Monday, January 14, 2019

Where is the gratitude?

After the intense discontent filled year, 2019 was an eye opener. It seemed as if the universe wanted to remind me how privileged I am.

My cousin's son has been struggling with drug addiction for quite some time. We have all been supporting her, trying to help out in our own ways but in the end the battle is hers alone to face. Being a single parent, the journey is even more difficult. Just when we all thought that things were under control, he has started getting quite violent and abusive to his sister and others.

Another relative is going through an episode of brain tumour. Multiple rounds of chemo and now the doctors have said that there is nothing more that can be done. He is slightly older than us and has a school going son. I cant imagine the uncertainty that they have in their lives.

And many other cases... Most of the conversations I had at the beginning of the year were all about these.

What I realized is that in the end, all the things that I was complaining about didn't really matter! They were all minor irritations as compared to what so many others are going on. There are so many things in my life that I should be thankful for - good health, supportive husband, loving kids, stable job - many things that I took for granted and which others are praying for.


Monday, January 7, 2019

2018.. the good

For a friend's son's holy communion as return gifts we were all given small bottles with a wish inside it.
Mine read:
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have was once among the things you had hoped for.

Which is indeed true. I have stuck it on my fridge as a daily reminder to be thankful for the blessings.

My good memories of 2018

This house has been a dream come true. The close knit community, a great place for the kids to grow up, lots of friends for them and us, natural light that streams in to all of the rooms and the best - our terrace. Plants and an old fashioned verandah for us to laze around, do jigsaws, host parties, have our morning and evening chai, read a book... It has really been a dream come true.

Kerehaklu trip. It so happened that we didn't travel anywhere this year. No short trips, no long trips, no bike trips, no long drives. By November, I was saturated. We initially planned a weekend at Kerehaklu and then the BH proposed bunking school on Friday. Turned out to be one of the most relaxing vacations we have ever taken. The weather was good, food was perfect. We walked so much both of the days, read books, played board games. The kids were well behaved and we all relaxed. Made us realize how important these short trips are. And sometimes we need to be alone- just the four of us to recharge our batteries together and make some memories that are ours alone.

Time spent with S and M. I got to travel to US and stay at M's place and spend time with her kids. And then she came to India and we again had a week together. Friday dinners at S's place has also been quite a regular feature. And as a bonus, S came over and spent two days with us. We talked and walked and ate. By the end of two days, the BH was quite jealous and commented that he had never seen me so relaxed. Out of those two days was born the step count update. S started it off with walking 10K+ steps daily and sending us the screenshot. M and I both grumbled and started it half halfheartedly, but now we both religiously complete more than 11K steps daily. Am very lucky to have these two in my life.

Hosted a lot of parties this year - all filled with fun. P came over as a surprise for the BH's birthday. B and the kids spent a couple of days with us. The usual Bangalore gang met up almost every weekend or so. Had our community friends get together. Lots of food and drink.

The BH had a good year at work. Contract renewed, new geographies added, time extended. From starting out completely on his own three years back to getting to this stage, its commendable. And I'm proud that he did all this on his own. Its all been his hard work and persistence along with a very clear focus on what he wants.

One of the good things that came out of Mowgli's panic attacks is our night walks. After dinner is done, all four of us go down for a walk. The kids sometimes cycle, sometimes skate, sometimes go play with their friends if they are also down and sometimes they walk with us.It can be as long as an hour or as short as 10 minutes depending on my calls for the night. However it goes, this is something we all look forward to. To unwind from the day. Its become a daily ritual that the kids look forward to. Did it help Mowgli? I think it did and more than him, it helped us also.

My sister and brother-in law came down from Australia and we spent a lot of time together. My sister and I have a huge age gap and we were never the close sisters that you read about. She was more of the irritating younger sister who was forever tagging along. She has grown up, surprisingly! It was good to have her with us and just be. No agenda, no rush. Lot of good food. The kids were pampered thoroughly. These two have always made us realize the importance of playing board games with the kids. Even Bambi joined in for a change.

The gardening concept store. We have been thinking about it for ages and finally did a small sale at our apartment. A lot of things still need to be worked out before we can get it into full swing, but good to make a start.

Family time with the BH's parents, my grandparents, cousins. This year was good. Went for two year end vacations with the extended family and everybody enjoyed it. Plans are being made to make this into a regular annual feature. Everybody is getting older and it seems that time together is running out.

Started a vision board for both of us. Got my 2 wheeler learners license. Read a lot of books thanks to long flights. Maid worries almost over and things are settled on that front. Pruned my whatsapp groups. Let go of friends that have played their course. Supported and mentored people both personally and professionally. Watched a 4D movie for the first time. Rejoined Kathak and enjoying it. Gave more of me to my friends. Fought and made up with the BH at least once every day. Got the BH hooked to a cup of coffee in the morning to be had after the kids have left for school.

2018.. the bad

2019 is here..

Like every other year, I wish that this year will be calmer, healthier, happier and all the jing bang

When I think back to 2018, the underlying thread through all the events, conversations, milestones seem to have been "discontent". I was quite surprised when this thought popped up in my mind. I don't think that I'm a dissatisfied person by nature.. usually happy and content with whatever life gives me. But in the last one year, I've felt that nothing was enough. There was a lot of complaining - both internally in my thoughts and externally.

At work;  with the usual politics. I was known as the problem solver, the person everyone turned to to sort out difficult client situations, messed up projects.. But, that didn't translate to the rewards I expected. Explanations were given, like all explanations it didn't really matter.. Lots of changes at work, abusive clients, people I knew personally were treated badly with the firm turning a blind eye to those incidents. I was disillusioned with the leadership and disengaged.

At home; there was the usual tussle on time. And the competition for attention - the kids, BH,dogs.. It would usually end with me shouting at everybody and then feeling guilty and miserable for hours. Contradictory actions. Mowgli had his issues this year and we were to blame partly. Whatever said and done, we failed to provide him that safety net. Bambi was also neglected amidst all the hungama. I would make million resolutions to be calm, mindful, relax  but nothing was practiced. Wasn't able to carve out family time on a regular basis. There was no routine to our days. It just seemed to be running from one chaos to another.

Pushing the BH to detail out what he wants to do was easier said than done. A lot of discontent there also. My frustration that things didn't seem to be moving and his that he was still thinking through. Resentment from both sides that the other just didn't understand.

Health; the year in which I spent the most on dietitians and what not! The last straw was the dietitian telling me that it was poor gut health and low metabolism. I thought the diets were supposed to fix that! The weight has been increasing in spite of everything.

General dissatisfaction with family. The feeling of being taken for granted and never given our due increased to a crescendo this year with a lot of small incidents. Where before, I would sweep these under the carpet, this year I hoarded them and made them bigger and bigger in my mind. Led to a shift in relationships, indifference towards relationships that were quite precious to me and so on.

By the end of the year, I just wanted it to get over and be done with. Haven't felt this disinterested with life in ages. And so distracted. Trying to do at least three things at a time. Answering emails and what not during office calls. Haven't cooked anything special this year. No weekly menu planning, no routines set. There was no joy in doing. It was as if I needed to tick these things off my list and then start my Life. What I forgot this year was that this is Life!!!




to my happy


Last summer vacation, you told me ‘ mama come back for 2 seconds’ and it broke my heart. What with the shifting and the work that was happening in the new house we never got to spend time together in a relaxed manner. And then you went to your grand parents for the annual trip. Except that this was extended by another week this time because I had to travel for work. Its another story that you forgot about this in a matter of hours and thoroughly enjoyed your time without us.. For us, we missed you so so so much... Your hugs and smiles and kisses. You have always been our happy.

I really wonder whether I’m doing this right. Couple of weeks back the BH told me that I’m trying to make you into what I want you to be and not what you want to be. This came as a shock. I thought I was allowing you to do whatever you want. But yeah maybe not the jewelry and the make up stuff. In my defense, I don’t agree with girls looking like teens looking like aspiring models. But yes, like the time in Goa when you were busy wearing all of S’s jewelry. And then I gave you my elephant earring. And when you brought S in and showed her all my jewelry and said that 'It’s all yours but you occasionally share it with me', I felt very sad. That maybe I was depriving you of something. And that maybe these are just small pleasures that you will grow out of. 

I want you to be a strong confident independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and is kind and honest and shines from within.

That’s all I want...


Be with me


Be with me
You make me calm and contented
Happy with the world around me
Excited to go do what I want to do

Be with me
The world is gloomy without you
I go through the motions and survive
There is no laughter...no sparkle

Be with me
Hold my hand always
Hug me hard
Smile at me
Talk to me
Argue with me

Be with me
You are
  My strength
  My sounding board
  My eternal optimist to all my pessimistic thoughts

You complete me though you don’t realize it... you bring out the best in me (and sometimes the worst!)

Be with me 
Stay with me
Laugh with me
Love me
Live with me
Be with me in this warm cocoon that we have created and call ours.. ours and ours alone

Friday, November 2, 2018

School

Thoughts in a jumble for some days now... again getting to that space where its difficult to breathe and I have to keep reminding myself to breathe consciously.. slow and deep.. keep telling myself that everything is going to be fine...

Mowgli is growing up and that brings with it a completely new set of challenges. We stopped all his sports activities for a month because he was having trouble managing everything. Tantrums, couldn't sleep at night, falling behind on all his subjects, not wanting to go to school. It took us about two months to slowly get back to speed. We had to sit with him daily to make sure that he was studying everyday. Stopped all the sports. Started a 15 min walk after dinner to settle down. Its helping, he is regular with his studies, at least the new portions. Issues with food and sleep are coming down. We re-introduced football last week, limited it to twice a week and planning to start the badminton classes from this week. We have told him to prioritize one of the sports, but as of now he is insisting on both.

But there is still an unease, there are some days when the old "I don't want to go to school" comes up again. Talks of children bullying him and other stories. I sometimes wonder how we went to school. All these were there even then. Name calling, people bullying.. but was there ever an option to not go to school? Not sure whether we are being over protective or our kids becoming less and less resilient.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Gratitude

Grateful for my yoga classes. The fact that its paid for a year leaves me with no excuses but to attend. The calmness of the meditation, the slow asanas all give me hope. That this will heal my body

Grateful for my job. For the flexi timings it allows. For the ability to work from home. For the luxuries of having a relaxed breakfast with the BH and coffee on the terrace before the madness starts.

Grateful for the new house. The pictures are yet to be put up and the rooms still need to be organised. But even without these, having it turn out the way it has is satisfying.

Grateful for the greenery and the terrace. Though we haven't yet started using it full swing, its been the ideal spot for a chai, to read in peace, for I to play with his cars.

Grateful for all the blessings, the friends, the love and the laughter that come when I least expect and most need it