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…!

Two new things for a week

7 Jan

I ended up with a severe acidity problem last week. It still persists so I’ve gone without wearing skinny jeans which I wear excessively. So since last Saturday I have been wearing anything but non skinny jeans. Let me tell you it has NOT been easy. Skinny pants/jeans are easy to style and since I only have black skinny jeans styling them is super easy. This temporary ban has forced me to wear straight pants, forgiving leggings, dresses to work twice this week (thats more than what I wear in a month) etc. Today is the 6th day. I am hoping to dress this way until next friday at which point my medicine course ends.

In other news I officially began oil cleansing since Monday. I started breaking out yesterday so hopefully it will subside and I can stop using face moisturizers. I still use my anti-aging serum though .

Oh I think the title should reflect 3 new things , not 2. Acidity issues have forced me to pause the consumption of coffee. I can no longer tolerate the smell of coffee. As of tomorrow it will be one week ! In an effort to reduce the amount of caffeine research says I should stop brewing with 3 tea bags per cup for 3 mins and instead tea bags for 5 mins. I tried it today morning and tea is still weak (I make the tea decoction sans ginger or spices, milk separately and mix them just before drinking).  My current favorite tea is a)Kannan Devan b) Tetley . I have tried SO many types of tea over the past 2 months. Conclusion? I sincerely hope they will never stop making kannan devan tea. The flavor is remarkable and unique.

#Noskinnyjean #Oilcleansing #TeamTea

Update 1/12/2016: I started wearing skinny jeggings today because well i felt I looked frumpy. At some point I should revisit this. I am craving coffee but cant drink let alone smell it. 😦

December / Year in review

30 Dec

December was a bad month for me in terms of wardrobe . Why ? 3 leggings of mine ripped (from India) and my favorite black skinny jeans/pant came apart in a week’s time. I ran to Uniqlo and picked up a Camel colored legging ($32) to ensure not going pantless to work.. Also picked up a pencil  skirt for $7 (down from $78) from Marshalls .

The last shopping trip of 2015 saw the addition of a Suede mint flats ($63) and a sheath dress ($11) . I was also gifted a black pant and burgundy belt by my SIL. Thats about $113 for this month.

I really like having an account of what I bought this past year.  I noticed that 4 items from this year (Keds/dolman top/sequin sweater/peplum top) don’t get any use. All 4 were ‘risky’ online orders. That means I ordered them inspite of knowing from the size chart that it might not fit me. That’s about $100 worth of clothes/shoes that will be unused. That is 6% of my purchases since March.I never had a shopping problem to begin with. I also don’t have a cohesive closet and nothing goes with anything else so keeping track has helped me immensely.

Also both the boyfriend jeans I purchased this year get used maybe once a month . I won’t buy this fit anymore.

That said, being accountable on this blog if only to myself has really helped. I wear every single thing that I bought this year routinely. I especially LOVE my November purchases although they are the most boring of the lot. They go with everything.

I think $2000 per year is plenty for me. Next year I will stick to my $500 per quarter plan but I wont accumulate more than 10 pieces per quarter. That is a lofty goal and one I set because I want fewer things in my closet which a) Must not shrink b) Must not pill c) Must not fade d) Must especially not rip 2) Must only be Cotton/Wool/Linen/Leather/Silk.

One of my thoughts for this year is to have a wardrobe shopping list similar to a grocery shopping list. This should simplify the process of getting ready. Some of the things I feel that are missing in my closet right now: Colorful Peacoat/jacket , Black riding boots, brown flats.

The sensitive skin struggle

12 Dec

Disclaimer: Worrying about skin is shallow and documenting it can be construed as especially vain, I acknowledge that is in fact the case with me. This is a fun blog I will never make anything when you click on any post.

This past year my skin has reared its ugly head. It looks dull, uneven, breaks out atleast 2-3 times a month and then leaves a giant dark spot making it look more uneven. .  I tried many things , mostly from 100% pure and went one month without trying anything and learned a few things.

->  FOr some reason my regular facewash was making my skin too oily. I switched to Dr.Bronners and used it according to the instructions. I used this Vitamin-C serum in lieu of the ester-c serum. The primary reason is that the second one leaves your hand sticky and has a strange smell. I bought a new lipstick from MAC which i love. I also tried the lip tint from lush . Don’t ever buy it, on two occasions it made my lips bloat up to 2x the size. I ended up using it like sidewalk chalk.

-> I had tiny flareups on my forehead for 3 whole months starting from late spring..  NOTHING helped. After a lengthy trial I have concluded that in summer the best thing I can do for my skin in leave it alone . I finally bought this spray moisturizer and went one month with using my body wash/ the one moisturizer .

-> Right now my skin looks dull and I started usign the vitamin c serum again along with cherry coffee cream moisturizer. This is a medium strength moisturizer, perfect for me.Dont recommend it for women who need extra moisturizing.

-> Facial skin is very thin. I read an article that said moisturizers applied on the face absorb faster than the rest of the body. So last winter I moved my entire facial care to natural/organic . I tried a few serums: This brightening one and this super fruits one.  The first one was good but not better than the rest. However, combined with the entire brightening line (I had samples) it had a great effect. The second one goes on like an oil. I gave samples to a few of my friends who loved it. I think i have a few more if you are interested.  I used mine and wont repurchase , it was too oily for me.

Finally, a few other things I’ve tried:

-> Body Wash: I love the 100%pure body washes but they are priced significantly higher than other prices. Some of the body washes dont need a moisturizer afterwards. Then again, this is what I found with the cheap neutrogena body wash.

-> Body butter/moisturizers/scrubs – THe body butter is outstanding. The rest are mediocre. Still, the only thing that helped get rid of scales in my feet is the cetaphil moisturizing cream.  Oh, HOW I WISH this had a scent to it. @#$!

-> Makeup: Honestly, if you use makeup then give this one a try. I am paranoid about applying chemical based makeup and the only things I use apart from my 100% pure line are the benefit magic ink eyeliner and MAC lipstick. Infact I bought the black tea eyeliner from 100% pure and it actually goes on better. No reason to buy high priced junk anymore when high priced good stuff is available.