Gratitude, Introspection, Kids, Wishes

Celebrating unconditional love

I am immensely grateful for the unconditional love that my amma and my children shower on me. Day in and day out.  Amma, I accept you and love you for who you are, without any strings attached. Happy Mother’s Day to you. Hari and Ram, I hope you will continue to tolerate me and love me for who I am because quite frankly that’s the only way I know to be.  Being your mom has been a privilege. 

To those of you that celebrate the hallmark holiday, Happy Mother’s Day.  To those of you that care less about it, Happy Sunday.  I wish you TLC in whatever form and shape you like to receive it. 

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Me, Wishes

Another year, another b’day

I had a day filled with little moments of celebrations – Ram made a b’day balloon out of Lays chips packet, he tried his best to train Alexa to wish me happy b’day, and brought home sweet little knick knacks (paper boats, rockets and what not!) from his KG buddies. He made sure that anybody and everybody he came across knew that it was my b’day and made sure that I got wished. Hari left a heartwarming note for me this morning and has been been talking to me in Tamil all this week. I had a nice walk in our very picturesque neighborhood, chit chatted and connected with friends and family, and wrapped up with a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant. Did I forget to mention that I am typing this post on a brand new laptop? All in all, I feel celebrated and pampered. I am deeply thankful for this privileged life.

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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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Experiences, Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Introspection, Learnings, Life, Loss, Wishes

Reflections and Wishes

“Breathe in. Breathe out,” I tell myself.  I feel heavy hearted as I recall the events from this year. I scroll back to the entries since the beginning of the year by way of reassuring myself that this year too has had its share of joyful events. And I am not disappointed. There is plenty to rejoice about. Life is kind that way, it tosses bouquets even when it throws brickbats.

My mil’s health setbacks and her subsequent passing away this year has undoubtedly dented our lives. And just like that this year marked the end of an era for the family. We miss amma at random times for random reasons. Sometimes we talk about it and at other times, we just sit tight, keeping a low profile, waiting for the feeling to pass.

“Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande is the book that has had an immense influence on me this year. Human body is a complex and sophisticated machine and like any other machine, it is bound to wear and tear with time.  The book made me think a lot about aging and mortality and humbled me.  We can’t live life fearing the worst. Nor should we live life as though we have unlimited time on earth. We should strive to live our fullest in the moments given to us, with the people around us.  

This year has been a milestone year in so many ways. Da and I celebrated our 15 years of togetherness. Hari started middle school and Ram began kindergarten.  We became US citizens and voted for the first time.

I took up a lot of volunteering projects this year – at school, at the local library, and in Sunday school, and realized that there is always so much to do. The more activities I engage in outside home, the more motivated I feel to come back to my home, to my people. I experimented with cooking quite a bit this year, and loved practicing eating right and eating clean. I jogged consistently for the first half of the year, shed some pounds and felt like I took responsibility for my health, I tried my hands on meditation and was awed by the power that mind has over the body. 

My heartfelt wishes to you and your family in the brand new year.  I wish you clarity amidst chaos, faith and hope in the face of panic, strength and belief to fight setbacks, focus when distractions rule, interests and passions that fill you, family and friends to love and cherish, a healthy body, a peaceful mind and a sound intellect. Lightness, cheer and merriment. Happy 2017.

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People, Wishes

Celebrating one-of-a-kind person

Today is Da’s sister’s birthday. Aaru (I am calling her Aaru in this space) is one of a kind. She is smart, compassionate, fun loving and people oriented. Aaru and Da share a very special sibling relationship, one that is devoid of expectations and is defined by utter trust in each other. She accepts and embraces her reality but never lets them define her. The past decade and a half I have known her, not once has she made a rude remark about anyone. With her smile and people loving nature, she puts everyone around her at ease. She is an everyday Santa who indulges her kids and nephews.

Happy B’day Aaru, may you be filled with the finest things in life, now and always! You are a blessing that I truly am thankful for.

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Gratitude, Wishes

Forever friend

Today, I am reflecting, celebrating and thankful for a very special friendship.

She is like a breath of fresh air, cool and crisp, energizing you with her presence. She has seen me through my ups and downs, thick and thin. She is my cheerleader, playing the devil’s advocate, reminding me who I am. We look at the same picture from different perspectives, making our understanding more holistic. We share a friendship that is intuitive, unconditional, and non-judgmental.

Happy b’day V.  This post comes a day late but is one that I wanted to enter in my gratitude journal.  My deep deep gratitude for your friendship. I count you as one of my life’s richest blessings. I am thankful that our paths crossed. I am thankful for the years and years of giggling, dreaming, bantering, and pouring our souls out. May you be blessed with all the happiness your heart can hold!

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Gratitude, Hari Katha, Wishes

Celebrating Hari

Our first born will be turning 12 in another 45 minutes.  Where did the years go? All I did was blink and he grew from a newborn to a pre-teen. Hari has been grinning ear to ear all day today. “Amma can you believe it, this will be my last year of being a pre-teen?” I absolutely cannot believe it child. I simply cannot. I mean I know it. I have seen you grow inch by inch. Yet when I see you making small talks with the hairdresser at salon or chatting with our neighbors, it takes my breath away. That’s when it hits me you are growing fast and furious. They say the pre-teen and teenage years are challenging years, a time when a child is at the cusp of childhood and adulthood, trying to figure out his place in the world. When academic and peer pressure multiply. This year has just been the beginning of that phase and you have had a good start. I worried that you would want less of me in this phase. But  I am pleasantly surprised by how you have been reaching out  to me for hugs and love when I least expect it. I love how you and I are able to have candid conversations, sometimes speaking volumes with our eye rolls, naughty smiles, and heavy sighs!  You are kind, flexible and an easy going child. Always eager to roll up your sleeves and face a challenge thrown at you. You are everything a parent would want in a first born.

Today, I am thankful for the blessing and privilige of raising Hari. It has been the richest 12 years of our lives. Happy happy birthday dearest Hari. Be mindful, listen to your inner voice, focus your energy on the efforts, be kind to yourself and to others, and be happy. We love with all our hearts and more. 

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