Tag Archives: #Trust

Are You Working to Live Or Living To Work?

Why making a Life is more important than making a living!

Are you someone who absolutely loves heading to the Office every day? Or even if you don’t maybe you’re connected enough that you simply cannot resist showing up. You keep giving your all unceasingly; sometimes murdering yourself, all the time hoping that this turns out to be your best bet at acing everybody’s attention and getting taller professionally.

I guess, people who fit in this category are unwittingly married to their jobs and often are set out as living to work’.

If you’re a Zoomer, you know what it’s like; the excitement of being resourceful, independent and liberal is overwhelming, way better than the dudes from Gen-X might have experienced. You’re the perfect portrayal of a deep seated personal connection to the work that you do for a fat pay-check. Perhaps you believe that success happens only to those who have an all–round desire and true commitment to work.  You’re not unaware as well that this runs the risk of compromising health and quality of life outside work place.

Yet on the flip side, many choose to separate the idea of ‘doing what I love from “I’ll do what I must to make a living”. For them it like ‘discovering a long lost passion’; so foreign and yet entirely removed from reality where work is what you do and not who you are!

Speaking of which, do you take on more work than you must? Are you putting in more hours than you ought to? When is the time to quietly start doing less to the extent that it appears not quitting after all?

How bad is too much of a good thing?

Living to work for most of us is like crossing the fine line between being occupied and being eaten-up by work. Your work life balance is at risk when you let disproportionate amount of your time and energy spent on your career.

People, who live to work count heavily on work for thrills and kicks and shut out other sources of joy and happiness. What’s worse, addicted to the adrenaline that comes from solving a crisis or tying self-worth to work, these people would often find themselves on the fast track to burnout.

See…over engagement is never free of its perils. With time, distraught work-life balance takes its toll. Your ability to handle stress is impaired and your overall well being gets affected. And more often than not, you won’t be to see it because you’re moving so fast, completely absorbed in the reality that you’ve created — knowingly or not.

So what’s the point?

Image source: ‘7 ways to reduce work-related stress’ by Neil Spooner in resetmindbodysoul.co.uk on Oct. 08, 2020.

When you fail to find the ‘just right’ level of engagement, you live your life on one extreme or the other always struggling to find the right kind of work-life balance.

But the grass is not greener for those either who consider doing little less at work, re prioritize work versus life or refuse to take a bigger chew than the one’s mandated or must.

Hell yes of course!…When you work to live, you miss out on that rich sense of fulfillment that only a meaningful pursuit brings forth.

Did I miss something?

The 10 hour work day -like so many people I braced for 30 long years, -never ever for once went out of fashion. It stood firm then and it’s as stoic today except that nowadays it’s your call how to balance everything in the new age. The strings were as tight then as they are now.

Jinxed and marred with bad breaks, I spent an entire lifetime slogging to build a career and in the process woefully destroyed part of me.  I kept judging whether it was of any worth at all, despite knowing all the while that in reality I couldn’t undoor reboot’ anything. I had no widget, no push button…none other than a blue sky above and some wishful thinking. I yearned for one. So many things I would’ve loved to rescript for a better tomorrow! Of course, there was always another tactical choice at hand; Do it the new way. This certainly was a flattering option and like everybody else my age, I was gullible. I fell for it and chose to use it.

The thought of shaping a better life and a taller me never felt fictional then.

Image source: ‘New Signs You’re Stressed at Work’ by Christine Bernier Lienke in flexjobs.com

I know I’ve never been great at work and I have struggled long enough trying to figure out why I wasn’t fine and famous at it. I would usually end up comparing myself to friends and rivals who have been fervently neck deep in work and have made some great careers and good living out of it.

It’s only after so many years of imperfections and wanting, I could discover that I was  in fact truly happy, living my life doing what I wanted to do- endeavoring, indulging and battling! Sometimes winning at others loosing, yet never letting myself forget the battles that I survived.

 I had chosen to work what I “could do” and not what I “wanted to do”.

If only I had known then what I know now, maybe I could have had both of them a lot sooner- living a great life and making a living the way I love most’.

I would let the life happen!

Life is short and full of shifts and ebbs and flows. You just can’t exist to make a living. It’s more than about living decently… ordinarily! We all deserve more and entitled to a life full of joy and happiness.

And who said it’s too late to flatter yourself?

I know how important is to earn for a good living. But you can make a living and still make a life! It’s all about perspective; about whom you love most; you as a person or as a pen pusher. With pliable mindset and a bit of allowance for wise adjustments you could let the real troubleshooter in you make life deep and smiling.

Image source: ‘Live to work or work to live? 72 per cent of Brits go to work just to get by’ by Owen Gough in smallbusiness.co.uk on Dec.08, 2017.

Of course, ‘working to liveor ‘living to work’ aren’t the only choices available. It’s absolutely possible to put the two shoes together and yet walk on sunshine. Breaking away from either of the two could though actually help you find a breezy life-work balance in a hurry.

Seriously, sometimes taking a few steps back — or a few steps forward — breaks the barrier standing between you and the life you have painted for yourself!

Don’t let yourself be robbed of happiness when you’re sad and down in the dumps!

Life is chaotic and sometimes awful things happen out of blue. And when that occurs, it feels like we’ve been thrown for a loop. Pushing to edge, it infects all our waking hours with endless worries and mellows our happiness.

Image source: ‘7 Steps to Embracing Mind-Body Wholeness in the New Year’ by Deepak Chopra in chopra.com on Dec.19,2018.

Yet, instinctively we keep driving through, often surviving on adrenaline. We over schedule ourselves; we drink umpteen cups of coffee; we respond to one more e-mail; we stay amped all day believing that we’ll eventually be able to set things straight and done. And in the way, we let ourselves burn recklessly.

It’s rude and shocking…for all that burning doesn’t do any good. Except that it overwhelms us and drowns all our happiness amidst the entire struggle. Misplaced trust, broken promises, blatant lies; just about everything stokes our sufferings.

Looking forward!

In this frantic world, happiness is like a friend you rarely have the chance to catch up with. But finding a moment of reassurance is never impossible. You may presume that you can find happiness when you’re finally completely free of troubles; but that’s not how it works.

In fact it runs the other way around and isn’t as challenging as it seems.

Terrible things do happen to each one us at some point in life. When you are caught in the thick of things-whether it’s about a snappy senior or a brassy relative who don’t believe in boundaries or yet another viral video of a violent racist incident you’re left stranded with mounting fears and have no clue how to handle it.  Worse, rather than hoping for a better end, you come up with a snappy retort and a quick fix to quell your unease.

But would an irrational assumption and aggression be of any good? Like climate change wouldn’t that mean hurtling down a worm hole of offensive ends and no-win arguments?

So, if you feel you have no space for peace left with you, are terribly hurt or perhaps angry and looking for a smarter way-a calmer way to bring to you greater attention and ingenuity without shedding one bit of happiness…these three simple ways might just let you find your Zen in a world that seems anything but peaceful.

Image source: ‘Seven ways to rest’ by Sherryl Garratt in the creativelife.net on Dec.06, 2021.

Forgiveness is good

Feeling hurt, even angry is a forgivable response when you are wronged or treated unfairly. But holding on to slights doesn’t help in reclaiming happiness. They take up so much of your emotional energy and push your emotional wellness to the wall.

Forgiveness on the other hand, isn’t something that helps the person alone you forgive. It does even more for you in the end. Of course, it’s a long demanding emotion and goes beyond a simple, “I forgive you”. Worse, sans compassion, it misses acceptance and would leave you mired in self blame and regret.

Regretting and trying to clean up the wrong on the other hand, is one good amend to begin with. Over the time, real good changes will happen to your behavior and I’m sure you won’t have to lie to your worrisome waking hours any more.

Find time for yourself

I find loneliness a mere normal state of mind that builds around relationships but desperately yens for sociability when abandoned.

While spending just the right amount of time with yourself is good for your emotional well being, excess of solitude can badly hurt your happiness over the time. Let it turn intense and it will become all consuming and wreck your everyday life. Your creative side will erode; you won’t be able to re-evaluate your boundaries and above all you wouldn’t be able to connect with your needs.

When something terrible happens and stress overwhelms, we speculate about what wrong we’ve done to cause bad luck. “I must have been wrong in standing up to myself. I created this mess for someone else and now it has double backed to me.” It’s natural for you to think and regress then.

Correct this distortion if that’s what is hurting you. Don’t wait to use your supports. They might help you see the problem differently, but deserting your nemesis and rebooting your mind to do away with ill thoughts is your personal need.

Catch them young and you could reclaim your happiness even while busy in your daily grind.

Get back to nature

Don’t we all head back to the trees (or the seas) when stress goes for a spin and begin to take its toll? Doesn’t the feel of the breeze, the smell of the grass, the sound of water running, feel at home in the outdoors?

Setting better boundaries starts here!…

Getting back to nature is one step to ease your emotional distress. It’s amazing how you could find great friends in elements around you whenever disquiet turns exhausting. As extravagant or as simple as you want it to be, there is no need for a footslog far away to some mountain top. Start with few smaller hauls and as you get closer and closer to nature, you’ll find you’re rid of your excessive worries and your innate self is back in gear. You’re no longer bedeviled! Trust me, your best bet to escape from 100 or 1000 worries lies right beyond your garden fence.

And don’t forget to leave your phone at home. A constant stream of notifications and e-mails or the urge to refresh your social media frequently can quickly chip away at your newly found zing!

Image source: pexels.com.

Most meltdowns, I think are rarely catastrophic. They are fixable and never meant to be a 24/7 experience. Yet being constantly surrounded by them feels more like being hunted in a savanna by some wild animal where your stress response is all spooked up to save your life. Your attention is mobilized and riveted, your muscles are strained for a quick sprint and your immune system is racy enough to get you quickly out of danger.

This edginess though is usually short lived. In fact you’re stressed in real sense only for five minutes….more like before you die! But even in those few anxious moments it burns into your body, slams your emotional well being and crashes your decision making. It is then that you get tightly wound up and are more likely to react harshly than to respond with reason.

No matter what you choose to purge your guilt or how you decide to go about it, repossessing happiness never happens overnight. It’s only your patience that would make all the difference between a beaten sod and a wishful Pollyanna.

Your takeaway!…

Next whenever you hit a bad trip and are clueless about how to cope with it, find a ray of hope in my playbook; without pre judging anything try your hand for once… something might just work right for you!

Three ways to know if the time is right for a good bye; burning slow doesn’t help!!

From moments of pure bliss to “badass togetherness”, relationships sometimes flinch. Between valleys and peaks, you are never certain whether or not it’s meant to be what it is. Sure you could work around to fix the rough patch somehow. But will that hold? Will everything be the same as before? At what point should you draw the line between rough times and simply giving up?

Or is it time to say enough is enough?

Like everybody else, I could realize the spoil only when it was too late. But  I spared myself the anguish, for I knew it’s never too easy to see it from the inside. Sometimes it’s blindingly true, yet we couldn’t see the red flag or smell the rot.

And surprisingly you couldn’t get to start over again…

Bad things do happen in relationships and the rot might ruin the romance, friendship or just about anything familial. Sometimes it hurts and in your  anger or inconsolable grief you feel like lashing out, cursing or yelling to let the world know how bad the hurt is. You may even get to the state where you want everybody to be hurt no less; to make everybody feel the misery no less.

The edge happens only when you find there’s no time left to reveal your love; to let others  know that over the last few months they made your days a bit brighter and helped you heal better from the hurt that others left behind; that they sank into your heart and stayed put. In the midst of impossible, somehow they became your favorite.

But like good and bad times, there are moments when things begin to get out of control. You are clueless; not sure whether to go with it or away from it. You just can’t hug harder any longer.

If any of these signs are persistently a part of your relationship, you have a serious problem to consider. It might have reached a dead-end and this could be the time to let it go peacefully.

Remember though, every tragic of something is the beginning to a fresh start.

Image source: ‘Sad in railway stock photos and images’in 123rf.com.

When enough is enough

Criticism is good; it gives you an opportunity to find your misplaced positives. But even that has a quota. Negative comments feel cruel and so does one nasty word that can silence a million applause. See…even the SoNet community works the same way; your fans may have cheered you a thousand times but you’d only remember one single message that tried to run you down.

However, if someone in your life always jumps in to say something about your wins all the time, you have a red flag there too!

I say… life sucks! but that’s how it is.

If criticism and negative comments begin to corner your attention… you need a deeper look into what’s happening around. Is getting out of a messy relationship worth the anguish of parting ways? Sometimes it gets dismissive but severing ties peacefully is more impactful than inflicting emotional damage on yourself.

See…there is a pattern of narcissism specific to each one of us. But even that doesn’t work right all the time. If somebody keeps pushing you constantly and tells you that it’s for your own good so that you may improve; don’t jump for it. If you fall for it you’ll always be looking for doses of approval from others which will never come even if you gave your 100%. Some may even pin for your attention and time!

Criticism and negative comments lower your energy and distract your attention. If you do not want to turn yourself into a junkie looking only for approval and adoration, allow yourself a course correction. Simply let go of a relationship that has  constrained you all these years.

And remind yourself…you deserve to live free! So, just let go of the decay.

Feature credits: ‘Letter to a Friend’ by Eddie Pinero in youtube.com on Jul.02, 2019.

No crooning or cocktails!

There is never any dearth of time to change your ideas about the future. It’s Ok if you are not where you thought you’d be today- you have many tomorrows ahead of you. But the journey is never straight; you’d sometimes outgrow what you once wanted in your connections. It’d feel  good if you could realize the extent of your responsibility in the context of relationship, today.

This is your journey and yours alone. So, be wary of the people close to you who would not hesitate to throw in your face the things they did for you. They may have lend you a thousand bucks and say that they saved you from penury; more to make you feel wretched than to value kinship.

I know it’s a profound statement and maybe incorrect for some of you; but that’s the truth. If the other person needs to hang the medals for having helped you, it’s time to start over afresh. You can’t turn back the clock or delete memories, but you can choose to live quietly  in present.

So, it’s time you bid adieu!

Image source: ‘Here Is How You Say Goodbye To Your Forever Person’ by Ariel Quinn in herway.net on Mar.01, 2022.

In the hustle and bustle, trust walks off

When the bad outweighs the good, it usually means hard times have arrived and are likely to stay for a while. If you can’t remember the last time you were happy…surely the problem is deeper than meets the eye!

Arguments in a relationship come with a territory. You are sad and neglected and could sense that something is seriously off, yet couldn’t pin point why. You find a pair of hoop earrings that definitely don’t belong to your mate or wake up each morning staring vacantly at the ceiling fan and think, How the hell did I get here?” He’s off to another business trip or you come home to an eerie silence everyday; your phone used to ring off the hook and now all you hear is crickets! You hang in there hoping things to turn around somehow. But with explosive fights, mascara running down the cheeks duels, you know something terrible is waiting to happen.

Essentially, you both have morphed into nasty dinosaurs for each other. You may try to convince yourself that what matters is to live in here and now; but the truth is more savage- you just cannot hide from it.

So, when at the end of the day as you lie down and pat yourself, “Wow! We made it a day without fighting,”, it’s time to get out of the fracas.

Don’t be blind to the obvious and wait to get your heart pummeled. It’s time to dump those dingy rose colored glasses and get yourself a terrific new pair.

Believe me…if you can’t stay civil on vacation in a gorgeous hotel with gorgeous spreads and cocktails and room service…it’s time to say quits.

Image source: ‘Why is it so hard to say goodbye?’ by Richard in richardcollison.net on Oct.22, 2017.

Many times you’d be tempted to make excuses and stay put in a relationship that has reached its expiration. You keep on hitting the reboot button, frantically hoping that everything will be Ok again. This continues to happen until the next time when the not so funny emotional roller coaster starts all over again. Eventually it’s a Joe No-Show and you could feel the cold feet. This means that both of you have flaked out and lost each other for good.

You may not be ready to face it…but that’s fear talking. Don’t let it rule your life. So listen to your instincts, trust your guts and stop working for a relationship that has jumped the fence. It’s time to admit that your future with the other person isn’t on the radar.

Should this happen, start taking care of you and break into a happier life. Value your needs, wants, and most importantly, yourself. Without depleting yourself, step out into a life that you truly deserve. Think of yourself twenty or thirty years from now and merit yourself by doing the right thing.

Above all stay away from people who will sooner or later leave you stranded.

Trust me, your future will thank you!!

To be or not to be…Friends surprisingly make you a happier person, only if you could be with the real ones!!

If you think that you are done with friends in life, it’s time you tell yourself a different story.

Like love, friendship is a thick soupy word and a messy business. It’s hard to be friends with someone who couldn’t hold your hands, or cut loose your heart strings. It’s harder to look for companionship if it comes with the shroud of secrecy surrounding it. Friendship is rather a stretchy word. It’s more of a life choice that you hesitate to fully buy into, fearing darker truth may come out later.

Friendship means something different every time we say it. It’s what a relationship isn’t. You may find good mature acquaintances but they don’t really get you good lasting friendship. At times hopelessly vague; ‘calling them a friend’ doesn’t help. Let’s just be friends” is a no less confusing either because it could mean anything. From bosom friend to pink of a crush, all it does is communicate what you never meant in the first place.

In fact, there is not one single great word for the kind of relationship that you have with the ones you love or loved. Give the requited attention a miss and the other person won’t find you awesome enough to hit it off.

Yet you shrug and say, “Sure.” And try again. But it’s weird and gets murkier.

When you think about it, you have no idea what it means to be with real friends.

Think about them and you will still touch yourself.

Perhaps ‘friend’ is a catch-all high sign that helps in ignoring bittersweet emotions.

Get into the Act

I grew up a shy introvert with terrible socializing barriers and was often shelled with embarrassing suggestions by those around me. Honestly, I did muster enough courage to try them all and overcome my fears. But soon I realized that it’s lot easier and more effective to be kind than to try to act confident.

I never tried to compete with the extroverts. I let them win at their game. Instead, I decided to invent my own circle—went all-in on being as thoughtful as possible and this is what I found out.

Everyone loves to hang out one time or the other, with the person who won’t say or do anything to hurt your feelings. But not wanting to hurt someone’s beliefs and opinions isn’t friendship. Real friends never coddle egos. They always tell the truth, love spending time together and never get awkward in each other’s company. Good news, bad news and secrets, they share everything. Gossip and late night wakes; it’s all part of lives in bonhomie.

Like everybody else, I too wanted to be friends with every single person on this planet. Probably more so, but not with someone who wants kinda attention that I’d prefer not to give. I had learned that coming out with the truth was way better off than using words that are so vulnerable to misinterpretation. When you tell somebody you want to be friends, but you really don’t, you are not letting them down gently. Mocking hits like a harsh acquittal. It hurts no matter how gently you have hurled the bomb.

Perhaps sometimes we get to learn about friends the hard way.

Are true friends hard to get by!

In university one of my buddies fell hard for a gal who wasn’t into him. She had a crush for a guy Robin who looked smarter and was perhaps wealthier. Of course, Robin wasn’t into her.

It confused and hurt everybody, especially my mate.

But it was kinda different too. Both heand the girl were doing fine and everything a couple would, except touch. Dates, long walks, deep conversations, partying ; it seemed fascination was blossoming. One day he asked her if she thought friendship could turn into romance. He would muse how his mom couldn’t stand his dad before they got married. A day later she uninvited him to a party.(Robin was going to be there.). What followed was enough to shake up things badly. Sullen moods and peppery behaviour crept in slowly. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore, and stopped returning her calls.

A year went by, and then one day both ran into each other. She came up and regretted. “Can we be friends?”

“What do you mean…?” he asked.

“If I see you, I’d like to come up and say hi.” It sounded more like she wanted him to acquit her of all guilt. Both agreed to smile and wave if their paths ever crossed. Fears of misplaced trust, broken promises and brazen lies, all fell apart in that one moment of regret.

Fortunately, he never saw her again.

That story tells what lot many people mean when they say they want to be friends, yet prefer kind of stealth friendship where deeper feelings never grow. If you are honest you usually wouldn’t want to bejust friends”. It’s hard but being real friendsmeans you don’t hold onto your emotions and actually make yourself available to someone who might requite your feelings.

Real life stories like this one grow on trees but payoffs are important!

Contemplating a relationship as a sack of rotten tomatoes when things turn sour, is like eyeing everything with serious skepticism. Crush aside, you should expect no one to be your real friend until you stop wanting romance to creep in your emotions. Before then, being around them will only rip your heart apart.

Funny! There is a simple fix for this

Nobody is hard wired to spend time crying out for someone who cheats under the cloak of stealth friendship, forever. And you need not hate somebody to realize that they are not good for you either. It’s nobody ‘s fault. The chemistry simply hasn’t struck. The slyness has prevailed!

So, gift yourself the truth! Firstly to be friends you need to ease off being sheep eyed. And in the second place, if you think of someone as your friend each time you look for favors; then honestly you are not ready for friendship.

Ease off till you could show some respect to your affinity. Pull up your head, put aside your phones and the world around you will no longer be clueless. Smiling, holding doors and saying hello to strangers; those powerful gestures will make you stand out. Seeing people, acknowledging them, showing some respect might mean you are charming and perhaps charismatic too. Trust me, the frenzy of warm hands reaching out to you, in turn, would leave you overwhelmed.

But is it enough to get you good friends; the real ones?

Countless times I have met people who didn’t click right away, only to be heard of later with a friendly gesture of sorts; sometimes through a mutual friend on social networking, at others maybe for a book exchange or casual film recommendation. These interactions spoke little but emotionally measured high. I guess, it’s kinda hard for me now to dislike someone who was thoughtful enough to have gone to lengths and make an effort to reach out!

Some people couldn’t make easy initial connections. If you are one of them, give yourself some time to dazzle. Once you think you have made the right choice and want to make a connect, reach out with whatever little beans you could muster to make their lives a bit brighter, even if in a small way.

Today, I gather I was right about my insights in the first place. Aches and pains not withstanding, I had aced the key to finding a soul buddy!! You may find my suggestions a tad basic, but that’s the point! If I have learned anything during my journey from a shy, floundering kid to a quiet thoughtful, self inventing, all smiles person who takes stock of the world in HD, I believe I did my basics well enough to have led myself so well.

If you are an introvert, don’t curse yourself for this innate skill. Hang on to it, for the one who listens, is rare and precious. Only a handful of us actually has this gift that sets us apart. Don’t chide yourself either, if you couldn’t hold onto to your lead. “You only get one chance to make a first impression”; every Tom, Dick and Sally would love to tear into you. Sure! But a lot has changed and this cliche’ is your buried past now. Chance to strike a conversation is just a click away!

How would you feel if you open your phone and a message is waiting from someone you just met, wishing you well for your upcoming interview? Or how about you sending a one-of-a-kind get-well-soon message to your ailing elderly neighbor?

Uh oh! No this isn’t about copywriting beauty and the beast. Privy characteristics such as kindness turn emotions toasty, takes the chill off and outwits brains and air when it comes to accepting connections! So do a little jig, get yourself out of the weeds. You will have fun and find joy reaching out to real friends.

Feature credits: ‘A Real Friendship’ by manu7 production in youtube.com on Dec.19, 2017.

Happiness needs a warm hand

A real friendship never sucks! It stems from mutual understanding and respect. It’s not meant to serve pleasure or purpose all the times. Rather a good friend is for friendship sake; the gold equivalent of human relationship. A lucky few of us might get a handful of real friends in our lives and it shouldn’t matter if they are relatively new. It’s their uniqueness that makes them amazing and priceless.

I have always found the intriguing connection between friends, happiness and longevity a bit weird but promising. The cutting edge made me feel zesty. I found myself surrounded by good people- people who never failed to remind me if I needed a haircut; people who complimented me and hauled me over in crises. Life never fell short of league of gentle folks. Listen, watch, notice and praise…these were small actions, but they helped me feel good for everything about me, admire myself and have strong ties with others.

If you are anything like me, rub some dirt on your fears, sell yourself a lot of quality friendship and trust me, you will ripe through a ‘golden-over-the-hill’ life. Try not to forget that real friends are meant to share concerns and confidences, build trust and not always be a sham listener or a crazy admirer.

Sometimes you cannot push a special connection between friends. It just happens. Two people come together, who find ease between them instantly and are comfortable in their skins. Laughing away at silly jokes for hours or talking the night away; a lasting relationship begins to fall into place between two people who understood each other well by simply being themselves. The spark wouldn’t douse even if the two “thieve” enormous pint or two of bourbon and celebrate!

So! where would you find the kindred-spirit that accommodates your mood, occasionally mimics intimacy and excites you in ways different than those you would otherwise face when spending time alone; quietly. Could you think up of an egghead who has all the signs of a true friend? Where should you look for one and know if that somebody is the big Daddy you were hunting for?

Taverns, bars, coffee shops, clubs, and even rec rooms are the usual joints that foster inner circles among people. Yeah! This is the tribe of savvy thinkers who will get you to realize that all that sweating, lifting and walking is not absolutely necessary for finding happiness. It is here that sharp contrast of unselfish indulgences change hands. It is here that your voice could finally get to grow some teeth. And, it is here that a good Johnny-on-the-spot could hammer some sense out of your successes, failures, opportunities and help you choose differently.

Someday you will make the naysayers jealous

I never realized that rushing lifestyles could reduce relationships into commodities so fast. It has left every relationship hanging by thread and every affinity slain of excitement. In all our complexities, we have shrunk to titles and net worth and eye each other as a means to an end. It is difficult to know who is legit and who pretends.

It all feels so punishing and fiendishly difficult…isn’t so?

Putting on a smiley face or saying right things and turning their back when the going gets tough, makes a difficult choice between deceit and uprightness. Props in hard times alone do not matter. A friend is someone who genuinely wants to see you succeed and is happy to see things go well for you in life; each time, every time. A true mate loves the person you are, with all the flaws and quirks and imperfections.

That doesn’t mean friends agree all the times. Rattling opinions help expand horizons! If your choice has been the right one, you will find yourself surrounded with people who share your values but warn you the moment you start falling off the track.

Worse luck! if your buddy wouldn’t help you to make the right choice even if that means saying something that you never wanted to hear in the first place.

“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ~ Albert Camus.

Close affinities like good friends just don’t pop out of nowhere and mature fast. So, if you happen to have more than a handful of real good ones, you are indeed blessed. Making and keeping real friends smells of a rare experience. Each lasting friendship represents a world within us, a world that is not born until they arrive. And it is only when we bump into each other, a new world is born for us.

So, get busy being an amazing human being. Be a good one and knight hearted. If you haven’t reached out in a while to the people in your life who love and support you; learn to do so. The awe of discovering a BFF will smitten you for good. Perhaps then you could make out what Mary Tilley (94) of two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, meant of Evelyn Hodge as friend- they had lived next door to each other for over 72 years in Britain– when she mused;“Evelyn is great company”.

Someday you too might as well get to get a real good friend who celebrates life with you.

Till then, keep smiling and face up…

It’s never too late to walk off into the sunset!!