Can you believe it’s already the first week of December? How fast this year flew by and how much has happened in 2015…I say this every year but time in adulthood travels so fast, I know I’ll be repeating the same thing when I’m one day, 60 years old.
My mom recently celebrated her 60th birthday party back in Southern California with family and friends, which I joyfully planned and hosted along with my dad and siblings. As I watched her happily blow out her number 6-0 candles, I thought of another goal in life- that of long lasting happiness, health and inner beauty that radiates more brightly with age.
I want to age gracefully as a woman of inner beauty, poise and deep spirituality, not easily stirred by worldly distractions and fleeting goals but strong in conviction, faith and love for family and friends. I want to remain authentic, treat others with empathy and understanding, and not be swayed by all the superficial and self-serving interactions that 20’s, 30’s and 40’s unfortunately entail.
Spending the holidays in a quaint city like Seattle makes me realize even more how busy, hectic and superficial life in Southern California can be. Even though I live about an hour away from downtown Los Angeles, it’s difficult to completely escape my surrounding that tells me one is not successful unless one makes a certain amount of money a year, affords a certain home in a highly desirable area, or maintain a certain LA lifestyle.
Beautiful homes, fancy cars, diamond rings, expensive handbags, top tier schools, private lessons for our kids, latest electronics…which one of us can truly say none of these define our success?
Sadly I still cannot…but am continuously striving to become the kind of woman who does not rely on material things to look and feel worthy and beautiful. When I’m 60 years old, I wish to find the inner peace, radiating beauty and authentic gratitude that my mom has found over the course of her life.
It’s my wish that when I one day blow out the big 6-0 candles on my birthday cake, I will inspire my two children of similar noteworthy reflections.
I spent Thanksgiving week in Seattle with my family, which now includes my own family of four along with my dad, mom, brother and sister. It’s been awhile since we all got to spend the entire weekend together and it was an essential time of healing, relaxation and recuperation from our busy adult lives.
Having to share a bathroom with my siblings felt humbling and strangely nostalgic, and waking up to the smell of mama’s home cooking brought back fond memories of childhood, one that becomes more and more valuable with each passing year.
Why were we so quick to fight and annoy each other as kids? It seems like just a few years ago I couldn’t wait to declare my independence, move out into my own home and live as an adult.
Nowadays, I look forward to reuniting with my family during the holidays even with our tightly packed schedules, TSA checkpoints and hours of traveling. I look forward to being a kid again.
How adulthood changes things, how fast time passes. These days I look upon my growing children’s faces and desperately wish I can hold onto that moment forever.
I now say quick prayers like “Lord, please allow me to remember that exact smile, this very moment, forever. Please help me to remember how beautiful they are, how happy I am today. Please help me to never forget even during the darkest trials of life.”
I’m not quite sure if prayers like this upholds in God’s plans, because it seems a bit greedy, not to mention unrealistic, to capture moments in memory. Is this possible? If so, are my children’s infant faces now only a vague memory because I haven’t recited these prayers since the day they were born?
Nowadays I revisit my children’s old photos with overwhelming love and a tinge of sadness, knowing that that particular moment will never come back, no matter how beautiful she looked, how happy I felt.
Much like these two moments when they are 10 and 8, these faces that will one day be vague in my memory…
How is your 2015 thus far?
With only a month left, what kind of lessons have you learned, what goals have you accomplished? What kind of memories have you created with your loved ones, what kind of warm feelings and worthy conversations have you exchanged with those that truly matter?
If you find that you’ve been too caught up with the daily grind- buying that first home, landing that higher position at the workplace, just desperately waiting until your child reaches xx years because you find yourself too exhausted and overwhelmed, now is the perfect time to remind yourself to slow down, because time is passing by too fast.
2015 is almost over. How do you feel?
Happy Holidays from Seattle. Wherever you are in life and whatever state you find yourself in, please know that I’m pondering upon the same questions and reflecting upon the same ideals as I type away in my parents’ home in Seattle.
It’s extremely cold and rainy here but my heart has never felt so warm this year. Let’s make this December a momentous one.