Popcorn Zone

Five Things I Learnt This April

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It’s already the first of May. I just don’t seem to be getting hold of the year that seems to be passing by so quickly. It seems like as though the year 2018 has just begun, but here we are already in the month of May, with almost half the year having gone by.

Challenges in life are aplenty

I heave a sigh of relief as the A to Z Challenge comes to an end. It was a month of daily blogging, reading, commenting and sharing posts of others. Unlike the previous two years, this time around, I was far more relaxed and seldom fretted about the whole challenge. For one, I had my posts ready well in advance. I had my reading list organized on Feedly and also allotted specific time slots during the day, when I would be sitting in front of my laptop. This helped me to sail through the challenge with ease.

Challenges indeed are aplenty in life. Where some are specifically to give materialistic results, others are purely for our own self-satisfaction. The A to Z challenge is one such, where on completion you smile and give yourself a pat on the back. Almost all challenges have certain similarities. They instill an element of discipline and focus. Challenges stress on the importance of preparation, teaching you to set limits and understand your capability. Despite my travel in the month of April, I did manage to complete the challenge, much to my satisfaction.

Mid-life crisis is for real and it can strike one and all

Despite the blogging challenge, the day to day personal challenges bogged me down. I found myself over thinking, trying to seek answers to some deep probing questions. There were moments when I totally would lose my mind, making some rash decisions. Seeing me in a state of turmoil, a dear friend of mine, suspected mid-life crisis to be the culprit. Midlife Crisis??? And me?? Well, I have always dismissed this whole notion as a ridiculous state of mind and totally inconsequential to life. But then I may be wrong. Midlife crisis can happen to anyone, and it is characterized by a strong desire for change. People respond to it in different ways.

The universe does send you messages- well in its own way

In an effort to snap out of the turmoil that my mind was reeling under, I decided to consciously take time off to be by myself. I spent time listening to music that made me feel good, read more, and went out for long drives. I played games with the kids and laughed out loud at their small inanities. Just as I was beginning to feel a lot more positive, a friend of mine gifted me a little Buddha statue, co-incidentally on the day before Buddha Purnima. Under normal circumstances, I would have just accepted it as a token of her love. But somehow this time around, it felt like as though the universe was trying to tell me something. To be at peace, to lay to rest unknown anxieties and to focus more on what’s the real thing around me. The universe sure has its own power and ways to communicate to you.

Moms need their moms too

It’s a strange relationship moms and grown up daughters share. We argue on almost everything under the sun, sulk a lot much to each other’s dislike and, resist opinions. Yet, when there is an issue, the first person an adult daughter would turn to is her mother. With my kiddo going through yet another episode of being unwell, it was my mom who came to my rescue. Her spiritual thoughts comforted me; her power of listening coupled with her words of hope smoothed my nerves and kept me at ease. I realized you may have become a mom, but you still seek your own, when life binds you in a crisis. You may have the most loving partner, yet you still want her warmth around you.

Not making dinner every night doesn’t make me a bad mom

We mothers are the craziest bunch. We set high expectations for ourselves and then feel guilty when we are unable to accomplish it in entirety. Healthy, home cooked meal, three times a day on the table has always been my mantra. I plan my menus well in advance, stock up the kitchen adequately and spend a good 45 minutes cooking up every meal. If I am unable to deliver this, I begin to reek in guilt for not having given the kids a proper meal. But with the heat soaring in the month of April, it was immensely difficult to get through the 45 minutes in the kitchen, three times a day. Hence, I began to complete my cooking in the morning, when the temperatures were slightly lower. What was cooked in the morning was served for all three meals of the day. The set up worked perfectly fine, and in fact I realized I had far more time for myself, as well as for the kids. Not sure if this made me a better mom, but it sure did make me a happier one!

With May, I am excited about the approaching summer vacations and my travel plans. I once read that the best things you can give your children are happy memories that they can carry with them for a life time. I am hoping I am able to create loads of good memories for them and for myself too.

Linking with April 2018 Gratitude Circle bloghop at Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

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  • Tara

    Hi Ramya, very insightful. I definitely have the urgency for change. My family wants to move to another town, but my job keeps us where we are. I’ve lately been tempted to just give in and move and start a new adventure. Now I’m wondering if part of it could be midlife. I know my kids are growing up so fast. I feel I miss so much being the full tome worker. Thanks for sharing.

  • thevintagegypsygirl

    You are spot on about the universe sending us messages. Oftentimes, it’s a signal that change is on the horizon. Our only job is just to listen to that quiet, still voice in the chaos, and then take heed.

  • lifewithzg

    Oh this is so inspiring, i’ve dealt with mid crisis problem too and now im stronger than before and more motivated. I guess we just need to go through that to remind us to keep going.

  • Anagha Yatin

    Is that post for me, on me, I wonder Ramya. Right now, my mother is around with us and she is the one who is making me reign in much needed peace with my inner dilemmas. Moms do need moms and it feels so secured when Mom is around. Thus giving me the feel that I have not grown up yet…I am still the same naive self.
    Cant agree you more when you mentioned about not dishing out dinner some day.
    Very insightful post.
    Wishing you a happy happy wala “May”!

  • Obsessivemom

    Loved all of your learnings and they are all so true for me too. Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed the books you shared. Glad you could do it with ease, that your planning and being organised worked so well. Oh and I can so identify with what you said about mid-life crisis. Somedays a feeling of total dissatisfaction hits me hard. But then it is important to cherish what one has and gratitude posts help a lot.

  • Mayuri Nidigallu

    A lot of us feel changes within, and a lot of us ignore them. Glad you didn’t. As feeling a change is always a signal to evolve. Glad you did. Loved reading your balanced book reviews all through April, kudos on completing the challenge!

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thank YOu so much Mayuri. Agree its all about evolving in life, and seeking a change helps surely.

  • Rachna

    Bravo on completing the A to Z. You know midlife crisis is for real. I’ve personally seen both men and women go through it. It’s okay to sometimes feel overwhelmed. Just take time off and do what you like as you are doing. I like the lessons that you’ve shared. You know I do the same with cooking as well. Cook more at time to last for two meals. Why not, I say? And there are times when I am tired and either the husband cooks or we order out. Whatever work, right? Hope you and the kids have loads of fun with the vacations and travel.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Yup rachna. on a vacation this May, and hopefully should come back rejuvenated. And wrt to cooking, yes thats what I am doing now. Have begun cookin a larger portion in the morning to last for the complete day.

  • Shalzmojo

    Cheers and a fist bump for completing the challenge Ramya! It did get hectic for me this time around and I was actually happy to see it over (last time I was broken hearted that it got over) 😉
    The heat has been relentless this APril and I am just loving these cooling thundering dust storms that seem to be hitting us daily since past 2-3 days. Brought down the mercury immensly! Cooking three times a day is insane girl and I bow down to you for it. Hope you take it easy and spend some me time with yourself first 🙂

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thanks Shalz… The challeneg gets hectic, but it is still fun. I know I am so insane na, .. but well, have stopped cooking 3 times a day now. And boy, what a relief.

  • JayanthyGovindarajan (@JayanthyG)

    I am glad to be back here, Ramya! It is a pleasure to read your gratitude posts! I wish I could be more regular to read the other ones too! Coming to the lessons, it is true that we need the time to sit back and do nothing. However, I find very less time nowadays to do it and I miss it a lot! When it comes to the mother – daughter relationship, I nodded so much while reading it here. It is so true that we need our Mothers whatever be it! One moment we are fighting like cats and the next, we are talking like best friends! I see and cherish this relationship more because I love the fighting episodes of my grandmother and mom and my sister and I get to be the judge. We only laugh though! 🙂 We make 3 meals at home too. It is such a time consuming task and this summer is only making me sweat more in the kitchen! I love the dinners more than lunch. My little one sleeps in the evening and I finish the dinner preparation before she wakes up and that becomes more of a fun activity for me in spite of the heat! Have a wonderful May, Ramya!

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thank YOu Jayanthi. Please do be regular with gratitude posts. Its fun to write as well brings in a calm and soothing effect on the mind. Haha its so true about mothers and daughters. Yes I fight so much with her, yet I just want her to be around me. Sigh! Phew Jayanthi, hates off to you, I have given up cooking 3 meals a day. Its taking a toll on me.

  • writershilpa

    It was a wonderful month, a hectic month and a challenging month for us all, indeed!
    Ramya, yes, midlife crisis does exist — I am going through it and believe me, it’s been bang in the middle of the A to Z that things have been so tough! But, it’s my writing that kept me afloat. As it did for you, too, isn’t it?
    Yes, about moms, it’s one thing I wholly agree. I too need my mom at this age. I may be nearly 45, but when mom’s around, I am 4! 😛
    And, I am glad you changed your cooking schedule, girl! What were you thinking??? Three times a day!! No one’s going to give you a medal for doing THAT, Ramya! Sorry if I sound too blunt, but, girl, take care of yourself and your kids will be happier.
    I am planning on going to the bookshop and decided to check your A to Z posts for book recommendations, and hence this visit! 😛 No, seriously, I was going to visit you soon, but I need to read some good books, and what better place than your blog to know which ones to buy!


    • Ramya Abhinand

      Hahah yes Shilpa, in front of our moms we tend to be a little kiddo. We love to be pampered, na? and you arent harsh dearie. YOu are so right, I must stop feeling guilty for not cooking. Learning my lessons properly now Shilpa. And have stuck to two meals a day.

  • the bespectacled mother

    Congratulations Ramya for completing the A to Z challenge. The lessons you shared were true for me too. April was a month of anxiety for me which I was not able to get over. Peace blessed me in the last week. And our Moms, where will we be without them. i think about this all the time. I will be 40 in a couple of years and yet can’t do without my mother’s patient ear and her huge pitaara of remedies for all health problems. Cooking in the summer evenings can be taxing and bravo to you for figuring out a way around it.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thank you Anamika. Ah yes, you had a whole movement in April. Hope you are settled and are back to blogging. Your posts were missed girl!

  • Corinne Rodrigues

    Enjoyed reading your post, Ramya. I like how you have found a solution to the cooking and made sure you don’t feel guilty too!
    Congratulations on acing the A to Z – I was not up to it this year too.
    About the midlife crisis, I wouldn’t label it, but I’ve found that whenever I feel restless and dissatisfied, it’s time for me to look deep within and see what changes I can make.
    Have a wonderful May!

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thanks Corinne, yes I am working hard not to feel guilty for not cooking. BUt well social conditioning seems to be so strong that I sometimes do feel bad, that the food served for dinner isnt fresh.. Sigh!!!

  • Asha Rajan

    Nice to see you back on the grids, Ramya! You have so many interesting threads in this post. You touched on some universal truths about self-discovery in the section on midlife crisis and how your opinions have changed. And again when you discussed needing your mother well into adulthood, and having unrealistic expectations of ourselves. Each one of these thoughts is worth expanding on, and could be the source of so many individual posts. It would’ve been good to see these thoughts separated into different posts where you explored each in a little more detail. Or alternatively, it would have really strengthened this post to have a running thread or theme that tied them all together.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thank you so much ASha. Thats an excellent idea. I would surely work on each one of these threads in the following weeks. And link them to this main post. Love you for this 🙂

  • Soumya Prasad

    Congrats on completing the challenge, Ramya. I loved reading your posts on the brilliant women in books and have put in so many books in my TBR now.

    Your lessons are my lessons too apart from the being a bad-mom one. I’d translate it to a wife and it holds good for me. April was so busy that I couldn’t wake up in the mornings to cook breakfast and lunch. After beating myself up for more than a week, I realized that I’m not a bad wife for not cooking a meal or two. It is okay.

    Wishing you more lessons and happiness this May.

  • Surbhi Prapanna

    My heartiest congrats to you for completing a2z challenge, and I really impressed with the way you had planned it. and I could totally understand how difficult it is, to manage so many things togather, best wishes for rest of the year.

  • Esha M Dutta

    Congrats on completing the #AtoZ challenge, Ramya and seeking out time for yourself is always the best thing when doubts assail the mind and you are in turmoil. I can relate to the way we moms tend to look out for our own moms when in crisis. I do it all the time no matter how grown up I feel. Happy to know that you’re making room for happiness by making slight adjustments here and there. Flexibility is certainly the key to letting more light and joy into our lives. Wishing you a great month ahead, Ramya!

    • Ramya Abhinand

      So true. you used the right word esha. Its flexibility and thats what actually creates space and joy in life. Ah wish we never grew up and always had moms by our sides 🙂

  • Shalini R

    Many congratulations on completing the challenge, Ramya. Hip Hip Hurray 🙂
    ..and I know how your life can bog you down. May be that’s what happened to me the last week of April which resulted in dropping off from the challenge. Anyway, what I learnt is that you need to pull yourself up and keep going no matter what! I hope your kiddo gets well soon, Ramya. My love and prayers always!
    And oh, I cook a lavish lunch which is then consumed for dinner too. Let’s not blame ourselves. Blame it on the summer, as you said! 🙂
    Have a fantastic May!

  • Parul Thakur

    Your lessons are for your readers too. Not sure about mid-life crisis but I know that we all need time for ourselves. I am sure you mothers are so busy that it’s hard to sneak in that time. As you begin to do that, you realize that it makes us happier and better. On cooking – I have been doing that for many years. I have a help who comes in the morning. So what’s for lunch is for dinner. Since it makes life easy, we are happy.
    Wishing you a happy May, Ramya.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thank you PArul. We all need time for ourselves to think, dream and laze away time. And thats what makes us a happier person. Geez.. am I the only one cooking up a meal three times a day?? well, thats changed now:)

  • Shirley Corder

    Congratulations on making it through the A to Z Challenge. I nearly nearly didn’t do it this year, as I had a book deadline for the last day of the month. Talk about crazy! I signed up on condition that I would have all my posts done in advance, like you. Unlike you, I didn’t. What a hectic month, but hey! I made it. And doesn’t it feel good? A to Z is over, and here’s the full list of my posts on the topic, “Improve your life, Improve your mind.

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