Author: obsessivemom

Giving thanks for October #GratitudeCircle

Giving thanks for October #GratitudeCircle

I’m late again, as always for the gratitude post. But since that’s all I seem to be writing about these days I’m grateful I do get to them. October was a good month, apart from a few hiccups. Without dwelling upon the hiccups, let me just get to the good bits, for there were quite a few.

Exams ended for the children around mid-October and I loved the relaxed pace of the days that followed. We watched films together and listened to music. They always protest when I put on music from the 60s and 70s, my favourites from RD Burman, Kishore Kumar and Shammi Kapoor as also The Beatles and Cliff Richards. On the other hand I struggle to enjoy theirs which seems noisy to my old (y)ears. This time round we struck a happy compromise. They were patient as I introduced them to the beauty of the lyrics and the melody that I loved. It was rewarding to hear them humming ‘Jab zero diya mere bharat ne’, a personal favourite. I too found I enjoyed some of ‘their’ songs and many of them now have a permanent place on my walking playlist.

I became more mindful

The music went well with the mindfulness month initiated by Modern Gypsy.. Though I couldn’t keep up with posting daily pictures, I did become more conscious of the small bits of time, of togetherness as well of alone-time and I learnt to enjoy them both. I chatted with the kids while we walked to their classes rather than hurrying there and back. We took impromptu breaks together and stopped at roadside restaurants for nachos or fries.

 

A surprise breakfast

The children decided to surprise me one weekend by cooking up breakfast. They made out a rather elaborate (and unusual) menu card. N handled the kitchen and H played the maitre d with frequent prompting from her. The tea was too strong and the tomatoes in the omelette cut too large, yet it was the best breakfast ever.

More happy surprises

My reading slowed down a bit but no regrets there. On a happy note I won not one, not two but three giveaways – that’s two books and a gorgeous tumbler set from Harper Collins. I’ve already put the tumblers to good use and am hoping to have the reviews of the books up on my other blog soon.

Genghis Khan proved to be a very engaging read. Still to begin on The Invincible Weapon.

 

Aren’t these gorgeous?

The Diwali break began

The children are on a two-week break and it’s good to have them home without the pressure of having to push them to study.

H is a borderline gaming addict, which is a constant source of struggle between us. Our daily arguments notwithstanding, he is now planning to start a YouTube channel on gaming tips and tricks and wants my help. I’m wondering whether that is wise at all, even if I had the tech savviness to help him, which I don’t. I do think that making those videos would be better than the actual gaming – at least it will involve a degree of creativity.

What do you think? Is it a good idea?

N dabbles in a hundred things. Currently she seems to be enjoying writing. I love finding creative prompts for her. To see her sitting at the table scribbling away makes my day.

Also, since I mentioned this, there’s something I’d like your advice on. She currently writes with pen and paper. However, I was wondering if I should get her to switch to a tab. Editing and correcting on paper is tedious for me and she hates to re-write. Besides, the tab is certainly going to be the future of writing, of that I’m certain. However, I’m a little conflicted about her giving up the traditional pen and paper. So help me here, should I get her to switch at least for leisure writing? Or is it too early?

That’s it from me. November is treating me well and my gratitude list is already pretty long.

PS: I took to an adult colouring book and that post header backdrop was done by me. It made me quite happy.

 

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle.

 

Jumbled mythological ramblings

Jumbled mythological ramblings


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The maid was on leave. I was dusting, sweeping and mopping while trying to keep an eye on the children studying for their geography exam. I glanced at the two of them. N was bent over her book while H lay sprawled on the floor, writing.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked him.
‘I’m making a soil chart – alluvial, black, red, laterite,….’

I tuned out rushing to switch off the tap as water overflowed from the mop bucket.

‘…… loamy, clayey’, the tail end of what he was saying brought me back to their massive Geography portion. I glanced at N struggling through the jungle of vegetations and soils and I remarked rather absentmindedly, ‘Whatever it is, share it with N after you finish, okay?’

And BAM! Right there I knew how Kunti got Draupadi in the five-husband mess. When Arjun won her (Draupadi) in a Swayamvar and entered the house saying, ‘Ma look what I got!’ her obvious response was, ‘Whatever it is share it with your brothers’. And so Draupadi landed up with five husbands.

I have always felt truly sorry for that poor woman, and I mean Kunti. Imagine having three boys and then a pair of twins; boys again! What’s worse, she lived in a joint family with her sons and their one hundred cousins, all boys again. I feel faint each time I think of that much testosterone packed under a single roof. Oh and her sister-in-law would have been little help with eyes permanently blindfolded.

You see now how her patience must have been tried? That sharing line was the most natural thing for her to say.

The thought of the brothers squabbling over whatever Arjun had brought must have freaked her out even before she knew what it was. And she said the obvious pre-emptive thing any mom with multiple children would say, ‘Share it’. Thank goodness they were in exile and the cousins weren’t around. Small mercies.

It’s been twelve whole years – take a few months off for when the twins were infants – but since then, with every living breath of mine I’ve been trying to teach them to SHARE and they still don’t get it. It has been one of my most epic fails as a parent. And yet I persevere, reminding them to share share share till it has become a reflex, I say it without thinking.

Just like Kunti.

H goes to a birthday party and comes home with cupcakes – share it, I say.
N wins a goody bag at a school contest – share it, I tell her.
Her friend gives her a chocolate – give half to your brother, I tell her.
He wheedles a computer game from us – okay we say, but share it with N.

I can completely imagine being absentminded enough to say the exact same thing as I work at my laptop.

Am I being fair? Perhaps not. Definitely not in the kids’ minds. After all, as N tells me, ‘When I win something it is mine alone, and it should be my decision to share or not’.

Right? I’m sure Draupadi would agree and Arjun too.

However, as a mom there comes a point in one’s life when all one wants is peace at any cost and fairness be damned.

I have to add that all said and done, this new age funda of I-for-myself doesn’t quite gel. It’s more than just about keeping the peace – I do genuinely prefer the old Indian way of sharing – sharing willingly and with love. And till the kids get that, they can whine and complain but share they shall.

 

 

Note to self: When your child says, ‘Look what I’ve got’ – check what the ‘what’ is before asking him/her to share.

Finding Peace this September #GratitudeCircle #MondayMusings

Finding Peace this September #GratitudeCircle #MondayMusings

While August seemed inordinately long, September seems to have rushed past in a blur. August was about struggling to find mental peace, fighting off loneliness and coming to terms with the absence of friends – real as well as virtual. September, happily enough, has been about getting comfortable with myself, learning to look inwards and finding my own peace while being grateful for friends as and when we cross paths.

It wasn’t as if I had a great epiphany. Rather, it was just about lowering my expectations and learning to manage my moods, aided by long chats with my sister and spontaneous meet ups with my SIL.

Oh and also, long long walks.

If August was about finding an indoor exercising routine, September has been about stepping out. An hour spent outdoors walking hard, with the breeze in my face, wiped away all my moodiness. As the weather has become drier, I’ve been stepping out most mornings. Moms standing by the roadside holding onto toddlers, then waving them goodbye as they climbed on their buses, the greenery along the way, groups of morning walkers and the happy sound of senior citizens clapping and practicing laughter therapy have brightened up my day.

Tracking my progress on Google Fit has given me as much happiness as Shylock got counting his gold. Very satisfying, indeed.

September has been a kinder month despite the kids’ exams kicking off, or perhaps because the exams are here. I spent the first half of the month feeling weirdly detached and guilty by turns, that I wasn’t pushing them enough and then I had no time to think at all. Sometimes that is what works best.

The Husband was home for almost a week right before the exams and that helped. I cannot begin to explain how his very presence takes the stress off me. The feeling that I and I alone am not responsible for the children, is one of the most relaxing thoughts.

Also, he is way more of a Tiger Dad than the Tiger Mom I can ever hope to be. When he is around we argue all the time because I feel he pushes the children a little too hard. Our parenting styles are very different. However, the more he is away the more I realise the importance of at least one parent pushing the kids. I don’t need to push myself to push them. When I’m alone, I have a thousand things on my mind, along with their studies, and I feel they tend to slack off.

I realise the husband and I set each other off well, we are a good team. And I’m grateful for his presence as much as there is of it.

October promises to be relaxed and festive.

***********

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle and with Corinne’s #MondayMusings.

The good things in August #GratitudeCircle

The good things in August #GratitudeCircle

It’s been almost a month since I blogged here. It seems much much longer though, as if it’s been ages since I spoke to friends. I haven’t been in a speak-out-my-heart kind of space this last month. And since that’s the only way I can write at obsessivemom, no writing got done.

However, the once a month gratitude post needs to be written and so here I am. No matter that this one is for August and we’re already in the second half of September. No matter.

The two things that saw me through this month were exercise and books.

The biggest win was on the fitness front.

I finally managed to find a rhythm for my exercise routine. I planned to stick to a forty-five minute walk but the rain gods played spoil sport. That ended up being a blessing in disguise because I discovered Leslie Sanson’s walk videos on YouTube.

 

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I took a while to get used to them. But so desperate was I and so frustrated with the rains that I started off from the better-than-nothing place. Now I’ve explored and tried out several of them and they’ve become a regular part of my fitness schedule. I do still try to step out for a walk but the days I cannot, I follow the videos.

These are 15 minute videos of varying intensity that take you through a one mile walk. I usually take up three of them in a row which adds up to 4.8 kms and that’s good enough for me. I love that I can exercise any time of the day and also that I can do so in my pyjamas.

It's good to have a list of indoor videos as a handy alternative to outdoor walking. #fitnesscapsule. Click To Tweet

If you’re starting off on an exercise routine I highly recommend them. If you’ve been exercising for a while you might find them too easy and you might want to explore the more intense ones.

The second win of the month was reading.

I read. A lot. While writing has been at an all time low, reading has been an all-time high.

Early last month I went to a books by weight sale. Each time I go to one I feel like a child let lose in a candy store. I picked up over a dozen books at a throwaway price. And have, since then been on a reading roll. I have found that books are a great way to distract oneself, to keep oneself happily engaged. Also, reading has helped me cut down on social media time-pass and sleep better. I’ve been blogging fairly regularly on my book blog as well as at Goodreads, so it’s not been too bad.

September is half done. The children’s exams are up in another ten days and I’m caught in my usual struggles. It’s going to be an eventful month, whatever is left of it.

Yet again grateful for Vidya’s Gratitude Circle that reminds me of all the good things in my life.

Man maketh the clothes #MondayMusings

Man maketh the clothes #MondayMusings


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A few weeks back I attended the investiture ceremony at my niece’s school. There she was, right in the front, in her spotless white salwar-kurta, her hair in a neat little bun, a smart cap on her head. My heart filled with incredible pride as I watched her march by and accept the head girl sash.

Her salwar-kurta reminded me of my school days. Till we were in class ten we had uniforms – a sky blue blouse with the school initials in a beautiful cursive on the pocket, neatly tucked into a matching sky blue skirt. I still think of it with happy nostalgia perhaps because school was my absolute happy place. Also, that sky blue was so very different from the white, grey and navy of all other schools. We were ‘different’ and that somehow translated as ‘better’ in our young minds. We were a cut above the rest and that uniform was an inherent part of the feeling.

In class eleven, the school did away with uniforms since we were now technically in Junior College and we were free to wear whatever we wanted. That was our first taste of freedom – freedom to wear our own personalities, our first tentative steps in the world of ‘fashionable’ wear.

And yet, so in love we were with that uniform, that a bunch of us continued to wear it at least few days every week. It seems strange now. Why would one choose a uniform, that of a junior class, when one could pick simply anything from the wardrobe? But we did just that.

By the time my sister got to junior college the no-uniform rule was gone and the girls were given a cream and blue salwar-kurta ensemble. How everyone resented that! First there was the whole idea of a uniform and then this – no smart skirts, but this shabby shapeless thing.

Even my classmates and I, who were by now in Colleges and Universities across the country, hated the thought of girls from our alma-mater wearing that ‘behenji’ dress. It somehow diluted our cool-quotient, or so we believed.

How very wrong we were, thought I with the wisdom that comes with age. I looked on as my niece accepted the flag from last year’s office bearers and delivered the Thank You speech. She did so with amazing flair. The way she marched, the way she spoke, the way she carried herself, I barely noticed her clothes, nobody did. All we saw was an accomplished young girl, solemn and earnest, eager to shine in the new role she was being entrusted with.

She completely rocked that salwar-kurta!

In that moment I realised how stupid we were and I was so so proud of the level-headedness of this new generation that wears the LBD with just as much panache as the salwar-suit.

Clothes are after all, just an enhancement of our inner selves, nothing more. Mark Twain was way off the mark when he said Clothes maketh the man; definitely not true for young women, not any more.

 

Linking up with #MondayMusings at Everydaygyan

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Bodyguard – A #Review

The Bodyguard – A #Review

Book Title: The BodyguardAuthor: Ruchi Singh I was eager to pick this one up as I had read Jugnu, by the same author and loved it. The premise was deliciously different and the cover was enticing. What’s not to like with a brave strong heroine and a rich handsome hero in a sort of role-reversal? That’s […]