And in a world more connected than ever, most people find themselves more disconnected than they have ever been. We can connect on WhatsApp, Social media, the phone- all the time and yet in this fast paced world though we’re always seeming to be connected we’re often more alone than we have ever been.
This was the discussion a girl friend of mine and I had for more than a few hours this week. And it wasn’t even the first time I had heard this complaint. It was far too often, from far too many people for this to be a coincidence.
Connection requires work. Connection requires commitment and Connection requires both parties to keep at it!
And when I felt the same way a few years ago.. I set out to make a Commitment Cheat Sheet… to help me keep and nurture relationships that meant something to me…
So here’s a peak-:
- Make a list of just the closest friends (CFs) you’d like to have in you life and make sure you call or meet them once every 2 weeks at least.
- Do Date night. Even if you’ve been with your husband for tons of years…date him, reconnect. The only thing constant is change- so both of you will keep changing. Get to know the new him.
- Be social. Get out at least once a week with one set of your CFs so you can do a face to face reconnect.
- Laugh more. Play games rather than watch TV. Connect, talk and have fun with your friends. TV is a wonderful medium for stories but real stories happen only when you actually participate in them. Be a part of your own life story not a spectator.
- Put a schedule together which forces you to challenge yourself to connect. Make it a routine, till it becomes a habit.
- Find common hobbies/ activities. I hate the morning walk… or actually hate getting up at 5 am… but the plus is I get a leisurely coffee chat with the uncrabby husband (he’s a morning sparrow, I am not) and a walk where we find tons of puppies and lots to chat about.
- Be present. Your CFs have something major happening in their life/ they aren’t well- check up, be present- care.
- Don’t look at your phone during dinners/ events. Respect the person/people you are with.
- Give yourself a break. All relationships change. Some change so much they become unrecognisable. Try as hard as you can, but remember sometime you need to let go. Reward yourself when you try. Don’t berate yourself.
Relationships are hard and connections even harder. In a world of a few billion- you just need a handful of connections but even those take work. Remember, it may look easy from watching a good relationship but both people work very hard with many off days to make that work. Instagram and Facebook stories are just that- stories. They are not reality.
P.s. (Palat says)-: At the end of the day, all the fame and money make for comfortable beds and homes but homes are only homes when you can fill them with people you love.
So I was listening to the Sunscreen Song…a fave of mine whenever I’m down! And before you ask why….I am overtired and overworked and sometimes an instant pep up is in order…! The song got me thinking….I love relationships, love and dispensing advice ;-)…so maybe i should list out some of the things I’ve learnt so far…
- Love has got to make you smile…if there are more tears than cheers…you are in the wrong relationship!
- Women cry when they get hurt…men may not…that doesn’t mean what you say doesn’t hurt them!
- Dates are important…never let the woo-ing period ever end….even when the honeymoon does!
- Life is hard- cut yourself a break sometimes!
- Smile- even if you have nothing to smile about…just smile…it’s better than a caffeine pick up (and with my love for coffee if I’m saying that-it must be!)
- Whenever you’re going thru a bad day…there’s probably someone who’s going thru worse…so still count ur blessings!
- We’re all equally scared and doing things for the first time- women and men- it’s not that either sex is less scared; it’s just that certain people hide their worries a little better!
- Travel. See the world. Learn how amazing it is. The magnificence and largeness of the world makes you understand how you are just a small part of something incredible.
- You don’t know what someone else is going through… so give them a break if they seem unreasonable sometimes. You probably seem unreasonable to some people too!
- Celebrate everything- the wins, the losses and everything in between.
- Care for at least one person more than you care for yourself. And don’t expect that back. Just care – cos you do!
- It’s never too late to start over.It’s never too late to change career path, life, relationships, anything. Follow your heart.
- Believe. Even when it seems impossible- believe.
- You are younger today, than you will ever be- enjoy it.
- Find friends. Make friends. Be a friend.
- Say ‘I love you’ to those you love for absolutely no reason at all. It makes you both feel good.
- Any conversation you have could be the last you have with that person… so be careful with your words.
- Write your angry emails and then save them to drafts. Go back to them later, read them to somebody- and only then send them.
- Show up or don’t be there…. Don’t just turn up. Give something your full focus else don’t be there…
- You are much more beautiful / handsome than you think you are!
P.s. (Palat says)-: I am trying to focus on a few of these this week… will let you know how it goes. And yuppp I did tone down the angry email before I sent it !
I was never good at making friends. As gregarious and out going that I seem, most of it is a facade and those who know me know I am actually quite conscious of how I am viewed, worried about being judged by you and fiercely private about my thoughts and fears. Trust doesn’t come easily to me.
I started working at 16 and then became even more wary of ‘friends.’ They became transactional relationships. FRIENDS was a great concept on TV but for me that was it- fictional and a comedy- something that could not truly exist..
And then I changed.
Over the last few years I have started seeing people as different versions of me- each flawed, insecure, with their own set of fears, but just trying like I am to make the best of each day. And as I started seeing people for more than their Facebook profile/ status – I learnt that people could become more than humans who wandered in an out of your life- they could in fact become friends.
Now I’d love to give myself full credit for this realisation but in the spirit of honesty I must credit the husband , ever so little, for looking at my many flaws and loving them. When he peeled the many onion layers I had protecting me, and showed me that flaws aren’t all bad… I realised I could do the same for others.
Of course every so often you get a rotten , smelly onion- but I guess that’s the risk you take when you try to connect.
And in a world where we have more Facebook and Insta connections than real friends, I think you owe it to yourself to look for actual connections. Hate someone, love someone- but have some emotion for them!
P.s.. (Palat says)-: Connect. Offline.
Life’s not fair- a complaint that plagues even the most optimistic of us. And you’re right. It’s the friend who you thought would pick up the phone when you needed them or the pitch that was stolen by the lazy incompetent colleague who pretended the idea was his or just being surrounded by sloth, carelessness and general apathy when you give all that you have for a person , an idea or a moment.
I have realised that you can’t control others and their attitude. All you can control is how you choose to deal with them. I have often been heartbroken when I care about someone- (friend or colleague) deeply and they let me down by not caring the same amount or believing in us the way I do. And now over the years I slowly am getting over it.
I have always been the one giving 100% to relationships – work or personal that I care about. But that too is my choice. Much like waves, some of the water stays and some it goes back- people often come in to our life for a reason. When the reason is fulfilled , most will go away. Those that you are left with are those that have more to give you and more to learn from you and those that leave have served their purpose and you theirs.
You can’t stop caring, turning up or giving your cent percent to life because every so often you will get the opportunity you’ve been dreaming of, meet the person you were destined to meet and live the life you absolutely deserve. The bumps on the way only make you realise how good the goods are and appreciate those moments so much more.
My grandfather always said life was full of ups and downs – how boring life would be if it were one straight line. Compare that to a heart monitor and you realise that he’s right… the ups and downs make the journey. Without that, using the same example, we’re quite literally dead !
P.s. (Palat says)-: Pitching season is the longest, toughest, hardest and most exhilarating season! On one hand Mondays are the best and most exciting – on the other TGIF!
The last week was a medley of emotions for me… At first I had the Low- MS Lows are a little tough for me not because of Multiple sclerosis but because I find it difficult to get out of the funk. Add to that the miserable diet and crazy exercise routine continued. But what really got me is the fact that in life- most people just turned up for life and let it happen. They didn’t actually SHOW UP!
Now here’s the difference- turning up is what we do. We turn up to school, turn up to our job, turn up to parties or social engagements- but showing up- that’s totally different! Showing up is recognising you are there and going on and making a difference! It’s about making sure the day is better than when you came in… It’s about challenging yourself to do more, be more and really and truly enjoying and being present in the moment!
Sure, we can get through most of life on autopilot by just turning up. But who wants to go through moments, years and decades not having actually been or tried to have been the best version of themselves.
My chat at work was all about that- I have a team that I hope I can inspire, lead and learn from that I hope will all be able to look back at each day and feel that they made a difference or that they achieved something- anything. I hope that they enjoy each day for the uniqueness it brings and remember that every day brings opportunity and is a gift that they cannot get back—ever.
Once I started spring cleaning those who just were turning up as opposed to showing up- my mood changed cos you can’t allow the drifters to dictate your mood; you have to allow those that are present to. They deserve that and you deserve that too! The husband thinks that sometimes I expect too much from those in my life- but I believe that it’s my life and surely I can work to make it the best version of my life it can be! And so I will be there and present for this who are there and present for me.
We can’t ‘Groundhog Day’ our life. And to truly enjoy the every moment – surround yourself with people who also choose to be present- not just there but to be active and present in your life!
P.s. (Palat says)-:Don’t let people speed date your life- they must be present in your life and you in theirs. Don’t look at a day as something that must end- look at it as something you must be present for.
The Devil gets a bad rep from us all the time… whenever we are thinking of something bad to do we’re consistently blaming it on the red man on our shoulder with horns not realising that there is no red man on our shoulder… and that there voice goading us on is just our own!
That’s the thing with bad habits and broken resolutions… we can make as many excuses as we like but eventually it’s up to us to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions.
To make a change, any change, we have to start with being accountable to continue keeping on the path of change.
I have never been a 5 am girl. Late night work, late snacks, long evenings… that’s always been my thing. But in my effort to get fitter, feel better over the last 6 months it’s been a 5 am wake up call and 2 hrs of exercise.
Needless to say there have been so many excuses not to wake up and so many complaints from my joints, my body and my brain. But there’s been just one excuse to get up- better health= better me!
A friend called up in December and rued… every night had been long nights- he was just not feeling fit any more! Can’t run. Just so exhausted – he needed a drink every night to crash. Didn’t I? It had been a hectic few months for me and excuses to stop my routine and pretend that giving in to bad habits was temporary and something ‘I had no choice in.’ But the truth of life is – we always have a choice. More often than not one choice is much easier and offers little or no effort- to give in to your weaknesses, to pamper your cravings, to feed the beast- but the more difficult choice is usually to do the right thing- the thing the inner voice inside us constantly pushes and who we try to drown out with our bad habits. And though that voice goes softer and softer but it never truly goes away…
So I held strong in December and I keep holding strong though on certain days I have to say my resolve is weak. I’d like to sleep in, I want cake and I could do with a definite break in my God awful exercise routine- but then again I make a conscious choice , albeit a difficult one- Will the Devil be my slave ? Or would I rather be a slave to him?
And truth be told- I’m nobody’s slave!
P.s. (Palat says)-: The Devil’s not an evil man with red horns.. more often than not it’s the face in the mirror staring right at us ! I’m gonna keep my inner Devil reserved for costume parties and Halloween!
It has never been easy for me to make friends…’Shocking!’ those of you who know me well will laugh! I mean I’m loud, opinionated, bossy and extremely goal-driven. That doesn’t leave a bunch of space in my life for relationships or friendships! And since I started working very young… having done my first film at 17, I never really had much of a college life or those life-long friendships people keep harping over!
Getting into films and TV young was great! It also meant lots of parties and lots of superficial acquaintances which made my ‘choice’ of ‘friendlessness’ the smart choice. And once I found my ‘Crab’ -( yes that shall be the husband’s name for today), I didn’t seem to need anyone else. He understood my insecurities, he embraced my weirdness and he even seem to like (or at least put up with) my bossiness! So from FOMO (Fear of missing out) I began enjoying my Crab and started loving JOMO (the Joy of missing out). Loud parties were replaced with game nights. Filmy parties became movie marathon nights and pub hopping was replaced with traveling to different countries and exploring them together…
But then this year, I started wondering that in all my JOMO whether I had actually even tried creating more than my single friendship? Had I actually even given people a chance? In all my fear of people not liking or caring for me had I just consciously avoided even the chance to get to know them?
Some friends had had babies. Babies became children and mothers’ groups were a great excuse to form relationships. Those who’d moved in to the city away from family needed a support system and hence were forced to find friends… In my little self sufficient Puppy- Crab world since I had never been forced to look- had I automatically just stayed in my shell?
So along with the new food plan, I decided to create a new social plan and decided with the Universe that I was going to start creating friendships…Out of school and not in the playground any more , I was excited about rekindling old friendships and learning to start sharing my life with people and sharing their lives too! And I was right. Now without the childish insecurities and without the petty school rivalry, I started afresh with relationships and friendships and I’m having fun!
From laughing through the night where we were supposed to be at the ‘most happening night spot’ and realising that we were 1 of only 10 people at the bar; to being sent chilli chicken by a friend just because she knew I needed spice ‘now’, to getting a call on a Saturday morning from another cause ‘she missed me,’ reconnecting has never been more fun!
Who knows… though they say the friends you make when you’re young will stick by you.. I’m okay learning how to make friends later too… After all every person needs a village… and Mr. Crab and me seem to be finding some really cool Village People!
P.s. (Palat says)-: You’re never too old to learn something new and for me it is learning to put myself out there and trust. It’ll be a steep learning curve… but I always was a front-bencher ! 🙂