I don’t have a green thumb. When I first met my husband, he gave me a cute potted miniature rose. One morning, I put it on the patio for some sun, and promptly forgot about it… until a week later. Alas, the tiny rose was no match for the fierce California sun. Needless to say, my husband never gave me plants again. My dad, however, grew up on a farm, and plants thrive under his care. Recently, I wanted to plant a rose in the backyard of our new home. With my dad’s help, we planted a healthy and robust rose bush. The first bloom was glorious! The beautiful blossoms were as big as a grapefruit, and bloomed for days. After the flowers wilted, I continued to water and care for the plant. However, when some of the leaves started to shrivel and yellow. I knew something was wrong.
I burned out at the tender age of 27. Check out some of the invaluable life lessons I learned from that experience.
It’s one of those evenings again. I have some free time, and was excited about catching up with chores around the house. As I glanced around at my surroundings, that familiar sinking feeling came back. Just looking at the piles of dirty dishes in the sink had sucked all of the energy out of me. “What’s the use? The clutter is never going away.” I felt defeated even before I began.
This is a hard topic to write about because no one likes to face or think about our own anger or negativity. I grew up around family members who had a tendency to have angry outbursts. Part of me still feels very traumatized by these episodes. Never did I think that I could also lose control like them. I understand that feeling angry itself is not a sin. Even Jesus was angry on many occasions. However, I am still responsible for my actions and words when I’m angry. A while back, there were a few occasions where I lost control in anger and said some hurtful things to loved ones. Someone finally confronted me about my unacceptable behavior. It was then I had to acknowledge to myself about the deep frustrations I’ve been experiencing.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned on managing anxiety. In the process, it became clear how deeply personal my journey has been. I wish there’s an “easy button” to banish anxiety for good, but that’s just not the case. However, changing my mindset and learning life skills in the right areas have helped me cope with stress much better. I know everyone has their unique set of challenges. All I can do is share my experiences in hope that it may be encouraging and helpful to those who may have similar struggles like me. Here, I will give a quick overview, highlighting the key elements that made major differences in my life. Eventually, I hope to discuss and explain these areas in more detail.
I wrestle with anxiety often. I’m not sure if it’s an Asian thing, but many of my girlfriends also have similar struggles. When I was young, when my mom came home late from work, I would jump to the worst scenario possible and couldn’t shake it off. It’s weird. I remember having a rather carefree childhood. Somewhere along the way, this fearful mindset snuck in.
The clock just struck midnight, and it is now officially the last day of 2017. In the past, I took the last days of the year to meditate and think about the future directions. This year, however, I’m doing something different. I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed in the last twelve months.
I went to a wedding banquet recently. The invitation came as a surprise. Our friend, the bride, has been single for over fifteen years. She was very content with her life. Being a caretaker of an elderly parent and working a fulltime job, dating and marriage was not on the top of her priority list. Imagine my surprise when she told me she was engaged. They decided to have a private ceremony, and we were introduced to the groom for the first time at the banquet. Knowing my friend, I was very curious to learn more about this man who swept her off her feet in a matter of months. As we all got seated at the banquet, the couple got up to address everyone, and the groom began to tell their story.
Recently, a relative passed away. He lived a long life, over 100 years old. Yet, when I went to his service, it still felt bittersweet. He wasn’t a close relative. Nevertheless, there’s something about a person’s passing that is sobering since it heightens one’s sense of mortality. Perhaps I knew the family too well, I ended up paying very close attention to my grieving friends more than the service itself. The dead was at peace, but the living was not.
We always make new year’s resolutions in January… and about a few weeks into the year, that resolution resolve quickly turns into resolution guilt. Do I hear an amen out there? Unfortunately, I know that cycle only too well. What if this year, we make new resolutions to not live in guilt nor be motivated by guilt anymore? What if we decided to live guilt-free lifestyles? Continue reading