Life Matters

peace and quiet

At just about the same time that I was writing my blog last Friday, something tragic was happening in Japan.

As I was musing about the universe telling me something by way of a sudden increase in my blog hits, somewhere out there, nature was making its power felt thru a strong earthquake and a devastating tsunami.

My sign was just a mere whisper.  For the people affected by the earthquake and the tsunami, the universe practically sent them a scream. 

There may be no connection between me and them.  Or there is a great connection between all of us, because we are all living in one planet… our lives, one way or the other, interwoven. 

As I watched the news about the calamity that befell Japan, I can’t help but be ashamed of the little things that I let myself get bothered by.  Somehow, my concerns seemed trivial, even shallow, compared to the plight of the ones affected by the calamity.   

The tsunami that hit Japan showed how everything is fleeting.  In a split second, one can lose everything that he has.  It also made me realize that one can never be too ready.  Having too much money, or a big house, or whatever material stuff you can think of, cannot protect you from whatever the universe throws your way. 

A lot of things we deem important all of a sudden seemed to lose their relevance.

Fragile and Precious

Life is fragile.  It can be taken away from you with or without warning.  That’s why your every single breathing moment should count. (And yes, it’s not about counting blog hits.) 

Life is precious.  Each of us has only one life to live.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to live it well. 

What does living well mean?  Maybe it’s by choosing to be happy.  It’s by choosing to make other people happy.  It’s about lending a hand to others less fortunate… putting a smile on someone else’s face… or even by just smiling at other people.

Maybe it’s about sharing.  It’s by blessing others with what you, yourself, are blessed with.  It may be by sharing what you no longer need to those who need it more… or sharing your talent for others to learn from… or maybe even sharing your time with those people who really just need someone who will listen or stay with them. 

Sometimes we get  too wrapped up in ourselves that we worry and we get stressed and anxious about the littlest things.  Our world seems to get so small… basically because our world revolves around ourselves.

Look outside.  There’s a big world around you.  Other people share your troubles.  There are other people who have greater troubles even. 

Maybe if we know what it means to be thankful… REALLY thankful… for the things that we have, then life won’t be such a struggle. 

contentment

Yes, I believe in striving hard to get better.  I believe in expecting greatness.  We all deserve that.  Yet I also believe in contentment.  Contentment doesn’t mean limiting yourself or setting your standards low.  To me it’s about being at peace with what you have and not putting emphasis on just the material things.  It’s about being grateful for what you have at present. 

It is about finding joy in what you have, what you are doing and where you are.  In the end, that’s all that really matters, right? 

“I had no shoes and complained, until I met a man who had no feet.” 

– Indian proverb

 

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photos via weheartit.com

Author’s note: Welcome back, my pretty pink background! 🙂

Highlight of My Day

Nothing beats an interesting afternoon chat

I met up for lunch with a couple of my mommy friends yesterday.  I have known these women for several years now.  Our sons’ ages range from ten to twelve, they go to the same school and they are in the same baseball team.  Another commonality that the three of us have is that we are all full-time moms.  Having no daily job or an office to go to, the highlight of most of our days is basically picking up our sons from school and bringing them to baseball practice.  That, and of course, occasional lunch or coffee dates with friends.

As we were having our dessert, I asked them this question: “Have you ever thought of doing something else, like pursuing a career or having your own business at this point in your lives?  Or…” and I paused to add some drama, “… are you content with this?” And I moved my hands about to point at our table, our dessert, our coffee… basically I was talking about what we were doing at the moment.  We were having lunch… with all the time in our hands.

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I came from a career oriented family.  My lawyer mom took pride in being a working mother.  She almost had a breakdown when she found out I decided to be a full-time mom.  She didn’t have to tell me, but I knew that she couldn’t understand why I chose to be a full-time mom over having a career… a position in an office somewhere… a title that goes before my name.  Double the breakdown when she learned that my lawyer sister decided to stop practicing law so she can have more time with her kids.  My sister set up her own business, so my mom forgave her somewhat, but she still couldn’t understand why my sister chose to give up her title of being an attorney. 

My mom believes that a person can be career oriented and still be a parent (though I don’t remember her spending much time with us when we were very young) .  She also believes that our relationship (mine and hers) is the same as my relationship with my son.  She thinks we are just as close.  She is either in a total state of denial… or is utterly clueless. 

As my sister often says, my mom seems to live in a totally different plane.

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Years ago, when my son was still very young, I couldn’t quite get rid of the hang ups of being a non-working mom.  I guess it didn’t help that my sister gets to be introduced as “the lawyer” while I get the title, “the other daughter.”  There were times when I can’t help but ask myself if I needed a title too, in order to gain more respect.  Will the world respect me more if I have a title before my name?

I have long come to terms with myself on what would give me self-fulfilment and contentment.

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Yesterday when I posed the question to my friends, one of them replied, “I am happy where I am.”  And then she added this, “Life is short.  Why should I concern myself about trying to find a job just to prove somethingI love that I get to spend time with my kids.  I love that we can do this.  Why should I add more stress when I can enjoy what I have?”  And she proceeded to tell us about the flights she just booked for her and her family for the upcoming school break.

I believed what she said made perfect sense. 

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I don’t have anything against working mothers.  In fact, I admire the mothers who have their careers or their own business and still have time for their kids.  And I mean quality time. And there are working mothers who, given the chance, would rather stay home with the kids (or have leisure coffee dates with friends on a Monday).  I feel for them, too.

Different strokes for different folks.  But to me, more than anything, it’s about the time that you spend with your kids, whether you work or not.

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a beautiful world

one Monday afternoon

It was my personal choice to be a full-time, hands on, supermom.  Not that I have to justify it, but I feel one can never have enough time with one’s kids.  I mean, they grow up so fast.  Surely you would want to be there to see them grow, and to experience life with them while they still want you around

When I picked up my son from school yesterday afternoon, I can’t help but smile as I listened to him talk about the highlight of his day.  Being there in the car with him, listening to his stories, enjoying a peaceful, stress free afternoon, I couldn’t help but realize that THAT moment was the highlight of MY day.  I couldn’t ask for more.

So despite the fact that I am seemingly untitled, I know I am happy where I am.

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photo via weheartit.com