Day Twenty-Nine: Mine Truly!

To every person out there who feels that it is necessary to keep up with the crowd, take a step backward. Stop, pause and breathe. You do not need to prove anything to anyone but yourself. Life is not what other people think about you but what you think about yourself. If you feel the need to prove something to others, make sure it is more important to you than it is to them.

Be grateful. It doesn’t matter if you won the lottery or found a dollar. When you are grateful you see life differently. Show people gratitude. Everyone wants a little appreciation, including you. When you give you will receive.

Respect! Not just people but animals, the environment, your belongings, other people’s space, your own space….. pretty much everything. But remember to draw the line when respect turns into slavery, becoming a doormat or a victim of bullying.

Smile….. like you mean it. Laugh often. Its cheap medicine and does wonders for your soul. It also makes you a happy person and pleasant to be around. Within the blink of an eye you will be long gone so make your time on this planet a memorable one. No one may know you a thousand years from now but the fact that you lived probably does matter, if not to the universe then at least to yourself.

Learn everyday. It doesn’t matter if its about quantum physics, making jam, skateboarding or listening to someone’s experiences in the war. Everything we do or experience has something to teach us. Find the light and go after it.

Lastly, remember that everything in life happens for a reason. So don’t fret, curse the world or regret. Try to find the good, find positivism, find satisfaction…. and above all, ENJOY THE RIDE!

Day Twenty-Five: On Having A Productive 2015

What better time to make a new start than in the new year? At some point in time we have all made resolutions which have been broken within months, weeks and even days on some occasions. But what if 2015 had to be different? Instead of resolutions, I present to you three ideas that could help you have a productive year ahead.

1] The Vision Board

It doesn’t matter if you decide to have a board up on your wall or a website that allows you to have your own board (think Pintrest, DreamItAlive) or even a collage put together on Picasa. Creating a vision board and maintaining it throughout the year gives you some prespective of your dreams and accomplishments.

This week take the time to think of all the things you would like to achieve this year (or month) and have it on the board along with motivation quotes and captions to remind you that you can achieve it.

2] The Happiness Jar

One of the most important things about life is gratitude. And what better way to show your gratitude than by counting your blessings. Kick start 2015 with the happiness jar (or box or bag).

20141220_181438

Every day write one thing that made you happy that day or that you are grateful for, then toss it into the jar. At the end of the year (or month or whenever life seems hopeless) open up your notes to remind yourself of all the blessings you have received.

3] The Education

You are never too old or too young or too dumb or too smart to learn something new. This year take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Not only will this increase your knowledge but also make you a relatively interesting person.

Fellow Quilter. (August 2013)

For the renaissance souls out there, this may become a bit boring. So instead of devoting your time to learn maybe ballroom dancing consider multiple interests like ballroom dancing and quilting. Not only is it more diverse but such combinations are likely to hold your interest for longer.

Whatever you do…. do it with passion. Have fun! 🙂

Day Twenty-One: The Christmas That Was

Mainstream Christmas festivities have always been synonymous with family and having it any other way would come across as odd, unfortunate and sometimes even unacceptable. But the irony of the season could not be more obvious. How many of us really want to spend Christmas with our extended families which we so painstakingly avoid for the rest of the year?

20141225_102004

A fraction of you may disagree with what I am about to say but the truth is most of us would love the opportunity to celebrate Christmas the way “we” think it ought to be celebrated. That can be anything from a family BBQ to a holiday in Istanbul to a quiet day in bed. However, not everyone of us can live the dream thanks to family commitments and sparing other’s feelings.

But I – after years of dealing with extended families and depressing gatherings – finally got to spend Christmas the way I wanted to and it was indeed the most wonderful time of the year. The morning was sunny and beautiful which enticed me to visit the park with a book and some coffee. After more than an hour of reading I lay in the grass with headphones shoved in my ears.

The warm sun brightened the white cotton clouds and added life to the green grass. The cool breeze got the branches above me to play peek-a-boo with he sun. The birds chirped and the dogs played while I lay in my beautiful grassy bed listening to Michael Bublé telling me to have a Merry Little Christmas. When I began to get hungry, I finally decided to head back home and into the kitchen where I cooked up a delicious tortellini pasta meal.

20141225_134419

To keep the the Christmas atmosphere strong, I decided to watch a Christmas movie followed by some new Christmas songs that I generally did not listen to. I then decided to end the day with stir-fried chicken with bachamel sauce mixed with mushroom, corn and rice. Before crashing in for the night I happened to be browsing the internet in search of articles that spoke about the ways in which people spent Christmas alone. What I found was an interesting list of things to do if you did spend Christmas alone. What was even more interesting was that I actually had done a few things on that list which made me feel quite accomplished.

I sat up reviewing my Christmas Day and it was a good feeling to know that I spent it the way I wanted to. Like I have mentioned previously, Christmas is all about the simplicity. However, mainstream Christmas celebrations are grand, sophisticated and mostly expensive occasions that revolve around materialistic pleasures coupled with the mandatory requirement for fantastic acting skills. My Christmas this time was one that made me realize that the park and all that came along with it was enough to light the Christmas Spirit within me.

To conclude, I would like to say that this Christmas was not just a fun day but also one filled with inspiration and hope. I saw things from a different perspective which has led me to focus on the New Year and new experiences that I can’t wait to be part of.

Day Fourteen: Moments

What do I have in common with a bookcase, something cracked and a song I love? A lot actually!

Not too long ago when reflecting on my achievements, I realized that the past 20 odd years of my life could have been much more than what I had already accomplished. To add to it, the people I came across were either the pessimistic kind or they tried to put me down, while a few others were better off than I was ever going to be at my age. It almost felt like my spirit was cracked and all the happiness in me seemed to leak out and drain away.

But then, a week later, something incredible happened. As I walked around the local library I found a bookcase with an interesting selection of books. The one that caught my eye was a story about an old man who decided to go sky-diving at the age of 89. It was not because he was an adventure junkie but in fact it was the exact opposite. He waited all his life for the right moments and the right people; then nearly 50 years later he realized that there is no such thing as the “right moment”. The book also had a number of inspirational quotes which made me realize that life is much more than how we see it.

We fret about the little things everyday like, for example, how we look, what people think of us, how good we really are at what we do, how successful we are –  the list never ends. While this may not always be a bad thing, it does limit what we think about ourselves which in turn can limit our capabilities. As I sat on the couch thinking of ways to free myself from the clutter, my attention went to the music playing in the background. Quiet your mind. Soak it all in. It’s a game you can’t win. Enjoy the ride.

That was all it took me to realize that living is all about being content enough with YOU; that makes the journey worthwhile.

This post was in response to the Daily Prompt.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/final-trio/”>Final Trio</a>