Pitfalls………Leave it to Google

As I examine the grey hair playing peekaboo with the not so grey hairs and trying to decide “natural, harsh chemical free” hair color does infact exist, a Hindi saying came to mind.
“Yeh baal dhoop mein safed nahi kiye”- which loosely translates to “These grey hairs did not just happen out in the sun, so don’t take me for a fool”
I would like to think that the sentiment is more about the reflection that with grey hair comes experience……..

As 2018 races to meet 2019, this particular year has been especially bountiful in its life lessons.  And chief among them has been one that has crept up to me, more indication of the growing years and hopefully maturity finally catching up (fingers crossed!).

Some time back, talking to a friend who had moved out of India (initially reluctantly) for work, said that he was loving life overseas in the West, particularly in a country that did not have a large diaspora. I was surprised to hear him say this. When the opportunity first came his way, he felt he was not an age when you’d consider moving to a new country and start building life/friends again. I asked him what he really liked about his new home, he said it was the fact that no-one problem solved unless you specifically asked them to. No one gave you their opinions unsolicited and no one assumed they knew what was good for you and people did not dole out advice without pause.

I laughed then, but isn’t it what we all experience?
So often, when we share a thought or an issue with another person, they often go straight to solution mode? Give us options to consider? Sometimes even deciding what the best course of action is?
Don’t we do it all the time? With our children, siblings, families?

Why do we assume that the other person would not have thought through their problems? Why do people think that just because someone shares their thoughts, its because they want help?
My children will often start off by saying that they are just “telling” me things and not expecting a life lesson in return. Over the last few years I have become more aware and don’t start problem solving for folks unless asked to- the fringe benefit of this is that I am actually listening more effectively.

It has also made me acutely aware of how widespread problem-solving actually is….seriously watch out for it!
And the next time someone says….”The curry I made was too spicy” Just say….”really, that sucks” and resist the temptation to say…”add coconut milk/salt/bread/potatoes to tone down the spice”
They can find out all that from Google!





Take a pause…..

Take a pause….

A look, a smile, the crinkling around the eyes
The glint in the eye
The tilt of the face, when they turn to look at you
The sound of the voice when you answer the phone in a rush
The tone of the “hello” when you’ve woken them from a nap
The frustration in voice when the video buffers or the traffic won’t ease
The tired flop into the chair, the energetic walk to get the grocery done
The nuance of a word, that only you can catch
The tone of an “oh”  that only you can decode
The sigh so soft, that everyone but you would miss
The washing that gets done and you hadn’t asked
The takeaway that appears on tough day at work
The unexpected movie night, the early morning walk to see the sun rise
The quiet cuppa watching the birds, the freshly brewed coffee to pick you up
The look on the face, an instant before the laugh at a silly joke
The anger in the face, when things go wrong
The despair at things, the world and the people at times
The quiet courage to take that and more
The million things that make our world and the people in it

Take a pause….take a pause and savour