Usually my year end posts are about the best books I have read in the year and similar bibliophile adventures. But 2021 has been highly unusual; it is very different from the years I lost my parents or went through heartbreaks or other distressing circumstances. All through those tumultuous times, I could and did depend on the integrity of my body to help my mind and heart through those circumstances. But this year, that very body, which I took so much as a given, called it a strike and then my mind had to lead the charge and my body followed. I have learnt so much through this year, re-discovered joys, learnt to be more grateful, especially for those who had the courage to stick by me through my medical adventures. It has not all been fun and games – there are days of never ending illness and pain ( they continue despite my chemo cycles being over ), I have lost a number of friends and had to readjust to new social set up and of course I had to give up or re-align many of my life goals. But it has nevertheless been a year where I have learnt and learnt so much, gaining new insights, re-affirming the old and facing my demons. So I thought that as I come to close of this very interesting year, I should document 22 life lessons learnt through this year which I hope will guide me through 2022 and beyond!
- Your body is one of your biggest allies; look after it. Do not take it for granted.
- You may do things with the best of intentions, but they may be perceived very differently by others. It should not deter you from doing what you think is right, but it is important to be cognizant of the fact that others may not see things in a similar vein.
- Embrace the uncomfortable changes especially when it comes to relationships. It is perhaps the most difficult change to adapt to because it impacts how we think or what image we have of ourselves. There is of course the pain of separation and of parting of ways, but also a change in your belief system of how you thought of your self vs. what it really is.
- Reaffirmation of the most basic truth – those who truly love you, will love you and stand by you without you making an additional and extra effort. Your you will be enough for them to stay invested in that relationship.
- Accept and embrace the shit like you accept and embrace the good. Shit will happen; it is inevitable and the only real truth of life! But if we accept it and welcome it, no matter how hard, the end result is that the shit does pass more comfortably without an everlasting impact or trauma.
- If you stay strong, everyone around you stays strong and together you hold on to what is at the core and important.
- Enjoying your own company
- Accepting and adapting the shortcomings of your physical and mental health. Only when we accept and not fight it, can we begin improving on it!
- Tagging a relationship with a socially defined name has no real importance. Just because it is not in a traditional. socially approved set up, does not mean it is any less deep, meaningful or joyful.
- The definition of success is different for everyone and is constantly evolving. Furthermore, there is no one defined path to that goal; it is personal and will change as your goal evolves.
- Focusing on what is truly worthy and long term is important rather than chasing short term instant gratifications or goals and getting frustrated with them. Good things, the best things need time and patience.
- Enjoy the physical activity – the walk, the yoga, the run; whatever sails your boat!
- Home cooked meals are the best.
- The best, most meaningful things, the ones worth striving for are actually very simple – a good night’s sleep, a long luxurious head bath, a phone call with your best friend, a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night!
- Life is truly better and so much more saner with a cup of tea.
- Being independent physically and to some extent mentally, is a boon and needs to be cherished and strived for.
- Every time you have a body image issue, remember the things you have and you take for granted – the hair on your head, the eyebrows, limbs that are normal and functional; everything else is just accessories.
- Getting a good medical team is a stroke of luck; but getting a great medical team is a matter of angels showering buckets of gold and silver on you.
- Help comes from places you least expect; just believe that when all doors close, a window will open and you may not know just how close you are to your goal if you don’t look out of that window.
- Reaffirmation that reading and writing are the best ways to a good mental health.
- Those who enlist with you in your life’s challenges, who stick by you voluntarily through your journey on the rocky roads, are the people you need to hold on to & are your single biggest motivation to live and live well.
- Despite everything, it is the greatest gift to be alive and well!
I hope to remember some of these things now and forever! It has been an illuminating year and though I have no idea, what 2022 holds and I am kind of anxious about the unknown, face it I shall, armed with an open mind and these lessons.
\What have been some of your learnings this year?