Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A present worthy of a pause

I can say in all honesty that the firsts have been the toughest. They always are, aren't they? Since June, we've been through the Euro Cup, the Olympics, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Diwali... his favourites. Seasons have changed and life has moved on. And it has only been five months. Well, it will be five months on November 21st. Five months on what would have also been a milestone birthday for him.

Image found on Pinterest.com

In one way, time has been speeding on by. I can't believe it's almost the end of November, with Christmas right around the corner. But in other ways, the days have been dragging. I sometimes feel as though I want time to speed up. Like the faster it goes, the closer and sooner I'll get to what it is I really want. I keep imagining that the fates have this grand plan chalked out for me. Something that will involve more smile than frowns and more reasons to live in the present than to anticipate what the future will bring.

Then, just as I get ahead of myself and what I imagine things will be like a year or a decade from now, life sends me a reminder that I'm not promised anything beyond the present. You'd think after everything this year has swung my way I'd have learned that lesson by now...

Then again, I suppose the reminders are also important. They're flagposts of our own mortality. I feel like we live in an age where life moves so quickly that we're constantly struggling to keep up.

Image found on Pinterest.com

I'm starting to savour the moments when I'm still. I used to be scared of the silence, but now I'm starting to embrace it. I'm grateful for quiet moments that let me reflect.

Many years ago, my mum printed out this image (pictured below) and stuck it to the mirror on her dressing table. Five simple rules for happiness. I remember seeing this printout every so often, but wouldn't really pay attention to it. It keeps springing to mind now, though. She follows these rules every day, and I hope that some day I'll be able to do the same.

Image found on Pinterest.com


Monday, 12 November 2012

For the light that guides us

"2012 will be the year when big things happen!"

I clearly had high hopes when this year first began.

When I made that statement at the turn of the new year, I was thinking new job, life-altering trip... things along those simple lines. But how does that saying go? Something about the "best laid plans going astray...?"

If my experiences this year have taught me anything, it's to not be surprised if you end up on a different journey in life than you had planned. Because even if you have it all figured out (right down to what outfit you'll wear on the plane as you embark on your great escape), life can shift gears at any moment and send you on a journey you had no intention of ever entertaining. 

The thing about these unexpected journeys, however, -- the ones that shake the very foundation that you exist upon -- is that they hold a mirror to you. They usually set forth a series of events that test you down to your core. They make you rediscover yourself -- your mirth, your courage, your resilience, and what you truly believe in. I can't say there's a real ending to these journeys because I think they're the forever kind. But I can say that the strengths you pick up along the way (because they are strengths) do make the road... less... difficult. And they, perhaps, even help you as you work on your other plans -- once you get back on track, of course. 

Losing my father in June came as a rough blow. I wasn't ready for it. It wasn't part of my plan this year. I know that sounds awful, but because his passing was very unexpected I can say it. I (and members of my family, in their own way) have been on one of these unexpected journeys since May. And I have been tested. From shocking emotions to moods I never even knew existed, it's been a roller coaster. And I'm trying hard to stabilize the flickering lights in my life. 

I mentioned in my last post that over the past few months I've taken comfort in my job and the joy it gives me. However, the moments on my own have been the toughest. I've been forced to acknowledge a reality without my father, and it's heartbreaking. He comes to mind mostly during the holidays -- especially the Indian ones. He enjoyed them the most because they reminded him of his youth, growing up in India. Ganesh Chaturthi and now, Diwali -- the festival of lights. There's no denying a lot of people saw the light that shone brightly through my father. 

For the light that guards and guides us. For the one that will always shine so bright.
{Photography courtesy of StraightFromTheCurls.com}

So tonight, on the eve of Diwali in Toronto, I've lit a lantern as a symbol of hope and peace. I hope that the light will continue to shine and guide me on my journey. I hope that it will bring my loved ones peace. I've also lit it in the hopes that you, my dear reader, will always find reasons to see brightness over the dark, and that you and your loved ones will forever be surrounded by light and love.

Thank you for adding to the light in my life! 

Happy Diwali!


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