Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans

I don’t know Shackman! I don’t know whether I agree with you.

What do you call life? Life is what you do, what others do to you and what ‘happens to you. And all this happens because you are focussed on it…in other words you plan for it.

Life is a state or mode of living.

Life is the experience of being alive.

Life is the course of human events and activities.

Life is the course of existence of an individual.

Life is made up of the actions and events that occur in living.

For most people, the powerful motivator in our lives is not just earning and accumulating money. Life gives us the opportunity to learn, to grow and accept responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.

Life for many goes according to a plan—first the plans of our parents, then our own dreams and aspirations take shape and direction. Then we have a partner to share our goals and plan together.

If it were not for planning, civilizations, cities, settlements, societies, cultures would not have taken root and developed. If it were not for plans a simple structure like the Stonehenge and complicated structures like dams, buildings and complexes, roads and railways—none of this would have been built. Life in this case is inextricably linked with plans.

Finally, we have this wonderful concept of Ganesha—the elephant headed god—the remover of obstacles that come in the way of our plans. Faith gives us that assurance that he will clear the path—and you know something? It happens and life and our plans for it manage to find the balance like oxen yoked to a cart.

In the Indian tradition, ‘Ayushman bhava’ and ‘Swasthir bhava’, may you have a long life and a healthy one, are the blessings that are given by elders to youngsters. These blessings are built on hope and prayer. Elders wish this kind of life for us but we have to plan for them.

‘Good health can add life to years’ is WHO’s message for this year. Planning regular checkups for chronic ailments, managing such ailments sensibly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will go a long way to ensuring that blessings for a long life become happily acceptable!

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, DeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get  different flavours of the same topic.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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7 Responses to Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans

  1. Maxi says:

    India has a wonderful tradition in the elder’s blessing to the young, Padmini. I was told many times in my youth, “Without your health, you have nothing.” This meant a great deal as I grew older.
    Blessings to you ~ Maxi


  2. grannymar says:

    Life is what you do, what others do to you and what ‘happens to you. And all this happens because you are focussed on it…in other words you plan for it.‘.

    Unfortunately what happens in life is not always as you portray it above.
    Padmini you have lived a charmed life in India, surrounded by caring loved ones and friends, never short of food and with the opportunity of third level education. You have a healthy husband for forty years and servants to help in your home. You have seen your children grow and prosper and reward you with grandchildren.

    Unfortunately for some, those ‘human events and activities’, mean starvation, no work, ridicule, abuse and molestation. For others it can be ill health or the heartache of losing a sole-mate. The ghettoes of our world are full of people who scratch out a life with no hope of ever having a chance to dream.

    Apologies for ranting.


    • shackman says:

      in other words you plan for it – I disagree in the stroigest way possible. To suggest for example that I planned for an event like my wife’s HD is crazy. Like Grannymar said – some folks simply do not have an equal opportunity to succeed. To me it’s dealing with the obstacles that makes a person. I prefer that to a magic elephant that removes obstacles 🙂 although that does sound pretty nice.


      • padmum says:

        I plan for my being in a wheelchair sometime or bed-ridden. That too I shall accept with equanimity, I hope.

        My magic elephant god is with me just as my saviour, Hanuman the monkey God gives me sufficient breath to get on with life. I still plan about travelling, about writing, about so many things.

        BTW I tried twice to leave comments on your Patch-work story but failed. I simply loved it.and thanks.

        In Indian families too we have the spinster aunt or a young widowed one who worked hard for her surrogate families. Needlework is a living practice that many rural women do to augment family budgets. The craftsperson, like the Aunt, is badly treated–not given enough remuneration, not treated well–but the art and artistic endeavours live on!


    • padmum says:

      Not at all Grannymar! That is the point of LBC.

      In India we are taught from birth to accept what happens as part of life. In spite of this we make plans, we lead a daily existence fighting against odds.

      I have myself been a ‘patient’ who has had encounters with Lord Yama, the God of death a few times. I have had my own personal Armageddons ( still have them) but have come out of them smiling because that is what my parents and my husband and his family taught us to do.

      I live amidst all that you describe. But you should see my house-help! They are totally focussed on their dreams for their children, educating them and yet sure that their own lives will continue on the same path. It doesn’t faze them. We help them whenever they are strapped for cash–that is every few months or so. We help to pay fees to educate their kids. We pay hospital bills–there is no dependable health support system.

      This is life for me!


  3. rummuser says:

    Accepting all that you say, what I think that the topic suggests is that many things happen that we do not plan for and some of them can be devastating like someone in the family getting a disease like Huntington’s or Alzheimers or, closer to home, cerebellar ataxia. These often happen when we least expect them and that is what life is all about, The topic does not suggest that we do not have coping mechanisms.

    Your comment on patched quilt should surely be addressed to Mike who is not a member of the LBC?

    You can try to leave a comment there now, his blog is now accepting comments.


  4. blackwatertown says:

    Fair points in favour of planning.
    And I like the WHO slogan.


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