declogging my joy arteries

On a recent trip to Cafe Coffee Day, I was about to order my usual chocolate ice cream when I paused and decided to see the options. Amidst the usual stuff I ignore I spotted something new: a blueberry cheese mousse. I hesitated–if it didn’t turn out tasty, the outing (and there are so few of them) would get ‘spoilt’–but then I said, well, so what? Why not try something new?

I ate slowly, allowing each spoonful to melt in my mouth. Even while writing this, I can remember the taste. I am not sure I liked it, but I enjoyed it–does that sound contradictory? I allowed it to become an experience of luxury, instead of wolfing it down. And I felt grateful to have experienced something different.

Thinking about it, I find I don’t seek or seize opportunities for simple pleasures as well as I did some years ago.

Celebrations, for example. I remember how, when I started freelancing (that was over twenty years ago), every contract was an occasion to celebrate. This could mean buying a sugar doughnut for my son on the way back (he used to like them then) after signing a contract, it could be getting him a toy or a book. Or it could be buying a couple of chrysanthemums for my desk. Sometimes, it was just taking off a few hours to watch a movie at home.

Buying something special is less common, too. I no longer wait for an occasion to buy what I want to (usually books), and I don’t need to save to buy them (no, I don’t like diamonds, or I could not have said this :-). Gone is that sense of anticipation, that  thrill of coming home with a packet containing something I’ve wanted for ages but only now managed to get. I remember once waiting for 6 months to save my pocket money to be able to buy Atlas Shrugged, and another similar long wait to buy an Anand Shankar tape 🙂

Today, I was checking my photo albums to locate pictures of the last few years and construct an album for my mother, and I realized we hadn’t taken any pictures for years. Long ago, when cameras contained films and one had to go through the inconvenient process of getting rolls developed and printed, we often took enough snaps to click on special moments. The earlier days have a lot of captured memories, not just posed pictures. Of late, the pictures I have are all those I needed to take to put on the back-cover of my books. The digital camera is so convenient, it is always–we don’t have to do it now, we can do it anytime.

Actually, there’s a lot of fun activity going around even now, only I forget it and don’t have enough mechanisms to savor it fully or recapture the stuff so I can rest in the memory later, when I need to cheer myself up.

Like, I just finished one 1000 pc jigsaw, broke it up, and am about to open  another. So I’ve pulled out my camera and put it to charge, so that I can freeze my moments of joyous struggling 🙂

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

One Response to declogging my joy arteries

  1. austere says:

    There IS tons.

    Live!

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