Popular messages today teach us to live in the moment, to practice mindfulness, to take a deep breath… But sometimes our moments are more than moments—they stretch out into seasons. And that requires taking more than one breath. One of the wonderful things about getting older is that I have lived for many seasons, and so have many of my friends. These seasons have given us insights, and as we go about collecting experiences, they become like jewels to be treasured.
During an especially busy time, I had a perspective adjustment that changed my outlook for the better.
I was involved in several major projects, had a huge amount of work to do, and was quite tired—almost exhausted.
I was one of the hopefuls that started last year with a brand-new planner. 2020 was full of promise, and I thought I had some control over the direction of the year. I had a long planned/postponed trip to see my family slotted for early spring, some home improvement plans, a saving/financial plan, plans for family vacations, etc.
Walking around my hometown in India where I grew up and have spent most of my life, I am intrigued by how much the city has changed over the years. What was once a small and laid-back city in the early ‘80s has exploded into a major technological hub and a thriving metropolis. Cinema halls we frequented as youngsters have been demolished to make way for shopping malls and office spaces, older buildings have been torn down to make way for new structures, and new flyovers have been constructed to ease the burgeoning traffic. The cozy city of bygone days has almost become unrecognizable.
Everyone has times in their life when they feel that they’ve reached bottom and that things couldn’t possibly get worse. For me, one of these times happened when I found myself having to cope with a totally unfamiliar lifestyle and surroundings in a village outside Belgrade.
I found a beautiful knit cardigan on sale at an exclusive store I was browsing through with my granddaughter. We were in an artsy shopping area enjoying an afternoon together. The sweater was the perfect shade of blue that I love and a kind of cotton that is practical for Texas summers.
I don’t know what planet I was on when I thought that when I became a parent all the skills I’d need would simply “come to me.” It wasn’t long before I realized that parenting, while it has brought countless incomparable joys into my life, is hard work. Every day seems to bring new challenges, but I know for a fact that being a parent has made me a better and happier person.
Okay, it’s not quite cleared as in “0 Items,” and I don’t ever expect that. In the past month, though, I’ve gone from a rather long-standing position of always having between 100 and 150 items in my inbox to having only between 7 and 30 at any given time—except, of course, when I open my mailbox for the first time each day and the mail floods in.