Gratitude

As I look back on the year gone by, I can’t be thankful enough for 2018. Professionally and personally, it’s the best year I’ve had. In Dec 2017, if I were given a chance to script my 2018, I don’t think I’d have had it any better.

What did you learn in 2018? Can you describe it in one word? For me it’s ‘gratitude’.

I discovered that having a deep sense of gratitude for all that you have in life is a source of profound happiness.

In 2018, I had a serious knee injury: An MRI scan showed that I tore my anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee, to the extent that it might have needed a surgery.

But the doctor advised me a non-surgical treatment to see if it works. I had to wear knee braces for a month, doing physiotherapy as my daily routine to gain strength and stability in the knee joint.

The recovery has been gradual but unbearably  frustrating at times. Everyday to walk uphill in LBSNAA was a challenge and to navigate the Himalayan Trek was especially difficult, as I had to take each step with care and precision, lest I worsen the injury. During this period, I couldn’t help but think of the time I was healthy enough to run and play football.

I’ve had a re-scan of my knee joint recently, and the MRI showed near complete recovery of the ligament. Now I’m back running after six months.

Celebrated the new year in this beautiful island of Swaraj Dweep (previously called Havelock) in South Andaman.

If the injury had happened a couple of years ago, I’d have been a bitter person, cursing my luck that, of all people, it had to happen to me. But now I realize that shit happens. One fine day you just wake up to the fact that you have a terrible injury and you simply have to deal with it.

What really helped me cope up with the injury was the realization that it could have been far worse.

Imagine being afflicted with a terminal disease tomorrow. What would you not give to get to where you are now? Or say you lose your loved one in an accident. Many of us cannot even bear the pain of imagining it. Doesn’t life feel precious, just the way it is?

I’m not saying we must be merely complacent or simply resign to our fate. We must certainly be ambitious, always striving to do better. But my point is: while we are working toward our goals, we need not be miserable.

Most of our unhappiness is self-inflicted and needless, as we lose our minds over petty things. It helps to take a moment to pause and be thankful for your health, your relationships and all the people in your lives who make your existence meaningful.

Remember that before we came into being, there were revolutions, world wars, the rise and fall of mighty civilisations, and the birth and death of millions like us. The world went on as if we didn’t matter. In the future too, the world will go on as if we never existed. We are merely transient, our self-imposed importance ephemeral.

All we have is this one life, and it’s ending one year at a time. No matter the uncertainty or adversity, once we realise the fragility and preciousness of our lives, we don’t worry over stupid things.

Life is too fleeting to stay miserable. It taught me to take each moment as it comes, count my blessings and be grateful for it.

On that note, I wish you a happy new year. May you find joy in everything that you do.