Posted in m@dness

Girlcations Can Wait!

“We need to go on a girlcation“. I had just sent this to Ms.A this morning as I came across one of our old pics together. Lately, my facebook wall seems to be flooded with ladies going on trips with their girlfriends and the only trip I can think of now, is a trip to the bathroom. Alone. But, I totally envy the girl gang who have actually gone on girlcations. More power to you! And please, this post isn’t an after effect of watching the trailer of Veere di Wedding. Oh I have a gang of girls or I can think of at least 4 people who I’d love to go on a trip with and vice versa. These are people who I want to get together with, talk over vodka, catch up on our lives, non existent careers and post pregnancy bodies!.

In my twenties, I believed that I needed the validation of having a lot of people around me. I needed more friends. More people in my contact list. More connections for things to do. More people to comment on my Facebook posts. And boy I did have a lot of friends.  Today, I look back and know the need to put off that perception of being “liked” in order to feel good about myself.It didn’t take me long after having my first baby to realize how empty that need was. In the first few days or weeks post my delivery, when my heart was full of fear, doubt and exhaustion in its new journey, there really weren’t many of them I felt could call. While I had a lot of “virtual” friends, I could barely call them for a good heart-to-heart chat. I had the validation of feeling liked, but I yearned for the friendships that made me feel alive.

With the coming of my second one, I am convinced that although my “social network” shows that I have 2000+ connections, those are not my forever friends. Since the past few months, my life in general has gone through a storm; I dont mean my little girl, but a series of events from losing loved ones to my dad getting sick to fallouts with family and so today, not only have I learned to value myself, I have also understood the value of real, raw, back-and-forth friendships.

These days, juggling work from home, studying, managing 2 girls, tango and the man, the only time I get to spend being social and friendly with my loved ones are limited to whatsapp chats that I reply to days after I have read it or likes on fb posts or if am very lucky, two minutes of phone calls with kids shrieking in the background. But, I am happy for that, about that. Because, it’s like saying to each other that, we are still a part of each other, we will  talk when we can, we will soak up the times we get together n we will still be with each other when we are allowed a social life years  decades later.

These friends of mine are people I know will wait for me to reply but know exactly when to pick up the phone and call. They know our relation had to take a back seat not because they weren’t important at any point but because they know that we are good enough friends and neither time nor distance can create a scratch, leave alone a scar. People  say that it’s dumb to keep friendships that you can’t devote time and effort to, but I believe it is those relations that are lowest maintenance that are forever and for real. The ones worth keeping. Till the very end.

To my friends who I don’t always get to spend time with, we will do what we can for now and that will be enough. And otherwise, we will do those things and go on girlcations in just a bit. Maybe, 10 years later?

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Posted in close to heart, The Chronicles of A

Going from One to Two

One of my closest friends is pregnant with her third and another one I know is pregnant with her first. The former can’t remember what month she is on and the latter knows the week and date to the t. And me? Well, I am going from one to two and boy the difference is night and day. I know many articles and blogs have been written about the difference between first and second pregnancies and I will not talk about whats there. This one is for what it has been for me.

Before I start, Ami, my girl, you will always be special. It is not just because you are my first born but because you were my teacher, the reason for me having so many of my “first” and “aha” moments. For teaching me that unconditional love is the purest form of love.

There is something about the first time that is just sort of magical. With us, it was just Ami and me. When Ami was born, I didn’t shed a tear because I was happy to see my friend of nine months finally in my hands! I was filled with an anticipation that will likely remain unmatched for the rest of my life. At every step of those nine months, I knew what week I was at, what fruit size the baby was in my tummy, what were those measurements on the scan report, what to eat, what to avoid, what made the baby uncomfortable, when was the baby most active etc. I would write down the changes each month, make a number of checklists, list of baby names from month 2, had a hospital bag ready by 7th month, thought about what dresses to buy, what to wear and my the list can go on! To cut the long story short, I was too occupied and happy and excited to think about anything else but my baby.

This time, its different. I wouldnt say it is a bad thing but things are very different. From announcing my pregnancy to getting that hospital ready, everything has changed. I have become paranoid! No, I’m certainly not worried about what fruit size my baby is or what week I am on or what my baby is feeling or doing. I am on 33 weeks and I haven’t done any shopping. I haven’t decided a name, I havent thought about anything at all! Checklist you ask? The only checklist I have are all work related! At this pointI’d like to say to you Baby 2, that its not because I dont love you already, it is because I am too worried about your well being! Now, because I know what its like and have been there done that, I know the risks, I know the signs, I know its not a cakewalk. Remember though, that I am like this because I love you to bits already.

Last evening, I spoke with my mommy-of-2 friend because I had to speak to someone who had the experience. I wanted to ensure that I was normal! I have been thinking about what would happen to my family if something was to happen to me? What if something went wrong with me? What is the husband going to do with a 3 year old and a new born and a dog! I mean, he cannot even take care of himself for a day without goofing up! I had never really thought of dying and have never been afraid except for now. The thought had began to affect my sleep, my work and my whole life. I would on some days look at AMi playing and silently shed a tear. My friend said its okay. It happens and its perfectly fine!

This morning, as I woke up and made tea, I realised that even if I didn’t consider myself of any value, those few human beings certainly needed me around. I suddenly felt very wanted. My fears seem to slowly fade away. Today, I live.

So, my advice to the moms going from one to two, take it slow. One day at a time. To feel scared is normal. It just shows you care too much for those human beings that need you. To the first time moms, enjoy while it lasts! Savor every moment, cherish every kick and nibble. This one is special.

See you after I go from one to two 🙂

To my Two,

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my babies you’ll be.

Amma

 

Posted in m@dness

Note in the Mood- 32

I have always opined that a low phase in life is something we humans must get used to. The age old adage about the ups and downs in life is certainly true but there is something very eerie about getting used to hardships. The state of mind, where you consciously stop counting what it takes to survive – to evolve and to keep standing. Its is when you understand that you are not just the seed, but also the air, water, and light.  This is where the real human potential starts to unfold – The state of absolute accountability and survival. It is blissful.

However, to reach there, you need your wings clipped and chopped, your back broken and bruised, your ego ruined and shattered. And to soar again, you need your faith to be undaunting, your hopes undiminished, and your values un-compromised.  When you have all the above, you will emerge unbreakable.

After working or rather slogging  away in the corporate jungle, I realised that when you are a woman (read: just because you are a woman), you need a couple of things more – a smiling face, a kind heart, never say die and most definitely the art to say “Buzz off” to everything that does not matter anymore.

 

 

That my dears is an art that I just mastered. Oh and Happy Independence Day!

Posted in m@dness

All in a day’s work

I have always been proud of the fact that I am very good at adapting to situations. I still am, I mean. Like when 2011 happened or 2015 or that time when I was jobless and sitting at home looking up at the ceiling or now when I am balancing a full time job and parenthood. I have adapted quite well!  SO while at home, I’d hate it if someone bugged me from work or ate into my home time. At work, I like being a workaholic! Staying immersed in it and completing task after task gives me a strange sense of achievement and peace. Not that I love every tiny bit of it, but I feel good that I am delivering value. I don’t know what people really mean when they say that one should love the work one does, because there is nothing that one can consistently love or hate. I love some parts of the work I do, I hate  some others. What motivates me is the hope that the value I am adding at my end would create a difference in the chain ahead. After all, at the end of the day, I must feel worthy of what I earn; and in the instances I feel that, I think I love my work, too.

It is the same thing while doing stuff at home. I have to put in my heart and soul into what I am doing. Be it cooking, cleaning or any of those home errands. Oh and these days I have a puppy and my baby and then the husband too. Its like managing 3 offices in different locations while constantly keeping track of what each other is doing! This is one area where I know I am contributing directly to the lives of 2 humans and a dog! What bliss!I earn the love of each of these beings in return and we all know, love is what makes the world go around.

On puritan grounds there is nothing like complete job satisfaction. The satisfaction comes, when we are able to do justice with the skill set we possess or think that we possess. I love writing, but then I do not want to do arbitrary writing on topics I like. I want to do things more powerful than just expressing my thoughts, I want people to find value in what I write, be it personal or technical.  With time I have realised that writing is not the thing my soul really longs for (Thats not the excuse for not blogging often. I am lazy!), it is about using the words to get people’s attention and focus. And the moment I bring this perspective into my work, I find my work very significant; and automatically my focus and dedication towards it increases. I so hope the boss isn’t reading because he is going to question the work I submit to him!

I remember a quote about contentment that said that contentment is about enjoying what you have right now. It has actually very less to do what you want in future. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all understandings and accepting your value is the key. Of course, accepting yourself is not as easy as it sounds. It is very important to know yourself and be comfortable in your skin to really be better. Pretense helps no one, neither does believing that we are better or worse than other people. But whom am I teaching? As the age old adage, charity begins from home.

working-mom

Posted in close to heart

Love long. Live Longer.

When you are loved, it shows. It does.

It beams and shines bright with the delight of being wanted, of being admired and longed for.Image result for Love
It shows in that swing of your waist, when you are free. It manifests in the song that you hum around.It shows in the way you put your foot forward when you have nowhere in particular to go and everywhere to reach.
It shows in the spirit of your laughter, when you are happy from inside. The mirth that springs through mouth and twinkles through eyes.

It matters when you know you matter that you are loved by the one you love. The glow, the waist, the swing, the spirit, the laughter, the heart. It all becomes a part of one – the Universe, your Universe.

Oh and people who love long, live longer! After all, love is vast and elusive. Much like the Universe or the God. How else can you explain the greatness of human intellect and its incapacity to yet explain it.

Happy Valentines Day! My y’all love long and live longer!

 

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Note in the mood- 31

 

imageI am the loneliness of the crowd

I am the silence of the talk

I am the dryness of the rain

I am the oneness of the many

I am the softness of the hard

I am the wetness of the dry

I am the happiness of the sad

I am the oneness of the many

I am the solitude of the open

I am the darkness of the light

I am the shallowness of the depth

I am the oneness of many

Coz’ I have been the one among many and many within the one

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Girlfriends- The Real SoulMates

For oft when on my couch I lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye,

Which is the bliss of solitude.

-William Wordsworth

Quite unlike a normal day, I have a few minutes to spare and I was in the mood for some introspection. Happened to overhear a conversation between 2 college going girls and it bought a rush of memories. The girls were discussing about what to wear to work and what hairdo to adorn to college the next day! I remembered making calls to my bestie asking her what I should wear to the parties, to a function or just to go out. Oh the hours those phone calls used to last! While in school, a minimum of 5 calls after school was a must. The joy and satisfaction was priceless. Conversations would range from normal Wassup to philosophy and life!

Unlike men who never let anything come in between their manfriends and man -time, we women tend to get tied down to a lot of things. Especially after marriage. My bestie and I have been friends for decades. Longevity doesn’t necessarily elicit a deeper friendship but it sure keeps you from having to explain yourself. She knows my story. The ups and downs, the good, bad, ugly. She is my “Remember when” girl.

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days, I don’t have the time or energy. I pick up the phone to call her but something comes up. Despite all this, in some strange way we are connected. There are times when I have received a call just when I needed to speak to her. In my weakest moments  I have noticed that while faith keeps you standing, more than family, friends hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal, continue checking on you and show love in a million heartfelt ways. And now listening to those girls having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff. And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own. Sometimes it takes another woman to intuitively recognize what needs to be done — then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said — then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice — and know what to make of them.

Here are the unspoken rules. I want my girl to know..SO…

  1. True girlfriends will tell you the good and the bad stuff. They will also find a way to make you feel OK about both.
  2. Your best friend may have other friends too. Accept it.
  3. We are imperfect people. Your friends will disappoint you. Forgive them even before they as
  4. A lack of phone contact should not breed insecurity, just excitement when you finally do connect.
  5. Don’t be a high maintenance friend, life’s hard enough. Just love well and often
  6. Apologize when you screw up, because you will.
  7. Don’t just say you’re going to pray for her, actually pray, even when she doesn’t ask.
  8. There’s a fine line between sharing information and gossiping. Don’t cross it and ask your friends to do the same.
  9. And lastly, no matter what it takes, catch up once in awhile. It will be worth it!

I hope this acts as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing together again , there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.

Call your girlfriend. Now.

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