A Single Step

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu

Or in my case, with this beauty that finally arrived a month late.

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Ok, time to get cracking on those 1000 miles now! 😉

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My 18 for 2018

You know that I absolutely LOVE to come up with goals and plans for the new year (whether or not I keep them is another story). On many of the podcasts and blogs that I follow, people are coming up with their “18 for 2018” – setting their goals and intentions for the new year. This is exactly the sort of thing that is right up my alley, so couldn’t resist coming up with my own list.

You ready? Ok, here it is:

  1. Try 300 new recipes
  2. Walk a 1000 miles
  3. Use tote bags for groceries
  4. Read the Harry Potter series
  5. Clear out and de-clutter at least one closet or one room every month
  6. Puppy for the family – figure it out and make it happen in the first quarter
  7. No more than two cups of caffeine per day
  8. No more than one pack of sugar per coffee
  9. No vending machine snacks at work
  10. Make albums of family and vacation pictures
  11. Learn to french braid the munchkins’ hair
  12. Listen to at least one podcast every day
  13. Write at least four blog posts every month (here’s the first one for January!)
  14. Try six new restaurants near home
  15. Use my Nutribullet at least twice a week to make smoothies
  16. Have friends over at least once every quarter
  17. Lunch date with N every month
  18. Go watch “Hamilton” on Broadway

Love my list (if I say so myself). Cannot wait to get started! Especially on 1 and 2 (I mean, the clock is a-ticking).

Did you come up with your 18 for ’18? Do share!

This Week’s Smiles

IMG_3005Things that made me smile this week:

  • Lighting up our little Christmas tree every evening. We have had this tree since we moved to our house 13 years ago – when little N was 2, and little A was not on our radar yet. 😉  Our tree is tiny (about 4 feet high), and brimming with ornaments that we have collected over the years (and a few that the kids made in pre-school). Just glancing in the tree’s direction fills me with joy!
  • Visiting the Holiday Market in Philadelphia today. Little N has a weekly orchestra rehearsal in Philly. We are combining her business with pleasure for the rest of us. 😉 We buy four ornaments for our little tree every year (five, if Amma happens to be here with us). We found our ornaments for last year at a little Russian booth at the Holiday Market.  Will likely pick up this year’s ornament there as well. Super excited for what we might find today!
  • Celebrated Kaarthigai Deepam this week. Lighting up the pretty little lamps and candles is such a delight! (although, note to self: Really need to get more velakkus organized before Kaarthigai and not try to wing it on the day off)
  • Made moong daal chilas for N’s breakfast (all protein, super yum – win win!)
  • Got on the Amazon website and actually bought a few things (this is HUGE for a shopaphobic and under-spender like me)
  • Bit the bullet (after much prodding by N), splurged and bought myself a treadmill desk (woooooohooooo!!!!). It’s being delivered next week. Cannot wait to become svelte and fabulous exercise chick. 🙂

What made you smile this week?

These are the Good Old Days

Yen vaazhvil sarkkarai nimidam…

Worked from home today. Called N at 5:30 pm, at the end of a super busy work day. He was still knee-deep in work, and said that he would maybe start for home in another half hour or so.  As I stood in my kitchen stirring the venn pongal I was making for dinner (super yum!), I looked out my window at the pitch dark evening. “How can people possibly bear to still be at work when it looks like midnight”, I wondered.  I, personally, have been incredibly fortunate to be home when the kids come back from school for more than 10 years now (while working full-time, thank you very much).

Little N was at an event this evening, and little A was working on something in her room. The house seemed strangely quiet and empty for that early evening hour. That’s when it hit me – this weird sense of pre-emptive nostalgia. I wondered if this is how it would be when the chickis leave home for college. “Would I continue to come home from work at 3 pm?”, I wondered idly. To answer that – I first thought “yes” (after all, have completely lost touch with sitting full day at work). But how crazy and aimless would that be? Suddenly had a clear vision of future self – Standing in the same kitchen watching two school buses whizzing by at 3 pm; Pining for the munchkins to waltz in through the front door, fling their backpacks carelessly on the nearest chair, and hungrily demand Maggi noodles, candy, and other such nutritional horrors; and Missing the evenings spent on never-ending homework, and rushing to one activity or another all the time. Sigh!

Earlier this week, I was in NYC for work. Crammed all my meetings into the morning, skipped lunch, worked and took calls on the ride back, and made it back home by 2:45 pm before little A’s school closed for the day. It’s all self-inflicted, of course. The munchkins are old enough, and do quite well on their own. Plus, my neighbor S was home and had offered to keep an eye out for little A if she came home before little N did. But that wasn’t enough for me. I have somehow always felt an intense need to be home when the girls are home. All this huffing, puffing, juggling, and scrambling make for some super busy days sometimes. But to me, it’s the only way that I want to do it.

November is supposed to be the month of gratitude (who came up with that?!). Honestly, haven’t had a single thankful thought so far this month (v. bad). But, as I stood alone in my kitchen, sipping my hot masala chai (dude, needed my chai to deal with all these feelings), I felt a rush of gratitude. And realized that it is true – these are indeed the good old days. Precious times – in the guise of the mundane and the routine – to be savored and cherished.

For this season of sweetness in my life, I am truly thankful.

Touche 4

It’s been a while since I wrote my last post in the “Touche” series. So, if you are wondering why I am randomly starting with Touche 4 (like Star Wars), please go back and check out my Touche, Touche 2 and Touche 3 posts for context.

So. With that out of the way – do you remember that I come up with a “word for the year”?  Well. The word for 2018 suddenly came to me a couple of days back, totally out of the blue.  I shared my word with N and the munchkins (will share with you later), and asked them to come up with their words for the year.  N (surprisingly) cooperated immediately, and came up with “optimistic” for his word.  “I am going to be more positive and optimistic in the coming year”, N remarked.

Before I could congratulate him on a well-chosen word, little A (who always just happens, in such instances, to be sitting nearby) said (pointing to N’s cup of green tea), “so, Daddy, is the cup half-full or half-empty?” N laughed and said “It doesn’t work like that, babes.”  But before he could go any further, little A continued nonchalantly, “Actually, whether the cup is half-full or half-empty depends on what is in the cup.”

Step aside, Jack Handey. Your Deep Thoughts successor has arrived!! 🙂

Priorities

My gentle readers (if you are still out there),

Here are some earth-shattering questions for you to consider.

First of all, do you keep a to-do list? If not, you are done here. You can go home now.

If you are still here – when you have 20 things on your to-do list, which ones do you tackle first?

Do you hunker down and get through the most important task first (like all the good books say you should)?

Or do you start with the easiest possible tasks and cross them off your list happily, until you get to a point when only the most ugh! tasks remain?

At which point, do you then start polling your gentle readers on how they manage their priorities? 😉

Che, done with all my yummy tasks for the day. Afternoon tasks are looking mildly bleak. Tea time is at least 3 hours away. Best get on with it, I guess.

Hope you did better than me with your priorities this morning! 🙂