Its that time of the year again! When all of us consciously or unconsciously take stock of our life. I peeped into my blog list to a year back, just to see how my thoughts had grown in the last one year.
Hurrah! The sense of alignment and containment that I had begun to experience in 2015 has accompanied me through 2016. Am glad to realise that. In addition to pursuing activities which brought me happiness and a sense of peace, I added meeting up and reaching out to people who had left a mark on my life. Some ask me what do I get out of tracking down friends and relatives who I have lost touch with for years. It’s not something tangible. Its much more than that.
There are few maxims which I have consciously struck out from my mind’s notebook. This is a very personal view.
One such is ‘forgive and forget’. I have admitted to myself that this particular pearl of wisdom is best confined to books. I have tried and not succeeded. Yes, but what I have succeeded to do is to move on. I have tried to forgive and then to forget but realised that it is not humanly possible to do so. It takes a minute trigger to open the numerous Pandora’s boxes that line the human mind.
And when it does, all forgiveness just fly out of the window. What I have been able to definitely do is move on from that spot. What I have also learnt is that it is so important to let my mind go through the various emotions that it experiences, and also to allow it to savour each. It need not always be a positive emotion, but applies equally so to my negative emotions. So when I feel angry about something, I allow myself to be so. If its sadness then I allow myself to feel sad. Not to say I rave and rant on about it, but its also about being aware of my emotions and not pretending they don’t exist.
Another thing which I have questioned is about Time being a healer. A healer it is, but not one of the cosmetology category. Time heals, but also leaves behind its scars and scabs. Scars and scabs one must learn to embrace and love. One must take care not to strain the scars and scratch the scabs, else they hurt. Learn from your experiences and protect yourself.
I was always taught to keep other’s convenience and comfort ahead of my own needs. I think most of my generation was. No one ever, particularly told us how important it was to love ourselves also. This is something I have underlined in my mind. To love myself first. Not at the cost of others, but as a duty to myself. Else at the end of it all, I will end up feeling resentful about everything I do for anyone else.
I take these above lessons to myself as a realistic approach, and not a pessimistic one. I realise that its but a fine line which separates an optimistic view from an idealistic one.
As we approach another new year, here is wishing my friends and extended family a happy new year, filled with laughter and good health. Create beautiful memories.
We have a family holiday coming up. I love going on a holiday, whether it’s for a weekend, or a week or a fortnight. For me the trip begins on the day I wake up and think, it’s time for one. The whole process of deciding where to go, when to go, how to go, and what to pack is part and parcel of the whole experience. I had a conversation with a friend who is also going away for the Christmas week, and all she had to say all the time we were together, was about how much of a headache it was to plan the trip. While I gave her all the sympathetic response she expected, the voice in my head said, “ Poor thing, you are missing so much of the fun.”
Fortunately all four of us, my spouse, children and I enjoy travelling. If it’s a long exploratory get away, spanning about a fortnight, then the thinking and planning begins almost four months in advance. The choosing of the destination done, then starts the planning of the itinerary. This is mostly a weekend task as all of us are busy through the week. The amount of arm chair travelling that we have done over the planning period can fill pages. Right from fantasising over staying in exotic palaces to hitch-hiking in trucks, we have it all. The best part is to see the children enjoy this virtual journey as much as the actual trip. Reading about the places one is going to visit,and making a list of must-have local cuisine is also one mandatory ritual. One can feel the mood building up at home as the date of departure comes closer. Bringing down the suitcases and sorting out clothes gives it all a perfect outline. And then we proceed to fill in the picture with the colour of the memories created during the trip.
When I look back on any of the numerous trips we have taken together, I see this entire journey in my mind, and not only the ten or fifteen days I was at some destination. We read so much about how its not only the destination, but also the journey which is important. If each of us could manage to experience this theory even in a small fraction, figuratively and literally, then we would be blessed.
Was visiting my sister a few days back. As we strolled through the garden of her residential complex, we came across this cat stretched out on a bench. We paused next to the bench. She opened one eye, a pretty green. My sister mentioned that there was one stray cat who had two different coloured eyes. ( Later my 12 year old taught me a new word….Heterochromia which means “different (hetero-) colors (-chromia).”) . Almost as if she could understand what we were saying, the cat opened her other eye. Sure enough, it was blue. Peering lazily at us as we gazed into her eyes, the cat watched us as we watched her. Other than her slightly raised head, there was no other movement. I slowly pulled out my mobile from my pocket, and gently knelt to bring myself to the level of the bench so that I could get a good shot. As I murmured to the cat to open her eyes a bit wider, she obliged. As I sat there admiring nature’s miracle, I also admired the quantity of attitude in that lithe, small body. For a stray cat, she had oodles of attitude and poise. Her body language seemed to say, “Please get done with this photography thing and leave so that I can go back to my beauty sleep.”