A couple of days back, we went for a picnic, to a picturesque country park. One of many in Hong Kong. We set base on top of a hill, where it was particularly windy. It is intriguing how in a relaxed atmosphere, the child trapped within us escapes. Before long we were all infected by the vibe. Living life to the fullest is the key, says Suveera, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
This weekend was the fore bringer of sad news. One of our dear uncles has passed away. A retired army officer, a strong-willed man who lived life on his own terms. He was gone in the blink of an eye, just like that. One day here, the next day he was gone. Remaining only in our thoughts and memories. That’s what we get reduced to in the end. Reality slaps you in the face with events like this. It showed me the finality of life and the inevitability of death. Even the thought of this we put away, any mention quickly hushed up.
Yet I feel if we realise it, not just intellectually know it, but understand that our days are numbered, we would live much better lives. We would perhaps live life on our own terms, trying to fill each and every day, with love and laughter.
I have recently started a tradition in our house. Every month on the birthdate of my children, I take them out to spend some time together to do whatever they wish. We could go out for a movie, or a hike up a mountain, or even just a walk in the park. It does not have to be long or fancy. The endeavor is to just try and make it special, to add images and moments to the album of their life and mine, such that when they look back at their childhood, they see some happy memories, as in the end that is all that life is made up of, and that is all that remains.
This is what matters most and this is what I see as I look back over my shoulder to see my past. I see my life being played like a movie, with reels of precious memories, thankfully mostly happy.
I see the moment when my father let go of my bike, and I realised I could ride on my own. I remember the proud look on his face. Flashes of memories, like screenshots of life. The image when I threw my hat in the air on graduation day, wearing that long black cloak. My mother’s smile and warm embrace when I returned home from hostel.
These precious fragments of life, that come flying up as I look back, that can only be felt by the heart. That takes my breath away.
These are the ones that matter the most. We must endeavour to fill our lives with such moments, otherwise, life will just pass by. We need to take time out to follow our heart and our dreams. Pursue our hobbies and passions. It is these things that build us. Learn a new skill, no matter what your age is.
A couple of days back, we went for a picnic, to a picturesque country park. One of many in Hong Kong. We set base on top of a hill, where it was particularly windy. It is intriguing how in a relaxed atmosphere, the child trapped within us escapes. Before long we were all infected by the vibe. People who conduct important meetings in their boardrooms, with the most stoic expression you could see, let their guard down, and everyone took to some kite flying. We all only half succeeded, lost more than a few kites, and nearly ran over a few scared kids in our excitement. But in this abandon where we forgot our pretenses, we actually had fun. I guess we created a screenshot for life.
There is another rule that I try to live by. Every once a month I try and have a conversation with someone that I admire and look up to. A person that I feel embodies a good life. More often than not, I feel rejuvenated and motivated. I have made many a new beginning after those one-hour conversations over coffee. It is so important to surround ourselves with happy, positive people.
It should be our constant pursuit to live a life of action and to challenge ourselves every day. To be happy by doing things that make us happy, and work towards it with discipline. Let us take the first step, write that book, climb that mountain, visit that dream location, eat that bar of chocolate (Okay, not the full bar).
Let’s do it now, as soon life will end, time will fly by, and we will not get a second chance. We must live to the limit, every day, every second, because one day there will be no tomorrow.
Photos sourced by the author from the Internet
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