Category: new year

Manufacture your own happiness

Manufacture your own happiness


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Around mid December I went down with a terrible head cold. I know now exactly why they’re called ‘head colds’ – everything neck upwards seemed to have become one fused, throbbing frozen mass of pain. The dependable Mr Murphy had to mix it up with a bit of this and that just to keep things interesting. And so the weather dipped in a funny way as it does here, with a ten degree difference between day and night temperatures, making N’s nose bleed copiously while H went down with a terrible allergy that had us rushing to casualty in the middle of that same night to get him an anti-allergic injection.

However, by next afternoon the children had recovered.

Overcome with sleep and exhaustion I left them to study and made for the bed. I pulled on a soft pair of socks and snuggled down in the comforter letting the medicines take over. In that moment all the panic and stress of the past day drained away, leaving me ever so grateful at how blissfully snug and comfortable I was.

That one afternoon sums up this year for me.

There have been challenges aplenty that have left me floundering, giving up, almost, on this whole parenting thing. But then there have also been friends, acquaintances, even random strangers sometimes, who have wrapped themselves around me in the warm blanket of their affection, soothing and comforting.

For that I am immensely grateful. I cannot do without friends and family and they will always remain an inseparable of my life.

My second takeaway from 2018 was that there really is no perfect life, there never will be. Nor will we (at least I won’t) ever miraculously find ourselves in a zen state when all seems well with the world.

All we have are small moments of happiness scattered through our days and it in these that we have to find our happiness.

Find happiness in the small things, in tiny happy moments scattered through the day. Click To Tweet

And also, we need to make sure that it is these moments that take up space in our hearts and minds; that we do not let the unpleasant moments overwhelm us and pull us down.

Of course it’s easier said than done. But being mindful helps.

As I scrolled down my instagram feed, scanty as it was, it showed me moments that had made me happy over the year – a hot cup of tea, a good book, a handmade gift, a walk with the kids, a piece of good music –  those are moments that I’m going to hold on to, the ones I’ll define my year by.

Here’s wishing all of you a very happy, healthy and hopeful new year.

Linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle.

Health and fitness goals

Health and fitness goals

There’s something positive and happy and hopeful about a new year, isn’t there? There’s something about the promise of a new beginning that fills one with optimism.

As 2017 drew to a close I found myself not in the best of spirits. I found the mandatory year-end post quite a drag, I didn’t do a gratitude post, nor did I feel like making any resolutions. I seem to end up breaking them anyway. I just felt too old for all the end-of-the-year hype. The Husband was supposed to leave late last night just before we ushered in the new year, perhaps that had something to do with it. But that was yesterday.

Before the day ended he had managed an extra day’s leave, then his flight was delayed and he booked himself into one for the next day which meant we could spend New Year’s Eve together and that kind of lifted all our spirits. Today, I find myself planning plans and thinking thoughts – good ones.

And I have a resolution, a focus point so to say, for 2018. This year it has to be health and fitness that’s top priority. And I have a plan.

Here it is…

  1. First up on the cards is a medical checkup. I’ve been putting it off for months, over a year actually. I’ve realised that no diet-exercise plan is going to work if my bones aren’t in proper order. So a check up and required corrective medicines/measures is the first step.
  2. I find I can no longer exercise as I once used to. So moderate exercise is what I’m looking at, hopefully twice a day. That’s optimistic I know, but I’m going to try.
  3. Yoga might not excite me much but I shall continue with it thrice a week for the peace of mind it offers.
  4. I’ll take up Zumba twice a week for the pure fun of it, for a month to begin with. If I find I cannot sustain it, I’ll substitute it with a 5km walk.
  5. As I grow older diet shall play a far greater role in fitness than exercise. Since I’ve always relied rather heavily on the latter, that needs to change. Which is why I’m looking at expert guidance to make a start and consulting a dietician is on the cards, but that’ll be after I sustain my fitness routine for a month.

I do realise I need to have other goals for writing, reading and self-improvement. However, I’m not too good a multitasker and so for now it is health that will be my focus.

And I shall have a quarterly review

I love Shantala’s idea of goal-setting and quarterly reviews. You might like to hop across to her blog to see what a wonderful job she does. Prompted by her I’ll do a quarterly review to see where I stand.

I’ve been subconsciously mulling over all of this for some time. But in the absence of a plan, I didn’t make much headway. It does feel good to have written it all down and I hope to follow it through. I’d love your support and suggestions.

Meet me on facebook at obsessivemom06 or follow me on twitter at @obsessivemom06 or at instagram also at obsessivemom06.

I’m terrible at managing social media accounts but it does help increase accountability and I hope to have regular updates.

What’s your focus this year? Does health and fitness factor in? Or do you already have a routine going? Do share it here so I can take a tip or two.

Raising a cheer to 2017

Raising a cheer to 2017

2016 seems to have slid by without leaving memories of anything exceptional. It was just so Meh! That said, I should perhaps be grateful and stop complaining because friends around me have struggled with illness and loss and much worse. All I had to deal with was a nagging not-so-happy feeling that left me listless, crabby and unwilling to do much, making it difficult to write or to concentrate on anything.

The feeling refused to leave despite trying pretty hard to get rid of it. Maybe I tried too hard and ended up strengthening it simply by thinking too much about it. That sounds crazy and over indulgent I know.  I have no real reason to feel sad or sorry and yet I do.
The good news is that …
2017 is round the corner. There’s something about January the 1st, that fills me with optimism and enthusiasm. And maybe there is a purpose in 2016 being a duh! year. Maybe this year was meant to be a foundation for something better – so said my very wise sister.  Maybe this was the push I needed to get out there and make something happen. And so my resolution for 2017 is to:

MAKE IT COUNT


That’s my resolution – to make my time and my life count 
1. for people around me and 
2. for me on a personal level too.
As I get caught up and sink overwhelmingly deeper and deeper in mundane everyday worries and chores the wish to pull myself out of it all seems to be getting stronger too. And that, I know, is a recipe for permanent dissatisfaction unless I do something about it. It might also have to do something with the birthday gone by recently, which has turned me a little philosophical. It has brought about a realisation that I won’t be around forever and that life is, or should be, much more than struggling with (and obsessing over) the kids’ studies, household chores and the freelance work that I am currently involved in.
I realise that it isn’t going to be easy to get myself out of all this. But I do have a plan of sorts and I intend to give it my best shot. I will talk about it here but not just yet lest these become another few of the hundred projects that have been planned but never took off.
I cannot afford to have another dud of a year. Here’s to a more happening, fulfilling 2017.

How has 2016 treated you? Do you have a plan for 2017? A time schedule for accomplishing your goals? Or do you intend to go with the flow? Either way – do be kind to yourself and make time to make yourself happy. 
The end-of-year post

The end-of-year post

I am glad 2015 is ending. It was a tough year. And I have a hypothesis why – a trifle hare-brained but a hypothesis nonetheless.

Let me first state that I’m not superstitious. That said, I did read somewhere that the number 8 is ruled by Saturn and that people who are a number 8 (who’s date of birth adds up to  8) are often faced with obstacles. Extending the same logic to the year (Don’t ask my why, don’t even bother to think if it makes sense) I figured since it was a no 8 (2+0+1+5) it had to be a tough one.

Go ahead laugh away but you had been warned.

The Husband was away (and unhappy) for most of the year and the kids and I got onto each other’s nerves. They faked unending illnesses and drove me crazy and if they’d be blogging they probably write how I’d driven them up the wall with my impatient ways and my continuous yelling. Sigh! Nope, none of us has been easy to live with.

Later in the year a very good friend, a kind of 3am buddy, moved away to a different country. Even though we weren’t together all the while we did make time for much needed coffee dates and I could talk to her about pretty much anything. That is rather rare because although I talk a lot (to almost anyone) I don’t share much of the real stuff easily.

Then our Zumba instructor quit and my exercise schedule crashed. Only if you are an exercise regular will you realise how dreadful that can be. It plays havoc with your fitness  and what’s worse, it makes you unhappy and crabby and totally unfit for any kind of company.

However as the year ends things are seeming to fall into place and I have a good feeling about 2016 – it’s a nice number 9 :-). I’m not a resolution person – one year is really too long a time to stick to even one of them. However I can hope and make a wish. And while I’m at it why make just one? So here’s what I wish for me in the new year.

With the Husband readying for a new assignment and the kids entrenched firmly in their tweens change is set to be the new constant of my life. I like routine and work best to a plan so change is my undoing. The plan for this year is to be ready with a constantly changing plan. That’s my first wish:

Welcome change.

Next on the list is trust. Trust in myself. When it comes to decisions that concern me or the kids I know best, and I need to remember that. Nobody is in my shoes, no one – not my neighbour, not my best friend not even my sister or my mom. And if I make mistakes, well they’re mine to own and I shall live with them. This, I need to remember: 

Trust ‘me’.

This year I met up with a friend who swears by The Secret. I tried reading the book but didn’t quite take to it. However I do believe in the power of positive thinking. Here’s the mantra she gave me, ‘Focus on what you want, don’t obsess about the ‘how’ or about the obstacles that will stall you – things have a way of falling in place. I like the sound of that. And so that’s the third wish:

Believe first, then make it happen.

I’m a master procastinator. Being on my own means there’s no one to push me to do things and so the status quo just goes on and on till it can no longer wait and then I have this avalanche of work to deal with and I end up feeling completely overwhelmed. That’s my next mantra:

Put off procrastination. 

Fitness is always on my mind however what I need is consistency. Here goes my next wish for myself: One form of exercise everyday baring Sundays – Walk/Zumba/Weights whatever but:

An hour of exercise. 

And lastly for obvious reasons I wish for me, 

Patience.

…lots and lots of it.

What is it that you wish for yourself in the new year? Hope you get it all and that 2016 is as perfect as it can get.

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Last year, much against our wishes, we bought H a Play Station (after daring him to an almost impossibly consistent score in his spelling tests which he went to achieve, to our complete shock).


With strict rules in place – that he’d play only on weekends and only within specified time slots and not at the cost of outdoor play or studies – we left him to it. However we still weren’t too happy with the games he played. He enjoyed some WWE kind of fight moves, which he proceeded to try out on N.

A friend

Then H found a new friend, A, with an X Box and a passion for dancing and he got hooked. They’d spend hours together before his XBox copying the moves.

During Christmas…

..holidays we had a family get together. With the oldest cousin at 15 years and the twins at 8, they found they had little in common. There were days when we stumbled upon them all sitting together busy with tabs, computers, iPods and the television with zero interaction among themselves. 

The sight was depressing to say the least. 
Come New Years Eve we decided to have a ‘talent show’. And H showcased his dancing skills. He’s quite bad actually, but hours of practice, simple steps and groovy music made the difference and before we knew it all the kids had joined in one by one and were dancing together.

And then they were dancing

Since then the PS3 has been put to such good use. What’s more, you don’t even need a PS3 or an XBox. Our oldest one, the family techie, hooked up the laptop to the television, tuned into YouTube and the kids had a wealth of dance videos to follow. It was such happiness to watch them – the good and the bad, the shy and the uncoordinated … all together. Once H’s glasses went flying off but he didn’t pause to pick them up continuing to squint at the screen yet dancing away. What a sight it was!

We were pretty happy because…

The kids were all having fun in a good, healthy way.
They kept busy.
They had some great exercise.
They kept away from tabs and laptops.
And they bonded.. Wonderfully.

If you’re fed up of your children playing mindless games on the PS3 or the XBox try getting them a dance CD. Or simply switch on to Youtube.

What’s more you can join in too, even if you have two left feet. If an uncoordinated 8 year old can do it, well so can you. And if you’re still feeling self-conscious check out their video – No, don’t watch it, just listen to the music and the laughs.

You can check out the original video they are trying to copy.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Forest of Enchantments – A #Review

The Forest of Enchantments – A #Review

Mythology tells timeless tales. Which is perhaps why, we never tire of listening to these stories from our childhood. Or perhaps the charm lies in the voice of the storyteller who brings something new, something unexpected to the tale; a new perspective perhaps or a poetic narration – something that makes the same old story […]