When I was in school in India, I remember reading this page on the beginning of each book, which was titled ‘Gandhi’s Talisman‘ (I’m sure most of us know who Gandhi was, but if you don’t, you can Google him:)). So it was a short paragraph that said,
“Whenever you are in doubt regarding your happiness, well being, health (something along those lines), think of the poorest and the saddest person you saw that day, or met that day. And suddenly you will see all your doubts vanish” – I think this is not the exact quote, but this was the essence that I remember.
I didn’t get it when I was in school. I was a very happy and aspirational kid and had an amazing childhood, had lots of friends, had a loving family, was not poor but not very rich either- but I think I had everything I could ask for. So I never was in doubt of my happiness and I used to wonder, why should I think of a sad and poor person and become unhappy? Oh, the joys of childhood:)
Fast forward 20 years ahead. I’m 36 years old now, and have added some more members to my family 🙂 Overall, if I think about it, I still have everything I could need- a loving family, an adorable daughter, a helpful and kind husband, amazing friends who have stuck through and new friends, a well paying job, the access to internet, food, books, whiskey, good clothes, the chance to live and work in a foreign country like UK- and yet, most days, I struggle to find the happiness. And I wonder why. I actually have to work hard to notice the simple things that brought me joy in a day, within the pile of things that I think are not joyful anymore. I wonder why. I am reading Mark Manson’s ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck’ currently, and so much of what he says makes sense. I’ll tell you more about the book on my review this weekend:) And then, I thought about Gandhi’s Talisman and realized, it makes sense now. I’ve taken my happiness and privilege for granted and every time I feel like I should crib about my life and struggles, I think about the fact that millions other people are also facing similar struggles or even worse struggles in their lives! I’m also listening to ‘All the light we cannot see, by Anthony Doerr, and I realize, despite all the atrocities going on across the Globe, I’m thankful that I’m not living in war like conditions. It must have been so difficult for parents and children during the World wars- I really wonder why we even have wars.
So, I’m trying to think about all the simple things that bring me joy and I usually take pictures of them or write about it in my journal, so I never take them for granted. I didn’t take pictures as a child, but I remember writing about all my awesome days in my journal as a kid.
Last weekend, the weather was very dreary, cold, wet and windy. We had plans of taking our daughter to the farm or the zoo for her 2nd year birthday celebrations, but cancelled it because of the weather. I was upset because of that- and my first reaction was to crib about the crappy British weather 🙂 But as the weekend drew to a close, I realized I did end up having a great time, because we did go out, I did get to see some beautiful Tulips, we spent more time cosy-ing up indoors and playing together as a family, I had a little more Whiskey than usual and it was so good in this weather, my husband cooked a most delicious Indian meal of okra and chickpeas Saturday night, I received letters and a card from my pen friends and I read a lot! Now what’s to be sad about here, beats me!
So, I started my week with the high and positivity from the weekend. I felt like I was very productive on Monday with respect to work, cooking and home responsibilities and the fact that I made time to go for Yoga too. During the Yoga meditation segment, I thought my mantra for this week to be Productivity and Positivity. And then, Monday night, my daughter fell ill 😦 It is really tough when toddlers fall ill, because the worst part is that the night is ruined for all members of the family. And I get cranky when I haven’t had my sleep. She has fever, cold, cough and a strange rash and it has been two days into her illness now, and I think it is going to take her the whole week to get better, if its a viral infection. If it had been the earlier me, I would have been stressing like my husband. I know it is difficult when any of us fall ill. It takes a toll emotionally and physically. I also have to take days off from work to care for my daughter- but I think this is normal now. I know for a fact that there are millions of working parents and in many cases even single working parents who go through this struggle and even worse. And instead of stressing, I have to just try and rest when I can, and look at the positive things- that she is going to get better, these days will pass, I’m not going to get fired, and if I do get fired over this, then its probably a good thing 😀 and we just might get to enjoy the next weekend!
I’m on my parental day off today, and writing this post while she is on her first nap of the day. I have no idea what her schedule is going to be today, but I’m praying she feels better as the day progresses. I’d love to hear stories from other parents who were in similar situations and how they managed their life and work and well being 🙂 I’d love to hear if you felt as tired or cribby as me, during these days. My daughter falls ill almost once in two months, so one would think I was a pro at this now. But nope, gets me every single time! Lol
How was your weekend and how is your week been so far? 🙂