Fifteen Positive Things In One Day
(From an old Facebook post that popped up in today’s memories. It felt good to read it.)
July 17, 2014 at 9:12pm
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I was nominated by Erin Mooney to post 3 positive things for 5 days and to pick 3 people to join in the fun. I decided to disobey this directive and post 15 positive things in one day. Please forgive me. As for the people I have tagged, I have my reasons but feel free to untag yourselves if you’d rather not. And if I left anyone out who would like to participate, please join in.
1) Almost being born on an elephant has its advantages. It can be a great ice breaker for one, it provides a unique vantage point in life, and it relays the message that it’s okay to be different. We all have a story to tell and mine happens to start here.
2) I had no idea my parents had a mixed-race marriage and spoke with funny accents or even that we were all immigrants, until it was pointed out to me sometime in grade school by some kids in the neighbourhood. They called my dad a Paki and said we should all go home. For a long time, I felt shame and tried to change things. I started calling them mom and dad instead of mama and papa and made my younger siblings do the same. I corrected my dad’s mispronunciation of certain words. One by one, I visited all the Christian churches within walking distance of my house and asked if I could join. Essentially, I tried hard to assimilate. What’s so positive about this? Well, the search for a sense of belonging and community eventually brought me back full circle, with a renewed appreciation for the courage my parents had in marrying. Not belonging to one community or another forces one to forge meaningful connections in other ways. It allows one to straddle the fence and empathize with both sides of the debate, be it cultural, religious or political. It’s been a rich life so far, filled with an insight I might never have known had I not lived the immigrant experience.
3) I am not always mindful but I know how to be and when I am, the world stops spinning out of control and I am exactly where I am supposed to be in time, with no regrets, no aspirations and no illusions of grandeur. It is a gift to keep rediscovering that the present, that presence, is all that matters.
4) I can have my cake and not eat it today, or tomorrow or even the next day. It can wait. I can wait. There is no hurry.
5) I am relieved to have passions without talent. Once you come to terms with the disappointment of being mediocre, the pressure is off and you can enjoy yourself. Talentless passions have made me strive and work hard and improve by taking the slow scenic route. I am grateful to all the talented people who allowed me to ride on their coat tails over the years.
6) I love my dysfunctional family. They tell the best fart jokes at the dinner table. My parents spoil me on a regular basis, give me doggie bags weekly, and go clothes shopping on my behalf whenever I complain about my four day wardrobe-rotation. I am so lucky to still have them.
7) It is a very good thing that life didn’t turn out the way I planned. It has prepared me for impermanence. I do not believe things happen for a reason. They just happen. We only get to choose what to do next for a brief period and then the plan changes again. Fighting this idea only makes it harder to cope. At least that’s what I have found.
8) When I die, I want my obituary to say that I’m dead. The last thing I want people thinking is that I passed, floated or slipped away peacefully. And no bridge crossing or seeing lights either. When I go, I’m going to be royally pissed, especially if I don’t have a say in the matter. I try to be authentic in life, I’d like to be in death too.
9) There is life after divorce, and love. My ex-husband saved me at a very difficult time in my life. Together, we saved several cats and dogs and made a beautiful boy. It worked for a while and when it wasn’t working anymore, I realized I had to save myself. I hope he will forgive me someday. I am so happy he has found love again. I found love too, not the kind that rescues, but rather, one that nurtures.
10) I have the most amazing colleagues, mostly women, but some guys too. They make the world a better place and I get to help them. I absolutely love working with them, even though I never go to any of the lunches. I consider many of them, if not all, to be friends for life.
11) Somehow, I have managed to maintain numerous friendships without ever answering my phone, by avoiding social gatherings like the plague, and promoting my introversion whenever the opportunity arises. Don’t be be fooled by my antisocial behaviour. I love you all and thank you for your understanding.
12) As a single mother, social media has allowed me to remain connected to my network and even extend it. I have met some amazing new friends as a result, not only virtually but in person too. I know there are some negative aspects to it but I am grateful to be able to keep in touch with so many people in such an efficient manner. I try not to be mundane or crass. I appreciate those who take the time to comment, like, or even lurk without leaving a trace. 🙂
13) The best thing that ever happened to me was getting fired by McDonalds. There, I said it. It taught me about indignity and labour rights, about the importance of work ethic and validation. Luckily, I got a much better job after that as a nurses aide. I loved the work. I leapt out of bed in the morning and looked forward to each and every shift. That job overlapped with my physiotherapy training and influenced how I practice in my chosen field. As much as I gripe some days, as sad as it can be a lot of the time, my work is extremely rewarding. These days, however, I only try to save those who want to be saved. And it’s not even saving, really. More like accompanying them on their journey. Resistance is not so futile after all. If they allow it, I help steer the boat, but always into the wind. They think I’m healing them, but it’s really the other way around.
14) During my pregnancy, I anticipated a blue-eyed boy who would excel at hockey and learn to play violin using the Suzuki method. Instead, I got a brown-eyed boy holding a rolled up piece of paper with Plan B written on it and nothing else. The paper is still blank so we take life slowly and deal with each challenge as it presents itself, surrounding ourselves with lots of good people. My son has taught me all about grief, from the time I thought I would never have children, to almost losing him early in the pregnancy, to right now. He doesn’t know this, of course. He lives his life joyfully and works really, really hard at stuff, and loves me even when I’m being a bad mother. I often long for a break from all this single-parenting but when he’s not around, I miss him terribly. He has been my greatest life lesson.
15) Love found me at age fifty and stuck around, even though I resisted at first. I don’t know what he sees in me but he brings forth such good things with so much ease, I can’t help but believe and love back with all my heart. I hope he stays for a long, long time.