Day 23

Ended on day 12 and starting day 23. That’s just how adult life is and we’re are going along with it. I spent the whole day in bed today. First day of my period always wrecks me in every which way and I can do nothing but lay on the bed so that’s what I did. Also took a glorious one hour nap in the afternoon. Don’t remember the last time I napped before this. I ate two fried chicken sandwiches at dinner and now I am drinking kashayam for digestion. Grow up, they said. It will be fun, they said.

So my new thing is watching Everybody Loves Raymond with my soon-to-be-six year old. It may be a little inappropriate for him but he loves it. And I love that he loves it cause I used to watch it with my mom when I was younger. He doesn’t get some of the jokes but he still laughs nonetheless and he’s already a big fan of Ray Romano. I will watch anything that’s not Ninjago or Paw Patrol or whatever else because my brain has turned into mush just by passively listening to all that.

What else. Tomorrow is Tuesday and Tuesdays are long days because we have tae kwon do after school and I have to wear my chauffeur hat a little longer so by the time we get home guess who is more tired, the one who shuttles a passenger up and down or the passenger who eats snacks and asks for candy every chance he gets.

Despite that one hour nap I am ready to fall asleep early today. Oh last night I go home at 10 which is late for me since I am almost always horizontal on the bed by 8 pm cause I can only do lie down things after that time. I also turn into Dracula after 8 pm since I can only be in a dark room. Anyways I came home at 10 last night and literally fell into my bed. My cousin and I went for dinner to this fancy Indian place and it was good but just tasted like regular Indian food but the prices were exorbitant.

Okay I am ready to retire for the day. Before I go I want to introduce my friend to all the three people reading this blog. A.R.T. my dear, darling friend who has started her own blog (again) please go read and follow her blog she is the absolute best I love her so much and miss her more.


Day 12

It has taken me a while to accept that not everything will get done at the same time. For many years when I would try my best to clean and organize. My goal was to have the house cleaned, sink empty, bathrooms clean, laundry done, floors wiped all on the same day. A clean house meant that everything was clean at the same time. I overworked myself but never succeed in achieving what I now know is an unattainable goal. It has taken me SO many years to get to this point of acceptance. I always thought I was a failure because I had a messy home. But now, very late in the game, I know that progress is getting even one thing done in a day. I won’t have clean floors, empty sink and clean bathrooms all in one day but I will have the laundry going when every other task is waiting to be completed.

What has shifted my mindset in this regard is the self talk that I seem to love giving myself. For a long, long time it was only negative self talk about how I am constantly failing short of not just others expectations but my own. I drowned in the sea of negative self talk and found that nothing was waiting for me the bottom of this deep, dark and treacherous outlook. Also I was tired of constantly feeling like a disappointment to my own self that I had to sit down with me and have a firm chat. I told myself look, it would be great if we can get everything done in the same day, but we literally cannot. So let’s just do what we can and focus what’s left of our limited energies on the things we love rather than beating ourself up about a messy house. Once I finally realized my own limitations and understood that I had limited energy too I decided to focus the majority of my energies on the things and people I love and use what’s left for the house.

Day 11

Tiring day today. But for some reason I was able to do stuff without much resistance and it felt.. strange. Maybe this is what a good day feels like? The weather here is still very, very grey. Haven’t seen blue skies in weeks. In order to dispel the gloom I made lasagna. It was so good. R ate it without protest too. Also it was so good that I ate too much and now my tummy hurts.

This morning the temperature was perfect and R didn’t kick me all night so for a change I slept in except it was Wednesday and we woke up being late for school. So it was hurry hurry all morning and somehow we made it to school in time after breakfast at Starbucks which I had promised last night. Don’t know what I’m packing for lunch tomorrow but looks like it’s going to be a quesadilla/cutlet situation. Okay I am too tired for anything more. Good night.

Day 9

So meal planning is totally not it for me. I noticed that on the super duper rare days I do meal plan I never want to eat what I’ve planned. My cravings will announce themselves on a loudspeaker and that’s all I can hear. On a fundamental level I actually enjoying cooking but the past few years it’s become a chore and a stressful one at that. So now I try to not meal plan but just make two or three things on a Sunday that I an repurpose throughout the week. Yesterday I made mutton, rice and froze some cutlets.

Everyday I pack lunch for my son (R) too. It’s not very elaborate. He prefers hot food so it’s pasta, rice or some cutlets/nuggets situation, a fruit, a carb, a veg and then he has TWO snack breaks so I pack TWO snacks. Utter nonsense. I just cut up some fruit for one and throw a granola bar for another. As for these snacks they’re supposed to be “healthy” so no chips, cookies, chocolates, okay. And no nuts of any kind, fine. But I also have a picky kid so every morning we argue about what’s for snacks. Every evening when he comes home he tells me proudly mama I ate everything. Then I open the box in front of him and ta da! The food is preserved like some museum piece.

Day 8

I felt completely unlike myself yesterday so today I decided to remedy that feeling. If there is one thing I’ve learnt it’s that sitting with poopy emotions will only make you feel more like poop. Something has to change immediately to not dwell in the poopiness of the situation. So this morning after dropping my son at sunday school I drove to a coffee shop and ordered a chocolate cake, a coffee and croissant at 10 am and read my book there for 2 hours. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself lately. All my time is spent constantly doing things, working, cooking, thinking about cooking, planning. cleaning, actively avoiding cleaning but not, I feel like I’m constantly giving so much of my self and my energy away. This leaves me feeling so empty and then what fills this emptiness is all negative thoughts. So to finally just sit and do one activity that I loved felt like I was pouring back into myself. In order for this to work I actively visualize all this and so I truly felt like as if someone (me) had poured good juju back into me. Of course when I came home later on I had to cook/meal prep for two hours. But that’s okay, future me will thank me later.

I look forward to writing these every day. It feels like a comforting way to bookend my day, like I am talking to an old friend. I love it. Also I know my actual old friends are here so hi guys.

Day 7

It’s only Saturday but I feel like the weekend is already over. On Sundays it’s sunday school and then cooking in the afternoon. Saturday is the only day I get to breathe and when that’s over I get annoyed. Today was an ok day. Went to brunch with my neighbor ladies. Came home watched a movie and ate biryani for dinner. So overall it should have been a good day but it was just.. a day. I don’t know what’s lacking but something is. Maybe I’ll know tomorrow. Right now I just want to curl my in my comforter and got to sleep so bye.

Day 6

I don’t remember what happened yesterday. The only thing I remember is screaming that it’s bed time and forcefully turning the lights off because if it’s 8 pm and I’m not flat on a bed then we have trouble. I allow my son to play the fool most of the day but by 6 pm my anxiety starts rushing everything towards that sweet 8 pm bedtime. By the tine it’s evening time I literally cannot function because everything that has kept me standing from morning: hope, coffee, energy, the will to live, runs out as the day progresses. My senses are over stimulated all day so laying down in cold, dark room is calming for me.

It’s also been storming pretty badly here in the Bay Area. Generally I am a pretty good driver but yesterday it felt like my head wasn’t on my shoulders and I got beeped at by no less than four people. It is evident that my day dreaming needs to be controlled now. What else… I am in the process of throwing out half of everything I own. My house is filled with stuff. Stuff I don’t even need. 90% of the things I own are in the ‘just in case’ category. Just in case what? Don’t ask me, I don’t know. Just in case I need one hundred pillow covers, just in case I need fifty thousand scarves, just in case I need a carbon box, oh add it to the pile by the staircase. All rubbish things. I have thrown out so many THINGS these past few months and I still have a lot to go. I threw out the toys from my son’s toy bin. All the leftover toys, the broken parts, the toys with one million pieces but only two are remaining. the broken ones that I thought I’d fix, one wing of a toy airplane, I packed it all into a garbage bag and stuffed it into my garbage bin. The satisfaction that coursed through my veins was so sweet. My closet is going to get this treatment next time.

The weekend is almost here. Ever since I became a mother I have no concept of weekends. I do not look forward to waking up at 6 am on a Saturday but I got to. Sunday is sunday schools so we have to wake up early. So basically it is 6 am wake up every damn day. I remember during college time I’d sleep in until noon on Saturdays and my mother hated it. Those were the best days. Go to bed at 3 am and wake up at noon. Eat a KFC Zinger sandwich with a coke and a dessert and not worry about sluggish metabolism.

Okay, bye. See you tomorrow.

The Year of Grief and Heartache

I imagine people dying all the time. Not in my sleep as a part of my nightmares, but in my every day, while I am monotonously washing dishes, doing laundry or playing with my son, admiring his lovely brown eyes that remind me of my father. In the mundane, in the mind numbing, in the every day, I imagine people dying. Scrolling through social media I come across an influencer I admire and I imagine what she’d say if her husband were to die. I see a picture of someone with their mom and I wonder what they’ll post about when their mom dies.

I don’t wish death upon anyone, but I imagine our reaction when it shows up on our doorstep, ready to receive. Maybe it’s normal to have these thoughts in this Year of Grief and Heartache. The fleeting nature of this world has never been more clearer to me. Death is truly the only thing that is guaranteed. It is a surety, rock solid, set in stone, immovable, unavioidable, a one way street with only one destination. Ignore it or throw money at it, death is untouched. I knew this in theory. I understood the concept, but i wasn’t prepared to have a crash course in acceptance.

I went from expecting bad news with every phone call to now daydreaming about myself crying over corpses. It sounds morose but somehow feels normal because it is a reality that I know will come to pass without doubt. Dying of old age is not guaranteed now, and it never was. When my son asks me “Mama, when will you die?” I don’t say “when I become old”. That’s a lie. Instead I brush the hair from his forehead and say “No one knows when they will die. Only Allah knows.” It’s not an answer he wants or can possibly understand. As painful as it may be for his little four year old self to accept it, I tell him the truth. What good will it do to dance around the unknown?

One of the core beliefs of my faith is belief in the unknown. While I may schedule, plan, pre plan and organize my life in a way I see fit, I also have to believe that some questions have no acceptable, verbal answer. As much as I love words, I cannot structure a sentence explaining the unknown that my son will be able understand at his tender age. At thirty one I don’t understand it myself, but I show him my heart which beats with faith and bleeds with love, hoping that he feels it even if his intellect can’t perceive it.

Even in my morbid daydreams I have the ego that is human arrogance. That I will be one the crying over my loved ones like as if it’s inconceivable that I may not die first. In a lecture I was listening to this afternoon, the speaker talked about how we are just a number of days, whenever a day passes then a part of us is gone. Every dawn and every sunset takes me further away from this mirage of a world. It’s not that I am looking forward to death, but that the veil has fluttered a bit. I have now come to expect it.

Every time I leave my house I send whispers invoking divine protection. It is my only hope that when I am invited into the unknown I go with faith in my heart and the whispers still lingering on my tongue.

Sent from my iPhone

A for A Splitting Headache

True to character, I am playing catch up. I decided to do this A-Z blogging challenge after seeing it on Pepper’s blog. The blogging scene has changed quite drastically over the past few years. No one posts life updates anymore. Those were the posts I enjoyed the most. Now, there are insta-bloggers who “blog” through Instagram. I thought that was just called “writing a caption.”

As for what’s been happening with me, I had a baby, started work, the baby turned two and am heading towards a milestone this year. The big 30. I still feel and think like a seventeen year old so we’re okay. There’s no fear of getting old here. Although, I am looking forward to being more comfortable in my own skin as I approach this milestone. I am tired of feeling insecure and letting the fear of the future get the better of me. Thirty is going to bring in a new, serene me. Hopefully. That’s the plan.

As for A Splitting Headache, weaning my child last year has opened up a new realm of hell that I did not know existed. Migraines. Friends, it is a curse. It feels like the devil is poking my eyeball on the inside with his spear. Now, add nausea to this experience and it feels like a disaster that is tailor made for me. The only thing that helps is popping an Excedrin THE INSTANT I FEEL THE HEAD ACHE COMING ALONG before my brain can even process it, and chugging an ice cold Coke after to help with the nausea. On Monday morning however, I thought I was SO SMART by not drinking my cup of coffee/tea in the morning. I spent the rest of the day nursing my head ache and dry heaving in the bathroom. 

Anyway, I hope to sustain this challenge. Writing has taken a back seat of late. I used to really enjoy it and I hope that through this challenge I am able to get back in the game.

Stanford Theatre

Growing up, my parents enforced pretty strict bed times. Obviously, my brother and I didn’t adhere to it. My father is in business and followed the entrepreneurial rule book of having no set schedule. Most days he would return home hours after we were asleep. My mother would stay up until the wee hours of the night waiting for my dad. She would entertain herself by watching TV. Those days (the nineties) were the early days of cable in India. Cartoon Network, Star Movies and HBO were considered a luxury, a luxury we begged our parents to install.

The Cartoon Network of yore had amazing content. Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory, Swat Cats, my brother and I ingested these cartoons with a fervor. But only until 9 PM. After nine, Cartoon Network became TCM and stayed that way until 6 in the morning.

Every night after turning off the lights and making sure we were asleep, my mother would sneak into the living room like a cat, turn on the TV and watch whatever movie was playing at the time on TCM. Like a switch that went on, I would wake up the minute I heard the TV although the volume was barely audible. I’d quietly sneak outside my bedroom and hide behind the wall of the living room. From that vantage point I watched as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and all these other marvelous stars sashayed their way through movies that were pure magic. Mom was aware of my antics for every now and then she would call out to me asking me to return to my bed. But as the years passed, and as I grew older I earned a place sitting beside her as we watched numerous classic films. Like all good things, the reign of TCM ended and it was Cartoon Network 24/7.

I outgrew cartoons during this period and turned my sights to renting DVDs of old movies.  We spent entire summers watching movie after movie gawking at artistic gowns and suave actors. This is why I love classic films. Not just for the interesting story lines, brilliant dialogues and the charming men who fuel my dreams, but for the warmth these memories bring me.

During my time exploring the Bay Area I happened to come across Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto. The theatre consists of just one screen (unheard of these days) and an organist who plays prior to the evening shows. The corridors are adorned with vintage film posters and a large popcorn is only $2.50.

Every year they have an Alfred Hitchcock film festival and this year it’s happening right now. Yesterday, I watched Suspicion for the first time and I am still reeling from Joan Fontaine’s evening coat.