To me, happiness comes from meaningful and thoughtful relationships.
A series of mini stampedes run across the wooden floors. It suddenly pauses.
Then I hear my nephew squeal upstairs and he begins his run across the floor again.
The strum of guitars sound (way out of tune) by the staircase, announcing my sister and nephew’s descendent from the second floor. The kitchen begins to bustle, as the microwave beeps, the fridge door opens, the clinks of spoons and forks sound and its cacophony makes its way under my door and into my room. I squint my eyes open and can hear my nephew loudly chewing a piece of fruit.
I check my phone.
It’s 6:47 am and the day has begun.
I stretch and hop out of bed to help out because that is what you do for people you love.
Love is waking up at 7 am to make chocolate chip banana pancakes for my nephew, only for him to bite into the chocolate parts and chuck the rest at my back when I’m making coffee.
💐 On Thoughtfulness 💐
How does one be thoughtful?
In my own definition, it’s putting myself in someone else’s shoes and thinking about what would make them happy or feel taken care of. For example, I find it thoughtful when people offer to pick me up because Ubers in San Francisco are now $20 one way, when friends proactively plan or make reservations for us, or bring me a yummy snack from their tech office.
From Taiwan, I brought back an exclusive Starbucks mug for a friend who loves collecting Starbucks mugs. She was an ABG baddie who scared people, yet we became good friends and almost failed Finance together (yay trauma bonding). She used to drop me off in college after our 10 pm classes because she didn’t want me taking the bus late at night. Because of her kindness back then, I want to be thoughtful back to her (and her new baby daughter) too.
When I am thoughtful, I do it without expectation and see it as a way to take care of the people who’ve taken care of me. I do caution those who give too much, as it will cause resentment and unhappiness in the relationship. It’s balance, my friends.
I give more when I know that we both pour into the relationship.
Mothers’ Day (May 14th) is coming around the corner. While not all of us have the best relationships with our mothers, it’s a day to celebrate a mother you know and love.
To understand what mothers need, read this article “Just Get a Babysitter” — And Other Unhelpful Tips for Overwhelmed Parents.”
Here are some thoughtful ideas that I thought of:
- If she has young children, give her a free night! I help babysit my nephew for a couple of hours at night so my sister can go out with her husband or stay upstairs to be alone for a couple of hours.
- A pre-arranged spa day! make sure the kids are all squared away (with her partner or friends) and take her on a spa day to disconnect with no worries.
- Bring over a delicious home cooked meal or healthy food basket filled with goodies from Trader Joe’s. Anything that helps minimize one last decision around dinner will greatly be appreciated.
I’m back in San Francisco! Watch my newest vlog on life in the city.