I think a lot of our so called holidays are overly commercialised. Why do we have to celebrate every single one of them anyway? One holiday I refuse to celebrate until the end of time is Valentine's day. Come to think of it, I don't celebrate Easter either - like seriously, I don't want to eat chocolate eggs and I don't want to give the kids any presents, it is not their birthdays. I give people a great birthday present and then a small present for Christmas. And that's it. They get a present when they get married, but they are not going to get a present for each anniversary. You manage to get married for so long - congratulations.
I wonder if as a society we have come to expect a lot of presents from others. My best friend asks me this question during Christmas when I was talking about weddings and gifting. Personally, I don't expect any present during any occasion. What I would like is the gift of time - my friends to spend sometime with me during my birthday and/or Christmas and we sit down, eat, drink and be merry. That is the most valuable gift ever - to me. No, I don't want any "thing" other than that.
I find that a lot of times, I don't even know what my friends want or need, so choosing a gift for them is a real pain in the neck. Plus I don't want to add clutter to their apartments. Plus I prefer getting them something that would be useful for them (instead of something they will end up tossing or giving to some other person later on). I really appreciate their gifts, and often times, it is the gesture that touches me the most. This gesture is sufficiently expressed with an sms or a quick email or a card - there really is no need for a present.
Moreover, during these times, I am most thankful for my health, for my friends, family and the kindness of friends and strangers. I count my blessings, and each time I find that I have been blessed more and more each year. I know that I don't need material possession to remind me of that fact.
As I get older, I get more and more freaked out by the fact that my parents are getting older. Especially since they are starting to pull the age card. I get freaked out enough by the fact that I am getting older. Now I have to get more freaked out because they are getting older. Sometimes the mere fact that I am living way from them means I don't spend enough time with them, and sometimes I feel guilty of that fact. Sometimes I wish I can just pack my bags and live in the same city as they do so that I can get to see them more often. Somehow I wonder if they would like me to do so. This is going to sound very selfish, but the reason I am not doing that is because I don't see a future for me in that city. Plus I can't stand living there. So really, I prefer to just stay here and build a life here. And I hope that I am not breaking their hearts by choosing this course of action.
I am deeply thankful of what they have done for me - they must have sacrificed a lot for me to get to where I am today. And the question is, what am I going to do for them? Do I make them proud? I used to think the answer is yes, until recently when they express their view that you are nobody until you get married.
To which I am so tempted to reply - there are a lot of people who remain nobodies even after they are married. And what happens when they are divorced? They revert to being nobodies. But of course politeness prevails and I keep my mouth shut.
What I did say though is that I do not wish to wait until I am married before I take my life seriously and become somebody. I am pretty sure they still disagree (thus the above comment being expressed over and over again), but they just have to live with it. Afterall, this is my life and I am the star of the show. I prefer to be able to sleep soundly at night with the choices I have made, thank you very much. Yes, this sounds very stubborn and maybe I am stubborn. Or maybe I have not managed to bridge the cultural gap. Whatever.
Managing this relationship does not get any easier the older I get. In fact, I think it is becoming more and more complex - or maybe because I am more aware of the complexities in the relationship. I admit that I deal with this by focusing the persons that whose hearts I would like to keep intact. And I would be lying if I say that the past does not matter. But I also know that in whatever that I do, there will be some hearts that I break. So while I would like to apologise in advance, I just can't. I have to live with the course of action that is the best for me, and I can not apologise for that.
I wanted to write all of these yesterday, but I did not have the chance to. Obligatory visits to the family and the like, you know. So I am hoping that today is the day I can use to recover before I have to go to the office tomorrow. Good times.