Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 7 ~ Technology

I am grateful for technology - mostly the internet and all that it brings. I am grateful that it forces us to practice moderation.

I am grateful for all the tools of convenience in the kitchen, to aid in housework and to communicate. That I am just a text or a call away from my friends and family. That I can be in touch with friends and share what I ate for dinner or what clothes I am trying on or just tell them I am pissed off at something with the click of a button.

For being able to know whats happening around the world in real time, for improving my world view, for the inspiration via the internet. For the thousands of food related blogs, websites, photo albums etc that help me in my work, allow me to fantasize and live vicariously.

Grateful that I get to work and advertise my work without having to move my behind out of my chair. For movies and TV programming and cameras and all the other gizmos that keep me entertained.

For technology that helps monitor health conditions, repair and recover I am truly truly grateful. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 6 ~ Sage

Since this gratefulness exercise is not in order of preference, Sage makes an appearance only now. 

The joy of owning a pet is like nothing I can describe. They make you happy, sad, excited, anxious and crazy in a span of a few minutes. Sage to me is more than a pet. He has occupied a deep emotional space I didn't know I had. He has made me maternal, an instinct I didn't think I possessed. He is my constant companion at all times of night and day. He has loved me like no human being ever can and expects the world of me, but is satisfied with whatever I choose to give him. 

With his epilepsy, he has made me accept that no matter how good looking and perfect things look, there is always an unexpected and almost fragile part to everyone. He has made me patient, compassionate beyond what I thought possible and happy to just enjoy the moment. 

The gusto with which he eats, plays and simply sleeps has made me realise that I can slow down and enjoy these things. That one need not feel guilty if one wants an extra serving of food or love or sleep. 

Sage has made me let go of a lot of my territorial madness simply by sharing my living space, not sparing any cushion or pillow from his drool and messing up a perfectly made bed. He has also taught me not to take myself too seriously. 

It is difficult to write what I feel about this mad badly behaved pooch. But on the days when I am lonely, or sad or tired or have to sleep alone because K is travelling, I am grateful for this four legged creature that shares my life. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 5 ~ Work

Grateful for the work experiences I have had. The ones in my corporate career and all its phases. 

The first job at 16, earning a pittance, but what taught me the value of money. 

The first job post my MBA which made me think I am fancy and then brought me crashing down to realise I was the only woman, there were no toilets and people really viewed me as a nuisance more than anything. It made me swallow my ego, really learn my job so that I could speak with authority and knowledge and remember how much more there was for me to learn. 

The period of unemployment very early in life. Which made me desperate for opportunities, respectful of my skills and taught me to value myself and the opportunities I was given.

My phase of customer service, where I had no idea why everyone was unhappy with me although I was doing everything correctly. I realised that I needed to develop and fine tune my skills AKA practice voice modulation. My boss RS who inspired me with his integrity and taught me that sometimes one makes huge sacrifices for standing your ground.

Moving to Corporate Training which made me humble, swallow my ego and embrace the fact that I didn't have all the answers. It made me realise I have boundless energy and I am like an energiser bunny when I am inspired enough. The thrill when people I have trained remember and connect with me 7-8 years after they've attended a session. The success I enjoyed as a trainer was the most in all my professional roles. 

The confidence to let go of a regular job to do stuff on my own - writing, blogging and other things like selling garments in a pop up bazaar, all of which paid the bills even when I didn't have a regular job.  

Discovering what 'Dignity of Labour' meant to me in a very personal way, when I began making chocolates to sell. That I value every pie I earn because it comes from the labour of my two hands has been an empowering and humbling experience. The freedom to choose cooking classes. The very twisted satisfaction I get every time someone looks at me with pity when I say that I teach cooking (because I am weird like that, and hello, internally I am smiling). 

The balls err OK, spine to open a full fledged cooking studio. I didn't realise what a huge leap of faith it was till people started complimenting the move.  

Work that gives me money, satisfaction, freedom and the fire in my belly to do more. Work that has taught me to value my skills and my abilities, work that has made me overcome so many fears. I am grateful for this journey, because I know not many have the opportunity to experiment like I do. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 4 ~ Life

Yes, for the most obvious thing on earth ~ Life

I am grateful to experience this thing called life, its chances, its people, my fellow journeymen. The lessons it has taught me, the ones I remmeber and cling to, the ones I have forgotten.

For the brilliant chances and successes. For the utter failures - the ones I saw coming and the ones that gobsmacked me by surprise. For waking up every morning and having something of beauty to experience, a walk, a sunrise, a package, a hot steaming cup of coffee in absolute silence, an email from a reader, a phonecall from a classmate long forgotten.

For failures and the ability and opportunity to try again. For the resilience I have developed, for the joy and success. For everything this life has to offer and for the fact that I am consciously experiencing it, I am grateful.

For the love, laughter and fun times. The joys and successes, the friendships, the madness. The unending possibilities and the skies that I look at and smile. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day 3 ~ Friends

Where would I be without them? At every stage in my life, I have had at least one intense relationship with a friend. An all consuming one. 

Friends, from school, neighborhood, college, work and some I met off the internet. 

The ones from school, who taught me to be competitive, the ones who called me names and then reconciled, the ones who held my hand while I threaded my eyebrows for the first time, the ones I saw many a movies with, the ones who taught me telugu, insisting I speak it right, the ones I shopped with and didn't judge my sparse knowledge of fashion, the ones who grew up with me and helped me navigate rocky roads.

Friends of my late teenage years and early twenties, the ones I still am tied to. The ones who grew to be my soul mates, the ones I can talk to.

Friends from college, studying away from home, in a hostel for the first time, the ones I lived with.The ones who were my accomplices as we did stuff we don't want to acknowledge today :P

Friends from work, especially those who taught me how to use tact and be more subtle. The ones who are firmly entwined in my life even today. The ones I discussed work with, trends in our line of business and office politics. 

Friends from blogging, who seemlessly integrated into my life, the ones I speak to on an almost daily basis. For those of whom, even if I stop blogging, will always remain in my life. 

I've named a lot of them over the years in the posts I've written, but again here today, as I type this out their faces flash through my head. 

Friends teach you many things. They are the most accepting of who you are and don't judge you for what you become eventually either by choice or fate. They inspire and help and kick your ass if needed. They will keep your secrets and make fun of your hardest choices just to keep it light and real. I've had inspiration and energy from my friends, I have at various times drawn from their lives, their experiences and their convictions. I am always grateful for finding them. 

I spent today at a spa with two of my closest friends. It is an apt theme for gratitude today. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 2 ~ Family

I'm grateful for my family. My parents taught me the value of education more than anything and perseverance. I think more than anything else, Amma has been someone who has showed by example. She's not one of the wisest people around, but her spirit is undefeated. She's taught me what steely nerves and grit are made of, and that they can be encased in the softest hands and the most genuine of smiles. 

I have imaginary conversations with my father, what he would be like if he was alive, what we would have talked about, and how proud he would have been if he saw me today. I regret not spending more time with him. 

Peddi who taught us table manners, soft spoken-ness, correct grammar and would whoop my ass if I was being an asshole. I am more like her than Amma, I even look like her and have her voice. 

My brother A, the mad sibling, the guy who is the male version of me. Emotional, irrational at times and a temper that matches mine. In a lot of ways, even tho I sometimes don't agree with what he does, in a strange way, I understand his point totally. We've had a see saw type of relationship... stuck at the hip and then ready to gouge each other's eyes out. Yet, if I had one person to pick to bail me out of anything, it would be him. And I know its the same for him too. We just need to speak more often. 

While the memories of my teenage and childhood are fading and I remember vividly just the major milestones, the biggest influence on me these past few years is my MIL. A woman who is atleast 50 years ahead of our times, she has taught me patience and resilience. She stands for being reasonable and is a source of quiet strength.

Cousins, extended family and everyone else. Fun childhood despite the very humble means, we made memories with whatever we had. Some of my cousins I retain a bond with, some I have vague memories of. They've all contributed to the bank of things I pull out and use from time to time. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 1 ~ K

I am starting this year with a seven days of gratefulness exercise.

2014 ended with a bang! Quite literally I mean. We went to my friends B & J's for a party. The terrace was done up with fairy lights and candles, like a wonderland. There was great food, booze, no music and just a few people enough to have proper conversations with. Oh yeah Sage ran amok for a while and had to be seriously reprimanded.

After the party and dinner, on our way out, I was sort of fast trotting because Sage had a loo call and before I realised what happened, excruciating pain and immobility told me I was down on the ground, in a heap, in a rather ungraceful pose, because I fell with all my might and twisted my ankle. I was sure I had a fracture, I shuddered which doctor would be available at 3.45 AM on a new years day.

So what am I grateful for? K

He's my partner of almost 19 years, my best friend, lover and the keeper of my spirit. I usually forget how fortunate I am to have him to journey this life with, because I am so used to having him around. I am grateful I fell in love with him, his intelligence and his courage. I am grateful I married him because I almost didn't.

It is easy to see the warts and pick on him, like I wrote here. But on days like today, when I am laid up in bed, wincing in pain and wondering how the house and schedule of which I am the 100% custodian will manage, he steps in. Goofy face and troubled voice cannot hide his concern.

He helps me out of my clothes, into my night clothes, inspects my foot, puts on some pain relieving ointment, gives me some tabs, props my foot up on a pillow, tucks me in and asks me to sleep and it will be all better tomorrow he says. I want to scream, in pain, in embarrassment at my clumsiness, in anger and in sheer helplessness. He insists it is not a fracture that I am convinced of. And I want to scream back with "what would you know? It hurts so bad" but exhaustion takes over and I sleep.

When I wake up, he has walked the dog, fed and medicated him, made himself some awful coffee, ordered breakfast and asked our friends if they can bring over some lunch, with extras to last a few days because he cannot cook. through the day, he keeps the house spic and span, even cleans the kitchen and I wonder if this is the same slothful guy I've lived with all these years. He stays at my side, icing my foot, massaging it, putting on my sprain bandage and asking me to will myself to be better.

I take pictures and send them to all my friends on whatsapp. Poking fun at him, but inside, I am overwhelmed with the tenderness and love that he is showering over me. I am grateful for his care. I am grateful for his encouragement, for the way he talks sense even when enraged. Most of all I am grateful he chose me to be with.

The next time I am mad about a wet towel on the freshly made bed, I will come back and read this post. :)