My 2016 New Year Resolutions

happy new year 2016

It’s 2016. And another year has just passed. Most people ring the new year in with joy and smiles, looking forward for the year that is to come filled with all of its wonderful surprises.

I, on the other hand, look at the new year with foreboding. Damn. Another year just means that I’m one year closer to…GULP…dare I say it? THE END. THE END as in I don’t breathe air, I don’t see the sky, I don’t exist anymore.

I don’t want THE END to come. In fact, not for me and not for anyone that I love.

I just want everything to stay the same. But, nothing every stays the same, does it?

This whole week, I’ve faced the mirror with trepidation.

I copiously examine my face. Are those wrinkles that I see around my eyes or is it just the way the light shines on my face? Dare I look closer to see if any gray hairs are showing up? Is my waist getting thicker?

Just this morning, I looked closely to see if my boobs were starting to sag to my waist and wiggled my arms to see if I had those flap in the wind, grandma arms yet. Thank God and my personal trainer that that hasn’t happened yet.

Life is fleeting

This brush with reality and the truth of getting older has hit me harder now than any other year.

This Christmas, I was home visiting my parents and my sisters and their families. It was super busy and incredibly hectic, but I enjoyed every, single, crazy minute of it.

We cooked together, we shopped together, we ate together and we fought with each other – just like we used to do when I lived there. It was just like old times. Except that it wasn’t.

mom and dad and jennifer at dinner

My parents are older. They have more idiosyncrasies and are more set in their ways. My dad walks a little slower. He sometimes forgets tiny things.

My mom complains about more aches and pains now. Somehow she seems shorter — and mega-stressed at the littlest things.

My sisters seem to be the same. They’re busy with their work, their husbands and taking care of their families.

And their children, …oh my gosh. How they’ve grown. They’re so smart and accomplished and such well-behaved children. My sisters and their husbands did a great job. They should be proud.

This progression in life. These changes that I see when I go back, especially with my parents, bring home to me that life is so fleeting. That life is so short.

I wonder if I enjoyed them as much as I could have. I wonder if all those stupid things that I fought with them about were really worth it.  Have I focused on things that really didn’t matter? (After a glass of wine while I’m writing this blog post, I am sure that the answer is yes)

I have lots of guilt. Lots of angst. For time that has passed and for time that is passing.

I sound neurotic, don’t I? No need to answer. I know I do.

What’s important in life?

family pic restaurant 2

Growing up in a Chinese family, our whole life has been centered around school, getting good grades, then work. Lots of it. Work hard. Rise up the ranks. Work hard and all will be good. Enjoyment. Passion. Creativity. That all came in second place…sometimes even third because those things don’t have anything to do with making money.

These past couple of weeks home have caused me to think a lot about life. Life seems so short these days. I used to think that time passed by so slowly. Nowadays, the years seem to pass by faster and faster. Time is elusive. I try to reach out and grab it. To hold on to it. But, it’s always one step ahead of me.

Life just gets so busy sometimes that it’s easy to lose focus on what’s really important.

No one ever says that they wished that they would have worked more.

Just the other day, I read an article that a girlfriend published on her Facebook page. It’s titled the “5 Regrets of the Dying”.

I hesitated when I saw that title because just seeing the word “dying” makes me cringe and conjures up all kinds of sadness.

But after sucking it up and reading the article, I realized that there were a lot of wise words given from those people who came before us.

  1. Honor your dreams. Be true to yourself.
  2. Don’t work so hard
  3. Have the courage to express your feelings
  4. Stay in touch with friends
  5. Allow yourself to be happy

It’s 2016 and it’s a new year.

I don’t want any regrets. When I look back, I want to say “Hot damn! That was great!” I resolve to enjoy every moment. To love more and to live more. Say yes to more.

How about you? What are your New Year’s resolutions?

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