At the end of the year…

It becomes inevitable that we make resolutions…even if it’s a resolution that no further resolutions will be made 🙂

And the gospel truth comes back to me: we always keep the promises we *want* to keep. Those that get swept under the rug or get the short shrift aren’t necessarily the ones we may not have cared about, but that we were less than committed to it can’t be denied.

Every year is unique…just because our routines don’t vary dramatically doesn’t mean the year hasn’t been different. Every year leaves its own imprint on our lives, in our memories, our consciousness and definitely influences the way we view things around us, the world at large even.

I started this year on an overall positive note for me personally. I had a job I was enjoying. MLM’s surgery had gone off well and he was heaps better, Red was in a job that he was feeling very upbeat about, my parents had bounced back well from their bouts of bad health reasonably well, we bought a new apartment and MLM had settled in VERY well in his new school and was giving us regular glimpses into what he was learning and how happy he was. So all good?

Well not entirely…this year was tinged very deeply with how the lives of some of my closest friends also went. It wasn’t total doldrums of despair and devastation but roses weren’t in the horizon all the time. The baggage from 2012 viz the fatigue and the feeling of not having achieved anything specific stayed with me for the most of 2013 and of course life throws curveballs and you either manage to hit a few else you strike out. Needless to say 2013 was not the year of the home runs 😦

But over the last few days, while I have been in a very lethargic phase; your typical garden-variety, grade A slug, my mind’s been working overtime in thinking and sifting through loads of imagery and experiences from the past year and in some cases the years before and honestly I haven’t done enough!

My father bought me a book by Stephen Covey on proactivity and while I was working I used the book quite a bit to quote from in my line of work, looked at it as a resource but didn’t really apply many of the principles in my life.

I do wish for a few things in 2014 but the one I’m sharing now seems to be the need of the hour (make it the year). I’m putting it in this post so it’s documented for me to come and check whenever I feel like I’m straying…

I hope to become more realistic this coming year. I’m not a head-in-the-clouds kind of person but I don’t think I have as much of a reality check as I need, as my life demands.”

But till the clock strikes 12 and the new year is truly upon us; inescapably so…I’m going to continue in this current mode for a bit…no sense in rushing things…I’ll have resolutions staring me in the face soon enough.

 

 

The Parenting Chronicles

Being a parent (as I say a few hundred times in a week) is like nuthin’ else!

You don’t know when you’ll be sucker punched or melt in a puddle of treacly sweet mushiness; all by the actions of the person you call… The Offspring!

Last night friends of ours decided to head out for a dinner. What’s special about this dinner you ask? Well it was the first time they were heading out to eat in a restaurant after their daughter was born; roughly one and a half years ago. And it’s not that she’s high maintenance, FAR from it. Red and I can co-author books on high maintenance kids without breaking a sweat. This little girl doesn’t need too many things to capture her fancy, CAN SIT STILL ( a skill my 4-year-old has yet to master) and is overall- a GOOD child.

So off we went with them. We dressed up nice. It was Christmas dinner after all. The eatery was good too but not so pish posh that you need to worry about using the right kind of cutlery.

And a mini disaster struck! Their erstwhile well-behaved child hadn’t napped in the afternoon and the disruption of her routine led her to be fairly cranky! Well that and a poopy diaper they hadn’t discovered for a while led the parents to try and calm her down in many ways indeed.

After a while it was a simple can of Coke that kept her occupied and happy and we wrapped up a bit early so the kids could conk off and we parents could rediscover that realm that one has to be a parent to understand- The Realm Of The Sleeping Child. Oh..tis sweet indeed!

Red and I, after some EPIC, EPIC debacles at various eateries, malls and God knows where else have fallen back on ordering in and not really going out much with MLM unless we REALLY need a break or we’re fairly certain that some amount of control can be exerted upon him and the situation.

We go to places we know will cater to his kind of food and dessert and will not distract him to the extent where we both run relays in tracking him down and fastening him back to his seat.

It was a sad day indeed when he decided he was too big for his high chair 😦

But kids really are an uncomplicated lot once you accept that for them it’s not about logic that rules the roost- it’s their wants. We tend to rationalize between our needs and wants and this gentleman has done extensive work in defining both. For example a recent trip to the mall made MLM realize that he couldn’t do without a creepy, green inflated T-Rex. That reptile’s guarding my living room even now where the sudden silhouette of it looming up has startled me once or twice. But go figure! They watch t.v. together (the hurricane and the extinct lizard), it waits for MLM to finish his bath, MLM has tried to sit on it unsuccessfully a few times as well but you can’t miss the love! Inexplicable as it is.

And what is even more inexplicable is the immediate release of tension, irritability and frustration that a parent feels the moment they gaze upon the face of their sleeping child. It’s really as if all right with the world.

So we march on. With tough times and fantastic ones too. Trying to wing it and often equipped with T-Rexs to make the world of parenting a happier place.

Amen.

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2013- In Retrospect Part Deux

Since I last wrote our much-awaited and severely yearned for trip got cancelled due to personal emergencies. It was a huge disappointment.

But what was an eye opener to me was my own reaction to it. I had anchored so many things to this trip, it was supposed to be the biggest Fix-it for everything that hadn’t gone according to plan and when it fell through I was numb for a bit.

But numbness has its upside; it insulates you from feeling much of anything. So I got back to business and we’ve been trying to have fun as a family ever since and it’s not been a bad trade-off.

MLM is happy wherever you take him provided he has his Play Doh, bouts of t.v. time and space to run around in.Thank Goodness for that. To be a child is truly a joyous thing. Your ignorance about the world safeguards you from many things that adults can’t seem to escape.
Of course the flipside has to be considered too…their world is a smallish place, consisting of their immediate surroundings and ONLY what they understand at a particular time. So being denied a candy can cause heartbreak having to leave the playground and go home can be devastating 🙂

But this year I’ve been very fortunate to see some spectacular things in nature-a vast array of sunrises and sunset, each one different from the other.

I got to spend a good amount of time at work as a facilitator for activities pertaining to Early Childhood Development and the experiences you have while spending time with the kids is indelible.

I’m surrounded by lots of light and cool breezes throughout the day and that by itself is extremely uplifting…where you stay and how it impacts your moods does so much to tip the balance of your life.

Yes…quite a bit to feel good about. And now with Christmas upon us…we’ll channel in the Yuletide cheer with a lovely bottle of rose wine, apple juice for MLM and a red velvet Christmas cake-hopefully.

A few snapshots of good times in the last 2 months since we moved in.
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2013 In Retrospect- Part I

December is the default time of the year to retrospect. The regrets start off from the hangover on 1st January itself.

But this has been a BIG year for us as a family. A BIG year. Lots of decisions, individual and collective, have shaped up the way our lives will be in the years to come as well.

Let’s meander through 2013 shall we?

January (our anniversary to be exact)- Red put down the deposit for the new house and made it the untoppable anniversary gift for all time. Of course I wouldn’t say no to tickets for a trip to Europe (that doesn’t include MLM) in case he decided to outdo himself sometime.

May- I took my FIRST EVER Girls’ Trip away with my BFF and left Red and MLM at home together. It has become the watershed for me personally on many levels.

June- We made the fantastic and impulsive decision to change MLM’s school and now he’s actually learning and enjoying every minute of it!

October- We moved into the new apartment and started off on a brand new adventure filled with regurgitating toilets, broken tiles, choked drains, tennis matches, swing rides into the blue yonder and freezing dips into the swimming pool and plenty of breathless moments for me from inflating the Ben 10 life jacket and Nemo hand floats.

November- I quit my job and shed some amount of load and stress and opened up more time for myself to take walks, chew my food, and BLOG!! Of course am still a long ways off from being able to blog daily or as and when I feel like it but am getting there.

December- coming up is our first ever trip abroad as a family. Something I’ve been curious (morbidly) about since MLM hasn’t ever been on a plane for more than 2 hours at a stretch. Usually by the end of which I either want to throw myself off the plane or long for alcohol to be served on domestic flights in India.

In between we’ve had memorable times with friends over get togethers at home, a fun road trip and made more lists and plans than we did when we were expecting MLM.

We’ve laughed, we’ve fought, we’ve been stressed out beyond belief, hit lows on the health front and have also  managed to accomplish things along the way. MLM learnt about dinosaurs and got his T-Rex groove on 🙂

This year, however,  has been very tough in terms of getting things to fall in place. But at least we are starting 2014 on an easier note…ostensibly.

The concluding part of this post after our trip- am sure it’ll be a doozy!

Good Omens

After a morning filled with the usual rigmarole of MLM telling me his school was closed so he could stay home and watch Peacock aka Kung Fu Panda-2, me yelling at him to sit his butt down while I drove him to school for a dental camp…my son picked up two flowers (from the ground…we don’t encourage ouchies for plants) and rather bashfully gave them to me.

Hope it sets the tone for the rest of the day…that it’s nice and mellow and doesn’t involve me donning my other avatar of a firebreathing dragon.

One can hope, can’t one? 🙂

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The Trouble With Conviction…

Conviction is a double-edged sword. You revel in the feeling of believing in something so strongly but at the same time once it gets it’s hooks into you, you’re stuck but good.

You convince yourself that you’re going through tough times and even if there are some wee silver-lining clouds in the horizon, they don’t ping your radar much or at all.

It works the other way also…if you are convinced that you’ll always land on your feet no matter what comes your way, then few things dent your confidence. But it can also blind you to the impact of the problems and take an insidious toll on you without your knowing.

Cryptic? Maybe so…but I’ve often found that being gung-ho about things can be overrated. Moderation is the name of the game. But moderation is a tough act to perfect since we get used to oscillating or vacillating from one end to the other.

Moral of the story? I’m convinced that I need to rework my convictions :p

A Month In Retrospect

When I started this blog recently I couldn’t begin to fathom HOW haphazard life would become.

In the midst of juggling office work, pool time, play time, household repairs and whatnots I’ve found an oasis of sorts…pictures of sunrise and sunsets…and no I don’t sing the song from Fiddler on The Roof while I take these snaps.

The different colors that just magically appear everyday across the skies is quite rejuvenating and reaffirming for me.

Always another day to look forward to.
Here are some snippets of my little pocket of peace and calm-

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