Posted in Little Moments, Uncategorized

All good things come to an end. So did our holidays. The week leading up to christmas and new year is probably the only time in the year when things truly slow down. And slow down we did! The holidays were brimming with little moments.

  • No set routine
  • Sleeping in
  • Staying up late
  • Binge watching Office
  • Love notes from two little twin visitors stuck on our refrigerator
  • Chit chatting this, that and everything in between with friends
  • Cookies, cake, ice cream
  • No chauffeuring around
  • No scheduling nightmare

We went back to school and work today.  Suffice to say we are all suffering from acute case of holiday withdrawal. 

Posted in Experiences, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Little Moments, Milestones, Uncategorized

Game nights, Christmas songs, Cookies (LMT post)

I am spying Ram across the hall. His face is intense, the kind of expression you see on someone who is lost in what he or she is doing. He has been working diligently on the word search and trivia that Hari had made for him on his favorite video game, Brawl Stars, for Christmas. I then shift my gaze to our picture from Costa Rica on the mantle. I have forgotten the name of the specific location but remember the gratitude I felt when we clicked that picture last year. Hari has photoshopped and presented it to me as his handmade Christmas present. Then I see the hand painted cards (with coffee powder) that Da had made for all of us. 

As we inched towards Christmas, I declared that this year we will make handmade presents for each other. Ram was first in line, he rolled up his sleeves, and galvanized into action right away. Paper made football creations for Hari, a story for his mom in which there is a Muffin-man superhero who runs a shop called Muff muff muffin store with his superpower being to catapult humans with licorice and lollipop, and a personalized set of Pokemon cards for his dad. Hari outdid himself with his creations, putting in a lot of thought and time into each of them.  Da, in addition to playing santa’s helper and ensuring that there are presents under the tree, made handmade cards for us. For my part, I have committed to gift of time and acts of service for each of them over the course of the next year – cuddle an read, baking sessions, follow TV shows, assume positive intent, so on and so forth.

This year has been less about Santa and more about Family. Less about presents and more about togetherness. It has been about game nights, Christmas songs, and baking peanut butter cookies together. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Brrr……!! We are freezing here in this part of the world. Winter has just begun and we have already had two snow days. Taking stock of little moments for the week.

  • I tiptoe to Hari’s room to see if he has woken up for the day. Unexpectedly,  I am treated to the sight of Ram curling up with Hari. My cute and cuddly boys!
  • Another one of the guitar sessions with Ram. “Amma if you think you need to catch a breath when you are singing, you can breathe as you sing…”  He goes on to imitate how to do that and it’s so cute and funny.
  • Lighthearted conversations with a close friend. There is no therapy better than laughing at once own silliness and imperfections with a buddy. Don’t you agree? 
  • Hari: I don’t want snow day because I like the warm and fuzzy feeling from going to school (it’s all sarcasm) Ram: Oh yeah, then how about you get more of that warm and fuzzy feeling by going to Sunday school Hari: No, I want you to experience the warm and fuzzy feeling. How can I take that away from you? Ram: It’s ok Hari, I can do that for you. I will just be miserable at home playing video games.
  • I loved the paneer paratha,” exclaimed both the kids at different times. If you are a parent, you would know that getting lunch right is like winning a jackpot.

Wrapping up for now. Take care!

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Some career advise

The local Indian Americans association conducted a college workshop for middle schoolers and high schoolers that centered around giving exposure to different professions and how there are multiple pathways to get there. Although it was targeted for a much younger audience, I found the discussion very relevant for adults and life in general. Sharing some wisdom that resonated with me, and passing along to you. 

    • Combine your different passions, it will allow you to be directed in a meaningful manner. Think about your career in terms of four dimensions – what you love, what you are good at, what you can get paid for, what the world needs. If you can find something that has at least two of these components, that’s something. 
    • Every step of the way matters, explore in whatever ways you can, try to find what you love, no education goes to waste.
    • Every job has its good and bad days. If you are you able to love your job even on the bad days, then that’s something. 
    • Key to career for folks starting out is to have good mentors. Find people who can help you open your eyes to how you can apply your passion.
    • Learning in the smallest manner matters. Take advantage of opportunities, even if it’s small, even if it’s boring… it will add up to the person you would want to be.
    • Stay curious, it’s ok to not know where it takes you
    • Find what interests you. Mix and match your skills to find something that works for you. 
    • Definition of what success means to you will change over your lifetime
    • We grow better and faster by learning, sharing and making connections
    • One way to think about your career choice is – what problem do you want to solve for, how do you want to contribute, how can you qualify for it? 
    • Allow yourself to change your mind. Go to a college that allows you to explore. Explore and making connections are the two most important things you can do in college. Non-linear careers paths are more common than you think. 
    • You may not know what you like, but you may know what you do not like, and that’s a good starting point. 
    • Practice having authentic conversation, look people in the eye, take genuine interest, learn to build trust, and make connection in the moment. This the most difficult thing to do but the most important thing you can learn to do. People always remember how you make them feel.




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Growing pains

He is dressed in formals. Sky blue shirt, dark blue trousers, grey polka dot tie, and a navy blue blazer. His hair is nicely combed. What a relief after seeing it unkempt for weeks!  He is happily chomping away his masala dosai for breakfast. Masala dosai has become his special breakfast, one that is reserved for days that he feels like having an extra ounce of  TLC. On his b’day, when he has MCAS, and today because he is going out of town for debate tournament. We hold hands, set intentions. Normally, I spew some maternal advice, reminding him to stay in the present and give it his all. But today there is no need for that. He has said it all, “ I will give my best, I will not get upset if it does not go my way, I will just go with the flow and learn from the experience” I breathe deep in an attempt to take the moment in, hug him tight, give him loud kisses and wish him well. He is gone for the next couple of days with a roll on in tow. 

As I get dressed for my day, I notice that he has left his formal shirt and trousers for the next day. I panic and text him. “You forgot to pack your formals for tomorrow, I am coming to drop them.” In a minute, I hear my phone ring. “Mom, I don’t need it. I left it on purpose.” “Why what will you wear tomorrow?” “Just the same ones, that’s what everyone does?” What? Really? Is the strategy to repulse the judges with stinky shirts? I think to myself but just tell him, “Ok, we need to talk about this for next time but have a good time.” He did not forget, he left it on purpose. The child knows what he is doing. I feel reassured, I trust a little bit more and let go.

On our way back from an errand, Ram spies a Subway store and says, “I wish anna was here. We could have had Subway” I want to tell him I miss Hari too but instead I suggest, “We can still have dinner from Subway,”  and that lights him up. Dinner done, the three of us are assembled for our weekend TV night. “Amma, I don’t want to watch SugarRush. I don’t want to do anything we do as a family without anna. So let’s watch Green Eggs and Ham.” 

Da today randomly comments, “I miss Hari.”  “Me too,” says Ram. Ditto, I say to myself. 

He went away last weekend, and it was fine. Somehow this weekend we miss him more. May be because our days are not as busy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we are pining and sulking for him. We are carrying on with our routine, and happily so. But somehow it feels incomplete. A sense of inadequacy. A search for someone.

He will be here shortly, and we will scream in excitement, and hug tightly.  One normal giving way to a new normal, one out of town debate tournament at a time.

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I am dusting the cobwebs on the Little Moments Thursday series in an attempt to see where it takes me. The point of this series is to celebrate the little moments, the small wins, and the life lessons with an attitude of gratitude. I love this series because as I recount the moments that filled me, I relive them. I also like it because it has the unintentional benefit of jotting down the everyday details of my life, which normally fades into oblivion over time.  

So what am I celebrating this week? 

  • NOW. This moment. Right here, right now. Ram and I are next to each other in the bunk bed, he lost in the world of Rick Riordon and I wrapped in my sleep robe. Hari and Da are in the home office doing their thing. It’s the end of a long tiring day. We have not caught up with each other. There are a million things that need to be discussed and we will over time. Right now, we want to be the master of this moment, doing what we want, not what we have to. 
  • Ram is getting into the rhythm of learning guitar. Lately he has been asking me to sing for a piece that he is learning. Can’t tell you how much fun it is to bond over music! I so love it when he tells me I am off track. That means he must know what it is to be on track, right?
  • I had a successful client meeting this week. I was a bundle of nerves because it was on a  topic that I had no expertise in but was expected to be an expert. I stepped outside my comfort zone, and worked day and night on that. 
  • Holiday parties – movie screening this past weekend, work holiday party!

More to write but have to stop here because I have been summoned to cuddle and snuggle by the littlest human in our house. Tudlu for now…!

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Nov. 29 – Normally, we have company for Thanksgiving. So I was mildly disappointed when that was not going to happen this year. But sometimes, life has a way of giving you what you need rather than what you want.  In our case, it was family time, rest and relaxation, and catching up with long standing household projects. Immensely thankful…! 

Nov. 30 – I breathe in and breathe out. The act of slowing down my breath, relaxes the muscles on my face. I focus on my breath, it takes me away from my wandering thoughts. I say a prayer of gratitude to the powers above. For everything under the sun and nothing in particular. 

Om Sarveśām Svastir Bhavatu

Sarveśām Shāntir Bhavatu

Sarveśām Pūrnam Bhavatu

Sarveśām Maṇgalam Bhavatu

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti