Of magical late night conversations

When you’re married, it’s easy to settle into a comfortable but repetitive pattern of day to day living. Sometimes, a sudden change in rhythm can do wonders to inject a delightful sparkle when you don’t expect it.

This last week has been very bad in terms of Zibin’s work hours, and we’ve had some kind of social engagement or group activity the three weekday evenings that he was back before 10p.m. On one day, I was already asleep when he came home and still asleep when he left at 6a.m. the next morning. Then yesterday (Saturday), we had company during most of the day, and he had a wedding dinner to attend. It so happens that this week has been quite full of deep experiences and feelings that I wanted to share with him, but we were never alone long enough for me to do so.

It’s been a hard week for me too, having so little time with him. But then last night made up for all of it. It was a little past midnight by the time he got home from the wedding dinner, and we were both pretty tired. But he was bursting with things he wanted to share with me and we ended up talking animatedly for another 2.5 hrs.

We talked about what it means to be an idealist in a jaded world and about what it means to find purpose in a career apart from how high a salary or career ending point it may afford. We talked about remaining genuine amidst an environment of flattery and networking, and about the insights into the organization’s concerns that new appointments and promotions provide that remind him not to judge superiors or ‘higher-decisions’ too quickly.

My husband’s face was alight with conviction and passion as we spoke and I couldn’t help feeling like I was falling in love all over again. Here was a man I respected deeply for the purity of his heart and his passion to live by Christ’s principles no matter what an oddball it may make of him. He is burning with an ambition that has nothing to do with career progression or income but has everything to do with becoming a wiser, stronger and kinder version of himself through life’s tests. I feel privileged to be at his side to help him fulfill the destiny and purpose that God had created him for.

We fell asleep still practically nose to nose, with our hands clasped between us. And as sleep overtook me, I slipped into it with a song in my heart and a smile on my lips as all frustration from the past few days dissolved into nothingness.


  1. Hiyah… nose to nose? I just ‘fell asleep’ nose to nose with ZH ah… haha :)

    “insights into the organization’s concerns that new appointments and promotions provide that remind him not to judge superiors or ‘higher-decisions’ too quickly.” — this is something I have told myself time and again, but unfortunately, so far, with every new appointment I take on, disappointment can become greater :) Decisions whom I had thought people had made with the best intentions, unfortunately later revealed to be otherwise. I don’t really think I’m jaded because I’m still idealistic, but I think I’m a lot more realistic about the limitations of humans, as well as a lot more aware of my own limitations. I’m also a lot more aware that sometimes the system can be bigger than the man. The challenge would really then be that of my favourite quote, to have the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what cannot, and to have the type of grace to accept those that can’t be changed, but yet the courage to change those that can. And that’s a challenge that I deal with everyday :) I’ve been told (twice), that by continuing to believe in things that the majority does not believe in, it’s akin to living in your own world. :) Is that true? I don’t know :)

    I always have a lot to say about work to Zibin haha. But lately I’ve developed a ‘I don’t care’ attitude to some people (you know who I’m talking about), haha. *bleh*

  2. Ivy:
    We’re always chuffed and grateful for your encouragement. :D

    Well, I think we may have started out idealistic and naive, but as we lose our naivete it doesn’t mean we necessarily lose the idealism. The world and people around us can indeed be a lot darker and a lot more sinister than we expected, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop believing their potential for goodness and the possibility of transformation. “Two men looked out from prison bars. One saw mud, the other saw stars.” I choose, as much as I can, to seek out the silver linings in life and to view life as a blessing, and to view challenges as learning opportunities.

    I think you hit it on the spot with your favourite quote about “courage to change the things i can, serenity to accept the things I can’t and wisdom to know the difference.” The words are simple, but living that authentically is a challenge that will take me a lifetime to master.

    As for your semi-rhetorical question: does continuing to believe in things that the majority does not believe in mean you’re living in your own world? I think it all depends, doesn’t it? It depends on what it is you believe in and the context. e.g. I tend to think that holocaust deniers do seem to live in their own world. But I think the stars are in the same world as the mud outside a prison and just as real, even if there is only one man in a hundred that chooses to see it. This calls to mind Viktor Frankl’s reflections on his experiences as a concentration camp inmate in Man’s Search for Meaning. The pithy minority of inmates who survived the horrors of the concentration camp were those who believed their lives had meaning beyond the evil they experienced. They were the ones who “saw the stars”. I hope I can always be a stargazer in this sense! ha ha

  3. random comment: SG very cloudy at nite so it’s hard to see the many stars out there. i think i am a cloud gazer, trying to see the stars. i need to move.

  4. haha yeah.. that’s what i meant. there are there but just hard to see :) hard to see doesn’t mean they are not there.

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