5 Ways to Bid Adieu

Bidding farewell is always hard, unless you are longing to move on from your present circumstances. Usually, the pull of ‘status quo’ is too strong and all we wish is to stay where we are, with people we are used to and with our routines that we have stuck to.
It has happened to me often that I have had to bid adieu to places. For all of my childhood and much of my adulthood, I have hopped from one place to another and in the process had a rich life of new experiences, different cultures and mind expanding circumstances. I am ready to move on, to adapt, to see the new, to view the different all because of the valuable experiences that change brings.

 
Due to a quirk of fate, the past few years saw me moving less and less. Although, I was always ready to leave, one foot in the door, always looking at what lay beyond, I had started putting down roots. But life is nothing but a movement and there is a time when we have to move on.
Even though it is painful to go from places that we invest so much in, it is also important to say goodbyes completely so that we can look back after a few years and remember only the good.
In the process of moving on, here are the things I wish we can do for peace. 

One
, say goodbye to the people that have mattered. Deep and close relationships are the bedrock of a stable and fulfilling life. Even though the world is networked as never before and talking to someone is as easy as the push of the ‘call’ button on the phone, yet to cease sharing the most insignificant details of your life with someone and let the frequent belly laughs subside because you no longer go through the same days can feel bad. So, acknowledge that this is going to happen and that your relationship is going to change. Say thank you to all those who have shared your world. And pledge to stay in touch and have a deeper relationship that defies distance.

Two
, say goodbye to the places as well. It may seem weird but we are as attached to the places we visit frequently. So, say goodbye to the parks you frequent, the restaurants you loved eating in, the theatres and the art galleries you have lingered in and the bends in the road that give you the first glimpse of your favourite landmark.

Three
, take memories with you. Of course, you have been making memories all along. Now, just gather them in your camera, in your scrapbook and as souvenirs. For you and your new friends.

Four
, plan to come back. Never say never. Life, with its unexpected twists and surprises may just bring you back. It has happened to me and with very pleasant results.

Five
, stay Grateful. Say good bye and at the same time, stay grateful for the wonderful memories and the learning. You were meant to be here and you were meant to move on. It is all a part of the Universe’s grandiose plan for you.
I just wish that this time I am ready to let go with grace and love. 

Dear Reader, tell me of the times that you have had to say goodbye to the things that mattered. Tell me how you managed. Tell me how to be accepting and graceful. 

This listicle is part of Friday Listicles, a weekly feature that professes our love for anything that is presented in a numbered or bulleted form, paving the way for a happy weekend. 


Rule of Thirds

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Rather than this being a wonderful photo post in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge on the WordPress, it is a rumination on how we take the things we love for granted.

I tried to click a great picture with the subject off center and a beautiful bokeh but I failed miserably. Instead I clicked away with what I thought looked captivating. So, after an entire day of taking unaesthetic pictures, I tried to relax in my favourite spot in the house. Or rather outside. In the balcony.

It overlooks some hills and a verdant valley. I usually enjoy the morning sun shining on the tops of trees in the distance. I look at the skies to gauge the day. Brilliant blue on good days and gray on the rainy days. Yet, I keep waiting for the first glint on a tin roof for proof of a sunny day. All day, when I am home, I periodically look out of my window to see the sun advancing, illuminating its path, then overhead in its full glory, making the cedar forest off to the left inviting and later in the afternoon the dance of the shadows.

Everyday objects, the houses, the cottages, the tree stumps, the bushes are brought to life and I admire it all.

Does the beauty lose its charm after a while? It does. It is human nature to take beauty for granted. And good fortune. And our blessings. I am aware of this and periodically I remind myself to stop, shut down the internal chatter and ‘just be’ in nature’s lap. And at the same time, renew my thoughts, emotions so that I can enjoy the bounty of God with a renewed feeling of peace and gratitude.

Different kinds of weather

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine”.
Anthony J. D’Angelo

Scenario 1:
Sometimes, we just have a bad day. It may not be that we got out of the bed on the wrong side, or the morning was rushed and everything just went worse from that point or that it all started off bad. Sometimes, it takes a moment for things to go downhill. Just a botched up job, or an unmet expectation and we carry that mood with us. Other things may be going well, but we have now put on our tinted glasses, seeing the world around us darker.

Scenario 2:
I just need a break. Each day is the same-reactive, rushed, unfulfilling. Routine is boring, I need more challenges. I need to be more productive and efficient. On the other hand, too challenging a week is exhausting and I am unable to manage the work-life balance. Maybe a relaxed weekend is what I need to recharge myself and chart my territory and goals again. But the weekend goes in chores and the same thought patterns.

Rare Scenario:
We change our routine. Maybe inadvertently, maybe because we have become wiser. No, we don’t laze around. Everything gets done, simply at a different pace. We don’t rush, we don’t make lists, we do not judge, we do the best we can. We are in the moment. We just ‘are’. And everything changes. Our expectations, our internal chatter and our perception of time.

That is our weather now. The day is the same, so are the circumstances and the people. But we have modified our response. So there is peace within and sunshine!

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather”.
John Ruskin

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Snow is exhilarating!

Growing Old

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Old Growth Forest in California

Today, I sat in the sun and peeled carrots, chopped vegetables and cleaned some fenugreek leaves for lunch.

Yesterday, I made a trip to the local wool shop to buy knitting needles and some wool. An overwhelming urge to knit something had overtaken me.

I like sitting with my spouse and talking of nothing.

I admire people with greying hair. I turn around to catch another glimpse of elderly carrying themselves with dignity.

I like to ask people older than me of their life’s wisdom.

I want to write my memoir. I feel I have done what I wanted to and now it is time to record for my future generations.

I like my routine, my cup of coffee.

I like to eat meals at regular times.

I feel wellness programs are better than dieting.

Am I getting old?

My dear friend and I like to take walks in the neighbourhood. She sighs sometimes when she sees elderly couples sitting on benches, basking in the sun. “Ah! Our future!”, she says with much pleasure. I wonder sometimes and ask her what is it about old age that likes. She says, “An appreciation of companionship, of simple pleasures of life, feeling a sense of contentment at having fulfilled one’s duties and responsibilities, having lots of free time to finally pursue what one wants to…”. Her eyes glinting, she adds,”Peace”.

Beginnings

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied,
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”

Arnold Bennett

There is something about beginnings that is quite addictive. It brings freshness, hope, potential. Who is not fond of New Year and the sense of newness it brings? Resolutions are made and hope springs eternal about this being the moment that would be the turning point.

As for me, I not only love the New Year but the beginning of each month as well. The date 1st of … brings joy. I feel excited. In addition, I feel very happy and hopeful and even blessed on each Sangrandh, which is the beginning of the new month as per the Sikh calendar. There are plenty of plans each time. In fact, I feel great every morning as well for that signals a new day, a new beginning.

Every few days, I create new rituals for my mornings. My favourite newspaper, The Times of India, carries a feature on morning rituals each Sunday. People from all walks of life- authors, teachers, spiritual gurus or anybody else considered wise enough is invited to discuss how he/she starts his/her day. I enjoy going through the diverse ways people bring a newness in their lives each morning.

I like to vary the way I begin my mornings. Some days I start with contemplation and reflection. I like to sit silently and just be. Other days, I sit with a mug of my favourite brew and do something creative, like write or paint. Still other days, I like to read inspirational literature. I also like to practise yoga and pranayama (breath exercises). When I start feeling I have been sitting around for too long, I start going for morning walks and having exercise sessions. It does not matter what I do, but mornings , especially early mornings are precious. In my religion, this time is called Amrit vela and every Sikh is exhorted to make the best use of this time daily for a fulfilling life.

So, my mornings are planned to bring peace, hope and fulfilment. Only through this am I able to give the best of myself to others as well.