To say that January has WHIZZED BY in a blink of an eye, is accurate. This month has also been rough.
Hello, children of the sun!
Let me first say that I’m mighty proud of myself for actually posting in here, BEFORE it being a month. I mean, how amazing is that? “Blogging Tuesday” was the plan, but then I like my Thursdays as well.
Today, I want to talk a bit on Bullet Journaling. If you don’t know what it is then, I highly suggest you go on Instagram or YouTube, do a random search, lower your expectations and come back to this post.
Yes, I know. I never thought I will ditch my old school planner for a bullet journal either because it’s just too much work. Old school planners are great but finding that right fit is like trying to find that perfect pair of jeans. It’s a shit tonne of work. But I haven’t given up on old-school planners, it’s been a 10+ year long relationship with. We are in transition okay.
In 2017, I was gifted a beautiful Moleskin one, but it was too bulky, too heavy and had tooooo much space. Late last year I bought a basic planner for 2018 but the finish was meh and before I knew it, the pages were coming off the little silver binding section – mind you we were still in April? Clearly, it was too late buy a new planner at this time of the year and I for one do not do branded planners. Unless of course, it’s someday from my own company.
So I watched a shit tonne of Bullet Journal videos and knew that it while it was perhaps too ambitious for me – I mean the watercolour and lettering and other potentially time-wasting activities, I was determined to give it a go. Nearly a month in – this was super co-incidental! – I can say that it’s a love-hate relationship. Maybe more love, most of the time.
So a month after, here are a few images of what things are looking like.
I’ve seen people do these “plan with me” posts, but to be honest, I don’t really use the stickers and other stationery. I mean I did start by using some chalk, pink and blue pens and a yellow highlighter. I added a pink highlighter to keep the “(work) due dates” separate from the “meetings”. But will I add more stationery besides the occasional post-it when shiz gets real?
I might, however, do a very basic version of what I included. Trust me, I don’t have fluff. I tried a tracker and it’s currently sitting at z-e-r-o. What wonderful progress.
It’s been a long time coming. I say this a lot, I know but this has been a long time coming. I made this “reminder” sometime back and never checked it off. In fact, a few months after it was created, I even removed the due date as I wasn’t sure if this would ever kick off.
But we are here, with a new domain. It’s still a personal domain and I can’t add plugins and all, I know, I know. But it’s a start. I’m not sure what overcame me, but I found myself using Mama’s credit card and the next thing I know I have a receipt from WordPress.
I also did another exciting change. The “Et Cetera” menu actually has a lot of the older blog posts, BECAUSE I KNOW TO MIGRATE AND SHIZ NOW. How cool is that?
I want to also write more on travel. This is something I am quite excited about.
I also want to focus on other stuff I’ve become more involved in as an “adult” including the likes of:
- writing and making a living out of it
- some yoga
I hope you are as excited as I am. Many thanks to those that drove this little decision’s inspiration: my friend Ashen’s writing, Lily Pebbles’ Blog, the wonderful Anna’s Blog and my sister who sat by me as I added to my piling mountain of (maternal) debt.
Until next Tuesday, or sooner.
To my dearest,
I know you think it’s silly that I am writing to you, truth be told, it is.
I haven’t written letters in a long time, let alone one that wouldn’t be open by the intended recipient. But I think it’s probably wise you know on why I have decided on taking the decisions I did. Again, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll read it but I need to get it off me, so here we are.
It might sound ironic, but I love children. Especially little ones. I like to think it’s my mental age, but I get along with them, probably because I am jealous of them being able to simply eat, poop and nap whenever they want. It’s the simple life I’m a little jelly of. But besides that, we get along. There are building blocks, Barbie dolls and unintelligible noises. How wonderful.
But no, I don’t want any of my own.
Yes, you are right my love, I am being selfish. But I have a good reason for being selfish and I want you to hear me out.
I am scared for you. I am going to be that helicopter parent even after you are married and leave me because I will be always protective of you. We might always argue because while I would make sure you are independent and go by bus and do your own thing, I might also follow you from a distance.
Why am I being a creep you ask?
Because, this world we live in is sickening. It’s so sick that neither men nor women are safe anymore. I don’t want you to grow up here in Sri Lanka. But do I want you to grow up in another country? I really don’t know.
Either way, I don’t want you to be a part of this ridiculous petty competition that is currently prevailing. By not being a part of it, I don’t want you to really be cornered or bullied. It’s bad enough that I as your Mother come with the anxiety and depression, let’s try to at least keep that away from you. God forbid there isn’t something else they’ve discovered by then.
I know you will grow up in a safe and liberal environment. If you tell me when you are old enough that your sexual orientation differs to what our “culture” defines as “normal”, my love, you will still be my baby and so will your partner. If you tell your (now) Agnostic Mother that you want to embrace an established (or new) religion, I am fine with that as well. Let’s hope that you don’t incline towards Scientology or Paganism. We might have a few problems there.
But in reality, there is only so much that I can do to protect you. Despite being a creep, I would still grant you your independence and I know you wouldn’t exploit it. But I cannot be there always. What would happen when I look away? Or when I am not there anymore? Will those around you protect you and have equally accommodating liberal ideologies? Will they let you be who you are? If you say that you don’t want to study and invest in some crazy start up, would they be supportive? Who would be supportive? Would the minority conservative and fundamentalist society we have now grow to be something larger than it already is? I may have watched too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale and that’s what’s probably scaring me, but I had made up my mind before that.
I can’t have you in this country, let alone in this world because the world is not a good place. It is not a kind place. While there are people like Ellen who preaches kindness, not everyone really practices it. Not everyone shows the other person the respect they deserve.
I love little girls and would be thrilled if you a girl but then it scares me really. Would you as a little girl, grow up to face the same challenges and difficulties I did of sexual, physical and emotional abuse for the very reason that you are a woman?
This makes me think that boys have it easier. But not really I guess. Even if I were to raise you to be a man who stands up for good causes, would you be able to successfully make it out there without the support of your peers? Worse, how would you be able to deal with peer pressure and no, I don’t mean the drugs and the alcohol.
There’s so much more that I want to tell you and make you understand on why it’s simply a bad idea to have you here.
It’s my only hope that you would someday understand.
To Bhagya – who reflects along with me, even from a distance.
This was supposed to come in as a birthday post but that didn’t happen. New Year’s resolutions aren’t really my thing but most of 2017 has been spent a lot with a good deal of self reflection that has obviously resulted in the following. Here’s how I intend to make 2018 the Year of “Now”.
1. Be grateful
It’s not as though I was not grateful for 2017, but it’s fair to say that gratitude din’t come easy. I’ll hopefully be giving thanks once a day, I don’t know. I usually have a problem with…
2. Be(ing) ambitious.
It’s funny why this is a problem because I consider myself to be mildly narcissistic anyway, haha. But it doesn’t hurt to think a little more, dream a little bigger and know that if I aim for the stars that I will land somewhere on a coconut tree.
3. Take time off
I’ve been doing a lot of this already in 2017 be it when driving alone, eating alone or not doing anything significant. Hopefully there will be more of this in the year ahead.
4. Spend time with family
I would like to nail it down to age but family has become an integral part of my being. I can’t imagine life without family. While part of me lives in my fragmented memories of India a greater part of me is able to find roots here thanks to the time I’ve spent with my family. Here’s to being rooted for longer.
5. Spend time alone
I heal best when alone. There’s no harm in having a little extra healing as backup either.
6. Travel Sri Lanka more
Despite the shit state the country is in, I have love for this island. Work has been fortunate enough to take me around and here’s to seeing more of it.
7. Travel India more
2017 was glorious. Work once again took me to India a few times and Nepal, once. These travels have helped me find home in places I think I find myself.
8. Be at peace with myself
It’s still a work in progress.
9. Embrace myself
Because self-criticism comes easier. Here’s hoping that 2018 will not be rough.
10. Take each day as it comes
Because life is so fickle and we never know what the future has in store for us.
11. Save more
To help yourself, to help others and to see the world.
12. Take care of more people
Because altruism saves the world that helps save yourself.
13. Take care of myself
I’ve been falling sick more than I would have liked to. The last quarter of 2017 was rough. I’ve made friends with more hospital staff than I would’ve liked to. Here’s to healing and looking after my old soul.
14. Write more
To heal and to reflect. I’ve not been doing this as much as I should’ve. Hopefully giving thanks every night should set things right.
15. Connect more with colleagues
I like to compartmentalise my relationships. Never let one see what the side another would. Colleagues would always remain at work and friends at the bar. But 2017 has taught me that blurring the lines between the two can bring about changes, good changes. Here’s to opening up and making friends out of colleagues.
16. Appreciate nature
By being one with nature. Not seeing the world through a screen in 2017 has helped me be more in awe with everything around us, like sunrises.
17. Look forward to things
Yes, the very things I put down in my planner.
18. Compliment more
Especially women. I am unsure how men feel about complimenting each other but women feel great when other women compliment them and what better way than to uplift spirits of your sisters?
19. Say NO
To things I don’t want to do. The world has evolved, I’ve matured and I can say no when I want to.
20. Write more letters
Because letters heal. It heals those who write letters and it heals those who read them.
21. Try harder
Without giving up easily. While I do believe that good things take time, I can also be impatient in seeing results. Here’s to trying harder and not giving up easily.
In myself, in something.
23. Forgive myself
If not it would be difficult to believe in myself.
Because if have not healed, I will not be able to take care of myself.
25. Breathe deeply more often
Use the app or just practice it in traffic while driving. Breathing calms me down and brings clarity when things are blurry.
A little bit everyday. Yes, I fail. Drift off to sleep. Deviate. Think of things I have to do tomorrow but it doesn’t matter.
At the end of the year to see how far I’ve come. There’s no turning back now.
Picture – Sunrise at around 0614h in Puri, Orissa.
See I’m a closed up person. I’m not the book type where the more you get to read, the more I open up. In fact, I feel as though you are the wrong type of reader or you just don’t spend enough time in a library, you will be getting to read a different book. Actually, for every reader that gets the right book, every wrong reader gets a different book because, different approaches and let’s face it: I don’t want you comparing notes with each other.
However, (keeping in line to the excellent book analogy because I’m fabulous for thinking of it in the first place) all readers alike get a common introduction. #NoHate #AllLivesMatter I like to (try to) be funny, a bit chatty, open to listening and being a cheerleader about saving the world and spreading sunshine on rainy days #haw
Still for all, there are few things I don’t speak much on for various reasons among which include:
(Local and International) Politics
No, I’m not trying to be diplomatic about it. Truth be told, unless it’s the UNFCCC or your names happen to be Trudeau or Macron, I’m not interested in knowing about you either. Mostly because I am a little blissfully unaware about what really goes on. Shameful I know, but I’m not lying when I say that it bores me. Sometimes to near death. I’m not proud of it needless to say but at least I’m being honest about it and avoid partaking in conversations I don’t quite understand much of.
On How Parents Should Parent their Children
Of course I will give ample advise on how I would raise my unborn children and in my mind write countless blog posts about how wrong I think you are raising your own. But, I for one will most likely not be able to afford any of my own and since you are bravely raising children, I genuinely do believe that you have a better idea of what you are doing with your kid(s), I think.
While education is essential and a right for all, let’s face it. In reality, not everyone has access to it and due to various reasons, those who do have access to it sometimes leave it behind due to commitments, financial concerns, more lucrative job offers and the genuine lack of interest in wanting to study. While education is one way towards the road of smart(dom), it isn’t the only way and learning happens in everyday life and not just in an institution.
Sexuality and Gender
I added both, despite knowing very well that one is different from the other because I am unable to clearly explain as to how one differs from the other. My Gender Studies lecturer from 2012/2013 will be disappointed, I know. But like what you may, who you may and do whomever you please, so as long as you stay away from my man, you and I can always, ALWAYS drink together. I’ll even buy you a round.
Let’s just say, #AllBodiesAreBeautiful
and they are! If you are unable to see beyond that, you and I clearly cannot be friends.
Facebook Relationship Statuses
If you are not on Facebook, well I don’t think this would apply to you, but irrespective of you being single, married, widowed, divorced and any other new type of relationship you choose to be in, I’m chill, with the exceptions of you either complaining about your chosen status or making out with you bae next to meet when we meet every four months for dinner. (ew)
These include the beliefs and practices of my own, of yours and those around us. Unless otherwise provoked with hateful comments on any religion, I will continue to believe that all religions speak of love, unity and togetherness because that’s what all religions preach. I think.
This also means that I bear judgement (maybe a bit on parenting one tho) and have no biases (unless you are a child of war or divorce) on the different perspectives you and the rest of the world choose to believe in.
Because, personal space right?
We will soon speak on religion and agnosticism. However, if the sun chooses to shine and rays of inspiration hit me, I will speak of travels.
I found myself panicking during last year’s floods. It was probably the first time in my “adult” life that I had seen a calamity of that extent and moreover, affected to those closest to me. Devastated would be a more accurate word to describe what was going on. You know how ‘news becomes news’ to you noh, “if it is in vicinity” or something to that extent they teach you in journo class. It changed how I saw things. It gave more perspective to how I see consumption in the light of climate change and God forbid, it probably even made me more sensitive.
But then see, it is happening again.
Let’s be honest, sensitivity to those of us, don’t come easy and it actually comes by only once.
This time around, I am angry. I am furious.
Yes, I agree that people can’t sell their houses just like that and move away to higher ground. I understand not everyone has means to do so. But at least take precaution?
Let’s be honest, you had an year to prepare.
And no, this is not me blaming the government.
This is me blaming those who live by these riverbed areas who assume that their aeons of non-technical layman experience can overstep the word of science, measurements and accuracy. Almost, accuracy.
True, our DMCs and other organisations responsible need to up their game. They need to have better management, better organisation and the works. But for the latter, our private-funded ish volunteer-led associations have stepped up to liaise with them and there are better deeds happening. Or at least it seems so from behind this laptop screen.
But you, yes you who lives in these disaster-esq areas. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Are you taking precaution? Have you even looked into purchasing an insurance for your house? Do you have that emergency bag stacked up in a corner to take and go? The latter was a little practice we used to have (or imagining because I was little) during the time of the war, 94-96. We don’t have an emergency pack truth be told (I have one in my car), but should the necessity arise, my parents and I, will leave.
No material thing in your household is more worthwhile than your lives.
Yes, you might not be able to replace them for a long time, but someday you might or you could just steal them, I don’t know.
But this lack of preparation and organisation among the people affected really makes me angry. Why are they STILL not co-operating? Didn’t they lose enough last year? Christ, this scares me from behind a screen. Is this not real enough for you?
Also, has anyone posted a disaster-selfie just yet?
Oh hello to you too! I have a list of thankfuls for today because it seems like one of those days to be thankful for because it seems to be the only thing that makes sense just about now:
- Taking notes! A weird thing to be thankful for but the past few days have been really crazy and thanks to the 800 notes I have taken, things don’t seem too bad during this recovery period.
- The weather Gods for not raining on my lovely friend’s wedding. I’ve uploaded pictures on my Instagram. Just sayin’
- The little miracles that seem to be hitting me since the past few weeks. Makes me realise that things are not too bad after all.
- Upcoming holidays I plan to take with my favourite people, yay!
- Sobriety (ish) and I’ll leave it like that.
I hope all of you are having a good Thursday.
It’s March in 2017 and not only have I neglected this space but have also not been blogging. Sigh. There has been too much going on really. But then when I think about it, there hasn’t really been a lot going on. You know like when you are really busy but then it’s difficult to explain as to why you’ve been busy at the same time? Yes, that.
But it’s at times like these that I remember more than ever the things I am thankful for. To me, it’s that sort of motivation to keep going, keep fighting and pulling that Kelly Clarkson whenever possible.
I know it’s Thursday (and not Tuesday) but here is my current list of thankfuls in no particular order:
- The amazing people whom I have met and embraced to my life recently. I’m not one to make new friends, let alone fast friends but I have learnt that it isn’t too bad after all.
- Doctors, hospitals and similar (medicinal) healers for taking care of and lessening the burdens of a lot of my favourite people.
- The nice people at the Sampath Bank Thimbirigassaya branch who made my Monday (and Tuesday). Good service goes a long way.
- My family for making me food when I don’t ask them to and folding my clothes when I ask them not to (specifically my Mother, haha).
- Sleep and kottu roti – sometimes the best way to get away from problems and life alone is to find yourself a really nice kottu and go sleep on life itself.
I hope all of you are having a good Thursday.