I Can and I Must
Everyone, well, ok, almost everyone makes resolutions at the start of a new year. I have taken some myself but they have almost always lost steam due to lack of resolve to see the so-called resolutions through to success. Despite the repeated failures, I have nonetheless gone ahead and optimistically listed down a few things I want to work on this year. I am hoping things will be different this time because I have tried to be realistic in what I wish to do.
One. Slowly and steadily, the art of writing has grown to be an indispensable part of my life. The joy that one derives from creating any form of art is priceless. And I say that very, very sincerely because I truly understand the meaning of that statement. I used to write as a teenager but the process of completing a piece never really invoked any emotion in me. I used to write as a college student and put those out as blog posts which would receive comments from readers. The comments would give me joy and I have felt great about being able to make a difference to someone’s day. But as the years passed, I have come to realise that sometimes you also need to write for yourself. Writing that makes YOU feel good, feel a sense of wondrous “release”. And that’s important. You don’t have to show the world what you have written and hear what they have to say in order to feel the joy of having written something. It’s the kind of writing that you indulge in without being aware of time floating by, the kind of writing that opens up that pressure lid atop your head and fills you with an exhilarating sense of relief and a remarkable sense of achievement. This year, I wish to do more of such writing, for my own sake. I can and I must.
Two. I learnt classical vocal music from my own grandmother as a child. But to be honest, I never evinced deep interest in the art. Now years later, closely watching my son’s music learning curve, I have begun to see music with new eyes, hearing and interpreting it in a whole new way. Music now reveals itself to me in incredibly beautiful dimensions, ones in which I never perceived it before. Hearing my son play the violin or the piano, or just sing, with utmost sincerity and love for the art, and discuss musical concepts intensely and with remarkable clarity, I have felt moved. The things children can do to your misplaced perceptions! A few days ago, when I heard him sing and play on the violin a lovely composition by Muthuswami Dikshitar on Lord Ganesha set to Eshamanohari raga, I had tears of joy in my eyes. I enjoyed it so much from deep within me that I understood what a beautiful art classical music is and wondered why I had shied away from it so much (and still do, in some ways.) This year, I wish to learn music intently without inhibiting myself, explore many ragas and boldly answer his incessant quizzing on “guess this raga”. I can and I must.
Three. Pisceans are usually known to be good listeners. I wouldn’t disagree. I have always liked to be more on the listening side than on the talking one. But time, I guess, changes you in ways you never thought you would. My biggest bane now is my impatience. I am never quite willing to stop by and listen. I realise I have grown dismissive and often tend to presume things. For some reason, listening tires me. This year, I wish to listen more, to everyone who wants me to lend an ear, but particularly, children and older people, the former who are full of interesting and thought-provoking ideas and the latter, to whom, your listening can make all the difference in this world. I can and I must.
Four. Ninety nine percent of the time, it’s so easy to get carried away by motherhood. Being a mother, especially to young children, takes up a whole lot of your time and this hardly leaves space or energy to dwell upon anything or anyone else, including your own self. It really has taken time for me to understand that it is not at all necessary to not love yourself in order to be a good mother. It is quite unfortunate that the “sacrifice” tag gets attached to a mother the moment her child enters this world. So much so that a woman begins to think (not to mention, with an overload of guilt) that it is selfish of her to love herself. As much as I understand what I am putting down here in words, I know this is going to probably be the toughest resolution to work on practically. This year, I wish to consciously pay attention to myself and make time for things I love to do. That would mean reviewing my eating habits to taking brisk solitary walks to indulging myself with things I love to have and do. I can and I must.
Five. What on earth am I doing with so many books? It’s been so hard to focus on reading in the recent past for various reasons. In our new home that we moved into a month back, I have finally realised my dream of many years – having a nice little reading zone with wonderful books (and the Kindle, of course) stacked into a gorgeous-looking open bookshelf! A piece of self-designed motivation. Now, if that isn’t enough inspiration to soak myself in pages and pages of creative expression, I wonder what else is! This year, I wish to pick up on my reading and being back to what I once was – an avid reader. I can and I must.
“That’s a great start”, I would love to say and puff up in pride but then there’s something of a truth to keep me grounded: Resolution making and keeping up is tricky business.
But then isn’t life also about hope and determination especially when your heart is in the right place?
Oh well, I can and I must. Bring it on, 2017!