Lennon Had It Right!

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

I’m not feeling particularly nostalgic or philosophical today so have no fear that this is one of “those” posts.

After a week of particularly fragmented sleep due to a very, very unfortunate incident witnessed, I finally slept good and proper. And it was also due to a long, no-holds barred, candid talk with my father.

It seems to me that while life is something that we are born into; it’s also something that keeps happening around us whether we are consciously in the moment or not. It does go on. Extremely fluidly.

One moment someone is literally surrounded by all that is good and the next moment they are gone. Really, really gone. Because saying they passed on doesn’t seem to do justice to it.

One moment you’re one of a bunch of quasi-serious group of girls studying the human mind, ogling boys, chatting with strangers on the net for the thrill of it and bunking classes to watch Hyderabad Blues (first day-first show) and then you blink and you’re a housewife who buys sheets based on thread count and is quite happy about it as well.

One day you’re the thread that holds together someone’s sanity and the next you’re nowhere in the horizon because life happened and people moved on; and so did you.

One day you were playing hopscotch and counting nickels to see if you had enough for an ice cream sandwich and the next you were just among the multitude of kids who were moving out of home room to go to French or Spanish class.

You make plans. We all do. We plan the hell out of our lives. Even those who don’t have a proper schematic in place and aren’t hopelessly anal about where they’re going and how they want to get there. But things still keep happening around us, we get caught up in them and sometimes they lead someplace good and other times it leads to places we can’t wait to get out of fast enough.

If I look back today on things good and bad, the only thing that consistently occurs to me is that I have enough to go on to look ahead as well. And not just through rose-colored glasses to see the prettiness. To also see things for how they are: a shifting balance of things that test us to the core and those which lift us up to glorious peaks of joy.

And no…this post will not end with an “embrace life now!” or “count your blessings and live each day to the fullest” kind of blather. It’s just an ongoing realization of how we are yet to plumb the depths of all that’s in store for us and how the tip of the iceberg isn’t really a bad place to be when everything else is still ahead of you.

Makes me feel good about the times to come. In a mildly daunted and yet-excited way.

So since I have to end the post on some note, let it be this.

Reblogged: Marking Territory

Everywhere I look, I sit the offspring’s presence prevails.

The jar of Gummybears are usually within hand’s reach although with the child-proof caps it’s still a bit in our control when we want to hand the bears over.

There are clothes clips on the futon, tigers and lions (figures) under the sofa cushions and Play Doh and khakhra crumbs all along the path he’s taken through the house. Very Hansel and Gretel and one can guess who the witch in this story is too 🙂

Point is- kids take over your life in toto! And when they sleep you reclaim it and the house which has their artwork all over the walls instead of the nice designs you and your husband picked out as newlyweds.

But then again they surprise you in the MOST UNEXPECTED manner. After a terribly taxing day when you’ve restrained yourself from leaving them on some unsuspecting person’s doorstep they turn to you and execute a deep bow and say Thank You Very Much Ayu in the cutest manner ever and all’s forgiven till the next transgression.

Damn! Check and mate to the offspring. Mommy’s still figuring out her opening gambit!

There Are Lines…

Indeed there are. There are fine lines too, the ones which aren’t demarcated with thick, bold colors-whether actual or virtual and then there are the F-I-N-E lines. Whatever be their shape or width;you generally don’t cross them.

The deal with the lines is this, it denotes the start of something that may or may not be sustainable in the long run if one does venture into that kind of situation and it can also result in breakages; the kind that aren’t physical or actual but broken nonetheless.

People draw lines around them to safeguard aspects of their lives which are either off-limits to all and sundry or which are a particularly difficult can of worms and should preferably not be opened. Because worms as we know are slippery little devils and it’s tough to stuff a bunch of wrigglers into confined spaces once they’ve tasted freedom.

Whether it’s in the guise of being a bestie, a parent, a child, a confidante…there really are some lines which should be left alone. Obliterating them in the name of relationships, good intent or even love isn’t always a reason that will fly or even work as a rationale.

As I grow older I realize this more and more every day…people no matter *how* gregarious, *how* lively and open-hearted  someone might be; people do really like having things their own way.  It doesn’t mean that they are dictatorial in their approach or that they’ll pout and sulk like a thumb-sucking two year-old till someone gives in but even the nicest people draw lines in and around their chosen type of existence in a regular basis. And no one likes the apple cart to the upset. We like a bit of disorder if it’s brought on by our own self or if it’s choreographed to be an orderly disorder. But if the disorder swiftly reaches what passes for chaos by our own yardstick, people will react; in various ways.

And there really seems to be no age limit for it. In my 30s I can see how I strain against the lines I’ve drawn for myself and against the ones drawn by those whose lives intersect with mine.

Realization can be quite heady at times. But it works just the same.

I guess all I can really do is teach MLM to hop over lines when required and to carry his personal “eraser” and not get too hemmed in by the lines he might be tempted to draw in his lifetime.

 

Image courtesy-www.dreamstime.com

Image courtesy-www.dreamstime.com

Inconvenient Truths

The toughest thing I find at times is to explain to MLM what something actually is. Since he lacks the experience and often the vocabulary, it’s a bit challenging to think of ways to get him to understand it in a manner that satisfies him or makes sense to him. Some children accept a lot of things their parents tell them but MLM actually mulls things over quite a bit.

Little things like why he can’t be swimming in an unheated pool in the height of winter, how it’ll most likely cause a cold; why his father and I are using chasing him around the house to clean his nose when it’s runny and most importantly why t.v or other visual digital media is curtailed after a point. Usually there’s a villain in the story  viz moi but by and large there are questions coming up which I have to gloss over or fall back on euphemisms for him to stop his line of questioning.

Just today he suddenly asked why Littlefoot’s mother was sleeping and not getting up after the fight with the T-Rex. Till now he’s never watched anything where death has even been remotely implied and since he’s only 4, I haven’t even thought about how to explain those kinds of heavy concepts to him yet. Whatever cartoons he’s watched where the bad guy’s been defeated, he’s understood it as them having “gone away”. Whether that’s a permanent condition or not has not been touched upon. Come to think of it, I don’t know if such small children know and understand the concept of permanence either. Their little minds are usually so crammed with things in their immediate surroundings, their likes and dislikes.

So when he raised the query about Littlefoot’s mother I asked him why do you think she’s not getting up and he promptly replied, ” T-Rex did ouchie! Dinosaur got ouchie there and fall down. Now dinosaur sleep.”  Phew! That’s a good place to start. I wouldn’t know what to do when the “die” issue comes up.

With children what they see is what you get and I guess that’s why he can’t understand how it is when I occasionally put my contact lens on…he keeps trying to get me to put my glasses on…thinking I’m unable to see 🙂

When he was a baby, he’d go and check under the beds, behind the toilets, everywhere possible when he wasn’t able to locate his grandparents after they’d left. He just couldn’t understand how something was *not* there or was different or in an unrecognizable form.

All a part of growing up I guess…I just hope I survive the phase of “whys”.

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 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