The Mundane Usual
Our lives often become a web of monotonous routines. At the instance of our mind, we run in the direction everyone else is running, trying to catch up with others, Thereby, leaving our heart behind in the process. When we finally do get a moment to pause, we feel lost and miss the joy in living.
We work incessantly towards pursuing happiness. We take cue from others ahead of us and select our paths accordingly. Then we embark on the journey of realising our dreams with full effort and determination. Eventually our life simply becomes the chase, and happiness always seems to be at a distance.
We often confuse success and wealth with happiness. We feel that the more we will amass, the happier we will be. However, this could not be farther from the truth. The fact is that the more we accumulate; the further it feeds our greed and takes us away from contentment and joy. It also pushes us deeper in the trap of depressing routines and self-seeking approach towards life.
By adopting this method, we shut our mind and heart to the people who are invested in our happiness and to the little things which really bring a smile to our face.
My Brush with Joy
My grandparents used to live in a distant town. When I was younger, I would go over to stay at their place once in a while. That town had not much to offer, no buzzing shopping malls, no fancy restaurants, nor any glitzy theatres or clubs. It was dull for most people, but I enjoyed my time there. This probably had a lot to do with my grandmother.
My grandfather was a man of routines and would only find time for quick chats with me during his meals. However, it was different with my grandmother. She was a simple lady with deep religious beliefs. She would look after the house, take care of grandfather and yet have time for so many other things. For the duration of my stay, I would be her schedule.
She would show her affection doing things for me. She would cook my favourite dishes and I would promise that when I grew up, I would take her to fine restaurants. She would knit me woollen sweaters and I would swear that I would buy her nice clothes when I would earn. She would take me along for her long walks, and I would promise to show her the world when I had enough money.
She was a woman of few words though. All she would say was, “Come back soon”, when I would be leaving for home. It was the same, for many years.
In due course, I graduated and got a job with a reputable company. The pay was healthy but the routines engulfed my life completely. I was running ceaselessly and had no time for anything or anyone. Then one day at my office desk, a phone call informed me that my grandmother had passed away.
I left for my grandparents’ town and reached their home the next day. I entered their house and saw my grandmother’s photograph in a wooden frame, fresh white flowers nearby. In the photograph she was smiling, as if saying, “You came too late”.
For a minute, the world stood still as I felt a deep pain in my heart. There was much I wanted to say to her and so many things that I wanted to do for her. But I had missed.
To Get Joy, Give First
In pursuit of our lofty aspirations, we set hectic timetables. We do not realise when the process supersedes the goal. It sucks the joy out of our lives.
Once in a while, it is only fair to take a moment. Every week, we should select at least one person, who at some point has brought joy in our life. It maybe someone in family or may be a friend, with whom we have not spoken to in a while. We should call up and express ourselves, tell them that we are grateful, we love them and that we care.
By doing this, we will unblock the channels of happiness. The joy we spread will come around and fill up our souls.
© 2020 RISHI