Sunday, March 18, 2012

Simplifying...



I’ve noticed that each time I’m busy, something goes out the window.
Earlier, one of the first things I dropped on rushed days was going to the gym. If Zach was ill, or had exams, it was good enough an excuse to not go. Too tired, conserving energy... you know the routine.
Now, when I’m busy, I miss blog posts. I was looking at the blog yesterday, and I noticed that it’s been almost a week since I posted. I returned from a work trip on March 2, plunged straight into the issue at office, and also had a story to submit. I’ve missed six turns of yoga and as many walking schedules. But I have gotten the story to its first draft.
I like to think of it as pruning. I’m slowly learning to not sweat the small stuff. You guys know I am no longer taking up Zach’s studies, so I no longer know the std VII textbooks by heart. And although it is difficult for me to sometimes not plunge in – especially when he is looking through the book and no doubt inventing something in his head (so like his father) – I restrict myself to being  around and providing snacks and encouragement. And the occasional nagging session. 
Likewise I am letting go in the house. Three of my good vases have been broken in as many months. The sofas both show signs of juvenile occupation, and of Zach’s current preoccupation with peanut butter and jelly jam. Yet, I have been told that it is a place friends like to come to, and, over the years, I have reconciled myself to the fact that it is a warm home and that my friends don’t care. The water tank on the terrace is doing its number on the ceiling, but I have lived with it for over 40 years...
It all comes down to, finally, the things that are important to each of us. For me, I have come to realise, people matter most. We visit Kevin’s parents almost every weekend, and spend periods of time with mine at least thrice a year and speak every two or three days; this is really important to us. I don’t speak to Mohan often enough, but I will change that. You are hereby warned, Mohan!
Auntie Monthie Lasrado
This week, we lost my aunt’s mom, Auntie Monthie. She was a constant presence in our lives – an honorary grandmother to me. Big Mama - as even I called her, and as did Zach - saved my life by shoving bananas down my throat when I swallowed a button as a child; the doctor gave up trying to keep me from choking, but she didn’t. She was a woman of uncommon drive and enthusiasm who inspired with her belief that you could achieve anything if you tried. My nagging regret: I didn’t visit her in these last few months while she stayed at her younger daughter’s home, though Kevin and I had planned to after Zach’s exams. While I was away on the work trip, it was a classmate’s father – Uncle Tom – who passed away. He was a man who always lit up my day with a huge smile when we met outside the church. It’s brought home to me – again – how fleeting life is.
I am not proud of the fact that I can be absent-minded enough to bewilder people by greeting them effusively one day and looking through them the next. I know it hurts me when I am ignored (and I apologise if I have done it to you). I know I must answer emails when I get them from friends – because though I mean well, and want to write well-thought-out replies, a quick dashed-out response is better than no response at all when I later forget. I know I must make time for older people when they are alive so I am not overwhelmed by regret at funerals. I know I must make the effort to phone people even when there is no need, and send my nephews and nieces little inconsequential things in the post – because I remember the thrill of receiving something unexpected in the mail. I must smile, because I loved being at the receiving end of Uncle Tom’s smile. I must show I care: because it’s no use just my knowing I do.
Three months into the year, my new resolution: Simplify so people get priority.

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: MICROSOFT.CO

2 comments:

  1. Anita Fernandes18 March 2012 at 19:21

    Lovely piece, Prima! I myself resolved some months ago never to postpone a visit to somebody who may be sick or old because it may be too late! I guess, it's keeping those close ties with family and friends that matter the most - everything else seems unimportant in comparision.

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  2. Hey Prima, very heart warming piece... Yes, I think when we choose not to sweat the small stuff, life is easier and gives us a chance to focus on activities or people that matter the most... I smiled when I read about receiving unexpected things in the mail, I thought about unexpected letters from my grandfather, father,little gifts from my aunt - absolutely delightful! Yeah, simplifying life is a great way forward... hmmmm...

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