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Books, books and more books

November 14, 2017

Books read in the past month:

  • Number the stars by Lois Lowry
    • The resident brand new teen is apparently a big fan of this author. He got this from the school library, shoved it into my hands and said “read”. And boy am I glad about that. It was a gripping tale of two ten year old girls and their families in Denmark during world war II. Germans invade Denmark and one of families help the other (jewish) family escape the Nazis. Must read.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
    • YA genre. I learnt about fan fiction in this book. The protagonist is a writer of fan fiction and her stori(es) are interspersed with the main story of the book. The inner story has paranormal stuff which doesn’t interest me at all. So I skipped it altogether. It felt like it ended abruptly, although it may have some connection with the inner story (and maybe I missed the point of the book completely).
  • Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance
    • Gives a perspective of the so called hillbillies and a great respect for the author for rising up despite the adverse surroundings he grew up in. A well-written non-fiction book. Highly recommend.
  • The Other Boleyn girl by Philippa Gregory
    • The story of the two Boleyn sisters, both involved with King Henry VIII, one as a mistress and the other who becomes a wife. The book is long, but I still couldn’t put it down until I’ve completed it. Amazingly well written book based on historical events.
  • Re-read portions of Lisa Kleypas books – “Dreaming of You”, “Where dreams begin”, and books in the “Hathaway series”. I can never get enough of Kleypas’s books.

To be read:

  • “First Muslim” by Lesley Hazleton
  • “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee
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Children are the windows to our souls

November 11, 2017

It struck me today that Self-awareness is a quality that I’m sorely lacking in. Not only am I totally unaware of my faults, I rate myself pretty high in certain good qualities even when I don’t have them. Now what brought this on?? Why am I suddenly looking inward and thinking about self-awareness?? My amazing younger kid has her emotions on the sleeve, and frequently blows up, sulks, whines etc. when the mood strikes. She can get quite jealous of friends, cousins etc., even when there is no reason to be. I kept telling her how sometimes it’s okay to be jealous, but that she has to keep her emotions in check. In particular today, she was blowing up because mommy loves her friend more than her which was an absurd thought. And I tried telling her that. Anyhoo, I realized that I have similar qualities – getting jealous, blowing up occasionally, being self-centered etc.. It’s not a sudden realization, more like I knew I have those qualities, but have never acknowledged them.  Today I’ve also acknowledged that I’m all talk, but no action. I’m trying to decide whether to make peace with these facts, or make an effort to change them or ideally do both.

 

No End in Sight

October 31, 2017

Our family is at crossroads. And the direction that we are supposed to take is currently not in our control. The decision to take is based on whether or when somebody else decides to abide by an agreement made. Why is it so hard for people to say YES or NO?? And if they decided on “yes”, why NOT abide by the agreement. Three times agreements were made, one verbal, one on paper – signed, and the third waiting to be signed contingent on them fulfilling their initial commitment. First two have been dragging on to the point where we’ve given up. Waiting on the third which was supposed to be done yesterday, but still waiting and hoping against hope that this one will go through. Or else back to square one. This waiting is torturous for someone with low patience levels to start with.

Twice so far we’ve made major decisions and each one is preceded and decided by not so good positioning of our lives. If there is a third time, I hope it’s on a truly positive note.

On the little things that matter, resuming regular exercise has brought down our PMS melt-downs to a manageable level. And this month is bearable on that count. Although my gym membership is expiring this month I think, and I don’t think I’ll renew it <sigh>.

#MeToo

October 23, 2017
tags:
  1. When I was about 6 or 7, my dad sent me to a neighbor uncle’s house about 5 doors down to give something. This is a time when it’s common for kids to play outside unaccompanied. He didn’t think twice about sending me alone. The uncle on the other hand was worried for my safety, and sent his teen son to accompany me back to our place. The boy made me hold his penis to masturbate. This memory is so vivid – I don’t remember much else about my childhood in that place where we lived until I was 8.
  2. We were visiting some caves when I was about 12, when someone grabbed and pinched my non-existing breasts.
  3. A few guys were riding on a bike and one of them hit me hard on the back when I was walking with a cousin on the road. I almost lost my balance.
  4. The worst was when I was a child of 10 and a relative staying at home abused me over a period of time. The details are still difficult for me to share. This is a person for whom my dad helped secure a job and our family provided shelter and food while he settled down.

I’ve never ever shared these incidents with another soul. Why, I’m not sure!! Maybe because the topic never came up with people who I could share this with. I no longer feel ashamed or guilty about these incidents. And know for a fact that it’s not me.

Toll-gate revelations

July 3, 2017

On our way back from our parents town from a weekend trip, there were several locations where we had to pay toll. First time, the husband who was driving wasn’t paying attention and ended up behind a line of vehicles while the other lines were practically empty. The next time we paid close attention to all the gates and ended up in the shortest line with only one vehicle in front. Unfortunately that guy took forever to pay and we see that all the vehicles that came after us leave while we were still stuck behind this one vehicle. Then there was this time where there are huge lines of vehicles and we still tried to optimize. What do we know, the line we were in moves the slowest even after switching lanes twice.

And this folks is the story of our life. No matter what we do, we get the short end of the stick.

40+ and still learning lessons

June 24, 2017

It’s amazing how we could turn 40 but are still in the process of learning life lessons. And at the same time feel stupid for not figuring out stuff that seems obvious to most people. It must be the adverse times that brought about these realizations. Would we have loved being happily ignorant??

Anyhoo, our biggest lesson today is “my money + your money != our money“. Do not be stupid enough to believe this no matter how close you are to the other person. There can be “no money” left when we need it. And most people seem to know this already <sigh>.

The second lesson is how only people who you care about the most and are closest to you have the power to hurt you the worst. As cliched as this statement sounds, it is also true. And is it any surprise that we didn’t realize this until it happened to us.

The last lesson for today is about how lucky we are to have supportive parents, parents who have your back no matter what, and parents who are alive period. We are happy to have figured this out even if it’s late, because there are plenty of people out there who still haven’t.

That time of the month

April 18, 2017

PMS is a bitch. This week I had

1) one almost sleepless night getting riled up over something or the other,

2) one night of getting really mad and saying stuff that I regret to the husband and crying for an hour before going to sleep,

3) yelling at the driver and almost on the verge of tears for being AWOL the day before (which is not unusual). Again words that I now regret.

4) 3 days of either trying not to yell or actually yelling at the kids.

I’m so annoyed at myself at the loss of self control, but at the same time couldn’t help being unreasonable. All the extra family stress is making it worse. Hope and pray that things will settle down for us this year.