Care Less

This afternoon, I attended the AAPI faculty group meeting via Zoom. When we broke into small groups, we discussed support and stress relief. On the latter, I shared that I took my kids to the skateparks. I rollerbladed to help ease all the tensions. We also hit the slopes skiing and snowboarding. A Chinese-American faculty member shared that she watched K-Dramas when she had time to herself. A Korean-American staff member shared that she had been too busy with work and kids; therefore, she hadn’t time to herself.

With support, we talked about the vibrant Asian communities in Virginia including Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. I shared about the support I got from my co-workers. One of them also concurred about the support she received from her colleagues. The example she gave was when she went to the funeral of her son’s best friend who killed himself, her colleagues showed her their support. Her son and his best friend were in college together. I didn’t know what made that young man take his own life, but my heart sank. I just can’t even begin to imagine how the kid’s parents would cope with their loss.

The tragic story has kept me thinking about my own kids, especially the older ones. I love them way too much and I care about them too deeply. I want to make sure that they won’t screw up their lives. Instead of helping them, I am turning into a control freak. They hate me and they say I am ruining their lives. They may be right. I don’t know what I am doing. Like everything I have cared so deeply for, I ended up ruining it. Maybe I should just care less and give them the freedom to live their own lives. If they don’t want to hang out with me, I won’t force them. If they want to spend time on their digital devices, I’ll let them. I need to learn to let go.

Since my mother’s passing, I am still carrying on the pain. I thought of her often. Glimpses of her playing on my mind made me weep. My life has not been the same after she departed. My emotions had all screwed up. The more I cared about something; the more I became erratic. I ended up making poor choices. I messed up all my relationships, especially the ones I cared too much about. Instead of caring too much, I am learning to care less. For the most part, it is working out well.

I avoid getting too comfortable around people. Even with my relatives, I remind myself to just shut up and walk away. I used to be passionate about my work. Now I just remove myself from discussions and let people be the experts in my field. My older kids are growing and they want to live their lives. I am not going to get into their way. My drinking friends, after getting wasted, see you next time.

I am not being careless. I just need to care less. When I cared too deeply, I felt like I was on the verge of breaking down. I couldn’t control the monster in me. Caring less means letting go of things I cannot control. I can’t control my mother’s death. I can’t control my kids. I can’t control my work. I can’t control my own life. I never wanted to be in control. I am not a dictator. I just want the best for the people I love. If my kids turn out bad, they will suffer, not me. If they turn out good, that’s great for them and that’s what I want. I don’t want them to be miserable because they have a controlling father. They are grown now and it is time to let them go. It’s time to refocus my attention on the younger ones.