Last night I was up for about 3 hours past mid-night, thinking. I do that a lot. It’s a bad habit I cannot overcome.
I was thinking about my 2011. How the biggest highlight for us that year was Samaira, and everything to do with her – her birth, her first cry, her first nursing, how she fought against so many challenges at the hospital, how she would oftentimes smile through it all, how she inspired us to broaden our limited world! What a highlight this little gift was. There was also a low-light that caused Siddharth and me to have endless discussions and arguments for months!
Then I started thinking about my 2012. How the biggest highlight was again Samaira – spending our entire year with this precious gift we received in 2011. It’s been magical, to say the least. There was also a low-light, again, that caused us to have endless discussions and arguments for months.
When I thought about my 2011 and 2012, I somehow thought of the low-lights first. I let them overcome my thoughts for several hours, and not for the first time, probably not the last time either. When I shared my thoughts with Siddharth, his first response was, “Well, what was the best the thing that happened to us in these two years? Samaira. And everything else is way too insignificant and not worthy of being important. Why are you letting it overcome you, when you have Samaira to overcome it?” “Excellent point” – I said. I don’t know why I let that happen.
So my resolve in this new year is to think positive. Positive first, positive last, positive in-between. That might be a bit much, maybe. But I’d take that over the current status any day. I have decided to focus on my highlights, and not on my low-lights. It’s not that I am going to ignore the negativity in life, because I can’t. It’s just that I will not allow it to become bigger than me. I know my 2013 will have a highlight, and chances are there will be some low-light too. I know what I will be focusing on this time.
While talking to a colleague sometime back I told him about our hospital stay when Samaira was born. He talked about his Dad having a condition that came as a shock and how they were figuring out how to deal with it. After both of us had narrated our experiences, neither of us said anything for a good 45 seconds. No, I wasn’t timing. Then he said, “things happen.” Then there was silence for about 15 seconds again. Then he said, “…and the true measure of a person is how she/he bounces back.” It made sense to me. Later that day, I told my brother about this conversation. His reaction was “OMG! This might be my favorite quote of this entire year.” I asked him – “it’s a pretty good quote, but how come it is your favorite?” His response was “because there is so much power in these two simple words – things happen – that they cover the entire spectrum of what you consider unexpected, life changing, etc., without taking away the magnitude of these events...and still leave hope for what’s next.” I hadn’t thought of this particular angle before. But the shocking realization of “things happen, so what?” rocked my world. And my brother’s J! Anyway, moral of the story is that the positive and brighter side of any coin, will ultimately win. That’s how our world is constructed. And I am in agreement with it. The question is, how long would it take us to get there?
A few nights back, I was skyping with my oldest, longest friend, S. I have known her since I was in 5th grade (or 5th class, as we say in India). She has seen me when I was an immature, stubborn kid all through the school years. She has seen me when I was still immature, still stubborn semi-adult in my college years. And she knows me now….more than a decade later…still stubborn, but somewhat mature. We both acknowledged we have changed SO MUCH, and that’s a euphemism. We talked about how we used to fight over the most frivolous things and make a huge deal out of nothing. I remember having gone for a duration of at least a few months of not talking to my closest and best friends in school – because I was adamant about not talking first after a fight. Yes that was me, not too long ago. I was telling her how I wish I could have had all this wisdom back when I was in school, and even in college. I would have seen things in a different light and not wasted our time fighting, and doing other immature things. But there is no way I could have been what I am today without going through every single experience of my last 10ish years. Not a chance! By the way, I may need to have a similar conversation with Siddharth 10 years down the line. You see, growth never stops J ! So as much as I value growth, and maturity, and awesomeness, I realize the importance of going through a not-so-perfect phase or experience.
If I had my very own genie, until sometime back my wish would have been to take away all the hurdles from Samaira’s life and make it smooth and comfortable and beautiful and perfect. But having gone through life – from my teens, to being 20-something, to now – I don’t have any such wish for Samaira anymore.
I am ok with her facing difficulties and challenges in life.
I do however wish her the will and the strength to overcome those challenges, and the ability to look at and enjoy the positive side of life.