27

Something different happened this year on my birthday. I am no longer afraid to grow old. The feeling is totally gone. I used to always joke and wish anyone on their birthday saying “Congrats you’re one year closer to death!” And while I wished myself the same, I realised that I should be grateful for the year that has gone by, no matter how it went, I am alive, and I have survived the downs and stayed humble during the ups.

Another conscious move that I am making it to think in terms of destiny. What has God planned for me this year, and be excited each day, and be thankful each day of the people and happenings. For surely I do not control everything and I need to be able to focus on the day and make sure if my Birthday didn’t bring me a whole year closer to death, I at least made the most of the few days/weeks/months!

Been thinking of death more often as well, as a reminder of the inevitable returning to your creator.I fantasize more about heaven now, and think seriously about life after death. Not focusing on long term stressful goals, even if it is my education, because you just can’t plan anything.I am going to make an effort to make the most of the present.

How did my Bday go?

Well it was a busy day just like last year, I had a training to do at SAFA. After which the hubby and I had lunch at Spice 6, picked up my red velvet cheese cake from Eclaire and headed home. It was a busy day, the cake was yummy as usual.

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I have to say the packaging of the cakes at Eclaire is beautiful. Eclaire is my go-to place for baked goodness, I love their chocolate cupcakes, and triple chocolate brownie cake, it’s very heavy but if you’re a chocolate lover, you’ve got to taste it!

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I had been told by cousin to visit Spice 6 but I only could get around to doing that recently, and I am in love with their Arabic platter, takes me back to Dubai, it’s so filling and delicious. They are known for their lebanese food, I have been there twice already and ordered the same platter! It’s just yum!spice 6

The hubby couldn’t make up his mind on the birthday present, so I asked him to buy me a stationery obsession I was having, this pen has been in my wishlist since forever, I didn’t want to buy ANOTHER pen without having a good enough excuse. And what better excuse than your birthday!

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It’s a matte black Parker. Lovely!

I am looking forward to life. And not concerned about growing older, going to take each day, one step at a time. 🙂

 

 

 

A little inspiration

Gobble down some coffee after opening your fast and YouTube one of your favourite subscribers to chill. I have a tonne of work to do, I have two teacher training workshops coming up, the madrasa starts on 3rd July, my uni classes start on 2nd July and have a pending post of Himalaya, the product stares me everyday. Story telling sessions lined up for my internship, and while I contemplate the to-do list in my head, I went on to Fleurs YouTube channel after a very long time to just chill.

And after watching a couple of videos I stumbled upon this one. And even though she’s basically just talking about herself, and working as a full time YouTuber, I found some inspiration to focus on the tasks I have at hand (Which as I enlisted are MANY).

I admire people who are freelancers, or their own bosses. There’s something more demanding about a job like that, you have to be super organised and constantly prove to yourself that you are just as inspired as you were in the beginning.

In life we may find inspiration from and in people, places, a simple quote, an image just about anything, but the real challenge is always to maintain that level of passion. Especially if you do multiple things, and have multiple responsibilities, it gets rather difficult. Not because the to-do list is longer, but because you have to constantly prioritise everything on that to-do list.

Here’s where my struggle usually lies. Should I first finish work, or blog? should I cook now and then do laundry? Shall I take a nap or stay up and finish the reading work. Add to that parenting and well you’re set for a busy busy schedule.

I liked from this video that she decided to show the side of life of a YouTuber that isn’t all glam. That isn’t as materialistic, and makes you appreciate the efforts that go into any job. The  most successful and richest, people in the world struggle, it’s just that their struggles are not what are photographed and talked about. We only see the greener grass, or rather are shown the greener part of the grass.

What I have learned from expereince is that it is important for us to take time out and ask ourselves every few months if we really truly want the things that we are working toward?, are we really getting there or getting side-tracked? Because as we evolve we may not want the same things from life, and it’s better to know sooner rather than later. It is important for all of us to maintain a balance in personal and professional life, just what our goals in general are, and stick to our decisions. Being aimless is the most disastrous thing a human can do for himself.

It’s always good to hear, watch success stories. And it makes me genuinely happy that people are open to share about their experiences, and inspire others.

 

Workshop weekend Part 1 of 2

This weekend has been about workshops. I enjoy attending workshops for several reasons, apart from the information and the main purpose of the workshop you get to network, meet people of the same field, which is inspiring.

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It is also a great way for professional development, and helps especially if a certificate is provided. This is a two part post because I attended two, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. For me it’s all about exposure. I am going to be 27 this year and have the hunger to expose myself to as many things that interest me as I can. It’s amazing what all you can learn, and how your careers goals can get evolved.

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Workshop 1 was on ‘mindulfness’, being a counselor this concept isn’t new to me, but I wanted to know more in detail. The main reason I went for it was; it was for counselors and teachers only. It wasn’t a life coaching type of class, it was about how you as a counselor/teacher can use mindfulness, practice it and positively affect the people you’re working with.

The workshop was organised by the Hyderabad Academy of Psychology and led by Liliana Goldschmidt. I got to understand the history of mindfulness, how it helps, and the various ways in which it can be implemented. Liliana had made us experience it with short breathing focused exercises, so that we understand what mindfulness is about, and the fact truly is that we can only take a client as far as we have gone with practicing it. So the more we do the better. For me it’s extremely important to take time out and think and focus on yourself. Mindfulness helps you unwind, and it’s free!. We also paired up and practiced not just making our partners do the exercise, but explain to them the concept. Even here I believe the more you understand it yourself the better you can explain it to another person.

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The workshop was interactive from the beginning, and ended with feedback, certificate distribution, lunch and interaction with the attendees. Was nice to meet familiar faces, get introduced to new. Meeting familiar faces is a sign that you’re moving about enough in your circle! InshaAllah I hope to broaden my network with many such workshops. Dr.Diana had announced that HAP is planning for ‘continued education’ programs at HAP. It was a Saturday of learning something new, and just those exercises in the workshop were relaxing.

2016 is about priorities

It’s a new year, a chance for us to make new amends, change our point of you, just feel like some mercy is on you. For me this year is about prioritising and being reasonable. As a parent is is especially difficult to put yourself anywhere in the top 10priority list. It is a fact. We always put the needs of everyone else ahead of our own.

This is something that has been engraved in our minds and heart, to the point where we lose our own identity as soon as we give birth. It’s difficult to snap out of this zone. It is hence very important to just make a list of what you want for yourself this year, for your child/family. Where do you want yourself to be in the end of 2016. Bottom line is, if you’re happy, everyone around you will by default be happy.

For me this is the direction, no matter anyone says, all I will focus on is my priorities, and focus all my energies into that. Moving forward is crucial, no matter how many years it would take for you to attain your end goals.

What are your priorities?

 

 

Let’s celebrate Passing the HAP course!

I finished my course at HAP!! Yayii!. Received the certificate of the same on Saturday 12th, And boy was that day hectic. I know what you’re thinking! I constantly talk about my busy schedules, I am sure it’s getting monotonous at this point. Keeping this in mind I shall move on to what I wanted to actually write about. I treated myself with some online shopping.

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Note the excitement on the daughters face! That’s just ‘zoom into pricelessness moment’ She was roaring “Yayiiiii”

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Appreciating oneself is a habit I am still developing, but when I found out that I was actually truly passing I had this intense feeling of treating myself. All the hard work, running around, studying, maintaining sanity while balancing the many responsibilities that I did, I just had to acknowledge my efforts. The icing on the cake was that I topped the last exam which was a paper submission! Felt great, that sense of accomplishment I have never felt, never topped anything! hehe

Anyway so this is what I did, I bought some make-up, a wallet, and shoes (which are on the way).

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The experience of the course was great, in one word I would describe the course ‘insightful’ apart from the academic learning that took place you really do get to explore yourself, and become more aware of your behaviour and that of others. I have met some really special people, from various walks of life, women who inspire me and will continue to be part of my life. Even though I didn’t perform to my potential, there’s a lot I have learned to do better in the future in other ventures in my life.

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Dr.Diana is a great teacher, and an inspiring role model, for her high ethical standards of practice, passion for her field, and the unconditional positive regard she gives to us as her students. I highly recommend this course for all students who are in the field of psychology to broaden their view of the field, and get exposure to new thinking and learning.

The next target is to wind up my PGDiploma from IHMH. That should be a call for another mini shopping spree I guess!

An update in pictures

I have ideas, and think ‘oh I should blog about this!’ and then that mental note remains just that-a mental note.

Days have been flying by, and I have not changed, keep piling up more things to my schedule. It will take me a lot of time to truly make my mind stop rationalising a mad schedule for myself.

Anyway, I was taking pics, and while they may not be super interesting, it will make up a decent enough blog post for you guys. Some thing is better than nothing, isn’t it?

Took quite a few selfies;

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Captured some moments of the daughter enjoying at the play area at school;

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Got her a haircut on Guru Nanak Jayanti holiday on Wed! Oh how this one enjoys them….

Admired her sleeping…..It’s actually therapeutic, I always imagine what she must be dreaming about. When she was little she would smile in her sleep…

 

Admired the greenery at school…I spend so much time in my room with students counseling all day, I didn’t notice the lovely green plants all over the entrance. Had to take pics!

Did some colouring, trying to find things to relax me, getting out of the house is not a ready option. Plus my busy schedule doesn’t allow me to be able to do that. My HAP course ends in a week, I shall be having more time after that!

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I had ordered The Story of Psychology, after being reommendation by Dr.Diana Monteiro (My teacher at HAP), waiting to finish off with the David Sedaris book before I indulge into this.

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On Thursday Mir Imran the scientist visited the school to interact with our students. It was not my working day, and I just wanted to sleep in, had a few things on the agenda (I must admit), I somehow got myself to school and well, was inspired. The preceding day I had a ginormous mood swing, and desperately needed some inspiration. Was glad I attended the session, came to realise something crucial that has given me insight.

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Decorated Batools school binder. Feel like a proud mom! Loved using all the glitter, was so fun!

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Distributed inter-madrasa competition certificates to students on Sunday, below I give one to my daughter!

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Hmm, that’s about it….Probably will post a rambling post soon…..

What have you been upto?

 

A quick haul and what's next on the reading list

I don’t remember when purchased the items below, but I remember vividly it was a bad day, that had to be turned into a good one and some shopping doesn’t do anyone harm, now does it?

Let’s get started, not going to go too much into details…..More pics, more fun…

IMG-20151001-WA0016The truck pocket notebook from Letternote. My previous ‘Do Epic Shit’ book got over!, and I had to purchase another, love the quality of letternote notebooks, this is A5 size and colourful wanted to buy something that would lift my mood every time I say it. This notebook is with me at work, in class, wherever I am. The book itself will last me over a year, I’ve started to make more notes, but I also like to not waste space, so I will usually draw a line and jot down stuff, it gives a very loved vibe. The notebook is from Letternote but I ordered it on Flipkart.

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I’ve been looking for a small size sudoku puzzle book for quite some time. Usually they’re super thick and hence impractical to carry around. This one looks cool as well, and has the elastic to keep pages together. I’ve finished a few puzzles, use it in autos, or when in waiting for doctors or appointments. It has other puzzles too, I have never even heard of them, but am willing to explore. Variety is the spice of life init! Got it at Crosswords (City center, Banjara Hills)

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Flipkart purchase, looking forward to reading Commonsense parenting, it’s going to definitely be an interesting read. Indian authors talking about Indian parenting issues are always more relate-able.

CAM04358At crosswords I found a few really nice Nigella Lawson cook books, but I neither have the time nor the space to cook them recipes!, So I decided to be practical and splurge on books that I can’t even store anywhere. And these were a great find, I think they do a better job at serving the purpose of cooking than collectibles. Tarla Dalal, haven’t tried anything yet, Shameless I know!, but when I do, I shall blog and boast! 😉 These I think are good random gifts for close friends who already cook or want to venture into cooking, they’re very affordable, and can also be added into a random gift basket of various fun items.

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CAM04356And on to some random stationery purchases, needed book marks, and purple being one my favourite colours, I had to go with this ombre purple pack. Also bought a ink pen by Parker, trust me the only reason I did was because it came with two extra cartridges. However I noticed the one in the pen was empty and is refillable like a syringe, which was a relief!. Loving using it and somehow, I am conscious of not misplacing it and it definitely isn’t allowed in the hands of the daughter. I am the queen of misplacing pens BTW!, I will buy them packs of ten one a bi-monthly basis. Will always have one in every bag, and the daughter will totally open it up and misplace some piece and the whole pens useless.

CAM04348Another catch point about the pen was that it’s ox blood red which I love. Using an ink pen reminds me of school days, in-fact, when I was using it in school earlier this week one of the staff members exclaimed “ink pen!, haven’t seen those in a while’ which I think is sad, kids should enjoy the beauty of using an ink pen.

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And finally the book that’s next on my reading list is: Me Talk Pretty One Day

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Will review it once I finish, haven’t started yet! Long ‘life is busy’ reasons! What have you bought recently?

Take a minute, you're fabulous

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve received the same advice from the same friend you gave the same advice to, few days earlier? I guess we all have!

No matter where in the world you are, as women we are struggling, there are some common gender bias struggles, some uncommon issues unique to only us, add the mind mess that we create for ourselves and you have the recipe of unsatisfied women!

Well, it’s natural for us to be caught up on agendas, and goals, it’s great to set goals in life, have a bucket list or something to keep you focussed, at the same time we have to also appreciate the efforts we have put in and most importantly celebrate in whatever little way the achievements we have accomplished. The simple pat on the back can go a long way, just your favourite ice-cream, cooking the dish that YOU like for a change, wearing the lipstick that has been crying for use for months, just anything to reward yourself, because you know you’ve worked hard!

This was the realisation my friend tried to grill into my head the other day, that I just jump onto making a new list of to-dos and goals without appreciating the ones I have ticked off, lord knows it took time and energy and effort ad dedication to achieve those in the first place. We tend to skip this very crucial step and then end up feeling like we’re in a constant rut of trying to fulfill aims without satisfaction.

We put pressure on ourselves, we raise the bar higher and higher each time, and while that’s fantastic, especially if you’re a goal driven woman, it is also important just tell the world to appreciate you. Shift the spot light on to yourself and bask in the glory of your hard-work, resilience and patience. In all this craziness, I appreciate that I have friends who can understand what I am going through, and can relate to my thought processes.

It is extremely difficult as women to find that empathic, unconditional support, we often put too much expectation on our family when our friends can support us just as much. The mum will grow old, and there will be generation gap, find your own circle of strength and keep flying.

And whenever you find yourself in an endless to-do list, remind yourself to take a minute, You are fabulous!

One year closer to death.

Hehe, I know sounds rather pessimistic when talking about a birthday, but hey! let’s be realistic! hehe

I don’t like celebrating birthdays (read fact #19), because I view them as my title suggests, but I do think it’s a good day to let others in your life know how much you appreciate them. Plus any other time of the year people won’t buy you presents (you shall laugh now)

Since 14th July marked finalisation of the Irans Nuclear agreement, the younger brother made brownie and sent me a pic, half of it was in celebration for my birthday and the rest for Iran. I accepted!

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So what happened on the 15th of July 2015? Well I had to back to back classes at HAP, and an exam in the second class. Was I prepared? Umm…No! I had missed three very crucial classes cos of the Chennai trips in the past two weeks, so I was lagging behind. However the exam went pretty fine and the whole day went in that. I did like the fact that my “new” year started off in a good tone, day 1 of the 27th year of life defined my life. I identify myself as a student for life, so Wednesday was a very good day.

After class I stopped at Archie’s to pick up a birthday card for myself from my daughter and also a mug. She’s too young to pick cards and presents, so I did it. One day she shall haul in a section at a shop count her pocket money and buy me a card or present. I shall patiently wait for that day. That day would definitely be special.

Reached at me paternal aunts place at around 9:30ish, had dinner, made the daughter sign the cards (yes I picked two, cos they were just too good). My younger paternal uncle and aunt had bought a cake, which I cut and the drill happened. Yummy cake, and when I reached home, I saw a present from them too! and it was the sweetest thing ever!

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16th July I threw a dinner for me girl friends. Haiking is my favourite restaurant in Hyderabad. I can eat their noodles, every single day. So it only fit that I treat me friends for a dinner there, and guess who joined? The Batool! The idea was to introduce me friends to each other, since they’re all from different parts of me life, and since I can remember, I always went to Haiking (Himayatnagar), and wanted to host my own dinner for friends at the round table. It was a dream of mine to have 8 friends, whom I could chill with. And it happened, even though 2 of them couldn’t make it. Two chairs empty but the heart is full with love!

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Got a pretty pink bag, I would not have dared to ever buy a pink bag, so it’s good to get presents that push me to try new things, and lovely bag has a long strap, I am into sling bags, plus the size is perfect (not too big not too small). A voucher from shoppers stop also awaits to be used! Thank you guys!

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It was a lovely birthday, felt very loved. Thank you all for the wishes. Eid post coming up next!

Randomness in pics

I had been taking pics over the past two weeks of what I am up to, and boy was I busy! So here’s a quick rundown of what I was upto:

Indulged in some proper junk post class on the way home…

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Magnums Chocolate truffle is the best

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Went to chennai to resolve university issues and write the practical exam

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Check out this cabs sticker at the airport! Hilarious!

IMG-20150703-WA0031View from the plane

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So glad to be part of the world when we’re technologically advanced enough to fly through clouds and view them like this! I wish I could live on clouds.

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Waited at the Chennai airport for good 4 hours before we were allowed to get in. They don’t have sufficient seating arrangements in the airport, which is super inconvenient for tourists/non residential travelers.

IMG-20150703-WA0033Received my re-issued passport!

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Worked like a maniac to complete the record, flew to Chennai again for it.

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New academic year at madrasa began! Was doing prep for it while in Chennai after classes.

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Liked the chandelier in the hotel, looks like falling stars…

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Saturday 11th July was a super busy day, had 9AM class at HAP secundrabad, then went for the SEN orientation at school. Followed by Iftar at my cousins fiances house.

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Batools class door, so cute

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Batool really enjoyed spending time with family, and I relaxed too, and even though it was a late Saturday, I was all prepped for another busy day at the madrasa.

Quite a bit of regular homework coming in PP2 she’s finally gotten settled into the class and is coping up okay.

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As for the coming days, I have an exam on Wed, a target submission of assignments on 30th, group counseling sessions at school, and may add spoken Arabic classes to the list after Eid 🙂

The birthday month started off very hectic, planning for a dinner out with my gal pals on Thurs! Looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying the company of young, spirited women who keep me sane.