Sunday, December 31, 2017

From me to me...

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It's less than two hours to a brand new year. 2018! Gosh, isn't that something? Why did I decide to sit in front of a laptop and type this? I don't know. And no, I didn't even have some major breakthrough to talk about either. 

Has it been a great year? Ummm... in bits and pieces. Like most of my recent years. What defines a "great year" anyway? 365 days of being happy? Can anyone ever claim to be happy or fulfilled every day of the year? Okay, I'm rambling now.

Before I sign out, here are some highlights of 2017:
- I grew up. Yes, I lived alone for the most part and I learned what 'adulting' really was. I have lived alone for a while now, but this year was really the test. During 2015-16, there was a lot going on. I travelled to a few countries on work and also for holidays in 2015 and the next year, the family was down as my niece was born here and that was the major focus for everyone at home. And then September 2016, the family vanished. Brother took sis-in-law and niece abroad where he is on a work assignment, and parents returned to Mangalore which is where they've been based for a few years now. So yeah, I am responsible for day-to-day living and managing of expenses. It's bloody hard, but I think I've finally come around to it. 

- As part of the adulting process, I - along with help from my family - finally invested in property. That was probably the most stressful part of the year with the running around for the paperwork and getting my savings out. Even though the EMIs have already kicked in, it hasn't hit me yet. I still need to put down my thoughts on this. Hopefully, I will.

- I ditched artificial jewellery. You might think this is weird, but I've always loved jewellery - just not the kind made of gold or precious stones. I had invested a little in one of those Tanishq schemes and at the end of the period, could use the amount + a little extra to buy their products. So, I ended up buying a few things - some for me and some for the family. A pair of small diamond earrings (my first diamonds) are now sorta permanent and I wear a really thin chain with a small pendant. It's not about the money that got spent or what these are. As I grow older, I find myself being drawn to classic styles that don't need much work. I am not a fashion person, nor am I huge on 'dressing up', so these ornaments are apt and serve as 'staples' that are super low maintenance. 

- I rediscovered music. Yes, it was via a certain Mr John Mayer. And yes, my friends have hated this the most about me this year. But let me clarify something - I've ALWAYS LOVED his music. Don't believe me? Check my Blogger profile. Mayer is listed there with a bunch of others and I wrote this silly bio years ago. Honestly, I had even forgotten about it. It may sound stupid considering how old I am but JM's music *found* me around January-February when I was going through a terribly low phase. To counter whatever was going on, I started researching anything and everything about him. The years I had missed. And those seemed like many, many years. Imagine I had lost touch since 2009. And when I look back at my own timeline, I see why and how I was disconnected from music. Today, he is my absolute favourite for a number of reasons. I won't delve into those. His talent and life's story have been my rock in 2017 and just for that - THANK YOU, JOHN. (Now, just help me tick off a bucket list item soon!)

By the way, I also bought a JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker this year and listening to John Mayer, internet radio, YouTube stuff, and the odd podcasts through it has been simply kickass. It's my companion when the house gets too quiet.

- I attended the Ed Sheeran concert. Was fun! 


Despite the fact I could barely see a thing, I enjoyed the music. 


- I returned to Postcrossing after a long break from it. It's a slow process for now and supposed to be that way. I've promised myself to not write more than 1-2 postcards at a time. That way, I can take my time and not get too "busy" for it. Gotta write a couple tonight. Yes, it's a great habit/hobby to have. 

- Work wasn't a highlight as such, but my team was/is. I was fortunate to find a bunch of good, talented kids who've been supportive and fun to work with. There have been some trying times, but the good outweighed the bad by a great deal. I got severely sick around July-end when we kicked off a new project and was unable to get out of bed for two days. The team was still fairly new, but they told me to stay put and not come to office till I was okay. That really lifted my spirits and has kept us all in good stead over the months. I hope I was a good boss to them and hope I can get better in the year ahead.

This is it for now. I might have more to say, but (a) I can't recall everything right now, and (b) I have to rush for midnight Mass. Yes, that's how I'm starting my year. 

I don't know if anyone still reads my posts. They are hardly noteworthy now, but if you are reading this, THANK YOU. And I wish you a year full of happiness and bright possibilities. May all your dreams come true! 

Love,
~j~

PS: This post isn't going to be edited (like I do with everything I write). I need to really let my writing be more carefree and not sanitised. No? The stupid "editor" in me is forced to check grammar, spellings, punctuation and whatnot. Maybe this year, less of that on the blog at least. :)

Thursday, May 04, 2017

A fine line

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There's a fine line between joking with someone and targetted harassment. Never forget that. 

~j~

Monday, May 01, 2017

Things to do when a wave of sadness hits you...

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Take a chill pill and maybe some of these too! (Image Source: Unknown; Don't sue me!)

In no particular order:



# Listen to some upbeat music and sing your favourite lyrics out loud.

# Or just DANCE - even if you have two left feet like mine. Here's my current jam:


# Think of parents, family, friends, just about anyone who loves you - pretty much unconditionally.

# Read old, funny IM conversations you've had with your favourite people. Like the ones I have with Lo and DC... So much entertainment! (Thank God for search functionality within chat apps)

# Check out the Instagram 'Explore' tab and discover interesting people and their feeds. Some of the super accounts I follow: mumbaipaused, marsder, petesouza. Go, check them out NOW.

# Dream of Japan. (Insert your own dream destination.)
Somewhere along the Hanshin Expressway, Kobe - Japan | December 2015
# Count your blessings. Be grateful. EVERY DAY.

# Pray. Without an agenda. 

That's all I can think of for now. It's well past 4 AM at the moment. Signing off with this uplifting (?) thought that I found in some forgotten folder of my laptop...
Image Source: Unknown. Sorry!
Peace/XO,
~j~ 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

BEST Interview Ever (and Happy Easter)!

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"Your true life exists in between the period of time where you stop being an ass and something kills you. That's your life, and I just started my life."

JOHN MAYER

***

Honest, candid, thoughtful and positive! These are the words that first struck me after listening to this superb interview of John Mayer by Talia Schlanger. And I've listened to it twice already. Ms Schlanger did an outstanding job of conducting this with class. The questions and prompts were smart and effective. And the best part is she handled some of the obvious done-to-death talking points with such sensitivity that even JM surprised us and himself at the end to round off the perfect interview. 

Set aside 35 minutes and press 'play' below to listen:  

I have so many favourite bits in it! Listing a few here:
On being asked whether he's nervous about his parents hearing 'In The Blood', he goes "Nah!" followed with "A good song explains its own existence."

JM reading the lines from 'In The Blood' as per Talia's request and his laugh at her reaction. Priceless. (And gosh, what a brilliant track this is!)

Q: "How did you get over that?" A: "Just die and come back to life."

"I was like, "Got it. Let me just go take a breather, I'll see you again, I'm gonna go disappear for a minute, get my head together" and repaired it and came back and it's like — I've never had more fun in my life playing music. I've never had more fun in my life. And I'm glad I had the experience of growing my hair long and walking around drunk in New York City and no one bothering me. I got to have some years that I didn't get before. Like Bill Murray says, "Everybody's an ass for two years when they first become a celebrity," but I didn't do my two years until later on."

On fame: "I realized that it doesn't fit me to be any bigger than the music is. It doesn't fit."

Love the stories behind how/where these two songs came into being: 'The Theme from The Search For Everything' (Christmas Day/Joshua Tree) and 'You're Gonna Live Forever In Me' (In the shower:"hard-typed on an iPhone with wet hands").

THE poem that kicked off his seventh studio album 'The Search For Everything' (which JM originally posted here by the way). Beautiful words!
Show some love to Ms Schlanger and Mr Mayer, will ya? 
Finally...
Can't think of how apt the timing of this post is... It's Easter weekend. A time for new life, new beginnings and positive vibes. John Mayer is turning his life around and inspiring me on so many levels. I really hope all those vultures outside his door will now move on and get over their obsession with JM's personal life.

Here's all the music from his latest venture:

Happy Easter, folks. May you be successful in your search for everything!
~j~ 

Monday, January 09, 2017

"Take your broken heart, make it into art."

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Mondays can suck. Especially when you're coming back to work after a five-day break. Anyway, if you need a little pick-me-up, here are two videos from the Golden Globes held earlier today. One where Viola Davis pays tribute to Meryl Streep and the second is Streep's speech on receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her body of work over the years.






I'm ignoring the hate that Streep is getting for the 'political' slant she took (some of the comments are just vile), but that final Carrie Fisher quote has just become a major inspiration for the year ahead.

via GIPHY

Take your broken heart, make it into art. How beautiful! 💔

~j~

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016-2017: Musings

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Damn, the year has flown by!

Now where have I heard those words before? Yeah, that's pretty much what we say EVERY December as the end of the year approaches. But it felt a bit different this year for me. I was busy in phases, and the last three months were incredibly slow - at least it felt like that. So do I hate 2016? Umm... not completely.

For starters, it brought about the birth of my niece (and godchild) - a tiny miracle that left me weeping when I first laid eyes on her. She has turned our world upside down and changed us as humans. How can someone so little have so much power over the rest of us? Even though she's far away in another country now, just a glimpse of her on video calls or her photos brightens the dullest days. A blessing like no other!

I lived all by myself in patches during the year. And it was fine for the most part. But after the niece and the rest of the family left, I had a tough time by myself. I went back to being an insomniac - and this time, neither television nor social media could help. They probably made it worse.

Don't get me wrong. I do like my space and solitude. I enjoy being alone. But this time, it was strange, and made me a lot sadder than any other time. Maybe having a baby in the house - and then her absence - does that to you.

Work was okay. Nothing to tom-tom about - unlike the previous two years - or even cry about. Same old same, but it did leave me wondering a few times where I'm headed and if I should consider other options.

Health was the biggest #fail of 2016. I had every intention to kickstart a diet and exercise routine, but NOTHING happened. Except for that one week where I decided to go on this 'keto' diet and lost a kilo. A whole freakin' kilo! An ex-colleague was doing the keto diligently to get leaner and boy, there were some stunning results. Of course, it helps he isn't particularly unfit in the first place. Keto focuses on a high protein/fat and zero carbs/sugar diet - which is all good until your energy levels go south and you start feeling like shit. You get moody (and imagine a woman having another reason to have mood swings!) and your mind plays games with your stomach. So that spiralled out of control in December and with all the weddings I had to attend, "Diet, be damned!" became my life's theme for some time.

Cut to January 1, 2017. A new day, a new week, a new month and a new year set to unfold. And while I'm a bit stressed out on the family front this week, I am ready to give this year a shot. I'm promising myself to get health on track. Small steps.
  • Eating healthy by eliminating carbs and sugar slowly
  • Cutting down on junk/beverages
  • Getting fresh air and enough sleep
  • A brisk walk everyday and then adding other exercise or yoga to it
And then there's these three things that I must do at all costs:
  • Read
  • Make
  • Give
Finally, two pictures will sum up my past year. These are apparently my best nine photos (based on likes) on Instagram in 2015 and 2016. See the reduced number of posts for the latter? And also, the kind of posts? In 2015, travel to the UAE dominated the feed, while in 2016 all my yearning for Japan crept up in my posts (Sample this: Japanese Lantern Festival, MUJI store in Mumbai, throwback posts to time spent in Japan!).



That's it. I don't have much to say. Hope to return to a bit of blogging this year and report on health goals. Have a wonderful 2017, guys! Let's make each day count.

Warmest regards,
~j~


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