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Category Archives: Defining Me

When I Grow Up….

As a child I never waited for the time when I would be an adult. When my friends were planning out their future lives, I was an active participant, but the actual growing-up part I wasn’t very keen on. Having been an adult for well over a decade now, I can say that my seven year old self was absolutely right – being an adult sucks (even though I had a really committed but extremely strict mother). I spent a few days thinking over it and this what I think is at the base of my not wanting to grow-up:

  • Public opinion – As a child you aren’t aware of or don’t care what the world around you thinks of you. Yes, there may be the occasional comment from an exasperated parent comparing you to some friend’s super obedient child, however, that’s not something you take personally. The focus at that moment is more on distracting the parent, and changing their train of thought, so you don’t get into more trouble.
  • Extreme Expectations – Yes, we do have to take responsibility and that comes with a certain amount of accountability. The difference here is as a child it’s only part of your life, but as an adult you’re rarely able to enjoy something because most acts are on the road to achieving something else. If you’re in your thirties and aren’t married, then your either ‘lost’ or working really hard on reaching some pinnacle of success that justifies your failure in settling down.    
  • Doing Nothing – Sitting alone and reading a book that you don’t have to read is considered a luxury. What happened to all the times our parents asked us to go do ‘something’ on our own. I want that undefined ‘something time’. Those hours when no one really cares what you’re doing (except if you make a major mess or it’s unsafe). Now, it’s a guilt inducing non-activity to do something undefinable. Since there’s so much we have on our to-do lists, if there’s any time spent doing nothing it means you’re slacking off. If you’re good at a sport it’s expected that you’ll, excel at it or get really fit, not just enjoy playing it for fun. If you dare to make it the latter, then it’s considered ‘me time’ and becomes a last priority thing!   
  • Wasting Time with People You ‘Don’t Like’ – It’s not cool to say ‘these are the people I want to spend time with and these people don’t make me happy’. You can do it, but it has to be PC and subtle or you end up with a the tag of ‘haughty or aloof’. It’s not done to reach out to people you like, because that makes you ‘desperate’. What about the simple act of going-up to a girl on the playground and saying ‘Hi, can we be friends?’. No reason or timing involved there. No rethinking our ‘approach strategy’ and the person approached questioning our ulterior motives.

Having said all the above, I have to add that there’s a lot of positivity out there and there are definite benefits to growing-up. (My husband prefers going to work to going to school, so obviously it’s not that same for everyone.) It’s to capture this positivity that I’ve decided to start a new experiment (this is the project I mentioned before) ‘The Escapist’. Recording and finding those no purpose moments in life through all forms of everyday fantasy daydreaming, travel, movies, books, art and aimless discussion. Join me on Escape a Little Everyday for the fun.

P.S. – I haven’t decided to actually shut down this blog, but I won’t be posting here for a while.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Blogs and blogging, Defining Me, Growing-Up

 

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A Listers – Ideas That Wake You Up

Happy New Year to all of you. Let this be the year that we fulfill our dreams and create the life we want. Or if you are like me, get started on the path to fulfilling all your aspirations. Either way, most of us live in the hope that every new year will be better than the ones gone by and however silly that may be, hope does keep us going.

New Year’s resolutions seem to be passe, instead a lot of people I know make lists at the beginning of the year (‘me’ being one of those people I know). To do lists, to achieve lists, to complete lists, call it what-you-may, show me that we have realised that the way to be where you want to be is to plan the route and follow it.

That being said, how often do you get up at some go forsaken time at night because you remembered some ‘to-do’ item not included on your current list or had a brilliant idea (which may seem not so brilliant in the harsh light of the next day)? Your too tired to physically get-up and grab a piece of paper and a pen to note things down, but you can’t really sleep till you are sure you won’t have forgotten all about it the next day. Well obviously the simple solution is to spend a minute in getting some writing material, noting the thought down and then getting back to some serious shut-eye. Even easier if it’s a regular thing is to keep a small notepad and pencil by your beside.

Well this is where my personal problem comes in. If I get up to get a notepad and paper, the though turns into a grocery lost of to-do things or the idea turns into a whole story. The second solution then? Well, anyone who has a 0-6 year old knows that no easily available piece of paper is safe. By the time you get to bed (forget needing it in the middle of the night), it will be decorated with snakes, butterflies and other miscellaneous animals; completely unflattering mommy and daddy portraits or, my personal favourite, completely undecipherable secret language love notes that mommy or daddy are expected to perfectly understand (beware the ‘you don’t love me, only mommy/daddy’ tears that ensue if you fail).

Well, considering the fact that I love my sleep (though the number of hours is nothing to rave about), over the last five years I have figured out a fairly good system. Its, wait for it, ‘numbering’. Kind of works like bullet points. It’s a bit tough when it’s an idea that woke you up and not a list but I’ve managed to adapt using a keywords system. Yes, I usually forget 9 out of ten things, however I do know that I have forgotten only one thing and just wait for it to come back. Again 4 out of 5 (these are not precise numbers people, I’m sleepy remember) it never does come back, but hey you take what you get.

Am I perfectly happy with the system? No. Isn’t it better to get up and note things down? Yes. Then why don’t I do it? Because, I don’t want to getup. Yes, after my daughter goes to sleep and I finish playing my boss role at work, I like to act like an unreasonable teenager. The best part, no one knows. Well, except you.

P.S. – Ironically, the name of this post came to me at 1 am in the morning.

Photo Credit: Image 1

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Defining Me, Randomness

 

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Expectations and Perceptions

In our professional lives, when some one doesn’t react, respond, cooperate the way we expect, what do we do? We may talk to them, have an argument, come back onto the same page, rework whatever needs to be reworked or move on. Either way the end result is we revise our expectations of them rather than take it emotionally or personally. Many a time we agree to disagree (that term is a cliche for a reason people) and move on to continue working together or apart. We accept them as they are and they accept us as we are, short-comings and all. The consequences for either party may be may be negative or positive professionally, but we rarely do we (if ever), go home and cry about it and spend days analysing why so and so did such and such thing.

The techie has taught me this in our personal lives too. Except for a handful of people (I mean very very close like a parent, sibling or spouse who spends or has spent years living in close quarters with you) we cannot dump the burden of our expectations on anyone be it friends or extended family. We all perceive each other in a certain way, given our experiences, and assume that others perceive us in a certain way. It often happens that we may be wrong on either or both counts. When this happens it’s okay to feel hurt initially but before we go and bawl out the other person, it’s a great idea to sit down and think through the perceptions in the relationship. Maybe the easier way is reset our expectations and then express our views to the other person. This way no one gets hurt (hopefully. I’m not an expert on relationships), while both parties get a chance to express their views and decide how to take the relationship forward. No finger pointing and no bad memories to dredge up every time there’s a disagreement.

Initially, I was against the idea and told the techie that relationships are strong and passionate and there’s no way I can take it impersonally. However, over time I have come to realise that this is not being impersonal. This is a way to ensure that we take responsibility for our happiness and include others in it, rather than making them responsible for it.

I don’t know if any of that made sense, but it’s something I have learnt over the past decade (yes, it’s taken me ten years) and a idea I wanted to share for the New Year.

Obviously, this does not apply to the people you can fight with today and then go out for a drink with tomorrow. It’s just for the rest of the world.

Seasons Greetings and see you in the New Year.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Defining Me, The Real Me

 

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Everyday’s a Party

My mind has been overloaded and cluttered these past few months. There have been energizing brain storming sessions,  tedious but necessary mid-year number crunching analysis, constant conference calling with girlfriends for a project we are working hard on (this is our new venture on the side), failed attempts to re-write a storyline and continuous planning in order to make every week memorable for V (the techie and I have wowed not to sail through her childhood like zombies).

I have valued, if not enjoyed, every moment because each situation has come from my own choosing, however, the brain does tend to get over-simulated and then what?! Headaches due to lack of sleep and over thinking, constant pre-occupation and an host of other stuff that just creeps up on you. So what’s a girl to do when things get too much but you don’t want to actually slow-down because you can’t miss a moment (I mean the festive season’s here and things are just going to get more fun and hectic)? Well, I don’t know about most girls but here’s what I do, have a closet spring clean. Yes, the techie dreads this method of relaxation but he participates in good spirit because of the benefits of a happy me post the exercise.

V woke us up at 6 am this Sunday. We had freshened-up, had our morning poison (regular milk for V, coffee for the techie and fresh juice for me) and got onto the task by 6.30 am. The techie setup a superb song list of olden goldies, V donned her winter gloves to help with the wiping and I started tossing stuff out of the cupboard.

The next three hours flew by, with old clothes fights (almost like a pillow fight but much messier), colour coordination, slow dancing (our two songs were on the list and we could not not dance) and V wearing all my jewellery and asking us to call her ‘Your Royal Highness’ while jumping on her trampoline. By 9.30 am we were done. We quickly showered and headed down for a huge breakfast, with a bag of stuff for the local old people home, and a day packed with events.

The outcome? All I need to do is open the doors to my organized, colourful and blingy (I love shiny stuff) wardrobe and I get a high. The techie has got a lot of extra points for being the good husband and is making the most of it, while V thinks closet cleaning is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Plus we had breakfast with royalty and a mini prom dance.

What do you do to reset an overcrowded mind?

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2, Image 3

 
 

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When Did I Become A Girlie Girl?

I admit it, I love pink and purple and glitter. I’m a girlie girl through and through, though I also love sport and books. So that makes me a sporty, girlie, bookworm. Okay, the discussion is not really about defining who I am, but rather how did I get to the person I am today. What’s stumped me suddenly is, when did the girlie part get into my psyche?

Growing-up I had my share of Barbie dolls, but I never really played dress-up with them. I was always a bookworm and once I started reading at the age of three, there was no looking back. In fact, my mom (who introduced me to reading, in order to make sure I never fell into the television watching vortex), made sure that my brother and I played all sorts of sports to stay healthy and fit, since the two of us spent so many hours cuddled up with our books. So there you have me from the age of three to twenty-one. Either I would be in mud/sweat-splattered shorts and t-shirt, trying to beat the heck out of my brother at table tennis, squash or basketball. Or the two of us would be bug-eyed behind our spectacles reading like there was no tomorrow. During the summers, we would roam the city, during the hottest hours of the day, picking dates of the palm trees and getting ourselves all sticky.

When it came to clothes, I always preferred trousers or jeans to skirts and frocks. My mom didn’t believe in children wearing heels or make-up, so there was no question of either. During Indian festivals, I was literally shoe-horned into feminine Indian outfits, that majorly restricted my ability to move, so i just sat in a corner with my book and refused to socialize (actually I wasn’t sulking, I just put on that demeanor so that no one interrupted my reading with their pointless adult “Oh! you’ve grow so tall”.).

I remember the first time my mom made me wear a saree, I was fourteen and I cried and cried, because everyone said I looked so pretty and lady like. I was secretly terrified that people would think me suitable marriage material (don’t ask where that came from). Matter of fact I had only two real girl friends out of school, the rest were all boys and in high-school my brother and I had a common group of friends who practically lived at the local sports club. I was also extremely clumsy and accident prone. (Okay, I’m still accident prone to a scary extent, according to the techie. That’s a separate story though.)

When I got to the eleventh grade, I did start wearing skirts and frock for parties and I quite enjoyed them. The only difference from my friends was that, I refused to wear sandals or heels. I wore only black leather boots with my dresses. The first time I actually remember wearing heels voluntarily was for my twelfth grade prom, where I wobbled around like a drunk, thought there was no alcohol present. I also did my make-up on my own, which left me looking like a ghost, or rather like I’d seen a ghost, in most of the pictures (imagine that teamed with a silver sheath dress). After that disaster, which I can laugh about now, the next time I put on make-up and heels was at my engagement, a good four years later!

Real story, I didn’t spend a minute on my wedding shopping because I deemed it was boring and unnecessary! My mom, poor thing, did all of it with the help of assorted family members and I just presented myself on the big day. How do we think we know it all at that age and how are we so selfish? (Again fodder for another post.) Sorry mommy.

So you see, while I always loved the colour pink, because it was such a happy colour, I was never a real girlie. Today, I love fashion blogs, love having an opportunity to get dressed-up (though I still hate shopping), adore cocktails rings, high heels and glittery nail polish. Chick lit and fashion magazines have been added to my bookshelves, which were already filled with Wilbur Smith and Williard Price adventures. After having a daughter who loves playing football in her tutu, the me that was ten years back seems to have gotten lost.

How did the wannabe Georgina (from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series) morph into this wannabe yummy mommy?

Where I wonder could that messy, spectacled tomboy possibly have gone?

Have you substantially changed over the years, to an extent that you can’t reconcile your old and new self? Do share and help me figure out if this is normal.

Photo Credit: Image 1

This article is protected by copyright laws. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Defining Me, Dubai, Growing-Up, The Real Me

 

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The Written Word

While I feel like I have disappeared from the world of blogging, I’ve actually been writing a lot! Funnily, most of the writing is of a completely new kind and it’s been a real learning experience. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been upto:

  • Investor reports: The last few days have been crazy, with me trying to write a perfectly  balanced investor update. Though I’ve been doing this sort of thing for almost two years now, this time around there was so much to include and so many aspects that it drove me crazy. We had the recent year end financials and our new business transaction, individually these two events are important and significant, so imagine when I had to club them together. There was three times as much thinking as writing, which is something completely new for me. I usually write as I think or at least make an outline and develop it as I go. This time around I wrote and scrapped and wrote and scrapped, till it finally came together. For a person who can comfortably (not easily but comfortably) dash off 5000 words in a day, two days of effort for five pages of output was an eye-opener.
  • The Healthy Lifestyle Blog: This is a new venture and a completely new topic, with respect to writing, for me. Yes, I do work in the healthcare field but I’m not a technical expert and that’s the reason I was not sure about starting this blog, however, it ultimately proved to be a good move. On the healthcare blog, while I write the occasional article (non-technical of course), I do all the editing, which has been a learning experience for me. I now have an inkling of how to go about editing my own work, something I will have to start doing soon. Here’s the link for the healthcare blog if you are interested – Beaming Health. It’s got a lot of human interest articles along with some easily understandable and useful information on health. This article is my current favourite – Not All That It Seems To Be – since it really educated me as a consumer.
  • Book Review – I recently joined the administrative team of a book club in my city and we are launching a website soon. One of the areas of interest is going to be book reviews and I have been writing a few of them, as and when I come across an interesting book. This is the kind of writing that comes naturally to me and I have been quite enjoying the process. A few of the books I reviewed are: ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ and ‘Hot Chai Across India’. I enjoyed both the books but for different reasons and in different measures, so quantifying the experience in words was challenging.
  • Fiction – Last but most exciting, for me personally, have been the new developments with respect to my manuscript. I wrote it in November 2011, during this challenge, over a few sleepless nights and after the initial draft things have been slow. Well, it now looks like I have to start on the second draft and my fingers are crossed. I’ll keep you all updated on what happens next, in the meantime wish me luck.

While for me writing has always been a hobby of sorts, that I ultimately hope to turn into a career, having to write as part of my daily work was a new experience. The best part was, it felt like I was really polishing my skills on a daily basis and preparing to share my work with a larger more critical audience.

Have you been writing anything new or different? Do you write for a living? Do you enjoy changing your style of writing or does it make you uncomfortable?

Photo Credit: Image 1

This article is protected by copyright laws. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Defining Me, Fiction, Novel, Uncategorized

 

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Blogger Flashback

I started blogging in April 2010 for a multitude of reasons. Today, I went back to my old blog to see if my focus as a blogger has really changed. Funny thing was, I can’ t really judge, maybe I’m too close to the situation, so I thought I’ll share my first ever post with all of you and ask you to be the judge. Please do share your thoughts, I’m sure they’ll be interesting and enlightening. 

Writing has always been my chosen form of self-expression. Up until I became a mom, writing in my diary was satisfying enough. But when I entered this new phase of life, I realized that I wanted to connect with other people who were going through the same stuff. And that’s what I hope to do through this blog, make a whole bunch of new friends who can guide me or at the minimum commensurate and celebrate with me.

Being a mummmy is by far the toughest thing I have ever had to do. I have a gorgeous and sweet-tempered baby, however, I absolutely hated the first year of being a mom (more about that in another entry). I don’t think my daughter is to blame for this, it’s totally because of the kind of person I am:
– I love spending time on my own – reading, painting (you don’t get much of this when you have a baby or toddler attached to you). Even after I got married, if my husband was busy I would happily take off to go have lunch at a coffee shop with just my book for company.
– I have to ‘do’ something fun or exciting everyday, or at least every weekend. I can’t stand having one day be exactly like the next
– I love working. I just can’t be a housewife or a stay at home mom. I tried being a housewife for three months, during my first year of marriage. I drove my husband crazy and he begged me to go do whatever makes me happy.
Am I a freak or are there other mummy’s out there like me? Can you love your baby with all your heart and still want to go to work, leaving her behind everyday. Because if I’m honest, though I need to work for the financial comfort it gives me, I also want to work (even though my husband is willing to be the sole breadwinner).

So, what do you think? Has my style and/or focus changed?

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Defining Me, The Real Me

 

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