MH370 declared an accident, screamed the headlines. Since last March, I have been following the air waves for news of this ill fated flight. The first few frenzied but hopeful hours, then the tense days as all kinds of conspiracy theories ran amok (from the Malay mengamuk, incidentally), and the dreaded certainty that all souls were lost. The Malaysian government finally declared the flight an accident so that they can start working on more earthly matters like compensation for the victims’ families.
Just reading about it gave me goose bumps and I silently prayed that those unfortunate people find peace, wherever they are.
Almost any fatal accident is a rude shock. A plane crash somehow magnifies the grief and shock because it gets wide coverage. Being a frequent air traveler, I was traumatized by the Air France 447 disaster in 2009. And last year brought it all back.
We are generally so absorbed in running the rat race, competing for silly things like Facebook Likes and Twitter followers, we forget how short lived it can all be!
There is only one thing I can say with certainty about life. It does not give us second chances. All that we hold dear and take for granted can be snatched away in a moment.
A popular Sanskrit subhashit (verse) goes – “Ayushaha Kshana Ekopi Sarva Ratnairna Labhyate”
It means, all the gems in the world cannot buy you a moment of your life, or bring back a moment of your life. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
There are so many things I resolve to do, and then forget about in a few days. I want to eat healthier, act nicer, blog more, and reach out to more people. And the list goes on. But I also have to be realistic!
I don’t want to go into thought overload and be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and then finally do nothing. Believe me, I have done that many times :).
Being trained in Agile, I am used to prioritizing tasks. So when I thought about the top 3 things I want to tackle now instead of putting them off for the future, these topped the list.
Start working on my novel
Being a full time blogger, I am writing several hours a day on a variety of topics like food, lifestyle, technology, business etc. But what got me into writing in the first place? Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of being an accomplished novelist. I was quite young when Arundhati Roy won the Booker prize, and she has been my inspiration.
One of my friends wrote a historical romance while working full time. I have seen his dedication and hard work first hand. He used to wake up at 5 AM every day for years, write for a couple of hours, and then head to work. And then he did research for his book during lunch time. The one thing Bob has drilled into me is that I need to start some time, and then continue working on it diligently every day.
I have written and published a technical book on blogging last year, but I still have not tackled writing fiction.
Considering that writing, editing and publishing a book will take a long time, this is the number 1 thing I want to start right now.
Relive Happy Memories
Digital photography has made it easy to click hundreds of pictures in a day. As SD cards get bigger, most of my photos have settled down in a firm place. Where else but on my camera? This is exactly what I hate about digital photos. It wasn’t that long ago when I used film (sign that I am getting old). Even a use and throw camera was promptly dropped off at Walmart or CVS and I would wait impatiently for the hour it took to develop the film. All the photos were arranged in an album and even adorned with labels or comments.
I have traveled extensively across the US, and have always thought I would print some memorable photos and get them framed to hang on the wall. These include places visited, friends who are far away, and many golden memories.
By this time, the number of photos to be printed is so daunting that I would be spending thousands just for the prints. So to make it more manageable, I have decided to select just a few, print and laminate them.
Having some happy memories around me should certainly get those creative juices flowing and give me something pleasant to look at while I type, rather than just staring at a wall!
Catch up with friends and family
I always say that technology is an enabler. It gives us the means to do something, but does not guarantee it. With Facebook and WhatsApp, most friends seem ‘connected’. But when was the last time you actually had a heart to heart over a cup of coffee, or on the phone?
For me, chat or email cannot replace an actual conversation. I want to hear a voice! With friends and family spread across the globe, this is a tough one. But it is not impossible.
So calling a friend every few days is something I want to do at present.
Life does not give us second chances. My favorite poem sums it all up –
There is no second chance to grab that glory you always wanted, or reach out to an estranged friend. I think I have chosen well – writing my novel lets me do something for my future, surrounding myself with happy memories lets me reconnect with my past, and touching base with dear friends makes my present more enjoyable.
Is there anything you are putting off till tomorrow?
Image Courtesy – freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles