Feeling blessed

20160809_214133T’was a night before Diwali and 2 nights before Halloween.  Sitting by myself in my living room, I was caught reminiscing about my life and how grateful I was for this very calm and comfortable existence.  My son had gone out of the city for a 10-day retreat of sorts and my daughter was out for some pre-Halloween fun that evening.  Well, my reminiscing started even before I found myself alone in my living room.

Driving back from the gym after an hour of rigorous cross-trainer and spin cycle cardio work and stretching, I was wondering how I would occupy myself that evening when my daughter would leave with my car to meet her friends.  I looked at the sky above and cars whizzing by and felt overcome with emotion at what God had provided for me.

I felt overly content and blissful at the thought that God is kind.  I had just turned an undisclosable (not a word, you say?) age, had just sort of left my rigorous online teaching work, and had 2 beautiful children who were working and sharing their life with me.  I have a beautiful mother who loves me so dearly, a loving and doting father in heaven, who we miss very much, a comfortable life and home in India where I go every now and then, and a fine healthy body and mind (this was written before my fracture J).

I felt the urge to pen down my thoughts that evening. I was happy, I was grateful, I was at peace.  Not that everything in my life was peachy-keen, though.  This existence would be too boring and taken for granted if we had everything that we ever needed, don’t you think?  We would feel entitled and would possibly not even remember that there is a higher power looking down on us and vouching for us.  Nevertheless, I knew that I would feel productive and satisfied if instead of watching the Trump/Clinton circus or a movie or two on TV, I would express my utter love for all I have, in writing.

I am thankful, through the events and struggles and reflective months and years gone by, that I have grown to be a persistent hopeful and consistently (almost) positive individual.  Why? And most importantly how? I don’t know!!

Suffice it to say that the many years of my personal down time forced me to assess me and everything I stand for, and to pray for strength, courage, determination, intelligence, calmness, and faith.  I found that slowly but surely, I gained the strength I desperately needed and the confidence to stay in tune with my goals.  I have matured, I think, although I do have some amusing expectations of life that I will opt not to pen down here.  Simply stated though, there is still a young woman inside of me that wants fun, laughter, dancing, friendships, outings, travel adventures, a caring hand on my shoulder, and bear hugs to come and go, among other things on my bucket list!

But, I cannot simply go through a day and night without the thought that I am truly blessed.

Don’t we all have something to be grateful for?  It’s a case of glass half empty versus a glass half full.  Just staying positive, ahead, and cheerful creates a present that is worth living and working hard for- whether in terms of love or money, spirituality or thought.  A peaceful country to live in, a good family to belong to, a healthy intelligent mind to be productive with, a usually calm demeanor that keeps your mood in check, loving friends to share your idiosyncrasies with, a comparatively strong body to ward off evil (!), despite the other not so happy accompaniments (like my recent fracture and loss of job), are somewhat overwhelming truths about us that we must be thankful for.  In my case, even the loss of job I considered as a gift because now I have something very interesting to pursue and my fracture made me realize that I have to slow down.  It also made me appreciate what I have and what I had.

Without a doubt, a glass half full is a better perspective than that of a glass half empty. If my short note here on feeling blessed inspires even one person out there to be positive, I will be thrilled!

Cheers, everyone!


Are you a Winner or Victim?

When life throws you a curveball, what do you do?  You duck and rejoice, get hit and moan, or catch it swing it back.  The fourth choice you have is to get hit, save yourself, savor the lessons it teaches, and grow from the experience. 

There is no dearth of difficulties in people’s lives.  There is no one on this planet that hasn’t had at least one googly (to use another term for this fun life experience!) thrown at them.  People can get horrendously sick, some lose their job or/and their home, some experience awful flooding in which their belongings disappear into the sea.  A loved one dies, a loved one cheats on you, an enemy pays you a nasty visit, you fail your exams, friends break up, and your house collapses due to strong earthquake….  You have an accident and total your car, and you end up with a whiplash, etc, etc…. you get what I mean?  Things that happen to us- there is an endless list of possibilities.  All of us have experienced one or the other or more than one!

“We have to be winners, not losers”, I quipped, sitting in my doctor’s office one day.  Funny that he reminded me of that just the other day!  How do we ‘win’ in these circumstances? How do we win after a flood, or when my car is totally damaged and I am injured?  Who wins when friends break up or a marriage breaks up?  Or when you have a shouting spree with your spouse?  There is really no winner in that one!

Nah!  It’s not about winning here – as in winning a gold medal or coming on top of a class. It is really about having a winning attitude and a positive outlook.  If I lose all my belongings in a flood or in an earthquake, I am not going to feel very good for a long time.  So, what can I do?  Or if I lose my job and my salary that comes with it, what then?  Rest assured, first – I will not believe that it happened to me.  I will be angry, terribly angry!  With who? Whoever comes in my way and perhaps, God! Then, I will be absolutely depressed because it seems like the end of the world is upon me.  And you want me to be a winner?  How is that possible?

Seriously speaking, what we may try to do is to pick up the pieces after the initial shock and after-effects have passed.  Whatever happens, a winner accepts responsibility for his/her actions, a winner thinks ahead and plans for success, has a positive attitude and sees situations as challenges to grow and develop from, rather than be a complainer and whiner.  A winner tries to excel and constantly improve and surrounds themselves with optimism and positive people.  A loser or victim has the mentality of “why me?” Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they blame others and expect the worst from people and experiences.

Easier said than done!  How can I feel strong and ready to take positive action after a calamity has befallen me?  From my experiences, I have seen that if I sulk and feel bad about something, those feelings will drag me down further.  I have seen the ‘Poor me’ attitude of many folks and what do they achieve?  Nothing much except negativity, conflict, heightened anxiety, and ill health.  So, why not give the benefit of doubt to life’s curveballs and start to think like there is a wonderful life at the end of tunnel?  That wonderful outcome can come today, tomorrow, or 10 years hence.  But it will come and in the meantime, with positive attitude- an attitude of a winner, one can start looking up and gain strength.  We often heard the saying- ‘No pain, no gain’.  This one makes sense when you are having a hard workout in the gym, by the way!

Using this maxim in our life’s experiences, isn’t it best take any instance of pain as a challenge to learn and grow from?  If we take care of our present, our future and our past will fall in line!  Have a winner’s attitude, think positive, surround yourself with optimistic people, accept the curveballs and googlies with open arms and an open mind, and thank your lucky stars you received a chance to become a better and stronger person!


— Jagjit