As the year approaches its end, I look back like I often do at the way I had planned life, and at the way life planned its own course, ignoring me in an impudent show of might. As always, I end up with a list that I update each year. It helps me understand myself and those around me. It also helps me understand how I have changed in the course of the year, and how some things still remain universal to the core of who I am, year after year. So, here’s a simplified version of things that made it to my ‘happy’ list. Oh, what a year of learning it has been!
‘The updated list of Happy’
- Spending time with your nieces and nephews.
- Being able to stand next to your mom on your dad’s death anniversary (at the temple your dad preferred to go to).
- Going to your alma mater and telling seventeen year olds what you wish someone had told you at seventeen.
- Being able to hop on to a flight because your grandmother misses you.
- Allowing your little sister to guide you after spending years guiding her (and secretly feeling pleased to see her grown up and reversing the role).
- Your daughters’ small, big and major achievements.
- Mint tea on a lazy afternoon.
- Conversations where you are not judged.
- Talking about your book, the characters you created, and your observations on society and its bias… for the first time ever.
- Meeting people who inspire you and energise you.
- Knowing that even if some people leave your side, there will always be a few who will stand by you when the going gets tough.
- Validation (fair and just).
- Unconditional support.
- Increased steps on fitbit and a decreased number on the weighing scale.
- A remembered song from your childhood.
- Standing up for others when no one else would, and standing up for yourself, however hard, and yes even publicly if need be.
- Finding your mojo.
- Being your family’s emotional and moral support.
- Being there for people who pretend to be strong and independent.
- Standing in front of a crowd, microphone in hand, knowing that people are listening to you intently.
- Working for yourself.
- Gathering wayward thoughts, fractured relationships, abstract ideas, and messy stalks of flowers, and turning them in to beautiful arrangements.
- Food that is served with love.
- Airports, travel, new places, new ideas, new perspectives and new understandings.
- Laughing at the silliest of things.
- A prayer sent your way.
- Coming home.