Sunday, 27 March 2011

Hello, Weekend? Goodbye, Weekend.

Do you dislike Mondays? I don't, so much. I used to hate Sunday evening/night more than any other thing. This was when we were in our long distance thing. He would leave back to New York on Sunday, in the evening. In anticipation of that, we would be at each other's throats the whole day (or nearly). I also had to cook stuff to send with him (the guilt, it hangs heavy on this one). As a rule, I enjoy cooking. But sometimes, it was just sad. I was sending him tupperwares filled with Sambar and Rasam and so on, and thinking, Shi-ite, he is going to have to make this last till wednesday at least (Thursday being Happy Hour day and no one eats old Sambar when you can play ridiculous games involving beer pitchers and such like, not even vegetarians. And Friday is when he would drive back up to College Inn - Seriously, I lived in a place that was called College Inn).

Now that we share a postal address, and have spawned a child, Sunday nights go very differently. We hang around. We polish the white shoes for Monday school. We eat leftovers (some things don't change, eh?). I cook sometimes, feeling very enthusiastic and driving up the house temperature by several. We go out and meet friends, sometimes, always telling ourselves that we ought to be back early because of school. I teach early class on Mondays, often. So I wake up super early and read and so forth. I wake the homies up and head off. I don't mind Mondays, its nice to have an early, fresh start to the week.

Since coming to Chennai, weekends have gotten fairly busy. There are the exercise orgy weekends sometimes - Long run Sat morning, Basketball Sat evening, Swim Sun morning, Basketball Sun evening. Those are lovely. Even though my eyelids start to droop by 8 pm. There are the social butterfly weekends - Long run Sat morning, Party Sat evening, Dehydrated Sun morning, Get Together Sun night. Then there are weekends like the last one, where I (a) cooked for several hours for several people (b) slept for several hours in several bursts. Not much exercise then, especially since there was a contagious jet lag type situation. He was genuinely, I think (having returned from parts West on Sat wee hours and Splish Splash Surely He Knew There Was A Party Going On and his grandmother was here too?). I was, just, in a zone.

I like to get my long run out of the way on Saturday. Its best for the household. My overall state of meta-stability means I get to avoid basketball for a few more weeks. I just went there and hung out on sidelines. The monster was running a bit of fever on friday so we did not bring her to the pool this weekend, which is just as well. I tried to sleep a bit extra this morning since it was a late-ish Saturday night (by my standards), but was rudely woken up by her. At least we sat in the garden for a bit and talked about Energy and so on for a few minutes. I am helping out with a summer camp for her school so that helped with some calibration. I cooked a bit. Veggie shopping combined with the dance class for monster. Lunch followed by a fairly long meeting about one of our upcoming trips. And a birthday party. Lots of new people met! A sprawling old house filled with heavy old artsy things!

So, on tuesday last, I posted the challenge. Here is how I have fared::

1. Running: 50 + 40 + 90 = 180 total mins. Possibly 18 miles, maybe a bit more.
2. Abs: 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.
3. Biking: 2 miles
4. Swimming: none
5. Interval w/o: none

This leaves me behind schedule. Definitely. By now, I should have run 25 miles. And done 5 sets of ab workouts. Other things are still handle-able. So, now I have to run 6 miles everyday this week to make up for that. The ab workouts I won't try.

Anyhow, what is left is: 57 miles, 12 ab workout events, 13 bike miles, 15 swim laps, and 2 interval workout events.

Till later then...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Musings, and a Challenge!

No, really, I shouldn't. But its lunch time (somewhere in the world, I mean, if not here).

Things I learnt about myself the past week (or two or three)::

1. I can dance if you break it down into steps and call out the numbers up 1-2, down 1-2. My training for years, wearing khaki/blue and a giantass belt, and shoes that were too big for me (always! newspaper tucked in front) clearly helps me. [In case your generation does not do this, its called National Cadet Corps and while its purpose is pretty unclear, its a fun way to get out of doing household chores such as mopping floors. Not to mention boring homework. Works till you are about 16 years of age].
2. I cannot see too well any more. I have like 0.50 power in both eyes (its negative, so far..). Which means that its not a big deal and I ought to be rocking sunglasses and showing off my mascara alternately. Except that I don't wear mascara. And don't know why but feel very uncomfy without my glasses these days. At least I feel like I belong in the family now, considering the two homies look around for their glasses the first thing in the mornings .
3. I am officially bored of the semester [and, parenthetically, the school year]. I want to wind up this stuff and move on to the summer. The Summer! It beckons! I am staring longingly at swimming in the morning [for the cross training benefits, exclusively]. Breakfasts. Gentle amounts of work. A vacation. Meeting mum. Stuff like that. But I still have at least a month to go and a gadzillion things to do. So. Bah.
4. I have become a bit of a lazy ass. I need to start up on a challenge, I think. Okay, Done. 15 day Challenge. Bye.

15-Day Challenge
Dates: 23 Mar - 6 Apr
  • Total Miles to run: 5 x 15 = 75
  • Total Interval Workouts to complete: 2 (6 x 400m ones like last time is good enough)
  • Total Biking Miles: 1 x 15 = 15 (meaning, not much, just to get to the running places and so forth)
  • Ab workouts: 15
  • Push Up Challenge: Nil (don't dare say why, Bannu will be upset at me, I still have NOT)
  • Swimming: 2 sessions, 15 (chota) laps (seriously, thats all I can hope for)
  • Food, Diet, etc.: Whatever, doesn't matter.
Want to do this with me? So we can compare notes and you can kick my ass if I laze? Please? You don't have to be in Chennai, you know that right? The InterNetz! I will send (give) you a gift at the end of it all! I will!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Aging, accepting

I am in a very mellow mood today. 7:55 am. Bhaja Govindam from FIL's laptop in the ear. The sounds and sharp smells from the kitchen as the cook 'hits it' - bitter gourd - the last of the crop from the garden - I think. Lisol smell rising into my nose as my maid 'swishes it' - wiping the floor. The child is sleeping peacefully upstairs. I am nursing my morning cup of coffee (instant, Bru, if you must ask, it is really the only sore note in this, but thats a long story I don't want to get into now).

The husband is on a flight. Do I miss him? Yes, a little bit. But I am also happy for him, if you can believe it. He is on a work trip of course, but is going to have the chance to meet up with some college friends. They are my friends too, and it would be super to see them. But here is the thing. The juggling involved in that would be so immense, that I really don't mind that I don't get to meet them this time around. I am happy enough to enjoy vicariously. There are many new babies in the mix. Odyssey had real shiny gold and silver wrapping paper this time around, and I had a great time wrapping up various little gifts for the kids (names unknown, as yet).

The super awesome Chow girl finally helped me overcome my fear of interval work-outs. She dismissed my silliness re: interval work-outs yesterday. "Don't be fucking stupid" I told myself this morning, all resolute and stuff. I jogged over. The thing is, I cannot run cold any more. Its a recent realisation. I never stretch - at least not the static kind. But the ol' muscles deserve loosening. So I ran from home to the track (the nearby one - maybe 1-1.5km away). She was already there. This kid is awesome, I am so excited thinking about her running career. We did 4x400m; 2x200m; 2x100 m; cool downs between each (walking), and I ran back home and did AbRipperX Core Slash Abs for 12 mins after ('Bring it'). Everything feels good so far. I have not overdone it, this means. This is enough, this means. It was fun! This means. Thank you, Chow.

Saturday stretches ahead. I have lots of things to do, lots of places to go, lots of people to meet. But I look forward to it. I welcome both the new and old things. I invariably learn from the new things. And the experience under my belt is handy for the old things. The track has changed to Vishnu Sahasranaaman now. I wonder if the old lady ('Double Attack' my dad would say, referring to the diamonds on both nostrils that MSS aunty and others would wear) knows that she lives on, in voice, in a gazillion households (and a few tea shops). Wonder what I will leave behind? These words, for my little girl to read some day, maybe when she is all grown up? Actually, it doesn't matter, not today. The here and now is good enough...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Well Deserved!

When the summer holidays rolled around, my sister kicked back and read books. And slept. A lot. Me? I read books. I biked in the afternoons, waking as many of my friends as I possibly could, and showing my finger to the sun-god who beat mercilessly upon my tanned body. I had a big blue drum full of, well, 'stuff.' I pulled out my big blue drum. I made a clock out of ice-cream sticks. I built a doll house. I signed up for typing classes. I renewed my basketball coaching. I cut and cut and cut paper. And glued it all together. I went to my dad's college library and borrowed as many books (these were not story books, nope!) as he would permit me to. I finished up all the math exercises for the next class. And in all of it, I looked happily forward to the day when school would reopen and I could add a whole bunch of other things such as sports days and acting and exams and homework and interesting class work and friends and festivals and so on.

My big blue drum? It was pure treasure. It had everything I needed to amuse myself while the world slept on, wilting in the heat. Mum never allowed me much money to buy stuff so I did what I could. Collected the shiny tops of the Nutramul tins. Put away every empty box I possibly could. Stole any gift wrapping that found itself in the house. Calcium sandoz boxes, with the detachable nose. Everything that was not trashed, or considered 'precious' by the household went into my box, through the year. Waiting in anticipation for summer when it would snake out and serve as amusement.

My big blue drum is still full. A little too full now, what with the plethora of opportunities that is open to us today, in 2011, that too for a super lucky gal like me who wants for nothing except some extra time to pay attention to all the things in her head. Reaching closure is the big problem. Waking up early or sleeping late is clearly not the solution, because, you know, I need a LOT of sleep else am super unproductive.

Looking at me going nuts the husband said about ten days ago 'I am going to take your life under my control, examine its contents, and make sure you are more efficient and Getting It Done' I paraphrase, of course, but this scares the crap out of me. I never liked people opening out the black lid and looking in (my mum felt obliged to, periodically, as I stood by, waiting to catch things she would throw out, so I could surreptitiously put them back in, later). I know, I need to sort through and organise and prioritize. I know they mean well and do mean to help. But Its So Scary!

Anyway born out of that fear, I decided to do a couple of things this week. First, I focussed on finishing the unfinished tasks, and fast. This was clearly stressing me out! Second, I prioritized properly and made lists (WooHoo! Lists!) and struck stuff off. A few more sensible actions and at the end of last week, I heaved a sigh of satisfaction. I had had a productive week! Earned my pay! Felt sorted! Yes! Then, this week, the streak continued. Except that I have now signed on for more things, feeling all sorted and with it....I might just have to buy a new drum!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

You Snooze, You Lose

I am up all right this morning. Sure, I snoozed a bit with the alarm going off. Its that eternal question - which button to press, the right or the left? (The right snoozes it, the left switches it off. I don't remember voluntarily using the left button before waking up, for uhh at least a month now). So anyway, I woke up and did the morning stuff I do. Including, on a whim, dumping in all the nasty foot mats for a much deserved wash.

Then usually its time to walk around the bed and pick up the sports bra & socks, back to the cupboard to get the tshirt and the towel, and zoom out. Except that I am not in the mood today. Half of me is inclined to do the needful, picking up the ipod if necessary. But the other half is inclined to not do the needful, ipod notwithstanding. There is a small section of me that would like to curl back into bed and sleep, but thankfully, that person is ignorable, largely. My husband, who doesn't even open both his eyes till absolutely necessary, would be shocked to see a person awake, brushed, having drunk coffee, and hanging around at 6:30 am, when they don't have a flight to catch or a meeting to sprint to. Over the years, we have come to accept grudgingly, our differences. So, I cannot understand how you can put things off to the last possible minute, or pack without a list (HOW?). We are even.

Its amazing, the quality of time. I am sitting here, staring periodically at the top corner of my laptop, as the minutes follow each other inexorably getting to a time when I will have to get off the chair, wake up the child, and move on to the next phase of the day. I can well imagine myself running, as I normally would have, pounding the stones on the pavement (these stones, I know so well, I said to someone walking on them in the evening, so strange to feel them with my feet encased in sandals). The time (in digital format) in my watch, real time, the other, running time, I switch between these to keep myself moving. And am forever calculating the time I need to hit the U-turn so that I can be back home in time for Phase 2.

Yesterday, I worked from home for a few hours. I decided to divide the chunk of time I had into half hour segments. And to try and work through things, spending not more than half an hour on each. Its a trick I learnt from a friend of mine. For the past year, we both have been working on something, somewhat reluctantly. When we started it off, it sounded like a lot of fun. But after a whole bunch of goings-on, some of which could be blamed on us, and most of it on others in the team we were working on, we lost the enthusiasm. But we still had to plod through and finish it. So we would allot half an hour a day to the task. Especially when we worked together on it, it was easy to indulge in a complaint-session and not achieve anything. We set an alarm and cut out the goss till it rang.

I have written so many posts over the past couple of months. A paragraph at a time. Then something happens. Someone knocks on the door. Time slides on and while I would like to complete the post and publish it, it seems more sensible to postpone it to later, when I can at least allot 80% of mind space to it. So it wallows in drafts. When I come back to it, I don't feel like thinking along those lines again. Like I often say, things, ideas, crosswords, rot and go bad when you leave them open for a while.

Even now the time is moving on. I know there is the other blog I should be updating, and that people are waiting anxiously for that (its for work). I can reel off at least three other things I could be doing now that would, probably, be a more valuable use of my time than this. But one thing is for sure. I am nowhere as near closure on those things, as I am with this post. On that count, this one wins out...