I choose to be happy

Every so often you think you are oblivious to certain things.  And, suddenly it hits someone close to you. It does affect you; but then you choose to get on with life, doing nothing about it, though you know it’s high time you do something about it.

For as long as I can remember I was on such a race. Running from one thing to another, ticking off things in my to-do list, never taking a break to appreciate things as it is. Until, it hit me-fatigue.

One day, I just wanted to sleep. Nothing less, nothing more. When I walked home from work, all I could think was I need to lie down.  I barely got through the door and plopped on bed. Slept forever.

Perhaps, it was a one-off incident. But, it scared me. I thought enough of running around like a headless chicken.

May be I should chase happiness and not goals.

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For days, I was thinking just one thing- read a book under a tree. It was like epicenter of everything I was doing was this tree. It was in my head and I even went searching for it. There is a property next to our office, a lush green space in middle of all concrete structures with a sprawling lawn and one big tree. Whenever I finished a deadline or did house work I visualized this tree.

Girl under tree with a book

It gave me peace, strength, focus and a goal which I was happy to chase.  And, the tedious deadlines became pleasurable. And, this visualization that pushed me forward did come true. Well, not totally, I settled for reading near a window with view of a neem tree.

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Now the distance between these two incidents is not as easy as you think. Forget, reassessing the priorities and the emotional drama part- where your brain says something and heart overrides it. But, the real part is putting thoughts into action- attempting to work out a fixed yet flexible schedule, planning a good diet, finding time for exercising and some fun time as well.

And, most importantly trying to figure out if I can still be fiercely ambitious as I was- should I be taking it slow?

I spend a good deal of our late night walks debating it with my husband on this and decided that I just cannot compromise on either. I won’t be happy either way if I have to choose between the two.

Next task was to think what made me happy and that was easy- thinking or speaking about my childhood days. What was so special about childhood? Perhaps, it was that I took one thing at a time and enjoyed everything I did.  I thought- what the heck, let me try that for a week and I have been hooked to it ever since.

Now, let’s be fair here. It’s not like I have been consistent. If my mom is here- she would say “ Arambha Shooratham” ( attempt at translating from Malayalam: Beginner’s over enthusiasm). There could be friends or colleagues who say “She is never satisfied”. But so far I have been trying, it has been working and I am happy.

All said and done- life is not an Indian movie to become an overnight success in one song. In my experience there is no such thing as a balance nor there possibility of ever achieving a goal. When target is always running ahead of you what is the point in chasing it. I would say everything is a give and take. The trick is never tally at end of the day; just mend things so that you are always better off.

Right now, I am better off 😉 And that is no illusion.

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Smile Please!!

“Smile your special smile”, Sri said.

Special smile? , I wondered.

Yes the one which curls up your lips, make your eyes gleam and your face beam. Smile like that of a kid who has seen candy.

I laughed off his definition of smile, got lost in the moment and forgot all about it.  🙂

And then, few days back, on my way to work, I came across a couple in the metro train. The young bride was new to the city and he was pointing out the landmarks to her. In her eyes, I saw a childish glee and a soft smile played in his lips.

Oh!! , this is that special smile, I thought and I caught myself smiling.  🙂

Another time, while waiting at a restaurant, my eyes sought out a mother and her five year old son, sitting at a corner. The boy was telling her the numbers 1, 2, 3 till 50, that he had learned in school that day and she was listening to his every word. She pointed to a board and the little boy read out the alphabets ‘W’, ‘E’, ‘L’, ‘C’, ‘O’, ‘M’, ‘E’ one by one, and looked up at her with a puzzled expression. She read out “Welcome’ and the boy pronounced it slowly, till he finally got it right after a few tries. I saw the triumphant smile of the boy and a lopsided grin cum content smile of mother.

It was infectious, as I was smiling dreamily too 🙂 Then and there, I began my hobby of observing smiles and believe me, it is real fun.

The shy smile of my roommate when she receives her boy friend’s call, the mischievous smiles of my gang of girls after we pull off a prank on some friend, and then there is the naughty smile of my colleague who hides my cell phone every second hour. I learned that there is more to smile than curving of lips, it says more than what words could ever express. And there are different types of smiles too- the stupid smile, rickety smile, crooked smile, lousy smile, cautious smile, conscious smile, sloppy smile, envious smile and even the sad smile.  🙂

The beauty of each of these smiles is that with every smile comes another smile. It requires neither a context nor reason; it lights up the mood and spreads happiness. No wonder that, when we close our eyes and imagine our loved ones they are always smiling. Our best pictures have a big smile plastered all over our face.  🙂

I think a smile is so much a part of our identity, just like our personality. We have our own unique ways of smiling. Perhaps, different smiles each reflective of what we are feeling and what we want to express. If face is the mirror of our mind, then smile is definitely the door to our heart.  🙂

Smile often, may be a little more than often. After all, it’s a curve that can set a lot of things straight.

🙂 🙂 🙂