The other day I caught a short video on how they’re teaching kids in some schools in the U.K. some exercises in mindfulness, which were supposed to help them be calmer and thoughtful. The kids did admit that they liked what they were doing but I had to laugh when a boy was asked what exactly they were doing and he paused for a long while before he answered, “Um, I don’t really know.” I’m glad the experts see it necessary to teach mindfulness from an early age. These days when everyone is glued to their mobile devices, oblivious to what’s going on around them, we’ve probably got too much on our minds than is healthy for our bodies and souls.
I had dinner the other night with my godson and his wife. He had just finished a session at his muay thai gym. They started telling me about this old woman who had won a tournament and I asked how old she was. They answered, "Oh, about 52." And I went, "Excuse me?" and rolled my eyes. We had a good laugh about that but I guess that's how younger people perceive older folk. I'm heading into my sixties and while I'll admit that I'm getting older, I'm not old.
On Facebook today, an acquaintance shared that his daughter who is college-bound soon told him that she’s thinking of going to a college near home instead of far away so that she can be close to them. While most of those who commented on the post praised the girl for her filial piety (much valued in Asian families) I feel that parents should really encourage their kids to go away for their further studies. It’s a first step in their journey towards adulthood and it’s a great time to learn how to be a grown up.
In my younger days, I was just like every other selfish, self-absorbed millennial today. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and nobody could offer me any advice that I didn’t already know. I scoffed at my elders, thinking they were fuddy duddies who lived in another era and certainly not keeping with the times. Now that I am an old fuddy duddy myself, I realize that the young people I know are probably thinking I’m out of date myself!
I’ve always done things fast.. Perhaps there are some OCD compulsions going on inside my brain, but basically I think it’s just the way I’m wired. Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of navel gazing as well. I’m a couch potato and can sit for hours in front of the TV crocheting away, enjoy coffee and a long yarn with a friend or loll in bed reading. I just do whatever needs to get done before my downtime in a rush so I can chill in peace and not have to worry about work or chores. But lately, I’ve found out (or my body is telling me!) that I need to slow down.
I never really realized that yam was so much a part of my Chinese heritage, featuring in so many of Hakka dishes. Admittedly stodgy and not very flavorful, it does seem to serve as a great foil for other ingredients and dishes. It must have been an ideal filler of hungry stomachs in the old days when money was tight and rice, a Chinese staple, was expensive. Today, yam has become an expensive supermarket item iteself and, for many, a treat whether as a savory or sweet.
Like I’ve said many times before, I’m turning into my mother! Not only do I try to make some of the food she used to dish up over holiday celebrations, but I’m also reverting to some of her idiosyncratic behavior, for no rhyme or reason that I can think of. This Chinese New Year, even though I came down with the flu, I was still lucid enough to make sure that I made some of the food that have come to be know as new year dishes in our family.