While scrolling through my Pinterest feed one day, I stumbled upon the definition of a word, meraki, and it stuck out to me among the food hacks, quotes, and other usual gimmicks. I read this post again and again, attempting to analyze the meaning. Meraki is a word of Greek origin, and its definition is wholesome and beautiful. It means to do something that you deeply care about and sincerely enjoy. I liken it to an activity that has you ignoring your phone or frees you of your day-to-day worries.
As a firm believer that everyone should take time to destress, I try my best to block out some individual “meraki time” every day. This often ends up being time spent with my siblings doing silly things, such as “spying” on other family members or having sleepovers in each others’ rooms. Other meraki moments for me are making my dad’s homemade cinnamon oatmeal from scratch, journaling, watering my orchid plant, or watching a robin build a nest on my balcony. These little things will seem random to others, but they help me forget life’s trivial matters. There is no one activity that I associate with meraki time; what is common among all these experiences is the most important thing: staying in the present moment.
My grandmother is a wonderful example of someone whose life is comprised of meraki. This isn’t because everything always goes her way, but because she lives in the present. She is attentive to those who speak to her, observant of the outdoors (she first noticed the nest on our balcony), and curious about the most miniscule things (like the shape of the nails on my pet tortoise). I admire this quality, to appreciate what happens, and strive to develop it in myself.
We all need meraki if we wish to be content. Though obstacles often get in the way, I usually take a step back. By being mindful, schoolwork is less burdensome, rainy days are more splendid, and life becomes beautiful despite its imperfections. By putting full presence into every moment, I know my life will be fuller, with hectic tasks and routines replaced by an ambiance of acceptance and happiness.