We must motivate ourselves! Dear Friends, Do you all think I have come to this thread by mistake instead of my cookery forum? No, my young friends! I just want to share with you how I too went through the process of losing my identity as an individual & started picking up threads, realising that only I have to help myself. In my younger days, I was a brilliant student in College, getting accolades all the way. Marriage completely changed my life! My husband is a person who is referred to as a GEM by everybody right from the day I got married till today. But I wanted him to give me simple pleasures of life. Well, that was not to be. His priority was work, more work &more& more work. My in-laws were extremely traditional, exactly opposite the way I was brought up. But I decided to adjust to my new way of life, however tough it was to me. Both my children came along & suddenly I started feeling I was nobody as an individual. I just started attending whatever classes came my way, right from cookery , batik, tailoring(I went deep into it!), embroidery, fabric painting- there was no class that I missed, given an opportunity. The children grew up & I realised there was pleasure in being your own child’s friend. Then I switched over to “energy classes” like reiki, pranic healing etc. All that opened out a new world to me. I was meeting many people & started analysing myself. As the children were getting ready to fly out of the nest, I realised that I needed not self pity but enjoy my own life the way God has offered me. In the meanwhile I started attending vedanta classes, literally to keep myself mentally occupied. Let me not tell a lie- it was absolute Greek & latin for a few years. But I decided to go through it & never say die. Then the teaching helped me identify the blessings I had in life & what rights did I have to complain about anything in life. I had the freedom to do whatever I ever wanted to do. I started pondering on what I was good at! I had always had the habit of noting down every recipe that I had ever tried in my life. Believe me, I was so scared of going in for a computer till 2004, even though my daughter insisted on my getting one. Now, looking back I realise that I was scared of an intellectual challenge of learning something new in middle age! Well, finally she went ahead & got me one. So to prove “myself to myself” (& then only to the world), I learnt, literally struggled to go about using a computer. But I started realising gradually, that a new world was opening up for me. Just for the simple pleasure of it, I posted a recipe to a site. When I got good mails for it, I realised that it was an enjoyable way of keeping myself mentally occupied- whatever it was worth. I also realise that happiness is within onself & it is up to us to discover it & enjoy it. You can never do what X or Y is good at. God has definitely given each one of us some potential – however low, we think of it. It is upto us to identify that & keep ourselves mentally occupied. Just enjoy doing whatever you are doing- don’t bother about the results. Rediscover yourself everyday & you will see that you don’t have to look out for happiness. At this age, to have young friends is such a morale booster! So now, I am enjoying every minute of whatever I am going through without bothering, how long all this will continue. If you go by my motto "the best is yet to be" you really see it happening! Love& regards, Chithra.