The Daily Prompt: You’re A Winner

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Let’s face it; I’m never going to win the lottery. Why? Because I’ll never participate in one. Leaving the practical part aside, you know, where one would be logical and put some in savings, invest it, FD’s  etc. like Ross in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I’m going to enter into fantasy land and imagine what I would do with it.

Being a hard-core BOOKWORM, I would use part of the money to buy a truck load of books. Actually make that TRUCKS load of books. Books to read, pretty notebooks to write in, funky new pens to use to write in those notebooks… ahhhh, blissful land. I love to read. I enjoy writing in a notebook. But I find it difficult to do so. So maybe my own space or a bubble vehicle where I can just disappear into and read and write whenever and wherever I want to.

Next on the list would be a helluva beautiful kitchen with a marvellous oven. You see, I love to bake. And this year for me is all about baking new dishes and experimenting with old ones. Recently I’ve also entered the BREAD world and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. To have an actual proper oven in place of a microwave oven is a distant dream. For now. But the image of baking trays filled with cookie dough, or tins of cake batter and the wafting aroma of bread that fills your nostrils keep me hoping in a positive way.

Bringing practicality in for a slight moment, I would save some amount for travel. Considering I like to travel on my own time and space and explore the world, I would like to know that I can dig into that jackpot anytime I want without having to think about it. Especially since I ensure I go on a holiday at least twice a year.

Now back to fantasy land. I would love to have a fantastic camera. Don’t get me wrong, I have an awesome camera right now too, but someday I’d love to take better photographs for which you do require the respective gadget, and maybe even join a course or something to better my teeny tiny skills at it. The camera itself will burn a hole in my pocket… I don’t even want to go near the prices for the lenses!

But all that’s in the fantasy world. In the real world, I need time. The good thing is that none of them are non-achievable. I just need to save (A LOT) and be patient. That’s what I’d do with the money. What about you?

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Prakairoj/freedigitalphotos.net

The Daily Prompt: Always Something There To Remind Me

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A few years back I made a life changing decision. That decision was to ‘love myself’. I’m sure some of you are going ‘huh’. What I mean is that I wasn’t going to ignore myself anymore. I wasn’t going to let my life slide away. I had a tough time growing up. I went through depression, I was called all sorts of names, I wasn’t a great student in school and I even had teachers going to the extent of saying “I’ll doubt you’ll amount to anything.”

Years of fighting and struggling got me through the depression and I went on to do well in college and in life in general. Yet I refused to make myself my priority. That took longer for me to realise. But I finally did and now I’m at that stage where I am learning the art of balancing between doing things for others and doing things for myself.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have my days of feeling utterly miserable or wanting to crawl under the covers and staying there forever! Everyone goes through that. It’s the ability to not just fall or fail but also to get up that keeps one moving in life. But during those low days, we tend to do whatever it is to make ourselves feel better. Some might work out their frustrations at the gym, some might go off for a walk, some might meet up or talk to a friend, some might meditate, some might clean the house etc. There are a lot of ways to calm oneself down.

I like to do two things. Listen to some music or go for a walk. Or sometimes both. I need to get away from the source. There have been times when I couldn’t get away physically from the person or situation. For example, when it’s pouring like crazy. So then I plug in my earphones and listen to music. And that’s where one of my favorite singers, Jason Mraz comes in.

I first heard his songs on Yahoo. From then on, I was hooked. I have all his albums and I love all of them. His songs are so full of meaning and are cheery at the same time. All his songs tend to make me happy. But currently the song that really lifts me up when I’m low or frustrated is called ‘3 Things’ from his latest album, YES! The lyrics go like this:

There are three things I do when my life falls apart
Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart
Not until I do this will my new life start
So that’s the first thing that I do when my life falls apart.

Oh, the second thing I do is I close both of my eyes
And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life.
I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside
Gathering new strength from sorrow,
I’m glad to be alive.

Things are looking up
I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking up
Love is still the answer I’m relying
On
Three little things
Things are looking up

The third thing that I do now when my world caves in,
is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end.
I design my future bright not by where my life has been.
And I try, try, try, try, try again.
Yes I try, try, try, try, try again.

Things are looking up
I know beyond the dark the sun is rising
Things are looking up
And I know above the clouds the sun is shining
Things are looking
Love is still the answer I’m relying
On
Three little things
Three little things

It always reminds me never to return to that sinkhole again and to keep fighting and never ever forget myself. To keep reminding myself that at the end of all that darkness, the sun will be shining. For me, that’s pretty good advice. Cry your heart out, wallow for some time and then get back to the grind. Be happy and grateful for all the simple and not so simple pleasures you’ve been having. Life’s not forever. Nothing is. Which means sadness, frustration, emptiness etc. won’t last forever either. But you need to do something to get yourself out of it. Let go of the past and don’t worry too much about the future or else the present will slip away even before you know it. So take a break when needed and then keep trying and strive to better yourself at whatever it is that makes you happy and everyone around you happy too. Just like Mr. Mraz says “try, try, try again…”

©NJ

Image courtesy:- digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net and Lyrics are courtesy azlyrics

You can check out the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsrICJqWQ1E

 

The Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise

Birthday Notes
Birthday Notes

Living in different cities means it’s difficult for my sister and me to spend our birthdays together. But whenever possible, we don’t miss it. This year it was to be a low key affair. Not that I go partying otherwise. I’m not the partying kind. But this year, I did not want any gifts or calls or meeting up with friends. I didn’t even want a birthday cake. I wanted nothing except some quiet quality time with her.

Older than me by a few years, my sister is my world. So spending time with her on my birthday was the best gift ever possible. I had a rather trying time the weeks before my birthday and therefore barring notifying people that I’d be away and offline, I wanted to spend the day peacefully with no hullabaloo. Even more so since I had slept horribly the previous day and woke up to a splitting headache that lasted till late afternoon. Not a great way to spend one’s birthday!

We decided to spend the day watching a movie, heading out for lunch, picking up some movies to watch at home and ordering in when it was time for dinner. Unfortunately, the day before my birthday my sister had to carry work home and as a result ended up staying up till three in the morning working. We did go about as planned though and as a way of having something sweet to celebrate the moment we also had a run at a unique spice ice cream shop and treated our taste buds to some unique spice ice cream.

But she wanted to make it more memorable for me and decided on surprising me by putting up little ‘post it’ notes all over the house with wishes written on each of them. Considering I didn’t want any racket this year over my birthday, I was completely surprised and thrilled to see those notes. It was perfect. It wasn’t loud, it wasn’t intrusive, it was personal and simple… it was one of those treasured moments.

Considering I was there in the house the whole time, I wondered when and how she managed to do so. Of course, she spilled the beans out for me later on in the day. But it was a delight to read those little notes and even more to find them in some corner or the other.

I’d open a book I was reading and there was a note. I’d open my wallet and there’s another one. I’d open the newspaper and there’s the note. I’d reach into a jacket pocket or jeans and there’d be notes… and so on it went. In fact, at one point she ran out of one kind of post-it notes and switched to another kind!

It is these little things that put a smile on my face and I enjoyed reading all of them. I did at times struggle to find them but it was fun. Needless to say, I’ve saved them all.

We often do these things for each other. We know we’ll bake a cake and there’ll be gifts but there’s also often these little moments apart from those big ones that make the day truly special.

©NJ

The Daily Prompt: Lookin’ Out My Back Door

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Mind Full Nature

As if on cue there’s a screeching sound

I look up and see that it’s five o’clock

I look out the window and search for the source

I find it on a wire securely perched

I smile to myself as I hear it screech

That beautiful tone in a wonderful beat

From far you see only a distant blob

Look close and you’ll see a wondrous colour

With a sleek long tail and a curvy beak

Its body covered with the wonder of green

It hops about on a long thin wire

With the sun in the background as if on fire

An hour or so it’s time to go

And all you see is a giant red ball

Whenever I look outside at this time

I see a perfect picture forming outside

The beautiful red glow of the setting sun

In the foreground is a parrot just sitting still

At times like these I close my eyes

And let nature fill my wandering mind

©NJ

The Daily Prompt: Well, I Never…

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The Balancing Key:

It’s been an unforgiving long time that I’ve posted anything on my blog. I really don’t have any excuse for it. I just couldn’t write. I read all the advises given about writing and I realised that sometimes, just sometimes, it is okay to take a long break. You never know you might come back feeling better and write lots more or you might just come back feeling better. Either way, it is a win of sorts.

You see, I’m on a mission. A mission to change myself. All my life (I’m 35 now) I have lived for OTHERS. No matter whom that ‘other’ was. To make THEM happy, to ensure that THEY aren’t hurt, to make THEM the priority no matter what time it was or what state I was in, to take every possible crap from THEM and forgive THEM for it and say that it’s all okay, to let THEM run over me, to let THEM treat me like a pushover etc. I could go on, but you get the gist. I never once lived for myself; never once thought of doing something because I liked it and because it made ME happy.

I was never passionate about anything because I was too busy making everyone other me my priority. I kept my limits of tolerance stupidly high. Yes, stupidly high. My friends who have known me all of my life would admonish me to a great extent at the way I let myself be treated. My sister was scared that I’d be swallowed by the sinkhole that I ended up creating for myself. I couldn’t even blame the so called OTHERS. It wasn’t their fault. I let them. I could very easily have stopped them and not let myself be a punching, slamming, s*** throwing bag for them… but I did.

Why? Because I was afraid. Afraid to end up alone. Afraid of loneliness. Even though BEING ALONE and BEING LONELY are two completely different things, I was afraid of both. I mean, rather take the crap and be surrounded by people than have no one, right? WRONG.

I’m a soft-hearted, sensitive person. So anything and everything would get to me and I was an easy target. Sticks and stones may or may not have broken my bones but words definitely DID hurt me. I hated that. I hated being that sensitive. In this day and age, I don’t think it was good to be so sensitive. Funnily enough, I’m also a strong person. Go figure!

The sad part was that I could see what they were saying, understand it too and in a strange way even realise that I indeed was indirectly ‘hating’ myself. Hate might be a strong word but really…what else would you call it?

In this whole rigmarole, the problem was me. It was who I was. I was born that way and I had lived that way and I found it difficult to change myself. Changing a habit is difficult, imagine trying to change yourself! I felt that if I started making myself a priority, I would be selfish. I felt that I would be mean in ignoring others. I felt that if I couldn’t be there for them or help them, I’d be rude. I felt that if I gave it back (especially when someone’s being an ass!), I would be just like them and so on. And so, I lived or rather existed almost all my life in this miserable fashion without actually LIVING.

But there eventually comes a point in life where you can’t take it anymore, where the limits have been long crossed over, where you’re tired of it all, where you say ‘enough is enough’ or ‘I’ve had it’. You can’t take the pain, you can’t take the hatred, you can’t take those stabbing words, you can’t tolerate s*** from people, you can’t just say ‘it’s okay’ when you’ve been treated like crap, you can’t let your life just exist… when that point arrives, that is when you truly start loving yourself, when your life truly begins.

That point arrived for me a few years back. I wish I could narrate that incident but it is too painful and personal a stage in my life to share. Maybe… someday… but not just yet. But yes, it took THAT long for me to BEGIN, not even change, but begin the process of loving myself, of changing myself and making myself honorable in my own eyes (forget anyone else’s), of bringing that BALANCE between making others a priority and myself a priority. I haven’t looked back since.

I let myself be alone, spent years without talking much to people to let myself feel it and not be afraid of it, not be afraid of losing people, of losing things, doing things by myself whether I had company or not, let myself experience loneliness for years together and it was tough. ‘Loneliness can kill’ is not a lie. It was a damn struggle and that wasn’t even the hardest part of my life. The months I spent crying my soul out, the nights I spent sleepless, the days that went without a word spoken, the toll it took on my health coupled with all the nonsense that I had to endure from people whilst trying to build myself… it was excruciating.

But I let myself go through all of it because I knew that nothing is permanent. I felt that if I let myself feel and experience the worst… well, it can’t get worst-er, right? I let myself experience the most important thing in my life – MY LIFE, the good and the bad. Would I advise people to do the same that I did? Hell no! This was a personal choice and honestly, I was lucky to survive.

Now, as I do things for myself, I’m enjoying my life. I still feel like it’s not enough. I want to do so much more and I’m on that path. I only hope that I have enough years in balance to fulfill some if not all of my wishes. I mean, if I live till the age of 60, that’s not even half of my life that I’ve lived for myself, is it?

I definitely have a new found respect for myself and most importantly, I love myself.

But I do say this: “never ever just exist. Live your life. Do the things you love to do. Be it something small, be it something big, be it something silly or something important. It doesn’t matter. You love to paint, go paint. You love climbing trees, go climb a tree (be sensible about safety, of course). You love travelling, go travel. As long as it makes you happy. Experience your life on your own. With others too, but definitely on your own. Make your mistakes and learn from them. Repeated a mistake? Big deal. Learn from it. Was rude to someone? Apologize. Someone was rude to you? Tell them. Don’t just shut up. Let them know (nicely). But let them know. Don’t let them take you for granted. Don’t take them for granted either. Don’t take LIFE for granted. Never not make yourself a priority. I’m not saying don’t be there for others or never make others a priority, I’m saying strike a balance. That balance is what will keep you happy. That balance is what will help you survive and keep you strong. That balance is THE KEY. At the end of the day, it is YOU who will make you the happiest.”

Deep inside me a tiny voice speaks

Never let go of the love that you keep

Use that love to grow stronger and better

Share it with others and make your life better

You let the hurt in and it shattered your heart

But you also let it out to heal it from the past

Throughout this ordeal you never did once lose

That inner trait of yours to choose others before you

Now life has hit back with a blow to your soul

Telling you what it means to not think of you at all

So focus that growing love towards your own heart

For that deserves the most instead of keeping it apart.

 

©NJ

Image Courtesy:- vectorolie/freedigitalphotos.net

P.S. I posted this a week ago but I couldn’t think of anything better to fit the prompt.