Category: #mg

Finding gratitude during exams

Finding gratitude during exams

And so September bids adieu. And with that come exams – the first ever for the kids. I find myself unable to think of much else while the kids can think of everything else except academics.

I find them reading story books, making song lists, comparing computer game scores and planning ‘what to wear for the dandiya night’. Apparently they have picked up none of my exam anxiety and for that I have learnt to be immensely grateful.
I find I need at least three or four of me to help both of them while keeping them apart and managing the house. Early this week just as the arguments were turning into a complete impasse who should arrive but the husband! I don’t think I was as happy to see him arrive on our wedding day. Was I grateful!
He has such a calming influence on all three of us.
He took the kids out shopping (for all kinds of exam stationery) and they settled down to their studies.
He was only here for five days and was working for four of them yet we were happy to have him home. He’s gone now. And I think we will survive. I am already looking beyond the next 20 days to vacations when we will be travelling to join him.
By the next academic term we hope to be together.
I thought that was all I had for the gratitude post this month but as I write I realise I have more, so much more. Last evening while I was struggling with Marathi lessons with the kids (a language they now know better than me), I was dragged off for an hour of Zumba. I have to admit that one part of me was pretty incredulous that I could leave the kids between their exams for something as frivolous as Zumba. However, it was all for the best because the kids were anyway having a field day laughing at my pronunciations as I tried to quiz them.
And so I am grateful to friends and family who always rally around pulling me for impromptu breakfasts, long morning walks and short evening chats, keeping me sane.
I am now looking forward to October – the latter half of course.

I’d love to know your thoughts on academics and how they effect the kids and you. How important are they? Were they a trial for you when you were young or did you breeze through them? Do you find it difficult to get your kids to study? How different is it from the time you were a child and now?

If I seem overly and rather unnecessarily stressed do forgive me but academics have taken over all of my thoughts of late. Do bear with me for a few weeks.

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and with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.
                                                
Oops I forgot!

Oops I forgot!

It seems like I have a permanent guest living up in my head these days. She’s crazy and quirky and enjoyed playing around – hoarding and discarding memories at whim without worrying about order or importance. Perhaps that’s why I remember the lyrics of a cheesy 50s song that I don’t even like while forgetting that I left the gas stove on.

Early this year I went to the library, parked my vehicle by the side of the street, came home walking and then left for a short vacation with my friends. It stood there for two whole nights before I remembered and went looking for it and surprisingly enough, found it. Then again a few months back I forgot it at the same place before another short vacation with the kids, and went back for it after a day. This time I knew where I had left it!

It’s a bit of a mystery why it happens at the same place each time. And why it happens before a vacation. A greater mystery is why no one drives away with it. 

Anyhow, the bigger question is why I keep forgetting things. After all this wasn’t a regular keys or specs kind of thing. Is it because my mind is too cluttered? Is it because  am stressed? Is it even unusual? I don’t think so.

A quick round of google tells me forgetfulness could be a result of stress, multitasking and lack of sleep among other more serious reasons like depression and medication. And so, assuming I don’t have a serious reason, I decided to tackle that woman in my head with some simple ideas. This is how:

Being organised both physically and mentally

– I spend 15-20 minutes everyday at physical organising, decluttering and putting away things.
– I have a fixed place for things I need often and never find – keys, books, chargers, pens, scissors, cello-tape. A large bowl on the centre table or a drawer for all stationery items helps me know where they are.
– I make to-do lists – lots of them.
– And I use reminders liberally – for children’s classes, for fee payments, for library days.

No jumping from task to task

You know how this happens, don’t you? You’re working at an article and you need to refer to some notes. You go to the study to get them and find a pile of books the kids have left at the table. You think you’ll quickly replace them and while doing that you stumble upon a book you’d needed for another article and hadn’t been able to find then. You begin to leaf through it and your current article is forgotten.
The thing to do is to keep your focus and wrap up one task before jumping to the next.

Being mindful

The other day while at my walk I wondered if I had locked my front door. Try as I might I just couldn’t recollect. I rushed back home only to find I had locked it. Such a waste! Being mindful helps. Try to give each task, however small, complete attention for those two or five or ten full minutes.

Getting enough sleep and some exercise

That’s pretty crucial too, to keep the mind and body fresh and happy.
I’m hoping this will set me on the path to driving that woman out of my head. So tell me have you ever forgotten something important? Does your absent mindedness worry you too? Do you have any pointers to add?
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Linking up Mackenzie at Reflections from Me. Do take a look at her post where she talks about how we get stressed by simple things.

A basket of tomatoes and some life lessons

A basket of tomatoes and some life lessons

Picture Credit: PIXABAY
The other day I was at the vegetable vendor’s picking out well.. obviously – vegetables. As I moved to the tomatoes I was joined by a boy of about 14. He dug into the basket turning the tomatoes this way and that, picking out some then dropping them back, then picking out some more. Finally he asked me, ‘How do you know which is a good one?’
Deja vu struck.
While we were growing up we lived in a joint family. While my sister and I did our chores (my mum saw to it) most of the mundane outdoor tasks were handled by others in the family. It might have had to do with the fact that we lived in a crowded area and mum wasn’t certain we could negotiate the roads safely on our own.

One day, perhaps the house help wasn’t around or maybe because my mum decided it was high time I learnt to do this, she handed me a bag, some change and asked me to go buy vegetables.

I mean, seriously? Vegetables? The teen me was completely appalled. I could imagine going out and buying stationery or books or sweets or clothes. But vegetables? What a mundane, unfashionable, low brow task to be saddled with! My entire teen self quailed at the idea rejecting it outright.
I refused.
“If you can eat vegetables, you can go buy them too,” said my mum and I saw her face settle into that familiar determined look my sister and I disliked and dreaded. If you know even a little bit of my mum you will know she can really dig her heels in, specially  when it comes to, what she thinks of as, teaching us a lesson.
I didn’t stand a hair’s breadth chance. So there I was with the most embarrassing jhola (cloth bag) in one hand and the money in the other off to buy vegetables at Chantu ki dukan – that’s what the vegetable vendor was called! I bent my head, praying I wouldn’t bump into anyone I knew, as I threaded my way through the crowded street.
I cannot recall what I bought. I just remember picking up a handful of something, mumbling out, ‘Half kg of this’, handing the money and walking home in a blaze of self-consciousness.

And here was this boy, how easily he asked for my help and how gladly I gave it! Standing side by side in a rather companionable silence we picked out tomatoes. I wish I had been more like him when I was his age.

So dear H and N, here’s the lesson for the day:
People are more likely to offer help than laugh at us if only we cast aside our nervousness and ask for it. We might be laughed at for pretending to know something but the moment we voluntarily expose our vulnerability and  enlist someone’s assistance we create a bond putting them firmly on ‘our side’, so to say.
No matter where you are – at a new school, at the library or in the sports ground, don’t be too shy or scared to enlist people’s support, even if they are strangers. Ask for help and you shall get it in greater measure than you ever expected.
Have you ever been in a situation like this, where you’ve been to embarrassed to ask for help? Do share. I’d love to add your experience to mine when I talk to the kids.

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

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