Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good Days Bad Days

 

“The beat of my heart has grown deeper, more active, and yet more peaceful, and it is as if I were all the time storing up inner riches…My [life] is one long sequence of inner miracles.” The young Dutchwoman Etty Hillesum wrote that in a Nazi transit camp in 1943, on her way to her death at Auschwitz two months later. Towards the end of his life, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen,” though by then he had already lost his father when he was 7, his first wife when she was 20 and his first son, aged 5. In Japan, the late 18th-century poet Issa is celebrated for his delighted, almost child-like celebrations of the natural world. Issa saw four children die in infancy, his wife die in childbirth, and his own body partially paralyzed.

 

I’m not sure I knew the details of all these lives when I was 29, but I did begin to guess that happiness lies less in our circumstances than in what we make of them, in every sense. “There is nothing either good or bad,” I had heard in high school, from Hamlet, “but thinking makes it so.”

The Joy of Less - Happy Days Blog - NYTimes.com

Some days you think things could not get worse. When bad news seem to pop out of everywhere. And other days you feel things could not get any better. You are on top of the moon. I noticed that joy or sorrow come in bundles. When you are experiencing one or the other, it seems there is no end to it. It is good to remember that circumstances change for better or worse, but what really matters is what we make out of them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How to be Happy

 

Yes, happiness is a function of our expectations — or, as it has been said: “Happiness equals reality minus expectations.” Given that neat formulation, there are two ways to attack the problem: boost our reality or lower our expectations. Most of us choose the former. We’d rather stew in our misery than trim our expectations. Lowering our sights smacks us as a cop out, un-American. Better a nation of morose overachievers, we reason, than a land of happy slackers.

Lowered Expectations - Happy Days Blog - NYTimes.com

Few suggestions to lower your expectations in Kuwait:

- Expect dusty weather everyday.

- Islamists in Parliament will succeed not only in segregating boys and girls in private schools but also in streets, shopping malls, at work and yes even in our homes!

- All men will be required to grow beards and trim their dishdasha and women should cover head to toe.

- The second subject of the constitution is amended to include the Taliban as source for legislation and the picture of Shaikh Abdullah Al-Salim receiving the constitution is replaced by Shaikh Mulla Omar receiving it from Shaikh Tabtabie and Shaikh Hayif.

- Oil prices down to $10 and we are back to pearl diving.

Now aren't you glad the above is not happening.. at least for now!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Twin Girls for Fed

 

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Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is the proud father of twin girls after his wife Mirka gave birth in Switzerland on Thursday night.

BBC SPORT | Tennis | Federer celebrates birth of twins

Congratulations on the twin girls named Charlene Riva and Myla Rose. Aren't girls pretty :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sampras Book

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I thought I'd switch gears and read something fun for the summer. I picked up Sampras book A champion's Mind. Now that his 14 Grand Slam record is broken I was curious to get a glimpse of his life and to learn about the tennis  tour.

I was never a fan of Sampras. Despite being an avid tennis follower, Sampras went under the radar for me. Despite his achievements he lacked the charisma and thrill  (Not to mention being rude to his fans off court).

Reading the book did not change my view of Sampras. But it gave me some appreciation of the tough conditions of being on the tennis tour. There was a lot of insight of his rivalry with Andre Agassi. He talks about his struggles with a mentor, coaches, the media and his health. He shows a lot of respect and admiration to the person who eclipsed his record, Roger Federer. If you are a tennis fan the books makes an interesting read.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Reading War and Peace

It was one year back when I embarked on this literary pursuit. A year later my mission is accomplished and it is worth all the time and effort.

Reflecting on this masterpiece here and now would not do it justice. I just want to mark the end of a journey. I enjoyed every moment along the way. In essence you don't read War and Peace; you live it. It is a reflection of life itself narrated through historical events of Napoleonic era and evolving around the Russian society.

Even though the journey is over, the experience is far from finished, and will continue with the human struggle to find meaning in life.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

One for History

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Congratulations Roger on record breaking 15th Grand Slam title. It couldn't have come in a better way with an epic final at Wimbledon (where it all started) against Andy Roddick with Pete Sampras (holder of 14 Grand Slam title record) in attendance. Well done to the greatest player in Grand Slam tennis history.