Gratitude

Waking up early this morning. Feeling fresh and refreshed. It has been a good night. One in which I woke up only once to go to the bathroom( that is a big plus for me).

  1. For the computer, internet and wi-fi that are available 24 hours a day and let me have a virtual world apart from the real world. The virtual world helps me escape from reality for a good while.
  2. For ability to get access to books that help me improve my knowledge of things I thought I knew but actually didn’t and new things I learn every day. For recipes I am learning, creating and perfecting through these readings.
  3. For lowered blood sugars and blood pressure readings and the joy of seeing my husband happy and relaxed. The blessing of seeing this can’t be described in words. I never imagined my life to be so run by the happiness of another person but it is so, it has come to be so after 25 years of being in another person’s life. It comes to me that I have lived more years with this one person than with my parents.
  4. For 20 hungry cats that wait at my door each morning and evening and sometimes just hungry for a pat or a word from my mouth( I talk to animals). For each day I have with them though the thought that they won’t be much longer with me does bother me, I am determined to live in the moment.
  5. For a supervisor who has cooled down and is able to take time off from her worries and enjoy life at work. Her happiness transfers to us too and it is a blessing not to hear the tap of her shoes on the stone floors outside our rooms as she runs to get things done. For the slower pace of things this summer.
  6. For the ability to look at the better side of things at least when it involves others. I am trying to incorporate this in my life too.
  7. For smiles- for the smiles I see each day, for the smiles that remain in the world still. For people who give their smiles freely still. For people who don’t expect anything in return.
  8. For smart world leaders who do their job in their own characteristic way in spite of all the obstacles in their way. For the leader of a certain party who went out of his way to give a bear hug to his bitter critic opponent in parliament and who is ridiculed for it- for his guts to do so and not to keep grudges.
  9. For two legs that allow me to walk at will and that are under my control. I need to appreciate this ability more when I have them rather than wait for when I don’t.
  10. For eyes that see and ears that hear and a skin that heals fast even when injured. For a body that keeps me in one piece despite all the injuries I inflict on it.

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.

Thoughts for Tuesday

I have been wanting to share inspiration from the book I am reading now for a while. It is a book that is available in many book stores and many would have read it and been inspired by it over the decades since it was first written. It is ” How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.

Yesterday at work, we had an issue. As we vet reports for our funding agency, we need to look through the report to see if things are done correctly. Technically we don’t or can’t understand the report so no one bothers to read it through those technical sections but we go through the personnel and expenditure to see if all of those sections are filled in. In the personnel section, they report all the researchers who worked on the project since the last report and account for their work. Some of our investigators, the people to whom the grant agency gave the money to conduct research, have a habit of bringing professors and academicians from universities from around the world, into positions like post docs, or research assistants or other such for a few months at a time. They are paid off the project in this capacity, though they contribute to the project as investigators.  Yesterday the grant agency found out that in some cases people were reported as investigators and the very same people were reported as post docs or research assistants in other reports- they questioned my supervisor about this discrepancy.

As I left office yesterday, my supervisor still hadn’t returned from her emergency meeting with the Research head because she needed to provide an answer to the grant agency and she feels her head is on the block now. Today we will all meet to see how to report to the grant agency in a way that does not jeopardize the fund and the project.

One of the first things  is to ask us who work as coordinators about why we didn’t look more carefully to see if people were in dual roles- one as investigator and the other as researcher. There might be some  passing the blame around during today’s meeting.

I have been reading this first chapter of the book and the first principle mentioned is “don’t criticize, condemn or complain”- all three words are applicable to me. I am trying to apply it during our meeting today. A person of true strong character is one who ” has the self-control enough to be forgiving”. Whining, complaining and condemning are easy to do. Self-control over words is the most difficult of things to do.

 

” I will speak no ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody”- the book quotes this from Benjamin Franklin.

” A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men”, the book quotes Carlyle.

” God himself does not propose to judge man till the end of days- why should you and I ?” Dr. Samuel Johnson

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

Day 27- argument

June 10, 2018

A hot day. The weather seems to be the same day after day. How i wish there was some other hue to the sky than blue. The blue is beautiful but the shimmer and the haze through which one sees it is monotonous. It is boring. A little grey would be good. Or black. Sunsets are beautiful though, if one can get to observing them. They are like orange and red and blue mixed together.

It is surprising how animals and birds survive this weather outdoors. I sprinkle water out in the garden a couple of times a day, so the cats have a cool bit of space to sit themselves down but their panting pains me. The sultriness of the atmospher is too much for humans- what can we say about poor little animals and plants and birds?

Called my mom today. The call started off well and mom sounds upbeat. Somewhere along the way, the conversation wandered to my sister who stays with my parents and what  she advised my elder daughter about her future life partner. There is no life partner in vision but my youngest sister told my daughter to ask any potential partner if he reads the Bible and prays. My daughter who is all of 25 thinks she knows her own mind and was most upset about her young aunt( my sister who is 30) advising her about marriage. She thinks my sister should just behave her age and not give ” old women” advice. They grew up together though they are aunt and niece with just 6 years of age difference between them. My mom takes sides. She says she tries to be with the daughter who she feels is the underdog- in this situation- my sister is the underdog according to my mom.

I told my mom to accept my children as they are- with their aims of not ever getting married, living life independent and not be judgemental about their choices in life. My mom’s voice changed as I said this and she said, I don’t want to want to talk to people who don’t accept my daughter as she is. As it is, daughter( my sister) feels like an in between always- she is 30 and belongs to my generation but in age she is closer to my children.

It is  difficult to deal with mom who takes sides and who almost always is and has been judgemental about me and my children( at least that is what I feel). I have had the best deal in life according to her. I have the best husband, the best job, the best education and all through it, I am totally unworthy of all the blessings I have. Through my school and college life, I was less than ideal. I would not conform to the norm of my family and be an obedient child. I have never strayed or done anything traditionally considered unacceptable in my family but yet, I was never quite there. I would not stay in my college- I always wanted to quit my medical course as I found the college where I studied “too artificial”, too bullying, too interfering and too suffocating. Running away or not completing a course or changing direction mid way is and has been a “no-no” in our family.

We, each of us, husband, me and children are trying to deal with life as it comes. We have problems and deal with them when they pop up. Our life is not ideal- we argue, we fight, we pout, we wrestle, we disagree- but to people who look at us from outside they think we have it all- we are ideal, we have everything- but no one knows the real us.

Countdown day 2

If I do go to study there would be 46 days more for me to embark on my student journey. I am really excited. But I must share my feelings and things that are happening at home and at work as I need to vent.

At home, things are finally sinking in for hubby that wife dearest(:)) will not be around for a while and he will have to manage things at home on his own. So he has started showing his baby side. A lot of things are left undone at home. My elder daughter is not settled with her career as her admissions are delayed unendingly. The younger one wrote an exam which she thought she did well but as each day passes, and she looks at the question paper again, she finds more mistakes she has made.:) Luckily for her, there are two other exams in the pipeline for the same course that she wants to get into, and its like she has been given a second and a third chance. Fingers crossed that she makes it this time. With this sort of learning, one learns things every day. Knowledge is not stable and changes with time, and this seems especially true with the sciences and languages. So one has to keep with the times to be ahead of the race and a race it is. It seems now that it was a cakewalk for me to get into a few universities. My husband does not cook- well, almost. He warms up food to eat sometimes. He would rather go without food than do the work himself and he tells me he has enough resources to get a couple of people to help him with housework while I am gone. In the process, we are trying out various “cooks” and ” people to help with keeping the house clean”. I try to teach the “cook aspirants” how to put things together in the way we eat and it is a little difficult. I am not a good cook at all but my husband likes my food. And we live. But to teach a new person how to make food that will pass my husband’s tastes is a big deal.

At work, I have a meeting with our HR today to see if my benefits on leaving will be given to me on time or if there will be any “cuts” and so on. As I am planning on paying for my course with the funds I put apart over the past three years, a lot of my plans depend on the benefits I get when I go from the university.

My girls seem to be taking all the changes in their stride- the elder one has been waiting for seven months to hear something about her PG course- this is being delayed for unknown reasons. The younger one keeps studying, sometimes I think to keep her sanity.

All in all, it is a tough time and I am now thinking whether I should give up the course after the summer term.

Dear Lord

I am up this morning early. it is a habit to wake up around this time of day now. The sun is still sleeping but the early birds are chirping their sweet song. These bird sounds will not be heard much longer here for summer is fast approaching.

As summer comes closer and the winter/Spring weather recedes to the background, I am left with regrets. Where did the cold weather go ? The natural cold I mean. Our buildings are naturally kept cold through winter and even colder during summer, so there is no want for using winter clothes through the year.

H& M has sales and some discounts on winter clothes. Now is a good time to buy. But like King Solomon, at this moment, I feel – why should I ? What is the point ? I am going to hotter climates when I return home and there will be no need for such warm clothes there. If I move to colder climes for my Master’s program, I will need much warmer clothes than those I have.

My daughter’s mental state worries me, Lord. She talked to me openly yesterday. She said that she thought Medicine was a mistake for her. She wants to take up a creative line- something that involves writing and other means of creating things. She is in to photography now. She does not want to enter the rat race that is Medical practice and get lost or stuck in a rut that is predictable. She wants unpredictability and adventure in her life. She wants to see life.

To me, it reads as though she is lonely and is in want of a good friend. Till the time, she finds that special human friend, I pray that you hold her hand and give her life direction.

I pray that she sees an opportunity for what it is- a window to a new life.

I pray that she does not lose herself in the glitter of life and is grounded throughout her life.

I pray that she finds good friends to help her along the way of life. I pray that she learns to trust and to let go sometimes and that it is ok to cry.

I pray that her life gives her plenty of adventure and excitement but that she stays grounded through it all.