Happy New Year! Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday!
When I was young, l looked forward to these greetings. These greetings meant delicious food and lots of gifts. They represent a time of partying til the wee hours or until we’ve run out of leftovers. These were certainly good and happy times for my younger self, especially when I got what had been on my wish list, “collected” money from my godparents, and won prizes from various party games.
Yes, I would feel excited when I receive a lot of stuff from people.My elation would feel like eating a box of chocolates on your birthday. Unfortunately, this feeling was quite shallow and fleeting. After the party had ended and the guests had left, my life became pretty much routine until the next big celebration.
Last year, a defining moment in my life made me view happiness differently. This time, I gave. I gave birth.
As cliche as it sounds, cradling your baby for the first time puts a light in your heart that’s brighter than the most grandiose fireworks on New Year’s eve and warmer than the Christmas ham roasting in the oven.
Those sleepless nights thereafter, when all was quiet as I breastfed my daughter, my heart would whisper to me, “This is real happiness.” It is that intense feeling of joy as you realize that you are blessed with a miracle in your arms and in your life. You get that exquisite chance to love and be loved by this little human being. Nothing could be more wonderful.
Needless to say, happiness became more meaningful to me. It was no longer about getting what I wanted but giving what she needed whether it’s a diaper change or just a cuddle. It was also being grateful for the life that you have and the people who love you.
These days, I find happiness in the simple things like being a hands on parent, crocheting and writing. Sure, it’s tiring and frustrating at times but I feel happy when I appreciate seemingly ordinary moments – like my child’s gusto in eating something I cooked or her enthusiasm in acting out ” The Itsy Bitsy Spider” song . I also enjoy playing with her and watching her discover new things. She recently found out that spinning yourself one too many times can make you feel dizzy.
She is indeed growing up and moving fast. But I think as long as we are mindful of how important our time together is, we will always find happiness even in everyday things.