What do you do when a bunch of unexpected things—not so nice things—happen?
Go with the flow.
If there’s one thing life has taught me, among many others, it is this. Go with the flow. And that’s what I’ve been doing all this month…and probably will be, for the coming weeks.
By November 10, we had news of two deaths and even as we grappled with that shocking news, along came a third. On November 13, my father-in-law passed away.
I have tried my best to stay calm, stick to the routine and yes, go with the flow. Because doing familiar things when we have to deal with shocking news absolutely helps. It helps stay focused.
So I did exactly that, while grieving, reminiscing about good times, treasuring the memories.
Here are some of the things I am grateful for this month.
Such a routine thing. And when you put it off, so time-consuming. The “clean fridge” that was sitting on my to-do list for a couple of weeks and raising my guilt meter was precipitated thanks to a leaky milk sachet. It is crazy how a tiny hole can steadily leak and not be visible for a while—until it starts seeping around the bottoms of everything else on the shelf. Ugh! Talk about deciding to go with the flow, literally! Well, I dropped everything else to attend to this and decided now was as good a time as any to get to the cleaning.
Don’t know if it is just me—but do you have certain jars at the back of the shelf in the fridge that have been around for a while? I mean—I know what’s in them but they’re like—just there, you know. In my case it is pickle jars—of pickles I want to last forever. Some jars with just a wee bit in them.
Oh well, I pulled those out and made it my mission to finish them, quite joyously, as I cherished the memories associated with some of the jars. I think even Nestle must have forgotten that they offered these jars—we’ve had them for more than 40 years. Oh, the nostalgia.
Grateful to discover some lovely things in my freezer, too.
Resumed morning walks
What is it about death news that nudges us to take better care of ourselves? One of my neighbors came over for a pep talk and in the course of conversation we reminisced over how we had walked all over our area looking for a yoga class this time last year. We found plenty, some were even free. However, we never did get around to enrolling, what with various things getting in the way. I suggested we at least start going for a walk in the morning like we used to and she agreed.
Well, barely two weeks and she’s not able to make it due to some issues. But *adjusting the halo around my head* I’ve been consistently keeping it up and feel kind of proud of myself. More so because I also go for my evening walk, chalking up the steps and the miles which is so good for my blood sugar control.
Exercise is a non-negotiable with diabetes and besides that benefit, it has also kept me sane getting me out of the house twice a day. Makes it easier to go with the flow, manage the mind, too, you know. I am grateful to live in an area where it is possible to walk.
As I said earlier, by November 15, we had a tally of three deaths. The hardest blow was the death of my my father-in-law—a shock to the family. We rushed to Chennai as soon as we heard the news. He was versatile and brilliant. Tributes were published in several leading newspapers. It warmed our hearts to see the condolences pouring in from people who’d known him and had wonderful memories to share about him.
He was 87 and lived a rich life, but when is it ever easy to lose a parent? I am just grateful I had the privilege to know him, care for him and share a beautiful rapport with him. Grateful for the relationships I’ve built in my life.
Received a gift from Google
As a regular contributor and local guide on Google maps, I have received some perks in the past that I have not been able to use or even gift away. But last month, they emailed me to ask me to claim a “gift” – a pair of socks. It may not be a big deal but I am so touched by the reward.
Of course, I had doubts about whether it would actually reach me since most things from abroad are lost in transit. But this one arrived in a week. And it is so cute! Knowing me, I will hoard it for as long as I possibly can before I actually wear it. Because if I wear it, won’t it become old? Sigh.
It was my son’s birthday last week. The fifth he’s been away from home. Yes, as his Mom, I get to sulk before I smile at the thought of him coming home for the December break. I am grateful for the lovely people on his campus who, at my request, bought him sweets which he distributed to his friends. And his classmates celebrated his birthday at midnight and also cut a cake. I am grateful that he had a nice day.
So, the gift I ordered for him on Amazon that was supposed to reach on his birthday didn’t. But he is cool with that because it’s just a delay. Way to go with the flow! Grateful that he’s my son. I went through some of his writings and came across a letter he wrote when he was 8 years old. He used to write letters all the time! So, amusing then, and I treasure them now. Memories are so soothing!
Last week, I came across this tree. It has been around for as long as I’ve known but had to be cut down during a recent storm as it was on the verge of collapsing. It’s amazing how the roots still look strong in spite of the hollow. What stories it must have, to tell.
About the pedestrian who took shelter under its branches. About the two people who probably cuddled behind the trunk as the sun set in the evening. Or the weary travelers who sat resting their backs against the trunk. Kids who walked by, jumping up and trying to pull its branches. People living nearby, watching its branches swing with the breeze.
Can you see the tiny signs of life? That made me emotional. Perhaps trees also learn to go with the flow. I am joining Parul for ThursdayTreeLove with this tree.
Grateful for my community
No gratitude post of mine would be complete without mentioning my loving community – an exclusive group for women bloggers where they can connect, engage and grow.
Isn’t it lovely that the Gratitude Circle blog hop coincides with Thanksgiving?
How was November for you?
Welcome to the November 2019 Gratitude Circle Blog Hop.
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Just to remind you – to join the Gratitude Circle blog hop, you can write about anything that made you feel good. It is not mandatory to write about your personal life. Or list personal things you are grateful for. You have the freedom to share anything that made you feel good. A happy event. Something you saw. An experience. A place. Something that brought you happiness. A lovely book you read that filled you with joy. Anything. I repeat, it need not be personal at all.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
My belated birthday wishes to your Son. I also believe in going with flow when things don’t turn as expected. My November so far is cool with a lot of me time.
I’ve been working hard on going with the flow ever since I accepted an offer for my house. All the legal things and associated elements of moving can be stressful. I’m just trying to look at it as an opportunity to declutter, to choose to change the things that were upsetting me, and now… to go with the flow. Other people are doing things that affect my life. I have to go with it, and make out of it what I can in terms of comfort, friendship and good things.
Although sometimes I also need to be a rock to stand up for things I really believe in.
Thinking of you in yor sadnesses and small happinesses, Vidya. You inspire me!
Jemima Pett recently posted…Book Review | A Difficult Mirror by Benjamin X Wretlind
So sorry to hear about all the deaths you have been dealing with Vidya-the news itself comes as a shock. I pray for strength and compassion for you -Hugs!
I love your strength in finding positives in the smallest of things and taking it up a notch by being so productive. A big Yay on the walks, I have been struggling with it and so really admire your effort over it.
Wish you a very happy December ahead 🙂
Shalzmojo recently posted…#Gratitude -Changing seasons bring in new joys / Nov 2019
Such a nice post vidya, I am just completing my gratitude post, and I saw the notification in my in box, I am glad I connected with you, end of day, tired, trying to get back to a routine after all the studies and exams which i just completed this month. Sorry to hear about your father in law, may his soul rest in peace… agree that we must learn to go with the flow… have been trying in my life. Happy Birthday to your son.. all the images are powerful, especially the trees… my heart goes out for them. Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration. Love and hugs.
G Angela recently posted…Tree Love 69
I am sorry to hear about the deaths and your loss, Vidya. Praying for your family.
I know what you mean about going with the flow. I cleaned my kitchen and the shelves and all those jars behind. I was also procrastinating but it had to be done. Sweet to know about Vidur’s birthday on campus. This is how college life is. Made of mid night celebrations. Good you are walking. Always good to take care of ourselves. I wish December is calmer for you, Vidya. Love and Hugs.
Parul Thakur recently posted…A quiet morning and some reflections
I want to say I’m so very sorry for all of your losses recently. You are right there is something about grief that makes you want to take better care of yourself. Happy belated birthday to your son. I like to stay busy in this time of grief BC it’s when I stop and think when it hits me so hard. I’ve cleaned out my fridge freezer and pantry multiple times lol.
A big hug to you, Vidya. Love that you stay so positive despite the challenges. I am so sorry about the recent deaths around you. I believe in going with the flow too, knowing that you cant control everything, accepting it and changing your perspective is best way forward. It works wonders for your peace of mind too. The gift from Google is so cute and cool. Belated birthday withes to your son, wishing you great times when he is back home. Take care and have a wonderful December. Cheers!
Shilpa Garg recently posted…Struggling After Husband’s Death, Widow’s Tea Stall Was Transformed by Art & Kindness! #WATWB
I am so sorry for your loss. We also had similar bad news in our family. My Grandmother-in-law passed away just few days before Karwachauth this year. We live abroad so couldn’t see her last moments before her death. However, we are glad that we were able to meet her and spend some quality time with her just 5 weeks before her passing away. I did a blog post sharing my feelings for her. Life goes on and it is hard to move on but we need to carry on!
[…] Linking up with Vidya’s gratitude circle. […]
Extremely sorry to hear about your father-in-law. May you and your family find strength in this tough time.
Yes, cleaning up the fridge always results in finding things we had almost forgotten. The half-eaten jars of jams and pickles, a potion of vegetable safely tucked in a corner. Wow, 40 year old jars! Well preserved. I am sure I will find similar treasures if I go through my mom’s fridge.
That was very sweet of the students to bring sweets and distribute. You can celebrate his bday all over again in December.
Rajlakshmi recently posted…Unpopular Opinion – The pretentious world of Travel Influencers
I came here last week looking for the post, but it wasn’t there. I’m so glad I stumbled upon it today and so I liked up my post only now.
I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law and the other two deaths, Vidya. Death always shakes things up, no matter how close or distant.
Fridge cleaning is quite a chore and it takes a lot of time and effort. Like you, I sit and admire jars too 🙂
Good to see that you have resumed your morning walks and those socks sent by Google looks so adorable!
Wishing you a fabulous December ya Hottie!
Soumya recently posted…The Masks We Wear | #WordlessWednesday – 9
Sorry to hear about your loss and I can understand what you have gone through in the past few days. But this is a part of life which we just don’t want to accept. Attachment. Glad to know that you resumed your morning walks. My elder daughter is also November born. Belated birthday wishes. And I am so glad to join your blog hop after years. 🙂
Neha Jain recently posted…5 years of parenting and other things I am grateful for in my life
Thank you for your kind words Neha! So happy to see you here! (I admire your Instagram feed)
Welcome back to the Gratitude Circle.
I just needed a dose of positivity and I’m so glad I hopped across to your lovely blog. That too after eons. Been meaning to the last few days.
Thank you for your hopeful posts that are a streaming ray of morning sun.
Sending you big hugs and big love. Not easy to lose a loved one. Take care and may 2020 be blessed and peaceful.
Natasha recently posted…Lessons from the Laburnum Tree: #WordlessWednesday #WednesdayWisdom
[…] Vidya joins with love and gratitude and with a tree that’s now dead […]
I, too, wrote dead trees. It seems that the roots may continue to thrive. Still learning. Thank you for honoring this old being.