Monday, March 27, 2017

Plan, prepare, perform


The great annual International Blogging Festival kicks off in another few days. Bloggers across the world will be writing, reading, sharing  and encouraging each other all of April. It’s like one big happy party. And I’m not going. Obviously I’m feeling a little sorry for myself - a bit like when I was invited to a party and all my friends were going and I knew it was completely ‘my thing’ but mum said I couldn’t go. Except this time there’s no mum to blame. It's just me. I wish I’d planned ahead and I wish I’d scheduled my posts and I wish I could have joined in the fun.

But I didn’t and I can’t.

Here’s a lesson for you dear H and N. ‘Not again,’ I hear you groan, 'Not another ‘lesson’ mama,’ I see you making quotes in the air, but this is a lesson not just for you but for me too and has to be reiterated. I promise to keep it short.

If you want something really badly, plan for it, prepare for it. If you do not, you’ve no business to feel sorry for yourself. 

Spontaneity is fun but for the important things in life, preparation is the key.

It’s a bit like cooking. Remember the time we started off making cookies assuming we had all the ingredients and then got stuck because we ran out of butter. Oh we did go ahead but the cookies weren't half as good as they do turn out normally. You remember that?

And then, N, you remember, there was the drawing competition on Independence Day a few years back? Many of your friends came to me asking for help with ideas. And they went home and practised. You’re good at art. I know that and so do you. So certain were you of your win that you didn’t give the contest a second thought. You knew you would do well. And you lost. To a girl whose art wasn’t half as good as yours but who was better prepared. Remember how she’d woven quotes on freedom in her drawing? The judges made a mention of that, I well remember. I also remember how you’d cried, heartbroken.

Heartbreak is a great teacher.

You did not forget. Next year you did prepare and you won too. How you’d jumped around in your happiness! That, dear girl, is proof enough, if you wanted any.

It isn’t enough to be smart or good at something. Preparation marks the difference between success and failure.

I hope you always remember that. I hope you remember that feeling of losing something that was so well within your grasp. And I hope you never let that happen again.

As shall I.

For this time I will watch and enjoy the fun. I shall blog hop to my heart’s content and cheer all my friends. It’s going to be one crazy, exciting month.

Oh and while on lessons - here’s anther one. Age doesn’t insure you against making mistakes. The good part is that nothing stops you from learning from them either.



And also with Tweens,Teens & Beyond 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In need of inner peace



Right now I feel like Po, in desperate need of Master Shifu. The twins’ exams kicked off today and that has me all in a tizzy. You’ve heard me ranting already I know. Bear with me, dear friends for another week or two. I promise I will try my hardest to not let my anxiety spill out here.

Correction: I will try not to get anxious at all.

But you know how it is sometimes? One knows the right thing to do and yet cannot? It is hard to not get anxious. They're at that age when I'm not sure how far I should be helping them. It is hard to let them be, to leave them to find their own feet, to be ready to watch them fail. I know I have to do it at some point but is this the right time? Is there a right age, right time at all?

What if that ‘right time’ is different for both kids? What if one of them is ready for that push and the other is not? How do I push one child to study on his own while I focus my attention on the other? Is the first one old enough to understand why I’m not holding his hand all the way like I’m doing it for the other?

Sigh!

These are the things that have been top of the mind for me this week. I will add though, that there has been a move towards independence since the last exam - a tiny minuscule one - but it definitely has been there and that gives me heart.

I am trying not to let my anxieties reach the twins. So they have their television time and their hour of play and we have something called ‘exam treats’ too. They seem to be doing fine. 

Somedays I worry that they’re not worried enough and somedays I worry I that I'm making them too anxious. Yes, I’m one big bunch of confusion struggling to find a balance for the children as well as for myself.

I’m not really too nice a person to be around at this point in time.









Sunday, March 19, 2017

A whole new world




Once upon a time life was:

A vibrant work environment : People to meet, interviews to slot, night shifts to get through, copies to edit, pages to be made, designers-ad guys-systems guys to bicker with

A bunch of friends: first day first shows, long hours at the gym, shopping in the old city, countless evenings at the coffee house

The Husband and I: Long conversations, Late night television, Endless games of scrabble, dinners with friends.

Our cosy comfort zone.


And then.. 


A decision.
To step out. 
A new life for us
with two new lives.
A whole new world.

**********

This post is part of  Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda for the prompt 'Out of my comfort zone'.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Keep your friends close



On my blog here, I generally haven’t been very forthcoming with my opinions on happenings around me in the country or the world. All I talk about is my small little universe here with the twins and the Husband. It does take up most of my thoughts (I am obsessivemom, remember?).

That’s not to say I don’t have opinions. How can I not, living in this age of information overload? We have unlimited access to news 24X7 and yet the truth remains ever more elusive. How weird is that! It might have to do with the fact that our media is so highly polarised. We get umpteen versions of the same truth. No matter what side we’re on we find more than enough information to sustain our point of view.

And so we end up believing what we want to and can continue to stick with it and argue about it without even considering that a different viewpoint might exist.

Many times when I’ve been reading a piece that doesn’t resonate with me I’ve shut it down in disgust because it made me so very frustrated and angry. I’ve unfollowed and unfriended for my peace of mind simply because some points of view unsettle me so.

However, there’s a bit of a danger in that, a danger of the formation of an ‘us’ and a ‘they’ - people who think what I think and those who don't. That certainly cannot be healthy.

So how then do I get a reality check?

I get mine through friends. Friends who come from different backgrounds, belong to different parts of the country, friends who think differently, who support different parties, who come up with arguments different from mine and who argue vociferously.

I keep them close.

You should too.

The other day I was out for dinner with a bunch of them. Between spoonfuls of cheesy pasta and some first class biryani our conversation veered towards a recent political development. Before we knew it we were in the middle of an argument, a rather heated one. Ten minutes later we were back to the biryani and the baby potatoes and all was well with the world.

And that is how it should be.

As long as you don’t make each argument a point of prestige, as long as it’s not about winning or losing, as long as you’re willing to be convinced, to admit you didn’t see it like that, that you didn’t know a certain fact. It will be fine.

There will be times of course when you won’t agree at all and days when you won’t part on a happy note. But that’s fine too because you’re friends and you bond on many many levels not just on that one political or social point. And so you will come back to each other sharing exam woes and teen troubles while laughing over ‘fat’ jokes even as you plan breakfast outings or lunch dates.

Just as pasta and biryani share my plate happily making it richer for the difference, so can different thinking friends stay together and make your life that much richer, make your viewpoint broader, more tolerant.

Keep your friends close and your 'different thinking' friends even closer.

End note: If you find me getting into an argument with you it means I consider you a dear friend, a very dear one.








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