Small wins

Yesterday, one of the things that made me smile was execution of a small promise to myself. A visit to the bakery supplies shop was pending from long time, and I finally did it. It may seem what is the big deal to go out to a nearby shop. But for me it is.

I cannot attribute the reasoning to laziness, but more because of apprehension of situations going wrong, even if I know the truth. It takes ample amount of willpower from my side to get ready and get out of the house, walking upto the shop, or taking the scooter through the traffic, or making a fool of myself at the shop by asking weirdly-phrased questions. The difficult part is indeed the getting out. Yet, I have returned innumerous times, driving back fast home to my cocoon, skipping the shop visit.

Is it that important to buy the items offline which would be available online too? May be not, but the emphasis is on completing something I wished. The same goes for dance fitness classes too. There are many days I feel like not going and cuddle up on sofa whole day long. But at times what brings me out of the rabbit hole would be the upcoming programme practice, or my liking for the peppy song being choreographed at the moment, or the high of expectation to see familiar faces and chit chat with them.

Till the recent past, I kept complaining about not having any close friends with whom I can be myself with. It was also one of my new year goals to improve my social life. I was yearning to live an extrovert’s life, but was unable to do so. I slowly realised that I am not an extrovert, and the smile I pasted on my face is because of the social conditioning to “keep smiling” for the friendly image. It was an eye opening thought to accept that its okay to share if you are feeling low, and reply accordingly to the question, “How are you?” or “All well?”

I have heard people labeling persons as “weirdo” because of their conversations and behaviour. But over the years, I realized it is not fair to judge someone instantly. Every person has their positives and negatives which makes them complete and unique for which they need to be respected. Its just that we don’t know the complete picture. Let them take their own time to accept and change themselves if needed for their betterment. Everyone is enduring a battle of their own.

Connecting with yourself

1. The #akbsmiles project which I started off grand on Instagram with pictures, has warped itself to the limits of a journal. I find it safer that way, as I need not have to worry about revealing the small things in public space. More than revealing, I was finding it difficult to interpret in words and images what makes me content. The additional pressure of committing to post in public would have definitely helped in continuing the project. But this time I am hoping I can complete them without any external push.

2. Halloween ended few days ago. There were a lot of posts supporting and against us celebrating “western” festivals like this. It was the first time, I sent out my kid for trick or treat. I am one of those rare persons who still doesn’t know why people want to celebrate witches and scary creatures using horror themes. Obviously I am not a fan of them! But yes, for the kids, its another occasion to have fun and entertain others, and also get their favourite goodies in return. So why not? The excitement in her face, to get ready, join with her friend and indulge in some festival which in which kids play a huge part, was priceless indeed.

3. November month always reminds me of that dream in the horizon, where I write everyday for the #NaNoWriMo and complete a book. About what? I am not sure. Fiction or non-fiction? Not sure either. The only thing I know is the ecstasy feeling when I have translated the downpour of words screaming in my head to words on paper (or online editor software?). And here I am, in reality, struggling to keep alive this blog.

4. Recently, after the iOS 11 update, the apps I updated were draining the phone battery a lot. Till now, I hadn’t updated my iPhone to iOS 10 for so many months, as I never liked the boxed notifications and other subtle changes. Because of this battery drain, I thought I would update to iOS 11.1, but no respite to the original problem. That reminds me, I have to look for the power bank in amazon now… Any suggestions? Other than Mi? Especially for iPhone?

5. The above battery problem has made me revisit my need to use the social media apps. I uninstalled them to see any progress, and stumbled upon the popular secret. I did many things like painting, mandala coloring and some craft on those days when I was off the internet. Those were the days so productive that I feel like disconnecting all my apps now. Then the #FOMO creeps up, as updates of classes, holidays and even school buses are through internet these days. How will anyone contact me if I am not available? Does calling and SMS still works in this age?

6. The small break has thrown me into the world of coloring, painting and crafting and I really hope I stick to this, just like the dancing classes.. The popular meditation app, Headspace, keeps notifying me “how to be mindful in the moment“, inspiring me to be calm and content every moment. The small pleasures of life paving way to a happier me. That would definitely be the advantage of doing the #akbsmiles project under #100happydays.

#AkbSmiles Day 1 to Day 15

Recently, I started a photo project on Instagram for #100happydays. This was a long pending one, but owing to another blogger, who is doing this project yet again this year, I decided to take the plunge.

Day 1:

When you lose your fish bowl, shed some tears if you want to, but also make a fresh decor out of it.!

Day 2:

Just when I thought why we need to go to every zoo for the kid’s sake, this beauty greets us at the entrance. A sign from the universe to enjoy the present moment?

Day 3:

Family vacation vibes… Next week is diwali, which translates to long weekend and thereby a chance for another vacation… The biggest vacation for us though is the December last week, for which the planning discussions are on from today…

Day 4:

Weekend begins on a good note. For someone who spends hours weeks and years indoors, a small day out to a nearby mall for a lunch and ice-cream with family should be a blissful moment, no? .

Day 5:

Peaceful and lazy Sunday. Grateful for the quality family time, health and wealth. Broke our self record by waking up at 10am! ? .
What’s your Sunday record?

Day 6:

Created this today inspired by heart project by Katrina Kennedy and #GardenOfKindness project by Sonaksha Iyengar with an extra push from Shailaja’s post reminding me the importance of creating more than consuming! Creating something does brings a sense of achievement along with a smile!… Social media does inspire you but only if you can focus on the positive ones.

Day 7:

When for no reason my smiles vanish away, I try getting into gratitude mode. Still clueless as I was brimming with smiles and creative streak yesterday… .Maybe it could be the meaningless browsing that led me to the #metoo posts, reminding my own past leaving me scared on raising a daughter in this world… Or maybe because I haven’t done any diwali preps and all the marigold images out there are making me jealous… Or maybe just hormonal mood swings… Whatever it is, I then bring back myself thanking the universe for the precious moments with her like this… I know many, who yearn for such moments…

Day 8:

Happy Diwali! The festival of lights has literally lit up my mind too…!

Day 9:

A change is always good. Especially when cozy hotel rooms and beds become your home for couple of days…

Day 10:


Concentrating on happy moments to ignore the down moments of a vacation……

Day 11:

How can you be happy on a day when vacation ends? Especially if you don’t like the long drives? By recollecting the memories and capturing the greenery on the way……

Day 12:

I’m not someone who goes gaga and mushy over these things. I don’t even consider this as cute but it surely does brings a smile on my face when the daughter make this for me. It resembles the same feeling I felt when I first saw her in the maternity ward. Maybe this is what they call the feeling of motherhood joy, ain’t it?

Day 13:

New plants
New decor.
A few changes
Done while bored.
It keeps alive
The light of smile
On my face
Through a strange phase….

Day 14:

I realize the complexities of this challenge now gradually. Today was a normal peaceful uneventful day, just like most days of my life. I can be grateful again, but this is not a gratitude challenge. I need to pay attention to what makes me smile or brings atleast a momentary joy. Now when I recollect the day, those were the moments when I had heartfelt open conversations with few people. Also, the rare occasion when I completed a long time pending job of cleaning up around this light… The diwali lights also are cleaned and stacked up in the drawers till next year…

Day 15:

Power of music!Listened to some popular old numbers especially Tamil. How beautiful are the music from the old instruments like tabla, violin, flute… I do like the modern music too, but every era has a charm of its own…. Be it music or anything else…

 

Have you ever done a #100happydays project? Please let me know in the comments… Or are you also doing it now? Then please join me on instagram to give me company. The more, the merrier…

Finding the right shade of lipstick

Have you seen women going crazy over a shade of lipstick? As if you haven’t seen red anywhere else? Or purple or coffee brown? I have seen them. Young and bold. Strange nutcases in sephora shops and the likes. Trying and removing again and again. Looking for the best match…

The young salesgirl trying her best to see the products to the customer.. How boring it would be to keep bragging about the makeup products and apply them on the visitors.. Knowing that one of them is just using the samples before buying them online, she still has to fulfill the duty to achieve her dreams. Maybe it was the only job offered to her last month… She too was finding out the right colors to paint her dreams too.. To get hold of that evasive commissions if she reaches her target… Though a meagre amount, it would be her biggest achievement…

What if the customer is someone who hasn’t ever been worn makeup apart from lipstick… What if she aspired to look good for a reason.. Inspired by the glossy attractive colors adorning the models and and enhancing their beauty, she would have come to test it out… To feel better and dress up for boosting her self confidence.. To blend into the crowd just like the foundation they talk about… To conceal her flaws which she knows but wants to hide in public…. Though for a few minutes, to live the life she dreamt of….

Every lipstick too would have their own story. On how the color was developed, on who created it, and the proportion ratio of the ingredients to give out the color. The factories where they were made. The hands behind the machines it was created in. The sweat and hidden struggles they heard from the workers while they were worked upon. Though short-lived, every lipstick product would be having a different name and identity…

Have you noticed the philosophical aspect to this? Women trying to find the right shade of lipstick. Though men maybe finicky at times to get the right shade of jeans and trousers, they never seems to have issues with colors as much as women. How many men would understand the subtle difference between pink and fuchsia? Or blue and turquoise? I believe their minds give more attention to form and function which is important too.

I watched Lipstick under the burkkha today. Reminded me of Sita’s Curse book and the hype it created. Like the book, the movie was dragging at many places. I wish they added more to the storylines. I wish they had explored more on how they found the right shade, rather than showing the repeated failures and attempts on fulfilling their dreams. I always hate loose endings, especially if there is no new takeaway from the whole story. The portrayal of hidden desires is very well depicted and throws lights on the present living conditions of women in smaller cities in this era. It also reminds me of the times, when I too found books hidden under the bed, at one of our relative’s house in Kerala. So its real, indeed.

Every woman is in the search of the right shade of lipstick, some prefer it nude, and some bright red. But the search is always there. The remarkable dialogue that touched me to the core is the one said by Leela,

” You know what our problem is? We dream too much.”

Are we really? I don’t think so…