free-writing: the wonder in ordinariness (7.1)

free-writing: the wonder in ordinariness (7.1)

Today was a wonderfully ordinary day.

Play-time with D in the morning, my morning walk, breakfast and work, more play-time with D, cooking while KrA took D on a bike ride to Paletta, lunch, some TV time for D while I snoozed beside him, sorting of library books, me heading out to the library to return the books and pick new ones while D decided to stay back home, dinner when I got back, bath-time, reading time, bed-time.

No plans. No goals to be reached. Nothing to be achieved. Yet I wrote way more than I had managed to in a while.

I wrote in two sprints. I could have done more but KrA had some work issues to attend to in the morning, so I ended up looking after D then. Nothing to complain about.

Like today, tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity. And I'll look to make the most of it.

I remembered today how, about a decade ago, I used to talk to KrA about the constant restlessness that had become my steadfast companion. I was quite dissatisfied in my jobs at that time, wanting to do more, achieve more, try out new things, explore, do a whole lot more than the systems could take. I remember telling him how I was envious of people who could come in to work, simply do the needful, and go back home. I always felt like I wanted to do more at work. Even when we used to go on vacation, I couldn't just lie down on a beach and watch the sky. There was always a nagging sensation, a longing for something to do, a desire to be productive, to make the most of the time on hand, to show something for the days gone past.

D has been an antidote to that aimless restlessness.

When I'm not restless to get going, when I can stay present in this moment, time bends and stretches to my whims. When I make no demands of this world, of the people around me, even of myself, the universe expands and unfurls to make space for all that I need, for all that my heart yearns for.

It is quite like a dance. A very delicate balance between two partners. One in which the most enchanting performance ensues when each trusts the other, when each is willing to follow the other's lead, when neither demands their whim be followed.

And for the first time in a long, long time I find I can sit here and simply watch the sunlight dancing on the leaves of the trees outside my window, without wondering what the meaning of life is, what the purpose of it all is, what I'm meant to do with this one precious life.

The answer is very simple.

I am meant to be here, now.

What I'm meant to be doing tomorrow or the day after will present itself in due course of time.

Life truly is effortless. We are the ones who plan and conspire because we have forgotten what it means to be simple, to be true to ourselves, to be authentic, and to show up without any hidden agenda, without any masquerade, with only faith and trust that the way will present itself to us as long as we keep walking, keep showing up.

It feels scary to live in this world, which is so full of judgement and criticism, without a plan at least to keep ourselves safe from the vagaries of society, of culture, even of our own families.

But when we do, when we find it in ourselves to simply be true to ourselves, without attempting to impress anyone else, life certainly becomes a lot easier, a lot simpler. All that remains is what truly matters, who truly matters.

I watched a TED Talk by Eleanor Longden (by 'watched' I mean I read the transcript of the talk), who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was in university. She talks about her experience, and stresses how healing began when she started to realise that the voices in her head "were a meaningful response to traumatic life events, particularly childhood events, and as such were not my enemies but a source of insight into solvable emotional problems".

The reason her talk resonated with me so much was because two very close family members of mine have undergone schizophrenia. I know very little detail, despite them being 'close' family members, which only goes to show the stigma associated with these diagnoses. In fact, at around the time I came to know of the second family member's condition, they had already overcome it with the aid of medication after years of struggle.

I was reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, and if I remember correctly, he had said something to the effect of how when we struggle with pain, with the inability to cope with emotional pain, and we turn to medication for aid, we lose a valuable opportunity in understanding our own selves, in seeing what our struggle is trying to tell us about ourselves and our world views.

Tolle's words had a profound impact on me, because at that time I was really struggling being a mother to a toddler, I was completely lost when it came to my career (or lack thereof), and I had no clue where I was going to land up in life.

Looking back now, I feel especially tender towards my past self, the one who was so riddled with anxiety and worry over her child, the one who couldn't bear to wake up in the mornings, the one who spent all day waiting for the day to come to an end because each day just felt so uninspiring, so jaded, so endlessly repetitive, the one who felt she wouldn't be able to face yet another day like the one that just went by.

Turns out, I didn't have to worry about the next day or the day after or the day after that. I didn't even have to think about the next hour for that matter.
All I really needed to do was remain in that moment, be present in that moment.
No plans for glory. No lofty ambitions.
Just pure, unadulterated joy, doing what makes our hearts sing.
How simple it can be! Yet how hard we end up making it!

That's it from me today. À demain!

Image Attribution: Photo by Anatoliy Gromov on Unsplash