Chuck the blues out with the junk

It’s one of those days when I feel low for no reason. My mind is just sad and doesn’t know how to cheer itself up. I just sit and brood. As it goes, whenever I try to reach people during these blues, none are available for a hearty talk. So again, I am forced to slump it out. I need to clear my mind, badly.

I stare blankly at tv not following one single dialogue or the story. Then switch it off because it adds to my irritation. I sit with a book but not for long for lack of attention. I can’t nap because of the nagging weight on the mind.

Best remedy, a blast of music, and few chores. My favorite, folding the piled up laundry and emptying the sink in the kitchen. Cleaning a room or a cupboard is also a form of therapy. When you throw unwanted junk, the room, cupboard and the mind is lightened up a bit.

The store room in my house was getting quite crowded but I had kept the cleaning, postponed . Its a congested room and I hate being there for more than two minutes. Bu then mood Blue hit me and I had to drive it out, somehow. What good chore than clearing up the store. So dived into the pile. Cartons filled with things kept in hopes of using them someday, beckoned me. I dug deep and pulled out all those plastic and glass bottles, unused ceramic cups- some with missing handles (don’t know why I kept them). All went straight to a garbage bag.

Next, under attack, three big plastic bags full of more plastic bags (Made a mental note to take the big jute bag to the supermarket, next time). Old toys, clothes, kept aside to be given to charity crammed the place. All pushed out.

The brooms, mops, cleaning liquids, detergents found their due corners.Packs of toilet rolls, tissue boxes, were assigned better places. Expired medicines, tablets, creams were chucked out.

Store room looked neat, with more space and some fresh air. Three big garbage bags with junk stored for years, were sent to the bin. I felt much lighter. The unknown burdens thrown away with the junk, gave a lift to the dampened spirit. Decluttering is the best way to clear the head as well, sometimes.

What recreation couldn’t accomplish a simple act of cleaning did, like magic. I notice the kitchen cupboard groaning under the weight of things crammed in. Next, in the hit list when the mood Blue strikes.

Cutting the long call short

Cutting the long call short

Once upon a time, my ear and phone stuck together, most of the time. Now people complain I don’t call them often. It is not because I don’t like to be in touch, but because long talks over the phone can be quite strenuous. The reasons are many,

  1. Time just flies – When on the phone, talking at length, the time kept aside for jobs just vanishes, as a result chores pile up.
  2. Aimless talk – Long talks end up in gossip and unnecessary chats about things/people. For the lack of subjects we discuss weather, what was for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which is irrelevant.
  3. Health – Recent studies have shown that usage of cell phone for long hours has ill-effects on our brain and overall health. Already short of memory my biggest fear is to lose it all. Better stick to shorter calls than be sorry later. I put the speaker on whenever I can.
  4. Kids – When on a call and kids are around, they take full advantage of the situation. Homework is incomplete, junk food finds its way to their mouths and tab, tv, PSP all go active. Scene is set for mischiefs.
  5. Respect the person at the other end – The friend at the other end, may be a busy person and has thousand things on his/her to-do list. If the person is equally free then long calls should be fun or else we will be on the ‘avoid’ list of people.
  6. Direct interactions – I love meeting people. Having a face-to-face chat with them is much more heartening. Calls are reserved for the dear ones who stay far and for people who we rarely meet.
  7. Alternative communications – With the advent of smart phones chat apps have gained much fame. We can keep in touch with friends using these apps also share short videos and pictures. We can send messages and respond when convenient, not necessarily immediate.

Even though it is nice to hear from our friends and families while staying away from them, we can still keep our talks precise. I do have once in a while long talks but on a daily basis it can be overwhelming. With fewer and shorter calls these days, I find more time at hand and able to manage my routine better. I have definitely more time for people who are around. Cutting the long calls short, I am more organized and that calls for celebration.

Fights that bond you, bright side of having a sibling..

With two kids, most of my time goes acting a referee between the two. Be it a fight, a debate, sharing things, eventually the referee steps in. Sometimes, if they are having a safe tiff (with no punching and name calling), I silently vanish from the scene and let them handle it on their own.

It is always difficult acting judge and give a verdict who is wrong. I so wish sometimes they don’t fight at all. Then realise, siblings are the best people who give you a practice of how to handle situations and people when you step out into the world.

Not everyone is nice to you, not everyone will see only the good in you and get along. People take advantage of weaknesses and cash on that. When I look at my son and daughter, that is what is happening. Where sweetness is required to getting things done, my son takes the lead. Weaves magic with those innocent eyes and sweet smile. If a head-on approach and attack mode is the need of the hour my daughter takes the forefront and get things done. What they don’t get is that I understand all that and let them have their way when it suits me. That is because I want to let them develop their abilities and then, learn some more. Its a competitive world out there and they should know how to handle people and know different approaches. They will surely learn from each other the knacks they are weak at. They compete with each other, who is first. They accept the victory of the other, which I am glad of.

They are learning a lot from these sibling interactions. They are learning to co-exist along with their differences. They point out each other’s mistakes and try to mend them (which usually ends with a tiff). They are learning how to get things done by each other, given their different personalities. They are learning to negotiate –  “If you want  me to help, share your magic pen with me!”. To compromise – share that precious toy, to get that most wanted aid. Most of the time it is best not to interfere, they should learn to handle these situations. Only, no bad words or physical fights. Arguments are allowed, very much.

They don’t fight always, there are great moments of laughter and peace. They play together, paint together. Study time is the same. They always have their food together. Their most productive conversations, funny exchanges, and sharing of events of the day happens at the dining table, with  me lending an ear at the background (that’s total entertainment).

I feel happy when they seek each other’s comfort when parents are villains. They are learning to stand by each other, giving silent consolation. Once, scared of my ire my daughter refused to come downstairs and her brother held her hand and guided her down the stairs, giving her courage. It was worth losing my cool, I felt, when I saw them bonded.

My headstrong daughter is learning she has to obey and respect her elder brother and acknowledge he knows more than her and has a lot to gain from that. My son is learning he has to love and respect his dominating little sister and guide her when necessary. Most of all, they are learning they are each other’s friends for life. The one cushion they can fall back on when life throws those punches at you. So, keep the fights, debates, disagreements coming, my babies, and roll in, that laughter and games – the foundation of a bond that’s one of the strongest.

Lethargy calls, block it with blogs..

Lethargy calls, block it with blogs..

I stopped blogging for three days now. Asking myself what happened. Started writing with a vengeance, am I done with it? Lethargy, I was addicted to, taking over again?

A fortnight back, I forced myself out of my lethargic recliner and explored the net for something useful to do. My life had come to a standstill with the daily routine day by day bogging me down. The routine had to be changed. For a long time now, blogging was an idea in the shadows of my mind. I kept it for a day when brainwave struck and prompted me to write. Brainwaves have to be stirred and created these days. So I stirred myself one to go check the net. I found the 30 day blogging challenge. I believe in signs and this was definitely a sign. The forced brainwave gave me the kick needed, to start. Accepting the challenge was the tough call. No more free time to laze around and watch tv. I took it up, just to see where I head.

Creating a blog and writing the first post felt amazing and I was hooked. I wrote daily with an adamancy of posting a blog better than the previous one. I did that for sixteen days at a stretch! And words came easily, just flowed. It was a wonderful re-discovery of what I am capable of.

But then lethargy was jealous. It attacked. Mind went blank, words that flowed went dry. Even the ones that came out felt meaningless. I was scared. That day I gave it a break. Kids and husband are at home for a week, I will spend time with them, was a good pretext to take that break. All day, with my laptop away and just relaxed, but with a tinker in the mind whispering that I shouldn’t stop. I knew the pattern, postponement was setting in. That night I got panicky, no way going back to the lazy routine. Woke up early next day, but the writer’s block wouldn’t go. Asked myself why  am I stubborn to write a blog, what has changed? Then I wrote it all, how blogging, in just a fortnight, brought discipline and direction to life. That day’s post was ready to publish.

Next day, guests. I was cleaning, cooking, getting the house in order. Whole day spent in the company of friends. Holidays are the only time we get to socialize, without giving a thought to tomorrow’s to-do list. It was a wonderful time with friends. But after wrap up, it was impossible to write with eyelids heavy with sleep. So gave it a slip again. Following day, feeling guilt all day that I let myself down couldn’t write a word. But forced myself again, completed the task before I went to bed. Again, the next day, I did not post a blog, just like that.

I had kept this blog as an end to the challenge. But writing it now, for a good reason. To accept that I love the positive changes in life and hang on to it. I look back, its just about eighteen days but feels like a long time. I don’t want to give up now and go back to slumping on that lazy couch. No more same old routine. No more falling lazy. After reading about writer’s block by other bloggers, I know it is common and it is ok. Doesn’t mean I have to stop. Not yet, hope never!

Caution, this mind is ticking questions!!

Caution, this mind is ticking questions!!

“Why do you talk so much?” I asked my daughter one day, when she was around four years old. I always find her talking, or asking questions or giving suggestions, but she has to voice her thoughts in all ways possible. So here’s her answer, ” There are ideas (read as ‘thoughts’) coming into my mind non-stop so I have to talk to bring them all out”. I looked at her and wondered how draining it is to have an overflowing mind. She gave a very logical reason to her banters.

I was used to a quiet house until my daughter arrived, with her non-stop thoughts and queries. She knows a lot, I don’t know how. She grasps a little more than her age allows. She has the courage to ask questions to clear her doubts and puts us in a fix. Her ears are razor-sharp, she catches conversations from a mile away and comes running to learn more.

Her questions are always interesting and thought provoking. While walking her to the bus stop, one day, she asked, “Where is Earth?”. I replied, “This is Earth, the whole world you see around you.”. “No, this is Abu Dhabi (We were staying in Abu Dhabi then), where is Earth?”. I tried to explain, ” Abu Dhabi is a place on Earth. It’s a planet where we all live.” She was very upset and adamant that Abu Dhabi is not part of the Earth, it is a world, on its own. Earth must be somewhere else. Her argument was so strong I almost agreed with her. Whole of my day went in  thinking how to convince this headstrong girl that we are Earth-dwellers.

She was and is obsessed with age. Whoever visited us had to submit their age with her. Once, traveling by bus with about fifty people around us,she asked loudly what my age was. I lied as confidently as I can, with all those people enjoying it with smug smiles.

Back from India trip, where she had interactions with my Mother and Grandmother (who was confined to bed due to illness), her mind began spinning thoughts about aging. I explained her how each person has to age, from a baby – child- young person- old person – very old person ( her contribution). That night she woke up to  go to the bathroom. Somehow, the toilet seat is a place where brainwaves skim. I heard her crying. When asked what was the matter, she told she didn’t want me to die. So I asked her to elaborate. She said, “When I am older, you will be like granny, granny will be like great granny and then one day you will fall sick and die. Again I had to stand at the toilet door and explain to her that I am not likely to die soon. She went quiet again which means her mind was in full action. She announced, Dad will surely die once he is old. I waited until she was out of that toilet seat and again lectured (an expert by now) that we cannot stop people from dying but have to enjoy each other’s company when alive. I didn’t know how much that overworked mind grasped but she calmed down.

By now, I have spoken at length on why ladies have breasts, why moms with kids have jelly bellies, is it compulsory to have kids if yes, how many! Not to forget spiritual, philosophical questions about why we need to pray, why God doesn’t appear if he is everywhere (even in toilets??), rebirths, reincarnations. Interesting ones like why husbands are always older than the wives, why girls have to go away from parents after marriage. (Look forward to these topics as blogs!!)

Though sometimes tiresome, I am glad she is asking questions. Glad her mind is ticking non-stop. I am the happiest that she thinks I have all the answers. Her questions, in return gets me thinking too, to come up with appropriate answers. Of course, I do evade questions about babies and periods (I hate those Whisper ads!) telling her there are a few things she will understand when she is a little older and has to wait till then. But with a promise that I will surely answer them (I preparing for that already!).

This is one prominent part of her childhood I will always hold dear. We are weaving memories together with these questions and answer sessions. Though sometimes we dread when she comes with that look in her eyes, we always enjoy her theories and opinions that pour out in a steady stream. Hope the chatter and questions never stop, the brainstorming sessions continue, for they bring in so much more to life.

The pleasure of a gift

The pleasure of a gift

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I love buying gifts because a lot of thought goes into it. The recipient, his/her age, interests, likes, styles everything has to be considered. Whenever I go gift hunting, I visualize the recipient with the gift. Then decide if it suits the person.

I had to buy one for a friend who was coming home for lunch. So off I went shopping. Last minute shopping is the best. It’s like a challenge – finding a gift before time runs out. I went to a place which specializes in shoes and beautiful bags. My favorite haunt. It is easy to look for a gift, when I know what is available there. Off I went to the bags section, even though shoes on display were screaming for attention.

I began my visualization session. Each clutch or bag I touch brought my friend’s image in front of my eyes with that particular item.  Clutches are all the same old, standard ones. A big NO. She has a toddler in tow, she needs to keep a hundred things handy, so if it is a bag then will need a big one.

I almost finalized a nice black bag with weaves on it when a jewelry box caught my eye. It was compact, so ideal to take along for travels. A clutch caught my attention, just then. A stylish party-clutch that came in two colors, gold and purple. It was difficult to choose between the both. I dragged in my husband for a second opinion.
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The jewel box won. It was a clutch-like jewelry box, with handles. Its creamy complexion with slight glittery designs gave it a party look. What’s more, my friend’s brother is getting married soon, so this box is will be handy to keep the jewelry when she travels to India. Neat and compact it has all the essential pockets for chains, rings and earrings. Bought the box and wrapped it.

The gift is ready to meet it’s rightful owner and I am ready to see that smile when that gift makes one feel special!

5 ways how blogging affects my life

Past two weeks has been a huge learning experience. I am pushing myself, posting a blog everyday, each day a new topic. I am extensively studying about blogging itself and the sea of information online overwhelming. The knowledge and information shared by fellow bloggers and the fact that how well they present their write-ups, the writing styles, the data included, each small detail has me in awe. In short, I am addicted.

Past fortnight, I have seen a few significant changes in life,

  1. Clarity of thoughts –  When writing, it is very important to chronicle our thoughts in the right order. We need to know the specifics. We need to know when to elaborate or stop, decide what comes after what. This has become a habit now. Thoughts do not confuse anymore.
  2. Order in life – My days are more disciplined. Setting a time for blogging helped me plan and finish other chores before I start. It’s either when kids are in school or after their bed time, I blog. Rest of the chores are also planned accordingly.
  3. Confidence – What kept my blogging postponed was self-doubt. A fear that I may not be able to come up with something good. But after taking the plunge, I realized how much I enjoy doing this. The comments and reviews by readers, friends and family is a big, big boost. I look forward to write more, with confidence.
  4. Knowledge – Each day, I am learning something new. There is so much more to learn and I am enjoying, all the information seeping in, adding to my skills.  What a variety of subjects I can write about, it’s an enlightenment in itself. All these years of life experiences, extensive reading, meeting people has accumulated a treasure of knowledge and it is a delight to dig deep into it and just write.
  5. Happiness  – Last but not the least, I am happy to do something that I enjoy. It is a delight to see words pouring out, filling the page. Elated, when my work is appreciated, I am basking in the new found respect for self.

Recognizing my potential and bringing it alive is the best thing I have done, lately. When on the right path, what we find along the way is priceless lessons of life.