A husband and wife are leaving on a trip. The wife is the packer, whenever they move or go out on trips, usually she is the one who packs. Since the husband is the non-interfering types and believes that whoever is competent in doing something should do it. All goes well, till they buy new things. Infact they both are cyclists and they buy folding bikes so that they can cycle everywhere they go. Just the day before leaving from one location to the next, they start loading up the car. Everything else goes into the car as planned since they had designated places and the same set of things were being loaded.
Now it was the turn of the bikes to be loaded. One went in … The second one just wouldn’t get in. The wife started to get a bit irritated. They removed the bike that went in and tried again … Again one would go, the other wouldn’t. The wife got really angry because the weather too was sticky and humid and she just hated that kind of weather. Finally her anger got completely out of control and she said all sorts of things, some hurtful, some even more hurtful and then decided to lie down for some time to cool herself. When she got up after the bout of anger subsided, she realized that the stem of one of the bikes had been raised and all she had to do was to turn the handle down and the second bike would go in …well. It did. The wife decided that day she would never lose her cool again for something as silly as a bike getting into the car – after all, if it didn’t they can just leave one of the bikes behind or can dismantle it further and it will go in… It’s just a “thing”, to be used to give happiness, but her husband was a person who doesn’t deserve an angry crazy wife :).
The same husband and wife had one other issue where they would bicker constantly – it was funny, both drove the car well, but would constantly keep saying things to each other while the other was driving. Especially the wife ! She had no fear of sitting with new drivers, dangerous drivers or even careless drivers because she knew nothing that should not happen will ever happen. But if her husband was driving, she would be on tenterhooks and would nag incessantly. It happened again as they were near the amazing Naladurga fort. She commented about some vehicle in front and her husband got really upset. Just stopped the car saying he was tired and handed over the driving to her. Much later in the day when they discussed the incident, she just decided to relax and not ever bicker again. After all, her husband drives the car really well and even if it gets a dent or two, it’s just a “thing” to be used to give happiness, and her husband was her very life, why bug him !!
Am sure everyone has guessed by now that the couple being discussed is Krishnan and I :). The good news is, I have been behaving myself ever since and just “dropped” nagging Krishnan when he drives and I have stopped getting mad when I can’t pack the cycles properly – I keep saying to myself over and over again “this is a thing, I can always get another one or live without it. The person is more important.”
Ask anyone and they will tell you, people are more important anyday ! Some will get indignant, some will get plain angry and many will merely insist. Then watch them in action. They will usually choose the “thing” over the person :). We get so attached to the things we possess, that when that beautiful vase breaks, you are ready to kill whoever is responsible … It’s a thing and yes, it is to be enjoyed but it’s just a thing ! Hey, you can’t take it with you anyway. Even Emperor Shah Jahan had to leave his precious Taj Mahal behind.
It requires constant affirmation because it’s not easy. I still get upset when something I like is broken, misplaced or lost, but I keep repeating “It’s only a thing” and that helps. Am a lot less stressed out ! My friends know how attached I am to some of my “things” – but am slowly letting go because they are “things”, to be used and enjoyed but not more important than the people around me. Try it and it’s liberating.
So what do you choose ? Things or people ?
P.s Usha, I managed not to nag Krishnan on the way to Hyderabad. So two long trips and my affirmation is working :):).