Take some time to smell the weeds!

“Busy, busy, busy!”   That’s the story of our lives right?  We are commonly told to take some to “Smell the roses”.  The intent being to get us to pull ourselves out, relax a little and maybe have a chance to see the positives in life.

My variation on this is “Take the time to smell the weeds!”  Now before you all run out and dispose of all your weed wackers, weed sprays or professional landscapers…let me explain further.

How many people have encountered weeds in their life?  I am not necessarily referring to weeds like thistles…thorny and DEEP rooted…nasty!  I am referring more to things or people n life that are an inconvenience but definitely aren’t preventing you from living your life.

Look at this tree for example. 

Although it it is surrounded by weeds, it still stands tall and continues to grow.  I took this as a lesson for myself.

There will be weeds in life but that should not prevent my personal growth. 

Another key element could be in my perspective.  Weeds can sometimes add a raw (unaltered) beauty to life.

  
Rather than uprooting these beauties, maybe enjoy this feat of nature. They were put there by nature and we can either accept them or we can rev up that weed wacker or the weeds-b-gone spray. 

Similarly,we are flabbergasted by peoples’ behaviour sometimes! For the human version of weeds the possible approaches include

  • Acceptance – when the weed does not disrupt your life
  • Adjustment – when a slight compromise can keep things moving along
  • Avoidance – “Dude, you’re killin’ me!” Drains all your energy.

Life is a garden…enjoy it!

๐Ÿ˜€

A.K.

Top 5 Lessons from the road

I recently participated in a 10k race.  In fact, it was my very first road race.  It was scary, exciting, thrilling and did I mention scary?!

The only thing that eased my fear was the fact that I was not participating to win, come in the top 10, top 20 or even the top 400! ๐Ÿ˜€  If I had those type of expectations, I would have been extremely disappointed!  I ended up in the bottom 40 at an average pace of 11:39 which was a good baseline PR (Personal Record) for me.  Also on the plus side, I came in ahead of many that were almost half my age.  That has to be a confidence booster for anyone!  Simply put, my half marathon  training is paying off.

To conclude this post, I will share some of the lessons that I took away from the race.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast…unless you like the feeling of being lightheaded.
  2. Organize your race stuff the night before…unless you enjoy scrambling to the start line as well as the to finish line.
  3. Don’t succumb to peer pressure and run as fast as the mob from the get go…unless you like to feel like a strong wildebeest about to conduct a stampede…remember “The Lion King”?
  4. Don’t forget your music…unless the rhythm of your shoes pounding on asphalt is music enough for you.
  5. Work on getting over your phobia for Port-a-Johns…unless “Depends” seems like a more attractive option.

Hope these tips help you for your next race! ๐Ÿ˜€

A.K.

The answer is right above your nose!

Sometimes we search so hard and long for things.  This could be objects, people, love, a job or anything else. When we are on this wild goose chase, some wise soul watching from the sidelines (objectively) remarks, “You are searching for things when they are right under nose”.  Because of our tunnel vision, we miss the obvious.

Similarly, when we get caught up with the negative vibes in a relationship, be it family, friends or co-workers, we need to step out and observe the situation from the sidelines. 

  • What is the cause of the negativity?
  • Is it your demeanor ?  
  • Is it their insecurities?
  • Can you ease their pain?

Of course these are all questions that we need to process in our mind…which is above our nose! ๐Ÿ˜€

I was having some conflict with someone and it was leaving me very unsettled.  It filled me with a lot negative feelings. I had to do something about it.  The power was within me to get that negativity out of my system.

So I did!  When I woke up, I made a resolution that I would only wish this   person well.  I didn’t go out and give her a huge bear hug or anything but I just maintained positive thoughts towards her.  I focused on trying to understand her position and why she would project herself in the way that she did.  Strangely, just that simple action gave me a sense of calm! My calm also seemed to make her back off a little.

I realized that sometimes people need to resolve their issues on their own. By not sinking to a lower level of behaviour ourselves, we give that person a chance to retract their aggressive (or passive-aggressive) behaviour.  Who knew?

So the next time you are faced with a challenge, don’t go too far to find a solution.  First, check above your nose! 

๐Ÿ˜€

A.K.

It’s not you…it’s me

One of the most common ways to end a relationship is to say, “It’s not you…it’s me”.  Well, atleast this is what I have learned from watching sitcoms when people want a quick, drama-free exit. ๐Ÿ˜€

Although it sounds funny, when you dig a little deeper into the statement there is some amount of wisdom embedded in it.

In my experience, a true friendship is formed when you have similar interests, personalities, hobbies, thought processes or backgrounds. In case you were wondering, this is not any ground breaking finding from a social experiment!  I just came up with it…on the fly. ๐Ÿ˜€. 

So what if you find that in your social interactions there are not many that are similar to you?  

  • You like to create music…they can’t relate
  • You shop for necessities…they shop for fun
  • You trend towards a minimalistic life…”Shouldn’t you live on top of a hill and recite some mantras?
  • Your spiritual views are not ‘traditional’…”Houston, we have a problem”
  • You like scientific and nature documentaries…”Yawn yawn”
  • You are a thrill seeker…”What a waste of precious time”
  • You grew up in Africa…”Are there lions and elephants in your backyard?”
  • You are of Indian origin…”African, Indian or American?!”
  • You are not much of a drinker…”Really?!!”
  • You believe in quality friendships…”The more the merrier”

Don’t worry.  All these reactions help you make the distinction between “acquaintance” and “friend”.  

It’s like Charles Darwin’s theory of ‘Natural Selection’.  The less you have in common with people the shorter and weaker your relationship. That leaves you with more healthy and fulfulling friendships!

When you are able to transition from “You don’t have anything in common with me” to “It’s not you…it’s me” it makes life easier.  You end up naturally finding those people who can relate to you or some aspect of you.  A good basis for a friendship. 

I may not have many of such good friends, but the few that I do have been really amazing! I often have to remind myself to not need that friendship but rather enjoy the friendship (while it lasts).

To good friends!

๐Ÿ˜€

A.K.

The Smokies

If you have never visited the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, here is just a peek into what you may see.  The sights and activities made our road trip (starting from Wisconsin) totally worth it!

   
Deer in the grass

 
Majestic Horse at Cades Cove

   
Classic scene

 
Wild Turkey   


Waterfalls in the Caverns    

Large amounts of flowing water in the Tuckaleechee Caverns.  What a spacious cave!

 
The Smokies!

   
A cable car ride for a great aerial view of the mountains.

 
Fly fishing rivers

 Grotto falls.  
 
Oh my…a fresh paw print…of a BEAR!

   
Pretty flowers on the trails.  Watch out for those bees!

  
The Gatlinburg trolley for your convenience

An underwater view of a sawtoothed shark!!

    
The Ripley’s Aquarium…with unique specimens of sea life

 
Other fun activities included hiking,  ziplining, fly fishing, white water rafting, mini golf, bumper cars and so much more.

All in all it was a relaxing and entertaining vacation.  The best part was that I got to break out the camera.   There were definitely a lot of test subjects to practice the art of photography! 

๐Ÿ˜€

A.K.