Disclaimer: I had full intentions of publishing this post on the 1st of January but somehow BSNL broadband services decided to play the controlling factor and ditched me every time I’d try to press the publish button.
Another year, with
365 363 ( as it is already the 3rd day of the New Year) new opportunities is here. It’s that time of the year when hope and determination are at its peak with the mojo to conquer the world, ourselves and everything we wish to achieve looking do-able.
That was me till 2016.
A year later, with four new gray hair in places where they shine brightly even in the darkest of rooms, I came face to face with a new aspect of my personality or rather, changed-self, I never knew existed. While I am happy for the new year, I still feel that every day is just the same clean slate. Every morning is also the right time to start a new chapter in the book of life and every moment is just as auspicious to change ourselves the way we’ve always wanted to.
With no resolutions made (like I mentioned in my earlier post) I sure have a little gift for myself just like I had the past two years. A theme, a word that’ll act like my polestar guiding me through the year.
Err… no, I am not about to share my word for the year 2017 here. Yes, you may heave a sigh of relief after reading words of the year pouring from everywhere as if the dictionary decided to rain them on our feeds.
The reason for that is, I have always believed in practicing before I
talk write about it on the blog. Okay, I try. And on most occasions, to the best of my failing memory, I have practiced this. I shall be talking about my word for the year 2017 in the posts all through the year but for now, I want to reflect on how far did I achieve with the word I had for 2016.
I know, I know, that was just a temporary relief in the paragraph above but still, I tried to keep you reading. Now that you have reached thus far, be a kind soul and continue reading. Won’t you?
Around mid of January 2016, while listening to a podcast, it suddenly struck me that I needed to embrace diversity in my life. At that point, I had not much clue as to what I really wanted to do, let alone how I’d execute it but I just wanted to go for it with the confidence like riding a bicycle with wheel balancers.
Since the idea came from a podcast, it also further influenced me to attempt reading diverse genres through the year. Like I had written before, I am loving the drift from fiction to non-fiction and read a number of genres for the first time. The best bit was overcoming my fear of reading books talking about depression, anger, and death.
There were a number of books that I noticed some 5 years ago. In my heart, I knew I needed to read them right away to find answers to the many puzzles swarming my mind but I was too scared to touch them. This was despite having bought them over a year prior. It has been quite an encouraging experience. I am aiming to talk about the lessons I learned from them in my upcoming posts, though the temptation to attack the stack of new books is irresistible.
I also added diversity in my lifestyle, revamping my wardrobe to add contemporary fashion in noticeable numbers. I graduated from listening to songs with profound lyrics (Ghazals and poetry in Hindi included) to finding peace in Justin Bieber’s hit numbers.
I took more family road trips this year than I had since the birth of my daughter. I experimented newer cooking styles including baking a cake using alcohol (though am still a teetotaler).
Talking about the lifestyle, I have always been the one who can do just one task at a time. I can’t be the one minding the pot on the stove and talking on the phone or minding my child while she’s doing the homework while reading the book and tweeting too.
It takes me heaps longer to get all things done my way, but I love experiencing everything I do to the fullest. Even while reading a book I read, feel the words, imagine it all, live the moment and then read some more. No wonder I take much longer than usual to read any book. Even when am eating, I talk minimum and focus on the food, its taste, its texture, the memories it evokes and I enjoy talking about these with my kid. Most hours of the day, I am not aware of where my phone is because I am too occupied doing whatever I am up to.
I am well-aware (cause I have been told so, numerous times) that this is a waste of life. An absurd behavior in today’s world that worships multitasking and speed. Being a mere, slow, mortal, I continued moving on my tortoise pace until my mom challenged me saying that I ought to multitask if I needed to be a better mommy.
That was it.
I stepped on the accelerator and what happened next was chaos, accidents, stress, bloopers, and dissatisfaction. I was trying to juggle many balls concentrating on the ceiling and dropping them all because my brain wasn’t trained to juggle many roles. I was a mess.
My kid was worried about me. She once told me, “Mommy why do you eat with your eyes on the iPad and talking to me with a mouthful? I can’t understand a word and by the time I do follow, you’re seen running everywhere.”
Okay then. So I was failing to be the multi-tasker every mom ought to be. That was motivation enough to make me speed fast in the wrong direction until my bestie gave me a wake-up call.
She had been trying to talk me out of my forever-stressed-and-tired state. When she too had had enough, she just said,”Kabhi mindfulness ke baare mein suna hai?” It loosely translates to, have you ever heard about mindfulness?
To be honest I had read about mindfulness a number of times because it has been the rage lately. But what was my bestie getting at? So I asked her to elaborate and she obliged. As the penny dropped, I realized, I had been doing just that (or a near version) all my life. Practicing mindfulness that is.
And all this while everyone kept telling me I had been mindless, a master procrastinator who takes frequent breaks revels in the moment, takes a bite, focuses on breathing and while away the time, just cause am plain lazy.
I have been told to the extent that I am nowhere substantial in my career because of my non-achiever-slow-satisfied pace. In short, people who love contentment and peace extinguish the fire needed to help them soar to unseen heights of achievement.
Yep. Am guilty as charged.
But in the context of my new understanding, what was I supposed to make of it? Was it the classic case of glass-half-full and half-empty, that is just a matter of different perspectives? Or was it the jealousy of those whose lives weren’t as peaceful, slow and aware of its every moment, like me?
Whatever might be the case, I decided to get back to doing my own thing. Slowly, mindfully.
Trust me, it feels really good to be who you are designed to be, the feeling is like sleeping in your own bed after a world tour. It was like a breath of fresh air that made me feel alive.
As I continued on my march to exploring avenues for diversity in my personal life, I applied it to the battles I would fight from then on. Instead of beating my own self up, armed with my new-found wisdom from the many books I had chewed upon I got at work of addressing the many issues I had been brushing under the carpet. 2016 finally saw me talk openly with my parents on the many issues I felt strongly about but could never before muster courage to speak about.
As expected, all these things weren’t received well, but my new-self had learned to not be affected (much) by the displeasure of others.
I adopted diversity in parenting my child. After struggling and suffering at my own hands, armed with better understanding of my issues in life, things have started changing for the better between me and Pari.
Two major things that changed were; One, I gave the reigns of controlling or rather gauging my actions/ performance as a parent to my 5-year-old. Second, I have started talking about my worries and stresses with my child like I would talk to a best friend.
Trust me, both of these sounded absurd to me just as much it might have to you on reading about them. But gradually, both of these have changed the way I bond with my girl. She too has started seeing me in a different light and offers much less resistance when asked to do something she usually doesn’t like. Maybe this could be the basis of another series of posts in near future.
Another big impact has been on practicing diversity in my field of work. I explored newer pastures and was amazed to note how good I was in doing something I always feared. While the joy of exploring newer opportunities gave me the initial push, the positive feedback thus far has been inspiring me to take more chances than I usually do.
Overall, I added many new ways of doing things I did on a daily basis and the results have been rewarding.
As 2016 drew to a close, diversity, continues to be my means to achieving my goals in life.
Then where does the word for the year 2017 fit in?
Well, I have picked a word that’ll help to enrich my life further (from where I have been with practicing diversity), taking me places I want to reach, in ways that best suit me.
Any guesses on what that word could be?
If you’re reading this line, I must confess, I love you for your patience and being curious enough to where this blabber shall lead.
Happy to have you as a reader on my blog, today and forever.
Happy New Year!!
The song on my mind: Cold Water ~ Justin Bieber