It is the last day of 2014 and I have been spending the past several hours reflecting on the year that is about to close.
As this blog is about living a flourishing life, the year in review will adopt the elements of flourishing life as defined in Positive Psychology of Well-Being.
There are five elements: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment or PERMA.
There is no shortage of positive emotions when you're raising a developing and growing child especially in the earliest year. The past year saw Olivia evolving from a baby who learned to crawl as we closed the year to someone who clearly has a mind of her own, able to articulate her preference and exert her influence. That process of witnessing her development fills me with a myriad of positive emotions including awe, joy, gratitude, hope, inspiration, amusement, serenity and interest. The increased positive emotions serves to sustain me when the going gets rough, which is par for the course when you're raising a young child.
There have been many new shared experiences with the hubby as we explored new places to eat (our passion) and visit together with our daughter. Creating new rituals bond us closer to each other as we learn what is important to us as a family.
The main difference between living in the US and coming back to Singapore is the extensive social support that I have. I have been able to reconnect with old friends from different stages of my life, makes new ones through new interest that I have as well as keeping in touch with my extended family via technology.
I am totally engaged in my role as the mother of my child. She keeps me on my toes and there is never a dull moment, mostly challenging, frustrating and exasperating ones in addition to those wonderful moments described above. Still, these moments are important for my personal growth, as I continue to learn to navigate my role as a mother and the learning never ceases.
There certainly is high engagement in terms of my working life even as I gradually transition from a full-time to a part-time working mother. I am very blessed to find like-minded partners who appreciate my strengths and interests that we took a major leap of faith and incorporated a company called W3ave in early April this year. We are passionate about weaving flourishing relationships in different aspects of life and you will hear more about us in the coming year for sure.
I count myself very blessed to have bosses who value my work, life experiences and expertise that I found myself back in my role as a therapist for individual and couples at Promises shortly after my return to Singapore.
It has been said and the evidence is plentiful that people with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. With more time and closer proximity to people who matter to me, I have been able to invest in building a strong social network and strengthen my tribe.
Being at home allows me to spend time with my immediate family. Seeing how Olivia bonds with the extended family truly warms my heart. She knows who are the people that she can depend on in addition to her papa and mama.
In April, I was able to go on an all-girlfriend/bestie trip with my closest of friends. These girls have been my pillar for more than 20 years. Despite the distance, they have been my anchor and voice of reason. We have journeyed with one another through various life stages and I can only thank God for blessing me with each of them.
Throughout the year, i have met up with friends from different stages of my life, from secondary to high school friends to university, to ex-colleagues, blog friends and new friends that I have gotten to know through my interest in babywearing.
It's so wonderful to have friends who are in similar life stages and that our children can have playdates together. We can share our motherhood joys and woes, provide the listening and non-judgmental ears. My friends children become Olivia's playmates even though she is often the younger ones.
I love that we had many visitors that come to Singapore this year and we got the chance to visit good friends in Sydney when we visited in October.
As a married couple, we have also worked hard to ensure that marriage is flourishing. With the demands that comes from work and raising young child, marital relationship often takes a backseat. We made effort this year reconnect as couple, not just as parents of our child. We attended a marital course that allowed us to evaluate where we are in our relationship and what we can do to strengthen it. We also went on our first couple trip and it was refreshing to just focus on each other.
Relationship with myself is also important and that's something that has also taken a backseat since the arrival of Olivia. Hence, i made the hard to decision to go on a silent retreat that took me away from the family for about a week. It was truly a special time to reconnect with God and myself and it was a great way to end the year. It helps me to refocus and prioritize what is important to me and help me to move in the right direction in the coming year.
I am strongly driven by meaning in life. One of the reasons why I started this blog in 2011 is because I wanted to share my story and reach out to others as well as raise awareness for Moya Moya Disease. I am very glad that this year I managed to meet and provided support to a handful of moya-moya sufferers in person. Sharing my story and experience with them reminded me of how blessed I am to be in this position. It makes what i had gone through more worthwhile as I am able to inspire hope, information and support.
In the five years that I was in the US, I have been preparing myself by attending relevant courses, conferences and self-learning with the hope to better equip myself as a helping professional. I have enjoyed the learning process and it's very exciting to be able to translate them into actions. I am thankful that I found a profession that accords me the flexibility that I need as a mother and at the same time utilizing my signature strengths and expertise. That is truly meaningful to me!
The following are the accomplishments that I am proud of for the year:
- Being Olivia's first teacher and witnessing how she has transformed and flourished in the last 12 months.
- Smooth transition back to Singapore after more than five years of living in the Bay Area.
- Transition back to work and the opportunities that came knocking.
- Setting up my own company with like-minded and most competent partners.
- Being able to reach out to friends who are in need.
- Travel to Osaka, Sibu (Malaysia), Sydney and Taipei with a toddler! The logistic!
- Taking charge and actions to improve our marriage.
- Ticking off my bucket list list of attending a silent retreat (something that I wanted to do for at least 7 years already.)
I am very grateful for 2014 and all the lessons that I have learned. Looking forward to the new year with much positivity and anticipation.
Thank you for reading and supporting this blog. Come, let's flourish together!
Happy New Year to you and yours.