2020 hasn't been a good year for the world, but thankfully this has been a great year for K-dramas. I decided to watch the new drama "18 Again" and ended up on another 20-hour binge-watch marathon, finishing all 16 episodes in one go. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this remake of Zac Efron's movie "17 Again", but this heartwarming drama is so good I would strongly recommend it to everyone.
Regardless of which stage of life we are at, everyone can find a piece of themselves in this drama. This drama allows us to see things from various perspectives, and makes us rethink the importance of family and little things that we may have forgotten while living our day-to-day life. The storyline is simple, but it brilliantly touched on so many valuable life lessons that we can all reflect upon.
Warning: There are 'onions' in almost every episode, I had to pause the show a few times to get tissue...lol!
1. Be thankful for all that our parents have done for us
We may not be aware or tend to forget how much our parents have done for us, and take their love and sacrifices for granted. But if we look back and really think deeply about the first 18 years of our lives, it's not hard to realize how much our parents have done for us.
My dad worked hard to provide for the family while my mom stayed home to take care of 3 of us siblings. It wasn't easy for them, especially the financial burden of having twins. To be honest, I've never really asked or shown much interest about my dad's work, all I knew was that he was an engineer. Now that I've been in a corporate workplace myself, I'm sure he had his fair share of challenges and stress to deal with but kept it to himself so to not worry the family.
For 25 years, my parents' life were all about the kids and they devoted all their time and energy doing things for/with us and were always there for us. They spent their weekends chauffeuring us all around for piano and ballet lessons, and they were there to cheer for us at competitions. When we were in high school and had band practice in the morning, mom would bring us lunch and find a place for us to take shower and freshen up before school starts in the afternoon. She was probably the only mom in school who did that and I remember complaining about her being troublesome. Looking back now, I realized how unappreciative I had been of her.
As adults, even though we may be more educated or successful than our parents, we should consciously remind ourselves not to disrespect or disregard them. After all, we wouldn't have been where we are today without them. Instead of resenting or blaming our parents for what they couldn't or didn't do for us, we should appreciate all the things that they've done for us, because they've probably given us the best they had. When we selfishly talk about pursing our passions, we'd never know how many dreams our parents had given up or sacrificed for us.
Cherish each moment we have with our parents, let them know that you care about them, and show them we love them before it's too late! P.S. You don't need to wait until you become parents yourself to understand and appreciate your parents, because by that time, you'd be too busy with your own children and your own family to care for them.
2. Honest conversation and communication is key to every marriage
As we go through day-to-day life and get used to living with our partner, we tend to assume that we understand and know all about each other. The thing is, even if we think we know all about our partner's routines and habits (both good and bad), we can’t know what our spouse is thinking if they don’t say anything. And to make things worse, we expect our spouse to be able to read our mind.
A lot of times, we keep things to ourselves with the good intention of not worrying our loved ones, but the lack of honest communication often leads to misunderstandings, frustrations, disagreements, and disappointments. As time goes by, couples drift apart due to complacency and lack of communication.
So remember to be intentional about having heart-to-heart conversations, share your sincere feelings, talk to each other honestly and frequently, and most importantly listen. Seek to understand and be understood by putting ourselves in each others' shoes. Don't assume that you understand each other just because you are married for many years because that will only make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'.
3. Don't let life steal the love you once had
We know life gets hectic and busy, especially when you have children. While it's normal for parents to give all their love and attention to the children, it's usually done so at the expense of the love and affection for each other. The obligations, commitments, and responsibilities to make a living and provide for the family make it easy to forget the love we once had for each other while living life.
When the children are young, the children are often the center of attention, the source of happiness, and the glue that keeps the family together. However, when the kids are old enough to have their own circle of friends and lives, many married couples will realize that the gap between them has widen, and the prolonged lack of focus on each other created cracks in their relationship. This is a common pitfall for many married couples.
We all know marriage is not about the butterflies. It's about appreciating the many small and insignificant things that will put a smile on your face. Little things like helping each other with chores, caring and comforting each other during difficult times, giving a hug, a kiss, a cuddle, and saying "Please", "Thank you", "I love you", "I miss you". These actions and words may seem insignificant, but these are the things that will make your other half feel loved and cared-for.
Never forget about what brought us together in the first place. Remember that we were each other's brightest star, don't use our busy life as an excuse to not treat our partner like a gem. Don't stop doing things that show each other how much you love them. Don't take each other's existence and things they do for granted just because we get comfortable and used to them.
4. Don't do things that will make you regret the things that made you smile
Unlike the protagonist in the drama, we don't get a do-over in life. Our life today is the result of the decisions and choices we made in the past. We can always look back and ponder about how different our lives would be if we had made a different choice, but there are no what-ifs in life.
Since we can't turn back time, we should be more mindful and intentional about the the words we say, the actions we take, and the choices we make today, to avoid doing things that we will regret. Of course, not all choices will end up with good outcomes, but we can look at them as lessons learned because it made us stronger and better human beings.
Parents are certainly commendable for working hard to provide the best you can for the family, but it takes more than money to be a good parent. Remember to listen, understand, respect, support, and see things from their perspective. No matter how hard life is or if you both are going through a rough patch, don't play the blame game or make your children feel like they were a mistake or a burden. Remember that it was your decision to bring them into this world.
Life is a one-way street and we will never know where the road not taken will lead us to. As such, we should cherish what we have, live our life to the fullest, and never regret our choices. No matter where we are in our lives, it's never too late to learn something new, do the things we've always wanted to do, and cherish the people and moments that make us smile.
5. There is no perfect family but there can be happy endings
Conflicts are a normal part of every relationship and in every broken relationship, nobody is completely blameless. We are not perfect and we make mistakes. We tend to show the worst side of ourselves only to our loved ones who are closest to us, even if we didn't really mean to. Life pulls us in different directions and relationships fall apart. Somewhere along the way, we become disconnected because we forgot to listen and respect each other. We may think that we've given the best for our family, but we may only be giving what we wanted to give, not what our family needed us to give.
Speaking from my own experience and observations, no family is perfect. Every family has their own issues and problems that they are dealing with. However, that shouldn't stop us from doing our best and strive to be a better version of ourselves for our family. We learn and grow through our mistakes and experiences. Love and care for each other as much as you can, that’s the secret to happiness. So easy to forget when we get caught up in our problems, but so important to remember. Life is really too short, and you only get one. Don't waste it.
This drama is written beautifully from the beginning to the end. It is filled with life lessons which serve as a timely reminder for all of us to cherish our loved ones, especially in this tough year where we are spending too much time together or away from our family. A big applause for the actors, scriptwriters, and directors. Great casts, great acting, great storyline, great OST!
January 2021 December 2019