It is the time of the year for New Year resolutions. The time when most of us feel an optimism that we may yet erase all faults/bad habits and emerge prettier, leaner and stronger and live happily ever after. It is almost as if as adults, we want to believe more than ever in happily ever after. I know I want to. I have two resolutions this year: the first one is to take better care of myself. I am guilty of thinking that I can fix all the problems that my family members face and that every wrinkle can be ironed out and things will be perfect. Happily ever after. What I have learned over the last few years is that I can only try my best and to ensure that, I have to take care of myself, physically and mentally. Eat well. Exercise. Relax. Get enough rest. Set boundaries. Give myself space to maneuver. For the longest time, I equated helping others with ignoring my well-being. Otherwise I wasn't working hard enough. It left me feeling a victim of circumstances, resentful and unhappy. I realize now that I am better equipped to truly help someone when I recognize my abilities and my limitations. It isn't wrong to want to take care of yourself. Like they say on every airline flight, "make sure your oxygen mask is on before helping others." We come across so many self help articles in magazines and on websites and you would think this would be self-evident and not a revelation but to read it is one thing, to actually practice it in full awareness is another thing altogether.
My second resolution is something I have already started practicing and that I hope to continue: to take each day and give it whatever I can. What follows is beyond my control but what I can do is be aware of my blessings and to receive each day for the precious gift it is There was a time when my shoulders knotted up the minute I woke up and I worried endlessly about what the future would hold. I can't say I have completely stopped worrying but I have learnt to let go. I want to go into 2013 and know that I will face it with joy, compassion and grace.
As a postscript I want to tell you to not worry about competing with others, of trying to be better than someone else. Do your best and know that's all that matters. Thank you for reading Once Upon A Tea Time.