Forgive….and don’t forget

Posted: November 4, 2012 in Soul searching
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Over the last few years I’ve been trying to forgive a person but it does not come easy. I’m sure we’ve all gone through this before and possibly forgiven a lot of people several times. There could be just this one person who has done something really, really wrong against you and possibly sought your forgiveness but you’ve not been able to forgive. I’ve been through that and I just know how it feels.

To make things worse, I ended up listening to a sermon on forgiveness in church this Sunday. Well, I’ve listened to several sermons in the past but this seemed more like – okay, get it over with and forgive! For years I had found what I call the ‘middle ground’. It’s more like ‘okay I forgive cause Christ forgave but I can’t forget and I certainly don’t want to do anything with that person and avoid her as much as possible. Then the verse from Hebrews comes hitting back – ‘He remembers our sins no more’. Hey – but the sight of that person only reminds me of what she had done and then the overwhelming emotions and then somewhere bitterness shows its ugly head. Now we’re back to where we started.

This has been a constant battle for years! Guys, all these days I’ve been dishing out solutions to problems and battles that one fights in daily life. This time I need help. I’m praying hard and want to forgive and forget but everytime I see her it comes back like a raging flood. Any suggestions? I wish I could write another post on how I overcame it, but for now I’ve not been able to. If you’ve been in a similar situation, I’d love to hear how you overcame it.

Green talk

Posted: October 11, 2012 in Soul searching
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All of have annoying habits. I have a long list of them but nothing ticks me off more than acting irresponsibly towards the planet. Some things are unavoidable. For example – you can’t think of walking 50 miles hoping to conserve fossil fuel like petrol, you better drive or take a bus! That’s understandable. Over the last few days I was deeply weighed down  by how some of my friends can act so irresponsibly towards the environment. Honestly, if you can’t do anything FOR the planet, like plant a tree, it’s better not to do anything AGAINST it, like waste paper.

My dear friend in question bought several reams of paper hoping to take printouts of her notes and then study. Now, why take that damn printout when you have all that stuff on the laptop and can study from there? The college did not ask for printed notes, but she still insisted on the printout coz its easier to study that way, either on the couch or in the lawn. Heck, you can take the laptop to the lawn, bathroom, couch, kitchen or under the sheets too, so why the printout????

She was unrelenting and so was I. Finally I decided to tell her the harsh truth in a gentle way (at least I tried to be gentle). We live in country where much premium is placed on  saving up for children. Parents work all their lives and save up to build houses, buy land and gold for the daughter’s wedding, stash a lot of money in the bank to fund their children’s education and wedding, and basically everything revolves around the children. This is evident in every home across all sections of the society. Parents are keen on giving the best to their children. I totally understand that sentiment being a parent being myself, but have we ever, ever thought of leaving a clean and safe environment for our children? Have we ever thought that our small actions like needlessly taking printouts, buying plastic and non-eco-friendly gadgets will only make this earth less safe for our children. We feel we’ve done our responsibility in building houses, giving them the best education and getting our daughters married but what if the earth is no longer safe to live in? Can our children enjoy the houses we’ve built for them or the gold we’ve bought or the millions we’ve stashed?

Embracing the Jesus lifestyle also has to do with not being selfish and looking at our present needs only. Acting responsibly with the earth and teaching the same to our children is very important. Please folks, don’t live there is no tomorrow, better to inherit a greener earth and less money than a lot of money and no earth.

Weighty issues

Posted: October 6, 2012 in Health
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When you’re young, you’re mostly on a junk food overload. C’mon who eats veggies and drinks health shakes in the college cafeteria? On a drive out with friends, it’s usually for coffee, nibbles, burgers and stuff that are usually fatty. But who cares? It’s more about what we talk and wear, driving at break-neck speeds and letting your hair loose. A few years later, things change. For some, it takes a lot of years – but things do change. The size-zero frame in college has metamorphosed into a size zero + 5 or even more. Some wish to get back in shape, other just wish but don’t do a thing and the rest don’t bother.

Some time back I was looking a waif-thin celeb and for some strange reason I wanted to be as thin as her. Not a good thing to emulate guys, but still! Then a few weeks of diet X and exercise Y ensured that a few kilos flew out of the window, and then some more (by now, I don’t even remember the name of the celeb!). Having to turn away from fried goodies, creamy coffees and desserts – my biggest weakness – was hard, but the mental picture of the weighing scale pointer steadily moving to the left kept me going.

Now I had reached what is called the ‘ideal weight’, and wanted to try hard to reach size zero…..Wait! Do I need to? I feel fit and healthy and constantly draw compliments from my friends and loved ones. Even my 15-month old is amused to see me exercise, it’s good to start young and show them the way. Is size zero a necessity or just a fad? In the light of what the Bible says my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It’s my duty to keep it fit not thin, healthy not anorexic. Also feed just what my body needs and neither starve or cut down on nutrients, nor overload with fat. It suddenly dawned on me that my body is not my own but a temporary dwelling that will dissolve in the ground one day. That should only motivate us to keep our bodies in optimal condition for the years that we are alive. We live just once and if you’re weighed down by weighty issues, cheer up, I was there and now I am out of it. It’s hard, but we can conquer with His help.

Turning 30

Posted: September 24, 2012 in Soul searching
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Even since I stepped into the 20s I was nervous about turning 30 for some strange reason. Sometimes we think these strange absurd things and this was one of them. I felt I would not make it till 30, possibly the world will come to an end or I might die of an accident or illness. Today, here I am, and I can tell the world that I’ve turned 30!

Honestly, it feels better to turn 30, than to turn 20. At 20, you’re just out of college, no job, no money, no relationship (at least for me!) and no bike or car. At 30, you have a job, money, relationship(s), bike, car, home and more – yay! You’ve thrown out the garbage from your room and mind and things are more clear now. You’re not hopping from one job to another, one relationship to another (not me!) and things have stabilised to a large extent. So, ring in the 30s with a punch!

There’s another side to it though. More responsibilities, more bills to pay, more errands to run, a bigger house and car and bike to maintain, more promotions to happen, more patience to deal with the spouse and baby! It’s only getting bigger. Other things get less. Like less time for yourself, less time at the spa, less sleep, fewer holiday breaks, less time with girlfriends for retail therapy and no night-outs!

So here I am, thanking God for 30 years of my life… It’s been a wonderful journey and a time to recollect the ups and downs of the last decade. To try and be a better person this year and do my bit to make this world a wonderful place to live in.

I’ve landed…

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Soul searching
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Yesterday, my ‘better-than-the-best’ half had a night out with the boys. Since they were catching up after a long time I was surprised by the fact that he came home at 10.30 PM, which was quite early by my standards. Come on, we all know what guys do on their night outs. Drink endless mugs of beer and talk of chicks! I’m not sure if they spoke of chicks (at least that’s what I like to think!) but they sure ended up discussing their careers. Now these were a group of buddies, who in their early 20s, spent endless hours hiking in the midnight and just talking about nothing and at that time money was hard to come by. Now most of them (in their late 20s) are supposedly ‘landed’ with wads of money and cushy jobs, but somehow that spark was missing and it wasn’t the same again!

Sounds familiar? Have you met your pals after say 6-7 years and find they’ve changed, or do you find yourself easily picking up from where you left off? That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case with the boys night out and left me wondering what is the meaning of being ‘landed’? I’ve certainly not landed in that case. I’m still a writer, okay more of a writer-turned assistant manager-turned new mom-turned writer. I’m back to where I started. Possibly sacrificed my career on the altar of motherhood, but does that mean I’ve not landed? Yes, I do envy my counterparts who have landed, they seem to have it all; a promising career, well-behaved kids, a luxurious villa and a flashy car. While it’s good to compare notes or perhaps even set high goals for yourself, do you find yourself constantly struggling against the odds to just get there? Some have done just that and have succeeded and I appreciate and wish to emulate that lot.

I would think it’s better to define the concept of ‘being landed’. Does it mean having all the comforts of a good life and putting your relationships in jeopardy, or does it mean striking a fine balance between the two, possibly compromising on a few luxuries, or is it to find the will of God and do just that. I know it works differently for each of us and for me the definition has changed over the years, exactly in the order I mentioned. First, I was totally materialistic and couldn’t care less about relationships, then tried striking a balance but now I’ve left it all to Jesus. Among the three phases, it’s the last phase that is the most challenging but also most comforting.

Looking for love

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Love
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Before I could meet ‘the man’, life was a constant speculation about who is the right man for me? Every other guy I met didn’t seem like Mr. Right because I had ‘this criteria’ which most didn’t fulfill. Even if they did the sparks didn’t fly or they flew just one way or I was trying too hard and making a complete fool of myself.

Teen years were even difficult to handle as there was temptation lurking at every corner, in the college, at the coffee shop, in the neighborhood, at church…oh, plenty of them (they fulfilled ‘the criteria’ you see). Somehow no one was interested in me, or if they showed interest I wasn’t. Yes, there were plenty of flirts, remember those late night texts and 2am phone calls. All deftly camouflaged under the ‘best buddy’ mask. Either I was bored out of my brains or a total desperado to respond and create a feeling that I was interested while they played those tender feelings.

The number of crushes I’ve had could well surpass the number of stars in the sky but somehow never managed to get into a serious relationship or even a casual fling much to the embarrassment of my peers. Somehow I didn’t ‘fit in’ with them. They had some boyfriend to talk about or some break-up, night out, roses, champagne, date nights, diamonds…but never marriage.

Then I made up my mind, that marriage is what I wanted and if I were to ever have a boyfriend, he better marry me! If someone is willing to make that commitment, then I’m game for it. Might sound stupid to some.. too rigid..and it didn’t happen that way! I slowly fell in love with this man and this time sparks flew everywhere and boy he popped the question and the start of a wonderful journey called marriage.

It may not seem fairy-tale to some, others may have goofed up and wish they could live life all over again or not live at all. Making that choice is crucial – why waste your time and emotions on someone who you don’t want for life. In the sunset of your life you will certainly not send flirty texts or make those 2am calls, you’d rather cosy up with your spouse. Save up your time and emotions for the right one and you’ll never regret it – just like I did.

Back in action….reinvention

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Soul searching
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I’m back in the blogosphere after a long hiatus. This was time well spend including a holiday by the seashore and lounging by the pool. A time to delve deeper into yourself.. a time to reflect.. a time to undo a lot of things and reinvent.

There are many things that have happened during this break and that has put my life back in its perspective. I don’t know if you’ve gone through this, but sometimes a visit to the hospital can make you feel overwhelmed and remind you to count your blessings.

Meeting up with long lost friends who have gone through life changing circumstances like disability, separation or solitude just makes me think that I have been blessed with so much. A war of words with someone close to you could put the entire relationship in jeopardy, someone close could even include parents or siblings. Then there is this question of forgiveness, to forgive as Christ forgave. I’ve tried but it doesn’t come easy.. forgetting it is a distant thought.

Yes, reinvention is a something that some might think of. Misunderstandings do happen, but once you’ve mulled over it for a few days, what can you undo in your life to make it not happen again? For me it could be to ‘let my words be few’, rather than give my tongue free rein to spew venom on others, either out of frustration or unknowingly. Ponder over it… how can I reinvent myself so that others can tolerate me to some extent?

Out of work… out of mind…

Posted: June 27, 2012 in Work life

Hey! Have you been jobless at any point? I mean really jobless when you’re actually twiddling your thumb wondering what to do. I’ve known of people who are jobless – totally! One of them tried different ways of  tying shoelaces, the other wanted to clean an already-clean house and still the other wanted to spend the whole day trying different ways to decorate her nameplate (name chart, in fact!) for her home office.

Being out of work is kinda scary especially during times such as this when inflation is at an all time high and the future is very uncertain. At times the wait for your next job could be longer than you expect if it does not fit into the profile or pay package you want. The good news is that whilst you waiting to move from one job to another there are plenty of things you can do other than just staring at the closet or out of the window. First, you could spend time with the family or friends coz you may not get this time again, or read a book. If you’re not the reading type and love music, try some mixing, create new tunes or start a website where you can mix and let others do the same. Girls, if you’re bored of the same designs and patterns that you find it retail stores, try something different by sketching a new pattern or paint a new design on that pastel T-shirt. There are a zillion ideas like these which can keep you busy during the college holidays and while waiting to move jobs.

I’ve done some weird things even while working but if I’m out of work, I’d probably take a walk to nowhere, no destination in mind, so I could talk to my Savior, or possibly try living without money for a day. How about living in a tent on a mountain top or in a forest? Work-life is rewarding as everything in green speaks louder, but it can be  stressful, overwhelming and leave you with little time for anything else. Lost time and lost opportunities never return, so make the best use of it  when there is time to spare.

Who’s the boss?

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Work life
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It can be terrible when your boss yells at you when you’re just back home after a hard day at work, or in front of anybody, or anywhere. If you boss keeps changing his mind all the time and is moody – boy! You have a huge challenge. I wonder why bosses need to yell even when you’ve done what was expected of you – do they like to vent out their frustration or like to be more assertive or have hormonal imbalances! I’m sure work can get done even without having to raise you voice or turn potty-mouthed.

One of my first thrashing session was at my previous job when my boss was (thankfully!) on the other side of the planet. Yet the phone was shaking out his sheer high pitch and what was worst , there were 2 other employees around and he was on speaker! I wish the ground just opened up and swallowed me in. That was the first time but as weeks and months pass by, you develop a ‘thick skin’. Nothing seems to affect you anymore, oh, he can keep going on and on and I’ll just pretend I’m listening. Hey! Kick me out of the company if I’m not working, not meeting targets or not being ‘proactive’ (oh, how they love that word!), but if I’m doing my job and the clients are happy why should I be at the receiving end?

Today, something new dawned on me. All those ‘yelling sessions’ were actually a result of me using my so-called discretion while the boss does not approve of it as our ‘discretion(s)’ is different. Whilst bosses give you the freedom to make decisions, they don’t actually like it when you use it without keeping them in the loop. So there’s a deadlock.

Ever wondered what it would be like to have Jesus as your boss? Probably he’ll be more understanding, more gracious, but I bet the standards will be really high. He’ll give us the strength to live up to those standards. Now all we really need is His help in handling our present boss, to learn to be patient and humble and to gently point out that you’re not really at fault.

A serious post..hmm…

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Parenting
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Well!  I don’t intend my first post to be serious but honestly there’s something burning deep down which just had to get off my chest, onto my fingers that are typing away and into the virtual world for all to read.

This evening I was watching this talk show on TV that was all about educating disabled children. I’m not much into talk shows but watched this one out of sheer curiosity as there was a lot of hype in the media circles. There was this lovely lady who is well known in the city for her charitable work and who actually bought a little one home. This little one was now say about 10-11 years old and suffered from a skin condition that disfigured her face beyond recognition. The lady had absolutely no qualms in calling this child her daughter (she has even adopted her!). The child’s face has these teeny-weeny little growth that gives her a hairy appearance and the lady narrates how one well-dressed woman in a shopping mall actually spat on the child’s face and asked the lady ‘why did you even think of bringing this child outside the house’! What audacity! The mother tried to comfort her child and asked her not to feel bad about the incident. The child, who was then around 4 years old, told her mother that she didn’t feel bad because the ‘well-dressed woman’ spat on her face. She said the ‘well-dressed woman’ ought to feel bad as she did something wrong. I was just amazed at that answer – from a 4 year old!

Adopting a child is another subject (something very close to my heart!), but adopting a special child with deformity or disability is not something everyone is cut out to do. At times when even adoptive parents are very specific about age, gender, color of skin and eyes and a dozen other things, I salute this lady who chose to bring home that child. It’s a tough calling and needs deep conviction. Would I embrace someone like that? Would I want to talk to someone like that on the road without having to worry what will others think of me? I couldn’t care less about the world if I knew that Jesus embraced me just like that. I may look all pretty and poised on the outside but there’s deep dirt inside and Jesus took me just as I am. An experience of such love is the only source through which I can give such love to the others around. Ponder over it… only if I’m loved just the way I am will I be able to love other just the way they are.