cutting a rug in India.

re·sil·ience  riˈzilyəns/  noun
1. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
2. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

We’re back from our trip to India. From landing in Mumbai to departing for Los Angeles, our trip was a total of 6 days. Phew! It was a whirlwind indeed [and I am still very much battling some terrible 12.5 hour jetlag…mostly due to my own lack of discipline regarding sleep/wake cycles…hehe].

After traveling halfway around the world and attending a reunion with 53 members of my family, my biggest learning on the trip was about resilience, hands down. And my teacher…was Eric. 🙂

I’ve now traveled to India a dozen times since I was four, and I’ve definitely become more accustomed to the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of India over the last 24 years. So being with Eric on his first visit to India was an exciting experience.

_MG_1213 Here’s E with a marigold rangoli that my aunt made to welcome E as the “new son-in-law in the house”

This guy was in a new country [with a 12.5 hour time difference], immersed in a new culture, meeting 40+ new people, had a COLD [sore throat & congestion – and he rarely gets sick], and departed merely 6 days after arriving.

And. He. ROCKED. It.

Well, of course he did…he’s Eric Strack, after all. *swoon* He has this incredible ability to be calm in any situation and take things as they come — his feathers are not easily ruffled. 😉 Of course, everyone welcomed him with open arms, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him integrate with our family, and get to know people across an 85 year age span.

Certainly, there didn’t seem to be enough time to properly converse with everyone, but he did a great job of making his rounds. During the three day reunion, we spent lots of time with the fam…eating, chatting, shopping at the market, playing games [card games as well as physically active games], and even had a dance party one night. That night quickly became one of my all-time-favorite memories with E.

E slept for just over four hours on Tuesday afternoon, because he was feeling really under the weather. I woke him up for dinner and while we were eating, he was noticeably uncomfortable. He said his throat was still hurting and his head was still feeling stuffed up. There was talk of a dance party after dinner, and I would’ve totally understood if E didn’t want to go, but he insisted that he’d at least go, and if he felt too miserable, he’d leave.

Once the music started blasting and people started dancing, E sat on the outskirts of the dance area and clapped along to the music. After a song or two, he suddenly stood up and started dancing! Everyone excitedly cheered when he joined the group – and I immediately got teary eyed.

My heart was bursting with gratitude as I watched as this amazing man buck up and put on his dancing shoes.

Perhaps it doesn’t sound like much…he had a cold and decided to dance. But to me, it meant the world [oh geez, I’m even crying as I write about it!]. He’d traveled halfway around the globe to a place he’d never been before, met more than 40 people he’d never met before, got stared at everywhere he went, caught a cold…and still had it in him to choose authentic happiness over self-pity…and the man can cut a rug. 🙂

If the shoe was on the other foot, I honestly don’t know how I would’ve done. I suspect I would’ve been throwing myself a pity party of sorts, though, just knowing how I usually get when I’m sick. But thanks to watching E on this trip, I’ll be able to call on the image of him dancing the night away in the future when I’m being wallowy and blah.

So, a HUGE thank you to you, Bug, for showing me the meaning of resilience and for teaching me how to take everything in stride. I admire your authenticity and am incredibly grateful to get to learn from you every day of our lives. I love you SO BIG! All ways, always. xoxo

IMG_2445Here we are at the Gateway of India!

Anyone else out there learn a valuable lesson from watching someone ace a gig? I bet it’d happen more often if we’d make the conscious choice to look for those lessons. In the words of my friend Nate Bagley, “Gratitude and admiration are the best.” 🙂 So true.

x Nicole


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