This image shows a clock amidst trees in a blog post on Valentine's Day by Haripriya Suraj
personal, when spirit meets science

Blast From The Past : Life Lessons On Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day felt different!

Suraj and I celebrated by going for a walk in the neighbourhood we resided in when we were newly married.

We lived in a simple yet cosy apartment back then.

When we stopped by our old home, we had some sweet reminiscences. We followed that up with some ‘compare and contrast’ to where we stand today.

And here’s what came up-

  1. We had all the time in the world back then! Our work was our primary responsibility. Once I got back from school (where I taught) and he from hospital, we had plenty of time to chat, go on long walks, play board games and do anything we wanted to. Now, with two kids and several responsibilities, uninterrupted time feels like a luxury! We have to seek support from family in order to get quality time together. And while being parents is very rewarding, we agreed we must also continue to be present for each other, like we were in the beginning of our relationship.
  2. In our first home, we enjoyed sipping tea in our tiny balcony that had magnificent trees forming a canopy over it. We continue to enjoy spending time in our current balcony. and have several plants for company.However, we do miss the presence of trees. I personally feel being out in nature is healing to body, mind and spirit and must be made priority. We agreed it would be good to visit our local botanical garden at least once a month and connect to trees. Count yourself lucky if you live in the vicinity of trees!
  3. During our early days, the inside stories of the medical world were new to me and felt much like a thriller movie! Apart from cancer surgery, Suraj also tended to general surgical cases back then and was frequently on call. This meant he had to rush to hospital in the middle of the night in case a patient requiring emergency surgery showed up. Every time his phone rang in the night, I would awaken too and begin to wonder what kind of a case had presented in the Emergency Room! Was it appendicitis? Intestinal obstruction? Trauma? (These were the most common emergencies that showed up). How was the patient? Would he or she become alright? I felt concerned about his patients although I didn’t see or know them. I still ask about how his patients are doing (now they are primarily cancer patients). But after all these years, I know what to expect and everything feels routine. Remembering my wide-eyed, open-eared younger self, brought some of that childlike wonder and innocence back into my being! The next morning, I found myself wondering what would unfold in hospital during the course of the day and how all the patients in the wards were doing! I told myself I must initiate deeper conversations with Suraj about his professional life! Taking interest in what our spouse does can help them feel good and strengthen the relationship.

I believe revisiting the past can be helpful in some ways. We may grow wiser as we age, However, our younger selves also had many strengths and lived through some happy moments. Integrating the good from our past (strengths as well as memories) into our current life and personality can bring more enrichment.

Having relived some good moments, we ended the evening sipping iced tea at a mall that was one of our favourite hangouts from 2007 to 2017.

In 2017, we moved to a different neighbourhood. Life here is very different and I will probably reflect on it in a later post.

It was a Valentine’s Day well spent.

I trust this article will inspire you to honour your unique journey, revisit your past, review your life and unearth some beautiful jewels to bring into your present!

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