Gratitude, Me, SYW, Writing

Share Your World

Enjoyed answering your questions Cee.

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning anything that spills or breaks. Specifically when glass container shatters all over the floor. No matter how thoroughly you clean, there is always a piece staring right back at you.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Over the weekend as I arranged our closets listening to Oliver Sacks speak.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years? Zero. We moved to our current home 10 years back and have planted ourselves here since them.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. RadioLab podcast had an episode where they have captured Oliver Sacks think aloud, brought goosebumps as I got a get a peek into how great thinkers think. To hear his assistant talk about his passion for writing made me want to write passionately and from my heart. I felt so grateful to live at a time and age where access to such gems is just a finger swipe away.

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Gratitude, Little Moments

Cup of Joy

A fellow blogger asked what made you smile this week? Plenty of things filled my cup of joy actually.

  • We are in the home stretch of the renovation work. We started moving our belongings to our respective rooms. The kids never complained or ever asked for a room of their own. Now that they have one, it’s nice to see them charmed by it and take ownership for it.
  • Ram exploring the new washing machine and ceiling fan. The things that we consider as mundane are a source of fascination to him. I too sat with him for a couple of minutes, looked at the rinsing and spinning, with wonder.
  • I completely forgot something that I was responsible for at Sunday school. Not only did Hari provide a timely reminder but also did the work for me. I am embarrassed at my lapse but so very thankful that we caught the lapse on time. In response to a call for help from his dad at the same time, the child frantically replied, “Illa pa, I can’t help you. I am busy saving amma”. Brought a chuckle but he was not farther from truth, he was saving my dignity that day.
  • Hot creamy sweet semiya payasam for Karthigai Deepam. I know I am supposed to do urundais, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • In sunday school, my fourth graders shared their happy places in response to a meditation session. The range was far and wide – living room, kitchen, couch, their rooms, their desks, the library, reading nooks, and why even the Apple store. They all seemed so happy when they talked about what made it their happy place. That in turn truly made me happy.
  • The seventh graders did a variation of the Shakunthala and Dushyanta story. One team had a twist to their ending. When Dushyantha tells Shakunthala that he does not remember her, she gives a cheeky response – “I need no man in my life” and walks out of his life. Atta girl!
  • I was able to retrieve my comfy cosy sleep robe! I jumped up and down, shrieked out of joy and danced some. That’s about the only thing that I look forward to on chilly nights.
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Gratitude, Uncategorized

Alexa

“Alexa, what’s the time?”

“Alexa, set timer to 10 mins.”

“Alexa, what’s the weather today?”

“Alexa, what did the Celtics score in the game last night?”

And just like that Alexa has become an integral part of our morning hustle and bustle. The mornings are lighter and a little less frantic, thanks to Alexa, thanks to technology!

This concludes the daily gratitude posts for November. Thank you for being part of the journey.

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Experiences, Family, Gratitude, Us

Team work

Another thank you coming in the way of the renovation project.

One of the things that our house lacked prior to the renovation was closets and storage space. We didn’t have enough wardrobe space, so the clothes were spilling all over the bedroom. We didn’t have a closet where the kids could store their sports related stuff, as a result the living room doubled up as mud room. We couldn’t carve out a space for working, so the dining table conveniently became a catch all place for all of us to work.

This is not a bad situation to be in and one could argue that it builds character and presents an opportunity to embrace simple living. Except that in our household, it resulted in  frustration, fiery glances and endless finger pointing. After many failed attempts to declutter and simplify, it became clear that we had to rethink our ways. The renovation project presented a golden opportunity.

Da and I spent hours designing our closets, home office, and mudroom. Initially, I felt like an impostor using the word design. “Us and design?” is what I thought to myself. But turns out that we and only we are the experts at knowing our needs and wants. Once we zeroed in on that,  designing a space came naturally. Spending time with Da figuring out our needs, brainstorming ideas, browsing over pages of Pinterest images and Houzz articles, working around our constraints and ultimately committing the design to paper has definitely been one of my favorite parts of this initiative. It put the focus on the process rather than the end result.

I would not be surprised if we continue to go on with our careless ways even after the home improvement but I am immensely thankful for the hours spent working together with Da. It is one of the things that makes this house a home. Our home.

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Experiences, Gratitude, Little Moments

Repair jobs

The main goal of the home renovation project is to add footprint. The secondary goal is to fix long neglected kinks in the house. While adding footprint is nice and great, what gladdens me the most is the repair jobs we did. We took down a diseased tree, we removed the broken gutter that had us scrambling for the trash can when it poured, we got the rotting flooring in our entrance fixed, and we took down the walls between rooms and made the area more open. These relatively small changes have relieved our day to day frustrations and enhanced the quality of our life several times over. My heartfelt gratitude!

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Gratitude, Uncategorized

Meanie

“You were a meanie today.” said Ram as he inched closer to me at bedtime. “And you can’t keep making the same mistake again and again.”  I was hungry and in a moment of weakness, I yelled at his tiniest infraction. So I was guilty as charged. Apparently, the child is keeping count and according to him, I had yelled at him last week. Sigh!

This conversation aside, I am thankful to my family for being forgiving of my temper tantrums and meltdowns. As a person letting out the steam, it is therapeutic for me. But as folks at the receiving end of the unpleasantness,  it must be traumatic for them. This is not lost on me. I try and intend to try harder to exercise control and hold myself back instead of unleashing a torrent of words. 

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Gratitude, Us

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s about 9:20 P.M. I open the kitchen cabinets, one by one, and smile to myself with satisfaction. Since the time I woke up this morning, I poured myself into micro cleaning the kitchen and the dining room. A place for everything and everything in its place, a statement from my 11th standard commerce book comes to mind. It was a statement meant to explain one of the management principles. I think today I earned the right to say that my kitchen and dining room bear some semblance of order. It feels good. It feels like home.

I would like to think that we have been dealing with renovation related disruption gracefully, understanding for the most part that this temporary inconvenience and disruption is the price we pay for living in a house that we are renovating. However, there have been days, especially this month when we have felt disoriented from having to scramble around for essentials. Luckily, we see the end of the tunnel plus everyday the progress made is tangible.  So even when it feels like we are in a rudderless boat, there is a sense of calmness in seeing the shore is within our eyesight.. If temporary disruptions that is expected to have a happy ending can be this challenging, I can’t imagine what it must be to not have a guaranteed home to come to.

This Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful for the roof over our head and for our cosy little nest. I am thankful that we were able to take the renovation project on and run with it. I am thankful that we are working with someone we quite like. I am thankful that the kids were troopers, accommodating the multiple trips to the tile store and not letting this project come in the way of their learning. I am thankful that Da and I spent a ton of time together figuring out the nitty gritties. Much gratitude indeed!

Happy Thanksgiving from ours to yours.

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