Friday, 22 January 2016

cracked the code...

January-  The first month is about to end and everyone is settled into their routine. The month has zipped by (atleast for me). With some new projects underway, everyday has been a new chapter. Some I enjoyed and some I didn't. Thankfully I am able to make that choice and only 'do' what I truly enjoy doing.

I recently took on an assignment to write for a leading local portal. With my past year's experience of writing for online portals, I thought this would just be an extension. My first few meetings were an eye opener- young team, different dynamics, writing for a different target audience, interaction with a diverse team- challenges were galore. To top it all, I had to undergo hours of software training to familiarise myself with the systems, just so I could be independent and be able to write from anywhere. I have been far and away from words like SEO, coding, permalink, meta description!!

Like I mentioned in my previous blog, there is 'no age' to do something new. This was another test for that. An 18-year old, highly capable, highly patient lad training me. He probably could see fear on my face every time I tried to upload a story. Am sure he had a good laugh later. So did I. Even my elder one would try to hand hold me and worry if I uploaded my story the 'right' way. Three weeks and I can proudly say, I can sit 'anywhere' and file my stories now!

Friday: Yes it's Friday and this day feels like a festival in our house. Everyone is upbeat about the weekend, each one starts talking of what they wish to do. The younger one waits for her 'date with the dad' which happens on Saturday's. That's her 'alone' time with him. The elder one on the other hand researches on stuff that we can do as a family. Is it a trail, some roller blading, cycling, a new park to go or just a movie we can watch.
Spiti Valley

I have spent most of my Friday morning researching for my 'solo' trip I am undertaking in the summer. A 2-week volunteering trip to Spiti (North of India) with an organisation called 'Ecosphere'. Yes am excited but also super nervous. To be away in unknown land, all by myself will feel strange. Hopefully this will be a lifetime experience and I will bring back some memories that I can cherish for life and share with the girls as they grow. 

What am I excited about- a trip by myself after years, to be part of a 'grassroots programme'- a first time for me and use my skill sets to their benefit, the stories I am going to tell the girls once I come back.

What am I nervous about (the list is longer)- will I scrape through the 2 weeks, meeting and staying with strangers, will I miss family, how will I survive without my mobile and the internet, will I get cold feet. Hopefully all this will convert into excitement as the days get closer. I am sure I need to spend the next few months building up my mental strength more than my physical. I think my biggest high will be when I decide to do a similar volunteer programme with my elder one and this maybe a good story to exchange between us.

When I used to work in Dubai, we often used the word "Inshallah" with the hope that everything will go right. The word fits in perfectly with my current state of mind. Only time will tell where this experience will take me. As for now Happy Friday to all!

Friday, 8 January 2016

happiness and fears

3am- My phone flashes a light. I have just received a 'whatsapp' message from a dear cousin who lives in the US. Five years ago, whatsapp wasn't a part of my life but today, a lot of my relationships/ friendships have survived/ sustained because of the whatsapp groups I am part of.

I have family groups, even with in that I have groups with immediate family, cousins and then of course the friends circle. This varies from dear college buddies, to friends I have made over the years. These groups today make sure that I stay connected and probably have also made me closer to some of my friends and cousins over the years. 

We exchange pictures, reviews of movies, any family updates. I may not have seen that person for years but the communication has kept the relationship alive. We are together yet we are not. Even when I go to watch a movie alone, I feel am not of the groups would have posted a review of that movie or sent out a message asking about the same!

Friends I have made over the years who are now far away don't seem so far. We can safely say that emails took over snail mails and now whatsapp has taken over even phone calls. Birthday and anniversary greetings now come via whatsapp messages, real time exchange of videos and photos make sure we don't even need to post pictures on any social media platform. Even grandparents have got hooked onto it and wait for updates on it. 

I still recollect the first time I heard about whatsapp (five years ago??), and mentioning it to a friend that "God another software to complicate our lives". But alas, it has redefined a lot of friendships and relationships in my case. Even my husband and I communicate during the day via whatsapp! So what if we don't talk we atleast chat!!

Wonder what's going to come next after whatsapp. Hope we don't stop communicating with each other...

December- After years we stayed back in Singapore this year in December. But we probably had a more hectic holiday than any vacation we have undertaken. Visit by grandparents and dear friends made this one of the best reunions we have had in years. The kids were waiting for each other, the adults had their own agenda and boy, what a reunion it was! From the giggles, to the silly jokes, to the outings, the late night chats, kids bonding over movies and popcorn, this is surely what priceless memories are made of.

As a child I have fond memories of spending my holidays in my grandmum's home or spending my holidays watching back to back movies late into the night with dear friends and staying over with them.

Of course as part of the holidays we undertook several outings but one of them left a mark on me- A grand course at the Forest Adventure! The younger kids did the kids course and the older ones did the grand course...As I embarked on the adventure, I had a lot of questions in my mind- why the hell do I need to do this at this stage of my life, will I ever get over my fears and complete the course, and of course I needed a lot of deep breadths as I went on. Be it the zipline (click the video), the tarzan swing or the tight rope walks, each one seemed tougher and my fears swayed as I went on. 

Kids course by the younger ones
But yet I tried hard not to give up. Of course having two 11-year old's doing it with such ease was a bit consoling.Strangely they had to hand hold us more than vice versa. This adventure seemed nothing less than being a part of the popular TV show- Fear Factor (for me). It was all about getting over my mental fears rather than physical. And by the end of it I think I surely did get over a few. It also just proved that there is 'no age' to get over any of your fears. For me it's always been about heights and speed and a roller coaster ride and this adventure were surely baby steps towards getting over some of my worst fears.

So what's next? Maybe a kayaking course (with no training in swimming??)...another fear I have had and hopefully I will scrape through that as well....a high point to start 2016 and hopefully will end it on a high as well!