Last week, I was reading Melinda Gates’s Facebook post about the word of the year. Her word for last year was “gentle”. I know I have a lot of new year resolutions and I hope I will see them come true this year, but this idea sounded great to me. After all, there is definitely one thing more important the rest. And while we are particular about making resolutions happen, keeping one word in the back of your mind, every day of the year, will be, I think, more efficient.
So I started thinking about mine. My choice was quite obvious. But I went through a couple more in my head. Kindness : I know lot of people around can adopt kindness, especially these days, but I think I am okay at this. Other than being strict with kids and those I need to be with, I am okay with being kind to strangers. Not that I always can, but I try to look for ways to help people. You know the roads I drive everyday, we are stuck in back to back traffic, pretty much every time. And sometimes we have these cars trying to cross the road and no one stops to let them cross (kind of like pedestrians trying to cross the road, and no one stops). Almost every time I am driving on the road, I watch for these vehicles and let them go. That might sound like the silliest thing, but I feel so good when I help some random stranger this way. Such is the state here. I am not sure I have the network here to help people as much I once did (Being o-ve blood donor and convincing my parents to go donate blood for stranger was a courageous act, and was frowned upon, back then 🙂 ). So whatever I can help with I go for it.
Christmas time, our offices hold a giving tree, where strangers in need ask for things they want. Maybe this is a thing now, every where, I don’t know. These cards have one wish list item written on them. Every year, I wait for the tree to go up. I usually pick some kids’ request, since I feel close to that. This year, I bought three different gifts for kids; two were toy sets, the last one my favorite, a six-year old little gal asked for hair clips. So I bought hair clips for her. Almost 60 of them. How cute was that. I honestly wished I could find the little gal and give her the clips myself. So I am okay in that department. Although there is a lot you could do, but as long as you want to be kind to others, you are good.
(I know I didn’t have to write all that, but it’s always important to stress and spread the message “BE KIND”. 🙂 )
Okay, so what else? Kids? Happiness? Health? All important. All necessary. All on my wish list. But I felt there are two things that connect all of this and influence me a lot. Mindfulness. Living in the moment. I know I had this problem for a long time. Remembering bad more than good. I look back at my relationship with my parents, all that I see is the last few bad years than the wonderful 24 years I lived and loved with them. Why is that? A lot of good happened in the last year, I remember the bad, the most. Problem is not only remembering this way, I live every moment with the bad. I go over the same in my head, over and over again. If it’s not the bad of the past, its the worry about the future.
The day before I was reading a book at night-time, of course thinking of worries of my work, what I am going to say the meeting next day, etc., etc. – all reading the same lines of the book again and again and again. This goes on most of the times. When I am driving, cooking, cleaning, sometimes even when with kids. Sunday nights are the worst. Worrying already about the next day. Three weeks of my winter break, I worried about it ending every day.
Do you see the problem? I spoil even my good times with worries of past and future.
I know there are a lot of things to fix with my life, but if I could not worry about the future and let go of the past and just take a moment as it is, as it comes, wouldn’t I be better? Wouldn’t I give quality time for kids? Be better at sleeping and healthy? And ultimately happy with no matter what tomorrow is going to bring?
Its pretty clear that this should be my word of the year “Mindfulness”. The need is clear. How to do it, isn’t yet. I know I distract myself from having free time by doing some DIY projects. Music helps. Reading time and in bed, I get distracted the most. Driving time too. Dangerous, I know. 🙂
I watched some helpful TED talks last year, I wish to go back and read more and help myself. I have no absolute control over what this year is going to bring, but I should have control over what is going on in my head right now.
Here is the link from the article I read , if you are interested.
If you have one word, let me know. 🙂