Being the youngest sibling

My younger son was mad at me-

"You could have taken ME out of your tummy FIRST!"

"I wanted to be a big brother, but now I will ALWAYS be the younger 
one!"

"Put Bhaiya (big brother) back into your tummy and get ME out first." he demanded.

I said, "Your honor! Being your mom I enjoy some influence but I 
cannot decide the sequence of my babies."

Disappointed, he asked, "Okay, so in how many years can I catch up to Bhaiya (big brother)?"

"Never hon, for he will always be two years ahead of you. When you 
grow, he grows as well," I explained.

It was a bitter realization for my little munchkin that age is one area where he could not compete and win. His big brother was a born winner (literally) in this contest.

Being the youngest sibling myself I could identify with my kid’s feelings. To be born first gives some advantage to the older siblings, although being the littlest in the family undoubtedly has its benefits.

walking-black-amp-white-child-kid

So what does it mean to be the youngest?

  1. The elder siblings consider you as one of their standby entertainment sources. When they are bored, you are an easy target for playing pranks, picking up a fight or teasing.
  2. You think that to be a whistle-blower is one of your duties towards your parents, and you are super good at it. It is virtually impossible for the elder siblings to keep any secrets from you, the little devil, and this is one of the reasons that you are your parent’s favorite.
  3. You end up with excellent negotiation skills as the elder siblings use you to put forward their requests in front of the parents. Whether it is a demand for a dog or to go out for movies or even stay late for the night, they know who they need to use as their bait to influence the powerheads/parents. I remember doing it for my sisters and more often than not, I did not disappoint them.
  4. Being the youngest, you have few pictures of your childhood. By the time you came into this world, your parents lose interest in capturing the baby’s firsts or just about anything in photos. You cherish your childhood photos that even have a part of your face in them.
  5. You become an errand person for the others in the family-‘Go fetch an apple from the fridge.’ ‘Get me a bowl from the kitchen, or a cup of water and so on….’,and this task delegation never ends. I was an  ‘in-house courier service’ for my family with no real money as salary. Good news that now the youngest can enjoy some free time with the advent of errand outsourcing apps. (http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/04/concierge-app-economy.html.)
  6. You end up being responsible. It is because your elder siblings have already made some crazy mistakes, landed in trouble and you tend to learn from their mistakes.
  7. You enjoy more freedom and trust from your parents, partly because you are more responsible but mainly because they are tired of putting restrictions. By the time it is your turn, parents mellow down, and nothing surprises them anymore.
  8. You are the last one to be born in the family and the last one to leave home for better opportunities. It means that you are also bound to deal with your parent’s empty nest syndrome. When it the time for you to leave your parents are confronted with the reality that their house will be truly empty now.
  9. You become used to your elder siblings looking out for you. It makes you dependent and relaxed as someone always has your back.
  10. You are exposed to things sooner than your friends. Thanks to your older siblings you’ve already taken a peek at the TV shows/movies and learned some swearing words that many of your peers did not.
  11. You realize that your identity to the world is just not you, but as someone’s younger sister or brother. The teachers in school know you like that, so do the neighbors and the society in general. So you find it challenging to establish your individuality.
  12. You will always be a baby of the family. People think twice before giving you responsibilities as you always remain little in their eyes.
  13. It is difficult for you to establish your fashion sense amidst the constant supply of hands me down from your older siblings.
  14. There are always too many people telling you dos and don’t as they care about you. This overwhelming mentoring turns you into a cautious person and also may sometimes confuse you in decision making.

Though each of the birth order comes with its own pros and cons, being the youngest is not bad at all! I loved it (most of the times) being cuddled and always having someone to count on. That is my take and someday I hope my little boy would realize this too as he finds a best friend in his big bro.

Photo credit: <a href=”http://foter.com/re/61b966″>Foter.com</a&gt;

You can do anything you set your mind to, even pick-up a dead mouse

Our move to the house is officially complete. We still have few more boxes to open, but the big chunk of the arranging the house is now accomplished.

Pantry and kitchen were the first rooms that I laid out after the move. I stocked the pantry with best of what my family likes- organic pancake flour mix, savory snacks and chocolate chip cookies, oblivious that are abode was invaded by the tiny, squeaky creatures who shared the same love for food.

That fateful night, our pantry stuff was carelessly nibbled by the mice. I was angry at the mayhem that these buggers created. So I did what the situation demanded. I called the pest control. The company left me with mouse traps after a casual demo of how to apply peanut butter on the traps to attract the rodent. Apparently, these mice are drawn to peanut butter like Winnie the Poo to honey.

My hubby and I set the traps and waited for the catch.

Day 1 morning: Bingo!! We caught one mouse.

Disposing it off was easy! My hubby wore plastic bags like gloves and neatly put the dead mouse into another bag and threw it.

Day 2 and 3 Caught two more mice and my husband tossed the dead rodents like a pro.

Day 4 Caught one more, but this time my hubby did not throw it . He gave me a look. The look that said it was my turn to get hands dirty. It wasn’t as if I had to do bungee jumping or something insanely scary like skydiving, but I felt squeamish at the sight of the mouse.

My hubby said, ‘You’ve dissected mice in Biology, so throwing a dead mouse is a piece of cake!’

‘Eeewwwuuu! I can’t even look straight at the dead rodent.’

‘Just pick the whole thing up and throw it in a bag.’

After my hubby left for work, I was left alone to deal with my fears. After a deep exhale, I gave a ninja glance at the lifeless mouse, while  murmuring ‘It’s a piece of cake, it’s a piece of cake!’ ‘It’s not a dead mouse, but just a piece of cake.’ 

Clouded by my thoughts, I wrapped my hands in a plastic grocery bag.  I doubled the bag in my other hand to be extra cautious to not touch the mouse. Then I stood as far as possible from the target, and then bent over and stretched my arm to grab the trap along with the entangled mouse barely holding it with my thumb and finger. I threw the dead into the bag and secured it with many knots. I am grateful to the yoga practice that helped me in taking this perfect warrior stance against my enemy- the fear.

13160107913_cc41ae8f48_z‘Phew!’ I took a deep sigh of relief and did a victory dance to celebrate my act of valor. I washed my hands multiple times and then collapsed onto a couch like a doctor celebrating the success post a complicated surgical operation. That morning instead of tea I had a big glass of wine. (Well, wine part is a bit of a stretch, but I sure felt drunk over my success.)

Hence proved I can do anything I put my mind to, even pick up the dead mice.

So, can you!

Photo credit: CJ Isherwood via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: symphony of love via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Life in a Comfort zone: Happy or just Comfortable?

If you are anyway like me, you are guilty of becoming comfortable in not so comfortable situations. The reason being: we resist change. We become used to a routine, living in a certain way and then when change knocks at our door, we freak out. We refuse to open the door and embrace the new. We cling to our comfort zones for as long as we can until our inside voice or the outside circumstances push us enough to dive into the change.

The latest turn of  events in my life is the proof of my response to change- Our landlord declared that she wants to sell the house we are living in, and my reaction was- “AAAAGH! This can’t be happening! I’ve got comfortable in this house, and I do not want the pain of house search, the move, and then the re-settling.

I moped on the situation for over a week until I talked myself out of it and realized that this is a great opportunity to find a house with a bigger closet, and no scorpions. For long I had kept section of my wardrobe packed in a suitcase, and finding a new place with a bigger closet is the chance for those suffocated clothes to taste fresh air .

The metamorphosis of my inner dialogue turned me into being enthusiastic about finding a new abode.

Inner dialogues are an intrinsic part of our everyday life. These conversations either push us to adapt to change or convince us that we are comfortable in our existing situations, be it about hitting the gym, trying a new craft, changing food habits, wake up/sleep routine, starting a business and so on. More often than not, the voice of comfort wins the argument.

Moreover, if you reflect on our status quo, you would realize that you are NOT all that happy being in the so called comfort zone. Take for example any of these everyday life situations-

Inside voice: Hey, you! 
You've been sitting comfortably on that chair for an extensive time, 
following the same daily routine of waking up in the morning and sipping on your coffee. Why don't you get your act together and join your 
buddies for the 5:00 am run?

Nah! I am good. I am not out of shape, so why take extra pain to get up 
early and change my routine. I am comfortable!

But won't you miss the morning fresh air, the cardio, and the 
socializing? You might not need the coffee after all.

Shush! Mind you I am not indolent, I have a long day ahead!

 

Inside voice: Hey listen! You have been in this dysfunctional 
relationship for so long.Isn't it time to get out of the rut and give 
yourself another chance?

I am used to it now! Known evil is better than the unknown!

But, you would never find out what is in store for you, until you leave 
this familiar territory.

I am good. I have spent years with this person. I am used to this 
person now.

 

Inside voice: You've been slogging for years doing this 
office job. You have to stay late, miss on the family times, and it's   been long since you've taken a vacation. Isn't it time to say quits to  your workplace and find something that is a better fit?

Not really! This job is working for me. I have loans to pay off, and thisjob gives me a good salary. I know how the system works here and people 
respect me. It is not always that I have to do late nights or miss on thefamily occasions. 

But don't you want to learn something new? You might like that better. 

I will have to spend time in creating my reputation in the new workplace.I have a secure job and I am not comfortable leaving it.
Inside Voice:Hey listen you! Are you excited about your move to a new 
city? You will  see new landscapes, and make new friends.

Not really, I like it here! I have my friend circle, so what if that 
circle is empty most of the times. I know the people and places around 
here. I am settled.

But you are not a tree! You can move. You might end up liking the new 
place better. You might make stronger bonds, find great 
neighbors and get to try new adventures.

Leave me alone. I feel like being depressed about leaving this place. I 
just do.

Another great recent example is that of my friend who continued in his unfulfilled and dry job for decades, on the pretext of  security and comfort. Then one day he was let go which suddenly freed him from his illusionary comfort. Little he could do to shield himself from the change he’d been resisting for years! After the initial phase of discomfort of finding a job, he is now happy in his newly created comfort zone.

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Give CHANGE a CHANCE!

It is the fear of unknown that holds us back in taking risks and trying new horizons. On the contrary it is also true that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush. So what should you do? Stick to the familiar or take risk and try new avenues.

The answer lies in asking the question- Are you happy or just comfortable? If you are not happy, you know that it is time to test new waters. After all,  ‘a bird in the hand is good, but a bird in the bush might sing.’

 

Photo credit: Wiertz Sébastien via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

Hello woman, are you fair, wheatish or dark?

“Do not wear purple. It makes you look dark,” so they told me.

But today, purple is my favorite color.

The above two lines sum up my journey.

Chocolate, caramel, honey, cinnamon, and wheat! I am not stating the ice-cream flavors, but shades of brown skins that prevail in India.

And I am wheatish or maybe somewhere in between honey and wheatish!

Wheatish, in India, refers to the people who are not fair. The word ‘fair’ is not be confused with righteousness, but fair in this context alludes to the skin tone that is multiple shades lighter than wheatish.

Shadeism or colorism, whatever name you give to this prejudice, it does not matter. The important fact is India’s obsession with fairness though not new is still quite prevalent. Parents and relatives of the girls with dark complexion are often consumed with the anxiety of finding a suitable groom, and inadvertently transfer their insecurities to the child.  The girl gets humiliated every time the society favors the light skinned.

No one deserves to get hurt for their color. No one! Period.
The big companies feed off these deep-rooted insecurities and blatantly promote their skin whitening products. They even rope in big celebrities who endorse the idea that becoming light skinned brings success in life!

We all know how superficial these claims are? Granted that because of the deep ingrained fundamental that ‘fair is beautiful,’ the light skinned people are favored by the unintelligent, but promoting the concept that fair skin alone can get you success is preposterous.

Get over it people!

The Matrimonial advertisements in the Indian newspapers further aggrandize the fair color. A typical ad for ‘brides wanted’ reads, ‘Wanted a fair, slim, beautiful and convent educated girl for our son.’ Any sane person would know that for a marriage to be successful you need a connection at the emotional level and not at the skin gradient level.

Bollywood Cinema that prefers to star milky white complexion women does little to abate this unfair bias towards white complexion.

I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, with movements like ‘Dark is beautiful’ (http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/india-obsessed-white-skin-actress-article-1.1498783). There is a gradual shift in the mentality, and the new generations are not deeply prejudiced by the skin color driven beauty meter. But something that has been part of the society for decades would take years to change, and cliché as it may sound, ‘the change begins with us.’

This month of March is especial!  Women’s history month, Woman’s day all fall in March. What better way to celebrate than to appreciate the beauty in each one of us-

' I am beautiful NOT like YOU... I am beautiful like ME.'

(This was posted by one of my friends on social media, and it strikes a perfect chord with this article.)

Photo credit: Sidpicky via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Rajesh_India via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

 

12 Things that kids can teach you

“Say Thank you!”

“Say Sorry!”

These are the sentences I have often used in hope to teach my kids gratitude and kindness. But, a recent incident changed my theory-

My younger son got a playdough for his older brother using his weekly school stars.“Awwww, so sweet!” My heart melted, and I was touched by his thoughtfulness. I said to my older son, “ Say thank you!” To my chagrin, he ignored my humble request and went on doing his daily routine.  An odd feeling consumed me that I did not do a good job of teaching my kid to be grateful, and also his disobedience hurt my ego.

But something happened the very next morning that changed my heart. I saw my little munchkin playing with his big brother’s rubric cube. (This was the toy that my older son earned in his school for his good behavior. The star rewards in his grade are much harder to earn than my younger kids weekly treasure chest system.) I am giving this detailed background, because, my older child gave away the rubric cube to his little brother.….just like that.

I felt proud! This was the ‘his tiny heart could hold so much of gratitude’ moment.

I  was reminded that gratitude does not always need words to be expressed. It is much profound in action.

This was the ‘I learn from my kids’ moment and also an inspiration to write this post. If we look intently into our everyday lives, we will find numerous such moments of learnings from children. Some I’ve summarized below-

1.) Gratitude is genuine

Kids are genuine! Their ear to ear smile and their loving gaze are gratitude enough.xsgapcvboju-dmitry-ratushny

By adulthood, we become trained and attuned to saying and receiving the formal ‘thank you,’ so much so, that we tend to get dismissive of the signs of real gratitude.

2.) To be a philosopher

Children look at the world with amazing curiosity. That is why they constantly ask questions (which at some point gets annoying but I am sure you get the drift.)Their minds are free of preconceived notions, thus naturally more fertile to learn and absorb things as they exist, rather than, how the things ought to be.

3.) When life gives you people, do not judge

Take kids to a park or birthday party, they play with other children irrespective of their appearances, language or background. They interact without any discrimination and prejudice.

_h_wega3ego-abigail-keenanAs we grow up, we let our pre-determined script guide all our interactions with the outside world. We can learn not to be judgmental in our behavior and see situations with fresh eyes.

4.)Dream fearlessly

Kids have all kinds of dreams (lofty or not) which are unscathed by worldly advice. That is why they want to be astronauts, build time machines, be a superhero, a teacher, fireman, pilot, and so forth.

This ability to dream fearlessly is so crucial to moving forward in life. As we grow, we lose this ability as our dreams get tainted by the practicalities, the societal views, and our perceived self-worth.

5.)Pause when you need to

Kids have the ability to rest when they are exhausted, before returning to their usual hullabaloo.

As an adult, our daily grind consumes us such that we often forget to take out time for ourselves; The time to pause and reflect on our everyday lives is essential to reinvigorate our souls.

6.)Demand with all your might

Have you seen children pestering their parents for something? Kids try very hard and deploy various tactics- from saying ‘please’ to the howling drama until they eventually figure out what works best to get the desired outcome.

Some of us lose this ability to go after our goals with all our might. So, next time when you see a kid lying down on the floor in a mall, screaming for candies/toy, consider it as a reminder.

7.)Ability to Trust

When the parent throws the child in the air, the kid laughs out loud and does not shrink in fear. S/he knows that these are the hands that would not let h/him fall. This ultimate trust is called surrender.wr3hgvx_rsm-thiago-cerqueira

Kids teach us that it is okay to trust each other to live a fulfilling life. And also to surrender to the love of higher power.

8.)Resilience

Kids fall and get hurt multiple times. But they get up, (demand their favorite band-aid) and join the fun again.

They remind us that as long as you are having fun, the falls cannot stop you from enjoying.

9.)Get the weeds out 

“You are not my friend.” If someone is mean to the child, s/he is not afraid to stop talking or say the needful.

3766009204_8721a00dde_mHow many of us have the audacity to unfriend people around us? We covertly do it on social media but to say it directly is the deed reserved for the brave hearts.

10.)Emotions are not to be suppressed

Kids do not suppress their emotions. They cry, scream, laugh out loud and keep living their life.

Repressing your emotions consumes a lot of energy and makes us less functional. We need to realize that it is alright to vent to stay healthy and happy.

11.)To forgive and forget

Have you seen children fight? They fight one moment and then they are best of buddies again. They do not brood over a situation for hours or days, filling the environment with negativity like we grown-ups do.

4k2lip0zc_k-ben-whiteI am immensely thankful for their short memory that makes them forget about the times I raised my voiced at them. (my bad parenting moments that I feel super ashamed!)

12.)Love thyself

Children are not critical of themselves.  It is the society in general that contributes to their changing self-image over time.  We can learn from them to be comfortable in our own skins and indulge a little in self-love.

While we are busy teaching children about life, children teach us what life is all about. I am sure there are much more things to learn from kids than the ones mentioned here. Readers, share your moments of learning from children.

 

 

The day I found a genie in the bottle…

As a teen I enjoyed watching the comedy TV series, ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ in which an astronaut finds a genie in the bottle. The genie granted him wishes. Golly! I was amazed at all the things the genie could do in a blink of an eye.


And with most of my days filled with the busy parenting routine, I’ve often wished to have my very own genie,  and then one bright, chirpy Phoenix morning it happened—

Amongst the lather and the dirty dishes,

In my sink, I found a genie in the bottle.

Kazoom! I opened the stopper to release

the tiny bewitched thing.

The genie bowed and said, “My master, I reckon,

you need to rest. Please allow me to do my best.”

In disbelief, I rubbed my eyes,

but there she was, right in front of me!

I sat before the fireplace, curled up with a cup of tea.

And, took out a dusty thin book that begged me to read,

and don’t know when, but I fell asleep.

When I woke up the house was sparkling clean,

the dishes were done, so was the laun-dary

nicely folded and kept in the dresser,

all within my arms reach.

The dinner was on the stove, just the way I like it

curry and basmati rice, and the naan on the side,

salad beautifully arranged, and a big glass of red wine.

Genie said she would do my pedicure too

as my toes possess a yellow hue.

I asked, “Dear, can I keep you, forever?”

I believe I might have begged,

for I had added

“Please and pretty please,” too.

Genie said,“Master, allow me to leave.

I have to serve others who

await a sigh of relief."

I thought of the mothers, sisters, wives and daughters

fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and

grandparents too,

all who desire a little respite

from their daily grind of might.

“Genie," I said, "You have a big job to do,"

"So, I let you free."

With those words, the bewitched thing

that awesome, helpful thing

faded into the air.

Friends, be on a lookout for the enchanted beings in the form of neighbors, friends, relatives who come into your lives at the most difficult times to give you respite and help to refill your everyday life cups.

 

Why to play ‘The Game of Life’ with your children? And the dialogue with my inner voice

Last weekend, I played ‘The game of Life’, one of the oldest American board games, with my children and their friends. It was my first time playing this game, so my eight years old taught me the rules of Life. It was a sweet moment wherein my child was teaching me the ropes of life.:-)

He said-

The winner of the Life is the person who has the maximum money in the end.

What! Hell no! How can riches alone be the yardstick to decide the winner or the loser of life! My kids need to learn better.

Overpowered by thoughts and the parent instinct to share my 2 cents on life, I stated—

“This is all wrong!”

My inside voice warned me, “Spoiler Alert! This is just a game”, but at that moment I chose to ignore it. After all, kids develop their perspectives through games and observation. So I had to do the right thing by sharing my wisdom.

Continuing with my lecture, I said, “In reality, money is necessary to live a comfortable life, but it cannot be a measure of a successful life. The true measure is happiness, and the relationships built along the way. It is easier to keep a score of money than to count your blessings, so the reason this game uses money as the winning goal.”

Giving advise took some weight off my chest, and we started the game.

I was impressed the way this game mapped the entire life on a linear coarse.The players take turns spinning the wheel, and they move ahead the number of spaces indicated on the wheel. In the start of the game, the players have to select between the college path or the career path. I was satisfied to know that my kid had already discovered that choosing the college path meant delaying the payday rewards for later in life. Pretty cool and mature, I thought! But, my satisfaction was short lived! Despite his understanding, he chose the ‘Career path.’ The voice inside me said, “Studies comes first! Do not bypass college. Choose college <pretty please!>, and career will follow, kiddo!” This time, I pinched myself on time to not let these words out of my mouth, and we continued the game…in peace.

img_3810
The  ‘stop’ sign where the life changing events happen. This one says ‘Get married’, and the player adds one more peg to their car.

 

Throughout the game I was charmed to see the little kids make choices based on their personalities, and their rationale.

My six-year-old stopped in the space to buy a house. He had a choice between a luxury apartment or the beach hut. My son chose the luxury apartment. He said, “Beach hut would be messy.”

Later my kiddo had to choose between two career cards, Doctor or a Teacher. He chose the profession of Teacher. His reason, “It pays more to be a Doctor.”

img_3811
Career Cards

My inside voice started talking again, Son, Ask yourself twice before deciding. Is this the profession you want to embrace? Will it inspire you enough to wake up every morning and start your day?

“Shut up, will you!” I calmed my inner voice. “Keep your thoughts to yourself as this is just a game.”

Coming back to the game, the play also introduced kids to the business of lawsuit. My son got a card—Sue someone for squashing your tomatoes, and receive 50K!

img_3808He asked, “What does lawsuit mean?”. Once I explained, he was hesitant to sue any player. Then he said, “Mommy, can I please sue you?”’

“This is an outrage,” I thought. I teach my children to be kind and forgiving, while this game lets them sue. I signaled my thoughts to take a back seat.

The game ended when all the players reached the goal of retirement. Two of the children decided to retire in a  millionaire mansion, and the other two selected the countryside acres. And the reasons for the selections-

“I chose countryside because I like trees and mountains.”

“I need rooms for my whole family, so I will retire in millionaire mansion.”

“I want to be with my friend because I like him. I will go wherever he goes.”

This  board game took couple hours to finish, and introduced the children to real life events such as paying taxes, college debt, getting laid off from work, paying bank loans and collecting salaries on paydays. You may argue that all these events relate to some form of monetary exchanges, and also the real life does not follow the linear path this game follows, but what cannot be contested is the engrossment of the young minds, and the willingness to play by the rules even when life seems unfair.

Where I am concerned, the game lent me plenty of opportunities to have constructive dialogues with children, and also a sneak peek into their young minds. As a bonus, it taught me to keep my wisdom to myself, and patiently wait for the opportune time to share life lessons with my children. And most importantly, the board game gave me priceless moments with friends and family.

Readers, do you have a favorite board game that you like to play with your children?


Here are some links that share more information about this game-

http://boardgames.lovetoknow.com/The_Game_of_Life_Instructions

http://theweek.com/articles/446078/what-game-life-teach-about-success

The World of Holiday Shopping: Carts and your Shopper Personality

Crunk! Crunk! I have a knack for always getting the defective, noisy shopping carts with a wobbly wheel. These are the carts that require more than an effortless push (Grunt!!!!). Likewise, when I maneuver the giant carts of Costco and Home Depot, I wish that the retailers would come up with self-driving carts. My whim seems to be coming true as retailers experiment with these prototypes—http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/09/13/walmart-patents-self-driving-shopping-cart/#.WDR3L3eZN-U

Because of the regular rendezvous with the carts, which is more frequent than meeting my friends, it is only natural that I have an implicit connection with these four wheelers. Additionally, with the kicking off the 2016 holiday shopping season, there is no avoiding them as we, the consumers, move the carts through the aisles and load these wheelers with the materialistic presents for the loved ones.

Between the shoving and pushing the shopping cart through the crowds, I have encountered various types of personalities, some hybrid of the others.

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Can you identify yourself with one of these shopper traits?

Go Getters

These are the passionate shoppers who come with a predetermined objective— ‘the 62 inches TV or the laptop with a rock bottom price’. These people are oblivious to the surroundings as they hustle their carts through the crowd to get to the desired aisle.

Ad Libitum

These shoppers leisurely walk while pushing their carts, pausing and stopping at different aisles as they prowl through the racks to find something to their heart’s desire.

Planners

These shoppers are the ones you see walking with a list on their phones and/or with the stack of paper coupons in their hands. They have multiple stores to visit to get the best deals.

Unpredictables

These are the ones that tread in front of you with a steady speed, and then surprise you with a sudden stop and sharp turn. The unpredictables make me wonder about the plausibility of having turning signal indicator lights on the carts.

Recreational Shoppers

These are the people who stroll taking their own sweet time to walk the aisles, appreciating the goods and decor. They are often without a shopping bag or cart. They enjoy window shopping and/or people watching.

Freebie Hunters

These peeps are in the store with the purpose to devour the freebies/sample offered by the retailers, often food and drinks.

Preachers

These people desire to make the world a better place to live. They do not deter to approach the strangers and let them know about improving their behavior.

Inconsiderate

Have you encountered any orphaned carts blocking the shopping aisles? These people are the perfect example of discourteous shopper insensitive to the world around them.

Invisibles

These peeps are the ones that you do not see in the retail shops. They escape the complete chaos by doing their shopping online.

I confess that I have shown each one of these traits at some point in my shopping life. I have sometimes carelessly parked my shopping cart in the middle of the aisle while distracted by the charm of some product, and then being apologetic on realizing my faux pas. More often I have treated myself with an impulse buy placing me in the category of Ad Libitum. On some rare occasions my organized persona comes alive and I make a real list (not just in my mind) before I tread to the mall, and that positions me as a planner.

Whatever your shopper personalities are, remember to be gracious on this Thanksgiving and beyond (This is my Preacher trait!;-).

Wishing my readers an enjoyable and safe holiday shopping experience!

Photo credit: Timothy Valentine via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Traveloscopy via Foter.com / CC BY

Drumroll, please…

Today is the special day!

It is my Blog Anniversary!

Hurray, I completed one year of blogging!

Today is the day when I care less if you judge me for being full of myself!

After all, I deserve to indulge a bit and celebrate creating 41 blog posts.

I partially share this crown with my hubby who encouraged me to pursue writing and shared some kind words,

“Either you go for it with full throttle or just don’t ever regret in future for not trying to write.(Period)”

And, oh those gentle words of his left such impression on me that I jumped right into this blogosphere pool, and ever since have survived 365 days and have become future hopeful.

Blogging has done me good in many ways—

Blogging taught me discipline.

I had committed myself to writing a post every week. I faltered many times but then I continued to write regardless. We humans are much more conscious of our actions in public, so by creating a blog I announced to the world ‘expect me to write,’ and ever since I have stood by it.

Writing blogs made me resilient.

I have learned to write irrespective of the likes and praises. In one year, I have received 19 likes, which is beyond pathetic. Though likes are a great energizer, but not the sole motivation for me to write, else, you would have read a demise letter of my blog rather than this anniversary announcement.

It introduced me to some excellent writings and bloggers.

The better I want to write the more I read about the world around me.It exposed me to  quality write-ups and some wonderful sites.

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It made me friends with my long lost passion.

Few years back when I wanted to get back into my corporate career, I read an article about ‘finding your passion.’ It made me ask myself what is that purpose in my life or the fire in my belly or the thing that defines me? The article made me contemplate about my interests, and I dug deeper and deeper. Though writing has been one of my interests I had never given it a serious thought. With the creation of the blog, I write regularly, and it fulfills me when I play with words and hours fly by like few minutes.

Here is a link to that thought provoking article for my readers-

https://experiencelife.com/article/whats-your-passion/

It repurposed my life, or you can call it midlife crises:-)

Yep, I changed the course of my life and on this journey I do not have a GPS, but comfort of my own passion that provides the directions to my dream.  In this learning journey, I consult several sites and youtube videos, research new terms, some I understand while some I pass as jargons. It has been a slow but a rewarding journey.

I learned that if I put my mind into something, I can do it.

And then later I even get to feel good about myself.

Most importantly, it has introduced me to few friends like you who read my posts and provide encouraging comments to keep me going on this path I’ve dared to tread. I am grateful for your followings and appreciation. It fuels me to write better, for you, and for myself.

I am no Shakespeare, but I am glad to be me!

Photo credit: scottmdi via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: symphony of love via Foter.com / CC BY-SA