There is a day every month, that I get super excited.
I subscribed to Oprah's magazine last November, and ever since, the day I get her magazine, I feel like a little girl unwrapping a new Barbie doll, as I look at the magazine cover and see the titles of all the great articles that I know I will enjoy reading.
Now, I am not advertising for Oprah, or her magazine, but I just finished reading a couple of articled in this month's magazine, that made me soak in a reflective mood. It gave me such peace, that I felt I had to vent out this overwhelming feeling of contentment they gave me.
In the first few pages of each issue, is a page called 'The Sparks'. It usually has 4 creative people (writers, dancers, pottery makers...etc) answering a few simple questions (something like: If I were a color, I'd be...). This month, one of the questions was: I often imagine myself...
The 4 answers were:
- Playing an instrument.
- Taking a different road in life. What if I had continued dancing instead of becoming an English major?
- Building floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in every room of my home and filling them with novels, memoirs, and collections of poetry.
- Renovating a little beach house. I day dream about how I'd decorate it.
And as I read these reflections of really successful people, a thought suddenly hit me! These people often imagined (and obviously enjoyed the process of imagining) things that they get to do on their own. I am not sure if this was intended to be noticed, or that my genius genes grasped it all on its own. Regardless, the ides was very exciting and soothing to me.
I have often had days when my entire mood would drastically swing, up and down, in close connection to those around me. A fun day would be a day with people to hang out with. Life would only be perfect with a boyfriend. Work would only be pleasant if there are people to mingle with. And I have recently started realizing that it is so tiring to involve so many people in my state of mind, at all times.
I find it exciting to think of enjoyable things that I can do on my own. Through imagination, (and maybe some imagination), I would be able to come up with a list of things that I can do on my own, not to impress anyone, not to make my parents proud, not to maintain a certain social class, but for the mere bliss of HAVING A GOOD TIME.
And as soon as I read those words, I came here to write this, because this, the writing, is one of the things that I enjoy the most.
Reading was also one of my favorite past times as well. Cooking is another, and so is singing to my karaoke set, alone. A long drive, with good music on. Weirdly, a day in the office on the weekend, when I can achieve so much while no one is around to interrupt, my music is on aloud, and while I can work in jeans and sneakers.
This reminds me of something else that I have seen on Oprah's show last year, and which I had planned to do a long time ago, but like so many other things, I've failed to stick to. Keeping a gratitude journal. Basically, the idea is to come up with 5 things that I feel grateful for, every day. They could be as simple as finding an unexpected parking spot, or as essential as realizing that my best friend is my backbone. And from today onwards, I am going to stick to this journal, and will be posting my gratitude notes here every night, to try to stick to it, and see if this peaceful feeling continues.
We Arab single Arab women have so much to be grateful for. Life does not revolve around hunting for a husband and making babies. It does not revolve around maintaining certain social images that we sometimes feel obligated to keep.
In a very positive sense (a lot more positive than it will sound): Screw the world, I am happy.