Leaving A Legacy Of Sustainability!

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

I don’t know how many of you will agree with me when I say ‘midlife’ is the best time of your life. Although it is the onset of a mind-body revolution, with paradigm internal & external shifts happening, & not all of them very pleasant… it is the enlightening time when you finally realize what is the life that you want to live. Most of us have been living the life that we are ‘supposed’ to live. Middle-age is when you start embracing your true self, & not the self that others told or taught you to be. How I wish I could teleport back in time & give my young, then confused & rebellious self these life lessons.

As a young girl, I was a bit different (read difficult too) from girls my age. I was ‘too’ sensitive, rebellious, a deep thinker, a nature lover, imaginative, creative…. ‘Heart-centered’ to be precise. For a long time, I berated myself for being different in this ‘head-centered’ world. I had a strong sense of justice & fairness and was very perceptive towards the unfairness in the world. Lord Buddha made it work, I was just lost. I used to pen down poems & articles on social injustices, inequalities, discriminations, and death… too sad and profound for a child my age. Although I was bold in my thoughts, not so much in my decisions.

I failed to put across the ‘purpose’ I was seeking to my parents, and they could not understand the ‘stimulation’ I was looking for in my life. Like most of the children of middle-class, successful, well qualified parents, I too took Science and Math… even though my heart was set on Literature, Home Science, Psychology and Arts.

I thought my life was for ever going to be entangled in numbers and equations. Who knew then that all my visualizations would manifest themselves later in my life, when I was ready to receive them? Dear readers, do not underestimate the power of visualizations and their manifestations… it WORKS! So ‘losing hope’ in life is never an option.

Fast forward 25 years, I am now a sustainable décor blogger & the author of two coffee table books. I have pursued my interest in Psychology and am an upcycling artist. I have found happiness in my fauji husband & two beautiful children… and Eureka!!! my purpose in life too. I strive to leave this Earth a better place for the GenNext, by bringing ‘sustainability’ into my life and the lives of many others. I know these are not earth-shattering achievements (I like them to be earth-sustainable achievements) … but then, all these were achieved from within the four walls of my home, since the circumstances in my life did not let me venture out a lot.

My humble attempts have been featured in The Times of India, blogs, various magazines, and local dailies. One person I have not let down for sure is Cupid. While two years into college, fell in love with a dashing young Captain in the Indian Army, and got hitched a year later. Job could wait, but love could not. The next three years saw me adjusting to the grand Army way of life, and then my son Sid was born. Although from day one we knew that something was not right, it was only four years later that he was clinically diagnosed with ADHD.

What ensued were bitter-sweet, good-bad days that turned into years. Now the lad is all of 21, and is pursuing his B. Tech in Computer science. He has learned to manage his symptoms through his lifestyle choices. Somehow, and somewhere in the journey of keeping him on the right path, I lost my way.

Life as an Army wife, although a charming one is much more than what meets the eye. Keeping aside the ‘glitz and glamour’, it is a tough life. It is a life which takes you to the highest of highs and the lowest of the lows. The constant separation, the frequent moves, the flood of social commitments, the ever-present worry about your better half’s safety, the responsibility towards your family & your extended Fauji family, all started taking a toll on my wellbeing - both physically and mentally. STRESS was the only constant in my life…. & Soon I developed epileptic fits & anxiety issues. The only good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way left to go is UP.

I took professional help & slowly life started limping back to normal. Had I succumbed to the social stigma attached to mental health issues and shied away from seeking help, God knows where I would have been today. Social stigma and discrimination stop so many people from availing the timely help that they need. When will people accept that mental illness mostly root from physical causes & that it should be given the same emphasis & priority as any other physical ailment. It is high time that we wake up, address the problem & do away with the stigma, don’t you think?

Anyways, that is when I decided to walk the healing path of creativity & started UPCYCLING. Initially I started it as a hobby & a means to save some cash… but eventually when I realized the mammoth benefits UPCYCLING has on the environment, it became my calling, my IKIGAI.

UPCYCLING as you all know, is CREATIVE REUSE, the art of converting old, discarded, unwanted materials into things of greater value. It is the process of turning trash to treasure & making the best out of waste. The organic waste decomposes releasing CO2 & methane gas; the inorganic and plastic waste produces greenhouse gases. By upcycling or repurposing, we can drastically bring down the waste that goes into our landfills. Moreover, by repurposing, we can reduce the need for further production, thus saving our natural resources from depletion. By adopting a circular economy (reuse, reduce, recycle), we can mitigate the problems to a great extent & reverse the effects of climate change.

Sustainability is the only way forward. The pandemic has cemented this fact further. It is no longer a choice, but a necessity. Having said that, sustainability is not about all or none. Many of us get overwhelmed by the whole concept of a zero-waste lifestyle, which is trending everywhere these days. All one needs is to do is lead a mindful life, gather the right information, take one step at a time, and remember that every step count, however small it is. My aim has been to spread awareness, share ideas, show the world how fun, creative, satisfying & aesthetic sustainable practices can be, and to remove the prejudices that people have about waste.

Everybody is working hard to make an impact on the world. Seldom do we realize that every single one of us is doing just that from the moment we wake up. All we must focus on is ensuring that we are making the right impact. It is as simple as that. So, lets join hands, you, and me, and do the right thing, shall we?

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