A beginning

I have always kept ‘politics’ out of this space… there is enough of that anyways all around. But today I make an exception. An exception because after four years of, to put it mildly, a dismal state of affairs, filled with rhetoric that has been one of hatred and divisiveness only, my adopted home country has a leader who is the antithesis of his predecessor. But it’s not just that, since any decent human being is the antithesis of he- who shall- not -be- named. It is much more than that. The election here in the US pitted neighbors against each other with a fervor that is perhaps rare and in spite of all the venom spewing, enough people did the right thing. And that mattered. But, since this is not a political post, I will refrain from the details of the post-election period leading up to the official inauguration of the new president… the world has witnessed all of that with shock I assume. Instead, I choose to focus on the amazing things that have happened. This administration is probably one of a kind. And it’s not just because the country got it’s first female VP ever, but because this administration has, as its leaders and representatives, people who are as diverse as those who call this place home. It’s a recognition and almost a celebration of the diversity that makes this country unique. A new dawn is hopefully upon us when a period of healing and hoping can begin. The beginning of coming together of enough people so that the rhetoric of hatred does not get a platform to be heard. There is trepidation but there is also happiness. And at the same time, there will always be a lot of theories, mostly conspiracies, but we shall choose to not respond with malice.

But perhaps these are lofty words, who knows. Still, the wish is for this moment to bring hope to those of us who need it and to also restore faith in those of us who were probably beginning to question the basic tenets of humanity, morality and just basic decency. And maybe also in just our own selves and in the power of doing the right thing. There will always be darkness but there also will be light to pierce through that dark. We have to be willing to do what is needed, time and again, always. It’s a moment of coming together, a moment that has been long overdue. This does not mean that all will magically heal, far from that. But the journey can begin, in small tangible steps. In the empowering words of Amanda Gorman (if you have not listened to her yet, do so when you get a chance) who is the youngest person ever chosen to write a poem for the presidential inauguration and the first person to be named the National Youth Poet Laureate:

The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light.

If only we are brave enough to see it

If only we are brave enough to be it“.

Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe. Stay kind.

Monday Motivation

Although Monday is almost over here and the Tuesday morning sun has risen in many parts of the world, still  here I am!

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Be true and be you… be kind and be gentle…be kind and be patient. It is a much better place for you to be in and for others who are in your circle.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Monday Motivation

“ Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness”. Brene Brown.

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Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you all a good week ahead!

The power of love

   Last year, when we found out we were expecting our second child, it made us ecstatic. But that ecstasy was somewhat short lived as we realized the pressures of bringing up two little ones (our older one was just about 3 years old at that point) in a land where we had little help and no grown ups (read- our parents) to guide us and hold our hands when we would falter! And then there was the fear of our little boy’s reaction, though I knew that he would be the best big brother one could hope for. And I was not wrong. Ever since he found out that his Ma’s tummy had a little special someone for him, his curiosity knew no bounds and neither did his love. Kids ask the strangest questions and at times their thoughtfulness takes you by surprise too! Our boy had the usual inquisitiveness about the new member and his actions often melted my heart. If we were out buying him clothes, he would without fail mention that we should also get something for his sister. If we were eating out, he would ask me to make sure that what I ate was not too ‘jhaal’ (hot/spicy) for the one in my tummy. And every night before going to bed  he would kiss his sister goodnight and wish her a good morning just the same way. Every single day.  Emotions at times ran high as the good man and I tried to make space for our baby girl and our voices would rise. Not a scream or any kind of verbal altercation …just raised voices of two freaked out people trying to get a lot done in a short span of time! But, if the little boy happened to be around, he would come rushing by and gently remind us to not raise our voices as there was a baby in Ma’s tummy and loud voices could hurt the tiny baby’s ears. And the day I slipped and fell down in the bathroom at 11.30 pm, four days before my due date, our little boy showed us love and gave us strength that I could not have imagined. A million things were rushing through our minds as we called the doctor and got ready to leave for the hospital while a visibly disoriented little guy was trying to take everything in his stride. My parents were with us and he put up the bravest face he could manage in the middle of so much chaos and trepidation, and waved us goodbye as we left for the hospital at around midnight. I did not have a lot of time to explain everything to him and he too did not ask for any. I watched him as we got into the car and while my heart was racing for our baby girl, it was also beaming with pride for our little guy. Baby girl was fine in the tummy and when we came back home in the morning after being kept at the hospital overnight for observation, I could see his face just light up and the first thing he asked was if his baby sister was alright.

   Our baby girl turned one a few days ago and the little guy was very ill with a viral fever. He still blew up a balloon and drew a little something for her special day. Every day has been a treat watching them together and while I know that this is so because they are both still little, it warms my heart. Our little guy has grown so much and we couldn’t be prouder. It is a matter of time before the “i don’t like you-s”, “he is mean”, “she is not letting me do that” set in and the expression of love might not be so simple then! But for the time being, I am soaking in this unadulterated love… a love so different, so unique…this love between a soon to be five year old big brother and his one year old sister. It has taught me to be kind and brave, no matter what. And it grounds me in humility and puts the faith back when hope seems to be drifting away in this crazy life.

 

Monday Motivation

   Life is not equal parts happiness and equal parts sorrow…more often than not, sorrow somehow seems to have an upper hand. It rattles our peace and toys with emotions, smiles at the misfortune and maybe even revels in pulling us down to the abyss of hopelessness, testing the levels of our endurance and pushing us to our limits. We are probably all too familiar with this, unfortunately. And may be we, sometimes, come dangerously close to giving up. Yet, as if by some miracle , we go on. We must. We learn from missteps and we try to put the right foot forward. We breathe through the pain, breathe through the tears but keep our chins up and keep looking for that path forward. We cling on to hope and make that our chalice when darkness looms large. There are, maybe, people we know who are going through similar unhappy patches at the moment. Often just being there for them helps. With or without giving ‘advice’. Just listening and letting them know that they are not alone. It helps. So, if you know someone who maybe is going through a hard time, I hope you reach out to that person to let them know that you are there. The world is a much better place when we look out for each other.  And, if anyone reading this is going through an uneven stretch, I hope it passes soon and you come out stronger.

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This made me smile on a day that was not particularly a bright one.

 

Thanks for stopping by and keep believing.

Monday Motivation

   “Don’t allow someone make you feel like you’re not good enough”Anonymous

   There’s no use denying that we live in a world that at many times appears to be harsh, unnecessarily untruthful and full of negativity. While it is not true always, it unfortunately is a huge part of our daily living and that can be tiring. To continuously have to strive to find the good in people, to keep on being optimistic, to having the courage to deal with the negative- can be taxing. Yet, we focus on the good…we must. The good, the bad and the ugly coexist and it is up to us how we respond to these.

   How we choose to view the world around us is probably a ‘choice’ and while it may sound utopian, I believe that we can decide to focus on the good that is also found in plenitude. ‘Choose to be kind in an unkind world‘ is more than a print on a coffee mug or a T shirt. It can be a wonderful way of living, albeit frustrating at times and difficult to maintain but nonetheless doable. Everyday people, things, circumstances will work in inexplicable ways to make us feel bad about ourselves, about the choices we make in life; they will work tirelessly to bring us down and fill us with self doubt- do not let them. The power lies within us to not respond to such pettiness. My Ma always says that anyone who behaves in this manner is already beneath us and I couldn’t agree more. I understand that it is easier said than done but it is upon us to not let the weight of other people’s malicious behavior, their inanity and their overall disregard for anyone else but themselves, their hollow judgments take us down. Our convictions and inner strength can lead us in our own journeys that we each take and we meet an equal number of, if not more, people who enrich our lives with love, generosity, humility and awesomeness which brightens the gloom negative energy brings. Random acts or spoken words by strangers and acquaintances make us smile a bit and breathe easy and we know that love continues to grow and even if we are unable to see it, the world is still a beautiful place.

 

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Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a happy week!

 

 

Monday Motivation

I have been missing from my own happy and calm place- taking pictures and scribbling- for the past few weeks. I am more anxious and restless as a result and I don’t really like this ‘me’! Sometimes life gets crazy and replying to simple emails seems like a task and the two hour ‘me’ window that generally is allotted for rants and rambles gets filled with  Netflix, leading to more restlessness! We all have been/are part of such cycles that leave us in a flux at times, won’t you say? How do you deal with it?

I sometimes wish I could go out  to places a couple of times a week at least that would let me take photos to my heart’s content and teach me things. Instead, days get filled with the mundane and this fanciful notion takes a backseat. While my heart is thankful for all that I have and I feel blessed for my family, especially my little ones, at times a tiny something feels missing from this perfect setting. I wonder if this is the feeling of a stay at home mom and I also wonder if it’s okay to feel this way.  A part of me wants to work, wants to put my degrees to some use, wants to be able to give back to society, wants to be a role model for the tiny humans we are trying to raise. I know of parents who would give anything to be able to stay at home,watching their kids grow – roll on the floor with them, make sandwiches with funny faces for lunch and just be silly in the middle of the day! And I am grateful,every single day, to be able to do that. But at the same time, the urge to go to work does not seem to go away.  This sort of dichotomy between the ‘what- one- has’ and ‘what- one- wants’ is nothing new and never has an easy solution! Neither does mine. Sometimes we give in to situations and fail to navigate around. And sometimes we find a middle ground or choose a path and stick to that no matter what.

I have been perturbed for the past few days and I know I will be again in the future! But for now, I am choosing to not sink in the ‘have- nots’ but embrace the ‘haves’ and when the time is right, choose a path that will hopefully ease those pangs of uneasiness.

 

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Have a good week and thanks for stopping by!

 

Monday Motivation

Monday is almost over here but this is my photo and my thought for the day-

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“OPTIMISM IS THE FAITH THAT LEADS TO ACHIEVEMENT. NOTHING CAN BE DONE WITHOUT HOPE AND CONFIDENCE”- HELEN KELLER

 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a good week.

‘What’s the Word’ Wednesday

Ennui :

Feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction; boredom

 

   My four year old has been, of late,  using the sentence:’ I am bored!’ And I have been processing it, very carefully…trying out different things to lessen his ‘boredom’. He has also recently started getting more screen time than usual as I have been slacking, probably, in keeping him occupied. That has been followed by pangs of guilt and some serious ‘research’ into how to best stimulate the young mind, how to keep them occupied etc etc. All of this also has had less than desirable results at times, setting the whole cycle in motion again!

   Growing up, I was always told to keep myself occupied as much as possible as it was not a good thing to sit idle. Who can remember this from their childhood days- ‘An idle brain is the devil’s workshop!’ And so ingrained is that notion in my mind that I too have been doing the same with my son and in the process probably not letting him be a child. I wonder is too much structured time good for kids? I look around and parents and kids are running from one activity to the other and both often look exhausted and somewhat ‘doing things for the sake of doing them’. I have already had suggestions from ‘concerned’ minds that I should be enrolling my son, before it’s too late, in guitar lessons and soccer and some sort of piano or drum lessons too (my kid is just another kid who loves to kick the ball around and beat the drums and strum his ukulele). And the only thought that had crossed my mind was “too late for a four year old??”

   Recent research has shown that being bored once in a while is actually good for the child’s brain (https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2018/03/08/unplug-your-kids-boredom-is-good-for-the-brain/- there are many more articles on this topic..just ask Google!) It gives them time to be creative and helps them think.  If a parent is filling in all the free time of the child, I wonder how will they learn to do it themselves? We cannot think for the kids nor should we and as I am learning slowly, it is not good for my kid to be told how to keep himself occupied at all times. I need to let him be a kid and help him visit the land of make believe.

   We did not have the electronic devices at our finger tips and we did figure out ways to keep ourselves from getting ‘bored’. And as far as I remember, it was fun to pretend play and talk to other kids, get into quarrels and figure out how to get along, scrape our knees playing on the streets and get our hands dirty in the mud! I wonder if we are failing to give our kids enough outdoor time or has societal norms put such limits? Such thoughts cross my mind and I am often perplexed by the complexity of the answers. Times are different and life has become much more demanding and trying to find a balance between the ideal and what’s possible can sometimes be an uphill task. But I am willing to let my four year old get a little bored and figure out things on his own, get down on my knees and get our hands dirty, if not in the mud then in the play dough and other gooey stuff!

 

(I had started writing this post about a month ago and had then just forgotten! My ‘bored’ four year old made me think about this today and I am thankful for that ‘boredom!)

 

 

Thanks for stopping by:)