I’m back – resurfaced from my cave as it were. Despite nursing a cold and cough, a new year’s tradition I’m definitely not eager to cement, I’m feeling mostly positive about this year. Why just “mostly”? Read on.
Now that 2011 has officially said good-bye, I’m eyeball to eyeball with Birthday Number 35. Now I’ve never been a girl who cried into her celebratory champagne glass as she turned 30. People quake at the thought of that milestone. Me, not so much. Year 30 came and I said “Yay!”. I embraced it. After all, even when I was 12, I’ve always been a 30 year old woman deep inside. I’ve always believed that this was my decade. Year31, 32, and 33 came and went and that was fine. Then I turned 34 and suddenly, Iwas uncomfortable. What’s this, you say? Well, turns out in my head it’s all very well to be an early thirty-something but a mid thirty-something? At 34, I was firmly in MID territory. And somehow, whilst squirming and wrestling with that in my head, the year zipped by and now I find myself in the situation of the afore-mentioned situation – The mid-decade milestone.
But there are things that one can change and things that one cannot. This would be one of the latter, as much as I might wish it away – but even if were an option, would I really wish it away? Would I change who I am now for a number? The last five years have been very significant in who I am today. I have learned so much about myself – who I am and what I want but as important was learning who I am not, as much as I or others may wish it, and what I don’t want. These last five years have been tumultous and full of change – on the top of the list of changes is my becoming a mother, as in responsible for another human being. It has made me examine my values, the kind of example I want to set, what I want for my child, what I want different for my child than what I am. It has made me wonder and mull the life I have chosen as an immigrant in Canada. Here are some of the things considered:
- Do we embrace Christmas? If so, how much of it do we embrace? After all, we aren’t Christian. If we take Christ out of Christmas as it were, are we just succumbing to the marketing juggernauts that are Hallmark and Coca Cola (yes, good people of the blogosphere, Santa as we widely know him was dreamt up by Coca Cola and is a bastardization of Sinter Klaus of the Netherlands, as my good friend Andrea will tell you). If we don’t embrace Christmas, are we just Scrooges/Grinches? Do we open little r up to wondering about his self worth and have him wondering if he is bad because Santa didn’t visit his house? Do I want a omni-potent, judgemental father figure in his life anyway? And on and on.
- How do we ensure that little r *feels* Canadian? What does it mean to be Canadian?
- I like small towns but could I live in one as a person of a minority among minorities? After all, small towns aren’t the most diverse.
Anyway, nothing that I am dwelling on but dealing with on an on-going basis. Just incase you were wondering, our thoughts are:
- The holiday season is about peace, joy and giving. Everyone can get behind that. We do the tree, the stocking with some small stocking stuffers and a small gift. Save the big kahuna gifts for Losar and his birthday which tend to be back to back 2 months post Christmas. Santa is welcome especially since I’ve discovered most naughtiness can be stopped almost immediately with a well-timed,”That’s it, I’m calling Santa – where’s my phone?”
- Little r is Tibetan-Canadian. End of story. He will have a different frame of reference for almost everything than Tsampapapa and I will. He will grow up watching and playing ice-hockey rather than cricket (though admitedly both T-papa and I are bored to tears by it). But how can we ensure that he feels Canadian? Expose him to as much of the world and as many cultures as we can. So much of what we love about Canada is tied to it’s openness, acceptance, culture of kindness, diversity and multi-culturalism – oh, and a week at the cottage in the summer helps too! And while we’re on the subject of North American holidays, we decided in 2009 that Thanksgiving was going to be “our holiday” that we officially adopt.
- We’re still out on this one.
All this to say, we have tried to figure some of it out, and more likely than not, we’ll probably change our minds again – multiple times – and that’s okay.
That I find is the beauty of getting older. It’s the acceptance of not having all the answers. The embracing of the grey areas of life and the grey hairs that go with it. It’s finding out that there is no age limit to improving upon yourself, looking back on your years past and being kind to yourself. Recognizing that you’ve been doing all right as a parent, as a daughter and as a friend. Not perfect but okay – and sometimes okay is good enough. And while that sounds like a herald to mediocrity, I think of it more as a nod towards a life of contentment.
For 2012, I am looking to move towards moving the needle on things within my control and being okay with letting go with those beyond. I look forward to taking better care of myself physically(my health through nutrition & exercise), mentally (being present in the moment, letting go of the small irritations, moving towards untapped potential and challenging myself to do more) and spiritually (taking time to nurture friendships and relationships, spending more time outdoors and appreciating how in this vastness of the universe my challenges are small). The changes will be incremental but hopefully steady.
I have a good feeling about 2012. Even if I’m turing 35.