Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 27, 2010

We’ve Moved!

Sharon's New Home

After much planning and restructuring, the reservoir has now moved homes. We now have our own domain and we’ve moved to a self hosted site. Searching the web, I discovered that ‘reservoir’ was taken so I tried ‘the reservoir’ and guess what? Yep, you guessed right. Taken! What is even funny is that it was taken after I started this blog. Like I’ll pay more than what a domain name should cost for that. Ish. So anyway, I got my creative juices to work (not that it needed that much juice) and came up with a new name. Click the picture above to visit my new home.

Thank you for keeping up with me as I’ve blogged my way through life. I look forward to ‘seeing’ you all at the other end – that is, the other blog 😉

October 24, 2010

Moving Homes & Paid Blogging

I have been shamefully neglecting this blog. Coping with the demands of being a mom (and a work-at-home one at that) has been taking its toll on me. I intend to do better though.

First of all, my blog and I are moving homes 😦 Yeah, it’s both sad and exciting. Sad because we have been with for a little over 2 years now and it has been one awesome experience! really is the best free blogging platform on the internet.

But it is also exciting because we are getting our own domain name. By the way, do you have any idea how many reservoirs there are out there? I could barely find a domain name to register. But bloggie and I, we prevailed 🙂

Another reason I’m moving is that I intend to start paid blogging and does not tolerate that. It makes sense since they are giving us this platform for free. Still, it is time to move on. I felt it fair to warn you all in advance so that if you saw a post on, say… Botox for instance or hiring snowmobile drivers in Alaska, you’d know it was a paid post. I will try as much as possible to let you know when it is a paid one though.

So that’s it for now. I’ll start posting more regularly. I hope you all follow me to my new home (I’ll let you know when it’s ready). Thank you for being with me for so long.

October 14, 2010

My Book Reviews

I have been a busy little bee. I decided that my book reviews were cluttering up this blog, especially as I have so many reviews pending. So I figured the reasonable thing to do would be to open a dedicated blog for book reveiws, right? Anyway, that is what I did.

I have a really eclectic taste in books so if you are the kind that is easily offended, please don’t visit 🙂 Seriously.

I do not have too many books up as of yet, but if you would like to plan your holiday reading, feel free to check it here. Oh, and you could follow on Networked blogs too 😉

If you are an Author or a Publisher or Publicist and would like me to review your books, read this page.

Sharon Reviews

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July 21, 2010

One in A Million

Reviewing this book by Priscilla Shirer was a pleasure. I learnt so much from reading it and I can definitely say that it ministered to me.

I have a more detailed review on the group blog of Being Mrs V. To read that, click the badge below.

June 10, 2010

Fighting Fair: The Rules of Engagement

Many people go into marriage (and relationships) expecting it to be conflict free. They have some utopian concept that love is some hazy, rose-coloured affair where both parties live in eternal euphoria. Without a doubt, they wake up sooner or later; sometimes much sooner than later.

Any sort of relationship involves conflict. As long as there are different kinds of people with different opinions and expectations about things, there is bound to be conflict. Now, conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. If it is handled well. Depending on how it is handled, a fight can either tear you apart or bring a closer level of intimacy. In the words of Dr. Phil

How you argue — especially how you end an argument — can determine the long-term success or failure of your relationship.

A primary requirement for any fight is to maintain control. You do not have the license to be childish, abusive or immature. If you have legitimate feelings, you are entitled to give a reasonable voice to those feelings in a constructive way. (That includes not being self-righteous or taking yourself too seriously.)

That is the crux. How well do you manage conflict, especially in your relationship? Do you have rules of engagement? One major thought bear to in mind would be to choose your fights. Not every fight is worth fighting. You might indeed have a legitimate case but you need to be clear about what your goal is when you go into a fight.

Are you fighting just to prove you are right? To score one? Or are you trying to foster understanding by setting clear boundaries and ironing out the relational wrinkles? Keep that at the back of your mind when next you are tempted to start (or participate in) a fight.

If you are in a long term relationship, it might be important to get together and set your rules of engagement. This will help when conflict arises. Below are 10 rules to get you started. They could be more (or less). . .choose what works for you.

1. Listen. Let the other person speak and really listen to what they’re saying.

Listening is not just an art, it is a mandatory skill in any relationship. Yet it is the one skill people often find difficult to implement. It takes a lot to quietly sit and listen to what another person has to say, especially in a conflict situation, and not get defensive. defines being defensive as being excessively concerned with guarding against the real or imagined threat of criticism, injury to one’s ego, or exposure of one’s shortcomings. That can most definitely stand in the way of actual listening.

Recently, I read an article about the different types of non-listeners. The article was written by Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success Magazine, and in describing the characteristics of people who do not listen, this particular description caught my attention:

The Blockheads. They spend the conversation thinking about what to say rather than listening at all. They will scan the conversation, lock onto a point they want to make and shut off hearing you at all so they don’t lose their mental point—making it obvious with their facial expressions and body language that they are impatiently waiting for you to (finally) take a breath or end your (dang) sentence. They then respond, and you realize they didn’t listen to you and missed the point completely.

He also mentioned the Offenders, the Intruders and the Egoists. Find out what sort of listener you are and if you fall into any of these categories, make a decision to really listen.

2. Acknowledge the other person’s hurt.

Sure, you are hurt too. But the other person is probably as (and in some cases much more) hurt than you are. Once you accept the fact that whoever you are in conflict with is also hurting, it becomes a little easier to know that it is the hurt that is speaking and not necessarily that person. We tend to say so many things, some of which we do not mean, when we are hurting.

3. Do not call names

Never, never, call names. As soon as that begins, what could have been a simple, resolvable disagreement quickly spirals out of control and goes downhill.

4. Don’t use abusive language;

Agreed, it might be somewhat difficult to be respectful while in a conflict situation but that is no excuse to use abusive language.

5. Do not walk out.

As much as possible, stay and see the fight to an amicable conclusion. I have heard advocates of the ‘walk out’ technique say it enables them calm down when the situation gets heated. Maybe. However what walking out usually tends to do is a) give you enough time to ruminate and then get madder or b) enable you to successfully suppress the anger, which is not healthy at all as suppressed anger generally has a way of rearing its head in the most unimaginable ways. What that serves to do is prolong the drama. What could probably have been resolved with 5 minutes of talking takes a whole day because one person walked out. When there is a fight, try not to prolong it. Talk it out.

6. Never use something told to you in confidence;

This is very important. The bedrock of any relationship is trust and using against a person, something told in confidence is a violation of that trust. In all relationships: lovers, parent/child, friends, teacher/pupil, the need for emotional security is paramount. You need to know that you can trust this person with your heart and your secrets. When that is absent, the relationship suffers and fights turn ugly.

7. Do not refer to a past fight which has already been settled. Don’t dig up old dirt!

If you keep bringing up issues which have already been resolved, you will not move forward.

8. Take responsibility for your feelings and your actions.

Sure, you cannot help how you feel about something or about what someone has said BUT you need to know that regardless of the catalyst, your feelings are yours and yours alone. You feel because you are alive, not because someone else is alive. Stop blaming others for how you feel or for the anger you feel deep inside. You can do something about it therefore you need to own it!

Instead of saying ‘you made me angry’ or ‘you hurt me’, say ‘I was angry because of ….’ or ‘I felt hurt by …..’. Stop the Blame Game!

9. Do not forget that it takes two to tango – therefore admit to yourself that you are partly responsible for the fight.

If you refuse to participate, there can be no fight. Of course, refusing to give expression to your feelings cannot be healthy either. The goal is to do so in a way that will minimize conflict. There might still be conflict but it does not have to be the bridge-burning type.

10. Have enough courage to apologise.

A lot of people have a problem with this. They know they are wrong and maybe they are even sorry. Saying it is like trying to swallow a huge horse; it just does not go down well. Some people are more comfortable showing that they are sorry, which is fine if you are dealing with someone who understands you. However just saying the words sometimes goes a long way to soothe and to heal a possible breach in the relationship. Try and practise it once in a while. It is not hard, look the person in the face and say I am sorry. And mean it.

If you have any more tips for successful conflict resolution in relationships, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

This was originally posted on this blog on May 27th, 2008 as Tuesday Tips: How to Fight Fair. This is a re-worked version.
May 21, 2010

Taking A Breather

I am taking a break from blogging about the Love Dares. I will still be blogging, just not about the LDs – at least, not for a while. However if you would like an update on the last dare, keep reading.

When I was a little girl, about 8 years old, I read a storybook. In that story book, I read about a family that lived on the countryside who had opened up their home to a child from New York City for the summer. I do not remember much from the story, only that they had to meet the child at the train station. On that train, there were several other children who would get off on the different train stops. That time, I think there was just one major rail from east to west. I tried to imagine what it was like for those children, growing up without miles and miles of open field to run wild in or mango trees to climb and I failed miserably. I felt sad for them. But it was just a story right?

Imagine my shock and delight when I was contacted a couple of years ago to blog about the Fresh Air Fund and I discovered that they were the ones who were placing children on trains as far back as 1877, which was the era around which the story book was based! I was amazed, I tell you.

For over 100 years, the Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities. They work through hosts.

Hosts are ordinary folk who volunteer to take in a child or two for a couple of weeks during summer. This gives these children an opportunity to experience childhood in a different way. Several lives have been touched and this has all been because of people like you, with hearts of gold.

Another summer is here and the Fresh Air Fund needs hosts. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch. If you would like to donate on the other hand, click here or go to FreshAirFund.Org.

By the way, if you know the storybook I am talking about, please let me know. Thanks!

Below is a video. Listen to the story of Brandon Mendoza and how the Fresh Air Fund changed his life.

The Love Dares

Yesterday, the dare was to spend some money for the man. I went into KL city with my mum and brother. We decided to go to the Plaza Low Yat – the IT mall. At the entrance, I was entranced by the aroma of freshly baked cookies. I was practically drooling but I decided to restrain myself. We went about our business. Soon it was time to leave and I was once again assaulted by the aroma. I ignored it and we left to another shopping mall. Then as fate 🙂 would have it, we passed in front of the Plaza Low Yat and this time around, I knew it was meant to be. I stopped fighting my destiny and went for the tastiest cookies it has ever been my pleasure to munch. They were the Famous Amos cookies.

Halfway through the cookies, it occurred to me that maybe I should leave some for the dh. It took a lot of self control, but I kept the remaining half for him. That was before I read the dare though.

My mum went out with my brother and they came back with one chocolate covered wafer from Cadburry. Now, I can resist chocolate (truly I can), but combined with wafers….? Uh uh. (Now you know my secret 😉 ). Anyway, after a brief struggle with myself, I handed it over to dh and told him it was a token of my love. He was so touched he left what he was doing and gave me a kiss, then proceeded to eat it all up! 😦 *sigh*

The next dare is below:

Everyone counts it a joy to be thought of. Contact your man today, with no special motivation in mind other than to say ‘honey you’re on my mind.’  Ask him if there is anything you can do for him, any need he has that you can meet.