Being a parent has been one of the most challenging things for me. I believe this is true for most parents.
You grow up, experience life, try your best to master everything. Then, suddenly, you have a mini-me pulling at your pants looking up to you expecting you to take care of them and have all the answers.
I think I had a bit of an advantage to most parents.
Surviving in China for all these years.
The Stress From The First Few Years in Chinese Business
Looking back at the first couple years when I moved to China, man was that stressful. The unknown and adventure is what got me here, the challenge is what kept me here.
There is a common story I tell many friends. It is about my first year of being here, and an American friend seeing me so stressed out, he said:
You’re going to end up in 3 situations:
1. You get fed up and leave China
2. You have a heart attack
3. You learn to deal with it.
There was no option 4, China will change for your needs.
That short explanation I believe did help re-structure my thinking. I can’t change everything around me, instead I need to learn how to accept it and make it work as best for me as I can.
Meditation and Being Zen
Maybe I’m also just getting old. But I have fallen in love with daily meditation. Being able to close your eyes and clear your mind. I can feel the top of my head get tingly, and in a way “defrag” my brain, unraveling the knots. A massage in my mind in a way.
As I continue to improve this skill, there are times in the day when I meditate for 5 seconds. I learned that from the “Art of Learning” book 9999. He said to make a ritual that cools you down and prepares you for a stressful task, and then consolidate it down to a micro-ritual when you don’t have time to do the full routine.
Living in congested China has helped with this countless times.
These Skills Have Been Amazing For Me as a New Parent
Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?
Definitely the case here. I love the battle of “life” in China business. And I have been able to now endure and “digest” it without my hair falling out (yet)
Taking this skill and zen to being a parent here, and it is awesome.
My kid is getting close to “terribly 2” range, and I’m noticing that phase already. But I am prepared for it, he poked me with a car a few times this morning, and I just smiled and told him no.