In a new series, #QuaysideStories, Wear Oh Where speaks with women-on-the-go about the importance of slowing down in our sped-up world to spend quality time with the people that matter, do things that matter, and invest a little time on self-care. How does each of these women define and design the best life for themselves? How do they reconnect and recharge? We invite them to tear away from the emails that are vying to be answered, and the battles that are waiting to be fought — and won — to indulge in a spot of down time with us — you know, have coffee, take a walk, watch the sunset and chat.
IN COLLABORATION WITH INTERCONTINENTAL SINGAPORE ROBERTSON QUAY
“In an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still.”
— Pico Iyer
Rachel Lim is sitting still. With a pen in hand and a notebook before her, the co-founder of Love, Bonito is, I repeat, sitting still, contemplating, and writing me a little note at my request.
As the sun gets ready to call it a day, we find ourselves somewhere between the end of a crazy work week and the beginning of a photo shoot. It is 5pm on a Friday at Robertson Quay. Happy Hour, for some, means knocking back a pint and exchanging grouses. For others, it’s jogging, cycling or taking their puppy out for a stroll along the quay side. It’s the perfect weather. The breeze makes its way to Rachel, temporarily causing a stir in her otherwise perfect lob.
If you have the time, if you make the time, this is really quite a nice way to wind down and decompress. As I train my camera on Rachel, I can’t help but wonder if she is taking some pleasure in this last order of business du jour. This has, I learned, been a big
week for her. Just before our appointment, she had two very important meetings.
But you wouldn’t have guessed by her chipper disposition and good energy. The sun may be setting, but this girl remains one big bag of sunshine. Did I mention that there’s a party waiting for her at home to celebrate a friend’s birthday? We are bogarting her, but she will not allow you to feel bad. “No, please, don’t worry about it!” And later that night, she sends me a text message to check that I’ve got everything I needed from the shoot.
It helps, perhaps, that she’s an extrovert. She loves surrounding herself with people, and people enjoy being with her. She has also decided long ago that to inspire others, and to make an impact in people’s lives, big or small, would be her mission. You know what they say, you can’t stop a woman on a mission.
As we get ready for the next scene in our cosy room at the brand new InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, just a hop, skip and
a jump from the riverside, the 2016 Forbes 30-Under-30 Asia lister feels right at home as she slips under the cloud-like duvet with a fortress of pillows around her.
“I love good pillows! Haha. Nothing too soft though,” she chirps.
It is 7.30pm by then, but that hasn’t curbed her enthusiasm or dimmed her brilliant smile. From the bed to the plush leather lounger, she works the camera like Karlie Kloss. Between shots, I catch her taking an “intentional pause” by the window, watching as the sky turns a deeper shade of blue.
If you follow Rachel on Instagram or her news and interviews, then perhaps you’re no stranger to “the journey” she speaks of generously, and the struggles she has overcome. Along the way, she’s figured out a few things that have helped her be her best self, and to live her best life. And if you ask, I bet she will be very happy to tell you. Oh yes, I asked. 😉
I’ve always believed that self-awareness is key to living a fulfilling life.
What’s a day in the life of Rachel Lim like?
Rachel Lim: My day typically begins at 6:45am. One of the first things I do is get in a quick workout. After that, I have my morning juice, spend some quiet time alone doing my daily devotion and going through the agenda for the day for about an hour before hitting the shower and getting ready for work.
What is one thing you absolutely will not compromise in the morning, no matter how busy?
RL: Loading myself up with lots of water. The other thing I try to do is listen to at least one episode of podcast while I get ready and when I’m on my way to work. It gets me in the right frame of mind for the day.
What do you think of when you hear the word “busy”?
RL: The hustle and bustle of every day life — which may not necessarily be a good thing. I try to take intentional pauses throughout the day to check on my productivity and the day’s objectives.
Precisely what are some of the ways in which you slow down for a bit and take a moment for yourself and the people and things that matter to you?
RL: My morning ritual (working out and spending time with myself) for sure. And I always make it a point to go for meals with my family and closest friends at least once a week.
What, to you, is a life lived well?
RL: A life lived well is a life where I’ve stayed true to myself, my values and purpose; a life in which I have made a difference to impact people around me, however great or small.
Can you give us some advice or tools/habits that you have found to be extremely useful in ensuring you live your best life every day?
RL: I’ve always believed that self-awareness is key to living a successful and fulfilling life. Know yourself – who you are, who you’re not, your strengths, your weaknesses, what drives you, what drains you and the values you’d never compromise. This is how I stay focused and work towards being a better version of me.
Happiness is… knowing, accepting and embracing who you are.
I TRY TO TAKE INTENTIONAL PAUSES TO
CHECK ON MY PRODUCTIVITY
AND THE DAY’S OBJECTIVES.
Increasingly, we find ourselves thinking and having conversations about disconnecting from the noise of the world and social media. “Me-time” is a word we use often. Checking into a wellness retreat or a staycation is one popular way of reconnecting with ourselves and enjoying a soupçon of peace . What are your top criteria for an ideal getaway?
RL: Somewhere with no shopping in sight, and really good pillows!
What is the very first thing you do when you check in to a hotel?
RL: Log in to the hotel wifi! Actually, before that, I check out the bathroom and the view of the room. 😉
Time alone is such a rarity, especially for married people. So tell us, what’s your “secret single behaviour”?
RL: Bring out my favourite ice cream and eat from the tub with a huge spoon by myself!
What are your comfort foods?
RL: Chocolate anything! It’s my weakness.
Complete the sentence: Happiness is…
RL: Knowing, accepting and embracing who you are.
Art Direction, Photography & Styling
InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is located at 1 Nanson Road. Check it out or check in here.