Take a break!

I like to look at the bright side…that positive silver lining, however lean, keeps me afloat in the most sinking of the situations. “It could have been worse” I find me re-iterating to myself on numerous occasions when low gets real low. This has definitely kept me going for years now but there’s something so different about this current scenario, that we all are in together. I remind myself of my blessings every day and feel genuinely grateful for everyone and everything I have that makes dealing with this so much smoother. I try to distract myself from ‘what I can’t have’ – such as, the freedom to go watch the Harry Potter show I booked 6 months ago, or Cirque De Soleil, which I had finally convinced the hubby to book after good 8 years of persuading or take the trip to New Zealand which was booked well in advance, being the one and the only thing our tween had asked for, for her birthday – to ‘what I CAN have’- such as, the chance to look after my family and my health, learning new recipes and eating well, time at hand to practice yoga or to go for long walks, smashing tasks at work and earning appreciation, re-connecting with long-lost friends spread all over the globe…there’s definitely so much more on the ‘can’ side.

Even though with all this conscious effort to keep positive, a couple of days ago I found myself drowning in these rapids of life. I realised I was working more and not only physically but mentally as well. I was burning myself out at an extremely fast rate. Personal life, family Life, professional life, household chores, social life – all were merging, the lines were becoming more and more fluid, I was using all my energy to the last bit every single day and that’s when it occurred to me that at this rate, I may not sustain. I read somewhere ‘ When you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit‘. So, I decided to take a well-earned break. For a week! which is quite a difficult thing to do when you are one of those who like to ‘save’ their annual leave to travel & holiday. I took the plunge anyway!

If you know me, you would know how ‘planning’ thrills me. The best thing to gift to me by the way, if anyone’s taking a note, is a list planner and a pen, because one can never have too much stationery. Lists and spreadsheets are my lifeline. Now because it wasn’t easy for me to decide to take some time off to be at home, and not for travelling, I understood that if I don’t use this time-off wisely, I am going to regret it when travels open but I have less of ‘leave’ left to leave (the house). So, I of course leaped onto my notepad to jot down a few goals of this staycation. I wrote down every single thing that I have wanted to do for the last twenty plus weeks but wasn’t able to do because of time, but mostly energy constraints. Then I drew a subset of those which are ‘doable’ given the lockdown situation. Like I can’t fly to Singapore, but I can, most definitely can, fix the chaos in my wardrobe. I can’t go watch a movie at the cinemas, but I CAN have a slumber-party and a night out with my darling daughter. Once the goals were set, I put a reasonable action plan to achieve them, spread over the entire week. Well, three more days to go for me but I am absolutely delighted to inform you that I have smashed each and every goal on my list. And the most important note that I want to share with you is that ‘I feel great’ and that I don’t feel the need to deliberately place positivity enhancing measures around myself –  I feel totally and genuinely at peace with the situation, well-rested and thoroughly rejuvenated to start smashing those rapids when they start coming my way on Monday. I hereby declare this holiday a total ‘success’! Time-off done right!

I was recently speaking at a webinar to a bunch of Uni students where I felt a strong need for me to talk to them about health & mental wellbeing and how that is, truly, one’s most important asset to protect, even though the topic that I was asked to speak to had absolutely nothing to do with it. But then, I guess everything ultimately is related to our health, mental & physical both. We can’t feel truly happy in the happiest of the situations if our head hurts or if we stay anxious about the celebrations, can we now? You can grab the best career opportunity available, you can work hard to the next promotion, put food at the table for your family, live in a beautiful mansion, bring your groceries home in the most luxurious car there is, but it all comes down to your health and well-being when it comes to enjoying all those wins. And so my friend, you may be doing very well in managing every single aspect of your life and most likely (and I hope truly) things aren’t falling part for you, but if they are and if you are struggling to see yourself at the end of this marathon, I put forth a compelling case and urge you to consider taking some time off – for yourself. You’ll find it totally worthwhile; I assure you! And if you are anything like me – plan for it 🙂

Love

R

‘Project’ified!!

We are in house-hunt game, yes, again! This is the part where you laugh at me for having put myself (with hubby dear and a tween in tow) in this very situation, very enthusiastically…one…. more…time!! Having sold our 11th place and now renting the 12th, we are now looking for a last & final one, the 13th one! 13 by the way, if you are worried, is our lucky number. Funnily and a bit unlike my modern looks with all the tatts etc, deep down I am quite traditional and hell ya, a superstitious person. And that’s why, I believe this one will be it, the 13th one <spoken like “the chosen one”>!
And that is exactly why buying this one is such a big deal, knowing that this one “should” be it, no more uprooting will be tolerated, therefore you got be extra cautious of what you commit to. No change of mind returns, or exchanges allowed. The hubby and tween princess are counting on me to finally settle. My best friend even has me on record saying that this one will be it! Granted I was one bottle down (funny tasting wine by the way, wonder if it was the truth serum) but a commitment is a commitment! No pressure though eh!
Renting is, of course, easy, you don’t really need to commit cause it’s not your house, you’ve only borrowed it for a fixed duration of time, so you don’t get too invested emotionally or financially. Buying, actually, has been quite an easy transaction for me up until now given that I always told myself if I don’t like it after living in it, I’ll just sell and bam, move out, no strings attached whatsoever!
So, how do I do this differently this time around? I ask myself, and thanks to all the wisdom gained from experiencing all kinds of places, I now have a plan. It’s a strategic shift in my mind and that always requires an action plan, doesn’t it? This time around I am going to make an informed – decision and stick to it! How do I do that, I hear you ask. First step – treat this as a project! I now have a detailed requirements spreadsheet, and not just any set of requirements, carefully thought through, completely custom and prioritised requirements with weighted scoring mechanism embedded to help identify which available property fits the criteria better. No no don’t be amazed yet, I even did an options analysis in my ‘business case’ which had a “do nothing and continue to rent forever” option. I am now testing (inspecting) each solution (available property) against my requirements and recording my observations, so I don’t regret the Go/No-Go (Buy/No-buy) decision once it’s made. I know once a decision is made, I will have no trouble in implementing the necessary deployment activities (thanks to 12 times the experience).
The only catch, my wise friends, is that my ‘requirements’ are from now, and as you know life happens and our requirements change. What will I do when my requirements adjust to accommodate for life & its ways? Hey I know, a “Change Request”!!

 

Tomorrow!

Tomorrow will be here sooner than you know

Skies will clear up and spring would show

The storms, inside and out, would settle down and 

Calmer the thoughts would grow…

Nobody ever said it’s easy to let go

The comfort, the ease or the memories of it all

Even the pain it left from head to toe

Oh no, it’s not easy to let go, No!

Tomorrow will be here sooner than you know

Go persevere, higher you’ll rise, nothing could pull you low

You’re powerful than you ever thought you are…

The flight only depends on the determination you show!

Much Love

R~

#RealOverVirtual #OfflineIsBetter

On Why I am craving for Nokia 1100 & Why I quit social media today…

It is believed that if you dream of your childhood classroom, your mind is craving for simpler times. I dreamt of Nokia 1100 last night, my first ever mobile phone gifted by my parents in my second year of Uni. I am assuming this is my twenty-first century brain trying to remind me of simpler times in my life. In this modern world, we are so connected to our virtual ‘friends & followers’ that we are totally disconnected with the ‘real’ ones. Today, after probably a decade long love-hate relationship with the social media, I quit, and here’s why:

  1. Consider this:

 On seeing his beloved wife online on watsapp, husband types:’Having a bad day at work

Wife replies in a nano second ‘Busy, will ttyl

Well, we can give her benefit of doubt here, she was probably only online to tell her watsapp friends that she’s busy.

At home that evening, husband ‘Hun I am feeling very restless because of what happened at work today

Wife <not moving from eyes from her screen for a second>  ‘Hey I saw a video on the train back home about how to relieve one’s mind off anxiety, restlessness etc…, I will forward it to you straight away’…<her phone trings>

I, for one, love my husband and respect my marriage too much to put it through any risk of intoxicating it like that.

2. Because I want to kill my need for social validation before it completely kills my self-confidence. The day I stopped getting less than 3 digit likes/comments, I thought I am doomed. My life ain’t stunning anymore to anyone. Well, my life should be beautiful because I deserve so, not because people would judge if it ain’t.

3. Sibling rivalry is a thing of the past. Kids today aren’t as jealous of their smart sibling as they are of their parent’s smartphones. My kiddo, being the one and only child, has all her undivided jealousy focussed towards my phone. I reckon she should win!

4. ‘She doesnt read much, her reader’s diary record is low’, her teacher tells me. And I wonder why? I used to read a lot of books when I was a child and I keep telling her to read books while I am super absorbed with my phone. Well, I wondered only because I had forgotten, children don’t hear us, they imitate us.

5. Because I want to have both my hands free, to hold hands with my husband and my daughter at the same time, to dance whenever I wish to, to be normal again. God forbid the world fall apart that our phones aren’t looked at the second they tring! And no, this wouldn’t change even when they start making all women’s dresses with pockets!

6. Because I am afraid that we are on the reverse path of evolution, Remember the ape to human posture diagram they teach us at school, yeah, we definitely are tracing that back now and No thanks, I don’t wanna be a part of that. I am pretty sure none of my dresses would look nice on a bent spine me.

7. Because no one saw the beautiful rainbow on the train ride to work today. And I would’ve missed it too had I been suffering from the oh-my-eyes-will-stop-functioning-properly-without-a-dose-of-vitamin-c(ell) blindness syndrome too. There was one more thing no one noticed…A disabled teenage boy needed help when his metro card fell to the floor when he is was trying to adjust his wheelchair position. He probably would have had a hard time getting off the train without the card. Thank God someone wasn’t completely engrossed in their phone and saw it fall, and handed it back to him.

8. Watsapp – More like ‘whatcr*p’ – Seriously, like who has a group of 67 family members, and who would give a rats to check out the photos from your second cousin’s child’s friends’ first birthday celebration just because they have an oh so cute Incredibles theme balloon decor! Spare me the horror please! And seriously, that teenage girl in that ‘missing person’ photo circulating from 3 odd years now, is unable to go to school. The moment she steps out of her house, some good Samaritan escorts her back to her home because he saw the ‘very urgent and for a noble deed’ forwarded message from his aunt, not realising the poor girl had come home the same evening after, upon spending a little extra time at her friend’s place, her missing person message was forwarded to her own phone by 13 of her whatsapp groups. And don’t even get me started on the 76 good morning messages I receive from my family back in India when it is 12:30pm my time. I almost opened my preso with a ‘Good morning everyone’ in an evening session the other day. Talk about global time zone eh!

9. Because ‘speaking’ has shifted to an ‘unknown skill domain’. We prefer to chat/text/Skype message/ written word in short over verbal, if we have a choice. Have you noticed we struggle now-a-days to look directly at a person’s face while talking to them. We’ll look everywhere but at the person we are talking to. In olden days, it was the body language sign for hiding the truth. Either everyone is lying or I should probably stick a tiny screen between my brows to get people to look me in the eye when they are talking to me. Wouldn’t that be fun!#AlienTrendAlert #ScreenBrows

10. I do not want to receive ads for ‘cheap flights to best holiday destinations’ on my facebook feed when my husband texts me ‘Lets go for a vacay’. Hello!! What part of the word Privacy was left unexplained to these people at their school. And how creepy it is when your phone knows exactly where you’re headed the moment you get into your car and will try to win the race by telling you which route is the fastest even before the car GPS can turn on.

11. I don’t want technology to cripple me. I’ll use it when I need it! I’ll not allow it to use me!Period!

Love

R~

It sure was a Happy Mother’s Day!

I am a worrier…no you read it correctly, ‘worry-ier’ not ‘warrior’. And ever since I became a mum, I believe I have turned into this paranoid me where my brain constantly filters all incoming information and thoughts first through a does-it-have-a-direct-impact-on-my-child lens and then what-about-an-indirect-impact lens followed by a I-cannot-see-an-impact-but-there-must-be-one-so-lets-make-one-up lens.

Its like my mind comes up with these wierd sense-less negative scenarios and they constantly play in the backdrop of all activity happening in my mind. At first, I used to blame my inner software tester, where the most important attribute to have is to be able to identify scenarios where the system would break and fail. But I think it got too far into my little ‘mommy-brain’.

My worst fear and a cause of constant worry was (and always will be, I guess) that my child will inherit my bad habits or acquire those traits of mine or shall I say drawbacks, which I am not proud of. Worse, what if she inherits my health problems…I would never forgive myself.

A vicious circle of negativity, ey! However, what came about as the most beautiful gift this Mother’s day was something that has slapped these negative thoughts down. My 8yo wrote me a poem, A POEM…..I wonder where she gets it from!!

So what if I pass on a few of my not-so-wonderful talents, such as the ability to sleep for 18 hours straight, at least she’s got something good from me, and heck ya, she’s much better at this than me. See it for yourself:

I Love You Mum

I love roses, I love lilies, but most of all I Love You

and that will always be so true

You hug me so tight

and wake me up when bright

Thank you for all you have done for me

and teach me so much so I succeed

I can rely on you and you can too

so Bestie, I Love You!!

~~Aa & her rainbow friend

N2knyJz1S2SBUH0gF5FzcgTold ya so!!

I hope all you mummies out there had a memorable day….I know I sure did!!

Love

R