Monday, January 14, 2019

May Your 2019 Goals Lead to Happiness and Contentment

Here's hoping 2019 will be kinder to our health and yours. 

She Writes…

It’s 2019, how are you?

January is the perfect time of the year to think about what we want to achieve in the next 365 days.  New beginnings, like the new year, offer opportunities for a do-over, a fresh, unsullied slate that seem to hold the secret promise of success.

Having just said that, I write this as I take a pause from trying to complete my 100 goals. Compared to last year’s lofty aspirations that reflected a can-do-anything-whatever-it-takes attitude, my goals this year seem to lack the drive and ambition expected from an Asian immigrant.

There is a reason for the change in tone. Last year, just when I thought I was starting to find my footing, I was diagnosed with a serious illness. I never expected the journey from surgery to active treatment to ongoing therapy to reveal much about my character and the depth of my husband’s love, but it did.

Thanks to Ray’s encouragement, I have had time to reflect, feed my soul and decide to choose happiness. While it was nice to finally be on a good career track, I now see the many trade-offs that have probably negatively impacted my health. Now I understand what Ray meant when he cautioned me against blind ambition because many unfit choices have consequences even if it comes with a better pay rate and job title.

As an immigrant, I admit that there has been pressure to exude material success, so much so that I needed one of my best friends to use anthropological theories to help me contextualize and come to terms with it.  She said it could be attributed to structural violence—as minorities, people of color like us have had to work harder to prove ourselves and we have resorted to a show of material success like owning and flaunting anything and everything branded to prove that we have made it. Expounding on this probably calls for another entry.

I understand the thirst to prove oneself and the need to be successful but what good is all the material success if you’re dead? As a journalist assigned in conflict areas in my previous life, senior reporters have often told me that “no story is worth your life,” and drawing parallels from this nugget of wisdom, I now find that no material success is worth my health.

So as I complete my goals for this year, I accept life on my own terms, based on my standards, and with my definition of quality as a yardstick. I also do so accepting that I do not meet the criteria of success imposed by my culture.

Career-wise, my goals are simple— find a great boss I can respect (because a nasty one is horrible to your health) and find kind and smart co-workers. Great medical benefits would just be a bonus. Health-wise, my goals include clear scans, excellent blood work results, and of course staying consistent with our healthier lifestyle changes.  The rest of my goals (me thinks) are not meant for economic gain but are meant for a deeper enjoyment and appreciation of life.

Wherever you are and whoever you are, if you’re reading this, I hope that you learn from my journey. I also pray that you can define your own criteria for success and find peace and contentment. Our culture imposes many expectations, but know that it’s okay to just be you. #

Related Entry:

Welcome, 2017 

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