Actress Carina Lau Ka-ling, who turned 43 on Monday, said she wished to become a stronger and wiser person. 'I had so many birthday wishes when I was young and I've got almost everything I wished for,' she said. 'This year I wish I can grow wiser and handle unexpected crises more deliberately and maturely ... with all of the natural disasters and the economic downturn this year, nobody knows what will happen next.' Lau (left) said she and her husband, actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai, were in no hurry to have children and that destiny would deliver a baby to them when the time was right. She finally tied the knot with Leung in July after 20 years of dating. But Lau said marriage had barely changed her life. 'I haven't noticed any dramatic changes since I got married. After all, we've been together for many years,' she said. 'My life philosophy, however, has been changing over time. 'I'm now a more homey person and I enjoy spending time alone. It's not that I don't want Tony around; it's just a way for me to better understand life and myself. I used to be so busy that I didn't even notice the seasons changing.' Never much for housework in the past, Lau now busies herself with grocery shopping, since cooking has become her latest passion. 'I learn cooking from TV programmes and cookery books. I've also tried baking cakes, although I'm not yet a great cook ... It takes time and practice to make perfect, you know,' she said. For Lau, hunting down the perfect husband took more than just time and practice. 'It was pure luck that I found a guy like him,' she said. 'What's more important in a relationship is to keep it working at all times ... There are always struggles, even with your closest friends and family members. 'We have been together for so many years, and the golden rule has always been tolerance. 'Whenever we get into an argument, I try to step back and think about what I have done wrong. I try to put myself in his shoes and look for the best in him.' Having starred in more than 50 films since her debut in 1986, the actress said her cheerful attitude had helped her retain her beauty. 'I'm an open-minded and happy person. I like myself more and more. It is very important for a woman to feel good about herself,' she said. 'Every woman's beauty is unique and all we need to do is to find that inner beauty and accentuate it. Sports such as jogging, swimming and hiking can also help reduce negative thinking. 'Be good to yourself while you are young. Life is too precious to waste,' she said. After her exotic wedding in Bhutan and honeymoon in India, Lau's pinning a more futuristic destination on her travel map. 'I've dreamed about space travelling since I was young,' she said. 'The recent revolutionary developments in space exploration make me feel space is no longer [as] far away as I thought it was.' But for this Christmas, the couple are only venturing as far as a skiing resort in Hokkaido, Japan. 'It's been our Christmas tradition for years,' she said. 'I enjoy skiing because it feels like flying. Also nobody can recognise me in all the skiing gear, helmet and goggles. 'It's so free, as if we were the only people in the universe.'