Let it be
The year 2017 has been one of overcoming fear, seeking God's purpose for my life, opening up to love again, and embarking and accepting the big '40'.
I have had mixed emotions about embracing this new phase in my life. Eight months is almost over, and I vow to embrace the rest of the year trying to balance motherhood, career, and a purpose-driven life, which can be overwhelming at times.
I do struggle, but lately I have had some deep candid conversations and moments in prayer asking God: Why am I here? Why did you choose me to be a mother? What is my true purpose?
As I reflect on a post written on Facebook by Iyanla Vanzant, thoughts of those very dark moments in my life invaded my mind, and I am reminded that pain is temporary, and nothing lasts forever.
"No matter who you are and what you think you know or do not know, life will teach you to honour and respect balance.
There must be discords in order to achieve harmony.
There must be darkness that propels us into light.
It is the frigid cold in winter that teaches us to appreciate the warmth."
- Iyanla Vanzant
This summer I have learnt that life is a continuous learning battle, and we have a purpose to fulfil. We should accept the things we cannot change, and move on and grow from the failures or mistakes we have made.
Five things I will do, now that I am 40, to find love, balance, harmony and propel myself out of darkness during challenging times:
1 Go for it, and learn from my failures: Take risk and stop fearing the unknown. Fear often causes us to miss an opportunity that will lead us to our destiny. We are too scared to step out of our comfort zone and experience what God has in store for us. I have learnt to embrace failure as growth.
In today's era, social media mask us with false illusions of not accepting failures, that we must always strive to be perfect in order to gain success. In the last two months leading up to my birthday, I have truly learnt that in order to elevate, I must learn from my mistakes and failures.
2 Slow down: We are so much on the go that we do not allow ourselves to appreciate the small things in life and listen to God when he is speaking to us. Three essential tasks that helped me are rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. I am sometimes guilty of not getting enough rest, and so, get miserable when I don't. In order to regroup and get back on track, I must rest. I have found ways of relaxing through prayer, meditation and the arts. I am also learning to enjoy the things we often take for granted, such as a few hours spent in a beautiful garden, a ride on a boat or a simple walk on the beach.
I wish I had taken more trips around the world, volunteered more, and embrace and learnt other cultures. I was too busy chasing down a career, and now regret the fact that I didn't see the world when I was children-free, carefree, and given the opportunities to do so in my 20s. In the last two years, my children and I have made a commitment to embrace other cultures through the arts, travel more, and give back to a needy family or organisations - both tangible and intangible gifts.
Our four-day family vacation in Washington DC, last month was an eye-opening experience. I really enjoyed a full day of cultural events with them. We scheduled and visited four museums over a three-day period, and I learnt more about various historical moments through their eyes.
3 Something old: I practise so many of my old-school values which have kept me grounded throughout the years and have passed these on to my children - Aiden and Arielle. I am often so consumed with technology that Mr Right may have just passed me by while I was texting or talking on the phone. I vow to go back to the good old days of spending one to two hours at the bookstore, coffee shop and even the park, reading meaningful books, or perhaps enjoying a glass of wine at a happy-hour event and enjoying a good conversation.
4 Finding balance: Now that I am 40, I will strive to balance it all. It has been a challenge to joggle all these tasks, and I find it hard and feel guilty at times to enjoy 'me'. I will take at least one day each month to disconnect from social media and enjoy me guilt-free. It may include a mini road trip, a day well spent at a garden catching up on a good book, or merely a day locked away in my sewing corner doing a DIY or sewing project.
5 Show it: I promise and pledge to love and respect my future husband. Learning and reflecting from past relationships, I would entertain drama, and the Leo in me would love to control and win the discussions. The older I get, the more I realise that we have to show it and mean it.
I am letting it be! I am walking into this new phase expecting greatness and embracing it all. I won't fear 40, and plan to remain true to the person that I see. People will just have to love and appreciate the whimsical, quirky, fun, loving, bossy, magical person that I will continue to be.