Category: gratitude

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.

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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.

Grateful for a familiar face #GratitudeCircle

Grateful for a familiar face #GratitudeCircle

This morning I set off on my walk a trifle reluctantly. The weather was perfect – cloudy and breezy, windy even, but not cold, with an occasional sprinkle of rain and yet I felt weirdly listless. My innate practical Capricornian side struggled with that feeling telling me I had no reason to feel that way or to miss my walk for it.

Yet the reluctance was right there more real than ever, holding my feet down, urging me to take the elevator back home. There has been the odd day when I’ve done just that – I’ve come down for my walk and then gone right back.

Do you know that feeling? When you feel vaguely discontent for no apparent reason? Perhaps it is stress or overwhelm, worry or mood swing or anxiety, but it pulls at me somedays making me want to do nothing at all.

I adjusted my music player in the lobby willing myself to begin that walk  when I spotted a familiar face – a neighbour who was also walking. She waved at me and smiled.

Most days I walk alone – one, because I find it hard to match paces and two, because I if I’m walking briskly I do not have the breath to talk. Also, if I can talk it implies I’m not walking fast enough.

However, in the middle of my tussle today, that familiar face was like the very life-line I needed and I fell into pace with her. She walks comfortably slowly and we chatted along. She was done way before me but by that time I had found my rhythm and was happily warmed up, well on my way to finish the walk.

At the end of it I had done one full hour. I was sweaty, happily tired and had successfully banished my listlessness.

All it took was a familiar face to get me going. Next time round I’ll remember to slow down and smile too. One wave, one smile may uplift someone’s day like it did mine today.

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I’m so glad of Vidya’s Gratitude Circle that pushes me to get back to the blog each month.

Gratitude this June

Gratitude this June

June is a month of settling down for all of us here, as the new session begins. It is a tough month which is why I keep my targets easy and expectations low.

In the beginning of the month the focus was on getting the children’s schedules in order. We had to figure out what co-curriculars they’d opt for and how that would fit in with their school day.

The trouble is, both H and N tend to cram in a lot in their days. Then they get overwhelmed with it all and give it all up. Personally, I’d be happy if they stuck to school and, later in the evening, played with their friends.

I keep telling them that having one too many things on their plate will tire them out. In typical tween tradition they refuse to listen and we end up having long arguments ending with, ‘You never let us do what we want to do.’

This year I thought I’d let them be, that they were old enough to decide for themselves. As a result of their over enthusiasm, the schedule is chock-a-block between chess and guitar class, handball and skating and drama. A lot of it is taken care of at school but for the rest, I need to be available for pickups and drops and that is a little crazy. I seem to zipping in and out of home all evening. This whole thing is like a jigsaw puzzle of their time slots and mine, where if one piece is disturbed the whole thing goes for a toss!

I’m not sure any longer whether this was such a good idea. But then parenting is about hits and misses, trial and error. I am hoping they’ll see sense soon. Also I do realise that they have just this year and maybe another one, to try out whatever they want after which they’ll have to settle down. 

That said, I am grateful they such have such a choice of activities they want to try out and also that everything is within easy reach – a five or ten minute drive is all it takes me to ferry them around. We have a wonderful neighbourhood and I’m so glad of that.

Through all this running around there have been things that have kept a smile on my face:

  • The weather has been a dream with the rains setting in.
  • I’m grateful I don’t have to step out much and that I can work from the comfort of home. I get to enjoy the monsoon with my cup of tea without needing to see its messy side.
  • Fitness has been a win this month. I finally went to see a nutritionist and am sticking out with the exercise/diet routine she prescribed.
  • We (I and my girl gang) discovered a fabulous new restaurant with a menu full of smoothies and salads and we’re so excited we’ve planned weekly lunches. The best bit – it’s right next to our apartment complex.
  • I took up the #WriteTribeFestivalofWords of seven-days-seven-posts on my book blog and was pretty happy I could complete it despite having guests over. A special thank you to the super-organised Shilpa who never fails to lend a hand when I panic and reach out for help.

 

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle

With this post I also kick off the Bar-A-Thon – the fortnight long Blogging Challenge. I’ve kept it simple today because the gratitude post needed to be done and I know it’s a lousy use of a prompt but I’m hoping I’ll come up with something better next time.

The prompt for today was ‘One too many’.

A time for family and friends

A time for family and friends

This last month, the month of May, has been filled with so many blessings that I’ve lost count. It is by far my favourite month of the year. It’s the time I am truly home, among extended family and childhood friends. The days are about reunions and getaways, about reinforcing age-old bonds and rediscovering the flavours of childhood, of leafing through photo albums and laughing at our tiny ponytails and large bell-bottoms.

There wasn’t a single morning, afternoon or evening when I didn’t have someone around, when I wasn’t planning a meet up, a movie or a dinner. Many an evening, my plans would dissolve into nothing because someone would drop by with the ease and comfort born of years of familiarity, the kind that needs no phone call, no appointment.

The children oscillated constantly between the various homes. The FIL took upon himself to tutor them in Math during the mornings, a family tradition of sorts. Their older cousins have all had to put up with his tenacious love for teaching Math. Despite plenty of good-natured ribbing and calls of ‘It’s your turn to get caught now’, he persevered and surprisingly enough, the children complied without a murmur. That there was a constant supply of laddoos and pedas might have helped.

The children also developed a severe case of ice-cream insecurity. The moment the tubs showed signs of finishing they’d sound an alert and sure enough, one doting elder or the other would order out another.

One night they were carried off to a wedding by my sister, their first ever. I stayed home enjoying a chat with the in-laws. They came back tired and completely overwhelmed, yet thrilled at the colour and the crowd, the food and the festivities and the excitement of it all. ‘The bride was epic,’ pronounced N. She had never seen such finery except in films. Meanwhile, H said the buffet was the best.

I had set myself some tasks for the month including blogging and figuring out some technical concepts which I normally do not get time for. None of them got done. I have to admit the first few days I was a trifle unnerved with this total lack of order, something I normally strive hard for in my routine. It was strange not to be worrying about the children, their food and their studies, specially after a rather stressful year. Bad habits stick on so hard, isn’t it?

Then somewhere along the way I let go and decided to go with the flow. Then on, I had the best time ever.

Sometimes it's best to go with the flow. Click To Tweet

We went off to spend a weekend at my cousin’s farm and then in the middle of all the craziness, we  managed a two-day trip to Agra. The six-lane Yamuna Expressway meant that we could travel the distance in about four hours. Everyone had cautioned us that it would be too hot, that the children wouldn’t be able to handle it, unused to such high temperatures. We decided to go on anyway and I’m glad we did. We spent the mornings and evenings visiting the absolutely stunning monuments and stuck to our hotel room during the hot afternoons while the children took to the pool. It was as idyllic as it could get.

I often talk about how much I love my hometown but it’s the connections and warmth of relationships that continue to make it special – a place where friends are family and family are friends.

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Restaurant of Love Regained #BookReview

The Restaurant of Love Regained #BookReview

Book Title: The Restaurant of Love Regained Author: Ito Ogava Translated by: David Karashima I bought this one off Amazon despite my self-imposed book ban, in a paperback edition despite struggling with shelf space. That’s how much I wanted to like this book. The premise is absolutely enchanting. The story Rinko comes home one day […]