29 things I’ve learnt so far

30 is a big milestone in everybody’s life. I remember my husband’s morose face when HE turned 30. He was acting as if his life was over. And then came 31 and age stopped bothering him. When I turned 30 a couple of months ago, I felt surprisingly calm. It didn’t bother me that I would never be a kid or a 20 year old anymore. In fact I felt I was at a better stage than ever before. For the first time in my life I felt like I knew myself.

On my birthday, Prasad asked me to look back over the past 3 decades (Wow! 3 decades of life on earth!) and make a note of the highlights of years gone by and my plans for years to come. I sat to do just that but decided to list out the things I’ve learnt so far instead. I like to think that I have learnt a lot of life lessons over the years, but here are a few, 29 to be exact. These are the things I keep telling myself over and over. I hope it helps some of you…

  1. Every morning brings a fresh start. So quiet that inner voice that pesters you with past regrets and future fears and start every day with a big smile and a few deep breaths (This one really helps I tell you. Anytime you feel stuck or scared, remember to do it. And tell me if you don’t instantly feel better).
  2. And about that big smile- don’t care what people think of you. Just keep smiling. Some people might think you are crazy or naive, let them!
  3. Slow down! There is no hurry. Nobody loses anything if you arrive a bit late or take time to do something. The worst thing is, you could be scolded or lose a job. But if you rush, you could lose your life.
  4. Make time to do stuff. To make stuff. Something. Anything. Every. Single. Day. That’s how you can keep that monkey brain calm and productive. Plus, you will have something tangible, useful, pretty at the end of it.
  5. Get up early if you have to. Get THAT THING done. Ha! Not the chores and all. That can wait; your other stuff, the stuff that lights you up.
  6. Most problems can be solved over a cup of hot beverage and with cool friends.
  7. Don’t hold grudge or think ill of others. You know not what they’ve been through.
  8. There’s something you can learn from every situation and person.
  9. Listen to your body. It knows what you really want.
  10. Love yourself. You’re just as special as the people you admire.
  11. Eat well. Eat everything. Eat healthy. Eat in moderation. Stop before you feel too full.
  12. Sleep well. Most problems are caused when you are not well-rested.
  13. If you find something interesting, even a tiny bit, like a topic, a book, an idea, a dream, then chase it by all means. Learn everything you can about it. Make it happen. It need not be useful. Sometimes it is and at other times it might lead you to something else, utterly amazing.
  14. Write everything down. It is the easiest, cheapest therapy ever.
  15. It’s the simple things, you guys, that give a lot of pleasure, like getting away for a shared cup of coffee with the husband, reading a good book and enjoying a good meal with the family; not buying more stuff.
  16. Money is very important. It lets you live the life you want. Earn it. Use it wisely. Save it. Don’t let it become your boss.
  17. Believe in God, a higher power, whatever. Just believe in something other than yourself. Keep doing whatever you are meant to and leave the rest (anxieties, worries etc.) to that God, higher power or whatever you choose to believe in.
  18. Be grateful you are alive. Every single day. Do not take it lightly that you are still breathing and functioning, especially with all the craziness that’s happening in the World.
  19. You could spend your whole life just admiring the beauty of God’s handiwork- our complex brains, the colorful birds, the gentle breeze etc. You need nothing else…
  20. Faith is one the main reasons why there is so much hatred on Earth. Practice the edicts of your faith and let others practice theirs. Respect and admire the beauty in diversity.
  21. NO phones or other digital devices around the kids! Be wholly there and spend endless time with them.
  22. If there’s something you think you will regret not doing, later, just do it today.
  23. Hold onto that child within you. Stay curious. Stay crazy.
  24. There’s so much love within you. Spread it.
  25. Likewise, there’s so much creativity in you. Share it.
  26. How will you know not to do something again, if you haven’t tried and failed at it at least once?
  27. Stumble. Fall. Dust yourselves off. Restart.
  28. You cannot punish someone for the mistakes THEY make. There’s someone else who’s keeping a count on all that. You can only show the right way and hope they take that route.
  29. Honesty is good, yeah, but not at the cost of hurting someone. Always find something nice to say first, before being critical.

Do you have any life lessons you can share?

Trip to Japan Part 2

This is a guest post by my brother-in-law, Mike, about his recent trip to Japan. You can read Part 1 here. Thanks for taking the time to record your experience for us Bro!

The Sales Manager of our subsidiary in Japan picked me up in Tokyo and brought me to Osaka, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world, with nearly 19 million inhabitants (according to Wikipedia). We checked into Hotel Osaka Garden Palace, freshened up and left our rooms to meet the client, who was already waiting to get the Job done.

The maintenance manager there is over 70 years old and is still in good shape. He works as a consultant and isn’t planning to retire anytime soon. He reminded me of my grandfather-in-law in Mangalore, whom we fondly call “Nana”. Without any further discussion, we directly went to the workshop to begin our work. It took about 2 and a half hours for me to fix the compressor.

The Customer was very happy!

As a symbol of apology for the inconvenience caused to the client, I handed over 2 big bars of Toblerone! Apparently, they are very fond of Swiss chocolates. Once the job was completed, our sales manager insisted on taking a group picture. It is a general practice here in Japan to take a picture with all the members involved after completion of a work.

11_at clients workshop

To celebrate, we went to a restaurant called Japanese BBQ. It is also a common practice in Japan to get to know someone personally before doing business; You have to go out, eat and drink beer and Sake (Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran) together. I drank some beer and sake and tried Sushi and Sashimi, which are special Japanese delicacies.

20_Dessert

With a respectful bow and a hand-shake we returned to our hotel after dinner.

The next morning (Wednesday) we headed back to Tokyo by train to visit the office of our subsidiary. In the evening we boarded another train to Yokohama, where our service center is located.

Yokohama is in the outskirts of Tokyo. Most people who work in Tokyo live in Yokohama as living costs are cheaper in Yokohama but the salaries are higher in Tokyo. I checked into the Royal Palace hotel, which had a beautiful view of the city. Yokohama reminded me of Winterthur; Small but busy.

The next morning on Thursday, we took a train back to Tokyo. After finishing my work, I decided to leave from the downtown area at 7 pm and take a bus to the Toyo Narita Airport. After the formalities, I relaxed a bit at the Emirates lounge, which was pretty big, and reflected on the past week with satisfaction. I’d accomplished what I set out to do and and had experienced another culture and cuisine along the way. It felt good, but I was anxious to be back with my wife!

 

About us

These Fleeting Days used to be my blog where I shared stories of my kids, my love for books, my culinary adventures and our travels. It still is my baby, but now I have asked my little sister, Madhurya, to help me nurture it.

Madhurya (or Maddy, as she is fondly called), will be sharing her stories from Switzerland, where she spends most of the time knitting, reading, pencil-shading, sailing with her husband, Mike, in their boat, well, apart from doing her day-job.

I hope reading our everyday stories bring you joy and inspire you to live your best lives and share them too…

Love.