Today is my grandfather’s eighty something birthday. The reason I say eighty something is because we’re not really sure how old he is. Way back then in India, they didn’t have birth certificates.
This morning on my way in to work I gave my grandfather a call to wish him a happy birthday. He picked up on the first ring and greeted me, his voice booming with joy, “My Goggy Girl!” He refers to me as his goggy girl because apparently when I was young I had an affinity for dogs, which I referred to as Goggies.
He said that I had called him at the perfect time. He had just finished meditation and was about to sit down to breakfast, before heading off for a 10:30 Bridge game. At this point, I had pangs of jealousy. I seriously envy retired people and can’t wait to be retired myself. Sad, considering I just entered the real-life work force barely five years ago.
My grandfather told me about the furnished 1 bedroom apartment (located near the water- more envy and jealousy) he was renting in Florida for the winter. We made small talk for a bit and then he said he needed to run because he didn’t want to be late for his bridge game.
Before he let me go, he told me that it meant a lot to him that I had remembered his birthday and that he thought about me, the leader of the pack (I’m the oldest of 8 cousins), every day. He said that when he thought about me that he wished that I had peace, calmness, and tranquility in my life.
At this point I started crying, because I don’t have any of those things.
In fact I’ve been so consumed with stress and anger this past week that it has practically consumed me. I even dream about the things that are stressing me out. I told my BFF the other day that I was so mad that I thought I was going to have an aneurysm. And the other day, I found a reddish-blonde hair on top of my head (I have black hair), that I know is on it’s way to turning white, and I blame all my anger and stress as the source for this one soon-to-be-white-hair. And of course, writing, yeah…that’s not happening. I’ve been too angry to think about anything fictional.
My grandfather had no clue that I was crying. I mastered the art of silent crying as a teen. But, I listened to what he was saying and he reminded me of the valuable lesson he taught me when I was an impatient, temper tantrum prone teenager. Back then he told me, that there was nothing in this world worth getting angry or stressed about . All anger does is create negative energy, it never changes the situation at hand. If there is a problem, it can be solved calmly, rationally, peacefully. I don’t mean to get all religious here. He told me (and I believe this too) that our souls are a reflection of God, and that if we truly focus on that belief, there is no reason we shouldn’t be calm, peaceful, happy. There’s no reason to get all worked up with all the crap that life throws at us.
I don’t meditate like my grandfather. I’m not against it, I just don’t know how I can find thirty minutes in my already jam-packed schedule to just sit and think. Although, I think it would be highly beneficial for me. It’s worked wonders for him. He doesn’t look eighty-something and he must have developed some kind of ESP, because how ironic was it that he brought up this particular subject on this particular morning when I hadn’t told him anything about what was going on in my life.
Even though, I don’t mediate, I realized though, that I do other things that take-me-away in a meditation-esque (yes, I just made up that word) kind of way. When I read a book, I’m transported to a fictional world, away from my worries and responsibilities. When I ice skate I never think about anything except moving across the ice.
Anyway, I’m sorry if this post got all personal. But, I think, if there’s just one person out there whose going through a stressful time like me, and if this post can help them change their perspective, and deal with the stress a little bit better- well, then , being transparent was worth it.