Not a very Christmas-y post, this one. But an important one nonetheless.
I had been meaning to talk about this since a long while but it just skipped my mind. Why is there so much peer pressure for not crying? Of course, i understand that one may not want to weep or cry in front of others to not make anyone uncomfortable or to not appear weak. But that’s just a part of the picture. Even weeping or crying alone is sort of considered taboo.
As for me, i think weeping makes one feel instantly lighter. Letting your emotions flow in the most physical sense cannot be so bad after all, I guess? Then why weeping is a sign of wrong doing? I don’t get this. One problem that I see with myself is that weeping comes so naturally to me and ever so often that sometimes when the matter is not that big of a concern, i end up scandalizing people around me. This definitely needs to change. I think somewhere I end up using it as a mechanism to gain shmpathh, which is so, so wrong on so many levels. However, I think others could definitely do with adopting more healthy weeping 😀 and, oh, the pressure that guys have for not crying. That sucks so much and definitely needs to go.
So, this Aug 30, I turned 30 years old. Of course, as I type it, it seems like a huge number. And usually when you have a milestone birthday (like 30s, 40s or even 25th, 35th etc), you are asked by others or yourself – how do you feel about turning this age?
I have some mixed thoughts on hitting this milestone year. I will try to break them down into understandable points, for myself as well as the reader. 🙂
First of all, a very obvious thought, which I think many people will relate to – I feel that life is running past us. As a 30-year old, shouldn’t I have had done more? Now, just to be clear, I am not someone who usually undermines their achievements or efforts. If anything, I am always applauding myself even for small achievements but, at the same time, I am also someone who would feel a whole lot more fulfilled if they can check on some typical success metrics (this may have something to do with how I was raised – my mom takes very little downtime and it’s so hard to convince her that relaxation is not a bad thing). Therefore, when I think that I have turned 30, a rush of things come to my mind – things that I should have done by now, but haven’t. I am also trying better to not measure life in checklists. In the end, it doesn’t matter, what usually bothers oneself is their own fomo and what if you get over the idea of fomo? A lot more happiness I guess. (Can’t believe I used fomo in a post about turning 30).
Secondly, age is not just a number. Let me explain myself before any bricks are thrown at me. I completely understand and agree to the context when people use “age is just a number”. What they mean is that there’s no age to do anything. You can find love at 60, become a painter suddenly at 30 etc etc. I fully agree to this thought. But it doesn’t change the simple maths that at any of these points in life, you are that many years old. There is only a certain number of years you would live from an average life expectancy standpoint. I really, really don’t want this to sound depressing and, trust me, I am not depressed while typing this out. I just feel that age is not just a number and it is indicative of how much of your life has already been lived. To take this indication in a helpful manner though, we can take a conscious call to not let age dictate what we want to do anyway!
The second point brings me to my third point – I feel a whole lot secure of myself as I age. This is one of the greatest benefits of ageing and I know many of my friends relate to this. I feel a lot more sure of myself, my wants, a lot more open to be myself in a crowd and this is something that I expect will improve even more in the coming years. I also have a lot less fucks to give to people who don’t matter (in fact, I expected more improvement in this area by now). Again something I hope will improve further as we age.
Lastly, I didn’t want to end this post without mentioning how my birthday went. I was at my in-laws place (fun fact – coincidentally all my birthdays post marriage have been with my in-laws and it’s a complete coincidence as we don’t live together). We had the usual cake cutting at midnight with some cute birthday decor. Btw, I abhor this midnight cake cutting concept now unless you are partying for the birthday. I mean if you are staying awake anyway for partying or anything else, then cut the cake at midnight. Otherwise, whyyyyyy? Also, I am a complete balloon lover but have given up on using them since they are non biodegradable. My SIL insists on having decor on my birthdays but I am totally against balloons now as I don’t miss their presence in my life at all. Can be easily given up. They did make for great pictures though! Sharing one below. I did another cake cutting with some cute kids in the evening next day. Apart from this, I got a lot of gifts from cute friends and family. I feel extremely loved when someone remembers the books I wanted to buy and loved having all the gifts I got this birthday – a Harry Potter illustrated edition for me to start my Harry Potter journey along with another book I wanted and some awesome lipsticks from Moksha, a pair of gold earrings from mil, some cute pendants from Khushi and a beautiful outfit by sil. All lovely, fun things. It was also janmashtami on the same day this time and it usually is a big deal as my sil and her husband are pretty religious, we participated in a dance during the janmashtami function and that was quite fun too!
I dedicated many minutes over many days on how I would have wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday and here’s the deal – the reason I thought so much about it is because I like doing something special on my birthday but it’s mostly because I don’t want to regret later about not doing something special :D. So, my ideal birthday would be to be on a holiday or a staycation or having a party with my close friends only if I can be sure that people will just chill and have a good time without making a big deal about birthday specific attention (that gets formal and irritating). This birthday too I had wanted to go for a couple spa (I haven’t got a spa done ever btw, hair spa doesn’t count). On the actual birthday, I didn’t feel like going for it, so that’s pending too. So much for seizing the moment and we only live once quotes😛.
How do you like spending your birthdays? Also, any thoughts on ageing are welcome 🙂
Edit: totally forgot to mention this gorgeous cake that my sil got made 🙂
This is about the time before I got Covid and when the second wave just started in India. I would say I consider this period as beginning of April. (I know I sound like this was millions of years ago. But, honestly, sometimes this all just feels like it’s a movie we are watching, happening to someone else sorts).
This is the time when gradually it started happening to your family members, or someone in your immediate circles, and, in most cases, to entire families. The best thing that could happen to most of us at this point was get recovered at home without having to hunt for hospitalization and most of us have nothing but immense gratitude for that. Most of us also have a close one who had to get hospitalized or a family member lost. So many people are arranging for covid meals in their localities to help out those affected and social media became the go-to place for finding medicines, hospitals and what not! (Something that infuriates most of us but it is what it is).
My cousin’s wedding was also planned for 25th April and honestly I find it funny now how the situation for our family was only worsening as his wedding drew closer. Anyhow, he went ahead with the wedding with just parents being there and all.
Anyhow, I didn’t intend this to be a post about the scary situation in India but I just wanted to share some little things that helped me have a less anxious state during those days (and even now) when social media is abuzz with remdisivir requests, hospital hunting etc. You are either helping amplify these requests, or God forbid, hunting yourself for these or just completely off social media to let your mind have some sense of peace.
And these are the things I was doing (or I am doing) when I am not doomscrolling these social media posts (of course, I meant apart from work and home chores) –
1. This blue tokai coffee and my favorite things ever – chips Self-explanatory. And yes, I want to change the habit of having too many chips. But there’s nothing I love more when it comes to food 😀 I cannot imagine life without chips. Also, guys, it doesn’t mean I don’t eat fruit etc. 😀 I just mean to point out that chips make my day infinitely better. Infinitely. Lastly, not recommended, chips is Extremely bad for health due to added sugar and sodium content. How I try to compensate is by not having refined sugar in any other form most of the times but it’s still not right to have chips daily!
2. Coloring Books Adult coloring books have been a thing for few years now and art is therapy anyway. But I started using adult coloring books since a year back and only recently did I use them to such an extent (daily or alternate daily). To be honest, I didn’t feel as much happiness as I expected but it sure is a great way to be more mindful – focussed at one thing, being in the moment and visualising colors. I also tried drawing something even though I am not good at it and that also brought me calm.
This is still a home chore and, of course, you dont feel like moving your a** for every meal but, in general, cooking (and eating😀) brings me a lot of mindfulness.
4. Dancing Just 2 days before I got Covid, I had decided to try doing this daily like I used to as a kid on Bollywood numbers. This was turning out to be a really fun thing because I enjoy dancing and I find it hard to stick to other workouts (I know it doesn’t have the same impact and I should have a proper workout regime, but something is better than nothing). It only happened for 2 days after which I got sick but this was fun!
5. Deep Breaths In the pre-covid era, I used to do this once or twice everytime I got anxious in day to day activities like, you know, when you are angry at the cab driver, people in your office. Oh man! This seems like a different lifetime already! However, now I practise deep breaths daily as part of using a meditation app (it’s called ‘Calm’ in case you want to check out, I get the premium version from my employer). I am still not good with meditation but I want to make it a habit and this focusing on breaths make it easier and more doable for me.
6. Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory These two felt like a warm hug while I had Covid just like watching ‘Friends’ feels to most of us. Just this time, I didn’t want to watch Friends because that’s what I am anyway watching all the time. Or, the US Office.
7. Reading I hope it’s obvious to the regular readers of this space why this is the last point. 😊 This is a constant in my life and these days when I come across other people mentioning that reading is helping them so much in coping up, since it truly feels like an escape, I don’t know, my heart just becomes full. I am not focusing a lot these days on stepping out of my comfort zone in reading, which is why on the number of books scale, I am doing good this year for my standards, even though I read pretty less each day. However, I should (as I always say) need to read more informative stuff but I’ll get there. I am just happy that there’s something called reading that exists in this world.
If you are reading this, would love to know the little things that are helping you stay sane these days. Do share with me!
Few days back, I was talking to my friend (Moksha who blogs here by the way) that how I am craving to shop. I think she knows this much about me and those who don’t, I think it’s important for this post that I mention – I have never been an impulsive shopper. Even as a teenager, I liked being mindful of my purchases.
However, that day, as I was mentioning to her, I felt like shopping a lot of new clothes, makeup etc etc. Obviously, I didn’t give in but after that I got covid and I had to order a coloring book and some colors here at my parents place which made me feel good. Even buying a new moisturizer made me feel good.
But coming back to the original point, when I mentioned to Moksha that I feel like shopping, she happened to mention that she, on the contrary, feels like “what’s even the point of anything”. She meant it in the covid context, how everything feels pointless these days and while I understood and felt very sad, I had not felt that until then since Mar’20 which is a big deal in today’s time. I did consider myself lucky for not feeling that way. And then, covid happened. Now I know that this feeling of pointlessness has not got to do much with the fact whether you have had covid or not. You can feel this and millions around the world are feeling this without getting covid because that’s the sort of situation we are in. But, for me, it happened due to catching covid. Now is the first time since this whole pandemic began for us that I am feeling this way. I do a lot of stuff in my quarantine to keep myself occupied. Honestly, even before I got covid, I was taking pictures to post on “What I am doing when I am not doomscrolling on insta”. I am genuinely thankful for all these things. But, truly, the feeling of pointlessness is now hitting home. I am positive of not feeling this way once I join back work ( I never thought that I would say this but, yes, I think it will help).
What are you doing? If you are in India, do share your thoughts on how have you been dealing with this second wave.
Last few days have been tough. Last Sunday Rahul and I came to my parents place because it was getting difficult to manage on our own with covid. My mom had just recovered at our place and went back to her home due to my father catching covid there. So it was not like we were adding to any risks by going there. so glad that we came because the next day my SPO2 levels started falling. This past week has all been about sleeping with concentrators all night and feeling better in the morning therefore. I am so so so thankful to friends and family who helped me get it. And I am even more thankful that I didn’t have to go to a hospital . Not sure if it’s the sensible thing to do, but I managed.
For now, I am facing breathlessness issues as soon as I get up from my bed. Rahul and my dad are doing fine except the weakness.
Doing better physically even though fever is still at 102. Cough and cold situation is also better than yesterday.
Today I got my blood tests done, and typical to my nature of crying at the site of needles, I made the testing person super uncomfortable with my behaviour. Still he tried being nice. 😀 It didn’t hurt at all which is another reminder that I don’t need to be the physical stuff fearful person that I am. But I don’t learn in this department.