Sunday, February 14, 2010

Music Morning Madness

The daily grind for me starts the moment I wake up, literally. I have an alarm that does not snooze but it cooks. My day dawns at 7 am when my cook reports to work and most of the times is the one to wake me up. Cooks are always in a hurry. So the menu always has to be pre-planned and there is really no time to think what am I going to cook today once the cook arrives. I usually program my brain with details like 8 rotis, dal/no dal, which veggie the previous night. If anyone were to wake me bang in the middle of deep sleep and ask me any question I perhaps would blurt out the menu. So it starts with me stepping up the accelerator to give her instructions and then the race to finish the tea while she sorts the veggies. After the tea-time comes the me-time. Me-time is barely half an hour where I cram in some exercise. My ideal exercise routine would be 30 mins of morning walk or cycling followed by weights and then round it off with either abs or deep breathing. Me-time is usually limited to just half an hour so I can barely accommodate the morning walk or cycling. Post the me-time comes the he-time. He-time is getting Remy ready for school. Getting children ready for school is a good exercise to increase the patience levels. Most mornings are a showdown for reasons like not finishing the milk or mummy leaving the tap on too early in a bathing session or mummy giving the milk in the moo moo cow cup and not the foxy loxy one. This is a typical scene every morning but today was different. The morning showdown turned to an impromptu dancing session as I decided to play a song that Remy likes. It was definately the music that soothed the tempers and the tantrums. Or should I say the mood? I realized that I was not looking at the clock and hurrying everyone around me rather I was enjoying my morning chores. Like all the other days today was no different in its challenges of finishing all the tasks on time....what was different was my mood.

Tring tring the alarm rings
As I keep saying just wait
Let me catch my 40 winks
But alarm says it'll be too late

I get up, half bleary, half blind
Why does the day begin so early?
No escaping the daily grind
I assure myself surely

List of chores waiting to be done
How time flies I have no clue
Mornings cannot be fun
With thousands things to do

The coaxing begins with my son
To get him out of bed
Do I smell something burn?
O darn! its that toasted bread

Tempers fly tantrums thrown
Things all go astray
A house akin to a war zone
Everyone enters the fray

One morn I let the music play
All of us soon catch the beat
Some hands clap and some hands sway
and then some tapping feet

Same old chores, same old things
Same old tasks to do
A small bell in my mind rings
Is it a diferent me or is it you?

Happy times peppy mood
I wish everyday were this way
Then again if mood is good
It makes a perfect start to a day

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nine months

Child birth stories always fascinate me. I simply love the anticipated wait towards the D-day and the excitement that follows. My neighbour just delivered a baby boy and two of my friends are due any time now. The funny thing with my neighbour was that she had many a false alarms and used to frequently rush to the hospital for getting the baby's pulse and health monitored. She had a difficult pregnancy and so every time she would rush to the hospital I used to wonder if this was it. Finally the day dawned when she was supposed to attend my son's birthday party and I came to know she was in labour. The baby arrived and soon there was me and her and another neighbour excitedly swapping the labour and child birth stories. You see a new mother is always excited about sharing these kind of stories. It is almost an accomplishment in it itself or so it feels. The joy is unique in its own ways and nothing in the world can parallel it. One thing I learnt from both of them who are now second time moms is that even during the second time around a mother feels the same rush of emotions, excitement and joy. There is absolutely no been-there-done-that-so-what's-new kind of a feeling.

The entire nine month run is filled with thrills. Some of the memorable events that most women and their partners go through are the confirmation of the pregnancy news, the visuals of the first sonography and then the one in which the baby can be seen, the first baby kick and the actual arrival. For the woman these nine months are a roller coaster ride of emotions.There are moments of pain - the morning sickness, food cravings or nausea and vomiting. In the vomitting season there is usually a fear of not making it to the vomit pot in time especially when you are in office and the rest room is way towards the other end. There also are those moments of funny mood swings which most of the time make the lady in question a drama queen. With the hormones having a field day most women feel tearful at the drop of a hat like watching a movie, husband refusing to relinquish the remote control or any such otherwise normal situations. Then there are those patience testing moments when everyone around offer unwanted advice that at times are throughly confusing.

The fruits of patience sure are sweet but as the countdown begins it gets pretty uncomfortable in those last few days when your belly probably feels as if it weights more that your entire body weight. Moving around especially changing positions when sleeping becomes akin to moving an elephantine load. Most mothers would agree that sleeping in itself becomes a challenge but imagine that in these moments of discomfort too, there is a certain joy in tracking and feeling the movements of a tiny being inside. One finds close family and friends indulging in various games whenever there is a pregnant woman in the house. The game where one guesses form the movements wheather that was the hand or the head of the baby that just moved. The other is guessing the gender of the unborn from the shape of the stomach or from the food cravings. But nothing beats the game of rushing the lady in labour to the hospital finally knowing that the big moment is here and the miracle of life ready to begin its journey into this world.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Health in your hands

Health is in my hands...or so I believed. I always thought I was on track healthwise by maintaining a good balance of exercise and diet. I have always been regular with exercise and have always maintained a frugal diet. However I was in for a shocking discovery. Recently me and my husband checked in at a local hospital for a battery of medical tests covered in the health package that was being offered as an incentive at my husband's work place. Like all healthy people, I was convinced that none of my tests are going to highlight any caution or read anything negative. However one week later when the reports arrived we realized that both of us were way past the accetable limits of cholestrol and tryglycerides. In fact what was alarming that there was absolutely no manifestation when in fact the cholestrol levels were shooting through the roof. The cardiac surgeon advised increase in fiber intake and to completely avoid any sweet and fried food. The diet needed to be supported by daily aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk. It made me think at this rate I was perhaps headed for a cardiac arrest maybe by the time I touch 40. It made me also think why are all the good things in life sinful? Fried potatoes, ice creams and desserts and I can go on. I remember my days as college going kid when internet and media had not invaded our homes and our lifes and in a way we were blissfully unaware of leading a heatly lifestyle. There was a certain joy in eating food without the guilt of how many calories we were consuming. Ignorance was really bliss I say.

So lifesytle diseases, the new age word that has been written about so much was more closer home and I had to do something about it. If I did not succeed in reducing my cholosterol levels, I was going to have to rely on pills for a life time. Since that was unacceptable I decided to take control of the situation and made a few changes in my diet and exercise. I drastically reduced sugar intake, added more fiber to the diet like carrots and radish in meals and oats for breakfast and also shifted from doing just weights to taking a brisk walk. Sure enough the test results done a month and a half later showed that all this had paid off. My husband's triglycerides are back in the normal range and my cholestrol has dropped. I am still slightly over the upper limit but the results have been encouraging.

I often dream of being fighting fit at forty and perhaps this was a check done at the right time. I have decided to go in for a health check up every year from now on. What good is a long life without good health?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Terrace Garden

Gardening can be quite a stress buster. I did not realize this until I had a small terrace garden set up. I have all along seen my mother nuture and grow plants of different varietes in her garden but now that I have my own house I realise what a pleasure it is to grow my own.
Though my garden is small it took quite an effort scouting around for pots and plants. I made trips to several nurseries and zeroed in on plants of my choice. Before that I had to decide the layout and accordingly decide on the number of pots and their sizes. Finally Golden bottle brush and Frangipani it was that I would plant in the bigger pots. My terrace is graced by sunlight only for a couple of hours in the mornings in winter and Balsams not only thrive in such conditions but also add vibrant colours to the otherwise green garden. Yes Frangipani too would need sunshine and I am hoping and waiting for the day when I get to smell the sweet fragrance of its flowers. A small swing, a couple of chairs and a coffee table complete the garden making it the perfect place to relax and unwind so much so that I cannot help but write a poem on my lovely plants....

You bring smiling sunshine in my life
As I look at you I cannot escape a smile

With multitude vibrant colours you bloom
Making sure to take away all the gloom

U teach me to be selfless at best
Expect none in return but give joy with zest

But that is not all that I learnt from you
Lessons of life, so simple yet so true

You have lots to teach than meets the eye
Not mere beauty as deemed by a passer by

The cold of the winter fails to diminish your glow
With each falling leaf more confident you grow

Knowing in your heart that when comes spring
A new lease of life with it, it will bring

A new brighter self will be revelaved
The old and dried, cast away or peeled

A glorious new you sashaying in the breeze
An avatar donned once back from freeze

New shoots, new blossoms and new leaves
An opportunity to thrive that you have seized

As I sit besides you on the swing I dwell
Will your virtues rub on me as well?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Year end reflections

Yet another year goes by
And I begin to wonder
Have I stopped to spare a thought
About all the things that are to ponder

Good things, bad things, things that happened
Things that happened to me
Things that I had to work hard for
Things that happened for free

In friends and family and their love
My guardian angels I found
Who were there to help me cope
With the pressures of life as they mount

Friends who spread the Christmas cheer
Taught me the art of giving
Took time out from busy schedules
To share some wisdom and preaching

Unabashed love showered by a son
As mother-son bond grows tight
Is it God that I am experiencing?
Or am I basking in His light?

Neighbours saw each other through thick and thin
They were absolutely God sent
To care for us when we were sick
To sit with us by our bed

Reflecting on life in retrospection
Part of life are ebb and flow
Moments of high and moments of low
But they all sure help you grow

All my loved ones,near and dear ones
If it weren't for you I wouldn't be me
It is only your abundant love I seek
I consider myself blessed you see