At age 45, I became the proud owner of a big swanky car, I was in the seventh heaven, the feeling, “I have arrived”, did put a spring in my step. However along with it came the headaches…. could not go to small crowded places, was always worried about parking, someone might scratch my new car. Also, friends I realized, very often people would charge me more for the stuff I buy when they see me getting out of an expensive car!
I got a major promotion after working my ass off for good seven years, during these years many a times I neglected my friends, even my family, and my health. I felt on top of the world for some time and then?
NEW TARGETS—NEW CHALLENGES—MORE STRESS!
I work so hard, thought of pampering myself, acquired an expensive piece of jewelry, felt happy showing it off. Then came the fear of losing it, must keep it safely, lock the cupboard every time we go out, and now it is resting in the bank locker most of the time!
All through the years, I chased materialistic things in my quest for a luxurious, comfortable life; sought appreciation of friends/ relatives; was an active rat racer at work; basically, tried to live my life as per societies norms, judged my success according to the standards set by others.
Did all this make me happy?
NO, A BIG NO!
I failed to pay attention to the small, simple things of life that could give me so much happiness….. THAT TOO FOR FREE!
I am sure all of you have gone through the same cycle —- buy, hoard, worry to keep them safe.
Now at age 50+ finally the realization has dawned, as they say, better late than never.
I have decided to take things easy, enjoy SIMPLE THINGS of life, savor the moment, cherish my family, my relationships, draw satisfaction from the fact that I have performed my day’s tasks to the best of my capability.
How to experience happiness on the daily basis…
# REVEL IN LIFE–A walk in the park, noticing birds, butterflies, flowers, just sitting on a bench to watch children playing, enjoying the sunset, simply inhaling fresh fragrances of the season, is so soothing, makes one feel happy.
Recently we placed a bird feeder in the tree in front of our house, so many birds come to feed, Nonstop entertainment!
# NO DRAMA— My senior didn’t reply to my hello, so and so looked through me; why did he ignore me? Have I done something wrong? Is he angry with me? Is someone bad mouthing about me? Friends, why assume the worst scenario? Why allow your imagination to run wild and spoil your mood? Give people benefit of doubt, maybe they are going through their own issues, just didn’t notice you.
# BE HUMANE—Agreed your staff looks after your needs, you are paying for their services, still make it a point to know about their personal life too. Our cook’s daughter stood 2nd in Bihar board class 12th exam, we bought sweets celebrated her success and will try to help her pursue further studies. Our cook is happy, so are we!
# NOTHING IS PERFECT— no person, no situation and no relationship is perfect; as they say, beauty lies in imperfection, so might as well come to terms and make the best of your flaws; why kill yourself trying to be perfect?
I am extremely sensitive by nature, many a times small things bother me, make me unhappy for days. I did try to alter my behavior with no success. Now I have accepted this trait of mine and I feel it is positive, I am moved by others’ misery, I am a generous person; I can sense other person’s needs, I try to be of help in my own small way and it makes me happy!
# ENJOY FAMILY—make it a point to have some family time where all the members can share their day’s highs and lows without hesitation. In our house we linger on the dinner table, we look forward to these interactions, these sessions are such great stress busters, each of us goes to bed totally relaxed and feeling at peace with ourselves and with the world!
So, dearies, let’s not wait for big things to happen to be happy,
Extract your quota of happiness from small everyday occurrences,
Happy moments are like shooting stars, here now … gone in a jiffy!