Think hard. I would like to think I havent dropped much. I have added on. The most obvious would be the kilos. The possessions. The worries. The husband. The child. The house. The jewellery. The cars. The staff. Their salaries. The grey hair. The wrinkles. The worry lines. The spare tyres. The excess hair growth. The polycystic ovaries. The little bald patches (well, technically, this is a dropped because hair has dropped off, but lets not argue about technicalities here.)
I’ve added on friends. Relatives. Acquaintances. I have piled on clothes, shoes, bags. Cosmetics. Books. Furniture. Utensils. Crockery. Artefacts. I’m pinned down beneath the weight of so much that I have attached to me. I think if my soul has to break free of my physical shell, I have to first rid myself of my attachment to my shoes and bags, or find a way of taking them into the afterworld with me like them Pharoahs.
But I’ve also dropped quite a lot. My insistence on doing things my way. My egocentric view of the world. My ability to find happiness only through making myself happy. I’ve dropped tolerance. I dont tolerate anymore. I move on. Life is too short to constantly keep adjusting and living in hope that the tomorrow will be better. You have to make your now as good as you can. I’ve dropped being polite with people I dont like. It is not worth it. I dropped pretending to be civil.
At nearing 40, you know the best years of your life are behind you. And the best years are still to come. Paradoxical? Let me explain. You have put behind you years when you had health, youth, beauty and ambition and arrogance. You know now that you have approximately 30 years left of your life of which 20 more will have you in decent enough health to go around doing your own thing. And most things you hankered for in your youth dont really matter any more. You know what is truly precious to you and you cherish it. To me it is my son, my husband, my mother. I also know that when I age, my son will have his own life, my mother will be long gone and I will have only my husband to turn to.
I have dropped hankering over what might have beens and concentrate on my what is right now. My what is right now is much more precious to me than any idyllic imaginations of Utopia. May be it isnt the ideal I imagined it to be, maybe I’d expected more of myself and my life, and thought I would have things differently but what I have is nice and I’m not swapping with anyone. I dont mind swapping the bank account with the Sultan of Brunei or Oprah Winfrey though. But, of course, Oprah worked her butt off to get to where she is today and I recognise and salute that. Sitting on my butt here is not going to get me her bank account.
I have few friends but all of whom I can call on at midnight to help out in a crisis, and who can do the same with me. I no longer need to have a mile long list of friends. Never mind if my facebook list tells you contrarily. That list is not that of friends. Some are. Of course. Some are people I have never seen face to face in my entire life. I do know that I have got to know a lot of folks I barely knew through their updates and their photographs. And I enjoy that.
I have dropped the need to be perfect everytime I step out in public. It is now okay to not insert my contact lenses, not to have perfectly applied eyeliner, to have unvarnished nails. It is okay not to be perfectly coordinated. Its okay if your hands and legs are unwaxed and your eyebrows unthreaded. Your face unbleached. Not always. But sometimes. It isnt the end of the world. The most beautiful woman in the world isnt one who is perfect. She is one who is serene and radiant. And stressing about being beautiful does not for serenity make. It is okay to be a little sloppy. Because I am perfect. I was made perfect. Two hands, two legs, two eyes, ears and the vitals in perfect working order. What more do I need?
I have also dropped my demanding relationship with God. I no longer ask. I accept. There is a plan to everything, and I will get whatever was written in my plan.
And most notable of all, I’ve dropped all the extra baggage from my emotional life. I’ve realised life is too short and too precious to hang on to toxic relationships, friends, acquaintances or more difficult, relatives. I detach myself. I move on. And that, I think, has given me the most happiness and peace. The husband says he marvels at my ability to cut off a person from my life cold bloodedly. It is so not you, he says. You have changed, he adds. I admire how you can say no, he adds. It gives me peace. I will always help out but I will no longer be taken advantage of. I will always respect another individual but I will no longer allow folks not to respect me.
I have dropped caring about what other people think of me, and think about only what I think of me. Am I able to look myself in the eye in the mirror at the end of the day and not cringe with shame and embarassment? That is all I need. Will I be able to tell my mother about my day without whitewashing bits of it? That is my touchstone. I know I could tell her anything and she would understand. But I dont want to be in a situation where I have to tell her something she needs to understand and accept. Except of course, my need for continually replenishing my bag and shoe collection.
I have dropped ambivalence. If I get into something I throw myself into it wholeheartedly or I dont take it up at all. I have also dropped intractibility. I am more able to accept that I have made a mistake, I eat my words with relish because I accept that I am learning, growing, and accepting my mistakes is the first step to growing spiritually.
I have dropped a lot. Now let me get back onto the mammoth task of dropping six kilos to get myself back into Shallow Hal territory.