tran·si·tion (from Merriam Webster)

Pronunciation: \tran(t)-ˈsi-shən, tran-ˈzi-, chiefly British tran(t)-ˈsi-zhən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin transition-, transitio, from transire
Date: 1551

1 a : passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change b: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another
2 a : a musical modulation b: a musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another
3 : an abrupt change in energy state or level (as of an atomic nucleus or a molecule) usually accompanied by loss or gain of a single quantum of energy

The butterfly develops through a process called metamorphosis. This is a Greek word that means transformation or change in shape.
The butterfly develops through a process called metamorphosis. This is a Greek word that means transformation or change in shape.
 

Beauty in Change and Letting Go

Autumn is a transition season, from summer to winter, the leaves change color and fall down, the temperature changes. It’s one of the most beautiful and pleasant times of the year in most places, and it certainly is the case in Beijing. Transitions mean you’re neither here nor there and being in flux is the norm. I tend to feel insecure in transition times because of my insatiable (almost neurotic) need to know what’s coming ahead and to plan ahead. But living overseas does not allow you to be in control because face it, living in a country such as China is like having an adventure waiting for you each day, and one quickly learns to be more flexible and adapt to the way of life here.

In this transition time of wrapping up one major writing project that I’ve spent eight years on- and- off researching and pondering, and bringing closure to a significant period in my life, I’ve been learning to treasure the moments of laughter, of shared understanding with good friends, of enjoying taking my friend’s adorable five-year-old son David by the hand while we walk under a canopy of trees… I am reflecting more on the beauty in these moments again instead of plowing full speed ahead to finish project goals and day to day tasks.

As the leaves fall from the trees in Beijing, I know that I am also letting go of the last several chapters of my life or the last “Act” in order to embrace what’s to come. There’s a tinge of sadness when I reflect on falling leaves, yet I also believe that, for those of this mindset, it is true that the best is yet to come.

Revolutionizing my schedule

Transitions are also opportune times to reflect, regroup and solidify life vision, short-term and long-term goals. I’ve been writing them out including 5 year, 10 year and 20 year goals and they are so helpful in prioritizing my hour by hour schedule and how I spend my time. How am I wasting time? There are 168 hours in a week and I don’t want to waste one waking hour. I want to live life to the fullest with the utmost passion in all I do.

“The good is the enemy of the best.” It’s refreshing to streamline my schedule to focus on priorities that fall in line with my long-term goals.

I am in need of more time to reflect on:

What is the thing I want to die for? …which is really what I want to live for. I will write about this further in the days to come.

In an ideal world, I want to live for eradicating world poverty and being a voice for the voiceless through all kinds of media.

I want to empower people in developed and developing countries to live lives of immense dignity, personal prosperity and selfless service to others (which you can only do effectively when your own basic needs are met).

When you’re giving to others out of a healthy place, your inner garden is alive and an indescribable sense of inner satisfaction comes over you. Sadly, I’ve seen the exact opposite in some friends and acquaintances who become stagnant pools when they live for themselves and material possessions. It’s like they die inside and they begin to generate even more self-absorbed feelings. These are the friends who change for the worse, instead of improving with age.
 
 
 
Meeting migrant women students at a free vocational training program during a site visit in Beijing on behalf of a donor.
Meeting migrant women students at a free vocational training program during a site visit in Beijing on behalf of a donor.

Mid-life Goals

When I’m 50 years old, what do I want?

I have other items on the list but I can share this: When I’m 50 years old, I want to have a wonderful, deep connection and friendship with my family and close friends.

And I want to be deeply rooted in my faith and have a vibrant prayer life. I want to incorporate annual times of rest at a retreat with my family. I look forward to the close network I’ll be part of, comprised of kindred spirits working in media & entertainment. I also want to be in top shape (have you seen Chris Evert’s arms? Wow, she looks real good at 54).

Someone said that wasting time could mean that you will not fulfill your destiny. Are you letting your destiny slide by?

Hitching a ride from my friend Wingee. We shopped at a fruit wholesaler - this is the real China experience, boys and girls.
Hitching a ride from my friend Wingee. We shopped at a fruit wholesaler - this is the real China experience, boys and girls.
Lawyer extraordinaire, the selfless Ms. Kang Jian, is one of my heroes (center in white). She continues to fight for the rights of Chinese 'comfort women' survivors despite the roadblocks in Japan's courts. (Left - Eric the ABC intern at a Chinese NGO)
Lawyer extraordinaire, the selfless Ms. Kang Jian, is one of my heroes and role models (center in white). She continues to fight for the rights of Chinese 'comfort women' survivors despite the roadblocks in Japan's courts. (Left - Eric the ABC intern at a Chinese NGO)
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