Hello all! It’s been a while (I know) and I apologise for my absence, the last couple of months have been chaotic in both good and not so good ways.
It just seems to be settling now, right at Christmas and I’m very grateful.
I hope you all are enjoying the holidays with the people you love most, making great memories and truly savouring life while taking it easy.
Recently, I have changed in my part-time vocations and have had some family events left and right, mainly people visiting and being around, that have kept me quite occupied. Worry not, though. As that has all been done, I am back to my regular schedule and I do miss letting some words out on here. There are a few updates and topics I want to explore with what’s new in my life! So many things to tell.
Christmas. For some of you who have read my last few posts on minimalism and my direction away from materialism, don’t be surprised that I want to emphasise the intrinsic aspects of such a special holiday. Though one thing I haven’t quite addressed is another big part of Christmastime and similar holidays – time with extended family. This is the case for most people still and let me tell you, there’s been a bit of drama within my own to expect every year.
This year with a bit more than usual.
One thing that comes with that ‘extended family time’ aside from the presents they give –
– is the judgement that usually comes alongside that, too.
For years, I’ve always been an overachiever and hearing my relatives ask how I’m going and what I do, seeing their approval makes me really happy. As of the past of couple of years however, as I’ve chosen to spend dedicated time at home as a homemaker, with the work I choose that suits this choice (the work I do, even with the teaching, is not exactly career-upward-propelling and I don’t care) a lot of this approval has disintegrated.
Out comes the judgement, the wrinkle of the nose, the asking about when I’m ‘moving up’.
Um, we don’t have a second floor. So no.
Maybe it is to be expected to a higher degree within an Asian family, though I think everyone does have this experience to some extent, especially those who have unusual career choices or in general exercising their free will in life.
Then what do you do? How do you deal?
A book I’ve been reading has the answer. A great one. Anyone ever heard of The Courage To Be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi? It’s an amazing tome, a philosophical exploration about independence in thought and action in life, in the traditional form of a dialogue between characters. This one has a mentor and a youth. I don’t want to spoil more of the book, though one of its most important lessons is The Separation of Tasks.
The Separation of Tasks is all about recognising and drawing the lines between what you are responsible for and what other people are responsible for.
It’s recognising that the thoughts and judgements of others, the way they form and how they perceive things, how they might speak as a result of it, is not your task. Not your responsibility to worry about. Your responsibility is doing right to yourself, being kind to others and living the best life you can, according to your values. If you can recognise which tasks are within that area and you can fulfil them, life becomes simpler.
Such an eye-opening thought. I’ve already cared less (well, learned to) ever since I’ve gone on this journey to be true to myself, as a Domestic woman, to my traditional values. How sometimes I don’t even fit the Conservative mould well.
Though who cares? I’m doing well with my tasks and I’m really happy with it. This year’s Christmas, with that in mind, has created an inner peace in me.
Sort of, there’s external family drama though, oh well. I’m all accounted for.
Give yourself the gift of relief. This Christmas and holidays, give yourself the gift of contentment by bringing all your energy and focus to your tasks and responsibilities.
It’s a gift that will bring joy far beyond the holiday season.