Family, Gratitude, Life, Work life balance

Snow Day

We went to bed knowing that we will get a call at 5:00 am. Without intending to, I kept waking up every once in a while to check if it’s that time yet? What’s the scoop about the 5:00 am call you ask? It’s that time when the school going families in our town receive an automated call from the school superintendent informing us whether the school is going to start late or if it’s going to be a snow day. And today is a snow day. The call informed us that there are fallen trees and power failures on account of the Nor’easter.

I peep outside and don’t see any damages in the front yard. As always at first glance the snow looks magical. What is not to love about pure white? At closer look, the snow is wet and heavy, so I am bracing myself for an hour of shoveling at least. I don’t mind that because there is something humbling and gratifying about seeing the fruits of hard physical labor that we often don’t get to practice in the age of convenience and outsourcing. Snow day also means all extra activities get canceled and we are all huddled under the same roof doing our thing. The kids are happy to get the downtime, and know to keep themselves entertained without hindering my productivity. No changes at work but I am grateful that the snow day is not a source of stress because of the flexibility to pace my work. All that matters is I get my work done. It’s not as simple for so many people that I know.

This is the home stretch for this winter. We are in the first week of March, we are inching closer to Spring. I hold on to that thought as tight as I can.

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Detox, Experiences, Me, Work life balance

Mid-week bonanza

I get to do one of the coolest things right in the middle of the work week, in the middle of work day – yoga! My company conducts a yoga session every Wednesday. I so look forward to it and I am very protective of this time.

“There is earth beneath you, breath within you, and you have good intentions. So many things should have gone right for you to be right here, right now. There are places to go. There is work to do. The most important work begins with you. Take the time. Take care of you,”  the yoga instructor reminds us as we stretch and warm up. “Believe in the power of your strength, and the natural ability of your body to find balance,” she continues. I hang on to every word she utters and commit it to memory. 

I love these reminders.. To stretch, to pause, to reflect, and to connect my breath with my body. Immensely thankful for this mid-week break that refreshes and rejuvenates me like no other. 

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Gratitude, Little Moments, Work life balance

Gratitude month

November is Thanksgiving month and I am joining UL this year too in offering my daily thanks. 

I am traveling on business today. The hotel I normally stay in was sold out last week but as luck would have it, there was an opening yesterday. I am thankful that the stars aligned and I can just plonk myself without having to worry about arranging for transportation. I would have figured it out if needed but I am glad I didn’t have to. I am also thankful that I get to spend an evening just vegging out. No need to cook, no need to clean. Just flipping channels and typing away.

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Detox, Food, Health and fitness, Introspection, Work life balance

Fitness Diary – Day 5

Intensive work calls, sick child at home, and kids’ dentist appointment – that was my day today.

I had my aha moment this morning when I realized that all this week I have slept well. A nice deep slumber for 8 hours. I have not had this kind of consistency in sleep pattern in a really long time. I thought it was attributable to the stress associated with the business of adulting (cooking, cleaning, nagging,… etc.). That might still be part of the reason but I think the true culprit is my caffeine intake. For whatever reason, I just assumed that my body is immune to caffeine. That an increased intake would not affect me as much. Apparently not. The amount of sleep I get seems to be indirectly proportional to my caffeine intake. Lesson learnt..!

Today’s focus was on nostril breathing three times per day. That is, close one nostril with the thumb, breathe in slowly. Close the other nostril with the pointer and breath out slowly. I did it twice when I was getting stressed out at work. I have to practice more to see if it works or not for me. The way I look at it, atleast it is better than escaping from the situation by surfing, whatsapping, facebooking etc.

Eats – ok. Baked potato for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, a long list of snack (green tea, corn on the cob, nuts and raisin, apple), and dinner was split pea soup and grain based bread with home made basil pesto spread. Grapes and fig for dessert.

Hydration – did ok I think. Sleep – 9 hours of fragmented sleep. I liked the one hour of no screen time prior to bedtime. Jogging – 17 mins. 

What I am thankful for today?

  • TGIF. Amen to that!
  • I am thankful that intensive work calls are not the norm in my work life.
  • I am thankful that I could afford the luxury of keeping the sick child at home without having to take the day off. I am thankful that the sick child did not hinder my productivity at work.
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Gratitude, Me, Uncategorized, Work life balance

Work life balance

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!

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Family, Gratitude, Little Moments, Uncategorized, Work life balance

Happy Father’s Day

Loved this google advertisement on Father’s Day. Appa, you would love it too and I am posting this for you. This advertisement reminded me of the compromises that you have made, personally and professionally, so we could have a well balanced and stable childhood.  I admire your attention to details, your compassion, and the orderliness with which you undertake even the smallest of tasks. You inspire me to give my best in all my endeavors.

Hari and Ram made a cool video for Da on the occasion of Father’s Day. The video is not in a shareable format, but I am including a word cloud that Hari had in the video. Ram made a lovely personalized gift from school.

Between the two of us, Da is the one that wakes up at midnight to take care of our sick kids. He is the one holding down the fort, without resentment, while I pursue my interests outside of work. He is the one that cuts slack when I take the moral high ground. He is the one that pushes them outside their comfort zone and pampers them with toys and treats. Happy Father’s Day Da. I am blessed and lucky to share the parenting journey with you. You inspire me to be a better parent. Every. Single. Day.

Hari Dad

 

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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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