Experiences, Gratitude, Introspection, Learnings, Life, Me, Now, Wishes

Word of the year

For 2015, the word of the year was Discipline. The year taught me that I have a hard time being disciplined because I am an inherently indisciplined person. And I realized that striving for Discipline is a lifelong ongoing effort for me rather than something I can master in a year. So the quest continues.

For 2016, the word of the year was Detox. Relative to 2015, I did much better in terms of sticking to the intention. But I was unable to keep up the momentum in spite of having practiced it aggressively for the first six months. I knew I was slipping, I kept telling myself that I need to pick myself up. But somehow the mind has a mind of it’s own and it sabotaged my voice of reason. And that’s ok. It just means that I need to work a lot harder than what I thought.

For 2017, I am  choosing Mindfulness. I want to know my mind and if feasible, befriend it so I can help it to help me. I want to be aware when the mind is running helter skelter and gently bring it back to the present moment and to the current task.  I am also choosing this word because I am a big picture person, which has its pros and cons. Pros being I am generally easy going, I can take a step back from a situation with some effort and I do not sweat the small stuff for the most part.  Cons being I do not pay close attention to details, I can be blissfully clueless about so many things, and most importantly, I am not living life in all its richness. So I am going to give a shot at beginning the practice of living a mindful life.  

If you are reading this and if you feel up to it, I would love to know your intentions for the new year. Here is to new beginnings, opportunities, experiences and intentions. 

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Gratitude, Hari Katha, Learnings, Little Moments, Milestones, Now, Uncategorized

Setting Intentions

As I was hastily loading the dishwasher this evening, Hari called out for me extending his hands. For a second, I was puzzled. What is this kid up to? Why this unusual unsolicited expression of affection? And then it dawned on me.

Of late we have been following the habit of setting intentions to anchor ourselves to our true selves and to keep us grounded in the big picture. Sometimes we do this on sunday nights to get us into work week mode. At other times, we do it before exams and games. We hold each other’s’ hands, take a deep breath, close our eyes, and articulate our intentions. Like today, Hari said, “I want to strike out the hitters from the other team. Whether we win or we lose, I want to keep the right attitude and give it my all. And I want to have fun.” While how much of it translates into action is moot point, the heart of the matter is it is our way of practicing mindfulness and our attempt to look at things in perspective.

On a related note, Hari was at his personal best in his game this evening – he pitched all 6 innings- 79 pitches, at least 6 strikeouts, and gave away 2 runs. He couldn’t stop smiling. Tomorrow we will give him lessons on humility and about how success and failures are part of the game, but today he is soaring and that’s ok. Go Hari!

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Family, Little Moments, Now, Us, Work life balance

Tidbits

The fan is humming along, making more noise than breeze. Hari and Ram are fast asleep. Da is tying loose ends – sending emails, catching up on housekeeping items. It has been a long day for all of us. 

Like all Thursdays, today was half a day for Hari. He has been craving for more freedom, to be treated like a grown up.  To go around the neighborhood on his bike, and check on his friends to play soccer, football and what not. I let him go, he is ready for it and I trust him to be responsible. We go through the drill of dos and don’ts before he steps out.  He reminds me of me when I was his age. I don’t recall a day that I was not itching to be on my own. 

Ram is signed up for Little League baseball. Tuesday was photo day. The hall was a parade of cuteness with five year olds and six year olds wearing oversized jerseys and baseball hats. Hari and Ram have been “practicing” at home. Hari has grand dreams for Ram. Poor Ram, he not only has to measure up to his parent’s expectations but has to  live upto his anna’s dreams. Da is coaching Ram’s team. It is his way of giving back to the community while being involved in Ram’s activities. 

As for me, I am just glad to be home this week after travelling for the past two consecutive weeks. 

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Little Moments, Now, Uncategorized

Now (LMT)

It’s a quiet Friday evening here. We are in bedtime mode as I write this post. Ram is thumbing through his bedtime books. Hari is meddling with his ipad. I love our setting here. All three of us are inches away from each other, nicely wrapped in our individual cosy comforters,  a single reading lamp shedding just the right amount of light. The ticking of the clock and my typing on the keyboard are the only accompanying sounds. A nice way to wind down a mind stretching, back breaking day.

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Experiences, Hari Katha, Learnings, Little Moments, Milestones, Now

Hockey

hockey sticks

Hari’s travel hockey team won the second place in the divisional finals. It was an incredible experience seeing the team go from being seventh seeded all the way up to finals. There were tears when they lost the finals, but there was unmistakable pride, “We came storming back amma, I am so proud of our team,” rejoiced Hari.

Hari was the goalie this season, and he gave it his all especially during the playoffs.  “One save at a time”, that has been Hari’s mantra. It was hard for the child to not take it personally whenever the team lost but that’s what you sign up for when you are the goalie.  The games helped hone his resilience. When you miss a goal, no matter how bad you feel, you just have to get up on your feet and not let your disappointment come in the way. The story would be incomplete if I don’t mention how much a goalie gets pampered. My most favorite part is how all his teammates rush to Hari once the game ends, giving a fist pump and affectionately knocking on his helmet or sometimes even piling on him…!

It is not hockey that I enjoyed the most this season though, but the frills that came with it. All the action in the locker room – girls giggling, boys goofing, the camerdiship, helping each other out, and expressing admiration for each other. The cherry on the cake is of course the talk by the coaches prior to the game – it’s not IF we win, but WHEN we win. And that’s not enough, we have to PLAY to WIN. A lot of what we can or cannot do is in our minds.

As much as I resented the time that hockey took away from us, I turned around somewhere along the way. I struggled with trying to understand where hockey was leading Hari to? I think I found my answer – it didn’t have to lead him anywhere because it made him a better player and person today. What he learnt this season was more than just hockey!

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Life, Little Moments, Now, Us

Now

I am sitting in the perumal room cum play room cum patti room. Ram is eating a toast slathered with peanut butter, his dinner after dinner, whetting his craving after he saw Da and I dunk our toast in the soup during meal time. Hari is sitting next to him in front of the world map puzzle, one that Da played as a child, from a time when the Soviet Union still existed. Ram and Hari are playing with the same puzzle at different levels – I want to know which countries are cold in winter, says Ram. I want to tell you the capitals of the countries, tells Hari. Within the same breath, each of them have moved to a different activity. After listening to the kids give their report on the day’s happenings, Da has jumped on a conference call, not work related, play related. The dishwasher is humming in the background, and the clock is ticking away rhythmically. Another weekday is winding down to make room for a new one.

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