My blog friends

I started blogging in August 2014 in a period of despondency. Life had never looked worse for me- finances were low, self-esteem almost non-existence, respect from peers nil and family support almost zero. It was that time that I was led to blogging. Looking back, I was guided, unknowingly into the blog world. From a shy person, I have become a blog extrovert-I have a lot of friends, good friends, I like to say and I am proud to have you all as my friends.

As a thank you, I would like to mention a few of my blog friends and what I have learnt from them:

1. Timeless lady of Minding my P’s with Q : I learnt about appreciating the simple things in life, a trip on a weekend with family to a garden nearby, the excitement of watching a new flower bloom or to see tadpoles dancing in her pond, there is wonder in every thing she sees and takes in. I have learnt the importance of being innocent and of being of a clear heart from her.

2. Good woman : From Helen, I have learnt about how there can be cold areas in a desert. I am amazed that some parts of the USA are situated at such heights but they have sprung up from the desert. I learnt that sewing and cross-stitch and every other hobby can be carried on throughout life- even if our eyes fail us or our ears don’t hear any more or our hands don’t work as fast as they should, we can continue to do the things that we loved to do when we learnt them, through out our journey. Passion for a craft is what I have learnt from her and from this I have come to understand that she is a woman who can do anything she determines to do.

3. Ritu from butIsmileanyway : As her blog title says, she is loving, exuberant, smiley, happy, caring, loving, passionate, humourous, affectionate and everything a girl should be. I am reminded of the English rhyme when I think of her- “What are little girls made of ? Sugar and spice and all that’s nice- thats what little girls are made of “. I have learnt to see the positives in any situation from her and to make a joke out of every occurrence even the things that made you sad and depressed, there is always another perspective to look at it from and perhaps that is the perspective we are supposed to look at it from.

4. Lynn Love from Word Shamble : I have learnt to write well from Lynn. I have learnt how words can be put together to such good effect and so effortlessly. I think Lynn is a marvellous writer and I wish her all the luck on her writing journey. Lynn, I wish to read your book soon.

5. April from R. Sativus :  April, from you I have learnt how to reach out to strangers- you were one of the first blog friends I have made and are still so. I admire your strength of character, your writing skills, the ups and downs of your life and how you manage to come out of every situation, to take long walks and commune with nature, to enjoy cooking, to take care of elderly people and love them and so much more. April, I think you are a multi-hued personality and everyone who is in touch with you, is blessed.

6. Kathleen Duncan : Kathleen is a wonderful woman, with a heart full of love and overflowing. She is a strong woman who has stood the test of adversity and come out in flying colours. From her I have learnt of the resilience of the spirit and to hold on to faith, even when everything around you is crumbling. Kathleen, I salute you.

7. Donna : Donna is a constant friend, one who I can rely on, through my thicks and thins. She does not judge and accepts me for what I am. From Donna I have learnt how to appreciate all things natural and to be creative with nature and not against nature. I enjoy reading about her nature trips- her kayaking adventures and her write ups of the great outdoors. I especially love the way she takes care of the tiny creatures from nature and showers them with love and care.

8. Daniel from dreambigand often : Daniel is a recent friend and from him I have learnt how to be confident, how to make changes in my life- small, though they may be- and to live life in the spirit that it was meant to be lived in.  I look forward to reading and knowing more from you, Daniel.

9. Edwina : of EdwinaEpisodes : From Edwina, who is a caregiver, I have learnt how to care for all things living, especially those who need our care and love,the less privileged, the vulnerable. I have learnt that one can be uplift even if one is going through a tough time and when I think of her, I think of a storm and she is the “eye’ of the storm, that area of calmness, which is the strength of the storm. To laugh at myself is what I have learnt from you, Edwina. Thank you.

10. Rashmi : from  Soul and Spirit :  I have loved your photographs and your commentaries on them. I think you are especially talented in outdoor photography and I enjoy reading about your philosophy of life, your family, your adventures, how to appreciate the mountains, the rivers, the valleys and the greenery. But most of all, from you, I learnt the gift of “giving”. I have been impressed by your sending gifts across the oceans to blog friends, just because you learnt that they did not get the tea they wanted. Giving to strangers and people you haven’t seen, is one of the best lessons I have learnt, and I learnt this from you, Rashmi.

Thank you all and many more !

Susie

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Crumbs !!

A couple of days before, I went to a meeting in the room of one of my colleagues. I had just finished eating two sausage rolls, oh so crumbly and crusty. Faithfully, the rolls did what they were supposed to do- crumble and crack but they did one additional thing, they cling to anything. There were crumbs on my trousers and the front of my shirt. I managed to dust them off and run off to the meeting. ( The meeting was called at short warning- we often have such meetings,when one of us wants to update the others on something- in non-formal terms, it would be like a gossip session, to catch up on all the gossip- but in my case, it was so all of us could get some grant updates). I walked into my colleagues room, tall and straight, confident that my trousers and shirt were dusted and clean and my hair looked good and my makeup was alright.

Imagine my surprise and horror, when the first comment I heard, was, ” you have crumbs on your face, around your mouth”.

Crumbs !!

( Being the nice lady that she was, my supervisor gave me a tissue and also her make up mirror to set myself right).

Have you had any such embarrassing moments ?

Moving out of one’s comfort zone

Today’s life lesson – move out of my comfort zone. Two days back I had to attend a meeting of Research Administrators of all the institutions from my city. The meeting discussed various issue faced by Research Administrators during award management , both pre and post award. This was my first time at such a meeting, having been a research administrator for such a short period.

I knew I would meet someone from my previous institution there but there was no way I could avoid going there too, unless I wanted to go on the wrong side of my current supervisor. You can imagine my dilemma- wanting to go and not wanting to meet former colleagues.

Finally, practicality won the day, and I went to the meeting. We were seated at different tables at the meeting venue and at my table we had people from my institution and our neighbouring institution. So all seats were occupied. As I arrived about 6 minutes after the start time, I did not get much time to look around or catch someone’s eye. The meeting went on smoothly and  by the time I got my bearings, I found some of my former colleagues at a neighbouring table and none of them was looking my way !

This was good- the entire meeting went through successfully and the fact that my former colleagues were my neighbours ceased bothering me soon after the meeting started. The meeting ended three hours later and most of the delegates left for other appointments; none of my other colleagues seemed to have noticed me or wanted to socialise- they left with the crowd that ran out soon as  the meeting finished.

I was one of the few left in the room after the meeting and my fears turned out to be unfounded.

If I had stayed behind at home that day, I would have risked having to explain things to my supervisor and also lost the change of attending a good meeting.

The fact that I decided to move out of my comfort zone, made all the difference. Unless I move out of my comfort zone, I wilt be able to meet new people, or avail of new opportunities. It made me realise that all life is not about me alone and there is so much more to life than me. Unless I make the choice to widen my horizon and embrace change, I will not be able to grow.

Toys Story: Outdoor Connection

An excellent post on toys, children and modernity.

soul n spirit

soulnspirit

To be honest I wasn’t fascinated with dolls and toys as a child. I used to remain outdoors most of the time , loved to play sports and games with friends. Playing with toys was always a second option.

There were dolls, cars, doctor set, clay moulds, kitchen set and building blocks in my collection of toys. I even cooked veggies in one of my toy wok made of steel gifted by my aunt ! I had a red piggy bank which had a special place in my room till I was in class 10th. All said and done I was happier cycling along the canal, trekking the hill feature with our gang of society children.

As a child I enjoyed running around the trees with my friends in the society park. We assembled and play merry go round every evening. Girls used to bring their badminton rackets, frisbee, skipping…

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Memory loss and survival

My elder daughter has been with us for a couple of days last weekend. She was asking me if I had loss of memory. I was surprised because I have always prided myself on having an elephantine memory. ( previous posts of mine will stand witness to this- I can’t forget things that have happened to me, especially things that have hurt my spirit) .

Of course, I denied it. It is my habit when accused of losing one or the other of my faculties, to go into a denial mode. But my daughter had a lot of examples to quote. Every Saturday, I asked her if she had classes that day. She says it shows I have loss of memory for how could a mum forget a thing the daughter has told her so often, perhaps even a hundred times over ? Its not that I had forgotten; i wanted to have something to talk to her and so out of common courtesy, I ask her , did you go to class today ?

But later and now as I think about it, perhaps I do have memory loss. I am never able to remember my parents’ wedding anniversary or my sister’s. Every year, I remember about a month later that my parents’ anniversary has passed. And with my sister’s anniversary, I never remember until many months later.

I have hated myself after any such incident- so perhaps I do have memory loss after all but a selective loss of memory.

I am thinking about why I have this problem. Perhaps I don’t sleep enough- and that’s true. Most days I wake up around 3 :30 am – groggy and tired but unable to sleep anymore for fear of missing out on some chore. The funny thing is I can’t complete any chore at this time because of being sleep-deprived and end up on the couch watching a soap opera, which I really do not want to watch.

I have a lot of work to catch up with-domestic chores, work chores, an exam popping up in September and so on but I have been unable to concentrate on any of these, because of my constant tiredness.

I am reading a post written on the Observer by Benjamin Hardy, where he asks – “are you one of those people in survival mode ?” ( Please read this article- it is so useful : 8 things every person should do before 8 am)

I am, for sure. I just manage to make it from one day to the next. I worry about things about which I can’t do anything about. I don’t eat well and when I do, I grudge myself every mouthful I put into my mouth. I don’t enjoy my work and am always wishing I was working elsewhere( though the money is good). And at home, I am in dreamland, in soap opera land, wondering why my life was not any different.

The writer of this post tells us to focus on small things and to take small steps towards our goals, which need to be charted down- that makes our life so orderly doesn’t it ?

I, who am a regular procrastinator, a Miss. Put-it-off, a worrier after Putting- it -off, needs discipline in my life and plenty of gratitude. I am going to try to follow these simple steps, advised.

1. Sleep well.

2. Prayer and Meditate

3. Hard physical activity

4. Consuming 30 grams of protein at breakfast

5. Take a cold shower in the morning

6. Read or listen to uplifting content

7. Review my life vision

8. Work towards my life vision, by taking small steps towards my goals.

I don’t want to end my life, not having done anything with my life, either for myself or for others. I don’t want to be that someone who does not remember what happened yesterday and being ungrateful for small mercies. I don’t want to be someone who is a constant cribber about what might have been.

I want to live in the today- doing what I really want and being happy at it. I want to create good memories and want to be able to remember them and be happy in them. I need to work towards writing down my thoughts, so I don’t lose track of them and forget things- I don’t want my memories to be buried among my burdens. I want to be truly alive.