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I’m in charge of my celebrations

I’m in charge of my celebrations

The twins had a poem by Byrd Baylor in their last unit titled ‘I’m in charge of Celebrations’.
It is about a girl who lives alone in the desert. She’s not one bit lonely, though. She makes  her own celebrations. She celebrates sandstorms, rainbows, meteor showers and whirlwinds. She celebrates whatever makes her happy and writes it down in a little book because she ‘wants to remember it all her life’. “Last year I gave myself 108 celebrations other than the ones they close school for” she says.
Isn’t that delightful?
Here we are, living in a wonderfully vibrant country that embraces all kinds of people and gives us hundreds of real reasons to celebrate. However, we’re so constricted by the narrowness of our own minds that we’d much rather give it all a miss. We’d rather go out and mess up other people’s celebrations, or make fun of them, or label them anti national or post caustic updates on our Facebook and twitter feeds.
We’d rather celebrate hate than love.
With Valentine’s Day round the corner the debate of ‘should we shouldn’t we’ is sure to come up yet again. How about we let everyone be in charge of their own celebrations? And get busy planning our own. Just for a change, maybe?
A DIY perfect day

A DIY perfect day

If you were given the choice to put together a perfect day for yourself what would the ingredients be? 
I’m not talking about special days – weekends, holidays, birthdays, celebrations – not those. I’m talking about that regular, routine day. What would go into making it perfect? 

What are the things that make you happy everyday?

When I was working I used to buy one single rose for my hostel room everyday on my way back home and that was the perfect ending to my day. It could be something like that. It could be meeting your daily deadline at work. If work’s not really happening maybe it’s the daily lunch with office pals you look forward to. Or maybe a glimpse of your office crush :-).
Or it could be turning in a decent piece of writing, publishing a blog post, reading hundred pages of a book or watching your favourite soap at the end of the day. It could be anything that’s part of your routine and that makes you feel really happy and/or accomplished.

Of course you have to cross out things you cannot control

For instance you cannot say, ‘Not seeing that colleague I detest’ but you can include, ‘Not getting into an argument with that colleague I abhor’. Just like I cannot include ‘The kids  going off to school without an argument’. However, I can include ‘Not yelling at the kids in the morning’.
Are you getting the idea?
For me the very basic ingredients of a perfect day would be:
1. A good night’s sleep
Like I’ve said before this plays a huge role in beginning my day well.
2. An hour of exercise in the morning and another 15-30 minutes in the evening
The morning exercise gets me my endorphins for the day and those 15 – 30 minutes in the evening get me a good night’s sleep and also serve as a reminder of my continued pledge towards good health.
3. A half-hour decluttering.
I’m not obsessive about cleaning but I’m not fond of clutter either. So a half-hour clearing up makes me work better and feel happier.
4. One complete piece of writing.
..in addition to whatever assignments I have for the day. This one’s important. It adds meaning to my day.
5. Healthy eating through the day.
Well, obviously. Healthy meals are a definite check for me. For someone else it might be that single sinful chocochip cookie, and that’s fine too.
6. At least half an hour of leisure time with the children. 
This does not include the morning hours or study time or the time I spend sorting disagreements. This is the time we spend talking or reading or making something together.
So there: those are the essentials that make me feel accomplished and happy at the end of a day. If I manage to tick them all off – well then, I have my perfect day. 
That list keeps me focussed. Of course there are days I cannot get it all done – when assignments spill over or the maid decides to stay home. But even if I manage most of them most days it isn’t too bad.
It’s worth a shot to try to make each day perfect rather than living for weekends. Or hanging about, waiting for a holiday to come by. After all it is these mundane-everydays that make up most of our lives. Makes sense, then to try to make ‘everyday’ perfect, isn’t it?

What do you think? What would your perfect-everyday list look like?
Picture Credit: Pixabay.
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
Another Monday morning

Another Monday morning

As the alarm rang today morning I got out of bed without hitting the snooze button even once. Some feat, that! For a change I was ready to meet the new week, on this rather warm Monday morning, with a smile on my face. I felt well-rested and happy.

Forty-five minutes later the tiffins were done – snack and lunch, bottles filled with fresh water, milk glasses at the table and eggs beaten and ready to go on the pan.
Then I went to wake the children.
As usual they were reluctant to get out of bed, snuggling in deeper, begging for the last five minutes. I gave them ten. Finally they got up complaining of aches and pains like a bunch of old fuddy duddies —
‘My stomach hurts,’ said N.
 ‘Go sit in the loo and you can skip the milk today,’ I told her.
‘I sprained my foot yesterday,’ complained H as he made his way to the washroom with an exaggerated limp. ‘And I couldn’t sleep all night because I was coughing.’
‘Can you please write a note for my teacher?’
‘To excuse you from football?’ I asked, a trifle surprised since that’s his favourite sport.
‘No, of course not,’ said he, ‘I can manage football. Ask her to let me put my head down and sleep during social studies if I feel tired.’
No, I didn’t ask how he could play football with a sprained ankle. I refused to write the note, though because I figured if he could play football with a ‘sprained’ ankle he might as well sit through social studies too.
Instead, I sprayed pain reliever and wrapped up his foot in crepe bandage, smiling when he said he felt ‘better already’. I gave him his inhaler since the cough and wheeze were genuine. Meanwhile N’s stomach ache had subsided magically at the suggestion of the milk-holiday.
Finally after all the pains, real and imagined, had been taken care of, I could wave the kids off to school.
All it takes, to make a happy beginning, is a good night’s sleep.
How has your week started?

Wet towels and crazy mornings #momdialogues

Wet towels and crazy mornings #momdialogues

Cool Mom: Is leaving a wet towel on the bed reason enough to spoil everyone’s morning, and that includes yours more than anyone else’s?

Agitated Mom: It’s not just the towel and you know that. It’s ‘put away your plates after breakfast’, ‘put cream’, ‘pick up your jacket from the floor’, ‘take your tiffin’, ‘put in your bottles’ and on and on endlessly. To have to remind them every single day for every single task is just crazy. That towel was just the last straw. Besides, who does it if they don’t? I, right? That’s how I’ll be spending my entire day – cleaning up after them. What’s even more ironical I’ll also have people saying, ‘What do you do all day?’ The kids are grown up now.’ Hah! Grown up!!!

CM: Sigh! Such a long tirade! You could simply leave the towel on the bed.
AM: What?? Just leave it? So the bed and the towel become wet and stinky?
CM: Yeah well it’s the kids’ beds. They have to sleep in them. Let then sleep with the stink. That’ll remind them to put out the towels next time round.
AM: And what if they don’t? What if they don’t mind it at all? What if they get used to it? How hygienic is that? And what kind of a life-long habit am I helping them form?
CM: I’ll repeat – choose your battles. Choose your timing. The other option is of course to lose your patience, to give them an earful and then feel lousy all day long. As for life-long habits – they have time yet to pick them up. You want the kids to look back on their school days and remember only crazy mornings?
AM: No obviously not.
CM: The trouble is not with telling them to do stuff, the trouble is with you losing your cool when you do so. So how about playing some peaceful music, taking up your cup of tea and thinking happy thoughts – like the time N made you tea, remember? They do some good too. Oh and don’t forget to put yourself on repeat mode till they learn to finish their tasks, okay? It’s just one crazy hour, after all.

Picture Credit: Pixabay

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This isn’t the first time I have had multiple mums fighting it out in my head. You can read about other mommy wars herehere and here.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Girl Who Drank the Moon #BookReview

The Girl Who Drank the Moon #BookReview

Book: The Girl Who Drank the MoonAuthor: Kelly Barnhill This is the story of a town, a cursed town. On its outskirts lies a greater forest. In this forest lives a wicked old witch. The witch demands sacrifice and so each year an infant is taken away by the town elders and left in the […]