It’s true what ‘they’ say about the little things that matter. We had house guests yesterday – my uncle and aunt surprised us with a visit – they were en route from Kerala to Tamil Nadu and decided to go via Bangalore to spend the day with their favorite niece – yeah, that’s me. Of course, we were thrilled to see them, and at the same time sad they were leaving at night – yet – decided to make the most of the few hours. Vidur is crazy about them and in fact thinks they are now his uncle and aunt, my quota being over – but let’s not get into that – that could be another post!
My uncle is pushing 68, although to me he’ll always be 25. We practically grew up together and during each year of my childhood, I always imagined him as a peer – simply because he cared to treat me that way. He taught me several wonderful things; he taught me to appreciate different types of books; he taught me discipline and the right way to react in unpleasant situations (what they taught in management seminars much later – as I found out through my career).
Well, obviously, as we always seem to do – we went into a major nostalgia trip about all those funny incidents only close family members can enjoy talking about. I realized that it meant a lot to my uncle that I remembered and recalled all those quirky incidents so close to his own heart. I mean, I didn’t have to do anything major to make him happy – love and affection was all it took. Ok, it is not that I just realized it – but I am always amazed at the fact that what seems like such a little effort can mean so much.
I was chatting about it with my mum today – and we ended up recalling all those people who find it so hard to make the minimum effort to be nice – rather, it seems as if they are purposely mean just to enjoy that fleeting hurt slice the one they claim to love.
So now I’ve made a little list of the things we can do – in fact, build it into our daily routine to make life easier – save us some heartache – take a shortcut through life, as it were. Here goes:
- Each time you go out, carry the actual physical street address and phone number of your destination. I know how it feels when I forget – Miserable.
- Carry your diary at all times – whether physical or e-version. Me – am a fossil and I actually write everything down. Yes – with an ink pen.
- I always have a list with dates on which to do them. I go a step further by keeping a regularly updated duplicate at home. I have a list of my bank accounts/investment accounts with customer id – because that’s what they ask you.
- One thing I am very diligent about is to have a notepad, a pencil and pen (that writes) by the phone. And yes – I’ve tied the pen down – so that it does not mysteriously ‘walk’ off. Needless to say, I have a list of phone numbers categorized into friends, family, utility, complaints…you know. I have a special list of doctors and their phone numbers.
- I have a multiple wall hook with space for everyone’s keys. No archeological dig here to seach for keys.
- The In Out tray system works at home, as well. Just call it Action, File or Junk. Five minutes spent sorting through mail everyday helps save several hours. Trash what you dont need; Keep stuff you need to take action on in the Action tray. Put the stuff to be filed in the File tray. Empty these at least once a week.
- Ah, that mobile phone. I have a written list of phone numbers stored in my cellphone. Am paranoid about this.
- I always have an assortment of inexpensive gifts ready to give – for both children and adults. Tshirts, pencil boxes, stationery items, decorative stuff, cards….
- My famous bag has painkillers, antiseptic cream, breath fresheners, hairbrush, Gelusil, a pen knife, a nail cutter, sanitary pads, a spare pencil box with pencil, ruler, pen and eraser moisturizing cream, set of tissues…
It makes a massive difference to be organized. When we don’t have to search for things, there’s less stress. When there’s less stress, its easier to be nice to others. Vicious little cycle, I know – but there it is!