Today is a pretty amazing day.
I feel a strange sense of calmness and relief. Sitting at my parents’ house, in the city where I was born, things feel safe and familiar. There is a slight chill in the air indicating the change that is imminent. Nature is such.
I want this serenity to be engraved in my memory forever. I am trying my best to remember the details of this particular morning so that I can return to them in my moments of despair and find some solace.
The smell of coffee, the sound of birds chirping, my mother chanting Om—adding in some melodious background music, my father doing yoga, kids are still sleeping, and I am happily playing clickity-clack with the keyboard of my laptop. For some strange reason, this also sounds like music today.
There is this peculiar smell, a mixture of incense burning, with fresh milk being boiled and sumptuous breakfast being cooked in butter and ghee—you see, breakfast has always been a big deal in our home; still is.
Sitting on this old dining table, which is my temporary work station, I am nostalgic. It reminds me of some amazing times with my siblings. Non-stop chatter and banter.
In this silence today, I am reliving it all—the bond we still share, even though everyone has moved on with their journey of life to places unknown and to explore uncharted waters.
Now, what am I feeling?
Right now, I feel like an old soul looking back and reminiscing about some regrets, but mostly looking forward with wisdom.
It is moments like this that make me question my journey so far.
It is full of surprises, smiles, and tears, but not exactly how I envisioned it to be.
That’s life—right? Not fair or unfair, but alive and kicking, pulsating and vibrating.
As I entered the fifth decade of my human existence, I was struck by lighting. Do not worry; I don’t mean literally—I am well and thriving—but metaphysically. I call it my rebirth—people around me tend to call it a midlife crisis. Now, where is pizzazz in that?
You see, I love spectacle and show. When I say I was struck by lightning, I love the awe in their eyes, and they are intrigued to listen to my story, and it makes me smile—mission accomplished.
Live life king size. How I love this phrase!
I would have nothing less than huge meals, lavish sweets, tons of laughter, and people in my dining room (though I would sit sneakily in a corner and watch the drama of life unfold).
Whatever life throws at you, take it gracefully and turn it to your advantage, own it up, and display your pleasure and scars proudly.
Here are some bits of wisdom I’ve gained at 40:
Sacrifices are overrated. It will always come down to the choices you make. If you want family and friends to acknowledge even a bit of your sacrifice (and they will all tell you the same thing)—you should have chosen otherwise.
Choose happiness every single time. Your happiness is your business and no one else’s. Be sure to seize any joy and happiness that comes your way.
Say “No” more frequently. You have every right to say no without giving any explanation.
Acknowledge your moods. Recently, I posted “My range of emotions can vary from a beauty to a beast in a short span of time. Enjoy the ride.” You can not imagine the freedom I felt after this disclaimer.
Be angry. I am angry. Period. Take your time to heal, to pause, and to love yourself.
Determine your task in life. In the words of Carl Jung, “The question is, of course, what do you feel to be your task? Where the fear, there is your task.”
Face your fears. Don’t be afraid to confront your fears. You will find a much better you down the road. Being scared is okay. Learn to step out of your comfort zone, one step at a time.
Remind yourself of your impermanence every now and then. It will bring perspective to everything around.
Be selfish. It is of paramount importance to put yourself first at times, do it, and do not feel guilty.
Be your best for you only. Wear your best dress, sip on that champagne in the finest glass you own: celebrate yourself, just for being you and nothing else.
Don’t waste your time on explanations. Life should be lived as an exclamation and not an explanation.
Declutter. This has to be my favorite. Declutter everything: negative people, physical possessions, unwanted thoughts, fears of the past, and anxieties of the future.
Do not get too attached to your pain and hurt. No mysteries of the universe have ever been revealed by reliving the pain again and again. Witness it, and let it go.
Be the sun of your life and spread the sunshine around.
Last but not least, forgive yourself a little more; love yourself a little more.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh a little more.
I am leaving this list open. Share your lessons learned in the comments below, and let’s empower each other.