It’s a brand new year and I am starting it on the right foot by booking a holiday to St. Lucia. It makes me very happy given the lack of travel in the last 6 months!
If I have to describe 2014 in one word it would be FAMILY. It was a good year for us and our family; we saw a whole lot of one another. It was also bittersweet knowing that we couldn’t have them near ALL THE TIME.
It was the most amount of time I had spent in one place with my mother and sister in almost 10 years. March would mark 10 years living abroad of what was meant to be a 2-3 year stint, crazy huh? I am thankful for 16 weeks of paid maternity leave provided by the company that gave me the luxury of time with my family. (Singaporeans should really be grateful and stop complaining because paid maternity isn’t the norm in many countries; countries with more generous maternity leave policy also have way higher taxes.)
2014 was a big year for all of us with the arrival of a new baby. Before we could even stop to enjoy our lovely, newly remodeled bathrooms, we found out we were pregnant. Clover took to the news very well (she couldn’t wait for the baby to “come out of mummy’s tummy”) and we couldn’t have asked for a better big sister. She loves her sister so much. We had to cut back on our travel because of the pregnancy; the symptoms though not as severe as experienced by some friends meant I had less energy and less mobile.
In the 7 years since Mr. P and I got together, it’s been one hell of a non-stop adventure.
2007 – we met and moved in together within 3 months
2008 – year of travel
2009 – we decided to get married; planned and executed a Singapore wedding from HK in 3 months
2010 – left our CWB apartment and found out we were pregnant and had a babymoon in the Maldives (heaven on earth!)
2011 – Clover was born and I took an extended maternity leave
2012 – I fulfiled a lifelong dream when we moved to NYC (be careful what you wish for haha)
2013 – we bought our own place
2014 – Ava was born and we became a family of four (Clover wants another baby and got a hell-no from me)
Last year was not without trials and challenges, since we are in 2015, I choose to see them in a positive light; those made me stronger as in individual and us as a family. In 2015, I strive to be present and enjoy what we have (and stop thinking about the have-nots).
Here’s what I would like to share on the first day of 2015: Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living (the ones in bold are what I would like to focus on this year):
- Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
- Follow the three Rs:
- Respect for self
- Respect for others
- Responsibility for all your actions.
- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
- Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
- Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
- When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Spend some time alone every day.
- Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
- Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
- A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
- In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
- Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
- Be gentle with the earth.
- Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
- Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
- Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.