Wow! It has been a long time. A really long time. More than a year actually. An eventful year. I became a father for the first time, and may I add, probably for the only time. Fatherhood! I have always been scared of it. I have always questioned how can a person like me, who likes to call himself ‘an eternal child at heart’, shoulder the responsibility of taking care of a child. To tell the truth, I’m still scared. Will I be able to help my wife bring our daughter up well? Will I be able to provide for her? Will I be able to take care of her? Will I be able to do as much as my wife does for her? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I love her. A lot! My daughter, the light of my life. It is great to go back home and see her welcome me with a big smile, her hands clapping in happiness. It is magical.
That leads me to the topic of this post. When and how do we lose this ability to be happy about the everyday things in life? Even if we do feel this kind of happiness occasionally, do we express it? Why do we become cynical over time? We keep postponing happiness. “I’ll be truly happy after I retire”, “I’ll be happy after I buy a house”, “I’ll be happy when I become self-employed”, “I’ll be happy when I buy a BMW” or in my case “I’ll be happy when I own a PlayStation 4”. Well, mine’s a weird whim, isn’t it?
We forget to revel in the simple joys of life. Of the wind blowing through our hair. Of the sea waves slapping against our feet. Of watching a sunset. Of holding our significant other’s hand. Of drinking a cup of hot tea on a cold day. Of having golgappas by the street side. Of reading a good book. Of sleeping under a shady tree on a hot afternoon. Of listening to the sounds of birds chirping. Of watching an army of ants crawling in the garden. Of watching the rain from the balcony or better still, getting drenched in the rain. Of the way the soil smells after it rains. Of walking barefoot on new grass on a dewy morning.
I think if we can appreciate the simple things in life, we can probably live it very differently. Be alive in every moment and enjoy it. Now! In the present. Bill Watterson, who has been kind of spiritual master for me, summed it up very well with a cartoon that he drew a couple of decades back.
There is not much left to say, is there?
I’m not preaching the value of ‘Simple Living, High Thinking’ here. I am the least qualified to do that. I am as hedonistic as they come, seeking the good life. My clothes have to be branded. Hotels that we stay in when we go out on vacations have to be luxurious. The best restaurants, the best wine, the whole nine yards. The point I am trying to make is that in this mad race that we are in today, we need not postpone happiness. We need not wait to be happy. We can find it in the everyday things. Let’s pause to enjoy them. Live! This is what I’ve learnt from my daughter. I’m still learning!