Category: gratitude

A loaf of bread and a lesson on ‘receiving’

A loaf of bread and a lesson on ‘receiving’

The other day a friend of mine, who is taking baby steps in baking, got me a freshly baked loaf of bread. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am exceptionally fortunate when it comes to friends.

I’d have been fine with a slice or two, but she insisted I keep the entire loaf, ‘I baked it specially for the children,’ said she. I felt a little awkward but she insisted. After a bit of a back and forth and a promise that she’d charge me for it I accepted, with a heartfelt thank you. ‘I hope the children enjoy it,’ she added giving me a hug.

We are all a little awkward when it comes to receiving, aren’t we? I know I am. It’s like an obligation which, I feel, I have to repay. That’s the way I was brought up. The idea was ‘If you cannot repay a favour, don’t accept it.’

I grew up meticulously keeping hisaab, refusing favours and always remembering to give back if I did accept something. Receiving made me uncomfortable, a little smaller, perhaps.

We talk of giving all the time and I’m all for it, but isn’t receiving an equally important aspect? There has to be a balance of come kind, I presume. After all there can be no giving without receiving.

Five ways receiving enriches your life Click To Tweet

Here are five ways receiving enriches your life

  • You form an instant connection. Accept a favour and see how quickly you form a bond with the giver.
  • You give the other person the chance to feel good about themselves. Isn’t that just wonderful? That you’re bringing happiness to someone?
  • Oh and conversely, you feel good about yourself too. The fact that someone wants to give you something reinforces your sense of self. After all who would want to give something to someone they don’t quite like?
  • You learn humility because you’re accepting a favour.
  • And you learn gratitude.

 

As moms, parents, adults we are used to giving all the time. It would do us good to sit back and receive for a change. So all of you out there:

  • Receive help. Ask for it and accept it with gratitude.
  • Receive compliments. A simple thank you without putting yourself down does it.
  • Receive gifts, yeah why not?

Accept, without any thought of paying back, simply with an open heart full of gratitude and nothing else.

PS: In case you were wondering, the bread was absolutely scrumptious – soft, flavourful and ‘cinnamony’ with a mild sweetness and nuts and raisins that sprung a delicious surprise in each bite.

Perfect!

 

and with #ChattyBlogs from Shanaya Tales

Blogging challenges and a gratitude post

Blogging challenges and a gratitude post

I began blogging last month with a gratitude post and that seemed like a lucky omen. September turned out much better than August for the blog as well as for me. So here I am beginning a new month with another gratitude post hoping October will be even better.

Going through my last month’s post I realised how much more at peace I am now than I was then. I’m in a much better space – happier and more relaxed. What’s interesting is that there hasn’t really been any major change to make things better. In fact, since we’re in the middle of the children’s exams, I expected stress levels to rise. That that hasn’t happened is a small miracle in itself and it reinforces my faith in my favourite quote, Happiness is an Inside Job – that happiness often, has little to do with the things around us.

I’m not much for self-indulgent, psychoanalytical posts so without boring you to death with details of my weird flip-flop mental state, let me just say that while I still haven’t achieved the zen state I aspire to, I am just happier and so very grateful for that.

The uplifting of my spirits might be in part due to the love showered on my blog this past month. I had way more visitors than I normally do thanks to the My Friend Alexa Challenge which I was a part of. The first few days of the challenge I felt a little self-conscious, like someone who knew her house wasn’t in as good shape as she would have liked it to be and was expecting a deluge of visitors.

I wished I had the time to put up better posts, smarter stories and more creative pictures on the blog. I wished I could have tinkered with the layout, made it neater, more inviting. However, once I realised that wasn’t likely to happen with my crazy schedule and decided to go ahead and write just like I always do, things fell into place.

I focussed on my original aim of bringing discipline to my blogging, which I did. I managed to write nine posts in the month which is almost two times what I normally do. So I did complete the challenge successfully. That felt good. And, this might make sense to my blogger friends only, my Alexa Rank fell from 2,244,955 to 1,126,045, a drop of over a million!

I read scores of blogs as part of the challenge and discovered some fantastic ones which I shall be going back to. Huge thanks to the Blogchatter team for their tireless efforts to see us all to the finish line.

Encouraged by this success I jumped right into another one – The Write tribe pro-Blogger challenge. All of October, I shall be joining over a hundred Write Tribers and blogging twice a week, again. Sending out a note of thanks to Shilpa who egged me on to do this, over-riding all of my apprehensions. I remain grateful for friends who always come to my rescue when a blogging slump seems around the corner.

And dear reader, as always, your presence here is much cherished. Wish me luck and do drop by every Monday and Friday for a fresh post. The twins have been keeping me busy with their shenanigans and I have lots to tell.

 

Linking up with the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge #writebravely #writetribeproblogger

 

and also with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle

The Gratitude road to Happiness

The Gratitude road to Happiness

Early this week my Whatsapp crashed. Surprisingly, I didn’t miss it much. I found I quite liked the freedom from endless forwards, specially those ‘wife’ jokes. (Aaarrrghh!! They drive me even crazier when they come from women or men in perfectly happy relationships). Of course I missed some messages from friends but I was fine with that.

A Bad Patch

Coupled with the phone malfunction is the fact that over the past ten days or so the children have given me an exceptionally hard time and that perhaps, made me even more reluctant to communicate (or blog). Do you have days like that – so bad that they’re not even worth a rant? When you just want to shut yourself and wallow? And then when you find yourself friendless, you feel sorry for yourself, never mind that you’ve not made the effort to reach out to them in the first place? Well so that’s where I was. And not having a phone just helped me let myself be. I didn’t realise that being  alone made me crabbier and lonelier.

I Tried…

to pull myself out. I stepped out more than I normally do and I kept going for my yoga classes, more regularly than ever, even though I didn’t have my heart in it at all.

It helped, but only temporarily.

A few days later my phone crashed completely! That was the very last straw. Things had to look up after that and they did.

In a better place

Yesterday, finally, I fixed my new phone. Whatsapp is up and running and I’m back to deleting the wife jokes while smiling at some of the others. I’ve had yet another chat with the kids and I have a breakfast date planned with friends. Which is why, the sun seems to be out in the sky and I am in a happier space, today… now. I hope to take each day – one by one.

Attempting gratitude

That is why I am doing this gratitude post today because like my good friend Vidya says, the not so good times are the ones when you most need to practice gratitude.

At number 1 has to be The Husband, who despite being out of town, was available at all odd hours trying to sort us out, taking SOS calls from me and the children, complaining about each other.

At number two would be a gift that arrived quite unexpectedly, from Write Tribe, and cheered me up enormously.

Lastly, another attempt at pulling myself out of the depression induced torpor made me register for the #MyFriendAlexa campaign by Blogchatter. For my non blogger friends here, this just means that I will be blogging twice a week through September. Honestly, that’s all I’m focusing on. That the blog will benefit in google rankings (which is what I understand about  Alexa Ranks) will remain a side benefit.

So there. That’s it.

The single most important learning through this month has been …

Sometimes no one can help us except us. Click To Tweet

I hope to remember that. Somedays the only thing to do is to keep going through the motions, no matter how half heartedly, and wait for the clouds to pass because they just will.

*********

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa’ and Blogchatter. My current Rank is: 2,244,955.

Of friends and friendships

Of friends and friendships

Really, writing a post on friends and friendship is so very hard. Not because one doesn’t have much to say but because everything that one would say has already been said, over and over again, till all that remains is a bunch of tired clichés.

I’ve written about it often enough too. Friends have helped me become less judgemental, more accepting. They’ve helped me try out new things, offered a shoulder to cry on, heard out my rants and made me stick to resolutions.

As you grow older you move on from having a single all-purpose BFF, so to say, to a vast category of friends. As I try to write about some of them I’ll go with those that are top of my mind now.

It’s been a week since I got back from my hometown but I’m still a bit hungover so School Friends are bound to top the list. They are the best kind, aren’t they? I mean how can you not be friends with the girl whose plait got yanked by the teacher along with yours? Quite like Krishna yanked the reins of those horses in the battlefield of  Kurukshetra. School friends have been witness to the ultimate insults heaped upon you and not believed a single one of them. They are the ones who’ve known you from the time you were a plump tween battling the bulge and, if you are lucky, they are still with you as you turn into a middle age woman battling the bulge.

The thing is – to them it doesn’t matter.

They only remember you as the girl whose mum made the most smashing tiffin, the one who made a Bollywood parody out of Macbeth, or the one who could touch her tongue to her nose or one who couldn’t stop laughing even when she was sent out of class.

Those are the things that matter to them and that’s why they are special.

Neighbourhood friends were an integral part of my childhood but then as I grew and got caught up in academics and work I thought I’d didn’t need them at all, where was the time? Life seems to have come a full circle and I cannot imagine what I’d do without them.

 

Neighbours might not all be the sexy kind but they’re still a blessing

They are the ones who host you the time the door bangs shut just as you step out to put the trash. They also give you the number of the keymaker and assure you, you looked just fine in your frumpy faded nightdress. They take your couriers when you’re not around and even hand over the COD amount.
 They make rangolis at your doorstep and light diyas for you when you’re out for Diwali.
They’re the ones who hear/see your Taraka avatar with the children. They not only keep your secret but also keep loving you despite that.

How did I ever do without them!

And finally my very favourite kind – the Slightly Crazy-so-not-my-type of friends. This one is a bit of a peculiarity because you are pretty much poles apart and yet you connect at some strange level – the level headedness of one balancing the craziness of the other, mixing excitement and caution for a perfect cocktail that keeps you high but holds you back from going over the edge. These are the friends who got me to do things I’d never have done on my own. Things I would have wished I had done but never actually gone out and taken the plunge. But for them I would never have trekked to a fort with zero level of fitness, run a marathon (not a full one, just a baby one but id did get me walking), bought dangerously high heels or joined a Zumba class. What fun all of that turned out to be. I might soon be heading to Spanish class rather than slogging it out on Youtube as I’d originally planned.

Life would drab and dull without these crazy ones.

There, those are the friends I am grateful for today. Which are the friends you cherish most?

Linking up with Amrita for #ThankfulThursdays. Thank you for a fabulous prompt Amrita.

Healthwealthbridge

 

Also linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle Blog Hop. Do click on the link and head on over.

The best sound in the world

The best sound in the world

You know what’s the best sound in the world? The sound of laughter. And if it is that of a loved one it is even more precious.
As I sat in my room working at my laptop the other day, I heard my parents laugh out loud at something they were watching on the television in the other room. It brought an unwitting smile to my face, just like the sound of H and N’s laughter does, although in the second case there is also a degree of relief :-).
I love the sound of my parents’ laughter because it transports me to my childhood, to days of endless giggles and noisy arguments. My father would complain sometimes – ‘You make enough noise for ten people’, he would tell us. ‘We’re alive, that’s why’, my mom would retort. Over the years he pretty much got used to it and came to put up with our racket cheerfully.
I love to hear them laugh because it reminds me what a boisterous family we are and that perhaps that’s where H and N get their noisiness from. It’s definitely not from the Husband’s side! It reminds me then, that I really have no business to complain, that I should be more patient with them.
My parents’ laughter speaks of the wonderful camaraderie they share despite being complete opposites. I listen to them quibbling and then settling down with their books. I hear them discussing Rekha’s biography which mum is reading. Then as the news comes on their conversation becomes even more animated and veers to Akhilesh and Mulayam Singh Yadav. They’ve come a long way since when they first met in German class. I love how their interests have merged over the years, though my mum still draws the line at cricket.
I love their laugh because it reassures me that they are happy and healthy. It speaks of their spirit that the aches and pains of age have failed to dampen. I can already see my mum raising her eyebrows at the word ‘age’ as she asks, ‘Who’s old here?’.

They left last week but I still hear their laughter ringing in my ears  and I am grateful.
Picture credit : Pixabay

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