5 Mini goals and one Mega goal

13 Apr

I’ve seen several bloggers use this template to create and track mini goals. This is a fantastic piece way to document and retrospect on day to day life. Also, there are some long pending tasks or life goals that I never seem to have time for. This is a good starting point.

New Goals:

1)Do Classes regularly – Try to do 4 between now and May 13.

2) Complete a few projects with kid as way to spend quality time with her.

3) For the following situation employ a positive workaround:  “X said something bad or did something bad”. Assume X is at a low point and be charitable and amiable. Document instances.(X could be myself)

4) Donate either 3 hours of time or $100 (probably to Akshaya patra org)

5) Read/Listen to a work of fiction and one of non-fiction


Repetitive themes:

Every month, identify and incorporate a thing that I would never do – I did try something in March but more on that when I do the April Update


The Extrapolation Connundrum

14 Mar

Humans are strange. We know this. People get irritated by the internet, random blogs, forums, at what others say, at other people’s action, at themselves etc. But the strangest thing is getting annoyed by somebody’s perceived response. This is similar to attributing motives to someones suggestions. “I know x and x who would think this at this situation (although this was never explicitly discussed with that x)”. This is a really bad idea because it will hurt the thinker the most. Some scenarios:

-> Mothers who breastfeed and wear their babies probably will support cloth diapering and the consumption of organic food (Not true)

-> Working moms will probably be more into career and business trips (I personally have said no to business trips) . SAHMs will not support extending maternity leave and prefer lazing around (100% of my close friends are looking for a job or studying or have already found a job and all of them will vehemently support women’s rights. Or I might just be friends with nice people in general)

-> Well educated people are likely to be sophisticated.

Anyway, one of the reasons I bring this point is that I have been thinking a lot about relationships and people. In my younger days I used to get along with 10% of my acquaintances. Currently I get along wit h over 90% of the people I meet. The change is due to the realization of a simple fact. If 2 persons can be treated like 2 logical sets, then the venn diagram will show that there are points of difference, but given a certain amount of education, state of living, country/city of living and the presence of an offspring, the overlap is bound to be as large as the non-overlap. Another key point is that the venn diagram is with respect to closed sets. Since we don’t possess the entire knowledge about someone , it is advisable to keep our mind open and underscore the commonalities.

Slowing down

11 Mar

I opened this blog to jot down a few thoughts and noted to myself “Wow, 2 blog posts in less than a week” and realized it has been almost  2 weeks since my last post. Time flies I guess . The title is with reference to slowing down time, not slowing down life , so quite apt considering the timing.

I spent the better part of last week/weekend being unproductive. I didn’t finish any of my books, watched over 45 mins of tv each day  (1.5 hrs on one occasion), couldn’t do any intense workout thanks to a foot injury that persists and doing only 6 hours of office work per day . At the end of the week I feel like I achieved a few things but I felt I had not done my best and was not content.

I have over 4 books in rotation now and one of them had an interesting theory. Start the day by doing the thing you want to do the most. In other words, if you goto bed thinking “I wish I had done this today” then start the next day with that activity.  Several years back I read about a Russian physicist who had the habit of waking up at 3:30am. He worked from 4am-noon. When asked why he remarked “So that I get my work done before half the day is over”. I think he hit the nail on the head.  David Rock says that lack of stress makes people less productive. A mild stress element is required to increase output and I have to agree with this. Setting any deadline of sorts is better than giving myself endless time to do something. Finally, inhibiting distracting thoughts is vital to expanding time.

Today I reviewed my week and things look pretty good. Hope it stays this way.

On creative people and opinions

29 Feb

A foot injury  comes with a set of perks. One is that low physical exercise implies more energy that can tapped into mental exercise. This is me in a nutshell these past few weeks. A lot of “free” time means there are a lot of thoughts brewing in the mind cauldron.

A tangent that I often revisit is on the subject of varying opinions on several matters. Of course, opinions are like hair, everyone has a ton. Is choosing a side indicative of decisiveness or stubbornness? What about agreeing with both sides of an argument? Is it indecisiveness or steadiness? Isn’t it more valuable to see both sides of a point? The former is thought to indicative of a strong personality and the latter is considered a generally affable quality. After reading a few different takes by psychologists on this I will summarize my thoughts:

Common people typically choose one side or support both sides. A second type remains wishy washy and will choose the midpoint between both and support that. However the creative individual  is in-between. Such individuals have a complex personality and will be at times decisive and at times indecisive. This is because they are capable of the entire range of traits that multitude of people possess. All those who don’t possess the trait could still be creative.

That said, in his book , a leading psychologist refers to truly creative people i.e people whose name will go down in the annals of history for making novel contributions to humanity. He insists that there is no single uniting demographic , rather certain similar characteristics.  This is highly appealing because it ties in with the notion that creativity can occur everywhere , only a spark is needed. Do you agree?

Jan/Feb/Mar Closet Additions

24 Feb

Ann Taylor Leather Boots

London Fog Trench (Similar)

Ermanno Scervino Tweed Jacket

Kate Spade Cedar Street Small Hayden

Feel like I shopped sooooo much but have little to show for it. March is going to be super low key month  since I am teetering near my budget . Still, Kate Spade FTW.

Edit: I am shifting my budget around so that I will have a seasonal budget instead of quarterly. it just makes more sense. Also, this will be my last post on this topic. I seem to be well on track and my work wardrobe is 50% where I want it to be.

Being in the flow

16 Feb

I’ve scarcely composed/read blogs this past month. Although at first I felt I was uninspired that isn’t true.I am not stressed. I don’t worry about folks who judge me through a snapshot or a tiny window of their interaction with me be it office or home even if their job requires such a verdict be made(a superior needing to evaluate a subordinate). I used to wonder whether it was working or cooking or painting or exercising that makes  me experience positive emotions. However its not about the emotions, rather the state of optimal living which is in agreement to me.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the flow theory which talks about the highly focused mental state which arises as a result of single-minded immersion. Living life this way is highly harmonious to fellow human beings. It dramatically improves overall satisfaction in life. I often find myself emerging from having been in the zone. It could be at work accomplishing a challenging task, could be at home while entertaining the kiddo, could be while cooking which is a highly focussed task for me. The nice aspect is that it is subjective to each individual.

I saw this comic strip which shows a line up of some 15 odd jungle animals.There is a man who shouts “First animal to cross the finish line wins!!!”. There is humor in attempting to evaluate the 15 animals through a single yardstick. That is today’s world. If you don’t do a 100 things you are assumed to be “last” whatever that means. But this flies in the face of critical  thinking. One of the things I often try to do but fail miserably is to shift the focus from negative thoughts, other peoples negative opinion or treatment of me. No, what is needed is to think about them, then simple move on to more engaging tasks. If you have found yourself in the flow (lost track of time, achieved something , stay focussed on the task) I would love to hear what you were doing . If you often achieve such a state,I would love to learn some techniques.


A day in the life

15 Jan

Jan 14/ Bogi:

6:50am – rudely awakened by my alarm clock.

7am – medicine consumed. 40 min wait for any other food. I open laptop and quicky check emails /login on facebok

7:15am – Start learning TCL so I can use our tool’s native scripting language.

8am – Just when I am getting into the subject Ani is up. I quickly chomp 2 Milkbikis and gulp a cuppa tea

8am-8:15am – Cajole her out of bed, take care of basic hygiene and drink milk.

8:15am-8:30am – we make the beds, bond over outfits (AMMA, I think I wore something similar yesterday. Illa di that was green,white, green this is blue,green and white).

8:30am – 9am – Ani strikes so we play for a little bit, shower and get ready. I start on her “2 pony”. Ani finds it funny when R grabs her comb while I put it down and tie one of the ponytails. She says “Appa . NO swiping” (Dora fans will know) She is upset to wave goodbye to daddy.

9am – We make our oatmeal. Ani gets the plates and cups of coconut water while I make the toppings. Today we have the following toppings: Peeled/chopped apple, raisins, maple syrup and banana discs.

9:30am – We load up and leave the home (FINALLY).

10am – Ani is in her daycare. I rush to my office and reach at 10:15 to delve into work.

11:50am – I wonder whether anyone would notice me have a premature lunch. I don’t care, I have a hearty veggie soup  with a side of rice from the cafe

12:30pm- back from lunch and into work.

1:30pm – I am starving. I chomp down a Larabar. It isn’t enough. 4 minicarrot sticks. Still NADA. I have an Andes mint to control my rabid hunger. I am sleepy from all the eating. I sprint down 4 flight of stairs and to my car to grab the charger cable and sprint right back. 8 min walk , took me 4 mins sprinting.

5:33pm – WOAH, I forgot about the outside world. Its getting dark. I head to Anis daycare. We are on the way back. She says she missed me. I commiserate. I missed her too if that’s any consolation. She asks me how that could make her feel better. I talk to my sibling and my parents.

6:30pm – We are home. It takes me 10 mins to settle down etc.

6:40pm – I decide to make Venn Pongal, Thakkali gothu and ragi/kadalai/jowar/maize flour mix urundai. Ani and I have arguments , she wants to help, I want to get through my cooking. I finally ask her to leave the kitchen. I am annoyed at the delay for I am already hungry. I am grumbling about dishes to be done, fridge to be cleaned , dishwasher to be unloaded and she creeps in quietly (tear strained) and starts unloading the dishwasher. I pick her up, cuddle her, apologize for kicking her out of the kitchen. I let her do her stuff and silently thank the god . I chastise myself and get my priorities straight.

7:50pm – With Ani’s “assistance” I am now 80%done BUT DARN THE jaggery is impossible to smash. R is home and he demolishes them with little effort.While we wait for the sweet to cool, Ani and I wash our faces , change out of day clothes and wear salwar/pattu pavadai. She wants to comb her hair again and wear a necklace, I oblige rationalizing that one of us needs to be girly.

8pm – We offer prayer. Dinner is a hit and we eat family style for a change.

8:30pm – Ani gets an episode of Jake and the pirates which quickly turns into 2 episodes. I do all the dishes and give the kitchen a complete wipe down.

9pm – I am somehow tired but realize that I did no exercise today so I walk around the home for 15 mins.

9:15pm onwards– I  entertain Ani, I tell her a scary story of a man surviving a crocodile attack. Shes fascinated and wants to hear it on repeat. I recollect that we are running out of inner garments and  load the washer with a ton of clothes. This is highly entertaining for her. My humidifier needed a cleaning so I tackle that next. No mold. Yay!

10:20pm – I realize I am blabbering. I am trying to keep my eyes open but Snoozeee…!