Women: We always have been a bit of a mystery.
There are so many facets to us — Corporate movers and shakers, daughters, sisters, wives, mothers and friends — we are all these and more.
We are the heartbeat of our nation, we drive families, societies and communities.
Remember, the meme about how if “The Three Wise Men” had been women, they would have asked for directions, arrived on time, cleaned the stable, baked a casserole, helped to deliver the baby and probably brought practical gifts like swaddling clothes and blankets.
Leaving gender specifics aside, this sort of defines us women, perhaps these sensitivities and the taking charge spirit is in our female DNA, and there’s no denying it.
Given the stresses and challenges we may face at work or even at home, it’s always comforting to have a group of women to turn to, to lean on. These are our rocks. I call mine my inner wheel, inner circle, my blessings. What better way to embrace womanhood than to surround yourselves with women who crack you up, share beauty secrets and their best online shopping sites, fill you in on tips for food, clothes, make up etc.
As Beyonce once said, “I love my husband, but it is nothing like a woman who understands you. I grow so much from those conversations”. How true is that! Here’s to women all over the world who rule the world.
So where are our recent go-to places to gain our inner peace and to get in touch with ourselves? Some may feel that there is nothing much to do in Singapore given our geographical size. However, if there’s anything the Covid-19 pandemic has taught me and my girl squad, it is to not allow the restrictions to dampen our spirits.
Staying in is the new Going out
When the pandemic first hit and we were in a lockdown, my girl gang and I enjoyed an online Madhatter’s High Tea. An idea mooted by a dear friend Pat Chia, who managed to coax us all into donning our best including hats and preparing our tea along with snacks, sandwiches and the likes.
We even got a friend from Melbourne to join us. It resulted in an amazing hour of fun, catching up on how we were faring in the pandemic, some light-hearted moments laughing at what each of us was having with our tea and in that time, we forgot all our fears about the pandemic and just yakked away, so true to our Whatsapp group apt titled “Yakkety Yak”.
With the threat of Omnicron, many try and keep indoors so give it a shot, get your own girl gang together and initiate a Zoom meeting. Make it more interesting by making it a theme-centric one perhaps, “Golden Girls” and everyone dresses up as their favourite Golden Girl character.
Walking The Calories Away
My belief is women who walk together, stay together. So gather your girl squad, tog up to enjoy some brisk walking and explore parts of Singapore. Nothing like communing with nature, be it forest bathing, a 10 km run, a brisk walk, yoga at the park or Zumba to keep the calories at bay and being fit. Besides with the current distancing measures, it is best to be outdoors in open spaces. My gang and I clock more than 10,000 steps daily. There’s much to discover and photograph and build camaraderie in such moments. On one of our walks along Mt Faber, we found lovely old wood crafted murals on the wall detailing Singapore’s progress from a fishing village to a modern metropolis. We work hard and play just, usually ending up our session with a quick meal inevitably at new eateries. After all, food is our national pastime.
When the restrictions lifted and we were allowed to gather in groups of five, my girl gang and I lost no time in planning a picnic outdoors. So we headed to Bedok Reservoir, with our picnic baskets, mats, wines and the works. As we sat out in the open feeling the breeze on our faces, tucking into finger sandwiches and sipping wine, we celebrated our friendship and how fortunate we were to be living where we did, and still feeling safe with everything going on around the world. Who would believe we were in the middle of a pandemic and here we were on a picnic, watching the boats at sea and celebrating life and friendship? We had one another’s shoulders to lean on and felt very much like the Three Musketeers, ‘One for all and all for one’.
Thinking out of the box
Celebrating womanhood means celebrating each other. A friend’s 50th birthday wish was for high tea preferably with a view. But when the birthday falls during a pandemic, it can be a real bummer. So we decided to give Anne a birthday to remember — making it a hat and mask theme at a friend’s high rise apartment overlooking Little Guilin in Bukit Batok. We ordered in high tea meal from a popular restaurant, mindful of supporting local businesses in the pandemic. We had so much fun, reminiscing and goofing around that it made Anne’s Day. Nothing was going to stop us women, not even a pandemic.
Go to the Movies
It took the pandemic to remind us of all that we took for granted. Going to the movies was one of them. When restrictions were lifted, we braved a visit to the cinema. If you are afraid of crowds, try going to film festivals. Die-hard fans of the French Film Festival like my girl gang will enjoy the small, quiet screening halls at the Alliance Française de Singapour. We tend to pick comedies or the mystery genre, most of the films are subtitled. We made a night of it and had dinner and drinks at the café at the Alliance before moving on to the movies. A truly lovely night out with the ladies.
From going on girlie trips to journeying with a pal through her battle with breast cancer, divorce, and widowhood — your girl gang is always there. At times, with a box of Kleenex, a home-made curry, a bottle of wine – we just show up and are counted. So be sure to surround yourself with like-minded women who uplift you, care for you, encourage you, champion you, helping you break barriers and weathering the storms that come your way and whilst at it… hold your hand while singing and dancing in the rain!