A story starter · About me · Chicago · Joy/Joyful · Memories · New Experiences · Outlet Mall · Shopping · Snow · Travel · Tuesday · Tuesday : Had to share · Tuesday at Ten · Tuesday: Tell-a- Tale · Wisconsin

First snow experience

Last month, my husband and I visited family in Chicago. Three normal days and the last night of our stay there, it snowed. I was surprised my phone weather forecast was accurate. It started around 1 am- I was watching for it- it had been an exciting day, what with a visit to neighboring Wisconsin to see a professor of my husband’s just across the border from Illinois. And an outlet mall visit to buy a lot of things( which I actually didn’t need) and a few books for my onward trip.

So, it snowed and snowed and kept snowing till the morning, when we could see the whole place covered in the whitest of snow. So exciting!

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Way to Wisconsin
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House in Wisconsin
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Last days of autumn
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My first snow- the neighbourhood
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Little trees covered in snow- early Christmas
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View of the house from the car- last sight of snow
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Goodbye, snow ! 
A story starter · About me · Artist date · Cross Ropes · Infinity system · Jumping Rope · Overweight · Truths and Inspiration · Wednesday : Waiting and Weight-ing · Weight loss

Artist date : Jumping rope

The infinity cross ropes arrived today with an additional payment of 35 monies above and over the Fedex charges. I have the 1/4 and 1/2 pound ropes now. And I started jumping. It is difficult to use these ropes. It is like doing a workout on the run with a load in your hands. I started 5 minutes of jumping rope( broken up into bits and pieces) for the past 9 days. I have increased my jumps from 10-25 without tripping 90% of the time and it seems I might be getting a few, well, at least 2 lines on my abdomen. Hope it is not my eyes playing tricks on me. This is in addition to the left knee pain and quadriceps hurts. I can see why they say jump rope is effective. But it has yet to become the fun it used to be when I was a child

A story starter · About me · Fitness Blender · Morning Pages · Squatting · Truths and Inspiration

Morning Pages

An unexpected holiday for the observance of the passing of a gentle past president. Really don’t know what to do with myself.

Consistently having written the morning pages for 11 days in a row now, starting November 26. Julia mentioned that writing the morning pages is the first step towards “creative recovery”. I am doing the best I can but to be truthful, I haven’t felt it as an ” active meditation”yet or that I have changed in any way positive.

Yes, I have lost that “people pleasing”, ” not hurting people  if possible by being blunt” thing I surprisingly seem to have had. I can absolutely speak frankly, openly and pretty bluntly now of course, without being rude. I was rude just once this last week. I gave a co worker a piece of my mind and it was totally unwarranted. There is an excuse- I had some stresses at home and I didn’t care what I let out of my mouth. And the best part is a week after, I still am not sorry. I am glad I had that outburst. Is this one of the effects of the morning pages ?

I am exercising pretty consistently now- even jumping rope. I can do only the bounce step and only about a 25 jumps at a go but even that is a change. I do the Fitness Blender workouts for “cool downs” every day. And also my version of a 100 squats a day- I know they are not the perfect squat but they are the best I can do with my weight and my knee. 

And I am happy. So that must be a change, right ?

A story starter · About me · Adolescents · As a Mamma · Being honest · Choices · New Experiences

Hard work does break bones

Some children( read that adolescents) take on too much. My younger daughter, recently admitted to med school seems to be on a job spree. She wants to do everything. She tells me,” I don’t want to feel later that I have missed out something”. When she was just a year old, I remember her pottering around our house just looking for “naughtiness”. Its the same now- 18 years later. She used to avoid going to bed to not miss out on anything going on at home and would only sleep if her body absolutely refused to keep up. Somethings never change, it seems.

 In college, she auditioned for a dance and she was selected for the main event. She did well and a lot of people praised her dance moves. ( she is not a trained dancer but has always loved dancing, so she used to learn dance looking at the youtube). Ever since she has been selected for every dance in the college. The dance practices go on till late at night, so much  that she has no time to read her books. She is tired most of the time. Today she is in a dance that accompanies a carol- what child is this ? It seems carols have to have dances accompanying them in their college.

And then she is house captain for the Cochrane house. The job of the house captain is to gather people to come watch the various matches and even substitute as a player should there be a deficit in the number of players. This takes up a lot of her evening time. She tells me she has no time to do her laundry.

Finally, two days back all the stress got to her and she broke down while sitting on the sides cheering her Cochrane team during a volleyball match. The seniors sent her to to her room and advised her not to show up at the field for any match as she was doing too much. She got a good night’s rest that day. 

Where she studies is my alma mater too and I knew how things work there but children being what they are never listen to their mother’s-that is the rule of nature. So I kept quiet and let her learn to prioritise her duties and work on her own. Seems like she is learning a hard lesson.

 

A story starter · About me · Being honest · Book Reading · Choices · Commitment · crafts · Crochet · Goal setting · Julia Cameron

Artist Date -first week of December

Per Julia Cameron’s book ” Its never too late to begin again”, I started writing the morning pages 6 days ago. The second item recommended by her in the process of knowing oneself is to have an artistic date with oneself. Take off on something that brings out the child inside a person. Its easy to wish an artist date and think about things I did as a child but have not been doing for a long time now.

Smiling, feeling free, no burdens or very few, jumping for joy when a happy something happened( I find it very difficult to jump now with my creaking knees) and so many more things. 

Feeling overwhelmed with the artist date, I decide to google it and look for ideas and there are so many sites that give out ideas- most of them doable. 

Started the clock at 12:15 pm yesterday and decided to stop at 1:15 pm- one hour. I took off to my office garden where  I keep a few plants on the balcony of the third floor which is the only outdoor space on the floor. Cut off a few withered rose flowers, trimmed some plants and cleaned up some flower pots. This is a date without social media or a phone- so I went without any electronic media to document my date. Fifteen minutes later,  I was done. 

What would I do for the other 45 minutes  ? I thought of the stacks of yarn sitting under my office desk and decided to start a crochet project. I have not been able to crochet for more than a year now- I can’t think of starting a project with an unhappy frame of mind. So I took up the book which I got a couple of years back – All American crochet Afghans- edited by Laura Scott and started off on a beginner project- by the time two rows were done, my 45 minutes had passed and without a care in my mind.

This artist date stuff seems to work. 

A story starter · About me · Awaiting the weekend · Being honest · Bullying · Choices · Co workers · Conflict management style

Feeling anti social ?

Our office won the best research office award- again- 6 times in 7 years. It is a record. The sponsors don’t know what to do with our office. The standards we set are too high.:)

As a sort of Thanksgiving for the office, we are set to go to lunch to a Mall about 20 kms away. Many of us don’t want to go- the long drive, the purposelessness of the venture, the lack of communication and true team spirit all boggles us down. Despite contrary opinions, most opted to go, to avoid confrontation with supervisors. I am too far gone to even care. 

I brought my lunch from home and decided to sit put at my desk till I go home. This is who I am- this is who I have become. There is no pleasure in social gatherings any more. And the sheer guts  I have in defying standards is surprising. There comes a time in everyone’s life when one cannot take things lying down and do things others expect them to do for society’s sake. 

I don’t care what people think any more. 

A story starter · About me · Being honest · Book Reading · Book Review · Bucket list · Bullying · Commitment · Julia Cameron · Truths and Inspiration

My inner censor

I am reading ” It’s never too late to begin again” by Julia Cameron recommended by a blogger whose writing I love so much- Molly Stevens.

I have had at least 3 blog posts started but not completed. I have carted all my yarn to my office, so I can keep my fingers busy and not stress over what might have been ( readers will know what I mean). In many unknown ways, my not going to do my Master’s has affected me- the first being my weight gain of over 10 kilos( 22 pounds) and my don’t care less attitude. There have been other stresses all of my own creation and nothing seems to count any more. I don’t have that positive attitude I used to have before that said I can do anything. Everything I try an inner censor comes and says – Oh, what’s the point ?”

Julia says that during work, there have always been colleagues who were critical of our work but as we near retirement, there is another stronger critic, our inner censor. In the chapter two, she says, when we say

” I’d love to design clothes” 

Censor says ” You can’t -you are too old to learn fashion design.

“I’d really love to design clothes”

Censor ” You are not fashionable. 

I’d really like to try, says you. 

Censor : ” What a terrible waste of money”.

” I can afford it”

Censor : You really are a fool

From Julia Cameron’s ” Its never too late to begin again”.

I have an inner censor too. The conversations in my head go on like this :

“I really want to study further, become somebody, make a few publications, become famous. I want to be able to go to my college reunions or school reunions as “somebody”.

Censor : You can’t do it. See what happened last time- you tried to get the visa and the visa woman rejected you. You had all the documents, the money everything in place, but she rejected you. You can’t do anything right. 

” I think I should try again. After all, they are holding my admission for me. Or I should apply to Harvard this time. If someone wants something strongly, the whole universe conspires to give him that said somebody famous. So I should try again.

Censor: No point trying. Even God is not in support of this venture. Your husband will be alone when you go.

” I’ll try to go for the summer course and come back after the summer”.

Censor: Even that won’t work. Just watch how you bungle even such a small thing up.

This weekend, I picked this book up again. I didn’t complete the first reading, though the book has been with me for ages, ever since the library bought it for me. Even reading a book has become a chore these days. If you ask me, am I depressed? Not outright but inside there is a deep, gnawing hurt that doesn’t seem to be going away. I pretend everything is ok and the tears don’t fall anymore but it is there.

Julia tells us to “shrink one’s censor”- describe it, how old is it, what does it look like, what are some of its favorite remarks, or even sketch it. Julia recommends that we name our Censor and this way, we can have conversations with a real named person and make a joke of it, if you will. 

I like this strategy. Over the weekend, an old senior plagued my dreams- her stinker and the way she bullied people around our hostel as Hygiene Secretary came back to me. I decided to name my censor ” Banani” and it is an apt name for my censor is not one- there seems to be a multitude of them, a veritable forest. “Banani” means forests. 

From the book :

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced”. -VINCENT VAN GOGH

What are things I cannot do ?or says Banani?

Banani says : 

” You cannot crochet again. Your left thenar area hurts so much.

” You cannot lose weight. You cannot control your appetite, even gluttony.”

” You daughters will not get married.”

” You will never return to your home country”.