MARCH 2018 – Part I
The last twenty days have been more like a blur, I was under the weather for the most part. A runny nose, chest throbbing cough and blazing heat is the worst combination ever. I came close to abandoning my project; it was just too hard to be joyful about mundane activities. The flu was all set to claim two months of work, and I found myself growing weak – the grumbling had begun. One morning, as I reluctantly dragged my feet out of the house to get groceries, Lil Z in tow, I was reprimanded by my toddler. I was growing impatient since it had been close to twelve minutes that we’d been waiting for a taxi and the sweat trickling down my back wasn’t helping, so when the next cabbie refused to ferry me, I lost the plot. I was unstoppable. The muttering was involuntary (I believe). My daughter whose hand was entwined with mine gave me a little nudge saying, “Be patient, mama.” I felt my blood rush to my head. Here I was pissed off with the world and my little one thought it was the right time to advise her mother! I had three clear options – ignore, yell or accept. Hard as it was, I did the right thing. I shut my mouth. She was right, she had to be, I’m the one trying to teach her the importance of patience. I needed that blunt reminder. I need to practise what I preach. There’s no way I can be light-hearted if I’m going to be impatient about petty chores. Can I?
My Hypotheses: In order to enjoy the ordinary, one must be light-hearted, thankful, and forgiving.
Relationships: Reach out and mean it
My Mind: Mental wellness is key
“If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here for you.” This is a very common reassuring sentence we often use with our friends and family members who are going through a rough time. While it is honest and well-meaning, very often people find it hard to spell out their specific requirements and continue to struggle on their own. So this month I decided to be serious about my offers and replace the sad face or teary-eyed emoji with real-time emotions. It was time to punch in and be there for people who matter despite the geographical distance. Sometimes a simple phone call or a lunch date is all a person needs, the chance to have human face-to-face, ear-to-ear conversation. And so that’s what I did. I spent three weeks reconnecting with people. I wrote letters, posted cards, dialled numbers, babysat and even prayed with/for several petitions. It felt good. Real good. It prompted me to take the next step and delete the facebook and twitter apps from my phone. I don’t want to spend my day scrolling through my phone. I’m happy checking my account once a day or every alternate day on my laptop. Honestly, I couldn’t handle having three active social media apps on my phone and yet no meaningful interactions. So I pressed delete. Strangely, it wasn’t difficult to detach. I was ready.
This month has also been about getting out of my comfort zone and learning to enjoy the stretch. I actively slotted in arts and crafts and playdoh messes (for a long time I cursed the makers of playdoh) with my little one. I have two left hands with scissors and glitter glue, but my daughter loves it and is pretty good with her fingers. I try hard to distract her with other fun activities and she keeps coming back to her art box (football and swimming are the other favourites, but those are for daddy dearest). So we picked a few fun crafts, and I let her go crazy. Ten days later, we still have lentils stuck in the sides of our couch and glitter on our chairs but Lil Z is so proud of her lentil flower art and Easter cards, she’s made it a point to talk about it to her grandmothers on their regular video calls.
In her own little way, Lil Z has taught me life’s biggest lesson: Today is a one-time opportunity. No bargains. No returns. You take your day and give it your best. I’ve come a long way on the fleximeter. I’ve begun ditching the ‘must-tidy-home-before-leaving’ thought and going on little adventures with my twinkle toes as early as 8:30 a.m. It’s wise to give life a little stretch. This life project is turning out to be a fun ride. Little ones are showing grownups the light.
So before I go, let me share one last bit. I’m doing the 21-day wellness challenge once again. I successfully completed it the first time, so I’m pretty confident I will get through this one too. I’m on a good path with my physical well being, slow but steady. I now need to put a little more effort into my mental well being. Time to detox-recenter-refuel. I’m currently on Day 4 but those details are for another post.
Keep reading this blog for more updates on The Ordinary Life Project. If you’d like to join me in this project or simply share your thoughts, leave me a message in the comments section. Ciao!