Going with the flow, and learning to enjoy it.
As a kid, climbing trees and roofs was my passion. I absolutely loved it. The moment we came to a new house (my father, being in the army, we shifted to many places….) I’d size up the roof. The trees outside were checked out for ease of climbing. The idea was to get to the highest point, to enjoy the view. That was my childhood. It also included playing Robin Hood with my friends, often I’d be Robin Hood as I was good with hitting the targets! Climbing up on a tree, reading a book while munching an apple was my favorite thing to do. I was nine years old. It was a phase of life, which I loved. There was a pattern in life then: School, rest, home-work, parks, pets, family, travel and homes. Yes, and many good friends. Shib was one of them.
As a teenager, I still climbed the trees of my college. I would climb up a drainpipe in my two inch heels too. I could play cricket, ‘pithu garram’ (seven-tiles) and ‘dodge the ball’ with kids. Participating in college plays, debates, poster and food competitions. I was an all-rounder, and was good in studies too. Running in college corridors and purposely skidding. Yes, another phase in life. Another pattern of life. I’m still in contact with those friends. Many I’ve just got reconnected with, after so many years through Whats app and Face book. I’m still looking for Mahira Khan Rae who left for Calgary, Canada.
Marriage, and life in Air Force as an aero-space engineers’ wife was amazing. “Be yourself” mom said to me when I got married. My husband also wanted me not to change. Our life had plenty of travel, adventures, friends, and fun. So many shifting of homes, packing up (around sixty paintings,) and hundreds of books along with computers, laptops, tool boxes, my husband’s inventions, toys, cats, dogs, furniture, gadgets and what not. Soon three children were added to our family. The best part of married life has been the children. How they completely change one’s perspective and view of life. You enjoy their childhood. My mom always, said “make your children a part of your life,” and that is what I did. Each morning enjoying the beautiful sunshine – The rain was awesome too. My husband and I loved driving in the rain. I love walking in the rain with my rain-jacket too. My husband believed in umbrellas, so he would come along with his umbrella. My children were with me through all the exhibitions, paintings, picnics, walks, schools, jobs, interviews, everything.- Another phase of life, with its own patterns and phases lasting decades it seemed.
Life is beautiful in every phase in life, it is full of fun, adventure and thrills… if you know how to find it and enjoy it. Otherwise, there are regrets, miseries, depressions and boredom. It is my choice to make life as thrilling and exciting as ever. After all, I believe these are all blessings of God/Allah.
Every phase has its own pattern and you can put in the fun parts .
“God has kept something very special for every phase in one’s life.” My Mother says. “and grandchildren are the best gift for the middle and older age!” Surely agree with her.
Would you believe it, that I’ve read that one is happiest around the age of seventy? Because by then you have ‘been there, done that,’ and most important of all, you have managed to have a fairly good life in spite of all the hardships and challenges you faced through-out life. Your children did come out right in spite of all your apprehensions. Everyone is still healthy and fine, and doing even better than expected.
During each pattern and phase in life if you want to give it your best shot here are some points to make the best of it:
- Accept life as it is.
Warts and all – don’t tell me you actually expected life to be perfect???? So, accept it. Enjoy the good parts. Forget or ignore the bad ones. Do plenty of good for others, and make the best of it. Believe me, later you will even remember the ‘bad’ parts! So enjoy it while you can.
2. Be yourself. (- yes, that same sixteen year old self! )
Don’t try to be someone or something you are not. It is ok. No need to try to be like someone whom you can’t emulate. Be true to yourself. And be proud of what God has made you. You are a piece of work of His. Be your best self. Also, forgive yourself if you slip up.
- Relish life.
Honestly, as you go along living, there are some such beautiful moments in life. It may be a moment, a sight, a sound, like the sun rays slanting down on your loved one’s face, or on your child’s hair, the smile, the sparkle in her eyes. A mischievous moment shared with a friend. That very funny scene that you witnessed. Just relish it. Enjoy it. Treasure it. Hold it. It won’t be there forever, so just love it and memorize it. It could be the feel of your furry cat snuggled up to you. The sight of sparrows eating food outside the window giving pleasure. The blue sky these days, the sight of mustard flowers in a field. Snow clad mountains, or sunsets and clouds.
Having parents with one seeing them growing old with you. Taking care of young ones. So much to value and to appreciate. The maid working in my home, in spite of being pregnant. The cook coming all the way, just to cook food for me. Sooooooo much to appreciate and thank God for.
- Never look back – except to look at the good times.
It is interesting how people talk about the past with nostalgia. ‘everything was perfect’, it seems. When we all know, it wasn’t. Perhaps at that time that person was cribbing too about that ‘present’ and being nostalgic about the previous past! So, take it with a pinch of salt. All times have their good and bad parts. That’s life. We just have to learn to make the best of it all. Some things are better, some are worse. Why harp on the worst parts? So, accept that you did the best you could. If you didn’t, learn the lesson and stick to the present now and work for a better future. That is all that can be done anyways.
- Enjoy the ‘now’ moment.
This too shall pass, so make the best of the best in your life right now. The family members, friends, colleagues, and whoever you come in contact with. Be proactive and make time for people who make you feel happy. Run from people who confuse, irritate, pressurize, monopolize, manipulate, exploit and try to trick and use you. Block them out of your life forever. That is what they deserve. Block and delete them!
- Look forward to new and beautiful times.
Work on giving yourself some special treats in life. Remember, the treats must be as big as the stresses that are in your life. I love flowers. Instead of waiting to be gifted flowers, I just go out and gift them to myself. Usually, I get as big a plant as my problem at hand. The whole stress gets transformed into something beautiful and growing into something more beautiful.
- Help others whenever you can.
This is so important. To give your friends what they give to you also. Being there for them, when they need you. Just as they have been, for you.
9. Always make time for family and friends.
Work it out with them, to make sure you all manage to have time together in spite of busy schedules. You use skype to talk to persons you love, who are far away, why not to talk to persons you love in same home or city? Find every possible way to be together and make happy memories with them. Otherwise, use the phone, Whats app, Facebook, Skype, or sms to stay in contact. Never leave someone who means the world to you. Its never worth it.
10. Most of all, stay close to Allah.
The One who can take you out of your bad times, and One who is responsible for all the goodies in your life. The One who knows best. How can one leave Him out of one’s life? Always schedule time to thank Him in your prayers on a daily basis.