My beautiful girls,
This is a big one because it helps me a lot when I am having a low moment. Mindful gratitude. When you have a friend who lets you down, think about all your other friends who have not done the same. When you are feeling sad because you didn’t get something that you really wanted, write down in your journal ten things that you already have that were given or gifted to you. When you feel like complaining because soup might not be your favourite dinner, think about the time and love that was spent into making it for you.
It is okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated and even miserable. But not for long my loves. Never for long. We all have much to be thankful for and we have to learn to pivot and focus on that.
I like to say to you, ‘Saying “Sorry”, “I love you” and “Thank you” are not just words, they are actions‘. Words are easy but actions take time. My Ammama was so good at acting out her feelings. She never told us in words how much she loved us, but we knew because she took the time to play Rummy with us, taught us to knit or and was patient as we ‘helped’ her make Diwali snacks. My Tata was good at that too. He spent time talking and joking with us, let us accompany him on walks around the neighbourhood and listened to all our stories and took us out to eat masala dosas. When someone tells you they love you, observe if their actions match up to those words.
Measure and show your love, your gratitude, your remorse with TIME not just words or gifts.
When you apologize, follow up the words with action. Made a mess? That’s okay! Everyone makes messes. Stay and help clean it up. Be accountable for your actions. Say sorry and ask how you can fix it. A sincere apology, a handwritten note and asking how you can help.. you have to put in the time my loves.
Being thankful should be the easiest one of all but somehow it seems to be the hardest. Never be the person who walks around this world with a sense of entitlement. Every single thing we have (stuff) and every single person we have in our lives, we have to be thankful for because in the blink of an eye it could be gone. When people lost their homes and all their belongings because of Hurricane Sandy, many just said they were thankful that their family was safe. When my new friend David eulogized his beautiful wife Trisha at her memorial service, he said he was thankful for all the years he did have with her. The most important stuff is not stuff at all.
My sweet girls, sometimes I am struck by just how kind your hearts can be. You gave away your time with me a couple of weekends ago, while I was working to raise money to help people in NY and NJ. I explained to you what I was doing and you didn’t complain, you were sad for the children who lost their stuffed toys and wanted to help too. When you give from your heart, you get back more than you can imagine. When you hold on tight to things, they slip away that much easier.
They say November is the month of Gratitude. I think you should be grateful every single day of your life. It is the surest way to keep away the blues and realize how very blessed you really are.
I am grateful in this moment for my family.I am grateful for the chill in the air because it means hot chocolate and soup and mittens and blankets. I am grateful for friends and family who believe in my dreams and for their guidance or just cheering in making those dreams come true. I am grateful that we live near big cities and you two get to experience so many wonderful things. I am grateful for your amazing teachers. I am grateful for you for teaching me about life.
Please follow our Letters to Our Daughters blog circle to my new friend Debbie Wibowo who has penned a beautiful letter to her daughter Jocelyn this month. The photos that go along with her letter will take your breath away.