For the past couple of years, I have been Working From Home (WFH) a lot. WFH is a double-edged sword, especially for a person like me, who slips and slides swiftly along the slippery slope of indiscipline. But thankfully, I am also a stickler for delivering on my commitments. So the traits balance each other out.
The kids have definitely benefited from my working from home. Hari hardly went to after school program in the last two years of elementary school. They have enjoyed the luxury of simply chilling at home on one-off holidays and vacations. My working from home dynamics have also helped mould their personalities and values. They know clearly that work is my priority during working hours. They know to keep quiet during my work calls, and keep themselves occupied without resorting to screen time.
I have truly lucked out when it comes to my job and my managers. If I haven’t climbed the corporate ladder, it’s for my own reasons. The company offers plenty of self development opportunities, and my managers over the years have allowed me to work without micromanaging me.
There are trade-offs to WFH. I miss being in an office environment. I miss being where the action is. I miss out on the culture aspect. But I am ok with missing all of that because I have gained more than what I have missed.
Change is the only constant, so who knows what’s in store. For now, I offer my thanks to the flexibility and work life balance that my company has offered all these years. Much appreciated!
When I was little, I have seen older siblings act beyond their age, parenting their little brother or sister. And I have cringed, squirmed, and wondered, “Why can’t they act their age? Shouldn’t they be playing instead of raising their little brother or sister?”
Decades later, I am seeing my own first born parenting my second born. Well, the term parenting is an exaggeration. Let’s just say, Hari is very protective of and affectionate to Ram. He cannot bear to see Ram heartbroken or being taken advantage of. The affection is a two-way street. Ram will put up a fight with us for Hari and will stick to Hari like a velcro should we reprimand him. They have their own insider jokes. They fight. They manipulate each other and drive each other nuts.
Ram has been whispering to me all evening today. “Amma I am going to make a b’day card for anna”, “Can you get a print out of baseball?”, “I want to make a pop up card for anna”
I am not sure what the future holds, but today it tugs my heartstrings when I see the ones that I love, love each other. I am immensely thankful for the privilege of seeing the two siblings bond.
I had a couple of drafts in my head last night but I was tired, bone tired. And before I knew it I was sleeping like a baby. I was a bit disappointed this morning when I realized that I had unintentionally missed a day of my gratitude journal but that disappointment was laced with gratitude. I love my sleep. I need my sleep. 8 hours of sleep, not a minute less. I am thankful for nights that I get my 8 hours of beauty sleep.
My idea of relaxing is micro cleaning my house while listening to podcasts. It calms me like no other. Not only is the external clutter cleared and the intellectual thirst quenched, but also the mind cleansed. I have a long list of NPR shows on my podcast list – On point by Tom Ashbrook, Radio Boston by Meghana Chakraborty, Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam, Ted Radio by Guy Raz. I have also started listening to The Run Up by NY times and This American Life . Another one that deserves a special mention because of the special touch it brings to my work week is Happier with Gretchen – it’s by Gretchen Rubin from the Happiness Project fame. Gretchen discusses things that many of us can relate to and makes happiness a very reachable goal. More than anything, I love how she has taken seed of an idea, nurtured it, and grown it into something tangible.
My thanks to the wonderful world of podcasts. For the inspiration, for the intellectual stimulation and not to mention the companionship it offers as I work on my chores. I love love investigative journalism, the high quality research and analysis, and the myriad perspectives that each of these podcasts bring to my life.
Did you take a glimpse of the moon tonight? Majestic, pure, simple, stunning, and tranquil. I could have sat there gazing at it all night tonight. My love for the moon is a cultivated one, not the instant kind. It all started when Da and I went on long walks at night during the first year of our married life. Da would comment on the beauty of the moon as we walked hand in hand. I remember being amused. Meaning I knew there was the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars but watching the night sky was not my thing. But several such walks later, Da’s liking for the moon rubbed on me as well. The awe makes sense to me now. There is a certain connectedness you share when you stare at a cosmic object at the same time. It’s humbling. It’s magical. It’s peaceful.
Much thanks to Da for opening my eyes to the beauty of the full moon. It has brought many rich moments in my life. Not only do I revel in it, but also drag the kids out to soak in its beauty. There is something comforting about that shared silence even if it lasts for only a few brief seconds.
This year we are learning about lunar calendar in Sunday school. We have been observing the waxing and waning of the moon in our moon journal. We talked about the super moon today. As I went to leave things for trash pick up tomorrow, I looked at the gorgeous moon knowing that there will be few other fourth graders who may have made note of it as well. That thought brought a smile on my face.
Today has been one of those days. A day of being edgy, restless, and hormonal. All the fear mongering and the resentment in social media combined with the fact that I am lagging behind on all my personal commitments exacerbated my state of mind . The saving grace is I was aware that I was being sensitive to the tiniest infractions and responsive to things that would normally be a non-issue. So with monumental effort and plenty of deep breaths, I held my tongue back and was less unpleasant than I normally would be in this situation.
As I type this post, both the kids are sleeping next to me, each on either side. Their little warm bodies are curled up against mine. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart that I did not take out my frustrations on them today. I am thankful that I indulged Ram when he asked for a sleepover with that puppy face of his. I am glad that I lent a ear when Hari vented out his disappointment for the day. I am thankful that although I did not articulate, the kids understood that I was not me today and unintentionality built up their flexibility reserve. I am thankful that Da did more than his share of chores today, I needed any extra time I could get. I am thankful that for all the times that I push them away, my family comes skipping and hopping back to me. It inspires me to be a better person, every single day,
Rain or shine, in sickness and in good health, in happy times and in sad times… one thing that never changes is how much I look forward to starting my weekend by watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (when it’s in season). I have learnt more medicine by watching Grey’s Anatomy than I have from my science textbooks. The show has so many characters to root for, each with their own frailties. Thank you Shonda for creating the world of Grey’s Anatomy. For Mer and Yang. For stories of friendship and second chances. For exploring different themes – friendships that turn to love and friendships that are strong than family, and for those voice overs that give me goose pumps!