I know I’ve been mia for a while. I keep doing that, don’t I? :/ Been a little busy, caught up with work and vacation planning and running the home/house. Being a grown up is hard stuff yo! Anywayyyy, today friendships are on my mind. I had a friend who I was quite close to. We talked a lot. We shared secrets. We spent a lot of time together. We were in school together, in different grades, but still we played sports together and hung out every now and then even though we both had different friends. A couple of years ago things got weird and now we barely ever talk. Every time I try I’m shot down and it really hurts because we were inseparable. The worst part was, she was my best friend but she was also family; my cousin. And now we only ever meet at family gatherings, and every time I’m reminded how much I miss her companionship and how much fun we had because it’s always just as good. And then just like that she disappears again from my life.
“I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching they are your family.” – Jim Butcher
I’ve been having a great couple of days. On a roll. Sometimes I’m grouchy. It feels like often, but I told mine that it’s only 4 days a month – and guess what, I was right! I’ve been keeping a log :P Also, I’m working on my back these days. Have been going for physiotherapy for a week now and though mostly it’s better I found it hard to sleep last night. Lack of sleep is the number one cause for grumpiness!
“Please know that there are much better things in life than being lonely or liked or bitter or mean or self conscious. We are all full of shit. Go love someone just because, I know your heart may be badly bruised, or even the victim of numerous knifings but it will always heal even if you don’t want it to, it keeps going. There are the most fantastic, beautiful things and people out there, I promise. It’s up to you to find them.” – Chuck Palahniuk
“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power” – Lao Tzu
So… marriage! The word that scared me for so long has finally become a part of me, my life, who I am. Sometimes, as I sit alone with my thoughts, even THAT notion scares me. A contract between two individuals to be together FORFREAKINGEVER. Mostly the thought of that makes me go, “aaw…” but on other occasions, it scares the bejeezus out of me. You don’t only marry the person, at least in the desi culture. You marry their family. And when you’re the girl – you give up almost everything to be with this person. You leave your family, move out, come and live with his, and essentially follow the rules of their house. From one to the next. And for most, it’s their way or the highway. Luckily, mine isn’t all that bad. It’s not bad at all in fact. It’s just scary. Especially today.
For three months I’ve tried to adjust to a lifestyle, a family, a way of doing things and going about days and nights different to what I’ve been doing for twenty six years of my life. I’ve made an effort to fulfill expectations and get points but somehow it never seems like enough. That comfort one has in their own home, with their own family – being able to lounge in pyjamas or say “no, I don’t want to” or spend all day in bed – just doesn’t come so easy. Perhaps I overthink? Perhaps I care too much? I can’t really say. All I can say is that it makes my stomach hurt.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the guy and am happy to be married to him. It’s just this concept – marriage – that sends shivers down my spine. The longer I think about it, the more I shudder. Perhaps, it’s better to just be friends – perhaps with benefits! However, again, this side of the world where women are frowned upon for showing too much skin, a male-female relationship, must never, officially anyway, be anything more than plutonic. Even if you’re dating, you mustn’t admit it – unless you’re so committed that you’re engaged and can be introduced as each others’ fiances! It’s a strange world I live in.
Then again, perhaps an arranged marriage is easier than a love marriage? I guess they both have their pros and cons. After all, you can fall in love with someone you’re introduced to too, right? When I say arranged, I don’t mean forced… or arranged without any interaction or approval from either party. The new “arranged” is being introduced to someone by the family. The pros here are that each family has met each other, done their background research and has found the families to be like-minded enough to introduce their kids to each other. Going into this family, one feels perhaps that they’d be more comfortable as they’ve been found to be more like “us” (the girls family), they have similar family values, morals, ways of doing things and expectations would be fulfilled as far as the typical cultural/societal things go. For example, each party would respect the other’s family and make an effort to make them feel important. In a love marriage, where you’re so blinded by the hormonal imbalance in your body, and you decide that you do in fact want to spend forever (then seemingly such a romantic thing) with this person, you’re often blessed with affection, open communication and comfort with your spouse. However, the family is a whole other ball-game. And what if he doesn’t stand up for you? What if his expectations of you (which is what you based your decision of signing your life off to someone) are different from his family’s expectations of you? What if this is not what you signed up for? What if he is no longer what he initially purported to be?
The truth is they change. I guess we all do. Once the wooing stage is over, she said yes, he agreed to marry her, all things romantic go out the window. Real life kicks in and it’s no longer about wanting to spend time together, or going an extra mile to please her family, or attributing importance to something you find stupid but is a priority for him.
So you see, it’s a gamble either way. And I take “forever” and “till death do us part” very seriously. So till my dying day – be it of a sudden aneurysm, a car crash, a long battled illness or a mere fall from the top of my stairs, I will invest time and energy into the M. Pun intended. I just hope and pray that it pays off, and on the day I leave this earth I’m thinking “I wish I had more time with him” rather than “thank the Lord it’s over!”
No, I’m not joking. Yes, it is possible. Don’t believe me? Read on to discover how you, mother, wife, daughter, working woman, can take some time this weekend to enjoy yourself, and all without leaving the comfort of your own home!
If you’re anything like me, that is to say, someone who works 9 to 5, five days a week, then perhaps, also like me, you enjoy spending the weekend at home, relaxing. Even if you’re a home-maker who spends her days organising the kids, ordering the servants around and overseeing the management of the house, the weekends are days looked forward to because everyone’s at home together. However, sometimes, this can get rather boring and drab, and you feel like you’ve done nothing but waste your time. The important thing, though, is that you do something worth your while, that leaves you feeling refreshed, energised, and not regret having spent hours of your day lying in bed, being lazy (though I have to admit, that feeling does have its perks!).
Let’s look at some fun things you can do, some alone, some with friends or family, to add some spice to your life, without tiring you out too much, and best of all within the comforts of your own home.
Whether you’ve got young kids, older children, or none at all, games are generally something that will also bring out the child in you. If you’re just a husband and wife, perhaps call over some other couple-friends to join in the fun. To make sure it’s not taking too much of a toll on you, and you also get to enjoy yourself, keep it for after dinner and serve some coffee, drinks and place some snacks around the room. Keep it casual so that the mood stays relaxed and fun and don’t take the game to heart! Enjoy the company, adrenaline and friendly competition.
This also works within a family, with each person for himself or siblings, parents or a parent and child teaming up and playing against each other. Some family favourites are Monopoly, though this often ends in tears, Articulate, Taboo, Pictionary, Scrabble & Life. For the single girls, call some girlfriends over and do the same! This is a great opportunity to have some time together as a family (or as friends), bond, chit chat, and get to know each other better.
Before you go thinking that this is another competition I’m throwing into the mix, it’s not! Don’t literally cook-off; we want to keep your weekend stress-free! Get together with your children and indulge in easy cooking or baking. Give every member of the family a task, from laying the table, to dicing the chicken and stir frying the veggies. Let it all come together in a family meal and don’t forget to supervise little children in the kitchen!
Again, this brings people closer together, and if you’ve got kids, ensures that you’re not only spending quality time with them, but also teaching them a little something that will help them a long way. If you’re just husband and wife, make a romantic dinner out of it and divide the chores up so that no one person is in the kitchen on their own. If you’ve got help, you can leave them to do the dishes! If you’re not in the mood to break a bit of a sweat, too lazy, or generally not interested in cooking, order in and enjoys a nice meal with your loved ones. Remember, you want to have fun, so whether that’s in letting someone else cook for you, cooking for or with someone, or eating comfort food in your pjs is up to you!
Who doesn’t love a great movie, pigging out on popcorn, lying horizontal on the sofa? You don’t need to dress up and go to a cinema to enjoy this experience… I personally love watching movies at home where I can pause, rewind, and re-watch scenes as many times as I want. If you’re on your own pick out something you fancy, a nice chick-flick like When Harry Met Sally, The Notebook, or Gone With the Wind; whatever you’re in the mood for. Bring along a sweet or savoury snack to munch on and choose a nice place where you won’t be bothered by traffic for a couple of hours! Oftentimes, on my own, my favourite place to watch a movie is in my bad with my laptop perched on my belly, earphones in, for a full-on cinematic experience.
Not one for watching movies on your own? Make a family movie night out of it. Set up the lounge with enough seating or space for the number of people, get that many bowls of popcorn, some pick ‘n’ mix and a drink each, dim down the lights, and voila! You’re ready to go. For a family movie night you want to pick something rated U which is appropriate for audiences of all ages and doesn’t result in any awkwardness if you’re watching with parents or children! When everything’s done make sure you have help tidying up and you’re not doing this alone.
Bed, Bath & Beyond:
For those who need some alone time to just recuperate and be alone with their thoughts, or still their mind this is a great routine. Spend some of your morning lying in; enjoy a cup of tea or two in your duvet before you make an appearance. If you’ve got a bath-tub, fill it up with warm water, bubbles, and some essential oils. Go a little further and light some scented candles, but careful to place them in such a way that they don’t pose a fire hazard. If possible, dim the lights, and submerge yourself beneath the soapy suds, eyes shut, relaxing your body and mind. For those who’re interested, this is also a great time to exfoliate the skin with a body brush or loofah!
When you decide to emerge, take your time pampering yourself. Take care of the little things you don’t get time to do during the week like polishing your face, putting on a masque or doing your nails. You can also spend the day catching up on your reading, making calls to family or friends and tidying up both yourself and perhaps your room!
If you’re the creative type and you’re looking to find your zen why don’t you try to redecorate or even re-organise your world and clear you mind and space. Hang up a painting or poster you’ve been hiding under your bed, paint your wall a different colour or move your furniture around to spruce things up a little. You’ll be surprised to see how a slight change in the interior or just de-cluttering your surrounding can actually do wonders for your mood. Not only will you be at home but you’ll also be using your time productively and not necessarily alone. Inspire your family to clean out or change around their rooms too, or help each other and do one living area at a time.
While you’re at it, why not also go into the closets and indulge in a little spring cleaning? Throw out, or better yet, put aside for those less fortunate than yourselves, clothes you haven’t worn for a year, that don’t fit or fall as well, or have gone out of style. Reorganise your wardrobe so everything is neatly stacked, or hung, in some sort of order: colour, length, season and so on.
This exercise is sure to leave you a little tired, but feeling reawakened mentally. A certain calm comes over me whenever I tidy up my room, or even desk. I feel like I can think more clearly and rest easier. Once you’re done, sit back and enjoy a cup of tea in your newly cleared out crib!
So… you may have noticed that I’ve been pretty MIA since just about Christmas. Things have just been so hectic and super busy – but in a great kinda way. First descended upon me family… and then friends. We stumbled into 2013 together, laughing, grooving, eating, building precious memories all the way. Even friends have now become part of my family and so having everyone here was awesome. Half days at work and the other half roaming around, squished into a car, sitting in laps, secretly sheesha’ing, eating, drinking, being merry… my words will fail me. It was the best way to close one chapter and start another!
So as Christmas and New Year’s Eve creep up I’m reminded daily of the fact that many loved ones are descending upon us for the holiday season! Family and friends, both, will be making a trip, I’ve taken half days off work, and all in all it’s going to be a great way to close the chapter known as 2012. Looking back, a lot of things happened. Some brought tears, others smiles and laughter. Memories were etched into my mind forever. Bonds were tested, broken and strengthened and I’ve come out bigger, better, stronger and ready to take on 2013! God willing this year too shall be spectacular, and I know, in the bottom of my heart, and in that place where I feel like a thousand butterflies have been let loose, in the very pit of my stomach, that 2013 is going to be my year to shine :) I cannot wait. And I’ll be stepping into it with all my favourite people! <3 I’m so happy they’ll all be there. Sure some will be missing, and you guys, i’ll miss you! But the one’s who’ll be coming all the way to dance spastically into the new year with me while making fun of my moves, olives you!
I’m tempted to put just this one, again, playing on the idea of being consumed, but I kinda miss the pictures…
“Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again – the first kiss of the rest of your life. A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world’s greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding.” – Saul Williams
let’s start with bob marley
I came across this and it made me smile the biggest smile i’ve smiled in a while. And we must remember that time waits for no one. We must treasure every moment we have… You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special. Remember most of all to hold on tight to the ones you love :)
So I up and left this adopted city of mine some ten days ago because all in all it was just getting too much. The sea beckoned to me from a land not-so-far-away and immediately I packed my bags for the sunny, dry terrain that whispered my name. I got there on a Friday and lay low. I love surprises… unless I’m the one surprised… and so on Saturday morning I invited myself to a breakfast planned by friends and surprised mine. He didn’t squeal in delight or trip over furniture but I know he was excited to see me and screaming with joy on the inside :P After enjoying delicious wholeweat pancakes drizzled with caramel, sprinkled with banana scallops and garnished with cream at N’eco’s we drove around town happy just to be together.
Time had been going by at an insane rate – especially the last few months. I feel like I’ve just barely adjusted to October and already November has crept up to take it’s place. This makes me super excited, for now, not only am I counting down the days on Monday for the weekends but I’m also counting down the months to summer, because this summer is going to be mine :) Any way, I digress, the reason I was talking about time whizzing by was because the nine days that I got in my port city seemed to really slow down so that every moment was enjoyed and every memory etched into our minds forever. My friends, my people, they make my life so special. A certain someone (my bestie) was missing, and had she been there, things would’ve been even more fun, but she’s off pursuing her dreams at one of the world’s top colleges so she is forgiven!
In the meanwhile I enjoyed spending time with family, being lazy, lying on the couch, watching tv, gossiping with my grandmother about various family members and family scandals. I lay on my tummy and contemplated life, laughed at meaningless, silly, things and made cupcakes with my little cousin. I watched Taken 2 at the cinema with friends and shared popcorn with mine while bugging him with my slushie as the other friends threw popcorn at me, giggled and whispered! We did dinners and lunches, enjoyed serenity and peace, made headway, talked about things serious and not-so-serious and generally had a jolly good time.
When the time came, yesterday, to say goodbye to my lovely city and my friends and family the grumpiness in me came out to rear it’s head. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to stay on, but alas all good things must come to an end. And as I flew 35,000 feet in the air I realised that this wasn’t such a bad thing. For moving forth is good… as November will pass leading us into December I have a feeling that we’re going to have a good winter. I’m already planning a wicked new years here for which both family and friends will be heading on over to the land of fog and crisp winters, Lahore. A dress and dancing shoes are in order… after that I’m all set to party! Oh and a shiny disco ball!