Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On the importance of dandelions**

Once upon a time at the age of 4, my little brother had a spazz attack. I dont remember why but am quite confident it was either a misplaced lego or unpleasant vegetable our parents had coerced him into consuming. In any case he unburdened his depressing circumstances to me and my friend Saadia for a good five minutes, his eyes wide open, jumping up and down in his red and white Osh Kosh overalls when Saadia interrupted with Dude, get a grip! He stopped in his tracks, looking curiously at her. "Get a grip?" He furrowed his brows, "From where?" Rolling her eyes she responded "From Kmart, get a grip from Kmart" and so went the conversation in increasing absurdity but concluded in his hopping from foot to foot in pure excitement at the prospect of purchasing a grip as Saadia so wisely advised.

As mentioned earlier, I'm stressed and like Ali I kinda sorta need to.. get a grip. Sadly I've since learned they don't sell them at Walmart nor are they currently available for auction at Ebay. Apparently, grips, you gotta build them yourself.

Looking at my stressers, what's the worst that can happen? Tomorrow, when I teach boring executive agreements, even if I teach only a thirty minute lesson and then proceed to hop from desk to desk flapping my arms while chanting the alphabet for the remaining thirty minutes, so what? Whats the worst that will come of it? A D+? (I think an F would be unfair considering overall I certainly showed creativity and effort). If at mock trial I forget my opening statement and instead recite the caloric contents of the veggie burger at Mimi's Cafe, what will happen? My jurors will know the nutritional information for a delicious low-fat burger and will have a funny story to tell their friends. Oh yes, I might fail, but even that is survivable.

John's comment on my last post really shook me up, he said The best and worst thing about every day is that it passes, no matter what you do. It set me on a train of thoughts but the one that stood out the most was the most obvious: If I close my eyes and hope that the week flies by so this will finally be over, or that will be done with, in the process I'm hurrying along and wishing my life away. Its inescapable that life is going on in the process of the "to do" lists and mundane drama and if I spend the majority of it waiting to get to the next place, fixing my eyes upon the weekend, or the day after the project is done have I even fully lived? Life is a journey, and we its travelers. To arrive may be our destination, but its process is what we call life.

The Awakenings, a true story of a man waking up from a 20 yr catatonic state showed him enjoying the brief moments of life he had. As he drifted painfully, bit by bit, spasm by spasm, he demanded to know why the news only spoke of things that depressed us and cast a cloud upon our hearts. He couldnt understand why we didnt revel in the beauty of brushing our teeth, or step foot outdoors on our own two feet without feeling sheer giddy joy. His doctor dicussed the human spirit saying thatis what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter. This is what we've forgotten - the simplest things.

Stress and lack of grips can make us forget to see the beautiful moments sprouting like dandelions at every corner of our lives.

** Incase y'all were interested. I did my lecture today and did not have to resort to leaping, or flapping, or reciting the alphabet in any manner. PHEW!!

21 comments:

mystic-soul said...

Very well written. So fluent. Beautiful.

I think, major problem lies in finding grip. Let things float on its own and it will pass with a nice pleasent surprise.

(heyyy, hurrayy..atlast I am first to comment)

Squarecut said...

7:00am in my time zone, and indeed a beautiful start with this. What "John" said on his comment, I learned it too. I don't do quite as stellar in anything anymore, but I also realized, I am not killing myself for it.
If I were to die today, I would have little regrets,just b/c I think I learned to take life so easily and so seriously, simultaneously. Easy about things that matter the least (i.e. money, job, school) and serious about how I am actually living my life.

thanks for writing this. I found a bit more reassurance.
I hope you start to feel better about these things too!

Enyur said...

Aisha, beautifully said. Thank you. Going through stress myself...I think I needed to hear this :o)

All the best!

Suroor said...

Beautiful Aisha. May Allah relieve your stress, ameen.

Tee said...

I needed this today, thanks Aisha. I hope writing it brought you the same peace as it brought me while reading it.

I loved the story about your brother. LOL. Does he remember this? I love talking with my sisters about funny memories and seeing who remembers what.

Funny you use a picture of dandelions - which is something I usually hate and stress over. I think this year I will just come to accept them - try to get back in that preschooler frame of mind and see them as free flowers for the taking ;)

Lovely quote from your commenter John. Was he quoting a famous quote or did he write this? ... So true and wise!

momyblogR said...

Beautifully said and I couldn't agree more!

That has to be one of the cliches I use most, "Don't wish your life away!" My kids, my husband, friends and even people I don't know very well. I've learned and am STILL learniing, instead of wishing the unfavorable to come and go so quickly that I'm not ever sure it happened, I enjoy all my days leading up that point and just prepare myself the best I can for it. And, instead of wishing the pleasant days and plans here quickly so that I might enjoy them NOW, I try to wait patiently. I look forward to the time to come with anticipation and excitement until they arrive but still enjoying all the days before hand.

I guess it goes back to "living for the moment." But at the same time, plan, prepare and wait for what's to come without letting it steal your present. After all, stepping outside under our own power and brushing our teeth are beautiful moments if we only took the time to really see that.

Great, great post!

Aisha said...

Mystic, thank you! :)

SC, thank you so much for your well wishes. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has to work on it. I think that if you are unhappy but excelling, and the only way to excel is to be unhappy, and the unhappy + excel has to occur to the point where its taking over the general joy of your day... then whats the point? Right? Have you ever watched Sabrina? Harrison Ford 's love interst said to him "why do you fly in a concord" he says to save time. She says and why do you stay at this particular locaiton "to get more work done for the light" and she asks why he doesnt enjoy his private concord jet and instead works he says "so it will be done" and she points out to him, when will you spend all the time you are saving? Work will always be there. The list will never end. We have to find a way to balance. (hope that all made sense!)

Enyur, Suroor, thank you :)

Tee, I'm glad it came at a good time for you. I hope you are doing okay. It makes me glad to know it gave you a sense of peace. I used dandelions on purpose actually. They are weeds but they are beautiful. If you grow them in a garden theyre lovely flowers in a bed of weeds they are simply another weed. Sometimes we shrug off beautiful moments much like Dandelions. My mom tells me a story of a time(apparently, I dont recall) my mom was doing something and I was prob five or so and i wanted her to play with me. She got frustrated and told me to go away and play on my own. She will still cry about that moment. She says that she wishes she had played with me but she had no idea how fast time would fly. I guess thats my point with the dandelion reference. Sometimes if we pause and look and truly look at the moment, we'll see that it was something else entirely, something beautiful we missed.

Mommyblogr, that is SUCH A GOOD POINT. Deal with it when it comes. stop dreading it. Just get ready but enjoy it in the meantime. I hope I can implement it. Thank you!

Tee said...

Aisha - First congrats on getting through the lecture - of course I always knew you would :)

I can really relate to the story you told about your Mom telling you to go play on your own. Most mothers can because we do that every day and feel guilty and then lament about how our children got so big later on. I remind myself of this often and even if I'm "busy" I try to go play with my kids because these are times I will never get back.

There's a good story this reminds me of. I can't say it's a true story because honestly I've seen it told different ways with details changed, but it's still touching and something parents can really relate to.

....

“Gold Wrapping Paper”

The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her five year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the
next morning and then said, “This is for you, Momma.”
The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty. She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner.
“Don't you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?”
She had tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Momma, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full.”
The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later, and it
is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life.
Whenever she was discouraged or
faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an
imaginary kiss an d remember the love of the child who had put it there.

Aisha said...

Tee.... I got tingles all over reading that story. Hair standing on end. Thank you for sharing. I hope I remember when and if I'm lucky enough to be a mother someday.

renee said...

I try to remember this daily and used to be so good at it...i need to work on it again. Thanks for reminding me. :-)

momyblogR said...

Hurray on your lecture, there really was no doubt. But I bet the leaping and flapping would have been pretty good too. :)

Thanks for believeing I made a good point. However, after reading it again I'm afraid although I make a specific effort in doing such,I fail more than I would care to admit.

In the things I have absolutely no control over, such as, news of some sort, an event that will take place regardless of my readiness or anything else, I prepare myself the best I can for that out come and PRAY endlessly for the ability to deal with whatever out come there may be.

On things I have some sort of control over....well, it's like I tell my two kids. "If you've done your best and have worked has hard as you know how, that's all I can ask!" So regardless of the grade, the out come of the game or the placement in a race, if they have done their best a B is fine, coming in second or third, even last is great and being the loser of the game makes me proud too.

So, if we, ourselves, know without doubt, have given our best effort, why should we dread the out come? Even if it isn't what we expected.

Sorry to have made it sound as though I have it all in hand......I don't by any means, it's a constant battle!

Huda said...

Congratulations on making it through the lecture unscathed! I really had no doubt. ;-)

Optimistic Guard said...

Aisha, this is a wonderful post, when we are stressed or having a spell of bad luck we tend to forget the good things in our lives.

yasmine said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you, Aisha.
I especially like your title: On the importance of dandelions - and the photo even more! My father, who loves gardening, calls dandelions his "Public Enemy Number One" (right alongside the wild turkeys and the deer and the gophers who love messing up his gardening efforts by eating our plants). Still, when I came to your post, the first thing I noticed was the photo, and I loved it even without realizing that it was of dandelions, because I was thinking, Oooh, yellow sunshine colors! It's a beautiful photo, and I like how the yellow flowers are so strong and vibrant against the metallic industrial-looking backdrop.

Aisha said...

Renee, glad I could help make your day a little brighter :0)

Momyblogr, ofcousre, we always are changing and we have our highs and lows. Its a constant reminder and task to remember and not lose sight of the important things.

OG, thank you! :)

Huda, I'm glad you had no doubt, i on the other hand, had many many doubts. Whether its deserved or not, I think most times in law school, when I'm doing well or get praise, I think I've certainlly fooled someone! :)

Yasmine, thank you so much! That's why I chose that photo. I'm glad you saw that :)

Roohi said...

Salaams,

Hi, found you through AKA (halfacupofchai). Great blog. I read some of your posts before too but each time I wanted to comment there were always 50+ comments already and then I'd chicken out and run :p

Aisha said...

Roohi, welcome to the blog and thanks for commenting. Please don't get intimdiated myu large comment numbers!!! I think those were just two controversial topics, normally its never that high, but even if so your opinion or perspective is still going to be very valued. :)

Lawrence of Arabia said...

congrats on getting through the lecture...

and if you find a place that does sell grips, please let me know!

LoA.

Saadia said...

Yay, you remembered me. I hardly expected to see my name when I came to catch up. I think its a sad fact of my life that I am just waiting for the next thing to happen and weeks just go by. I think in a way I can't avoid it because its the schedule set by my job not by me. I am now just a robot, another "ant marching" as Dave Matthews would say.

Aisha said...

LoA, yes I sure will :)

Saadia :( Are you feeling that way recently? Last time I talked to you, you liked your job...

Enyur said...

Woohoo!! I'm glad all went fine!!

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