Reevaluating Your Participation In The Rat Race…

Sometimes I can’t sleep because I have SO many thoughts going through my mind…always in the quiet of the night. The words spin around & around in my head and keep me tossing and turning until I finally write them out.

This is what spewed out last night…

***

Lead the pack with good vibes not good buys.

Don’t get caught up in that material world. I can bet that no one has sat among their new haul of purchases and has gotten the sudden urge to look up to the sky and thank God for their blessings. No, that passionate feeling of thankfulness and happiness comes when you’re sitting amongst good people, in the midst of heartfelt conversations, having that uncontrollable urge to smile and laugh long after the moment has passed.

The latest purchase…it will never jump out of the closet and give you a hug or a shoulder to cry on in your time of need. Only a good friend can do that.

Our world has become a rat race of consumerism. Status should be built and based on earned mutual respect not a shoe/purse collection.
image

Don’t allow yourself to be blinded by labels, they don’t make the person…they only dress them. Look further, dig deeper, be blnded by their inner light. Find a connection. Materialistic infactuations fade, something better always comes along… no thing is made to last.

Put value in your relationships not your shopping hauls. Collect experiences, collect do-good stories, collect tears of joy, collect adventure rushes, collect feelings!!

When you’re old and grey, you won’t remember that label you were dying to have. No you’ll remember the people you crossed paths with. You’ll remember the way they made you laugh, the way they made you smile, the way they gave you butterflies in your stomach, the way they made your heart ache for more meaning, that uncontrollable urge to get up and dance with joy. The meaning they added to your existence.
image

Genuine human to human connection is the most expensive yet free experience available. a natural drug, a natural cure. Give it, get it.

Pass on the good vibes and pass over the good buys.

***

And now I lay my head to sleep!

730 days of that last breath…

How do I even explain it? They said ‘give it some time…the pain will go away’. ‘Time heals all wounds.’  Liars!

I can still remember that morning so vividly. Those eyes that were always so bright slowly dimming before me. The heartbeat getting slower, the color of life slowly fading away. How could this be?

Just minutes before the doctor had taken my father and I aside explaining the next course of action to take place in the coming weeks. We were still digesting the idea of only a ‘couple of weeks’ when all of a sudden all we had were a mere few minutes.

I can still feel that panic and anxiety of ‘How do I stop this?’ ‘My brothers aren’t here?’ ‘But how?’ ‘You said…’ I felt paralyzed, I couldn’t move my feet…the doctor had to take me to her bedside.

I remember looking across the bed and capturing my dad’s gaze. He was so calm holding her hand, telling her to go with God. I, on the other hand was at a loss of words to say…what do you say to someone who is passing away? ‘Don’t go?!’ So selfish of me.

I was panicking for my brothers, they should be here, they’ll need closure! I called the house and told my sister in law that mom was passing away. That’s all I got out before I heard the panic and click on the other end. All I could think was please hurry here…fast…now…before it’s too late.

Then I called my older brother; he had just left the day before, promising that he’ll be back again soon to see her. His wife and kids had come too. They had driven down in crazy winter conditions to spend some time with her in the hospital. She was so happy when she saw her grandchildren, even had played ‘cars’ with her grandson the day before. Who knew?!

I told him what was happening and he pretty much had the same reaction as me: ‘But she looked so good when we left’ ‘No!…how?…I’ll be there tell her not to go’! At that point I just put him on speaker phone and told him to say what he felt like saying, she could hear him. It was all I could do for him or for her. She smiled. He was her first born.

I don’t know how many seconds or minutes actually passed in that hospital room between the doctor stating ‘this is it’ to ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ but for me it’s been a continuous 730 days.

It’s really a surreal and very awakening feeling being in the presence of death. Leading up to it I was in sheer panic mode but as soon as she ‘left’ a calm came over me.  My dad and I kissed and hugged her one last time, said our ‘I love yous’ and then sat in silence and just watched her lay there lifeless as the prayers played in the background. I truly at that moment had no emotion, just an odd sense of peace.

The hardest part was when my younger brother arrived just moments after. When I close my eyes I can still see the disbelief and hurt on his face. My sister in law had called him at work right after I had broken the news to her, he came as fast as he could..

‘Is she?…mom?’

‘She’s gone’

Disbelief.

I watched him grab her hand, put his head down on her lap. Just the night before we had to distract her so she wouldn’t see him leave, she wanted him to sleep in the hospital bed with her…tried to convince him there was enough space for both of them and for him not to go home. They were cuddle buddies, he was her baby.

My mind was bursting with a million thoughts but my heart, my heart was still at peace. I walked over to him and hugged him, a big squeeze. ‘It’s okay, she went peacefully. I told her you loved her’.

We quietly sat around her bed, we would make eye contact here and there but no one spoke. Just letting it soak in. The prayers she loved so much played in the background. It was peaceful. My dad who never does well in these types of situations was surprisingly calm and collective. He asked for my phone so he could call his parents. Inform them that his wife had just passed away. That just 5 days ago, on their 35th Anniversary, he had promised her a big celebration as soon as she was able to leave the hospital. Before the dementia had set in, she would always talk of having a big 35th Anniversary, any excuse for a cake and a dance party.

But now we were about to plan a funeral.

Slowly family started trickling in, one by one offering their condolences. Doctors and nurses advising us on our next steps…this part…it’s all a blur. The phone calls and messages, all a blur.

I was in my own world until I got into bed that night. My husband asking if I was ok. Exhausted and slowly drifting to sleep I didn’t realize that life was still going on outside our four walls. Not until I heard the fireworks. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window wondering what was going on. I was sincerely confused until my husband pointed out that it was midnight.

‘Huh?’ ‘So?’

Happy New Year! *fireworks*

Literally, like a tonne of bricks, every emotion came crashing down on me. How can these people be celebrating when my mom has just passed away? I cried myself to sleep that new years eve.

730 days ago … yet it feels like it was just yesterday.

A lot of tears, heartaches and ‘if only’ in those 730 days. A lot of sleepless nights.

Yet at the same time … a lot of unexplained miracles, smiles and laughs shared over memories and a new genuine appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.

This New Years eve I know I won’t be able to stop the tears or settle this anxiety. I’ll go to bed once again with a heavy heart because unlike what ‘they’ said, you never forget, the pain never goes away.

However, I also know that come New Years morning I WILL awake feeling blessed and thankful for all of life’s simple gifts. No grand resolutions will be made only a promise to be open to what 2015 brings my way with a open heart and positivity. To love the people in my life each day, like it’s the last. That’s what I’ve learned in 730 days…don’t wait for the last breath.

Happy New Year Mom ♥

mom

image

Enlighten me with your inner selfie…

At my daily 9-5, I share an office space with some wonderful humans. Some of the comments, thoughts and reflections that are brought up within these four walls can be quite enlightening, always humorous, sometimes negative (those crazy deadlines!!) but always thought provoking.

Someone this week said to me ‘you are so nice, when I see you, you are always smiling’ and I replied ‘you make me smile, so thanks’. She was surprised at my response and laughed, yet for me it was very true.

And it got me to thinking…

As of late, some people have told me that I have ‘changed’. To be honest, in a way yes, but really I know I’m still the same person. What ‘changed’ is my response to their vibe they constantly throw my way. As I stated in my previous post, you just can’t be nice to everyone. Why? Because sometimes they, themselves just don’t allow it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is always good to see the positive in people and to help bring out the best, but at what cost? Shouldn’t be at your expense, so I’ve learned!

I have a fabulous pool of individuals in my life that really do bring out the best in me. I try to give them most of my precious time because really who wants to be around people who are always bringing you down? They simply make me laugh and smile (the true riches of the world)!

Do you see a ‘happy’ me? Thank you, for you bring that out of me. (And keep it coming!)

Do you see a ‘creative’ me? Thank you, you give me the confidence to shine my talents!

Or do you see an ‘apprehensive, sad, angry’ me or have I become a stranger where once you saw a confidante? Why do I feel that way around you? Please don’t point a finger at me and tell me you think I’ve changed, instead stop and reflect on why YOU made me change. It’s quite simple really! It’s not a blame game but a reflection of oneself. A real ‘selfie’!

A relationship is a two way street. What we see in others is a reflection of ourselves. In this crazy world it’s not always easy to be positive and happy. Sometimes we have angry (insert any negative emotion here really) days not because of people but because of circumstances beyond our control. This is when we turn to our family and friends to let out our emotions. We at this point, as the listeners, have two choices: fuel the negative fire or help put out the flames. Which choice will you make? Good vs. Evil? If your words and advice could be personified, would you befriend them?

image

And this isn’t just a thought about once good now gone astray relationships, it’s also about the ones you thought have no hope to how did I survive this long without you relationships as well. As we age we meet new individuals who bring out characters/feelings in us that we didn’t think we could ever list on our personal resume. Also with age I notice we (meaning all humans) get pickier as to who we allow in our ‘clique’. I use to think that this was wise until I realized we are only limiting our growth by doing so. We are never too old to make new friends and new connections. You never know what you are missing out on by judging (most of the time based off of someone else’s opinion) a new individual. Hey maybe after you get to know them they might not be your cup of tea or maybe they become your daily caffeine fix you can’t go without (coffee reference as I drink my morning coffee, what has my life come to, haha)

So to reiterate, YOU see in me what YOU bring out in me…what do YOU want to see?

image

Just a thought…a random one at that!

image

Sitting back and pondering on life…

I sometimes wonder why people seem to think they have the authority to dictate what you want out of your OWN life?

Each individual has their own goals and aspirations they want fulfilled before they depart this planet. Some have the travel bug, some are career driven and some want the white picket fence life. All wonderful in their own way (in other words, whatever floats your boat)! Yet, some people seem to think that there is only one formula to life and if your ‘ducks’ aren’t lined up the way they think they should be…well you’re failing.  But why? Seriously! Why?!

I have to admit, the things I thought I wanted 10 years ago aren’t even top priorities anymore. My then, naive self thought I had to do things a certain way…more to please others in my life rather than for myself. It’s kind of embarrassing to be honest. Why is that approval/vindication from others so important?

As I grow older, I realize it’s actually not so terrible to be selfish.  Heck, why not? Everyone around me is! The hardest part is finding that balance. Spending about 99% of my life being a people pleaser to actually learning to say no without feeling guilty is a hard habit to break.

I also learned that being nice to everyone doesn’t get you far, way too many people willing to take advantage of that! However, once you do figure out the people who not only genuinely appreciate your kindness, but who also reciprocate it (because you deserve it too) … you will make some wonderful lifelong friends.

image

This world has so many wonderful opportunities to offer. Don’t limit yourself according to other people’s opinions (and oh boy do people have opinions to offer these days). Enjoy your own journey … walk in your own shoes ♥

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t because you’ve been told you shouldn’t?

Hugs & Garter Throws

image

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s beautiful wedding. For years I bugged her to find a man and get married so I could check off attending a Caucasian wedding on my to-do list! (Check!!!) haha!  Truly, it was such an honor to be present and witness such love between the couple and all their friends & family! The wedding/reception was definitely quite different from the typical Indian weddings that I am accustomed to attending, it was much smaller & intimate! I’m not going to lie…I was quite excited about witnessing my first garter toss (always see them on all those TLC/Slice wedding shows). Yes, I know…lame, but for me it’s all about these moments and also all the little details that make the wedding unique. 🙂

image

There was also a self discovery moment last night. Actually more of a confirmation of something I was in somewhat denial about … I’m a chronic hugger!!

image

Yes, I hug nilly dilly! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed. It just surprised me how I just go in for the hug without thinking about the recipient at all.

It wasn’t until the end of the night when I discovered this ‘issue’ I have. I had just finished hugging a friend, who I hadn’t seen for a while, goodbye when she awkwardly laughed and said she doesn’t do hugs. Let me tell you, I was exasperated!! What do you mean ‘you don’t do hugs’?? How else do I say goodbye?? Shake your hand? Just wave and say bye? How awkward is that??? Seriously!! At that point I just declared to the table that I was a hugger (and laughed awkwardly)!

As I sat down in my seat after, I got to thinking that when I originally walked into the event I hugged almost everyone I knew (quite enthusiastically I might add). To top that, not only did I hug them all but I also hugged their significant others who I may or may not know too well. Do I have a problem? Am I wrong? Why oh why do I do this. I wonder how many of them felt awkward because after I thought about it, I had initiated about 95% of the hug giving!! (Is there a rehab clinic in Hollywood somewhere that I can attend).

I pondered (and slightly panicked) on the concept and general rule of hug giving for only a couple minutes before another friend came to say goodbye and to my delight came in for the hug! Phew!! I decided that it was too soon to question myself, to just go with my flow and not make rash decisions on the spot. I don’t want to give up hugging…it’s just so wonderful!  😦

image

As I drove home in the dark of the night (after a little pit stop at my mom’s sisters house) I thought about my mom and realized I inherited this uncontrollable urge to hug from her. She was the queen of hugs and kisses!  I can still sometimes close my eyes and feel her arms grasped tightly around me, her scent, the warmth, the smile on her cheeks and her declarations of love! She was a chronic, nilly dilly hugger too!

image

After sleeping on it I’ve come to a final conclusion with my huggingness (yes completely made up word), it’s not coming to an end. I will hug you damn it!! If you are in hug range…to late I’m coming in! If not, run before I catch you and eventually hug you! HA!

Are you a hugger?

image

Too late :p

Family 101

wpid-screenshot_2014-01-30-19-01-50-1.png

As the saying goes ‘can’t live with them & can’t live without them’! I’ll be the first to say that I love my family to pieces…each and every one of them! Mostly because even the smallest gathering ends up being one big party!

Coming from a big family I feel like I’ve experienced every type of character/personality you can come across in this world! You know those ‘personality assessment’ quizzes that employers often ask you to fill out at employee team building retreats? Well I can slot at least 5-10 people in each category from my family; however, I have different category names than the ‘personality quizzes! I’m guessing most of you have at least one family member that can fit into one of my categories…

First are the ‘Eccentrics’ who are always entertaining the lot with their outlandish shenanigans. They are most likely throwing caution to the wind and are usually the next days’ remember when story headliners! These eccentrics are my favorites!!! Mostly because they are truly free in spirit. They are always giving off positivity vibes and each encounter with them is mostly carefree and effortless. We actually have a quite a few of these in our family and they are ALWAYS the life of the party and quite possibly the drunkest at the party too but wow the recap stories that pursue the next morning are always hilarious. Example: remember when he puked in your hair while you were driving home (true story) and somehow they are forgiven just because you can’t be mad at them!

These fun Eccentrics are followed by the ‘Judgementals’ who are always shaking their heads while watching from the sidelines (they essentially are the closet eccentric ones…just awaiting delivery from the grow-a-pair department)! These ones I find frustrating, mostly because they are always the first to offer negativity and the last to offer substance.
 
Then there’s the ever so popular ‘Dependables’! They are always there to lend an ear without judgement (sometimes even end up being the punching bags for vent sessions). They always have some sound and real advice and know how to get you through a sticky situation without opting for the panic button! They are the best with secrets and can be reached 24/7 … they don’t ask for much in return and for me fill my ‘i need my mommy’ tantrums! Bless these ones…I feel like they are the ones that hold the family together!

BUT don’t get these Dependables mixed up with the “Undercover Dependables”! At first it’s hard to differentiate between the two, however once you figure them out…RUN!!!! Run like you haven’t run before! You see they are in it for the gossip…at first they have an overwhelming sense of concern and are usually the ones who ask a lot of questions to help you deal with a situation and seem to know everything about everyone and always happen to say the right things ALL the time! They will always reassure you that your comments/secrets are safe with them (well you know where this one is going) Wrong! (Hitting the buzzer…run run)!! It’s all about stirring the pot for these undercover ones. Keep running!

Let’s move on to the Know-it-alls. it’s pretty self explanatory…they know it all (HAHA)! Oh if only I could count how many imaginary brick walls I’ve hit my head against while hanging out with these ones. I’m surprised Google hasn’t scouted these ones out yet, okay I know they really do not mean any harm and sometimes it just seems like it’s almost self-defence mechanism (or pride) when they go into this mode but really so frustrating trying to have a conversation with them. I usually just stay quiet and let them finish because I find there is no point on edging them on for more stats that they know they know…well unless I’m really bored you know?!

This takes me to the Dreamers. They usually don’t participate in all family activities and you don’t get to see them often but their determination on making their dreams come true really is exemplary. They have a dream, a goal, and a journey that they are all so happy to take on by themselves. I find they most often have some ‘against all odds’ story that is pushing them and some take it with a grain of salt and some with a chip on their shoulder. Either way, they always have extravagant stories of what they have planned next and it’s really motivating listening to their plans for the future. Only thing I wish is that sometimes they take a moment to pause and enjoy the present as well!

Up next are the ‘Culturally Inept’; I feel like this one category can be broken down further but to generalize they are usually the ones at family functions that have NO idea what and why something is going on. Some family members may find them a little out of touch with their ‘roots’ but I actually find them refreshing. Coming from traditional families sometimes we go on with traditions without questioning them for the sake of pleasing the elders who may hold some of these customs near and dear. The culturally inept bring forward a fresh perspective asking why we continue to do some of these customs/traditions in this day in age. Some conversations with them can get pretty heated and may I even say awkward but all in all it’s always good fun because even they can’t resist the desi beat on the dance floor 😉

So I really can go on forever…i’ve probably only touched on a select few in this (maybe I’ll do a continuation in a future blog post) but do you see some of your family members in these ‘categories’ or even yourself??

Ahhh…you gotta love family! 🙂

 

 

 

Non Negotiable Death

wpid-screenshot_2014-03-27-14-24-47-1.pngDeath.

Death is envitable. It is the one assurance that comes hand in hand with life, everything else in between is hard work, prayers & love.

With each breath we come closer to it; it may come tomorrow…quick & unexpectedly; it may come in old age…slowly but surely.

That void it creates.

That void. Some days anger will reside there…other days confusion. Some days love will fill it…even hope. Most confusing of all is when it is engulfed in peace. Peace? How could that be?

Death…it’s strange!

Life…it’s strange.

Live it righteously…you will reap what you sow. Love! Inspire! Have faith! It’s part of the plan.

Death.

‘What Dreams May Come’

I found the following note this morning that I had written about 2 years ago when I was struggling to deal with and trying to understand my mom’s journey with Alzheimer’s. My mom passed away about 6 months after I had written it.

Since my mom’s passing I’ve had many dreams of her; sometimes she’s the real mom I knew…doing her prayers, laughing & smiling. Then there are times she’s Alzheimer mom where she’s confused & lost and I always wake up feeling sad.

The most vivid dream I had about her was exactly 2 weeks after her death; I can still remember every detail and the feelings. After I woke up I told my husband, my older brother, my sister-in-laws, and my father each & every detail so I could reassure them she was fine because at the end of the dream she told me she had reached her destination, she was with God and to just always pray. It really helped my heart find some peace.

Soon after that dream so many aspects of it started coming true. In one part of the dream she was passing my sister-in-laws & myself babies…when I had told them this we had initially laughed because we knew how much my mom loved babies and assured each other no one was pregnant; however, a month later we found out my younger sister-in-law was indeed pregnant (even crazier…the doctor pinpointed the conseivement date to the night of my dream)! Happy to say our family welcomed our cute little nephew to the world a few months ago! ♥ 

It definitely saddens my heart that she’s no longer with us, but I know in my heart she’s always taking care of us from above and I always have the many memories & also my crazy dreams to keep her close because sometimes dreams aren’t just dreams…

Continue reading “‘What Dreams May Come’”