Rising Early, Finding Excuses

I read in an article some time ago the benefits of rising early. One of the reasons given was that the time in the morning effectively belongs to yourself.

Considering that there’s limited things which I could do after I get home after work, for the fact that I’m just too tired to do anything more productive, I was really eager to give this “rising early” habit a try.

The final target was to wake up at 5am. After all, I am already waking up at 6.30am every other day, what’s so difficult about waking up that early? While I was schooling, waking up at 5.45am is a really common thing to do.

I set an immediate target to wake up at 6am consistently, including weekends, for the next two weeks by winding back my alarm by 2 minutes daily. I will also push myself to sleep earlier at about 10 pm.

And you know it is not going to turn out well.

My body just can’t get used to it! It seems that without the weekends to sleep in till 7.30, without those other days where I just wake up a little bit later and to hit the snooze button, two weeks was all it took to bring my immune system down.

Maybe, I’m growing old.

Maybe, I’m just not meant to wake up that early.

Maybe, I’m living in a place who’s government decide to use the wrong time! Singapore rightfully belongs in the +7 GMT time zone but chooses to align our time with KL, or East Malaysia, or Hong Kong, or Beijing (depending on what your interpretation is). In fact, I’m really already waking up at 5.30am solar time when I wake up at 6.30am! …

A modified image from Wikipedia on the time zones used in South East Asia. The red arrow shows where Singapore is.

… Maybe, I’m just finding excuses.


The Road Not Taken


The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

There are a million and one things on my mind and a million and one things I really wished to rant about. Three years ago, I would probably just rant. Today, I found the issues on my mind not just difficult to express, but probably beyond what the rich English language could describe.

The above poem appeared in my graduation yearbook beside a large photograph of myself. As I consulted the Google God regarding this piece of work, I realised that it is one of the most misinterpreted poem and a strange selection to put on a graduation yearbook. Here is one analysis I probably can agree with for about 80% and expresses my state of mind, right now.


Many times in life I felt lost and aimless. When I was searching for myself six years ago in 2009 (and boy it was a long search; it took three years!), I promised myself not to be lost again when I found myself, to remain focus on my life goals. Sad to say, I believe I’m in danger of coming to another one at this moment.

This time round, the “lost and aimless” was a bit different though. While I am still focused about my teaching job which brought me a lot of joy and personal growth, I felt worn out doing all the other stuff, losing track of why the hell I am so busy with everything else. I am not sure if I enjoyed being so busy. I felt that I also lose a lot more being so busy with everything. For one, I lost my ability to make music. I am in the school band since Primary 2 and I compose my own music as young as Secondary 3. To say that I lose the ability to make music is a very big lost to me. I felt my skills in Japanese are draining away from me. I’m not sure if I felt as close to my family and my friends. And there are so much more things which I wanted to learn like motorbiking and Malay, but it seems that I’m all out of time.

As Robert Frost aptly puts it, now I wonder if I’m regretting not taking the road that was not taken.

My teacher used to tell me that life gets harder with every step. So the truth is no matter which path I have taken, this journey is still a personal one and neither one of it is less traveled. Even if I chose the road that is not taken, challenges would have been there waiting for me. Hence:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”


I’m worn out, I’m really worn out. But I am also what I am today because of the path I’ve chosen. And I’m thankful for it. 🙂