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March and April reflections

I just chomped down a handful of chocolate covered dry fruits, so at the moment reflecting on my intentions and evaluating my eating habits seem futile and pointless. If the pattern is familiar and if you are rolling your eyes at this post, be assured that you are not alone. I am rolling mine too. Still, I promised that I would hold myself accountable here, can’t go back on that.

March was really a sorry state of affairs. I think it was pure lack of motivation.  I just didn’t eat right and exercise at all. The only saving grace was I was regular with my flossing and supplement intake.

In April, I had enrolled in a three-week nutrition workshop led by the nutritionist I have told you about in my earlier posts. I did really well for those three weeks in terms of eating habits. It was fascinating how much we eat for emotions than for hunger or nutrition. From sleep deprivation to boredom to rewarding to feeling overwhelmed, the mind simply loves and takes comfort in the the instant gratification that sugary unhealthy processed food provides . For those three weeks, I stayed away from sugar, processed food, caffeine, and gluten. Avoiding these foods did not give any tangible benefits but it was practice in noticing how vulnerable the mind is. I could not keep up meditation and exercising. I simply could not make the time. Last week and this weekend, I came tumbling down in terms of eating habits, thanks to my b’day celebrations.

And the saga continues. May and June are going to be anything but routine.

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SYW

Sharing my world

Interesting questions Cee, thank you!

Do you use paper money? If so is your money organized sequentially according to denomination? Not as much because I don’t keep account of what I spend in cash. I don’t organize my currency notes sequentially, which I am very embarrassed about because I grew up with a dad who was quite the expert in money handling. My dad was a banker and I have seen him handle money meticulously. He flicks the currency notes and puts them in proper order even when he plays Monopoly. So I should know better.

Goes to show most things in life should come from within. If it doesn’t, it’s not going to stick no matter how much training you receive. Nevertheless there is value in that training because when the mind is willing to change, it knows how it’s done.

You are comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time? When I was just married and came here on dependent visa, my biggest worry was I would have nothing to do. I sulked until I found opportunities to volunteer and prepare for my Master’s program. I just wish I had the wisdom to know that it was just a phase and that it was a golden opportunity to soak in the new culture and take the time to know the new person in my life. New country, new culture, so many things to explore and experience. Wisdom comes in hindsight but we don’t live life in hindsight. Right now, I am up to my eyeballs so the notion of nothingness does not resonate and I am utterly incapable of it. My earlier experience has taught me not to crave for something that I do not have, but to soak in what I do have. There time will come when nothingness will be an option and I will comfortable with it but right now I will try to snatch pockets of leisure when I can.

What is your greatest strength?  For the most part, I accept myself and others for who they are and a situation for what it is. Paraphrasing a blogger friend who once quoted in her blog –  he is he, she is she, you are you and I am I. Sounds like Dr. Seuss rhyme but pause and think about it. I consider it as my greatest strength because it makes me less judgmental, more open and empathetic, and gives room for relationships and friendships to grow organically. Likewise accepting a situation for what it is helps me look at it matter-of-fact without taking too much offense. Sometimes it happens after my sight has been clouded by emotions, but if I allow myself some time and space to feel what I feel, acceptance and clarity follow.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I very much appreciated the gorgeous weather on Sat. It was idyllic with no need to layer myself up.

Ram’s innocent comment “Amma, yesterday was Earth Day, we did not do anything. Let’s go out now and spend some time with earth.” brought a smile a mile long on my face. Tightly holding on to the innocence while it lasts!

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Family, Gratitude, Introspection, Kids, Life, Little Moments, Me

Four decades and counting

I can’t stop yawning. I should go to bed. I feel deep exhaustion. I have not done my weekly chores and I have an early morning meeting. But I know if I don’t write this post tonight, it is unlikely that it will ever see the light of the day.

I turned 40 this Saturday. I don’t feel a day older or wiser. I feel so many other things though. I feel like I am living the best part of my life  with so many commitments competing for my time, energy and attention. I feel lucky that I get to pursue all the things that my heart desires. I feel deeply grateful to have been born and raised in, married into, and living in a nurturing and supportive environment.  The more years you add to your life, the more you see that life is not a level playing field and there are so many different battles that are being fought. The air of entitlement that you once had slowly gets replaced with an attitude of gratitude. You learn to err on the side of kindness and compassion.

I also feel a pang for the years and the milestones that have gone by. I wince as I catch strands of grey hair that are now coated with color from the henna that is fading away. What lies ahead is not as exciting as what has passed by. I remind myself that nothing is more natural than aging, so why fight it? The 50 year old me will likely laugh at me as I read this post ten years from now. It’s all relative.  I am also reminded that time is precious, and that I should not take my time with people around me for granted. More than ever, I am convinced that the most meaningful impact I can have in my life is raising my boys.

Recording some special moments for my diaries.

  • Ram getting excited about my b’day and spreading the word around to any and everyone that crossed his path. The earring holder and the key chain that he made with his tiny fingers.
  • Hari and Da with their version of cards.
  • Da going above and beyond to make the day more relaxed for me. Not to mention the idol of Ganesha on an easy chair reading a book (so cute!).
  • Earrings made by one the kids that I am fond of at dance class
  • My childhood friend coming home with yummy bisibele bath just because I like it.
  • Food, and more food..!
  • My friend’s son made a jigsaw puzzle for me and framed it. Love that kid and it meant much!
  • My twin having a great day..!
  • Phone calls and wishes from appa, amma, family and friends
  • A beautiful darshan at the Lakshmi temple.

Signing off for now! Have a good week.

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SYW

Sharing my world

Taking up Cee’s questions after a break. Thank you Cee.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Bhelpuri, Plum Cakes, Chocolate Complan, Cadburys nuts and raisins chocolate bar, onion rava and sambar, gobi manchurian… oh the list is long!

List at least five movies or books that cheer you up. Movies/Shows: Wonder, Harry Potter series, Michael Madhana Kama Rajan, I love Lucy, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends.. Books: Calvin & Hobbes, Asterix & Obelix, Harry Potter, Wonder

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing? Depends on the season and depends on the day. If there are no commitments outside, then the typical scene would be – your truly preparing dinner while Hari is catching up with his homework in the home office, Ram is lying down on the couch utterly lost in the world that his book has dragged him into, Da is checking mails and catching up with me in the kitchen. Then we would have dinner together, Ram is the first to sit and last to get up from the table. Da would load the dishwasher as I wrap up. Kitchen is closed and lights turned off in the living area by 8pm. We all head upstairs for our “me” time followed by bed time routine. 

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. My children made me smile this Sunday. The days that I apply anything more than moisturiser on my face are far and between. On a whim, I applied Lakme kajal on my eyes and went about my business for the day. I was pleasantly surprised that both the boys noticed and started chit chatting about it – “Your eyelashes look bigger amma”, “It looks good on you amma, not made up.” A silly little moment that brightened my day. What did I appreciate? We had been to Quebec early last week, The weather was a disaster but much fun was had visiting aquarium and Museum of Civilisation.  I very much appreciated the much needed break from the monotonous routine.

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Kids, Learnings, Little Moments, Sunday School

Learning

Ram and I went to the local fire station as part of the Cub Scouts activity. I love love being part of guided tours, you get to learn so much as you listen while you see. Under the guise of taking Ram, I had the opportunity to get a glimpse into the behind the screen activities at the fire station. The most amazing part for me was learning that the firefighters will the have to get into their bulky gear and out of the door within a minute of receiving the call for action. The need for being swift is not surprising given what they do, but you develop an appreciation for how meticulously it is practiced.  The boys had a blast climbing into the fire engine, trying the hat, lifting the equipments, and chit chatting with the firefighters. 

Hari is working on his diorama project at Sunday school. He has chosen migration to India as his research topic, and we have been learning some cool facts together. Did you know that Nepal and India share open borders? Unencumbered movement of people between two countries. Did you know Amartya Sen was actually born in Bangladesh? The only China town in India is at West Bengal. George Orwell was actually born in India? The Parsis, the Syrian Christians, the Indian Jews. Truly, India is such a diverse nation.

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Intentions, Introspection

Reflections

Liz from Happier with Gretchen and Happier in Hollywood podcasts often refers to an expression that she heard from one of her listeners – Do not treat a gift like a burden! That’s something I have been reminding myself over and over for the past few weeks. I am up to my eyeballs at home and work. Some days I lose perspective and wallow in self-pity. Silly me!  Having a full life is a gift, and each of my pursuits is a choice I have made and is something that fulfills me. So why treat it like a burden?

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SYW

Sharing My World

Questions credits to Cee. Thank you!

What is your earliest memory? My earliest memory must have been when we were probably 4 years or so. It was when my parents were in Bangalore. I vaguely remember going to Kripa akka’s house and eating idlis in their house. I remember being thrilled by the color plates on which they gave Sathya and I idlis. As I recall this, I am wondering if this is a memory, a dream or a story I made up in my head.

Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under? Never really paid attention to this minutia. I am going with under.

What makes you feel grounded?

To center myself instantly, the body scan meditation really helps. When I feel stressed out, I start paying attention to my facial muscles. Making conscious attempts to relax my eyebrows, cheeks, jaws and the tongue; relaxing in the body does lead to relaxing of the mind.  It always surprises me how often the body tenses up and stays in that state without me realizing it.

Other things that help me stay grounded on ongoing basis are routine, discipline, and productivity. And faith – just knowing and accepting that there are so many things that are beyond my control and putting my faith in the higher power keeps me going.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I woke up on Sat morning sleep deprived, with back to back commitments. I neither had the time nor the energy to review my dance items but I knew if I didn’t review, with a clouded mind and tired body, the class was a disaster waiting to happen. But guess what? My teacher rescheduled our class to the next day. I can’t tell you how very relieved I felt. That would go down on my books as something that I appreciated the most this past week.

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