was surprised to find them describing me as “a serious and studious student who was quiet.” When did I start talking so much? I thought to myself.
The good news is I am feeling more relaxed than ever. The bad news is I had been having a bad flu for days that almost made me abort many plans. It is a timely reminder that no matter how good it gets, it is always prudent to do things in moderation.
No more gathering for now. Time to get ready to clear some new challenges in the coming 2018. I’ve got 52 weeks and 365 chances to make it a better year, and make myself a better person. You too.
Happy New Year!