Sunday, January 06, 2019

Say hello to Denise

...who's the resident guinea pig at Raintree Veterinary Clinic where Mojo gets his acupuncture and other treatments every weekend.

 
 
That's me trying to get friendly with her by feeding her lettuce, but she scampers off and hides as soon as she gets a chance. She's so utterly cute, and nice, though! She's scared but she neither digs in her nails when we pick her up nor does she bite.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Days of mindless indulgence

...like the ones I had yesterday and today totally kill the momentum that I gain on the other days when I am mindful.

Yesterday, for example, between 1:15-8:15 pm, it felt like I was constantly munching on something or the other. Had a fusion box, a chocolate brownie, and an iced tea from Box8 for lunch. Each time I passed the pantry, I picked a few morsels of बटाट्याचा चिवडा. Went out with a couple of old teammates in the evening and had peanut butter toast, fries, and a cappuccino. The husband wanted to have पाणी पूरी for dinner since his birthday last week, but we did something else instead, so we took the opportunity today, because the cook was on leave. However, my frustration wasn't the effect of binging, it was the reason it.

Today too, although I've been at home and have had to attend to Mojo's pee-routine every few hours, I've walked less than 3000 steps, and neither cycled, nor practiced Yoga. It's as if my mind has been in a fog and refused to participate in the real world. Procrastinating everything has been the order of the day.

And now, I don't even want to make any plans to recover from this tomorrow. Luckily for me, I know that it will happen, automatically.

It's been like this, two steps further and one step back, week after week, for the past couple of years. I've sort of given up trying to keep the momentum up for too long.

I'm just happy I now have goals in life. It's something I've never known previously, at least never practiced consciously or with any sincere effort. I've been an impulsive, obsessive person all through my teens, and have wasted time and efforts on people and things that did me no good, really. It's time now to divert those energies towards things that matter to me.

I sometimes wish I could hire someone to keep me focussed. Like some fella who hired a girl off of Craigslist to slap him each time he got distracted from his goal. However, misanthrope that I am, it's not a realistic solution for me. Nor do I know anyone who's jobless enough to want to do this for me. Also, it won't be possible for me to let someone tail me along all day at work--it would be flagged as a security threat. :D

Anyhoo. I hope that unproductive "episodes" like these get fewer and fewer over the years. I know that that will happen. I've just got to be patient and practice being mindful as often as I remember. For now, I take comfort in these words that I read somewhere today:
"Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be."

...and the comfort food (सांजा) that I cooked this morning for brunch:

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Books I started reading

...and am hoping to finish in the next few months or at least this year:
  1. Refuse to Choose - Barbara Sher
  2. How to Hypnotise Anyone - Confessions of Rogue Hypnotist
  3. Become Healthy or Extinct - Darryl D'Souza
  4. The 80/20 Principle - Richard Koch
  5. A New Science of Life - Rupert Sheldrake (first edition of Morphic Resonance)
  6. Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge - Arthur Osborne
  7. Life with My Guardian Angel - Richard Bach (the first ever RB book that I didn't devour right away)
  8. Declutter Your Mind - S. J. Scott & Barrie Davenport (I found Headspace here and got distracted... talk about irony)
  9. 10-minute Digital Declutter - S. J. Scott & Barrie Davenport (irony again!)
  10. You Are Smarter Than You Think - Thomas Armstrong
  11. Level Up Your Day - - S. J. Scott &Rebecca Livermore
  12. 10-minute Declutter - S. J. Scott & Barrie Davenport (oh, the mother of ironies!)

And then there are these that I bought, but have barely even started reading:
  1. Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramhansa Yogananda
  2. Shivaji: The Grand Rebel - Dennis Kincaid
  3. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  5. Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 Steps - Tanya J. Peterson (rolling my eyes at this now)
  6. Thank Your Wicked Parents - Richard Bach (this isn't a linear read anyway, and almost none of it is applicable to my situation, thankfully!)
  7. S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple - S. J. Scott
  8. How Google Works - Eric Schmidt
  9. Talk Like TED - Carmine Gallo
  10. Game of Life - Kanishka Sinha and Girish Manimaran
  11. The Ultimate Writing Guide for Students - Grammar Girl / Mignon Fogarty


Those are too many for me to finish in a year, or even two! Also, I used to believe I'm more of fiction reader. Clearly, my preferences have changed over the years. Or, maybe these are things I thought I should read, rather than what I am really motivated to read. Maybe that's why I have had trouble completing any of them.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Vegan omelette batter

...somehow looks better than that of an egg omelette. The latter may look better later and may even taste better, but there's something about this one that makes it look adorable to me.
For the record, I didn't eat this one, because I'm not too fond of tomatoes-onions-mint in my vegan omelette. I prefer mine with just plain coriander, probably because I loved the ones mom used to make. Dear old कोथिंबीर धिर्ड आणी लोणी--comfort food!

Side note: This used to be good old "veg omelette", but now that I am considering going vegan at some point, I'm so glad to realize that this will continue to be kosher. ;)

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Raiding a stationery shop


...is what I did as my fun beginning to 2019!

I've been journaling more of less consistently since 2016, and have found immense help and encouragement as I read my previous entries all through 2018. Wanting to do more of it and to get better at it, I got myself these presents today.

The tiny one at the top has handmade paper, and I'm going to use it for doodling.

The black one is like a planner, and I'll use it for my daily to-dos and affirmations and reviews.

The blue ones are notebooks, which I intend to use for my Spanish class homework and exercises. I scribble with pencil on the textbook and erase it later, after I write down all of it in a fair notebook. During class, I use a rough book to make notes and do on-the-spot exercises.

The green and the magenta ones are what I will use for journaling. I've grown fond of that paper size and I need a hardcover book so that I can write fairly legibly even if I happen to be seated in a somewhat uncomfortable position.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spoon feeding vs encouraging self service

A team mate just pinged me with a problem statement. Instead of giving the answer right away, I led him through the process of understanding the problem itself. And he got it soon enough. But when I asked him to conclude or tell me what he understood and what his course of action would be, he clammed up. Or at least it seemed that way, because he didn't answer soon enough, and I was quite impatient to know whether it worked.

So then I said this... it's not a novel idea, but I've put it in my own words, and am quite happy with it, so here goes...

I apologize if that felt condescending. It is never my intention. Whenever someone comes to me with a question, I like to help by guiding them to understand the question/problem itself in the first place. If I give them the answer, they won't know the method of arriving at it. When we understand a problem, the solution feels very obvious. So wrapping our head around a problem is really the key to any solution. For me, the bonus in this way of helping is that, the questioner may then be able to arrive at their own method of solving the problem... alternative solutions! And that's how I get to learn too! So I'm being selfish, really.

Later, he pinged back saying he got what I was trying to do and he appreciated that style of knowledge sharing, and he felt comfortable approaching me with questions. That put me at ease.

I don't like to offend people, and I am quite non-confrontational, but I also love sharing knowledge in a way that truly helps people enable themselves to find their own answers rather than spoon-feeding. I am mostly scared of how others might perceive the way I say certain things, but I know my intentions are right. If i don't think the person on the other side is open to my style of response, I just shut up and walk away, or I do the least necessary bit and then walk away.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winter Solstice 2017

Here's a lovely article on this topic, which includes fun things you could do with photography and the sun:
https://www.vox.com/2016/12/20/14027402/winter-solstice-2017

And I'm going to start with my er... small steps... on the shortest day of the year. If can do "so much" on this day, I can do "so much more" on others. And if I manage to do "nothing" (that being quite difficult to achieve) on this day, I can do so much more of that too!

There's one thing I've had on my mind for a few years. And I might as well give that a go now that I'm thinking of "doing something" (whatever that means). There's a lovely little tree on my way to work and I have often thought of taking a picture of it every day for a year to compare how it changes colors and how its foliage looks glorious in all its forms. I've wondered about what would be an appropriate time for this activity, such that there's sufficient light to take a good picture and not too much traffic on that route and that I don't have meetings to attend at that time of the day. As of now, 12:30 pm comes to mind, because that's the official beginning of lunchtime at work, and so mostly there aren't any meetings scheduled around that time. Of course, there will be days when I can't make it at that time. In which case, I think 16:30 or 17:30 would be a good time. Anyway. I'll shut up now and just get to it tomorrow. Off to set a recurring reminder!