Wednesday, January 6, 2016

a new year post - sort of

I'm not a very new year party person. Fireworks are nice but in Karachi the fireworks can be lifetaking so it's much safer to stay indoors and just watch the celebrations in different parts of the world on television. I think I've not been to a single new year celebration party in the past ten years. In fact, come to think of it, I can actually count the number of such celebrations I've attended in the past 35 years on my fingertips! 

[I'm still not sure if that's cool or not].

While counting the various celebrations on my fingertips just now, one particular party stood out. I think it was in 1993 probably. Winter holidays in Karachi, six of us cousins together to celebrate the new year, music in my grandmother's drawing room, and pizza after midnight. We even had a dress code I think - white shirts and jeans. It was a pretty amazing party but then everything seems amazing in retrospect!

A new year with new possibilities and new adventures. Resolutions? Yes, a few. One of the things I am doing this year is the Memory Jar project. Elizabeth Gilbert calls it the Happiness Jar. So it's a simple idea. Every night, or maybe early next morning, write down the things that made you happy that day. At the end of the year or more precisely, on 31st Dec, open the jar and go through your little notes. Not only will you relive the many happy moments of the entire year, it'll also give you an idea of a)basically how happy you were most of the time and more importantly, b) you didn't require a lot of material things to feel great. 

[I even gave my friends small memory jars last year although now that I look at them, they do seem quite small for the entire year]. 

Photo courtesy: Batool Curmally
So here's what I really have to say in my new year post:

Try and appreciate the little things in life. It might sound clich├ęd but it is something we almost never do. Share a good laugh with a friend and cherish that. Good friends are so hard to find (and someone recently told me that it is almost impossible to develop meaningful friendships after 35. Is it?). Read. Whenever you find time - in the car, in waiting areas, departure lounges, on a flight. It's a wonderful escape and don't we all need an escape now and then. Watch good films especially foreign language films (may I recommend La Grande Bellezza and Youth?). Do at least one new thing this year. Just one can't be so tough. Create something. 

And write it all down, everyday, and put it in your memory jar.