Tuesday, 21 October 2014

When You Love Something Enough For Yourself

I have a bunch of things I like doing just for my own sake.

Writing.

Working out.

Running.

Teaching.

Is that a bunch? Umm, sort of. Cooking, baking, keeping a house in order, marketing - all jobs or lateral interests sparked by core interests / loves. But those four things up there - all core, major interests.

I am seriously glad I have those four things in my life. Maybe not running, ever since I moved into the new house (rain) and then an injury (knee) plus I don't have a great running track. But I have the other three in my life and they make me feel alive. This is very important for me to know because I realise now that it's only when you love something enough for your own sake will you be able to let it nourish and carry you. I have always wondered at people coming on cooking shows saying they are doing this for their family. Family is important. But family is not you. You are you. Your relationship to anybody was first preceded by your relationship with yourself. And unless you are essentially doing something because you love it for your own sake, it is not going to nourish you. It will make you grow, yes, it will earn you fame, it will take you places. But it will not be your respite.

If you are to live a life that is of your own doing, you have to find that thing you love doing for your own sake and let it become your respite. I am sure the rest just falls in place of its own accord.

So examples? I love cooking coz my family loves eating good food? Lateral.
I love gymming coz it keeps me in shape? Lateral. I love writing because it helps me get published & famous? Lateral.

I love cooking coz when I cook, I am happiest? Personal. I love gymming because when I work out, I feel so alive & good about myself? Personal. I love writing because it's how I best express the stories inside me? Personal.

Do you have a personal love? If yes, you're inimitably lucky. And you must not give that up because so few of us even know this. If you still give it up, give it up only for your own sake.

Been Gone A While But...

I didn't write for an entire week. I am not sure I was in a very good place - I know I was in all sorts of places - some deliriously good. Some extremely bad. But I am here now. And I am posting again from this week. Breaks are allowed, right?

This is my Monday post. I am thankful for a whole bunch of things.

For a free cake that I didn't have to bake. It wasn't very nice but one must never complain about freebies.

I am thankful that I spoke to mum again - rather, she reconnected again. She's in a better place than before and I am glad she's claiming her life back.

I am thankful for the friends I have - one took me out to lunch & for ice cream, the other forced me out of my comfort zone by making me attend a baby shower, and yet another wrote me a letter and sent me a bunch of deliciously beautiful things. And finally, this one bunked half a day at work & we went out for lunch, ate macarons & she told me the name of her shade of lipstick which is at the moment, the most awesome material possession in my life.

I have great friends.

I had a good week.

I also cried my eyes out on my birthday, which just went by, because I was afraid I'd give up too much or take on too much professionally. It's a healthy fear. It's a legitimate fear. And the time I cried, it felt like I would go wrong, make mistakes, find my fate on the path I'd take to avoid it. But here I am. I am okay. I know I will survive mistakes. Because I have done it before.

We have all done it before.

I am thankful that I am a food blogger of sorts so I get to eat some amazing food. I went to a very fancy restaurant & tried one of their special menus last week. So good. It's ridiculous how happy good dessert & bread can make you feel.

Oh, and I went back to my doc who said my knee is fine & gave me a bunch of knee strengthening exercises.

What a relief.

I could complaint about the weather but no...I want to confess to you that mornings are getting breezy and nippy.

I love my house. It lets all that gorgeous wind in.

Monday, 13 October 2014

For Darling Friends.

I began my day with this: http://ideasmithy.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/what-friendship-needs-not-preachy-i-promise/ Ramya, Ramya, Ramya! She really lives up to her name.

I met Andrea, by now, one of those friends who has known me longest, somebody who will always be part of my life and somebody who can always be part of mine. We ate macarons. And we spoke of how lavender feels like home.

For the husband. Because he's why my faith in myself remains intact even on bad days.

For courage. To stand up & say no when you truly mean it.

For AC buses. Really. It's keeping my macarons from melting in my bag.

And for that lady in the train who gave me her window seat. And to all those people who could have protested but did not.

For ticket coupons & the choice I have to not stand in a queue.

For the sudden realization that the birthday is coming up. And all this excitement about having no plans at all!

And for Gaurav, a pesky older brother I can always count on. He's gonna have a baby & I am so stoked there will be one more person on this planet who will have an unparalleled knack of annoying him. Somebody has to do my suffering justice, after all.

My Monday has been glorious :)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

An Okay Week

I have had an okay week.

I quit my job - what a relief. I have always believed that every job, with no exception, is 80% mundane & 20% adventure. As long as I get my 20%, I'll handle it well. Take that away and I will be first to abandon ship.

My job was becoming just that: 80% mundane. I wasn't enjoying it. The few bits I did enjoy got soaked in drudgery by the people surrounding it. And very much against my usual common sense of waiting for one ship to appear before leaping off the one I'm sailing on, this time I dived head long into the sea. I don't know where I am going yet but I know something will turn up.

My brother is living with us for a while until he gets his own place with a bunch of roomies. It's nice to have him around & he has changed a lot. Hostel has done him a load of good.

Karva Chauth happened, brownies were baked. The husband got me a runner's T-shirt as a gift :D

I bought myself two tops online that actually fit & looked very nice when I tried them on. What a relief! I also tried edamame for the first time and I quite like them!

Mum called. And spoke to me for twenty minutes. As if nothing has happened. And I did just that - spoke like nothing had happened. We chatted about mundane little things. I wasn't baffled or affected. Just, well, mildly amused.

For the last few months, I have stopped demanding an explanation from my family for their behavior. I don't ask too many questions, I do not look for reason/intention. It brings me a certain amount of peace, some amount of freedom. We are all inflicted with various kinds of madness and why people do what they do is a question I do not ask anymore. I am convinced that the answer will add nothing to my life. I let them be as long as they can let me be.

I have realised that people are grey. And so am I. I cannot throw people out of my life because they are not my version of grey. As long as they are not forcing their esteemed presence on my life, they can sing their songs just the way they want to. Fine by me.

A very good friend wrote me a nice long email :) Nice long emails really cheer me up.

And this beautiful girl called Ramya is an absolute source of peace and relief in my life.

My knee feels better than before. The husband's sprain is getting better too.

I am glad for all these things & people.

PS: I just read this post again & realised that although the week felt just okay when I first started writing this post - it was actually pretty darn decent, wasn't it? :D This activity works!!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

For My Brother

I love how you have grown. I know a lot of the finishing touches are still to come. But ever since you have come back from the hostel & three years of college, you are so much more organised, helpful and neat.

You adapt so well!

You have a job!

You are so grown up. And I am very proud of you. And whenever you really need me, I'll be there. In whatever way I can. But I will never cocoon you - because you need to be able to grow to the best of your capacities. And so, I'll be the one tipping you off the cliff edge just so you remember you have wings and you can fly.

Every time.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Hearty

Sometimes, all you hope for is health. Healthy knees, healthy back, healthy eyes.

Just health. And that it remains as you grow older.

Just that.

Of Learning To Cycle

As a child, I did not have much control over my life. This is true about most children. I did not miss freedom too much, not having consciously known what it feels like. But I hated being told what to wear. I hated being told that I had to like certain things.

I remember this one time we went shopping & my mum wanted me to buy a specific set of clothes. I did not like it very much but I was convinced it's really good. So I caved & said okay. The dress was bought. I wore it maybe three times before burying it into the most remote corner of my wardrobe shelf. Mum was busy enough to not notice its disappearance. But she did say it out loud one day, that I barely wear that nice dress she picked for me.

Oh well. She did notice.

So when I learnt cycling, taught most patiently by my dad, I took to it with unparalleled zeal. Cycling was freedom. And I had finally tasted it. Wind in my hair, any road open to me if I had the time to explore it, my ability to escape quickly if an exploration go too threatening: freedom.

Which is why I still have a cycle. I may not ride it as much. But it's a comfort to know I have my escape waiting close at hand.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Mostly Glad...

To have access to a good sports orthopedic surgeon who can help me with my knee injury. And yo not know for sure if the injury happened at the gym (less likely) or while rafting down rapids ( more likely) or because I slept weirdly some nights ago with my knee bent at an angle. Who cares? Plus, one less thing to worry about.

Glad that the doc said I can still continue with upper body workout while the knee recovers.

To give up notions. That I will get a direct us every time I go to the bus stop. This means I hop into the first bus taking me to Borivali. This is a lot less hassle than standing at the stop for half an hour waiting for a specific bus. This also reminds me that sometimes, you just HAVE to leap without being a stubborn little mule about having life handed out to you just the way you want it. Sometimes. Not all the time. Do not ever give over your ability for deduction to a one line philosophy on a random blog.

Glad to find a little carton of cherry tomatoes at the supermarket. For 23 bucks! And a stash of basil too! Pasta shall be made :)

Super thrilled that buses exist. Like, seriously.

Very glad that railway stations in Mumbai sell chikki. I am glad I can pick that over a packet of chips if I'm hungry.

And finally, supremely thankful I do not fall for sales. No, really. Moving homes has taught how easily & unconsciously we collect clutter and my life is now all about decluttering.

Some Weeks Are Wonderful

This week was spent in Udaipur. Eating delicious Pujo fare that was truly authentic - keeping up to the code of a family Durga Pujo, playing with the most amazing dog in the world.

It also brought to me mum's voice over an unexpected phone call - after two and a half months of silence. Whatever she is going through right now, I am choosing to be thankful about this little thing.

It brought collapsing into tears over the agony that family brings. Thankfully, such meltdowns are best had in the presence of somebody you can depend on and look up to, for guidance and solace if nothing else. It felt good to release that into the universe as against shouldering an impossible burden alone.

It brought me my brother, and as crazy as he is, I am sort of glad I have this time before he finds himself tossed about in life's many currents. He has grown so much. It makes me feel proud of him. And ridiculously old.

It brought me a knee pain too. I hope that heals. It makes the man concerned and much as I hate worrying him, I am so glad he'll be with me when I meet the doctor. I could live with it, of course, but my primary cause for worry is my inability to do weighted squats. This also tells me what a gym slave I have become and that makes me proud.

I know I am late in submitting this entry but better late than having given up.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

To Mickey

Mickey,

I really think you look the Big B. Majestic.

It makes me laugh every time to think that you are scared of newspapers. It makes me so proud when you leap into the air to grab a catch mid-air. It makes my heart melt when I tell you to get up & follow me out so we can play ball - and you do.

It annoys me when I ask you to not lick me but you still do while you pass me by. It also makes me smile a little. It sort of scares me but also makes me sad when you come & place your big head on my lap & make weepy sounds to get me to rub your belly.

It breaks my heart to leave you behind. Every time. It breaks my heart that you & i both lost the most amazing man on this planet to something as mundane as death.

I am sorry I go away.

Also, please have more baths & roll in the mud just a little less?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Hoping To Leave Things Behind

Unfollow a bunch of food bloggers.

Face up and tell people that I don't agree with their choices but that doesn't mean I won't be friends with them. Leave the rest up to them.

And finally, stay in touch with family members a bit more regularly. I may not make sense of them but that does not mean we cannot reach out to each other in times of need. And that's okay. Sometimes, all people want from you is a bit of listening.