Happiness Project: Lessons I learned being me in 30s

It is middle of the year already! There are so many things that happened and I am still keeping track of my happiness project for 2016. And for my musings, here is one piece I’ve written on my journal:

My 20s was filled with memories of fun-filled activities with my lifelong friends and work colleagues. In 20s I had a lot of dreams and plans. Some of my dreams and plans are ideal and some are too high for my expectations. I never regret the things I did when I was in 20s; travel and explore places I only dream before, try new experiences, make mistake, find someone who will share my dreams and passion. I know that being in 20s is not my baseline for having my plans being executed; it was just a starting point. I made mistakes and failures (who did not?) but I am glad that those mistakes and failures helped me realized how to value life more and value the people who helped me get out of those mistakes and failures. I learned a lot of things in 20s and sometimes even surmised that there are also regrets but still focusing on what matters in life made me realized how blessed I am despite of failures and mistakes.

Now that I am on my silver years, I made a lot of realization in life and the choices I made which I stand firm. I realized a lot of lessons from my younger years and used them as my guide on my silver years. Here are some of the lessons that made me realize that life is a journey and we are the ones who are defining our destination and goals.


On Being a Mom:

  1. No amount of books, workshops and self help guidelines can define you as a mother. You will learn that being a mom starts when you have a life inside your womb. Your instincts works for you and each day your child reaches his/her milestone, you knew you learn a lot of things through experiencing it.
  2. You learn to be stronger so that you child can depend on you when time and opportunity ask you to be there for him.
  3. Do not compare yourself with other moms. You all have CHOICES in life.
  4. I learned that children have different milestones. I learned to appreciate my child’s strengths and weaknesses. I am proud of his achievements, whether big or small.
  5. I realized that being mom does not stop you from doing the things you appreciate or love. Sure, your family is your top priority but you need to ensure that while you are adjusting and working the dynamics of being a family, it is essential to do things that will help you grow. You can be mom and at the same time be an accomplished career woman or passionate at causes and hobbies you love.
  6. You learn that no matter how hard you try to hide those veggies in his rice or spring roll, he will still have the uncanny ability of removing them and sorting them. 😛
  7. I learned to appreciate how my parents raised me and understand where they are coming when they instill tough discipline on us. Now, I am reaping the benefits of listening well to my parents and instilling the same values to my child.
  8. You learn to be patient by your child’s milestones and appreciate each milestone that was met.
  9. It helps to have a support group of moms who encourage you and tell you that some of things we worry about our child is “normal” and part of our learning process as a mother and parent.


On Relationship with Other People

  1. When you get older, you learn how to appreciate the people that stayed in your life.
  2. You learn when to walk away from a bad friendship or relationship. You never had a remorse or regret on removing or leaving a person who treated you unfair. Life is short to be wasted on people who do not appreciate your value.
  3. You learn to choose your battles and pick the ones which are worth fighting for
  4. You learn that you cannot please everyone. Instead of making a huge effort to appease a non-responding person, might as well use your valuable time on spending it to people who made your life whole and happy.
  5. You learn to say no.
  6. I learn that other’s people opinion about me does not equate my whole personality and character. I don’t need to explain my decision and choices for other people to understand. People close to me supports my decision and choices. I stay away from judgmental and gossipmonger people.
  7. I learned to appreciate the “Desiderata” poem and take it as a lesson from the heart.
  8. I learned that people stay for “reason”, “season”, and “lifetime”.
  9. Time and distance does not matter to real friends. The friendship stays even after years of being apart.
  10. Having friends from different circles, helps you see different perspective in life. I appreciate that I have different set of friends who help us tread through our life.
  11. I learned that people does not change overnight or does not change at all. This is in relation on evaluating people worth keeping in your life. Changes happen gradually and there are times changes do not happen at all. This is the turning point in my life to decide whether to accept that change will not happen or move forward.


On Career

  1. You learn that attending trainings and workshops are essential because it helps you grow as a professional career woman. It still amazes me when other people see it as inconvenience. Trainings are good avenue for us to learn new things, revisit old knowledge and prepare for future work battles.
  2. You learn to fight for your right and what you believe in.
  3. You learn that it pays to be prepared for work’s emergencies – be it a retrenchment, a client visit or a spur of the moment request when senior management asked you to present for status updates.
  4. You learn to appreciate the value of meeting minutes and documenting email trails during important project decision making and issues.
  5. You learn that organization will not provide you a monument because you worked more than eight hours a day. A true productive employee must be able to accomplish a lot of things during the crucial eight hours in the office.
  6. You learn that people left organization not because of the organization itself but the “people” who are running the organization to smithereens.
  7. It is never shameful to walk away from a job that does not help you grow or achieve your career objectives.
  8. No one is indispensable in a job. You should never feel entitle to a job or position because you will never know how long you will stay in the job or how long will the organization survived.
  9. All people should be treated fairly; whether it is the senior manager or the janitor of the building. You will never know when you will need their help and assistance in the future.
  10. You learn to appreciate taking time off from work. Vacations are essential to energize and help you get back in the right track. So take those vacation benefits that the company is offering you.
  11. It is not worth it to stay in a job that makes you sick or feel invaluable. This is an indicator that you have to move on and look for opportunities to turn your work (and life) around.
  12. Always see mistakes and failures as baseline for improvement and opportunities to better you. No one is too perfect for a job.
  13. Remember that companies hired you to solve problems not to add you from their problems.
  14. Your career can change, shift, move up, or go on other path / direction. What is important is that at the end of the day, you have your peace for making a better decision on choosing a better job.

P.S. Images are from my favorite quotes from Heather Stillufsen 🙂


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