Life is short. And I’ve learned, over the decades to focus on treats not tricks.
Just as I was writing this post, I was sad to hear about the passing of Sir Sean Connery, the legendary and stylish actor. So sad. Yes, he lived a good life and yet . . . sigh!
Only yesterday I was musing over how I’ve had the same ringtone since I bought my first cell phone in 2003. The phones changed but the ringtone has not – it has always been the theme music of Dr.No – the first James Bond movie starring Sean Connery. Yes, I am a big fan of James Bond movies and have seen them all – some more than thrice.
Always feels strange to hear of a celebrity’s death because it never seems real to me. Probably because they live through their work forever. And that, somehow, is comforting.
October was pleasantly busy. I am trying to manage my work and time better and stay more organized. This pandemic has gone on for too long, no? And still no real respite. We are going to be staying home for a while longer and even if we are now used to it, it is not always easy. What do you think?
Well, we have to stay motivated and what better way than to make a gratitude list, yes? Let’s count the treats, not tricks.
Here are my highlights from October ♥ the treats not tricks
8-week diabetes challenge
I enrolled for an 8-week diabetes challenge that began on 26 October. Which probably explains why I am late with this post, for all the good reasons. I’ve been busy getting my routine in order. I am sleeping earlier. Waking up earlier. And following the requirements of the challenge. They are easy and aimed at creating lifelong changes that stick.
I am looking forward to the next few weeks and feel quite excited with what I am doing. I am glad I am back to waking up early.
With all of us at home now, there is no real need to wake up early and pack lunchboxes—and I guess we’ve slacked off on rising early. I have changed that now. And it feels good. And this definitely qualifies as one of the treats not tricks.
If ever there was a time in my life to be grateful for my friends, that time is now, particularly when we are not able to meet—unless you count video calls. I am super thankful to mine for being there.
One close friend and I, in spite of living in the same city, and not very far off from each other, always joke about how we somehow end up not meeting as often as we should. Well, we now have a pact. We will wish each other first thing in the morning, every day. And it has been so amusing! Also . . . if one of us does not respond, the other worries. Talk about the balance of life!
I mentioned joining a fitness class in last month’s post, remember? I am happy to say it is going well and I look forward to it eagerly. So grateful I am able to stay fit in the comfort of my home. And thankful to Janaki and Zoom for making it possible. If you’re interested, message her here.
While I am still not going out anywhere, I do step out and walk in our building’s backyard where some residents with green thumbs, with the help of a gardener keep that area green. As part of my diabetes challenge, I practice “grounding” for 30 minutes, which involves standing on earth—on soil. Part of my healthy routine now. And every day I discover something new there.
This past month, I’ve had the pleasure of having papaya for breakfast on most mornings and I am really grateful. As I enjoy my big bowl of the fruit, I recall wonderful memories of time spent with my Mom, who also loved the fruit. I feel so fortunate to enjoy this double treat—happy moments to cherish plus a healthy fruit.
Work is picking up, slowly. I am grateful, though. I was so anxious for several months and feeling guilty about it because I was falling short of the commitment that I’ve made to myself—for donating to charity. I am glad the situation is improving. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed and hoping things continue to get better.
An early Diwali gift
My friend and I were talking about the festival season and how different this year has been panning out. As we went down memory lane I was browsing on my laptop to find something for her when I came across this lovely Casserole from Vaya. Knowing full well I am never going to buy them, I told my friend and she wanted the link.
To my shocked surprise, a week later, I received these. Don’t they look good?
I am looking forward to managing my time better and saving electricity with these. They claim to keep food hot for hours. With the weather turning colder it is nice to enjoy hot food. I am sometimes lazy to heat up my portion even though we have a microwave. So, I hope this takes care of that. Well. What an unexpected gift!
A wonderful experience
Was talking to a young friend a couple of weeks ago. She was struggling with something and wanted to chat. I remember long ago, my Mom giving me this advice. Affirmations. A quick and easy way to lift your spirits. They worked for me then and they work for me now. I suggested these to my young friend and recommended that she write these down and repeat them when she felt low.
- I am adventurous.
- I have endless amounts of energy.
- I am surrounded by positive, loyal friends.
- I insert fun and excitement into every day.
- I am creative.
- I am always learning and improving.
- I am excited by life’s possibilities.
- I know that my potential is endless.
- I push my limits and beat all odds.
- I am happy to be alive!
I called her to ask how she was doing and she said she was feeling much better and that the affirmations were helping. What a wonderful feeling! Do you use affirmations? Do they help you?
A happiness list
And oh, I happened to read a post from life coach, author, and TV host, Hellen Buttigieg titled How to Elevate Your Mood by Reliving Your Most Memorable Moments and I was delighted – it sounded so much like something I might write. Also, it made me happy because I practice what she wrote about quite diligently. It is a wonderful exercise my Mom taught me decades ago when we were going through a particularly hard time.
I confess it was difficult to do it then, but I got over that quickly, because the exercise brings about that transformation.
The exercise involves reflecting on the things you did that made you happy in the past. To quote Hellen:
To get myself out of the funk I was feeling due to the pandemic, and to occupy the ‘monkey mind’ that spirals out of control when it has too much time to think, I started reflecting on the things I did that made me happy in the past. I grabbed some paper and started making a list of the amazing things I got to do in my life.
As I reminisced about these memorable moments, the same heightened emotions I felt in the past were felt again. It was like being engrossed in a movie, but that movie was my real life. It felt so delicious, I kept doing it, a little every day. Next thing I knew, I had over 100 things on my list.
Can you identify with that? I can! And I’ve been having fun putting together my own list. As she suggests, you can add photos to make the memory even more vivid. And to quote Hellen again:
“Let’s shift our focus from all we can’t do right now to all the things we were fortunate to experience so far—and relive them.”
So, go ahead and pick a memory. Spend about five minutes writing about it. Relive the memory. It can be a vacation memory, attending a musical event, a get together with friends, whatever comes to mind. And enjoy that feeling of being transported right back to that moment!
It is best to:
Savor more; fix less.
Laugh more; cry less.
Anticipate positively more; anticipate negatively less.
Nothing is more important than that you feel good.
Just practice that and watch what happens.
Did you smile today? Yes? Great!
Join me for the October 2020 Gratitude Circle Blog Hop.
How was October? Are you able to pick out the treats not tricks?
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.