Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A milestone and a celebration

One thing the youngest child of every family learns to do perfectly is to await her turn. And so it is in the OM household. My third and youngest baby has been waiting patiently for her birthday celebrations.

Obsessivemom turned TEN this month!!


Imagine that!! One whole decade of blogging.




The celebrations are late by a week or so, but with the craziness at home I am just happy I got the month right.

People generally celebrate blogversaries by talking about how the blog has progressed over the years, how the number of followers has grown, the views skyrocketed, the Alexa numbers improved. But I have none of those. I’m not being humble, though I am a humble person, generally. What I am not, is a numbers person - numbers don't register with me much.

However, what the blog has given me is quite priceless and I’ll say this gladly - it is way beyond numbers.

Over the years I have found I can say things here that I cannot otherwise. And I can say it with a fair amount of clarity and conviction (I still maintain I am a humble person). As I write and read back and edit and write again I find my head clearing up. Why I find it easier to talk to relative strangers while clamming up sometimes even at one-on-ones with friends, I have no idea. Perhaps it is the anonymity that frees me from the fear of being judged. It’s another matter that, over the years, much of the anonymity has vanished and many of you have turned dear friends. For that I can only be grateful.

It has been my conscious decision to keep things as positive as possible here on the blog. People close to me will know that life is way more chaotic than what it seems here, that I am not quite as patient and level headed as I might appear here. The things I laugh at in my posts have often driven me to distraction or even made me break down when I am in the middle of them. And yet the fact that I can laugh at them, that I can make light of my often over-the-top reactions, even if it is later, is what makes life good.

And when you guys drop by here and say ‘it happened to me too’ or ‘my kid did that too’ or  ‘O My God you survived that!’ it does wonders for me.

Then there are days when despite my resolve, the worries spill out here and then when I hear you say ‘it shall be alright’ or ‘you’re doing fine’ or ‘the kids will be okay’ it helps. It helps because I begin to believe it a little bit. And that is where I begin to win - because believing is half the battle won, right?

So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here. I hope you guys are still there when I’m old and foggy and all I write about is the decadent ways of the new generation,  the cataract bugging my eyes and my most amazing grandchildren.


Linking up Mackenzie at Reflections from Me. She's decoding true happiness in this post and says true happiness comes from loving yourself. Do drop by and take a read.



And also with Mel at  Microblog Mondays where she talks of goodbyes.


                                               

Friday, September 23, 2016

Giving the heart its due






Have you ever been in love with two people at the same time? If you have - tell me how do you pick? While the head clearly chooses one, the heart longs for the other. It only becomes worse when in your head you’re a practical Capricorn and think the choice is clear - obviously you follow your head, right? But despite your best intentions you cannot stick it out because your heart is not in it.

Here I am stuck between my two loves - the head says gym, the heart sings out Z.U.M.B.A.

The backstory:

This last year has been a bit of a downer on the health front. Tests revealed desperately depleted Vitamin D levels. The doctor prescribed strengthening exercises that were gentler on the bones. The head quirked an eyebrow at the heart even while nodding in wholehearted agreement. The heart sighed but knew it didn’t stand a chance.

Dutifully I gave up Zumba and took up gym membership. I could do this, I thought, after all these were the first friends of my fitness journey - my first loves. I said hello once again to treadmill and dumbbells.

… and I settled down

.... to the leg presses and bicep curls. 'Look', the head told the heart, 'It’s not so bad, is it?' The heart bobbed its head, like an employee who doesn’t quite agree yet nods to a rather overbearing boss.

The workout didn’t have the happy zing of Zumba but it offered the comfort of routine and as I began to gather speed on the treadmill and lifted heavier weights for longer counts the sense of achievement kept me going. Just as a a girl gives up the rush of a first crush for the sedate love and care of a married life, I began to settle down to my gym routine.

But it’s never easy

Right across from where i exercise there runs a Zumba class. Each time the door opens a waft of my favourite music floats out. As I watch the girls through the glass walls, twirling and jumping, I mentally go over the familiar well-loved moves along with them and my poor beleaguered heart feels a little squeeze.

In that moment the treadmill seems the drabbest thing on earth no matter that I’m running on it like I’ve never run before.

And I am beginning to feeling like that long-suffering employee who is finally deciding to hand in notice to his boss, like the woman who decides to give up her marriage to rush back into the arms of her first love.

The problem is - there is no overbearing boss, no boring husband - there is just me and my not-so-good knees.

My one hope now is that the vitamin tablets would have worked and the strengthening exercises would have done their bit. And then perhaps I can have a bit of both worlds. On a more serious note, if you have pledged your life to to exercise it pays to listen to your heart.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Clearing my head


.... that's exactly what I'm trying to do through this post today. A few weeks back I shared my anxieties regrading the twin's academics  - how they seemed completely unconcerned while I was losing sleep (and hair in equal measure). 

A mum blogger, Suchitra raised a point in the comments.

She said, “I wonder sometimes if it's just us trying to impose our insecurities on our kids because what they do and how they do it reflects on us and how we raise them.”

It made me think. Am I pushing the kids solely for their sake or also because their performance proves my credentials as a good parent - to myself and maybe to others too?
Will it matter to them whether they scored a 100 or a 40 in their exam? The truth is I will be more affected than them maybe because the importance of academics hasn't quite sunk in for them.

Good grades are important in that they are an indicator of a good education. And they make me come through as a good parent. And both those make me happy. The two motivations are so closely entwined it is tough to separate one from the other. They are almost the same thing. Almost.

It really is a thin line, because when the children do well it automatically makes me look like a good parent. The important bit is to make sure the focus remains on them and not on me - on their progress and happiness rather than on how I am contributing to it.

It is easy to confuse the two and to begin to do things for them, to choose paths for them that make me happy or make me feel like a good parent, in the belief that it makes them happy too. The grades are just one instance.

However, as they grow up, I need to remind myself, that they are not solely a product of my parenting - not their grades, nor their talents, definitely not their likes and dislikes or their personalities or even how they turn out, finally. It is important to recognise them as separate people guided by myriad influences.

In other words to not be an obsessive mom!

I am not as evolved as all of that. But recognising that it needs to happen will put me on the path to making it happen soon enough. Hopefully.

Picture credit: PIXABAY





And also with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Ganapati in the city

So Ganapati has gone after ten days of celebration. The blaring loudspeakers are silent.

I was late to the Ganapati party since back home we had no clue what the fuss was all about, other than what we saw in Hindi films and I always thought it was an exaggerated version of the real thing. It was in Pune that I got an up close and personal view of the festival.

The pandals are everywhere but the more revered Ganapatis are found in the old city. A bit ironic isn’t it? That some Ganapatis should be more revered than the others? Some more gracious about granting wishes than others? But then religion is beyond reason.

I try to visit the city at least once during the ten days, not for the blessings, but for the old world charm of the celebrations. No matter how huge the pandals in the scores of apartment complexes across the city, this is different. The buzz is something else and I love everything about it.

I do not find the crowds claustrophobic or the walk daunting. I find the small plastic toys on sale fascinating and the toy sellers even more so. Perhaps it reminds me of the melas of my childhood which were a bit of a forbidden treat or maybe it is my yen for roadside shopping. I do love it all.

This year I was a little reluctant after a friend had her bag cut through and her wallet stolen. The crowds hold all kinds. However I did manage a visit even though half my attention was on my sling bag.

As it turned out the visit was worth every little bit of it. To begin with the flower market is a treat. I loved the masses piled up by roadside. 




And I adore the lotus, perhaps because we don't get to see them too often and definitely not in such profusion. It's not much use getting it home because it wilts pretty soon but it does look gorgeous. Doesn't it?










Check out the long winding columns of devotees. I didn't venture to queue up but satisfied myself with the glimpse of the God from outside. Loudspeakers were booming out artis and instructions. At one of the temples a gentleman announced, ‘Don’t forget to take selfies with your favourite Ganapati’. 

Talk about keeping up with the times!


Oh and I love this quaint custom of whispering your dearest wish into the ear of the mooshak in the hope that he would conveyed it to Ganapati.



...age is no bar. All you need is to have faith.



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