Every year, on March 8, on my birthday, I always have this question lingering in my head.
No, it’s not what I would get from my birthday.
Well, okay. That is too.
But, on a less serious side, my question to myself: How am I different this year, except for the number in my age?
This year, I sense that I have become a tougher self.
I know that most people would say it is a good thing to become tougher, because life always gives you harder challenges to conquer. And I also know that my life is not an exception. It has given me challenges always more difficult every time. Becoming a tougher person means in a way being able to survive life.
But, being tough also eats me from the inside. I am more rigid that before. Flexibility is not something that I do very often now. I am also more heartless to small mistakes done by other people. I sense that myself has become less patient with silly things and stupidity. I change from being a happy observer who usually is able to let go things easily to a whining observer who complains and cries out ‘should have been’ or ‘could be’ or ‘has to be’…
That would probably go unnoticed, until I sense I am not fun anymore. And life becomes not fun anymore. And work becomes not fun anymore. And people become not fun, at all. Most importantly, I become more and more tired every time. Mentally tired, and physically exhausted.
Then, preceeding my birthday, God gave me a birthday gift. I got sick. Really sick. Not only once, but twice in a row. And on top of that, my son got really sick too. And Papap had to be away from home during those sick days.
Suddenly, by outside force, I had no time for the world.
I turned my back off my phones, my computer, my blogs, my facebook, my newly registered twitter account, my emails, my friends, my bosses, especially my bosses. I shut the world outside my world. I experienced moments where I saw too many words, spoken and written, and they made me exhausted. I had no energy to reply sms, emails, messages, phones. I was simply tired.
That doesn’t sound like a terrific birthday, does it?
Well, surprisingly, this year’s birthday is more than great.
By being sick, I was given time and excuse to be alone and to contemplate. And you always wonder what birthday gift, God gives you every year…
By being sick, I could take care of my son at home without having to take extra leaves from office.
By being sick and having to take care of another sick patient, I learned how strong and tough I was. And how strong willed, I was.
By being sick together, my son and I had wonderful mother-child moments where we became closer to each other. And how I was loved unconditionally.
By being sick, I got to know how my tough parents were willing to do for me.
By being sick, I got to know how caring and loving my husband was.
By being away from the world, I got to know how my friends were so faithful and willing to wait for me to return.
It has been almost a week now. Although I know I still need more time to retreat from life, the world outside me is impatient. But, now, I am content. I give up being tough to conquer life. I will try to understand life to conquer life. Even if that means I have to take one or two steps backward. What’s the use of being tough, if that doesn’t make you heart content?
Contentment is the greatest wealth. Gede Prama