I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a seize the day, live for the moment type of person. I’m quite the opposite. Diligent. Hard-working. Pay the bills before the deadline. Never breaking deadlines. If I haven’t done something that needs to be done – I dwell on it. And dwell. And dwell some more. Until it’s done.
Nature vs nurture – I don’t know if I’m naturally meant to be like that, because suddenly at certain times of my life, I burst.
At my wedding, an uncle of mine (not blood related – but we’re Indian, so any gentlemen who is a generation older than me, is an uncle), made a speech. He spoke about how I wasn’t predictable. How every so often I would do things that would take everyone by surprise. That shocked me actually. I was surprised that anyone viewed me that way – because I thought that I was pretty dependable and solid.
Over the summer, I spent a lot of time with my sister. It was so lovely, it’s probably the most amount of time that we’ve spent with each other since she got married about ten years ago. She’s a huge believer in mindfulness. Being present in the moment. Taking in what’s going around you, not letting anything distract you or worry you or infect you with negativity. Speaking with her, and spending time with my loved ones made me realise that people – the people you love – the time you spend with them – it is the most precious moments of your life. The most precious.
So I make a conscious effort to practise mindfulness. When I’m reading my girls a bedtime story, or am walking with them, or talking with them – I’m really there. With them. Drinking it all in. Every delicious, precious moment with them – because they are growing up so quickly. One minute they were babies, toddling around, babbling away – and I’ve blinked – and I look back on videos and photos, and I thank God that I took them, because those moments – those moments just flew by so quickly….and I wasn’t there. I was only partially there. The other parts of me were distracted by other thoughts. What needs to be done? What hasn’t been done yet? How quickly can I get everything done?
Now I spend time to converse with them properly. Give them the long, tight, squeeeeeze cuddles – the bear hugs that make you feel like the most protected people in the world. I try to record and remember as much as I can in my mind – so I can replay the times in my head later on. This time will never come back.
One of my favourite photographs in the world, is one where my father has scooped me up in his arms, I’m just a toddler, eating a biscuit, and whilst I’m distracted by the chocolaty loveliness. It’s a close up of us and he is looking at me adoringly, as though I am the only person that matters in the entire world….I am blissfully unaware…
It’s been 30 years since he passed away – but that photograph is etched in my heart. I know how much he loved me. That moment captured on photographic film – means the absolute world to me….11 short years I spent with him – and photographs and memories are all I have left. But those precious conversations; those hugs when I would cry; or when I was scared – they live on inside my head. I know what it feels like to be loved.
I’m not a seize the day person. I don’t live every moment to the fullest. But I love as much as I possibly can. If I love you, you will know it. My heart will radiate so much energy, you won’t be able to escape it. And that is what we must spread in the world. There is not enough of it.
Because of what happened to my father, I always think about my own mortality, and I always want my children to know how much I love them. How incredibly precious they are. How incredibly important they are. And so loved. So, so loved.
But it’s just words isn’t it? How will they know how I truly feel about them if I’m not there. Not present. Not there in the moment. Listening to them, talking to them, laughing with them, guiding them? So, I’m going to be there. Practice mindfulness. Be mentally and physically present as much as I humanly can. I refuse to not put them first. I refuse to live a life of regret and what-ifs, and if-onlys. No! You only get one chance at life. This is not a dress rehearsal. So I choose to live. I choose to love. I choose to be free to make choices.
So what if I don’t seize the day, so what if I don’t live every moment of the fullest? The people I love, they will always know that I loved them more than words could ever explain. And I intend to create memories, that live on forever….