In the early morning of March 30, 2020, Sophie got an international call. 


‘Hello may I speak with Mrs. Sophie?’

‘It is her speaking’

‘Mrs. Sophie, I’m Dr. Marie calling from Stanford hospital.  I’m sorry to inform you that your husband Mr. Tom is in the emergency room.  He has caught covid and is in critical condition.’

Sophie, is speechless…

‘Yes…., I…I need to see him but I’m in China.  The flights are currently banned, what can I do to see him Dr.?’

‘Well Mrs. Sophie, he is in the ICU and has 3 days to live.  I suggest you fly in right away’

Sophie kneels down, phone in her lap, heart’s sha-cking … shocked.


Let me take you back to 2018.  Sophie and Tom got engaged and married a beautiful wedding at Stanford Cathedral.  Sophie and Tom promised each other to care for and love.   Exchange of a bright ruby red sapphire ring and a golden platinum ring, they intensely gaze at the eyes of each other as if their souls are declaring ‘I do marry you’ from the core, deep love.

In 2019, Sophie was selected as a top consultant in her company and was offered an incentive 7x that of Tom and hers combined.  They’ve been dreaming about a lifestyle that can afford to have a baby, buy a mansion, and spend luxurious family time without being bogged down by work’s obligations. 

Sophie thought this promotion could offer the ideal lifestyle in 2 years and bump them up to upper class, elated.  The only caveat is she lives and works in China.  Having a child as a low income class is strenuous on every member of the family especially in the Bay Area.  


Sophie’s heart is aching.  Her mind is blank.  She is in a stand still.  
5 minutes later, she remembers to take a deep breath in.  Exhales a deep sigh and gains composure as much she can.   Her arms are shaking.   She picks up the phone and calls her brother. 


‘Hey, this is Sophie, can you rush to the Stanford ICU department and check on Tom pls’

‘Yeah what’s going on sister’

‘… Tom is in the intensive care unit’

‘Ah .. I’m so sorry’

‘Go to the ICU, check up on him.  Could you take care of him as much as you can while I figure out a way to be with you in 3 days?’

’Sure, certainly’



Sophie calls the airport, travel agents, immigration office, company HR, US and Chinese embassy, anywhere to get her on the airplane, pronto. 

Sadly, no flights are available. 

Coincidentally Sophie is assigned a role to negotiate on behalf of her company a $5 billion dollar contract tomorrow.  

She reluctantly calls her boss and cancels her attendance. 

The company fires her immediately.  

Depression found a way to creep in, she feels hopeless.  


Sophie is desperate to get on the plane.  
Does Sophie speak to Tom?


Her brother rushes to Tom.

Tom is lying in bed with needles, connected to a number of machines and drips.  Nearly in comatose.

3 days in, the doctor shares news.  Tom is responding to the treatment 
He is slowly recovering.

Sophie is frantically looking for an airplane.

She’s called 50 agencies by now
No flights can be booked in April, May, June.


She remembers to breathe mindfully
This tool is the only thing she held on to

Sophie finally flies in November
Tom is content to see her

Tom has recovered since
They’re grateful to meet again, deep appreciation.

In Buddha’s philosophy,
There’s a notion that this world can be destroyed because people keep wanting more and more money and power.  The list goes on.

Must I say that
True happiness is found within.  2018 study from Purdue University found that the ideal income point for individuals is $95,000 for life satisfaction and $75,000 for emotional well-being. When people earned more than $105,000, their happiness levels decreased.

Sophie learned a valuable lesson, the hard way.
She almost lost the love of her life.

Sitting on a couch in her living room, sipping a cup of tea w/ diary in her hands, watching Tom take a nap.
She sips tea, takes a breath in, and observes everything around her is sheer perfection.   

She writes
Dear diary,

Life is a mysterious teacher, a sagacious one.  
Whether I’m happy or not, it’s true everyone is going to die one day. 

2020 has taught me the importance of gratitude for what I already have.   
Spending quality time is of essence 
I don’t have to have everything to be happy.  
Thanks for the tough lesson

Closes her diary and cuddle next to Tom, smiling. Content.

We want brighter seasons, and it prompt us to make a choice  

What will it take to make the choice that gives you inner peace no matter what life throws at you? 

Shall we bring on the massive global change, starting with inner happiness, peace?

I welcome you to let go of the old path 
And invite a new season, a bright one within.

Beauty is appreciating what we already have and feeling em +

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