Category: me

Slowing down

Slowing down

This past week has been one of the busiest, not just for me but for the children as well. After the rather lazy Diwali vacations we were all struggling to come to terms with our schedules. The weekend promised to be even busier what with the children’s hobby classes, a PTM to go to (which takes up all morning with some 10 to 12 teachers to be met) and two birthday parties.

My head was reeling as I tried to schedule pickup and drop timings for both the children while also trying to make a few hours to help them with their studies and also adjust the maid-timings!

My SIL called up to chat and raved about a must go-to exhibition that she’d spent three hours browsing through. She offered to accompany me if I could make time over the weekend. I am rather reluctant for such a plan on a busy weekend but this time I was sorely tempted. A quick mental check and I figured I could squeeze it in.

A little later, however, on an impulse, I cancelled the trip. Yeah I flip-flop a lot.

Sure enough, as I picked up H from his guitar class, the exhibition had lost all its charm even though barely half the day was through.

Instead of running home to let the maid in, I called and instructed her to get the keys from the neighbour and took H off for a coffee/drink at a close by cafe. I was done with the driving around. I ordered a huge Latte while he got himself a tall glass of Iced Tea. There was still an hour before N had to be picked up and so we settled down for some one on one conversation.

We talked about our tentative move to a new house next year. He said he’d miss his classmate who lived close by and we planned future play dates. We discussed his teacher’s comments at the PTM that he needed to mix with other children apart from his two closest buddies. He told me about his much-hated football coach who had been nasty yet again to another friend of his.

We got back relaxed and in good time to pick up N. Not going to that exhibition proved to be one of the best decisions I made.

There was a time I would load up my day with a list of things to do and would go through it systematically. At the end of the day the ticks on that list brought a huge sense achievement.

However, I can no longer do that.

I find I cannot go through a list of back-to-back tasks as easily as I used to. Click To Tweet

The physical effort might not be too much but the mental effort of not just planning but also of getting the children ready, the constant calling out to them, of sorting their hundred tiny disagreements and listening to and solving their myriad problems is exhausting. And so I’ve learnt to take things easy, to slow down.

As we drove back home the image that remained with me was of H carrying the tray with our drinks, his tongue stuck out as he concentrated on not letting them spill. Nothing I’d have found at the exhibition would have been as precious.

 

 

Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me #mg

Confessions of a secret hoarder

Confessions of a secret hoarder

Didi yeh phek doon?’ (Shall I throw this?) queries the maid pointing at my stash of old jam jars. It’s Diwali and the cleaning frenzy is on.

Thanks to the children’s exams I have managed to turn a blind eye to it all. Each time my conscience knocked at the door nudging me towards cleaning, I quietened it with a self-righteous stare that said, ‘Can’t you see how stressed I am? Cleaning is so not a priority.’

Now with the exams over and done with and less than a week to go for Diwali, the knocking has turned rather insistent and I have nowhere to hide. My conscience stands right there staring at me, broom in one hand wash-cloth in the other. No matter how hard I try to hide behind my books and my laptop there’s no escaping her steely gaze.

Come Diwali my conscience stands staring at me, broom in one hand wash-cloth in the other. Click To Tweet

And then there’s my maid…
Somedays I feel sorry for her. She’s constantly puzzled with the things that classify as ‘DO NOT THROW’ in our house. Normally she turns a blind eye to our quirks and the things we hoard. However, with Diwali, she cannot seem to hold herself back. She has a conscience too after all.

For the past week, each day she has tackled a new part of my house dragging out things which she thinks need to be thrown – jam jars, used up tissue rolls, wine bottles, dried twigs, pine cones, big and small cardboard boxes, bits of coloured tiles and oddly shaped stones. And she asks me the same question over and over again ‘Didi yeh phek doon?’

The sane part of me says, ‘Yes, Yes Yes get rid of it all’ and then there’s this other part that says — ‘ooh that red stone’s the one we picked up at Vetal Tekdi, the day we spent an hour waiting for peacocks, it’s so pretty. I need those twigs we picked on our morning walks for that DIY project I’ve been planning for ages and the tissue rolls were to go into the making of a grand castle. As for the jam jars, they are such a DIYers delight, they certainly cannot be thrown.

So then, I fake a nonchalance I’m far from feeling, and I shake my head in a No, pretending not to see the maid’s incredulous look. She sighs in exasperation, satisfies herself with sweeping out the dust and replaces all my treasures where they’ll be safe till next year’s cleaning.

And now I must go for she’s at the shoe rack, picking out my favourite yellow canvas shoes, the ones that were gifted by my sister years ago, the ones I love to death even though they’re faded beyond recognition to a dull ochre. But they are such a perfect fit with not a scratch on them. I fully intend to refurbish them, paint them over and stencil them with a butterfly design – I’ve known the exact one for years now. I just haven’t gotten around to it. So ‘No’ I tell her before she can ask me that question yet again, ‘Wapas rakh do’ (put them back).

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to glorify hoarding or procrastinating either, those are serious ailments of the mind, I understand that. The idea is:

One, to go soft on the children when I find them hoarding unexplained things. I’m sure it makes some kind of sense to them.

Two, maybe putting it out there will push me to some kind of action and I’ll put at least one of my DIY ideas in motion.

And lastly, maybe someday, years later, I stumble upon this post and if I still haven’t gotten around to painting those yellow shoes with that butterfly motif, maybe I’ll realise that I really need to throw them away.

 

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

Thank you for not walking in my shoes

Thank you for not walking in my shoes

Come walk a mile in my shoes, see what I see, feel what I feel, live what I live, share with me my worries and my fears. Isn’t that what makes us human? The ability to be someone else for just a little while?

But then not everyone does that. Not everyone should do that. We need these people in our lives, the ones who refuse to walk in our shoes. Oh they may annoy us and frustrate us and make us really angry but we need them. I know I do. This post today is a Thank You to all my friends who refuse to walk in my shoes.

Thank you dear friend for not walking in my shoes; for making light of my worries when I am down and out. You make me see that life could have been worse.

Thank you for laughing at me when I am afraid. It is the sunshine of that laughter that melts away the mist of my fear.

Thank you for not being ‘understanding’ and leaving me alone even when I beg you to, because you know your presence is what I need though I may not admit it, even to myself.

Thank you for not holding my hand, for not walking with me into that pit of self-pity, the one I dig for myself, for pulling me out with a no-nonsense tug.

Thank you for keeping your head when I am losing mine, for doing for me what you think best, because sometimes you know me better than me.

Thank you dear friend for thrusting at me a delightful pair of stilettos when all I would have were my worn old sneakers. At some point in our lives all we need is a different pair of shoes.

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda for the prompt ‘Walk a Mile in my Shoes’.

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

Welcome vanity

Welcome vanity

When I go home for the summer the one thing I do is take a mental break from being a parent and reconnect with the person I used to be. There are enough people around to pull me back the moment they see the mom-in-me taking over me-the-person.

And so it was that my sister pointed out a change that had happened so slowly, so unobtrusively, that I had barely noticed it. Since I gave up full time office I stopped bothering about the way I look.

That doesn’t mean I have become sloppy or untidy or that I lounge around in my night clothes all day. In fact, I like the routine of sitting down at my work table neatly dressed and ready to take on the day.

The difference is – it’s all done mechanically. I don’t give a thought to what I wear. I wear what I always wear. When I was going out to work, I dressed with care. If I was out on an assignment I’d be even more careful, dressing up according to where I was going or who I was meeting. I enjoyed that. It was part of the happiness of going to work. Clothes, pretty clothes, cheered me up. They do still, but somewhere along the way I stopped indulging myself.

If you are a stay-at-home-parent or a work-from-home-person you might comprehend how that happens.

Comfort takes over fashion completely. Not that I was ever ‘fashionable’ but I did own at least one pair of heels which I would fish out when the occasion demanded, I’d visit the parlour regularly and I’d wear a sari to work somedays just for fun.

Now, I find I come up with all kinds of reasons to not dress up – the sari is too cumbersome, heels too uncomfortable, skirts make me look fat, salwar suits are too difficult to maintain and so on.

So I pull on a pair of tights or my jeans and a tee and I’m good to go just about anywhere, a dressy shirt when I’m going out, a plain one when I’m home. As for the sneakers – I practically live in them. Formal events, specially those where I need to wear traditional clothes, are few and far between and always lead to panic (WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR!) so much that I look for ways to avoid them. This really needs to change.

Watching my mom is an inspiration. She religiously sticks to her nightly self-care routine, never steps out for her evening walk without changing into a starched and ironed salwar kurta and spends hours at weavers’ exhibitions picking out the most gorgeous saris.

So here it is – my resolution for the rest of the year, rest of my life hopefully: I will have more fun with the way I look.

With the children a little grown up I do have the time. Also, the change might not be huge in the physical sense of it. All one might notice is an extra dash of lip colour, the occasional eyeliner, painted toe-nails, open toed sandals or a bit of heel. Flamboyance was never my thing. Besides, this transformation is more from the inside, more about trying new things, about taking an interest in and enjoying the way I look.

The weight is there of course, it’s going to be there for sometime, maybe longer, maybe forever. However, that really shouldn’t stop me, right?

Some amount of vanity cannot hurt.

This piece here argues that vanity can be an effective motivator. So if I start enjoying the way I look I might actually be motivated to lose weight and look better and get further motivated and so on in a delightful cycle.

Sounds good, huh?

Linking up with Linking up with Nabanita’s Mommy Talks

No space for vanity

No space for vanity

I needed a bunch of photographs for some official work recently and happened to get two sets done from two different studios. One set was a faithful enough picture, with me staring rather self-consciously into the camera. The other studio airbrushed the final product presenting a new, very much improved, me. In fact when I went to pick up the photographs the man at the counter took a long time rummaging in his desk after asking me twice over, ‘Aapki hi hain na?’ (You’re sure they’re yours?). When he finally handed them to me, I thought I looked nice, way nicer than I’d ever look in real life.
The dark circles had been done away with, the blemishes all smoothed over and the skin was glowing. I sat comparing the two sets of pictures. The vain me was quite happy while the sane me remained amused. 
The son sauntered past, picked up the other one – the non air brushed one – then proclaimed, 
“You look prettier in this one.” 
“Not possible,” said I, “Look at this other one – you’ll see the difference.”
“Yeah but then in this one you look like some auntie, you don’t look ‘you’ at all.”
Which was such a valid point that the vain me threw up her hands and walked off in a huff while the sane me nodded in agreement. There really is nothing better than a tween son to keep you rooted in reality. Sigh! So I shall continue to wear my blemishes and my dark circles and the extra layers of fat too and I shall try to do so gladly because they make me ‘me’.
And I’ll try my hardest to not get envious of the yummy mummy’s because if God one day in his infinite kindness did decide to make me all beautiful, the kids would disown me.
Oh and you, you layers of fat, if you’re listening, nope I’m not giving up the fight. I’m going to keep on trying to get rid of you – just not by airbrushing – when it happens it shall be the real deal.
Picture credit: Pixabay
Linking up with Nabanita’s Mommy Talks 

And also with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.
Edited to add: This post got me the featured blogger badge at Mackenzie’s at Reflections from Me.

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

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