That was my phrase for 2012.

The sub- headings on that would read- To attempt to extend the current limits of performance. To innovate, or go beyond commonly accepted boundaries.Pushing The Envelope

Inside the envelope you are safe. There is minimal risk because you are wrapped in a cocoon of the predictable and known. All that changes when you push yourself out of the envelope. I adopted that phrase as my guiding principle for 2012. I wanted to push myself out of the safety of the known and go out on a limb.

2012 is two days away from getting over. It is time to take stock and to see how faithful I have been to my guiding principle… to see how far my fears have permitted my guiding principle to play an active part in guiding my steps.

I am not a fan of self- flagellation. Though there are times when I indulge in it most ghoulishly… I have to confess. Still, I’d rather not kill myself, given a choice. Consequently, I will begin my tally with those things that caused me to get out of the envelope. Here goes:

1. I took up a job in sales, as the head of the team. I didn’t want to take the job. I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it. I was scared. Very. But I took it up nevertheless. I wont say I was a whiz at it but I did about 20 times better than I thought I would. That’s enough of a cause for celebration for me. I quit the job when I found that the owner of the company had diametrically opposite view from mine regarding keeping promises to made to the sales team. Gross!

2. It has been nine months (gosh!) since renovation and repair work began in my house. As I write, it is in its last throes. There are just about ten more days to go. There have been times when I have been sickened (literally) of the dust and dirt. I have been revolted by the unending stream of often uncouth workmen walking around in my house as if they owned the place, touching my things and making me mad enough to want to kill them- bless them..! I got out of my envelope and let them remain! Phew..!

3. I stopped trying to protect myself from pain. As I said in My Phrase for 2012, you get your share of pain- one way or the other. Trying to avoid it is like holding a sheet of newspaper in front of you when someone’s about to shoot you. Not frightfully effective, you know?

4. I have let myself look a lot more vulnerable (even utterly clueless) to the three little people who are the very axis of my life. I no longer feel I need to have all the answers. Perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. The three little people accepted that their mother was sometimes out of her depth… frequently clueless… and sometimes down- right scary. This, they sagely concluded, was probably because she was getting old. And they became protective of me..! Imagine..!

5. There was a time when I had convinced myself that I wont be able to get along without my full- time maid. She’d been with me for over eight years. I had become so used to her that the thought of sacking her gave me hebbie- jebbies. In the past one year though, I think she got a little too comfortable with me. She began to treat my house as hers… and my stuff as hers. I noticed that she was helping herself to a little too much of the stuff and warned her. She’d stop for a few days and begin again. Finally, I sacked her. It has made a difference to the way my household ran, but not much. Moreover, I am no longer losing things. The trade- off was between a less tidy home to a unsecure home. I now have a pilferage free home which is a tad messy. I am very happy I bit the bullet finally. The woman had turned into a bloody thief!

6. The biggest push out of the envelope came in December. Like a final bang… making a point, as it were. I went on a road trip with the three little people and a driver. Six months ago if someone had told me I would do this, I’d have told them to get their head examined. Yet, that’s the unheard of, unbelievable thing I did. Two thousand two hundred and sixty three kilometres travelled in nine days. Three states, seven destinations and one wedding. To say nothing of a million memories and a zillion pictures I see myself drooling over with my grand- kids clinging admiringly to my knees.

7. My accupuncture treatment in the past one year paid off big time during the trip. The right knee which wouldn’t let me stand for fifteen minutes at a time bore up perfectly well under the assault it was made to bear. Endless steep stairs, loads of walking and long stretches in the car. I can’t begin to describe my elation! I am mobile again! Watch out world..! Open-mouthed smile

All in all, not a bad show. There are a couple of things I had promised myself I’d do… and they remain undone. I’ll get them on the road in the coming 3-4 weeks hopefully. They are both work- in- progress stage… so I am sure they’d get done soon.

I think this Phrase for the Year thing is an excellent idea. Last year was my first year, I am sure I’ll get better with practice. I now have to think about my Phrase for 2013.

On and another thing. Aren’t we glad the apocalypse turned out to be false alarm? Or did it? Do you think we all died and will now rise from our ashes- better and more humane than before?


Have you figured out your word/ phrase for 2013..?