Brownness

On Not Doing Anything

This past weekend, I managed not to do anything, but got so much time. I got time alone with the wife and dog, shared some amazing news, learned some news, and then also got a chance to open a bottle of 50 year old whiskey, and my heart is full. There was some sad news, and they are on my mind, but even when not doing anything so much happened.

Initially, I regretted not making any plans for the memorial weekend, but truth be told, it came on me abruptly. Between working and the spending time with loved ones and just try doing the day to day, it hit me on friday that it was a three day weekend. Instantly, I felt a rush to do something, anything, that it felt weird to have so many days with nothing planned, and to be sure, there were some hiccups, but out of that came out clarity, time spent together, and new moments.

And then bang, the weekend is done, and even though I didn’t do anything, so much happened anyway. Not all time can be planned, and it shouldn’t be anyway. It’s a lesson I struggle with continually because I have this need to control and know anything. Giving into no structure is daunting. I couldn’t help thinking of all that I needed to get done in a shortened week until I realized I was putting that stress on myself.

Nothing broke,. Shit got done. Relationships deepened. Yes, we even got bored together, and that’s okay. Boredom is good sometimes as it allows for conversations that need to take place, or maybe just being alone is enough. And so a new month begins, halfway through 2022, with so much coming up ahead. Weddings, births, new lessons learned, expanding the firm, deepening the links with others. So much also of nothing to do, and let life happen to me.

I can’t wait to find out what’s in store. But then again, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Brownness

On Memory

I hate to admit this so publicly, but one of the side affects of my stroke has some gradual memory loss. The way I combat is of course to write about the past or keep learning something new on MasterClass (Current classes Paul Krugman and Sara Blakely) or on YouTube (how to fill out out an I-129 application and top ten features of your new Macbook Pro) or using time to learn mindfulness techniques. It’s a constant battle as workload increases for which I am eternally grateful, but also makes the day a strain as I struggle to ensure I don’t miss anything. And then at the end of the day, to remember to be present to my wife so we can share some intimate time.

And each day is a battle. People share stories about the past and some I don’t remember at all, or I have a vague idea, but the minutiae escapes me. Sometimes I cover by nodding or just agreeing with their interpretation and others time a huge blank is there and I wonder what else I am missing. There are memories from a time period that are etched into me, and there are others I wonder if i will ever remember again.

It’s a strange thing to think about when I gather more and more things in my life that are so memorable, but I want to hold on to some special moments like the day I told Papa I was going to practice law full time, or the day Preeti and I got married, and we managed a mini concert for our reception. I don’t just want to hold on to the joy, but the painful things like the us praying out loud as my aunt transitioned. I still remember that pain like a boulder on me.

Or recently the tears that flooded my eyes as I watched a young father guide his son walk straight. I watched them from the second floor of my place, and I watched as the son wobbled into varying directions and the father guided him straight, and in that moment, my throat tightened, and tears came as I thought about Papa and what my life would have been without him. And so I continue this struggle to hold on. I have great reasons to do so, and luckily I am surrounded by loved ones who are here to remind me, refresh me, and reconnect with me.

And as always I am grateful for that.

Brownness

On Travel

Nothing like an impromptu trip out of the city to remind one that there so much out there to see even if it is a place you have been to before. It all comes down to when you go see it or what your mood is like, or at what age. Repetition can be the way to experience new things at a place even if you do stay at the same hotel, and do the same thing except the difference is inside you. It became a chance to catch up with friends living in that city, a way to develop a deeper bond.

After nearly three years, going to Vegas seemed surreal. Especially driving. It hit me that I am not used to driving long distances like before where four to six hours sounded nearby. So much has changed in the past years that things that I took for granted come in a new light. That’s not to say change is bad, but unplanned ones such as a pandemic due to continue to affect me in ways I had not counted on.

Yet again gratitude comes to the rescue. Being able to travel now with less anxiety is a boon, yet some habits are hard to break. There is some hesitancy being indoors with a lot of people. There were moments I caught myself thinking maybe I needed a mask. These are new habits from a strange time, and it is okay. It will take time to adjust. Already as the trip came to an end, my wife warmed to the idea of coming back with others, or perhaps doing other things.

This trip was just a reset. A time for us to reconnect with what we thought we could never do again. A chance to be a couple, and not have a routine, to break out of the humdrum of daily life. To go a distance far enough to recognize our blessings of what we have and what’s coming. I often wonder why I don’t travel more. A trip like this is one that makes you realize that we have friends now in a place that we used to just come stay in a hotel in.

And so as this week starts, I am determined to keep travelling, to keep finding ways to deepen our experience, and to know that we have loved ones in different place.

Brownness

On Mothers Day

Mother’s Day is always a full celebration with my mom, mother in law, sisters and cousins. It amazes me to realize how many I am surrounded by so many great examples of sacrifice, love, and patience. As a male, I take it for granted. Coming to my mom’s house, I turn into a son not the attorney. Going to my mother in laws, I become the son in law who gets taken care of. So the one day we do get for them has to be to make them feel loved and appreciated. But even on that day, both moms want to take care of others. It’s as if the thought of others doing for them what they do on a daily basis makes them feel uncomfortable.

It’s taken years for my mom to be okay with having others dote on her. My mother in law is still a work in progress, her good nature still will not allow her to sit still while others do the work. She still feels the need to help, support and ensure that others have a good time. And then of course I see my sisters, sister in law, and cousin also share some of the same characteristics, and I realize that giving is just in their nature now.

And so as usual gratitude floods me as I see my amazing wife go out of her way to ensure all the moms know how we feel about them. I am still mostly an observer (although I do make a mean spicy Shakshuka), and as the exhaustion hits at the end of the day, it hits me that each of the mothers does this every single day. And I take in their goodness, good naturedness, and thank my blessings. Here’s hoping that one day I am able to repay all the gifts.

Brownness

On Learning

This past week I got a new laptop, and it hit me I have a chance to organize it in a way that makes sense. I know the window for change is limited before I go the way of the past, and it got me thinking that while I love learning some things, there are others I am just content to ignore from the knowing the features of my car to perhaps knowing how to use Microsoft Word better as my law practice grows.

One of the pleasures in technology is having the latest and greatest but that value gets losts when I fail at the effort to actually learn what makes it that. My failure to learn gets me a better thing that does not work as advertised simply because I am too lazy or reluctant to learn. That gets to change. There are so many areas I get to learn about, from installing the sound bar that stares at me each time I enter my house to being unable to explain to my wife how to use the car without a key card to feeling there is more to Microsoft Word than just typing into it.

I get that information overload is a thing as well, but not knowing the things I use regularly a bit better does me no good either. And so with the new month comes the goal of learning but not just of a personal nature but of the things in my life. I know if I can make that as part of my morning routine, I am setting myself up to win. It is in these small things that larger change comes from, and so I embark on this goal. Wish me luck.

What will you be learning this month?