Ichi-go Ichi-e

The term has been translated as “for this time only”, and “once in a lifetime”. The term reminds people to cherish any gathering that they may take part in, citing the fact that any moment in life cannot be repeated; even when the same group of people get together in the same place again, a particular gathering will never be replicated, and thus each moment is always a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Every year, we experience unique moments and always learn new lessons. 2021 is no-less important year that taught us about people. At least for me.

Two years after Covid-19 pandemic, the progress is both getting better and getting worse. Vaccination and health service are more available, but there is also new variant that we need to anticipate.

Activities are starting to return to the usual. We started visiting places and meeting people. To me, meeting people becomes more precious than ever.

This year, my mother-in-law is passed away. Things went so fast. One day she was actively talking like her usual self, the next week, she was in intensive care, another week, she slept most of the time, the day after, she left. Only in days, things can change entirely different. Our time together as family is short. But her force changes and inspires all of us permanently.

This year, we lost our most caring and valuable colleague. One last meeting, he was asking when i’m going to have the first child, to which I promised him to tell him soon. A few weeks later, he is confirmed positive COVID -19. The next month, we received the news he passed away.

After experiencing some griefs, I had several bad dreams and imaginations of my friends and family’s unexpected death.

Death is inevitable. I know death of someone I love will change me for good. Therefore, the best thing I can do, is to cherish every moments with them. Be present at present is the best present. Connect with them intimately. Reunite with your old friends. Meet and learn the new people. Invite them to experience and explore new things. Listen, learn and understand more about them. Accept their pet peeves although it annoys you. Laugh with them, cry with them. Celebrate their achievements. Make more pictures with them (because you’ll need it one day). Share them what you like (and what you don’t like).

Of course, this is still difficult to do, since social distancing is required. We are unfortunately not allowed to hug each other. (I love hugging people and this is kinda overwhelming not to do when meeting my friend)

Ichi-go, Ichi-e. I just learned about this Japanese idiom: one time, one meeting. It touches me to the core of my heart through what I personally experienced this year. Your lunch time with your family might be a routine, make it memorable: try new dishes together; talk more deep and intimate topics on dining table. Your friends invite you to try things you never interested in before, join them because you might find it interesting too and most importantly, you are there to accompany your friend trying things they like/want to do.

2021 is completely different from how I expect from the first month, yet I am grateful it is.

To my friends and family, thank you for this unconditional love and friendship that we share. I love you all to the most and wish you nothing more than greatest and earnest life you all deserve.

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