⛵️ are returning to shore

I looked through my old strength finder report. I usually take the test once every two years. It’s been exactly two and the reminder popped. As I read the summarized report I wondered if it will change with my new learnings and experiences. I will know next week. I knew I was a Relator, so why did I pick what seemed then like an exciting unknown. The excitement turned to anxiety and it turned into an anxious and quite exhausting unknown.

One week to a five day break. I wish there was a way to erase selective parts of your memory. There are things I want to simply forget. It’s hard to forget my most critiqued moments. I can never forget my Dad’s stern eyes reminding me that “there is no place in this world for mediocrity.” I cannot forget when I disappointed someone who took a chance on me, when he said, “I thought I was hiring someone who knew how to handle this”.

These are not moments that one can just erase from their memory. They become defining moments of your life. Everyone has the share of scars. Sometimes we grow a new skin and move on. Only to find pain in moments we least expect.

On a more comforting note, I enjoyed a very rigorous staff planning exercise today. I spent three hours on it, and I am very pleased with the results. I can stand by all the numbers and can tune the dials as needed. It was fun. I am nerdish about annual planning. It gets me excited. And inspired.

Whatever floats one’s ⛵️

To sunshine

Listening to Sinatra after a good day at work is a game changer. Listening to Sinatra with a Cupcake Chardonnay and sheet pan dinner in the oven is an even mega game changer. I learnt this trick from a friend many years ago. Music is a panacea to any work day – good or bad. He was right.

I feel nothing. Having my last set of 1:1s and I feel nothing. I am relieved. I am not sad. It’s not like last time when I shed tears. Last time I had some sort of a guilt of leaving my team behind. I don’t feel any guilt this time. I am in fact feeling lighter with each day. I hate to admit, but I so well deserve it. It’s been a long night. And I am looking forward to sunshine.

Bokchoy Shrimp Stir-fry

What can you do with a bokchoy and shrimp? Well you make stir fry. But what sauce do you make. Well – you don’t make one.

Chok full of ginger and garlic with some onions tossed in oil

Add the bokchoy – washed and chopped

Add 1/4 cup chicken stock.

Cook with lid on, and stir. Add salt and pepper.

When greens are cooked, take them out on the plate and keep the liquid in the oan

Use it to cook the shrimp. Add a tsp of oyster sauce.

When ready, put it on the bed of greens 🙂 top it with some coriander and spring onions. It was half gone before we remembered to take pics 🙂

Simple and hearty

Away!

The moon was so beautiful tonight. A perfect crescent. New as ever. Slender and calm. Watching over us.

We have started watching Away! It’s an Astro buff delight with drama, and thrill. Hillary Swank in the lead role. Agam and I are enjoying it so far. It’s got its flaws. But it’s still worth the time. A few nights before Tara arrived, Agam and I watched Gravity in the hall. It was special. We wished that night that our little daughter would be a movie buff and a space buff like us. She is getting there 🙂

Today was a little rough. Tara threw a tantrum at breakfast, and I canceled her play date as a result. She wasn’t happy. And neither was I. But there are consequences for tantrums. Agam wasn’t happy either. He wanted to arbitrate. But when it comes to us two, he usually sits it out. 😉

We made up by an extended game of Labyrinth. She recovered. We went for a stroll to downtown and a trip to Books Inc was refreshing for all of us. I resisted buying a new book. Need to finish my pile by the bedside.

Normal is what I seek in the upcoming week. May it be as normal as it can be!

RBG

What a sad day to lose RBG. The force that she was. The rage that she represented in her composure. Those intense eyes and that poised voice. We’ve lost a lot in 2020. She is the most precious one. I have admired her for decades. When Bill Clinton appointed her to the Supreme Court in 1993, I was still a young girl. And my father told me about her and what she had accomplished in her life. So much has been said, written in books and memoirs and narrated through movies about her. But to me she is the Mother Teresa of my time. Her impact is greater than any woman that I know. And she will be an inspiration for life.

I learnt from her life that you cannot have it all, all at the same time. These are her words that find their way in different feminism literature and are often misconstrued.

It is sad that her death will become the breeding ground for partisan politics. But the timing could not be worse. I hope she had lived to see this country do justice to her moral standards. Or perhaps she just didn’t have the will to see us repeat our mistakes again.

RIP RBG!

Cleansed

The Devi returns! Shubho Mahalaya!

It rained today. Light showers. But they were enough. Felt so good to open the doors and windows and let the air come in. Cleansed. Should have asked for more? Not quite. This is all that I needed.

I stand tall

This hibiscus is the most ambitious plant ever! It’s been such a happy camper in this god forsaken year. Delighting us every week. Tara and I have a calendar where we mark a new bud and the date it becomes a flower. And the we do subtraction. Silly?! Cute.

Pralay प्रलय

The fire and thereby smoke is the Californian version of a pandemic outbreak that NY and Florida experienced. It’s a jolt to the human morale. It hits you to the core. I experienced more claustrophobia this last week than in the entire pandemic

We are unable to open the windows and doors. Kids cannot go out to play. I cannot even step into the garage for a run or a workout. It’s terrible for the businesses too. Outdoor dining is stalled. All the outdoor arrangements that were made by these restaurants are catching dust and in some areas, ash. We all need a wash down. Rain. It will be hard to stay indoors when that happens. I want to wash up in this rain myself.

We humans need a cleanse from time to time. But in California, even the sky needs one. So much for the Californian sunshine. It’s been hiding from us. As my mother would say, it’s been jinxed. नज़र लग गयी है जैसे।

The world quickly turns to the narrative that the earth is healing, and humans are paying a price for their acts. I differ. How is the earth healing? The earth is burning, and in this case, not just the humans, the plants and the animals in these burnt areas are hurting even more. Nature is at war with man, read one of the headlines when the pandemic started. I beg to offer an alternate headline. Nature is at war with itself. And the humans, animals and plants are all paying a price.

In Hindi there is a word प्रलय (pralay). In a pralay, the lower realms of existence dissolve or get reabsorbed in state of non existence. And the world gets an opportunity to resurrect. I am certain we are in the middle of a pralay.

I have not felt the part of a whole more than I do now. We are all equal in our struggle against these calamities. So surreal to feel connected to others in a lock down. Paradox!

Last night we watched #Alive on Netflix. It was a beautiful Korean movie. Beautiful is a strange word to describe a movie about a Zombie attack. But the movie is not about an attack. It is about our will to live, and if I may add to love. Korean movies are quite the trend these days. They have this unique cultural edge that Hollywood has not caught up on. Parasite was another such movie. And I’ve heard Peninsula is a new one to watch.

Last week was quite strange in so many respects. I didn’t sleepy Monday night due to food poisoning. And then I could not sleep on Thursday night either. With so much sleep disruption, energy levels at an all time low.

More hectic weekend ahead, but the sky is not Martian in appearance anymore, and the AQI is as bad as it is in Delhi every winter. So we are getting there, slowly and steadily.

I was looking forward to a week long break at the end of the month. But as luck might have it, I need to cut it short for a few more of the last rights. I should still get a 5 day stretch. I need a break to recharge, and to plan. And to enact my own प्रलय।