I truly come short attempting to dig into my family tree and see how far back I can go. I recall my maternal and paternal grandparents very easily as I got to know them well enough before they passed on. I only have a fuzzy recollection of my great-grandparents on both sides, a couple of great grand uncles and aunts who were already long in tooth and wizened in age when I was still pretty young.
It does make me wonder what I would find if I embark on the journey of tracing my family tree/ancestry several generations back. I am doubtful if any concrete information will be there to guide one’s search or if any one amongst those living will remember. A lot of one’s history does get lost with the passage of time and honestly speaking, this exercise truly brings home the thought that when we die, our loved ones mourn us for such a time, but within decades or less, we become mere memories that fizzle away like the mist and some may never even recollect who we are at all.
This also makes me realize that one day when the sun sets on our lives, we will also become the ancestors, and though it is sad that our progenies may never get to know who we are, we can leave indelible marks behind that will make them proud if and when they discover that we shared the same roots.
I write because I do not know how not to. As far back as I can recall, I owned diaries and in them I would scribble my deepest thoughts. It was primarily a way of finding release, venting and setting free those expressions that ran around in my head. It slowly became a way to have my voice heard. It gave my thoughts a medium and ever since I started blogging and writing on other social media platforms I never stopped. Writing is my super power. It energizes, rejuvenates, helps me to refine my thoughts, gives me a sense of visibility and permanence.
The feeling and pleasure that I derive from writing is indescribable. To say the least, it is cathartic. I have been through extreme crisis situations that voicing my thoughts through writing has been a healing process. It helps bring more clarity to my thoughts, ideas and perceptions and I hope that it also gives the reader a better understanding of the messages that I share. One day, I hope to own an old traditional typewriter and will type beautiful letters and send to the people I love.
For me, writing is life and asides for all the other obvious reasons why writing is important, I believe that writing has been my sense of relief, a healing tool, a friend, a passion and purpose.
Joy. A simple word, yet it carries a whole lot of weight in it for far too many people are constantly in search of joy and many fail to find it as often as they should. I think the fault lies in having great expectations and waiting for things that are exceptionally good before they can have some iota of pleasure.
Connecting with my spiritual side and aiming to grow more spiritually aware, diligently practicing gratitude, choosing to have an optimistic and positive mindset, staying as fully present and living in the moment are conscious steps that I take daily and these have helped me to continually create more positive emotions for myself.
For me, the simple every day things of life bring joy to me and helps enhance my sense of wellbeing. When the work day is over, the thought of going home to my place of comfort consistently brings me pleasure. It’s not that I don’t like going to work, but knowing that I get to return home to my place of refuge where I can choose to lounge in my pajama’s, relax, exhale, be with my family etc. makes those hours spent pursuing the daily bread worth the effort.
My children are a constant source of joy for me. Listening to them share their dreams and work towards them, watching them grow into independent young adults and experiencing their wins in life brings me an immense source of wellbeing and accomplishment.
At the start of each day, I make my to-do list and set little goals that ultimately contribute to achieving my bigger goals definitely makes one feel good. There are many days that I am unable to do all the things that I set out to do, but I have also learnt not to guilt trip myself, to be thankful for the things that I was able to do and not to dwell inordinately on the things that I failed to do.
As adults, we get bogged down with so much in form of rules, responsibilities and life that we often forget how to feel that unadulterated sense of bliss. I truly believe that living mindfully helps us to create, recreate and really experience that sense of happiness and bliss that we deserve.
This morning I woke up with a foggy feeling in my head and it was as if I hadn’t slept at all. I felt lazy, and just wanted to continue lying on my bed, but I knew that doing so would simply set the wrong tone for my day and literally muttering ‘mind over matter, mind over matter’ I basically cajoled myself to crawl out of bed and take my antidote – which is to go out for a brisk walk, to get some fresh air and hopefully feel more alive in the process.
My brisk walk can involve various things depending on my mood, either listening and humming to music that I enjoy with an occasional shake and a jig to accentuate the notes that hit home, listening to a podcast or any talk that piques my interest, venting in my head and going over an argument that I had with hubby and realizing that maybe I should have used a better punchline than I had; mentally deciding to save a punchline and use it to drive home my point, going over my to-do list in my head, making a shopping list, thinking of random stuff and just watching people go about their business…
I had almost come to end of my walk when an idea popped into my head out of the blues and I was so excited at the thought that I made a mental note not to forget to include it in my soon to be executed plans. Right as I turned into the bend leading to our apartment block, I ran into a young dad and a toddler – who by my assessment is barely more that 24 months – attempting to play football, and I slowed my pace to absorb the scene.
The man kept a few paces apart and kicked the ball towards his son. It’s either because the baby was wholly new to the game or wasn’t sure what to do; he missed it not once but four times. After each miss, his dad patiently walked towards him, picked the ball and kicked it again. I was silently rooting in my head for the little one and just as soon as I thought that he would miss it yet again, his little foot finally connected with the ball and he kicked it back with gusto. The ring of his delight and joy from his accomplishment had me applauding both of them and a huge smile made its way to my face.
A brisk walk of 40 minutes not only brought me such unexpected fullness, it drew home several pointers and set a positive tone for my day. During my grudgingly taken walk, I got inspired, I saw love and patience, I saw resilience and joy, I became energized, I gained more clarity and buzz that I wouldn’t have found in my cup of coffee. These little things we often overlook, they are the things that matter.
Getting back to blogging, I have found myself at a certain loss. It feels so familiar yet strange, because like everything that changes over time, a lot seems to have happened in blogosphere. I feel like a newbie, albeit with some jaded sense of know-how. I am tip-toeing around my blog trying to find my way once again, afraid to click on unknown features just in case I break something – not literally, but you get what I mean.
I recall that when I started blogging I could plug away for hours on end and derived such joy from putting my thoughts in writing. The joy has not gone though it has ebbed a bit. The hours to plug away on the keyboard has gone with the vagaries of life, since bills don’t pay themselves. Back then, I jumped in with such gusto and gumption and decision to make it work; to eke out a living doing something that I truly love. Things got in the way, life happened so much so that it made me question my trueness.
I have questioned my authenticity and second-guessed my passion for written and spoken word. I have found myself comparing and wondering if I am really true to my art. If I really want to be a writer as passionately as I had supposed? Because, as we are told, if you want something badly enough, you will do what needs to be done and you will find the time to make sure that it works out. It may sound romantic being a hungry, starving artist, but the rude awakening and harsh reality of life makes such aspirations a near impossible feat to achieve in this part of the world and in most parts I daresay.
NOT paying your bills can land you behind bars in my neck of the woods. As valuable as words may be, mine are yet to land me that goldmine and to present the peace of mind that money can buy or rather being able to sleep without your landlord hounding you for rent. I derail.
I have had to revamp my mind. To remember that often times the key notes of our life’s story might be out of tune for a bit, but once our fingers glide over the keys, like the gentle caress of a cherished old lover, we kindle with familiarity.
My thoughts are on how the blogging field has changed though my keyboard remains the same. How there are now many icons, bells and whistles here and there. I almost feel as if I should enroll in learning how things work here once again. Sadly, the course is paid for and I most certainly can’t afford such finesse. What do you think? Is going to WordPress University a worthwhile investment or do you think that I can find my way just by tinkering around?
I took a second look at this blog that I started at the beginning of the year before COVID came to town, and I realized that some of the things I had wanted to achieve almost bordered on ‘being vain.’
I rewrite my list and wish as below…
Staying Alive… that will be top of my list.
Loving and showing more love to those around me.
Being thankful and grateful for each day and the opportunities that I have.
Staying in touch with loved ones near and far.
Giving more of me – ‘cos there’s an ample lot of me to give 😉
Quitting the complaining and worrying less.
Staying hopeful that ‘all things will work out for my good’
Focusing on the absolutely necessary
Laughing a lot more than I am at present.
Dancing a little each day.
Applying the 2-minute rule in trying to get things done. (I will expand this further in another post).
Eat healthier meals and savour every bite.
Taking back charge of my blogging and writing.
Keeping the right momentum with my studies and getting my homework done on time.
Approach change and challenges with a positive mind.
Stop letting the thoughts of financial struggle dominate every breath that I take.
I refuse to continue to mount pressure on myself and guilt trip myself over the failure to achieve all the high-achieving goals that I had on my previous list. It doesn’t mean that I am settling for less, rather I am pressing the ‘REFRESH’ button and allowing myself to exhale in order to inhale better.