This month, I had the privilege of responding to a bullet journaling prompt by @reflectwithraksha on Instagram – “What can I say no to?”
It was a privilege because it was more than just a prompt; it became a prod to examine my life, my choices, my habits, and even my own character and beliefs.
The process of writing down each answer made me pause to think, and rethink, about what mattered more or what no longer held any value in my life.
It made me question why certain things even once mattered. It made me ask myself why I didn’t say no before. I didn’t always like my answers. I didn’t like having to acknowledge that I’d been saying “yes” because I didn’t dare say “no” .
I’ve realised that saying “no” is not necessarily an act of defiance. Sometimes, it’s about setting boundaries, and having the courage to protect those boundaries.
I am grateful this prompt made me examine myself. The path to self-awareness is never smooth but it is one journey that can end with less baggage than when it started.
At 8pm this evening, people came to their balconies, windows, driveways and front doors to cheer, clap, whistle, sing and bang on pots and pans to salute the medical personnel, cleaning crews, grocery store stockers, clear-headed decision makers and everyone fighting this unseen enemy. It was amazing.
Many of us are in lockdown and coping with our new normal. Many of us want to do something, anything, to make things better for our countrymen who are working while we’re safe at home.
My heart is heavy with sorrow for the victims, their families and the tireless fighters. My throat is thick each time the news reports an increased figure in the statistics.
So I am thankful for this moment of solidarity this evening.
It was just a small gesture that carried a huge message of support. It was something we could do.
So perhaps what happened fhis evening wasn’t exactly kindness. It is certainly not unique, having taken place all over the world. It is a small wave of gratitude and thanks, a mere drop in the sea of sacrifice, vigilance and commitment for the fierce frontliners in the Covid-19 fight.
Waiting for the microwave to ding, for the delivery guy, for the bus, for something to go on sale, for your turn at the doctor’s …
These are easy ‘waits’. We know that, eventually, that which we are waiting for will happen. The microwave will ding, the bus will come, and two hours or more later it will be our turn to enter the doctor’s office. The parcel? Well, there could be an inexplicable delay or, like mine did, it could go on an extended holiday in Paris (yep, the one in France) before it found its battered way back and I’d forgotten what was in it.
So then what’s a difficult ‘wait’? It’s waiting for signs that a relationship can be saved if you were more forgiving and tolerant.
It’s waiting for acknowledgement that you have done well.
It’s waiting for others to realise they’d been fed a load of lies and been taken in by someone with a glibber tongue, a wittier story telling style or a more convincing persona.
It’s waiting for the life you were meant to have if you were filial, loyal, kind, honest and hardworking.
It’s waiting for someone to change for the better.
Guess what? I’m done waiting. I will change. I will make my life better because I deserve it. And those people? They can wait in vain for me.”