Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why I write?

I always wondered how I started writing my blog. What caused me to start? More importantly why I never did it for the first 32 years of my life! And then suddenly it all came flowing out ... the humor ... the sarcasm ... the stories...TMI

A friend recently started blogging and she said she was inspired by my blogs. Definitely a feather on my hat. And while I was sitting in seventh heaven enjoying those moments of glory, I read her blog. She had poured out her heart into the lines of that first blog.

I realised what it was that had caused me to start blogging. Healing!
While many may enjoy talking to folks as a method of healing and others may go to a counselor and still other immerse themselves into work, I realized my blogs were self-healing for me. The moment I wrote it out and read it ... there was a sense of --- it's complete.
I dont even know if this makes sense. Who would think publicly telling/writing family stories would help anyone.  And while I tell my tales, I speak the truth with a twist of humor and fun ... making everything sound light. At least that is what I attempt to do.
Talking about tales and stories, a recent workshop with 'Kathalaya - Academy of storytelling' also revealed to me how storytelling was a great form of healing.

It was then that I realised why I write. Talking about me, sharing my challenges, boasting about my success over this interface where I never really see my reader or their expression gives me an intimacy with this blank paper and none with the actual person on the other end. And yet when people read, like and comment on my blogs it feels like a burden is lifted off.  Sometimes I look at the stats on Blogspot and realize that someone in Russia is reading. I really do not have any friends or acquaintances in Russia and the sense of anonymity of my reader adds in a twist of mystery. When I see that my blog about parenting has been clicked on I wonder what that other mother/father is feeling that they decided to click on my vague blog. I wonder whether they too have experienced the same kind of things. And then I realize what people mean when they say ... 'Everyone goes through it!' I do not like that statement by the way 'Everyone goes through it.!' No! my challenges, my problems and my feelings are only mine ... no one else goes through it. And my problems are the biggest because they are mine.

When you tell someone that their problems/success are also felt by others, you underestimate the level of sorrow/ joy they feel.  Whenever I have heard that I feel like ... am I overreacting to something that all feel. I feel judged and that's another reason I write... this blank white piece of screen that looks at my face ... never tells me to stop writing. It never tells me that the whole world had already read what I am about to write.

And that's why I write.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Proverbs 31 : My attempt!

Proverbbs 31 describes a 'good woman' or  a ' good wife'. While I cannot claim to being either, there are a few things in these verses I accomplished in 2013 and hope to keep going at a few  more in 2014 ... God willing!

2013 began with almost nothing. No goals, no real drive ... just a slow lethargic life. Then somewhere around May it picked up and its been a whirlwind since then. It got so busy that  someone asked me if I had more than 24 hours in my day!
In May, after Isaac had finished summer camp, I realized there was so much I could do as an adult too ... in terms of extra curricular activities. In July 2013, I attempted my first art activity. Dry pastels with Artsy Craftsy.!!! It went so well that I never looked back. The thing about doing something is .....when you do it well... you want to do more. My products at the dry pastel class came out so well that I wanted to do more.

Around the same time one of my neighbours posted an ad for stitching classes. Thank you Vishaka Ganjoo for setting up class and inviting us all to it. Stitching was a completely crazy class ...lots and lots of home work. Crazy Wednesday drives. A pushy teacher (by the way I realised I do better with people who push me!). And some lovely fabric. By November, when I pushed myself to finish off the course, I had stitched something for almost everyone I knew!!! Well yes that's an exaggeration but I think my sewing machine wanted to take the long tailors ruler and smack me on my butt!.

In the midst of all this I did more art. Coffee painting ... I never knew coffee could be used as a medium. It was more fun this time since I dragged along with me neighbours and enjoyed the company of other adults ... something I had missed for a long time.

In August, I got a fantastic offer. Working from home had always been a dream. I always thought it was impossible for a Medical Physicist to work from home since the clinic is our life. But God does work in mysterious ways and by the middle of September I was putting in at least 20 hours of work a week and feeling mighty pleased. It was good to put my knowledge of medical physics into use.

Somewhere in the September, a post by a friends - friend on Facebook inspired me to want to compost. A little civic sense and hopefully something toward the environment. I started dumping my wet waste into my pots outside the house. Life takes interesting turns and twists.

The dump from my kitchen exploded into a tomato plant. When the first flowers started to show up and I saw the excitement on Isaac's and Ziva's face as the fruits came in, I realized I wanted to do more of vegetable growing ... just to see their faces as the produce appeared at home! I ordered a Daily Dump composting pot set and began my journey toward organized composting. I bugged Aparna George the (friend's - friend) for seeds and was inspired by her drive to go 'Organic' for her kids!

In the midst of all this we were still schooling at home! It seemed crazy but my level of patience with the kids was far higher even though I was busy and crazy.  The say an idle mind is the devils workshop ...and I believe I was able to keep the devil out!

I ended the year 2013 with a big bang. Christmas Baking. This is something  I am inspired to do from my mother. Every year for Christmas, she would bake a bunch of goodies for our neighbours. Nankatis, cake, acchapam. We would put it on a paper plate and distribute it to the neighbours. I hated going to each house at that time. But now I think that was a fun way of saying 'Hello' 'I am sorry' or 'Thank you' to the folks who live around you. It gave the new year a new beginning. This year I baked for a whole week and came up with 40 boxes of goodies for my friends and neighbours. Thank to Lavonne I was able to make close to perfect cupcakes with yummy Italian meringue buttercream

Suresh added this message to the top of the box and it was perfect!

Christmas Love

God gave us the greatest gift possible. We needed it the most and deserved it the least. Jesus was born to save us from the penalty of all our wrongs in our life. He paid the consequences of our wrongs by dying on a cross, so we may be free.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. - John 15:13

May Christ be born in our hearts this Christmas.
May we know His love for us.
May we show His love to others.

Suresh, Rohini, Isaac & Ziva


Here is a link to Proverbs 31.

Here are the verses that inspired me this year

13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:

Well my children really do not call me blessed! But when I stitch something and show Ziva I always get a 'Wow Amma so pretty' and  when I let Isaac pluck tomatoes or cut spinach I always get a 'Thank you Amma for gardening!'  and more recently 'Thank you Amma for drawing a Tiger for me!'

Suresh is my balance factor. Encouraging me to go on with anything I want to do ... making sure I do it well and stopping me when I seem to go crazy. For instance I saw a bunch of kids going for Table tennis practice and I felt like joining TT classes. I got a  'Yes because you don't already have enough to do' from Suresh!!! :)

Now if only I could get these verses in my system and I would be golden ;)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.