Thursday, January 17, 2019

Post # 2 - Goals Galore

One of my closest friends and myself made this pact a couple of years back that we’ll try and meet each month. We did well the first year and almost met our target. The second year we managed to meet 4-5 times and in the third year (which was 2018) we met twice. Any guesses to the one resolution that we've both made this year?!

Making resolutions is easy. It’s the following them through which is hard. I’ve been thinking a lot about my inability to make my resolutions happen and the honest truth is that I expect miracles. I expect the universe to get into action and get the wheels within wheels moving just because I’ve made a list. And we all know that’s not how the universe works. 

Ideal goal list - write, read, party & smell the roses!
So how is this year going to be different? 

I don't have a clear answer to this question. What I do know is that I just don’t want things to continue the way they are. I’ve realised we keep postponing things as if we have endless time on this planet. We don’t. I don’t know when the Grim Reaper might come knocking at my door and I don’t want to go with him (or is it her?) with a long list of regrets. It sounds like such a cliche’ when people say life is too short but it IS too short. When I think of all the days I’ve spent not living to my full potential, I feel like giving a call to the GR. Which is not actually such a good idea considering that I’ve just jotted down a list of goals. 

Another list? 

Yes. It’s not new. Some of the goals are old which have been clinging to me like my son does. There is, however, a different method to the madness this year. Instead of result oriented goals like, ‘I’m going to read 100 books in 2019’, my reading goal is to try and read for 20 mins a day. Even if I don’t meet the 100 book target, maybe I might make it halfway, or end up reading 20 books. Which will be so much better than the six books I read in 2018. My lowest book count to date. *hides under the table*

I don’t know where 2019 will take me but I do know where I want to take myself in 2019.  Hey universe, are you listening?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Post # 1 - Resolutions: Evolution or confusion?

How further in into the new year does one start implementing new year resolutions? I ask because twelve days have passed and I’m yet to implement any one of my not-that-long list of resolutions. Mainly because the most important one, get more sleep, is just not happening! Even as I’m writing this, my mind is half-numb with lack of uninterrupted sleep. And a half-numb mind is a dangerous thing. Or in my case, boring.

I’m a believer in resolutions. But belief only doesn’t lead to execution. Or evolution. You see, the whole point of resolutions is to change into a better person - to evolve. But evolution takes time as Charles Darwin will vouch and a list of ten or something resolutions can't lead to major life changes. Or can it? 

The problem with resolutions is that we all tend to set lofty goals. For example you might say, ‘I’ll work on my work-life balance’. That sounds great but how do you propose to do it? What are the everyday steps you’re going to take towards tipping the balance? See, this is where it gets tricky. So when I resolve to write more, what do I mean? Will I write more blog posts, make entries in my journal or work on fiction? Similarly, when I resolve to read more, how do I plan to do it considering I have 18 month old twins? 

What I’ve realised this year is that the key to achieving my resolutions and thus, changing things for myself, is to set small goals. For every resolution I make, I need to have small everyday goals towards achieving that lofty goal. Yes, it all sounds so perfect and do-able but I know, deep down, that it isn’t going to be easy. But then, what is easy? And I think I’ve had enough of easy. Now I want to challenge myself and do things. And hopefully go places by doing those things and maybe, make an impact on the lives of others. 

Resolutions, if kept sincerely and followed through, do have the power to change your life. And it’s never too late to take control of your life and take it where you want. Even if it is just to the bed for a quick nap when the twins are out for their afternoon walk!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Day 5 - I've decided to show up every single day

Even if it's to write a single line. A line will lead to two lines and eventually I'll be able to write a paragraph and so on and so forth. With twins and daily chores, writing takes a back seat. I try and get almost everything done while they're taking a nap and well, their nap is usually for two hours in the afternoon so there isn't much time. But honestly speaking, there are little pockets throughout the day. Little nuggets of time which I can make good use of provided that I can steer myself away from YouTube. My addiction to makeup videos is super embarrassing. And ofcourse, the past two weeks I was combing through the internet for pictures of Deepika & Ranveer's wedding. *hides under the writing desk*

Anyways, the point is to report at my desk every single day. Showing up every day has to result in content and it might be mediocre at first but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, was it? 

The blank screen - a writer's nightmare

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Day 4 - When I decide to share

I've never really thought of sharing my writing with anyone. There are many reasons for it. Some which go as far back as Grade 5 but that is a story for another day and blog post. Mainly I've found it difficult to share because I feel my writing is a) not good enough, b) won't resonate with anyone and c) nobody will read it. 

But after almost eight years on the beanbag, I think it is time to share my blog. Life is too short and unpredictable and I don't want to have this regret that I didn't do certain things in my life. Already the regret bin is overflowing. Better not add more stuff to it.  

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Day 3 - Where I talk about baby shark and my childhood

Sharks weren't very popular with us when we were kids. Maybe it was Jaws which set the tone for how we were to think of sharks for the rest of our lives. When we were growing up, sharks were not wearing ties or tutu and dancing - they were ruthless killing machines. And somehow a bunch of us cousins made it our mission to kill a shark and save mankind from utter ruin and devastation. Or so we thought.

Imagine six kids, between the ages of 14 and 4, who held meetings (mostly outdoors) every week during hot, sweltry July afternoons in Karachi. Why afternoons? Well, that was the time when our moms were mostly out to buy stuff (trips to Zainab market and Tariq Road), our grandfather was taking his afternoon nap, our Uncle was at his job and our grandmother was engrossed in her Urdu digest magazine. The servants were also not around and so, it was the perfect time for conducting meetings to discuss how we were going to, well, kill a great white shark.

I think I've skipped the most important part of this entire endeavour. Each one of us (except our eldest cousin) was supposed to bring some sort of snack at the meeting. Before the meeting started, we placed our respective snacks on the table as a sort of offering and prayed for success. I recall our last meeting very vividly. We were all sitting on folding chairs in the porch (I'm not sure if we had the pedestal fan or not) with the table laden with goodies in the centre and each of us was trying to come up with a grand plan. My eldest cousin suggested we talk to my mother's uncle who was in the airforce as we might require air power to kill the shark. But how will we go out in the ocean in the first place? A valid question raised by another cousin. To which I had replied that my paternal uncle would help us as he was in the navy. With the logistics settled we started munching on the biscuits and daal moong and cake rusk when suddenly a voice broke the spell, asking us what we were doing sitting in the hot summer afternoon in the car porch?

It was our grandmother who, finding the house very quiet considering her six grandchildren were around, had put her digest away and got up to investigate. I think she was amused but we were terrified. We had taken stuff from the cabinets which we knew we weren't allowed to unless we got permission from an adult. And the cook had been complaining for some time that the dry goodies were disappearing rather quickly. Anyways, our grandmother told us all to get our asses inside, put the goodies on the dining table and do something constructive like read a book or play a board game.

We were quite disappointed that our secret was discovered. What came as a bigger disappointment in the evening was when we told the details of our mission to the elders at the dinner table and our uncle told us that there are no great white sharks in the Arabian Sea.

Childhood is so innocent and now, when all of us cousins are in different countries and haven't come together in years, these memories are a reminder of the good times we shared. Memories have a way of resurfacing and while I hadn't thought of those 'shark-hunt' meetings for years, they came back to me one evening as the twins were listening to the current nursery rhyme sensation, Baby Shark. At least the sharks have nothing to fear from this generation.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Day 2 - Where I talk about my 8 years on Twitter

I was a Twitter junkie till a few months back. I checked Twitter first thing in the morning and several times during the day. It was my go to place for all kinds of news and without reading the newspaper or watching television, I knew what was happening in the city, the country and the world. And then one morning I realized that I'd turned into a sponge. I was just absorbing news,  updates, viewpoints, rants and letting it all affect me. Didn't I have enough stress of my own? Why was I increasing it ten times more by reading stuff I didn't agree with or found outright unacceptable at times? 

I got off Twitter. My account still exists and the app is still on my phone but I'm not clicking on it every time I turn on my phone. It was weird at first to not be abreast of what was happening in the world but at the same time, it was strangely liberating. I was free of hearing what others had to say and even though most of the people I follow are ones whom I like, they're still 'others' and I guess I'm at a point in my life where I don't want to hear what they have to say. Not because what they are saying is pointless or unimportant but because everything they say affects me deeply. 

Maybe being a new mom has made me sensitive and more fragile. Maybe seeing my grandparents grow old and helpless has made me sad and question the meaning of life. I don't know what it is but I just feel Twitter isn't the space for me at the moment. It's a great space and it's still my go to source when I need information but that's all it is at the moment. Nothing more, nothing less. 

How does social media affect your life? 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Day 1 -I return to the beanbag & talk about my twins

Day 1 of my return on the beanbag. May it be long-lasting. Amen!

It's not that I don't get little windows now and then during the day to write. It's just that somehow, after managing the twins most of the day along with juggling everything else in life, the brain refuses to get into creative mode. As soon as the twins doze off in the afternoon, my brain, too, goes into sleep mode and avoids any task which requires thinking/pondering/creating. Which is the reason why I've not come back to my writing even after a year and some months have passed since I've had my twins. 

Who are my twins? N & Z. Sister and brother. Two little bundles of energy, curiosity and of course, joy! Though when they sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night, joy is the last emotion I register. Being a parent is an experience unlike any other. It's the one job we don't get any formal training for even though it is the most important one we ever do. Taking care of a tiny being - of a minuscule human life who is completely dependent on you is the stuff of, honestly speaking, nightmares. Yet it somehow comes so naturally - or at least it did for me. I won't deny that it wasn't daunting and at times, frustrating, confusing and very tiring but I never really had to refer to a book for advice after the twins were born. Not that there is any shortage of advice in our society - from the mother-in-law to the maid, everyone is an expert when it comes to babies.

Alas, time is passing by too quickly and my babies are already 14+ months. I'm trying to capture their childhood in a little notebook which I've been keeping since their birth. It's a diary I'm keeping for them of their milestones, special events, achievements etc. I hope to give it to them on their 18th birthday. The problem is that there is the one notebook and both of them will want to keep it (or so I think!). Well, they can get copies made 'cause Mommy Shark gets to keep the original.