gratitude

Making My Own Normal #GratitudeCircle

Making my own normal Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle

It seems like half the year just whizzed by, no? Here we are, already at the end of July, and before we know it, in India, at least, the festival season will begin.

But better to be busy than feel time dragging, I think! Do you agree?

After my son started college, I eagerly look forward to the first week of May, when summer vacation begins, and we’ll have him home for over two months. Of course, I am grateful he chose to take up a summer internship here–we can never tell where it will be. For now, I am happy we got this summer with him.

I resolved to spend as little time online as possible and yes, created my own normal, which naturally meant less blogging, less social media (not that I am there all that much, but still, I love Instagram), more cooking (yay!), and lots of time with my son and nieces–laughing, having a good time.

The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.

As usual, we had our regular pilgrimages to the doctor. My son managed to contract a strep throat that became a full-blown fever and it was heart-breaking to see him spend the last two weeks of his vacation looking rather listless and coughing his time away, even as he worked hard to complete his summer internship project reports. While I felt miserable that he fell sick, I was grateful he was home and I could look after him.

True we have no control over what happens, but yes, we do have control over how we respond. I chose gratitude. I am especially grateful for my sister and her family.

One night, when we were miserable about Vidur coughing so much, and got worked up because the shop that sold a particular cough syrup was closed, she went out and managed to get it elsewhere and came home to give it. Love. And…I know we’re going to generate some floods together after my son leaves. Yeah, mommy-hearts. All it takes to trigger it is a memory, or something in the general routine. Heck, I miss the kids when I make coffee and tea–what can I say? Grateful for technology that keeps us connected.

I am glad that we got to enjoy another trip to our favorite bookstore and even managed to get home just as the rains started.

Oh! The rains! Only the last couple of days have been dry, and I took advantage of the fact to scrape up the poop from my balcony.

There were days when we got our blood pressure up thanks to pigeons managing to sneak into our balcony. Mysterious how they managed to squeeze themselves in, but couldn’t figure out how to get out. We heard the flapping of wings and saw the pigeon panicking, flying all over the place and getting stuck on the net. Even when we opened one side, the bird refused to fly out. We ended up unhooking almost the whole net before the bird flew out, all the while fielding and preventing its friends from coming over. Oh, squirrels manage to get in, but they are smart enough to get out, too. We’ve been considering removing the net…but that’s a cumbersome job. Also, more important things to do now, so letting it be.

Good things happened with my niece getting her hostel accommodation at the college she had enrolled in and that’s a huge relief. We were freaking out over the cost of paying guest arrangements and well, I admit I prayed real hard–since there were very limited seats for the hostel allocation. All’s well that ends well and she’s slowly settling down. The weather there is awfully hot, but she’s being a champ, doing all the things she has to and adjusting to the new environment.

I must give huge thanks to online shopping and home delivery, be it groceries or other things we need. My friendly neighborhood shops are so kind. At the end of the day, it is all about relationships, and I am lucky to have built some strong ones over the years. So grateful.

In the middle of all this, I managed to juggle two things I love: work and lots of cooking. And spend time with my son, bingeing on TV. I did not get around to blogging as much as I’d like to have, but didn’t stress over it. Come August, it will be back to the routine and my kitchen will certainly miss my boy. There’ll be plenty of time to catch up, eh?

And yes, the work front is good.

Which leads me to income tax return filing. After going crazy trying to figure out stuff, I wisely decided to hand over the whole thing to my chartered accountant. Big sigh of relief! I don’t know why I struggle with it–my returns are pretty clear cut and easy to file. I think it is the resistance. Funny thing is, I have a good head for numbers. Maybe I’ll try to understand it better. Hmm. Grateful for professional help, however!

When we were out running last minute errands last week for my son, I got a new screen guard for my phone. Oh, a minor thing, but it is a huge difference to me. The super-scratched previous screen guard made it tough to read stuff on the screen, you know? And I would find it tough to navigate the touch screen as my finger would not move because of the rough surface. Now it seems like a brand new phone! Yay!

So now my son has returned to college. I am bracing myself for the sense of emptiness that always sets in after he leaves. I mean, the house–and our heart–feels empty. Of course I know we are all in a good place, but you know–I am a Mom after all. The last two and a half months were glorious regardless of the ups and downs. I am grateful for:

  • The eternally full kitchen sink
  • Loads of laundry to do (and my husband who considers it his domain)
  • Being able to cook
  • My son’s constant appreciation and love
  • The warm hugs
  • Board games
  • TV and movie time
  • Walks on the terrace in the evenings
  • Family and friends

And books.

One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in recent times is “Consolations – The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words” by David Whyte. The book explores 52 words through short essays. Whyte’s writing is expressive and visual. I love the book. I have read essays by David Whyte before, but got the entire book only recently.

Today, I want to share a tiny excerpt from his essay on Gratitude:

“Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.”

How has your July been?

P.S.: My apologies for not getting around to visiting everyone. This time around, I will catch up sooner. Love to you all.

Please join me for the July Gratitude Circle blog hop.

Here’s the badge.

Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury promobox

Join me!

Write your post and link up below. Thank you!

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Nabanita Dhar
    July 27, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Good to know you had a wonderful summer, Vidya. I loved the summer vacations during college too. I would stay cooped up at home with mom and it was so wonderful. I really miss those days.
    Throat infections can be strenuous. Hope Vidur is feeling better.
    My July was good too, taught me a number of things which I’m trying to keep in mind every day 🙂

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    July 27, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I’m so sorry about the step infection. That’s nasty stuff. Reading your blessings warmed my heart. I’m happy to have satisfied my father’s desire for us to visit them in Florida and return home to settle into a really fulfilling writing routine. On that note, I’m going to start back on rewrites. Be well!

  • Reply
    Sulekha
    July 28, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Vidya, you have had a busy couple of months. Sorry to read about your son’s illness, hope he has recovered fully and is enjoying college. I am awaiting my son’s visit home after nearly three years, yes, three long years. I visited him last year for a few days but am waiting to cook his favourite food, talk late into the night with him, bake cakes together. He is my sweet and handsome son, mothers can be so mushy mushy about their kids 🙂 Loved reading your gratitude post and have written a few haiku for the blog hop.

  • Reply
    Birgit
    July 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    If your son had to get sick, I’m glad he was with you and at home rather than alone which always sucks. Bless your sister for helping out so much. I’m not sure I could take your heat as I find out too hot where I live near Niagara Falls. It is supposed to be up to 30 this weekend with humidity which just kills. It sounds like you had a fulfilling month with being a family and that’s nice. I am nearing the end of my 2 week vacation. The first week we were with my hubby’s aunt up on the Richelieu River near Montreal. When we came back, even though we rested when we were there, I was exhausted and Tuesday was mainly a sleep day. I am helping my best friend who is going through a very nasty divorce and that is horrible but I am so happy to be there for her. Now I must go and dust..yeah:)

  • Reply
    Rachna Parmar
    July 31, 2017 at 9:05 am

    So happy that you got to spend some fantastic time with Vidur. Yes, the weather was such a downer. Everyone at home was sick and the cough just does not seem to go away completely. So sorry that Vidur had to suffer so. I remember our chat about the returns. Glad you got the CA to handle the stuff. Best to leave this to them. Also good to hear about your niece, Vidya. Have a wonderful August.

  • Reply
    upasna
    July 31, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Was waiting for this post…Vidya Ji. Its wonderful how you see good at the end of dark tunnel. You are always an inspiration.

  • Reply
    SHALINI BAISIWALA
    July 31, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Sorry to hear about your son being ill- I think having a sick child is one of the biggest drain on a mom, emotionally and physically too! I hope he feels better soon and I realy admire your writing about getting through it all. You always write such cheery peppy posts – they inspire me to look for the silver lining and complain less!! Cheers

  • Reply
    Sulekha
    August 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Vidya, my link in the linky is not opening. Kindly check and revert.

  • Reply
    G Angela
    August 1, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Vidya ! I am so glad to read this post, in fact I love to read your gratitude post – it is always empowering me and there is so much to learn from you; thank you for sharing so much of happening in your life 🙂 I appreciate your attitude towards life and how you cope with every challenge and ensure that you remain so optimistic. I am glad I saw this, and now I am linking what I wrote for July. Glad that vidur is fine and I am impressed to see how much you read.

  • Reply
    Parul Thakur
    August 2, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    When you write about Vidur coming back home, I think of my days in college when I would go home for semester breaks. I miss those days of staying with parents and getting pampered with food and attention. Looks like your July was full of love and warmth. The best of its kind, isn’t it?
    I marked that book on my TBR list and will get to it soon. Have a lovely August and yes, it’s the festival time in India!
    Parul Thakur recently posted…Gratitude List – July 2017My Profile

  • Reply
    Mahathi Ramya
    August 3, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Good that you enjoyed your time with your Son. The paragraph about Gratitude that you shared is very nice. I am grateful for a family trip and Instagram photo challenge in July.

  • Reply
    Shailaja Vishwanath
    August 5, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Certainly been a full month and more. Hope vidur is better now and hugs to you on the health front. Get better soon!

    As for pigeons I put up sliding doors to keep them out. So glad I did. Now I can watch the traffic, read and sit there in peace. Hope your August is much better and more peaceful 🙂

  • Reply
    chatty wren
    August 7, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Busy month, so many happenings! I can imagine how a child home can completely transform it to a full house with comings-goings, meals and demands, hugs and laughs. The falling ill bit was a downer but I guess just have to go with it. You are so lucky to have a sister close by, siblings makes so much of a difference in our lives. Wish you a fun and festive August and thanks again for the bhindi recipe.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      August 7, 2017 at 11:22 am

      I guess the variety that life keeps serving us is what makes it so interesting, Vibha! 🙂 thank you for joining me! About the recipe: you’re most welcome. I posted it right away because you asked for it. Otherwise I would have been lazy! So I thank you!

      Yes, I am lucky to have a sister close by! We have no blood-ties but you know what they say: friends are the family we choose for ourselves.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Growing Old is Hard to DoMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vasantha Vivek
    August 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Always our kids will make us more happier than anything else. I’m glad you juggled happily between your work and cooking. Glad to join your gratitude link up party at the last moment due to my preoccupied schedule of functions, family and friends.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Gratitude Is The Wine For My Soul ….. #GratitudeCircleBlogHopMy Profile

  • Reply
    Hiral Amodia
    August 17, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Highly inspiring post!! Hats off Vidya ji!!

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