What’s driving me nuts during the lockdown and what’s giving me joy

: on birdsong, screaming kids, being present, plus my new shop!

HopeMail #116

HopeMail is a newsletter about life lessons I’ve learnt or reflected upon recently. Plus my drawing, the occasional comic and poem. If a friend shared this with you, and you'd like to subscribe, c'mon in.

Hi there,
Hope you are well where you are. We are in yet another, yet another, extended lockdown. I’m currently writing this, soft instrumental music on, trying hard to block off the neighbour’s kids incessant high-pitched screaming, and loud noises from their horseplay.

Day by day, it’s grating on my nerves. Like the subtle sound of a dripping faucet in the dead of the night; drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. I’m not thinking pleasant thoughts, I’m not thinking loving thoughts—in fact, my thoughts are quite vile. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I’d slam my windows shut, [sacrificing fresh air for stuffiness], secretly hoping they would notice. Alas, they are just kids. And it’s the adults I should be dealing with. But what can one say in this situation? What can one say when condo-dwelling city kids are left with nowhere to run, to let off their pent-up energy, and when parents are working from home, trying to keep their heads on their shoulders and the lights on.

So—I shall take deep breaths and deal with the stressors.

On the flip side, the lockdown has produced a simpler rhythm in my life. 

With more options being forcibly removed—no going out unless it’s for groceries or walks around the neighbourhood, no social obligations, lesser events (unless one choose to)…there are lesser distractions in my day-to-day life. 

I’m finding more moments to linger. To listen to birdsong, to stare out from the window, to delight in the sighting of a pair of yellow-coloured birds as they flew past. I nicknamed them Ollie. (Psst! Check out my illustration of the birds at the bottom of this post!)

And in those moments of quietness, there’s a sense of grounding in my soul. In the madness of the abnormal, the feeling of normalcy came. 

What a gift it is—to be present enough, to be still, without being bored; needing to find things, people, or stuff to fill those pockets of time.

💭 What else is on my mind aka random thoughts

-I think my eyesight is being affected by the detailed drawings. I find my left eye’s vision a tiny bit more blurry now. 

-I think I need to invest in a desktop monitor. After six months of working from a 13” laptop, and unconsciously squinting, my eyes are getting more tired than before. 

-Do dogs die in heaven? I heard of the death of a YouTube fitness instructor’s dog, named Peanut. The snoring pit bull was her sidekick in her exercise videos. I used to enjoy watching that dog interrupting her routine, making her laugh. She made a video in memory of Peanut. I cried a little, feeling her loss and pain. There will be losses on earth. And in my sadness, I wondered do dogs still die in heaven? Surely there will be none—no more tears, no more sorrows in heaven. Surely, no losing of dogs nor loved ones too. Amen.

🎊 What I’m currently working on and an announcement!

I’ve completed one of the three artworks for an art competition. When I work on the first artwork, I was already behind schedule as another project took longer than I’ve expected, and this artwork took longer than I thought! Having only two days left to my deadline, 70% of work left till completion, it was impossible to complete it. Still, I boldly prayed for the impossible to be possible, and asked a handful of my friends to pray with me. And I left it as that and get to work. By God’s grace, I managed to complete it! So thankful. And humbled. 

Faith is not built by shrinking back but by stretching yourself forward.

And now, the announcement!

If you are interested in my drawing…you can now buy my original art and art prints.

I’m beyond excited about this new development! And I wanna go out for a meal to celebrate! But I can’t! Still, come celebrate with me, drop by my gallery and happy browsing!

View gallery

That's all for now, folks. 

Till next time, stare out from your window, look up to the sky, watch out for your Ollie. 


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