Learning to appreciate the simple things

A photo of the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse taken through specialized eclipse-viewing glasses. The sun looks like a heart.
Look, if even the normally circular sun can appear as a heart during a solar eclipse, surely simpler things can be good too.  Kimberley Kaufman

Though it’s not for everyone, maybe it should be…

It is unreal to believe how much of my life is filled with chaos and a million things to do in my calendars and to-do lists. But, if I step back and close my eyes, I realize that it is so easy to overlook the simple yet extraordinary moments that make up our lives.  

In the journey from those Monday slumps to “thank-God-it’s-Friday” moments, there is always so much that has gone by in a week’s time. Why do we always remember the big moments in our lives and not the tiny moments that build up to it? 

I start off my day with the buzz of the alarm clock, reminding me of the million things that I need to tick off the colour-coded calendars that emphasize certain events of the day. As I close my eyes to take a deep breath, I hear my roommate fighting with his girlfriend on the phone, which reminds me of the intricacies that romantic relationships bring.  

As I spring off the bed, I notice my parents’ picture on my wall, reminding me of the day I left India, my home, my comfort, and my pride. The nostalgic journey is almost immediately embarked on – I wish I could just go and hug them and tell them how much I miss them, but I also do not. I notice how beautiful the red saree looks on my mother. She is breathtaking. 

As I get prepared for the day, I check the schedule for the bus to ensure I make it to work on time and don’t have Fred staring at me when I enter the office 45 seconds later than usual. Whenever he does, his eyebrows make a nice hill on his face. I almost have to keep from laughing whenever I notice it.  

As I board the bus, I notice a toddler happily enjoying his world in a neon stroller. I chuckle at the choice of a neon colour for a baby’s stroller, but it seems to be a highlight of the energy that the baby brings.  

It is then when I wonder if kids really have a choice in life. How do kids grow up to take their own decisions? From choosing the stroller to what the kid eats, parents are always around us, picking and choosing everything for their children. I wonder how I built up the courage to figure out life in a whole different continent.  

It somehow felt like the start of a peaceful day—a new day, a new story. That small toddler, with shining eyes, gave me the most flawless smile I had ever seen. How simply a smile can change your day! 

This time, I walked in on time and saw Fred staring at the clock and then at me with a smile of satisfaction and pride, and his mentee finally realized the importance of time. I did not want to give him the background of the South Asian mentality of making it on time so, I made myself comfortable in the workplace and got to work on all the things I had been assigned.  

As I sprang up from my chair for coffee, Fred asked me how I felt about the increase of interest rates declared by Bank of Canada. Given how much I love talking about economics and all things finance, I told him to wait and hold on to all his opinions until I prepare my coffee and come back to my desk. As I stirred my milk coffee, I gathered all the points in my head, bringing back all the lecture notes of my microeconomics, macroeconomics, and a bit of statistics and economics jargon.  

I smiled as I knew how uncomfortable Fred would feel finding out how knowledgeable I could be. Little does he know that every other person I have met up until now has discussed interest rates, inflation, and unemployment with me the moment I tell them that I am an economics geek.  

With the heavy debate of how it is going to eventually affect exchange rates and the global economic size of the nation, Fred failed to win in this argument. The lovely banter is the usual in the office and I enjoy the conversations where he assumes I know less because I am younger. I mean, who’s going to tell him to chill?  

Fridays are my favourite, especially the first Friday of every month, as I get a chance to do a lot of networking, connecting people to the best people in the town and just watching it from outside on the building of the community. I cannot fathom the complexities of human behavior. Be it India, Japan, or America, people’s behaviour is incredibly complex. 

As I sip a non-alcoholic fancy pineapple drink, I catch up with my dear friend Neil who has been struggling to find a date on Bumble, Tinder, and all the millions of dating apps he has on his phone. We talked about how difficult it is to understand the mixed signals that people quite often throw around and how they want to keep their options open wherever they go – always looking for an upgrade.  

I only listened and observed his eyes go sad with the failure of finding ‘the one.’ Assuring him of destiny, I made him feel better by introducing him to my friend Elizabeth. As they happily started talking to each other, I took a bus home with the only goal of sleeping well, and started planning the next day.  

As I was about to close off the day, I only wondered of all the little feelings and emotions that I felt throughout which were so difficult to predict. I learnt that it’s so simple – just keep breathing and wait for the next day, the next story to sweep you off your feet. 


Comments are closed.