Love! Live Dangerously! And have Fun! By Catherine Khoo

A mother’s lessons on love, hope, loss and the gifts of love

Her life has been a rollercoaster journey, both in her personal and professional life. Catherine is married with 3 lovely kids. Learn to embrace each day. Everyone that you encounter is there to teach you some lessons. Catherine had the chance to meet the Dalai Lama at age 48. Live life with whole-hearted passion.

It’s not how much you have, but how much you enjoy, that makes you happy. Learn to be honest. My dad used to like producing stamps when he was working as a stenographer. Some kids lose this sense about reading and history. Modern conveniences may not doing all that good. A trip to a village in Cambodia made me really how happy the kids there were. One of the kids wanted to study hard so that she could support the family next time. I have an upcoming book ‘Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Struggles.’ Life is about what you do with what you have.

If you don’t try, you will never know. I had a crush on a guy in school but didn’t have the courage to approach him. The chance would soon be lost forever as I never saw him again. I didn’t make the same mistake with another guy I met in Interact Club. We dated for 2 years. I started off in publishing. Since no one was going to hire me, I decided to write a book. After 1 year of job hunting, I found a job at Hofer Media after publishing the book ‘Love Notes’.

It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see that matters. Learn along the way and enjoy the experience. I was amazed by the guy who thought of the notion of building the Great Wall of China. He had tremendous passion. Writing and publishing were things that I truly valued. My plan was to give every child the right to read and write. I wanted to leave behind a legacy. The immediate plan was to build a library of Asian literature for children, by children.

If you want to be happy, no one can stop you. I lived with my two sister-in-laws after marriage and didn’t like them very much. They were both not married. They are very health conscious people, or hypochondriacs even. My older sister-in-law suffered from panic attacks sometimes. You can be happy now, you don’t need to achieve something to be happy. I knew of a friend who battled cancer and passed away at 18. However, she never let the pain distract her. It was inspiring as she tried her best to live with the present.

Look within yourself. The answers are inside you. I thought that I wasn’t good enough as the eldest sibling. I prefer letting my kids explore what the world is about rather than keep telling them what’s right or wrong. There was once when I was angry at my teacher and took a cab and visited Dad. Mum caned me after that episode. Since then, I knew I wanted to treat my children differently.

Life is a daring adventure… Live it to the fullest. I went hot air ballooning with my daughter. It felt like I was flying. I could check that off my bucket list. I felt connected after my conversation with the owner. The moment you live within your own convictions, it feels great. Do not simply suppress your dream. Be true to yourself and do not keep thinking of meeting others’ expectations of you. Being spontaneous can be awesome too. This is the concept of flow. Life is an adventure. I had a very awkward ride in the taxi. It is important to take the first step.

Set your own expectations of yourself. Don’t live your life on the expectations of others. SF was my husband. I had a string of ex-romances. Soon I married him and we had three kids. However after a while I started living others’ expectations. Like my husband’s expectations, sisters-in-law etc. I wanted to give back to the children. This would be done through the unique classroom and the young author scheme. I learnt to celebrate the uniqueness of every individual, including my 3 children.

It is always darkest before the day dawns. My youngest brother committed suicide because he had too much debts. Other bad things happened and I was fired from my job too. The relationship with my husband was getting strained too. My mum-in-law was also battling cancer. I was depressed during that period too. I seriously thought of committing suicide. What I didn’t realize was that it was always darkest before the day dawns. Think about how you would affect those around you. No problem is too large that you can’t handle. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Give your children roots, give them wings too!. My eldest girl is now 27. Being a mother was what I always wanted to do. I wanted my children to have the best opportunities in life. I wanted them to pursue their life goals. The author now mentions about the characters of her 3 daughters and their respective characters. My daughter wrote a thank you note to me and I cried from emotion. Now my girls are all grown up.

Take it one step at a time. Meliza and her team wanted to do a study of Janus Education, my company. The author quotes a passage of ‘The Art of Happiness by Mathieu Ricard’. An optimist thinks that his problem is temporary. It makes no sense to lose hope. There are always a lot of things to do but so little time. I am grateful to those who have helped me along the way. There is potential in everyone.

Live a Life that Transcends your Own. I had the chance to interview the Dalai Lama and I pounced on it. I could find him in Dharamsala, in the Namgyal Monastery. Instantly, I felt connected with the place and that I belonged. Material items only bring temporal happiness. Our inner being is what makes us happy. The mental level is the key. Give warmth and affection. Loving is more important than being loved. You are the first beneficiary of being kind. Love, kindness and trust have positive effects on our health. Learn to generate unbiased compassion. The Dalai Lama wanted a happier world in general. What matters in your life is who you’ve touched.

We have bigger houses, but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts, but more problems. More medicines, but less healthiness. We have been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the road to meet the new neighbor. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication. We have become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are times of fast food, but slow digestion. Tall man but short character. Steep profits, but shallow relationships. It’s a time when there’s much in the window; But nothing in the room. – Dalai Lama

Listen to the dreams of the young. They will uplift you with their hope and courage. I visited my daughter in Adelaide. I wanted to celebrate CNY with Pauli. Having seen young people, I was impressed with how they are. Go out and experiment. Do not be afraid of new opportunities. Live simply, so others may live simply.

Always find time for yourself. Music can calm the beast inside you. I enjoyed watching the Planet Earth concert with my daughter. We walked around the river Torrens to feed the ducks. I loved the state library. In a hectic city like Singapore, we are always rushing.

If it is to be, it is up to me! I wanted my daughter to believe in myself. At 44, I wanted to explore life again. I wanted to give a voice to women. The next step would be to allow young writers to shine. What’s there not to be happy about life.

Those who know enough is enough, will always have enough. I am very grateful to my three daughters. Everyone has got to find their own paths. I love to help others and to share. Today, I will finally learn to live for myself.

Happy ever after? It’s no fairy tale. I often quarrel with my husband. I had enough of his sisters and his fiery temper. I wanted to walk out on him. Before you write, you need to reflect. He had a big ego and kept comparing himself to his brother. Some men expect a lot from their wives, like to be a very obedient housewife etc.

5 things to do before I turn 55. I wanted to sell 100,000 copies of this book. Next, I wanted to establish the Young Author Scheme and The Unique Classroom. Book tours were the next time on my mind. It is very therapeutic to write. My other dream was to write 3 more books. Life begins now.

Telling my story. My way. Everyone can read and enjoy this book. My grandma ran a gambling den to feed the family. My philosophy of life is the following ‘The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you live your life.’ Life is a celebration and that’s how I want to live it.


live dangerously


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