Working on your day off

One of the bad things about the internet life is we truly can’t escape our work. Email notifications are the death. Today was my day off, and even though I had scheduled two group counseling sessions, I cancelled for two reasons

  1. I realised it was a dumb decision to schedule work on my day off
  2. I wasn’t feeling too good, and me friend was free to meet up

And so I had a fun time catching up with her, even though we were in the car most of the time, drove to IGNOU and then BRAOU, wasn’t a fruitful strip except I figured I can’t or don’t want to do the courses they offered.

Since there was still time for me to get back to school and pick up the daughter, we figured we should grab a snack, and long story short we had a thick shake. And boy was it yummy!

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Drove back to school picked up Batool and sure enough, got some work done. It’s inescapable. As long as we have e-mails, we will get sucked into work. I believe this also happens when you work part time while everyone at school is going about their full week of work. Even then, it’s unavoidable. I just can’t seem to draw boundaries and not work. This has become very apparent as well now, when your friends and colleagues start categorising you as a “workaholic” you can no longer deny that!

Don’t know if I will ever be that person who can segregate, set a schedule. Actually I don’t know if I ever want to be that person. Give performance a very high priority, and while it may result in a heap-full of tiredness, and sacrifices I guess for me it’s all worth it. It’s obviously bringing about some satisfaction isn’t it?

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?

 

House arrest

I’ve been busy, that’s an old story at this point. I’ve been busy with life that gets me out of the house every single day! It’s not the same thing though, some days it’s class, some days it’s school, some days it’s chores, etc etc. You get the drift.

But since last Saturday I have been having severe lower back pain, which has made me unable to do the many things that I do outside the house. Top it up with ‘absolute bed-rest’ by the orthopedist  (Who BTW I recommend for all your bone needs, he’s v good; ‘thorough’ if you may) and you’re game for boredom. So really what have I been doing? I don’t know how time has passed and another Saturday came. I will go back to work on Tues. But I’ve realised a few things in these days of rest.

1.I deserve a break! it actually felt good to tell everyone I won’t be available, be it school, class or madrasa. I just told everyone to just “manage”. I don’t know if it’s me in my little head; that I believe the worlds weight is on my shoulders and shit won’t happen if I don’t move. But everything happened. Everything happens, Life goes on. This is a relief especially considering that I plan to move out of Hyderabad.

2. Amazon.in aint that bad! I was going to blog about the pathetic service of Amazon, but that I’ve decided to put that aside, because I received my book, super early and it has been my savior. Sh*tty mum is a must read! (review coming soon, I’m almost done), give it to your friends, buy it for new moms, gift it to your wives/sisters! Everyone deserves to have a copy of their own. This book cracked me up like Gordon Ramsays autobio did. Only this is hilarious from beginning till the end. This also made me realise that I should just buy myself more books and take time out to laze around and read. It aint no crime!

shitty mum3. I am not the stay at home typa person anymore! This is probably the biggest realisation, I can’t stay at home, I am craving a walk, stood in the balcony for good 20 mins just to “see” the world. I was never this way, this is the new me I guess. Just like keeping busy, no matter how much it tires you, you’ll still like to be busy. I have discovered that I no longer can be home. Soooo looking forward to meeting the 450 kids at school and the holy little ones at the madrasa.

4. There’s an uncomfy phase to divorce, I can and maybe should just write a book on this. I don’t know how the divorce experience is for people in other cities or countries, but it’s pretty awkward here, especially if you’re surrounded by people who know your in-laws but aren’t related to your in-laws. It’s just weird. My hospital file still says ‘Mrs’ and ’19yrs’ for age, but when the concerned person changed the raggedy old file and moved papers into a new one, she copied the same details. I didn’t know that this happened BTW, I submitted my file, and waited in the seating area with my ‘sh*tty mum’ book, floating on a cloud of humor, and when the Dr. saw my file he said “still 19?” I responded “no” , and well, he changed the age, I wanted to add “not Mrs also”, I don’t know what stopped me though. Sometimes I feel I say shit like it doesn’t mean anything, and don’t want to be taken for a fool, but hey! it’s a fact init!. I am comfortable with my Ms, Mrs, Mx, or whatever, but how come we think about other peoples reaction? How come we are taken aback by their judgement? At this point I feel we should just accept that we will be judged by anyone walking and just do what we do best. Muhahaha (Evil laugh). I changed the ‘Mrs’ to ‘Ms’ BTW. Need to set the record straight on that one. Maybe I should learn new ways of handling the situation without looking childish about it (That shall be difficult considering my personality). Sometimes I just feel like screaming, announcing it to the world “I am divorced” just to take the “suspense” off my life. Nip it in the bud, let everyone know, wear a t-shirt maybe that reads ‘happily divorced’. (If you have ideas leave them in the comments below)

I also have a theory like Maslows hierarchy of needs, about relationships. Let’s call it ‘Syedas hierarchy of relationships’. Now;  Imagine a pyramid and at top of the peak is being ‘happily married’, just below that is ‘happily divorced’, mind you, not courtship, or dating, or engagement or any of that. NONE of that. That’s my thing. It’s a two level pyramid I guess then. Everything else is meaningless, and only that is the truth, according to me, you can differ. Many psychology theories are questionable including Maslows.

5. Men in Hyderabad need to learn self-grooming. This is just general advice, outgrown beard, shabby hair, ill fitting clothes, you know what I’m talking about. You don’t realise how ill-groomed they are till you see someone who is well-groomed (which is as rare as a shooting star). Here’s a fact, we don’t see ourselves, we can’t unless there’s a mirror, so we should have the manners to consider how other people visually perceive us when we step out of the house. Hyderabadi men need a lesson or two in this. I can blog a two part series on the topic. If you find well-groomed men you’ll find them in doctors, go to LVPrasad, you can make out who means business there, people who know their eyes. Ditto with me Ortho Dr.  apart from being good at what they’re supposed to, you don’t mind bad news about your health when it’s coming from a person who took out 5 minutes to trim his beard! I’m sure there’s some psychology theory in there too! Don’t get me wrong, there are some proper appalling doctors out there too!

So that rounds it up, I shall resume laying around as today is the last day. Will finish off the book and write a review soon. I have so many blog posts pending that I am not going to bother building a guilt pool for myself 🙂

Organising for school

I am big on preserving memories, I have a box full of cards, presents, autographed shirts etc. And since Batool is going to a new class, it only makes sense to start preserving her memories. I have photos all organised by year, and at PTM his year I got files of all her activity work, so I sorted them according to date and filed them in a blue box file her school gave.

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CAM03413I also inserted the schools journal, for memories.

CAM03414Amongst the papers were some activity sheets that Batool hadn’t done. I kept them for practicing now.

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It was such a relief to see everything all filed up together. I will continue to do this every academic year. It helps you to visually see the difference and improvement in the skills of your child as well. Children too can be motivated to do better by seeing the change.

There’s a lot of work to still be done, my school starts tomorrow and well, there’s much to be done! But excited for a new adventure, every year is great fun, looking forward to Batools new year as a big girl in PP2!

What do I do? Introducing 'The 24 hour hussle'

I have always been a keen observer, and try to draw as many lessons as I can from not just my own experiences in life but also from those of others. There’s always a phase where certain wisdom is relevant over other. I call my recent discovery ‘the 24 hour hustle’. The interesting aspect of this theory is that it can be used in an humorous sence, it’s a multifaceted.

I have a very busy life, like any other mother on the planet. I however have been told by several people on several occasions “how do you manage so many things, especially with a child”. And while ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ applies here 100%, it is also the realisation that there are only 24 hours in a day, and this fact can be viewed with ‘glass half full, half empty’ perspective.

‘The 24 hour husstle’ is a way to keep myself motivated, the more I am able to accomplish in a day the more I learn

about the audacity of those 24 hours. There will be lazy days no doubt, but a recent introspection has helped me conclude that I have a tendency to work like crazy, and then just want to not even get out of the house. I don’t know if it’s the healthiest way to function, but it works for me. I shall clear at this point that I don’t usually have the luxury to take a break as often as I want or need. The more work you have on hand, the more productive you are and the more exhausted you will get. And that’s a fact, and with people like me the amount of work only increases. I have to admit though, I wasn’t as open initially. Around 5 years ago, I didn’t know I had this capacity. It’s only after having Batool that I realised that I needed to have more in my life to prove to myself and also to be a good role model to Batool and all other young moms out there. Being a mother shouldn’t and doesn’t stop you from achieving any goals, if anything it will motivate you. This is subject to how driven you are and your personality. The bottom line being; you are a human being before you are anyones anything.

So what is it that I do on a regular basis? The following are a regular part of my life apart from being a mother:

1. Studying

2. Blogging (my blog and other freelance blogging)

3. Job

4. Teaching at my Sunday school

5. Running my Sunday school

6. Volunteering and doing community service (this is rather random in terms of institution and type of work)

And this schedule is about to get crazy after my present holiday. Starting June I am going to have a 6 day working week. By that I don’t been I will be at my job for 6 days, but that the many things I do will take up 6 days of the week, and that one day “off” will be to get organised and catch up on left over work. This is me looking at the glass half full with my 24hours.

This way of life really helps you become productive, and automatically omits things that you don’t truly value. Your mind will make you conscious of the number of hours left, and you will prioritise, organise accordingly and realise that many things you held as “important” aren’t really that significant to you.

There will always be people who will demotivate you, or make you feel like you’re wasting time or are not that interesting anymore. Most of these people are lazy 😉 Trust me on that. They can’t understand the ‘why’ behind working hard. And there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I do come across days where the physical, emotional and mental exhaustion takes a toll, and I just want to hide somewhere, be surrounded by white and silence, but that’s all part of the hassle and is a tiny phase, if anything it will increase your strength.

It is important to surround yourself by people who appreciate you, and your work. This is a very important factor, you have to also know what helps you unwind, it would be a day out with friends, a book, a chill movie, a quiet few minutes, writing a diary etc. could be anything, but it has to be time efficient. You can’t spend more hours unwinding than being productive.

I have decided to work on a new agenda, ie to sleep less, I want to gradually bring it to 5 hours, and maybe a power nap of 15 mins (if needed) and eating less. This will be a simultaneous work on self-control that I am looking forward to, plus the reduced hours of sleep will “increase” the number of hours for being productive.

In the past three years, I have experienced a great sense of accomplishment and confidence from my multitasking routine. I have discovered my love for hardwork, not just for myself but in others. I admire people with a ‘no nonsense’ attitude, who have a focus each and everyday. I aspire to be that person, there’s only 24 hours that we get each day, precious 24 hours and how dare we waste them?

I have a new sense of appreciation for people with drive. Those who aspire to do something with the skills they have been gifted, and I don’t mean this in the career aspect, just as human beings. Only those who have discovered the potential in their personalities can truly be productive on a regular basis. We come across so many talented people who are not contributing to the world in anyway. If that person is you, wake up, and do what you need to, because it’s your right. With all this appreciation comes low tolerance for laziness. An aversion to those who spread the vibe of nothingness. It comes with the mind-set I guess.

What are your thoughts? (Comment, share, like)

Scholastic book fair haul

Batool school is having the scholastic book fair on at the moment. And to me that’s just an opportunity to buy more books (9 to be precise). I think it’s almost like a disease. I haven’t received the scholastic book order I placed via school yet, but that didn’t stop me. Naah! Never!

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In fact right now all our stuff is in cartons and suitcases, we will be moving once the house construction is over. It’s only when I was packing up her and my books that I realised we hCAM03020ave quite a collection. A variety, mine are mostly text books and the few books I’ve mentioned already in the blog. But hers are truly a variety, from behaviour books, to story books, picture books, activity books, educational etc. I gave a few of her books that she has outgrown to cousins. I think that’s a good way of letting go of books, Batools attached to some of her books, those are the ones she wants to re-read, and always enjoys. Those usually are succumbed to so much love they look rather shabby. I won’t part with those. Will keep them for her to cherish and revisit when she’s older.

Moving on;  I will post a detailed review on first  impressions and review, as and when we explore them. The first book I picked up was ‘who wears glasses?’ by Ana Galan. I am also looking forward to introducing Clifford and Dora to Batool. She’s has recently started showing interest in stickers, (I was waiting for that phase) so I made sure I pick up books that will satisfy that craving.

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What books have you enjoyed reading with your kids? Any recommendations?

Would you kill the queen to crush the hive?

I work at a school. And one of the best experiences being around young human beings is, you kinda don’t grow up. You are constantly reminded of your adolescence, your childhood, your teenage issues. You are almost forced to be in that phase of your life, reminiscing constantly, some conversations get you nostalgic about your own uniform clad school days.

CAM01338And as a counselor for me it’s all about solving problems, providing clarity, support, unconditional love, a safe environment for children to just let go and express themselves. I think it’s crucial for children to know that there is always going to be someone there for them, through thick and thin. And this someone isn’t always going to be an adult, a good friend can go a long way. When I was in school, there were times of loss of clarity, a feeling of struggle to own your life, take control, choose your own path etc. And this particular song used to describe that feeling. That realisation of not just the struggle, and important of taking control, but the significance support plays in the whole drill.

I listened to music in those days not for the actual music, but lyrics. And this song has powerful lyrics. My personal favourite lines from the song are not in every version of the song.

‘Would you kill the queen to crush the hive?

And would you choose water over wine, hold the wheel and drive?’

The song is written beautifully, and the chorus signifies the importance of being there for your friend (or family, or lover), no matter what decision they make:

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Have there been any songs that have had a special relevance to your life growing up?

Scholastic haul

The school had distributed a hand out by Scholastic for books to order. It’s their initiative to promote reading at schools. Batool has always loved books, and enjoys it. And I thought this is a great way to just purchase selected books for age levels. So I got all excited and ordered few, it was my first experience, and even though I was tempted to buy almost all of them, I tried to keep in mind that they’re for Batool and not for me to explore!. So I decided to go for books that she didn’t have, variety to expose her to.

The great thing was all these books arrived in separate parcels, which made it easier for the teachers also to distribute them at school. Let’s get some picture in shall we?

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1. Trees to paper- This is a science based book, and since the daughter knows what paper is and trees are, it would e of interest to her. The concept to learn is how things come into being.

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2. Trash crafts- I mainly got this to have fun activities to do with her. This should be interesting

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3. Fly Guy Dinosaurs- She loves dinosaurs, there was no other reason to this order

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4.Night Sky Glow- Batool hasn’t shown much interest in space, and I had once almost picked up this ginormous book at Crosswords on the planets and space and all that beautiful stuff. But then I thought she needs something simpler, I should expose her to the idea first and then pursue it if she enjoys it. Because these space books for kids are a litle on the expensive side, they have many pictures, and textures too, some even have stickers. They make it super interesting. Anyway, when I spotted this on the list I thought this will be a great way to introduce Space into her little head. It has radium content also, that should make it grasping.

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5. Enjoy Phonics level 1- I wanted to explore this frankly, the book is nice and colourful with a CD too. There are writing activities as well, she’s just been introduced to the various lines (standing, sleeping, slanting) at school, so good timing.

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All of these books and others can be found on the website. Reading is the best and safest habit that can be inculcated in children. And the sooner it happens the better.

If you want a detailed review of any of the above books do let me know in the comments below. Happy reading.

Batools life in pictures 1

Another series where I make it interesting with less words and more pics! Here’s what Batools been upto…

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All ready for school. She vomited the first two she had to be left in class bawling for me. I thought it would be worse!, but she calmed down after day 3 and now says ‘bye’ while still in the corridor!

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Montessori activities at school

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This part is what caused the healing process of being without me, nobody compares the slides!

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Her first weekday family event, this frock is gift. I love the shoes got them from Hollywood at Abids.

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She told me she coloured the sun in class, but just couldn’t tell me how. I later figured it out when I saw the whole classes work on the bulletin board, it was sponge painting!

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And then there was the collage. It’s bouncy Bens (A letterland character) ball.

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Her first ever school homework! And boy did she test my patience.

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The end result as you can see is well….I am happy! I didn’t think she would sit through it all and finish it one go. That’s a positive change I have seen since school began, she didn’t need much assistance, I was sitting beside her for support and helping her pick colours.

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The obsession with books continues, I am running out of space, I have to get her a proper storage space for her many books. Batools totally loving reading,I thought maybe she would get over them once school starts and she’s exposed to various fun activities, but strangely enough it’s not so. I am glad! Will do a detailed post on her book collection so far, and her favourites with some tips.

That’s the round up mommies……..Many more interesting posts coming up..

Where have I been?

It’s shamelessly been over a month that I posted on this blog. I somehow was in a writers block and a lot has happened.

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1. I am now a graduate, even though I haven’t received all my documents. My university is yet to mail those to me.

2. I have successfully completed 8 months of volunteer work at Focus High School as a student counselor.

3. My Sunday school celebrated its third annual day on Sunday April 27th.

4. My application has been accepted at the Institute of Holistic Mental Health – IHMH for a post graduate diploma in school psychology. This will be my first official step into the field of educational psychology/School psychology.

5. The daughter will start school in June InshaAllah. I have started to make mental notes of school supplies and waiting eagerly to get more information from the school. I am going to be a mommy of a school going girl! so excited. Have started to mentally prepare her for the new chapter in her life. Both me and the daughter will be at the same school, only I will go twice a week and she won’t know I work there. More posts coming up on that soon.

6. I am also a part of an NGO in the making. more details on that later.

My folks here from Dubai for some work and Batool is over the moon with excitement. I am trying to get myself organised, cooked Hariyali chicken today, recipe to come soon.

What have you all been upto?