Sunday, May 29, 2016

Reflections over a cup of chai

Hello and once again my sincere apologies for posting so sporadically. It is hard to believe that we are almost in June and this is my first post for the year – surely, I could not have been that busy ?! Well, it is what it is but I miss contributing to Aalayam regularly. I have to thank our guest authors for keeping us afloat in the interim.

I hesitate to apologize prematurely because I am not sure if I have the bandwidth to get back to regular programming just yet. “One day at a time“ has been my overarching mantra this year and I am sticking with it.  I finally found myself limping back to Aalayam this weekend for a  (much needed) creative break and it feels good to be back in my home away from home – so let’s enjoy our time together, shall we?  Join me for tea dear readers for I’ve missed you very much.

I am turning 40 this year and I find myself being reflective often – I suppose it is the thing to do as this milestone b’day approaches. Seems like I am required to look back and ponder before the next chapter begins.  Here’s a few life lessons I have learnt along the way,  (nothing ground breaking) and yet I am sure the wisdom will resonate with all of you.

-     -  Put your family first. It does not come easy, because I take mine for granted all the time and I have to intentionally re-learn this ever so often but I am getting better at it and at the end of the day, there is nothing more important than FAMILY- the folks that see you at your worst and still stick around!

-       -Know your passion and your purpose. Again, this has not been easy and I have had to take several detours career-wise before I could course correct. My struggles have filled me with immense gratitude and almost ironically I feel more fulfilled because of how hard the road was. I hope I have taught my kids what it means to persevere- because the only thing to do is to keep going and I live by that.

-       -Develop an identity and by this I mean know who you are, what you like and what you don’t. I have struggled with this – I have tried to fulfill other people’s expectations and allowed myself to become emotionally spent. I am slowly learning that I am my only locus of control and it is freeing in many ways to say yes and even more so to say no. It has been liberating to know who is actually worth it and respecting myself has meant  learning to let go and be o.k with it.

-       -Self care is important and I SUCK at it! I do. At least I am acknowledging it and I hope that’s a start. I have pushed my health and fitness needs to the side and I really have no excuse and that’s all I have to say about that. I hope I can come back soon and say that’s changed and I have a sacrosanct fitness regimen, till then I will have to live with this awareness of what I am not doing!

-       Do not apologize for who you are - People often remark at my perfectionism. For the longest time I did not know how to react to that word. Now at 40, I have learnt to own it and happily acknowledge that I am a brand!  Yes – I know that if I take something on willingly, I will do it well and I do not feel guilty about that. I’ve realized that it is not so much about a perfect outcome as it is about wanting to give my 100 percent and I take pride in that!

-       -Write down your goals. I have never done it – yes, never! But I do to-do lists all the time and things get done! So, why not write down your goals, dreams, wishes – things that you want to accomplish someday – even if it is something as simple as buying those red stilettos! I am going to do it- because every once in a while, I hear that inner voice ask me if this is it –a fiercely demanding job and an equally onerous role as a mother?  Maybe I need a to do-list for the next chapter, to keep me on my toes and silence that inner critic?

-       -Help others. I don’t think I need to say anything else about that at all.

-      - Live for today! I guess all these midlife reflective moments sort of have me in panic. As I reevaluate priorities and transition into being a real grown up and reflect on raising kids, saving for retirement, staying healthy I feel this uneasy feeling wash over me but my husband calmly reminds me that life is all about living in the moment because that is all you are guaranteed- the present moment! And nothing can be a greater exercise in mindful living than savoring the cup of chai (or your favorite beverage) in front of you. And this is my biggest lesson as I head into the next decade – to savor in quietude!


p.s: all pics are from our home and may not be reproduced without permission.


  1. Hi Deepa, Happy 40th B'day! Even though I have been following your blog for sometime, didn't get to comment (Blame me on feedly ;). This post really asks me to comment. This list is so true for all of us out there trying to juggle career, home and kids. There is no space for us always. Should save this and revisit this often!

  2. Hi Deepa, this is your first post for the year and my first visit to your blog and I must say you write beautifully. Happy 40th. I am in my late 20s and I can already resonate with your life lessons. Most importantly being family first and at the same time finding 'me' time and developing an identity. Love your post

  3. I haven't visited this blog in a long time, no idea why! I loved the decor posts and anything else as it's done beautifully. I must say this post resonated with me a lot and I had to comment. My favorite: People comment on our perfectionism. So true in my case to and I didn't know how to react nor to be anything else. Now, I too am proud of my "do it right or don't do it at all" motto I have followed all my life. No apologies necessary, God knows the world could use a few more of our types lol!