What is the key to happiness? This is a question I keep asking myself quite often. At different times I come up with different answers. Sometimes I think being content is the key; some other time I think it is to count your blessings. While both are true, there is one more thing that could stand between you and your happiness….that is Expectation.
We have expectations from people close to us; our parents, siblings, partner, friends and even collegues. We have expectations from ourselves. Our expectations are sometimes realistic sometimes not so realistic. There is a fine line between being realistic and unrealistic. Not many of us understand it.
All of us do expect something or the other from our loved ones. We believe we are entitled to expect from our dear ones. Parents expect their children to look after them in their old age, they expect their children to marry someone of their choice. Wife expects the husband to take her out every weekend, to take her out on exotic vacations and so on. Irrespective of either big or small relationships come with expectations.
If our loved ones live up to our expectations we are all happy. But what if they don’t? What if they are burdened by our expectations? Do we blame them for the fact that they are unable to live up to the expectations that we have set for them (or ourselves)? Should we be miserable about not meeting expectations or do we have a way out?
I think the ideal thing for us to do is remove expectations out of the equation. Let the people dear to us be loved for who they are and not for what they can give.
“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations” ― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
Happy Birthday to the Man
who loved me unconditionally in spite of all my flaws
who was my first teacher, friend and confidant
who was the best story-teller ever
who departed this world to a better world on a Sunday morning last October
who is always missed but continues to remain in a little corner of my heart
Happy 93rd Birthday Ajja.
We might not agree on a lot of things.
You disapprove of many things that I do.
You do not force your thoughts on me
You do not clip my wings
You let me fly
You let me follow my heart
You let me make mistakes and learn from them
I cannot imagine a life without you
Happy Birthday Dad!
When I came into this world my parents like all new parents, were super excited with my arrival. Their world revolved around me. My demands/wishes were their priority. My over excited parents saw in me the fulfiller of their unaccomplished dreams. My father began proclaiming “When my daughter grows up she would make us proud”. My head would swell whenever I heard this. This saga continued for as long as 6 years.
6 years later came my sister taking away from me my cult status. She garnered all the attention and was showered with all the love. I was now suddenly raised to the position of the responsible older sister! When she was old enough to play with me I had to deliberately lose to her and if I ever dared to win against she would claw me with her nails or bite me until I ran towards my mum or grand-mum to save myself from being nailed and bitten off! Years passed like this while I played the demure older sister and she an outspoken brat. She was all that I was not….. a naughty, talkative, and troublesome brat 🙂
Then came a major blow in our lives when I was 19 and she barely 13. She was saddled with the responsibility of running a household while I stayed away in hostel. My outspoken, not-at-all-politically-correct sister was thrust with the responsibility of cooking, cleaning maintaining accounts of the house. This responsibility made her grow beyond her age while I had my share of fun in the hostel. And without both of us realizing it, our roles were reversed. The sister was no longer the brash little girl she once was. She now became the coy girl who had seen the uncertainties of life very early for her age. And I on the other hand decided “I have already had my share of adjustments….now let me live on my own terms”.
What remained constant in both us were our prominent characteristics. We are still poles apart ;). She is an extrovert… a people’s person while I am an introvert. In a social gathering you will find her happily chirping to glory while you will find me sulking in a corner. In my neighborhood I am introduced as my sister’s older sister 😀
The little sister is every parent’s pride while I am er…never mind 🙂 Having a younger sister like mine comes with a set of disadvantages. The pressure to behave well is just tremendous. There will be people who go like “Look at her, she is so younger than you but how understanding she is!” But the fact that I look smaller (read thinner) than my sister helps. Some people who do not know us so well assume that I am the younger one of the two 🙂
So, what is your sibling story?