Of Resolutions and Resolves

I lost almost 25 kgs in 2020. More than that, and more importantly, I lost a lot of mental baggage too.

I feel lighter, fitter and healthier than I ever recall feeling.

I smile more widely and laugh more often. I sleep better and talk more politely. My patience and general well being have improved by leaps and bounds.

The only sad part is that it took a soul crunching, time stopping and all around jarring pandemic for me to pause and reset. To focus on and prioritise myself. To work through all the unresolved issues which were underlying the calm exterior I took pride in portraying. To actually process my feelings and emotions through healthy, conversation based and creative outlets.

So in 2021 the only resolution I am going to make is to choose myself. Love myself. Heal myself. Understand myself. Forgive myself. And to grow. To pause, when needed. To listen to myself. To pay attention to my own mind and body.

I hope you’ll be doing the same for yourself too. Because one off resolutions are like putting out small fires while an entire forest burns to ashes. The bigger picture, the important picture is always you and your life.

Yes, of course, set goals for yourself. But resolve to live happily and freely. And then test your resolve to its very limits….just to see it emerge stronger.

P.S. if you’re struggling and need a friend, I’m always ready to listen, chat and offer whatever assistance that’s possible from my end. I am not a proxy therapist, just a willing shoulder to lean on while you catch your breath 🙂

20-21

This year has been different, to say the least. We lived through the most unexpected of times, witnessing the very highs and lows of humanity. We disbanded, came together, learned, unlearned and relearned quite a few things during the course of a year. Yet, each one of us, whether doing well or struggling has held out unwavering hope that the next year will bring better tidings.

So for this roller coaster ride called 2020, I have nothing but immense gratitude in my heart. I’ve charted quite a journey within and outside of myself. I feel more blessed than proud of this fact. I have lost, gained and regained a few people along the way. Some for life, invaluably cherished.

With 2021 begins a new chapter of life for me. A shared chapter. One full of hope, love and a sense of belonging. I am quite tickled to see where it will lead. I hope the very same for all of you.

Bring it on 2021, I’ll be doubly armed in my welcome 😊.

Blogmas Day 18 : Small Act of Kindness

I find it absolutely baffling how not a single one of you has chastised me for abandoning my blogmas series after merely two posts. Hello, do we not hold each other accountable in the blogosphere anymore? I rely on you to pull me up, people! (but honestly, please don’t come at me for my erratic scheduling of posts because you know your girl writes in random bursts and I cherish all the patience and support you shower on me)

Anyhoo, while I am finding it very difficult to spread Christmas cheer this year with so many families having suffered tragic losses and undergoing unsurmountable struggles, I think that’s what makes it all the more important. My heart goes out to each and every person who’s not doing so well, for whatever reason – I hope things start looking up for you soon.

For those who have been fortunate like me and not been affected much individually by the pandemic (I am at home, surrounded by family with the privilege of being able to work from home with no pay cut), I have a request to make of you today. With a few days left till Christmas, let us make someone’s days a little brighter? Can we please become a self-appointed secret Santa for someone this year? It need not even be a gift, just an act of kindness, maybe?

If you do undertake this exercise, can I also please bother you to come back and comment on this post?Not to brag or boast but just to encourage another to follow suit? I feel we can really make a difference, what do you think?

I’ll go first. I started my day by sending some comfort food and Harry Potter related products (a bag, some warm, fluffy socks and a travel mug) to a friend’s sister who’s been struggling with depression and crippling anxiety and has had a really tough time this year. While it wasn’t much, she smiled so wide at being showered with gifts and was so grateful for the thought that was put into curating them. It barely took 20 minutes of my time but the call I got from her sister (my friend) thanking me for looking after her big baby (she has a daughter of her own) while she’s stuck in another city all alone brought tears to my eyes. I repeat, I feel we really can make a difference, without knowing how much one small act can affect another person.

So, one small act of kindness is what I ask of each one of us. Don’t let me down, please?

Blogmas Day 2 : Balancing Act

I don’t know about you lot but almost everyone I’ve spoken with has unanimously agreed that work from home has blurred all lines between office and personal space, time and demands. Somehow, we’re all always on the clock these days. Work can come in at any odd hour and be expected to be turned around in the next couple of hours with complete impunity.

Because what else could one rather be doing. Granted, our social lives have gone to the dogs. But we still have a life nevertheless.

So today I just want to remind you to hit pause, take stock and draw boundaries once more. Separate the different aspects of your life and effectively compartmentalise them. Neither should overstep, overlap or overwhelm the other. Limit the exposure your work and colleagues have on your time and mindspace. However, also be mindful that your personal comfort is not negatively affecting your work either. (Sitting on our bed and working in our PJs is the only acceptable intermingling, in my opinion)

The flexibility that we have these days to work in pockets of time of our choosing, without having to waste even a second on long commutes or getting dressed is also a blessing in disguise (the above paragraphs not withstanding). It gives us the freedom to indulge in self care, the least of which is rekindling a lost passion or hobby.

I’ve taken up art these days. Mandalas, to be more specific. I find it to be therapeutic and meditative. I also work out most days and have enough spare time to update my favourite playlists. All this despite feeling like I’ve been working every second I’ve been awake every day.

Balance, my friends, is the key. Remember to separate your interests and then balance them. It’s alright if the scales are sometimes skewed as long as equilibrium isn’t too far out of reach.

Thoughts?

Blogmas Day 1 : Of Living and Loving

Happy first day of the last month of the year. And oh, what a year this has been. A lot of what it brought along was entirely unwelcome, yet there’s a lot to be grateful for.

So while this year comes to an end soon, it’s important to remember that we have no inkling of what the next one holds (other than the hope that it’s very different and the pandemic would no longer exist). It behoves us to be slow down and be more mindful of our blessings, chief of which are our loved ones’ health and happiness. Check in on your tribe.

If nothing more, this year has been instrumental in reminding us of what really matters and what we hold most dear. So go hold them, cherish them, nurture them and love them.

Live a little, love a lot. Isn’t that a very generous thought?

Downswing Days

I’ve realised I mostly come on here and write on days I have something happy to report. Be it my physical or mental well-being or a step forward in the right direction, be it any aspect of my life. I do it with the firm belief that sharing is caring, that someone out there might read my pieces and smile, take heart and hustle on. Indeed, your kind comments have proven it to be so.

Yet, on days when I’m not feeling my best, I refrain from writing, either feeling vulnerable at the exposure or feeling like an imposter for having written all those uplifting, self-care advocating posts when I cannot simply gather myself together. Today is one such day. Half of which has passed.

The other half, however, I am committed to change today. I will address you on days that I am down. I will share with you my darkest thoughts, sorrows, fears and words. Why, you ask? Because maybe, just maybe, someone out there might read my pieces and smile, take heart and hustle on in the knowledge that we all have our ups and downs. Our moods have upswings and downswings. And yet, nothing lasts forever. I know I will get back into the right frame of mind soon enough. And you will see the difference. As would someone else who’s currently berating himself for feeling the way he is currently and admonishing himself for not being strong. It doesn’t take strength to plaster a smile on your face and pretend everything is okay, winning accolades and love from everyone around. It does take strength to accept there will be days when you won’t be at your best, that it is okay to take a break, take more than a few moments to be with yourself, accept your feelings and let them live out their life cycle in you in a healthy manner and, most importantly, it takes sheer strength to try and love yourself when you’re on the brink of self-hatred.

So today, I am willing to acknowledge that there will be days when I’ll be an irritable, slobbering, whining, selfish mess. But that is till my mess. I own it and will overcome it. I will live through it to better days. And I will do so without assigning blame to others around me when their behaviour ticks me off just because I’m in a mood. I will heal without damaging another’s mental health. There is a heart big enough in me to love them and myself. I will be real.

What do you say to that?

To-Do

Do one thing today that makes you happy but you’ve been putting off since forever due to paucity of time.

Do one thing today that’s good for your body – be it hydrating every hour, a quick walk round the block or standing while working. Any thing that could make a difference to your sedentary routine.

Do one thing today that grounds your mental stability. You could meditate, take a power nap, chat with a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, watch a hilarious movie with family, or treat yourself to some hot chocolate while listening to your guilty pleasure playlist.

Do it. Remind yourself who it’s for and why caring for yourself is alright.

Do something for yourself today and let me know. Then see yourself inspiring others like the wonderful person that you are!

Easy Loving

They say it’s easy to hate and difficult to love. That’s how the whole scheme of things works. I beg to differ, if I may. Pardon me for it, if you feel. Because I think there’s nothing in this world easier than falling in love. Easier than opening one’s heart. Easier than giving another the power to tear you apart.

Hate, on the other hand, requires so much more effort, thought and time. Frankly, I have none. For you see, I’m so busy loving myself that I can feel enough compassion to give love to everyone I meet. And hate, to be honest, just messes with my vibe.

They say it’s easy to hate and difficult to love. I feel nothing but pity for such poor, tortured souls. For they clearly have never spent a day with their own selves and realised how simple it is to just be. And to love. One’s own self and others.

Hate, on the other hand, is the foremost form of self harm. And it must take so much struggle, deprivation, hopelessness and cowardice to hurt your own self.

So, if you find it easy to hate. I implore you to love yourself. No matter how daunting it may seem to be. I assure you, tis seemingly uphill task is actually a wonderful joyride.

Enlightened – Diwali Edition

The long weekend I’d long awaited has finally come and gone. While all of India celebrated the festival of lights, I sought to feel light while searching for the light within. I’m happy to report that this Diwali, (a day that stands for the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance) I’ve been able embrace all sides of myself, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve taken time out to recognise, nurture and cherish the aspects that are nice, relatively, while maintaining focus on my health – mental, physical and somewhat spiritual (my interpretation of it, at least). More importantly, I’ve gathered the compassion needed to forgive myself all the shortcomings and let go of any residual guilt and regret.

And you know what, I smile a lot more, laugh a tad louder and listen more than I talk. I’m happy with where I’m at. Conscious of the progress I’ve made and looking forward to where I’ve headed.

Yes, this diwali I didn’t burn fireworks, crackers or bombs (haven’t for the past 14 years so as to not pollute the environment). I did, however, burn all negativity, sadness and doubts from my mind.

I wish you had an enlightened Diwali as well.

Self Care Manual for Dummies Like Me

Gentle reminder and heartfelt plea for you to add to the list. I made this last year and then 2020 happened, so..

Moonlighting Scrivener

  1. Sleep early and sleep enough. Every night, for instance.

  2. Being bored is not equal to feeling hungry. Portion your meals and have them on time.

  3. Workout for 30 minutes (minimum) daily. Not for a summer or bikini bod but for a long, healthy life.

  4. Your body is a temple and your mind its reigning deity. Monitor what you consume, both physically and emotionally. Don’t eat crap, don’t take crap. Don’t drown yourself in tears pitying your existence while gorging on unholy amounts of french fries.

  5. Socialise. Share your time. Share pieces of yourself. Allow kindred spirits to enter your life. Allow yourself to be treated the way you actually deserve to be. Look at yourself from someone’s else’s perspective. It’s okay to have some alone time and well defined personal space but it’s equally important to get out of your comfort zone too.

Better functioning adults than me, please feel…

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