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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.

 

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The last summer holidays for the season

This summer has been fraught with short holidays- official ones. That is good, so our leaves are just the same as when summer started off. Thank goodness for compensatory offs for working on official holidays’. Thank Goodness also for being the only one around when others go off on vacations. It makes one feel good to be someone important for a change.:)

So the last summer holidays started or will start on Monday but since it is the weekend, we can count the weekend days too. Plus the fact that a very important leader has died has brought its own compensation. Also family travelling from home has left me to my own devices.

These days I am quite into cleaning and seem to be doing good too. Growing up, my mum  did all the cleaning and I used to watch her cleaning, never offering to help as I knew I would never reach her very finicky standards. Result is for all to see- I can’t clean – for nuts. I can’t even see dust or dirt till it is quite a layer high. Such is my sense of cleanliness. And dust mites don”t bite me- so I know until very late about the layers of dust that need peeling off. Today was a cleaning day. I have been watching youtube videos- particularly ones on Cleaning and dusting to start off my cleaning muse. Plus having an empty nest does help.

Last week, I started going to a school gym for 45 minutes of vigorous exercises- the first day it was weight lifting, the second- boxercise and the third it was fitness challenges, something like HIIT. With my 90 kg frame, it was difficult but I managed to keep going. Also remember, I was probably the oldest one in the group. The trainer was a woman who was in her last two weeks of her pregnancy- she did every exercise. I am inspired to go on.

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Time away

The past two weeks were spent traveling with family. At last,  the college admissions are over. Whew !!

Sharing a few photographs of my trip.

The weather was good- I am grateful that I got to see some good decent weather this summer thanks to my trip.

The college campus was green, greener than I remember- perhaps someone has taken notice of climate change and planting more trees. It was cool under the trees. The old granite buildings, of more than 70 years, still stand. Inside the hostel, though things have changed- the lower common room showed its age. The furniture which I remember was made of cane- now it was of nondescript material and uncomfortable.

I have no pictures from inside the hostel but these few pictures were taken outside. See the friendly birds which were so tame and doing their business;  they didn’t care, I was sitting a couple of steps away from them. The canopy of trees looks like a tropical rainforest.

 

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Another slow Sunday

True to its name, it has been a sunny day. The sun seems glaring at us from every direction. Even the plants seem to have given up. The ground is parched and cracked even though it is watered twice a day. It can’t seem to win against the evaporation.

As my car’s insurance had expired and we hadn’t noticed until the weekend, I was advised by the car’s owner( my husband) not to drive it till this issue was settled. The funny thing is I have been driving the car from the 3rd of July when the insurance expired until Saturday in ignorance but ever since I became aware and its owner aware, we are trying to be extra careful and follow rules.(sic). So today I called up work and told them I wouldn’t be able to come since I had no car. They advised me to call up an Uber and come to work, rather than take a day off. About 10 am, I took a risk and drove the car as usual. But with extra caution and with a nagging feeling that something untoward was going to happen. Thankfully nothing did and my supervisor was shocked when I told her I drove without insurance. Anyway all’s well that ends well and I am back home, safe and sound and the insurance is all bought and ready.

Elder daughter called me this way and wanted to know why I had stopped messaging her  the past two days. Its true. I have been going slow with the messages since she doesn’t respond often and she is busy and I didn’t want to disturb her routine. Seems like she wanted to talk this Sunday, so I called her and we talked for about an hour.

Husband’s blood sugar is 90 mg% which is 5.1 and this is very normal for fasting levels. It now remains for the blood pressure to be controlled. His serum insulin came up as 10 and that is at the upper limit of normal- so he seems to be getting his insulin levels under control too. All the beef he’s eating has not activated any episodes of gout- yet. That is another symptom of metabolic syndrome. All in all doing well. There is a 24 hour fast scheduled for Wednesday and I rather dread the excuses he might come up with. It is difficult for people to starve in the midst of plenty.

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Friday Foibles

It is a time when there is so much to write about but so many things hold one back-have you ever experienced that ? Doubts, should I put it all down or should I ruminate over them in my mind?

First there are reports of rapes and more rapes and atrocities against women. All over, repeatedly. What can women do ? What should we do ? Should we look the other way ?

Then there is a girl and her sister who want to come to our house to work as our own helper man has gone on his annual vacation. She has a day job at our university and wants to make a little money on the side by working at houses. I would have liked to have her but she would only come with another woman. They work together. For me, it was rather difficult – being the shy, withdrawn person that I am to have one too many people at home. But we did it- I relented and they came.

It was great to have someone ( though two) clean the house for me. I never can do it right-mopping the floor would leave water all around that I would slip on myself. Sometimes I leave my footprints on freshly mopped floors and have to do it over. So I was glad to have help but as they were new- I needed to be with them to show them the ropes. So half of my weekend day was expended in this supervisory role(:)). After they were done, I dropped them at a mall where they could get a cab to their work camp.

The house is clean but I think I will be doing the house myself again- that is feasible and workable.

My daughter has learnt a new dance move and she was showing it to me so I joined in. She woke up after 14 hours of sleep – she had come to the mall to drop the two girls yesterday and she got food from the Cheesecake factory- after eating which( perhaps??) she got a migraine, from which she recovered at 10 am today( Saturday)- a nice long nap or sleep she had.

Husband’s sugar is almost under control and without any medications- he is adapting with the lifestyle- no carbs at all- at least none that I could identify. But he took two days of the hypertensive medication which has Thiazide in it and so his blood sugar was a little higher than when it was without any medication. Thiazides are known to affect the liver and cause increased blood sugars. The blood sugars were still in normal range. He planned to get his fasting insulin and hs-C-reactive protein levels done today to confirm hyperinsulinemia and inflammation of the liver but he didn’t make it to the laboratory this morning. Early in the morning on Saturday, his car went to get the annual road worthiness check up and it failed the test- he had bumped the side of it parking in our shed- so that failed the car. Now he needs to get it fixed before the car can go the test again. So one car is out of service again as it has no third party insurance until it passes the test.

Otherwise, today is Saturday and the woman who helps with the cooking is there, preparing healthy meals for us for today- when today I will be fasting and my husband can add one carbohydrate to one meal today- the other meals continue as before( protein 25gms and two cups of above  the ground veggies). It is day 9 today and apart from a few complaints yesterday, he has done well on this diet. Am bent on getting him to a normal lifestyle with no medications if possible.

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Gratitude

Monday is the day set apart for being grateful. Honestly this morning I am not finding many things to be grateful about but let me try. Let me see what makes me grouchy first this morning.

  1. Grateful for the Air Conditioning in the house for without it and the power supply we would not be able to live in arid conditions. Thank you.
  2. For family that has returned safe after more than a week of busy travel and activity.
  3. For the Thai boys who got rescued last night from the cave and for the remaining 8 boys who are still alive.
  4. For the cool wind that brought cooler weather in some parts of the world and did not bring harm.
  5. Oh, now that I am counting, there seem to be so many. For a friend who is busy at work but still writing and I know she is well somewhere.
  6. For the guts to face up to someone I needed to forgive.
  7. For sleep and hunger that plague me through the day. There are many people who do not feel these basic instincts of life. I am often not grateful for my hunger for food and cravings for crunchy stuff. I am grateful that I seem to have gotten over my sugar cravings.
  8. For a sister who works hard at work and at home with her children and her ill health. She has been looking after my husband and children every time they visited her city over the past two months.
  9. For the woman at the visa counter because she set me off on an alternate path of life, one that I never thought I would be going on this July. For new times and new experiences.
  10. For a spare car that in spite of my car being silent and still in the garage works well and takes me in comfort to work.
  11. For the chapel service that went well last night – that elder daughter sang in the choir for- it was her first experience singing in a choir and for appreciation. For the younger daughter who was kept safe through weeks of travel back and forth to the home country and the church service she attended here yesterday.
  12. For peaceful times at home and the cats outside. For peaceful neighbors who live their lives quietly. For a neighbour girl who put on 5 kilos of weight after a battle with extreme starvation. It made me happy to see her almost like her old self yesterday. I hope she gains her body image back- is that the correct way of putting it ?
  13. For the monthly times for both my girls. I have come to appreciate this with their lives as they have often missed these cycles in their lives but this year, seems to have brought regularity in their rhythms.
  14. For the change in mood from when I started this post, that I don’t want to write what was bothering me at the beginning of this writing.

Thank you for this day and for the challenges this day will bring.

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Thursday Thoughts

Its been two weeks since that day.  My shock day for 2018, I am going to call it. Where I pummeled down to the lowest a man can go.

I have stopped thinking over it. Today I met my supervisor who is back from holiday. Meeting her would, I thought, be embarrassing. I was losing sleep over it. I had said all my byes and said, enough and all that and then now I am eating humble pie. Life seems to be about eating humble pie often. It just goes to show where man thinks he/she is and that that position is not at all stable. It is perhaps better not to soar too high, so the fall is not too great. Arrogance – I must have been arrogant or I would not feel like I am eating humble pie, right? Well, it is a lesson, well learned.

Image result for humble pie

The meeting with the supervisor was not too bad. She seems happy to have me back. I am grateful for the money from the job. I am grateful for the freedom of spending again but of course, I wish life had taken a different course. In a way I am glad, I am here, yet, to support my family while they are making changes in their lives but when I get an email from my college- I still call it that, there is a certain wistful thinking, of things that might have been. Maybe older women are not meant to study and are just meant to mind the hearth. I feel like Jo of Little Women when she returned from the boarding house home and found that everything looked the same but nothing satisfied.

Image result for little women

For the past two months( since April), my diet and watching over my weight has all gone for a toss. With daughter 2’s exams looming on the horizon and the family predicting doom about her admissions, it took all of my positive spirits and bucking up to keep things up. Exams done, she did well, she secured admissions to good colleges but the midnight oil that burned during the process and the sleepless nights, the leptin and the increased, never-ending appetite and the eternal hunger pangs and the consolation, albeit temporary from eating food, even icecreams( which I have never even liked since childhood) and sweets( which I haven’t eaten since 2004), all goes to show how much of a toll the constant pushing of my limits was taking on me. I have not been taking care of myself.

Image result for Baskin robbins icecream

I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t. Really, I mean, what is the point of living so long anyway? If I eat well and exercise and look well, what is the point? At some time, I am sure to get some lifestyle disease or some cancer or something else. See my thoughts. There was no rhyme or reason to them- was it the beginning of the empty nest syndrome?

Image result for empty nest syndrome

Anyway, the thing is, this week, I have taken time to read and write and look well- put makeup on. I know makeup makes me look, well, made up and I am someone who loves the natural, no make up look. Still, I did some blackening of my eyes, some color on my face, smoothening up some holes, dental work, and hair care. I have rubbed lotions and oils on my body and put vitamin E cream on my face. This last because there was a tube of this very expensive cream lying on my dresser, I had never used before but must have bought some time in a trance and never used. The day after using the cream, I looked at my face and it looked different. By that time, I had forgotten I had done something to my face the previous night( applying the cream). My face shone like it used to when I was younger. Suddenly it struck me that I had rubbed some of that cream last night on my face. So the second night in a row, I applied some more of it on my face. Today, this morning, I looked at my face, and I notice, my face shining. This cream seems to be working on my menopausal skin.

Image result for vitamin E cream

This seems to be a good time to take care of me. No family, plenty of time, only my cat to take care of. Well, the point of this post – at last.

I am going to do the keto diet- this diet seemingly works for me as I am not very fond of carbohydrates anyway and can eat all I want of fats, what is not to like?

It is a 24 hour fast today- only lemon water, black coffee, tea allowed. This is a detox to get rid of all the sugars in my body.