It’s late at night and I am evacuating from the apartment in the nearby Starbucks (Matt has an hour-long skype call to make). It’s Christmas season again! I am so glad that it’s here upon us all. Jo reminded me of a November evening years ago in Saigon when we got to witness the fairy lights lit up by the café staff, merry tunes in the background, cold beers in our hand. That evening of years past remains the quintessence of Christmas season in me – so much hope and coziness.
I am voicing my hopes to the universe in this Christmas season. I hope that I can finish my curriculum development project in time for Christmas break (and for my sanity, if I’m being honest). I hope that I can work towards my employability somewhere other than Asia, especially in the States. I hope that my mom Lanh and dad Toan can enjoy a sense of wellbeing that rightfully comes with retirement after years of hard work. I hope that my mom Robyn and dad Marty will continue to enjoy good health, high spirits and much joy as they have skillfully introduced into their daily life. I hope to connect with my girlfriends Quynh, Trang and Jo more often. Writing on this blog helps. Whenever a friend texts and says that she finds a specific something I write here so relatable, I feel like all this long distance is a little bit more okay.
In this season of hope, however, there are sobering moments where I struggle to find my bearing. Parts of this struggle, I feel, comes from my neurotic brain. I have had my fair share of anxiety much of my adult life. The sources of anxiety vary widely, depending on what literature or whom I am exposed to at a certain time. For example, I woke up from a nap today and got obsessed thinking about retirement fund, because recently I have read more on the topic of, you guess it, aging. This kind of ruminating anxiety, my psychologist advises, can be prevented by me having a kind of structure to my day. I haven’t been up to date with a daily structure lately, with productivity suffering. That comes at the cost of increasing my own anxiety. There you have it – a vicious cycle of little structure – more anxiety – need for structure. (Insert 30 minutes of how I want to help structure my days more inspiringly. Be right back.)
More than most, this Christmas season has brought with it such a hopeful promise as we are coming back home to Lititz to be with mom Robyn and dad Marty. Upon knowing that I have never had the experience of cozying up with family by the fire as it gets cold outside, Matt decided to bring us back home. And I am so grateful for that decision. To be with mom and dad is the emblem of coziness for me. Dad will cook, Mom will bake, Matt will get cold and I will get pampered (I kid, I kid. More like: Matt will need time alone reading and I will try to get Bella and Blotch – ahem, Patch – the cats to love me, in vain. Dad will still cook and same goes for mom. Hihi.) As mom and dad’s car pulled away from our last union in DC, I found myself yearning for more, more time and more being with family. More of this coziness and tender hearts, please. I realized that I have started feeling Mom and Dad as home. And that, my friends, is a balm for the homesick soul in this season.
I think the café staffs are trying to close up shop. I need to get on my feet. Five more Mondays until Christmas! Joyeux Noel, beloved ones!