Inciting Change

In college we had a friend who didn’t like change; avoided it like the plague and dread most people reserve for finding out that their leg has to be amputated.

But having left my birth country at the age of four, I only knew life as constant change. Every few years my family moved somewhere else so that my father could work on a different research project at yet another university. In my twenties  I lived in Raleigh, NC for six consecutive years while finishing a bachelors and a masters degree, this was only the second time I had ever lived in one city for such a long time. The other being Gainesville, FL for middle school and high school – seven years.

Starting my fifth year in Qatar has brought a feeling many would consider comfort. Mind you in the last four years there has been enough change in the city as well as my personal life to challenge anyone: on those lists of "major life events" I’ve been able to circle at least five since 2005. Moved to a new country, got married, moved houses (4 times), finished a PhD, and changed jobs three times. Despite all of this and the accompanying adjustments, I’ve managed to change in negative ways as well.

Bad habits have crept in – long afternoon naps, too much time in front of the T.V., poor eating habits.

And now I find myself deliberately trying to instigate change in this steadying stream. I don’t have to go to a group exercise class to work up a sweat. 

I can break out the Bose and try the video it came with, right in my own home.
I can snack on green grapes, a taste I love equally as much as the chocolate I’m used to reaching for.
I can stay in the office and do one more thing instead of going to the study at home where I’m likely to waste time on social networking sites.

It’s conscious, steady and deliberate but I am claiming my life back from those seconds which spill into minutes and the minutes that slip into hours which drain my life away slowly but surely into nothingness and mediocrity.

Share anything you’ve found to embrace or encourage change. And let’s remember in the words of the late Michael Jackson (how weird is it see that in print?) if we’re going to change anything in the world, it has to first start within.

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Reader Comments

  1. Anonymous

    What I try,,,

    Congratulations on all the positive changes!

    I find that I am more likely to succeed at implementing change (or anything else) when I accept that it may be challenging for me. This gives my ego permission to lean on my family and friends, to use tools like email reminders and to pack gym clothes the night before, like other mere mortals 🙂

    When I find myself sliding back on that slippery slope, I step back and take a different approach. Sometimes just willing yourself to try harder isn’t enough.

    It helps me if I celebrate my progress. I let myself to get all giddy when my scale tells me I’ve dropped a pound and call my husband even if he is at work to share the wonderful news. The memory of these happy moments make it easier for me to stay on track when the cookie craving strikes at 3 pm.

    This year started with me feeling like I had lost the ability to control most anything in my life – my diet, my work hours, “me” time. I am now regaining ownership over it piece by piece.


    • Mohanalakshmi

      Re: What I try,,,

      The happy moments do make it easier to get back to it. It sounds like you just went through your own dark period. Sometimes piece by piece is the only way to the end of the tunnel! And then a year or so later, you will sigh with relief.

  2. Anonymous

    Interesting post. I’m glad you actually wrote something nice about Ramadan…

    …I’ve been around the net for a pretty long time now, and the only thing I can read about when it comes to Ramadan is how stupid it is by muslims to fast.

    I’ve also started to write a bit about Ramadan. I started out my own Ramadan blog over here:

    Oh, and whatever you do – don’t you dare stop blogging. You’re insane when it comes to writing!

    • Mohanalakshmi


      The night before Eid I’m sad to think that when we get back to Qatar we’re going back to the hectic pace of non-Ramadan life!

      Hope it was a good one for you and thanks for your kind words.

      Eid Mubarak!

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