The Daily Prompt: Just Another Day

Every day we perform certain actions without thinking. Be it big or small. It has become so monotonous that it doesn’t even register in our heads when we actually perform the specific action. Every year, I try and think of doing something new. Something that I can do every day and something that I’ll enjoy.

For example, last year I went on a baking spree. I wanted to bake anything and everything. Unfortunately I had to cut it short once my oven broke down. It broke my heart along with it would be an understatement. But that’s just temporary. Once I have a new oven, its back to baking. But that is what I call a ‘BIG’ action.

A couple of years before, it was to write a poem every day. Of course, I wrote some utterly bad ones but the whole point was to do something that made me happy and something that I could do daily.

This year I decided to spend time solving puzzles. I am a fan of puzzles. Especially word puzzles. I enjoy them immensely. Even more so when my sister and I are solving them together. That is not always feasible though.

The best part about solving puzzles is not only that it gets your brain churning those chains inside, it also gives you a nice boost of confidence when you solve an entire crossword, or a cryptogram by yourself. It makes you feel like pumping your fist in the air and going, “ha! I did it. I solved it!”

So this year’s ‘something new to do every day’ is solving puzzles. Needless to say, I’ve made it my ‘daily ritual’ too.

©NJ

 

The Daily Prompt: Quote Me

“There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
This is me, damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me… or leave me. Accept me – or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don’t fit your idea of who I should be and don’t try to change me to fit your mould. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.”
– Stacey Charter.

 

The minute I read this, it became my all-time favourite quote. I can easily relate to this because almost all my life I have had people yell/advice/tell me who I should be, what I need to do, how I need to do it, how I need to behave and a whole lot of similar ‘recommendations’. I say ‘almost all my life’ because I have finally begun to reach a stage where I am happy being the person I am.

I’m not perfect and I have no desire to be. I have my flaws but I have learned to accept them and I have learned to find ways to deal with them. Just because I don’t happen to be dealing with them according to the standards of others, it doesn’t mean I am not working on them. As long I am not physically, mentally or emotionally hurting someone, I’m happy dealing with it in my own way.

I have had a hard time getting people to accept me for who I am. For years I would wonder why it was so difficult. Then it hit me.

 

“If I couldn’t accept my own self for who I was, then I really couldn’t expect others to accept me for who I am.”

 

I had to be comfortable in my own skin, I had to love myself for who I was, I had to have that faith and belief in myself before I could even remotely expect it  from others. If not, I would only get trampled on. And that is exactly what happened. For years together, that I lost complete sense of my own identity. That is not a good thing.

It is only then that I started changing the way I think. Easier said than done. When you spend your life hearing, feeling and thinking like a ‘no good, loser, worthless s***’, you invariably believe in it too. But the minute I started changing my own thinking, I realised that I am not as bad as I heard or thought I was. It was much easier to tackle pain, especially emotional or mental pain.

We often to tend to take our thoughts and emotions for granted and we don’t really see the negative effect it can have on us. Especially when those very same thoughts and emotions are highly negative. We don’t realise how powerful they are until and unless we are deep inside the sandpit and are at the brink of getting buried forever.

Ever since I read this quote, I have made a promise to myself to not let negativity get to me. At least not for a long time. I am human. It is but expected that there are times when I will feel like the whole world is against me or something. But the promise I made was to never dwell on it for a long time. Give myself some time to rant and whine about it and then eventually move on.

I have accepted myself wholeheartedly, good AND the bad and you know what? Life has never been happier.

©NJ

A Warm Winter

Just yesterday I read about the impending blizzard that may hit the US and it reminded me of the ‘not so cold’ winter that we are witnessing in our city (Mumbai) or even our country (India) for that matter. It is cold, yes. But it isn’t as it used to be before. It is more pleasant than winter-y cold. You can see the changes in the weather, the effects of global warming and the dangerous levels our planet seems to be disintegrating. And yet, we don’t learn.

Well, here I am reminiscing about a cold winter’s day/night…

There’s a chill in the air, it is cold out there

It’s time to bring out our winter wear

Hot coffees, teas, soups to drink

Warm us as winter is on the brink

Sweaters, woollies, scarves and socks

Is the trend in fashion that rocks

It keeps us warm and we look hip

That’s the latest beauty tip

Runny noses, coughs and colds

Are things of often we’ve been told

To take care of ourselves this winter

And protect our young ones and keep them better

It’s that time of the season where fogs around

Keeps us from seeing anything on the ground

It’s not just that which is so true

Even pilots can’t see in the sky so huge

When we see it as nature we love the beauty

When we see it as a hindrance we remember our duty

We nag and complain about time lost

Instead of appreciating the beauty lost

Picture yourself in a snow filled place

A bonfire, marshmallows, hot chocolate to taste

Cuddled up with a pillow like a warm embrace

Staring out of the window at the falling snowflakes

Moments like these need to be enjoyed

Before, during and after it’s gone

For moments like these may never return

Where it’s cold yet warm under the sun

© NJ

A New Year’s Promise

The year’s come to an end

For as usual is the trend

Of celebrating the commencement

Of a new year in excitement

But let’s not forget

The events and effects

That our actions and approach

May have caused havoc on others

Begin the year with remorse in your heart

And a promise to yourself to do no more harm

If you do then remember to seek pardon

From the people you love the most

May the year fill us with love and strength

To get over hardships in every way we can

Make new friends, make new resolutions

Bond with the old friends and fulfill the old resolutions

It’s said if you start the New Year on a high note

Your life will follow the same route

I’ve never really given it much thought

For I never believed it to be true

But it doesn’t matter what I think

For it depends on life and its treat

Some are in our control, some are not

The way we get through is the thought

So make a promise to yourself

To live life to its fullest

Coz no matter what happens

It’s just once that your heart will beat

©NJ

Wishing each and every one of you a Happy New Year!

Lost Christmas

I’ve been feeling down these past few days and I don’t really know why. Ads in the newspaper, shops with Christmas trees and Santas and snowmen etc. hanging about, decorations selling at a discounted price all point to Christmas nearing. Usually I would feel the sheer excitement and get all gung-ho about it by planning on baked goodies, midnight/day mass, gifts for my family etc.

This year—zilch. Nothing. Not even a slightest glimmer of light. No cheer, no buzz, absolutely nothing. So instead of wallowing in whatever that is going on inside of me, I chose to or at least am trying to look at the positive side. But it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all for me. It just feels like every other day.

I guess I miss how it was celebrated when I was a child and it also helped as to where I lived. There was always a buzz no matter what the festival was. You know a festival is arriving by the excitement created by the people living there. Plus I feel like that personal touch is gone. For example, every year I would call people and wish them and if possible even visit them. Year after year I would do that. One year I didn’t. I was ill. I got no calls, no visits. Nothing. I got tired of giving. It doesn’t stop me from giving though. But I got tired.

 

Handmade cards with lovely words

Decorated envelopes filled with colours

Posted or personally delivered

We’d hang them on a rope

Or place them on speakers or the television

Midnight masses would be such a delight

With a choir that makes you want to sing in joy

You feel the happiness blooming inside

As you walk down the lane hugging each one tight

Hop to a neighbour’s for a quick glass of cocoa

Where presents are wrapped and tucked under a tree

You watch as their family members open them in delight

Hugging and kissing, spreading blessings and joy

You smile but are sad for that’s something not followed

In your own home ever since you were berated

Gift giving is still done but not in the traditional way

You feel a sense of sadness but push it far away

The exchange of goodie plates in neighbours’ and friends’ homes

The times you spent as a result laughing and cracking jokes

The times spent in the kitchen preparing sweets and cakes

Never were they traditional, we made our own unique bakes

The secret way of preparing gifts for family and friends

In hiding, my sister and I would make handmade cards

And try and sneak a peek at what each other has done

No matter what the state of mind in the house

We would always try and stay happy and bring cheer about

Sometimes it got exhausting and it would make me think

Would I ever have a Christmas that’s just simple joy and sweet?

This year is no different in terms of how I feel

In fact this year is harder for I don’t feel anything

People visiting or calling, none of that happens anymore

Now, it’s a text or msg saying “Merry Christmas” and we’re done

There’s no cheer, there’s no buzz, there’s no joy at all

It’s tiring me out and I’m trying really hard

To keep a smiling face and be cheery every day

Whenever I feel the pain I remember what I have

A family, friends, a healthy mind and body

That’s all that is required at the end of the day

But sometimes this heart of mine wished for those other joys too

I wish it would be happy but instead I have tears of pain

Every year I would console and immerse in spreading joy all around

To taking responsibilities of cleaning the house, to even decorating

Joining along in singing carols and with the choir too

I’d prepare goodies for family and friends

Make sure gifts were ready to bring smiles on their faces

All the little things would eventually make it feel like Christmas

I wanted to make it a personal, homey, special thing

But it’s hard when you’re the only one trying to do so

The personal touch was lacking, the only thing worthwhile

It didn’t matter if there were flaws in it

Those days are gone and maybe forever lost

So I continue to put a smile on my face

And personalize it for me on my own instead

© NJ