Happiness is... embracing the now

Posted by ~Summer~ on July 07, 2022
in ,

Growing up, I've always stuck to the motto "知足常乐" and tried best to live life contentedly. Still, there were days when I couldn't help but feel that the grass was greener on the other side. Days when I got envious of my peers, days when I wished I could fast forward or rewind time, days when I see what other mums have accomplished and wonder about my own achievements, days when I feel like an utter failure, days when I ponder and wonder about life in general.

April marked the month that I turned 39 and when I looked around me, I realised there is absolutely nothing to complain about because I am living the best life I could ever dream about. Being a stay-at-home mum is a privilege and a blessing - and a job that I take seriously and slog through day in day out. It isn't a walk in the park - motherhood never was and never will be - but it is one that is filled with marvel, beauty, joy and rewards along the way.

Perhaps being at the halfway mark in my life makes it dawn upon me that I'd better do more to cherish and treasure everything I have and live in the present. In this post of "Happiness is..", it's about embracing the now and having a grateful heart with each day that comes.

I had an intimate and much appreciated birthday celebration with the kids. Yup, having more kids means birthdays are always merry and rowdy in our home. They don't have to be grand or big scale to be special and memorable. I like mine the way it is and deeply cherished all the thoughts and effort put in by the hubby, parents, kids and friends. Read more about my thoughts on turning 39 here.

Everyone loves staycation, right? So do we! We are not planning to go on a holiday for the time being so staycays are the next best thing. You know, we have not booked any staycation out of our pockets yet because I deem them as a luxury that is too expensive. That means every single one that we go on is because we were lucky to be invited for a media review but it also means I was working very hard nearly every moment of the stay and had lots of work to do upon returning home. Still, I know we are very fortunate to get one or two staycays every year and none of it is taken for granted.

We were the VIPs at Ibis Style Hotel during my birthday weekend and I was blown away by their attention to details and all the lovely birthday decor set up in our rooms. The helium balloons made the kids very happy and I loved the lychee flavoured birthday cake. It was more of a mum-and-kids staycation as the hubby was rather busy and despite all the nagging and bickers, I wouldn't have it any other way.

The highlight of the stay was the aqua egg hunt which the kids enjoyed thoroughly. The staff specially put in nearly 2000 eggs into the pool so we could have a preview of the Easter weekend activity and we actually felt bad about the hassle, which was why the kids helped to gather and pack up the eggs when the game ended. The task was to collect as many eggs as possible within a time limit and golden eggs were the bonus. So simple yet so fun!

We enjoyed the balloons, giant inflatables, water guns and most of all, the poolside cafe where it was possible to dine in our swimwear and grab a bite in between playing and swimming. If I could, I truly wouldn't mind lazing here with the kids all day. Sometimes, doing nothing brings you the most joy, don't you think so?

While I love that we have home cooked food a few times a week, I also like bringing the kids out for a meal. That means no washing up needed, haha! What I love is being able to breathe in fresh air, visit new places, eat our favourite food and enjoy each other's company. We are so good at this mum-and-four-kids outings now and it's a good thing that the older ones can help to take care of the toddler when I am busy ordering or carrying food back.

We brought my parents for a yummy steamboat lunch at Golden Mile - it's my mum's favourite and I grew up to like it too - and we also went to East Coast Park to to enjoy nature, let the kids play at the playground and blow bubbles, as well as have coffee and some snacks. It was a reminder for us to slow down our footsteps, take deep breaths, enjoy the sun and be thankful for having our loved ones beside us. Never keep thinking that "There's always next time" because most often than not, it makes you miss out on what you can do now.

If I'm feeling tired and late in writing my posts, it's because this toddler keeps me up at night and clings to me 24/7. Still, it's such a joy seeing him grow up day by day, getting taller and learning new things. At 14 months, he has started walking and that is a huge milestone, right? I guess Mama will need even more energy to keep up with you from now on! Thank you for being my bundle of sunshine, for assuring me that things will be all right and for brightening my every day with your cheerful, infectious smile.

After a long break - we are talking about years - it's finally time to bring back our BBQ gatherings! We had a cosy time with our parents and while the adults tucked into yummy, grilled food prepared by the hubby, the kids splashed in the pool and played all day long. When everyone is happy, I am even happier.

As the kids just recovered from Covid in January, we were advised to wait for three months before letting them take their vaccination. Finally, these two went for their first jab and it's nice that they got to do it together! I heard horror stories from friends about how some kids are fearful of the needle and would bawl or kick up a fuss when it was their turn. But thankfully, these two were as cool as a cucumber even though I know they were a little scared and apprehensive initially. Thank you for not giving me any trouble at all except having to travel and bring everyone big and small to the community club where you had your jab.

Carnivals are always so much fun! We saw this funfair in a nearby shopping mall and I let the kids play a couple of games and go on a ride or two. I must say these are not cheap anymore and we have to be really selective in order not to spend a bomb. These are the memories of their childhood and I hope my kids will have fond memories of pasar malams and carnivals like how I did.

It was our 14th wedding anniversary in April and while the hubby and I don't see the need for any lavish meal or fancy celebration, it was still nice to know that each other remembered. Our kids were the swetest because they actually went to the extent of making handmade cards for us. They didn't need to, but they did it anyway, and I truly appreciated that loving gesture. Thank you for all your kind wishes, my dears!

With kids, one of the best things we can do for free is to head to the neighbourhood playgrounds. My kids are always thrilled when we go to one, no matter how small or simple it is, and they always have so much fun together. Okay, they bicker too but that's part and parcel of being siblings. I like exploring new playgrounds and hope to bring them to more iconic playgrounds on our sunny island during the holidays.

Last but not least, I also met up with some of my jie meis for a long-awaited catch up and it was nice being able to sit together to chat once more. I do miss many of my friends from time to time and even though we can't meet up as much as we used to because life keeps each of us busy in one way or another, I'm glad to know that we are still doing it regularly and making an effort to set time aside for such meetups. These friends have known me since I was thirteen and it isn't easy to find friendship that lasts for decades so I'm definitely keeping them close to my heart.

Cherish, Summer, cherish. That is what I keep reminding myself each day. Don't take things for granted, don't fail to appreciate, don't live with (too many) regrets. Treasure the present, embrace the now and make each day count.

Not just for my kids, but for myself too. Till the next "Happiness is" post!


Post a Comment

Yoohoo, thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving your comment! I am feeling the love! (^.^)