Sunday, September 25, 2011

tips to get through an overwhelming week...

We've learned in school that some amount of stress is necessary to getting things done. But who ever has that ideal amount?? Please speak up now if you're one of the lucky ones! Most of us are on the other side. The overwhelming, suffocating, there-aren't-enough-hours-for-me-to-even-look-presentable side. I've been reading a lot of posts about people not finding enough time to do what they need or want to, so I thought I'd make a list (of course, another list) of what has helped me.

1. Music. Our ears can become as bored as any other part of our body. Switching up play lists, listening to covers of popular songs by other artists, and trying out new genres helps keep me stimulated while I work.

2. A new bounce in that morning (or afternoon and evening) drink. Cinnamon in coffee? A little whipped cream? A new tea? Pumpkin spice goodness?

3. Reminders. The more I grow up, the more I believe that happiness is an active, not passive, process. I need to remind myself how much there is to be grateful and happy for.

4. Hide. Like Hell. Yes, this seems to be necessary. I don't mean disappear for hours so that a search party begins but to take a couple of (or thirty) minutes, whether that's in the car or bookstore, to just breathe deeply. I duck into a coffee shop in the break time between classes to scribble down some notes for writing. Or I write for a bit before going into bed, making it a part of my nighttime routine.

5. Plan something to look forward to. A lunch or Skype date with a friend? A DVR'd television show? If you're lucky, a mini vacation?

P.S. For any ladies who can't always wash, dry, and style their hair, dry shampoo has become my new best friend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

it's okay to feel like crap

Do you ever have moments---or days--when things just seem to drag? The to-lists are endless. There's always something that's not happening, whether it's groceries or an assignment. My desires become contradictory during times like these: one part of me can't stop panicking while the other wants to run away and take a long nap. Today, for the first time, I indulged in the latter. And guess what? The nap was a great boost and I realized, it's just as important to write "do nothing" on that to-do list. It may be ironic but allowing myself do nothing helps me do many things after wards.

Do you ever get a chance to schedule time away from everything just to be with yourself?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

did negative words ever push you in a positive direction?

People say a lot about how to handle the negative things we've been told. "Forget it and just remember the nice ones," they say, or "Those who are close to you know what you're really like or what you can really do."

But I wonder if at times, I can credit the negative words for pushing me in a positive direction. Three years ago (can't believe it's been that long!) an agent read fifty pages at my attempt at a novel. This was a fragment of six months of hard work. Six months that nobody in my world seemed to understand, to top it off: I had just decided to take some time off to write, without any promise or potential, and everyone in my life seemed to have a discouraging thing to say about it.
"This just doesn't read like fiction," she said when we spoke on the phone. "You need a writing class." Her tone was withdrawn and straight-to-business. So was my crying that followed.

But in the coming months, I saw that she was right. It didn't read like fiction at all. Hard work and effort didn't mean that the product was worthy.

Then I think of something that happened in fifth grade. My teacher told my mom that I wouldn't amount to anything in life. I can see where she was coming from: we had just moved to the area and I missed all my old friends and didn't concentrate in school, I also stopped socializing, and wasn't athletic. Looking back, all I can think is, "what a terrible thing to say about any fifth grader!" But at the time, my mom conveying those words back to me pushed me to prove her wrong.

Anyway, I think that "negativity" of any sort could just be a positive message in disguise. So maybe it isn't about negative or positive but rather, what we do with it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

on what makes success and a lovely indian wedding (in pictures)

Two things to share:

1. My friend told me he read a book that stated successful people tend to constantly think of how much they have left. I disagreed. While there is importance in that, the problem is how the book is defining success in the first place. Or rather, how success is defined in general. Sometimes it's too focused on the tangible. But if we are always looking forward, I don't think we are giving the past and present enough significance.
I met so many people this past weekend who told me their dream was to write a book. It made me think of all my blogger friends, who are spending their days pursuing things that others may leave to theory at the moment. Relish in that. It takes courage and action.

2. Another friend, one of my closest ones from college, married her true love. I've been to many wedding but this was the first good friend's one and it was surreal really, to see such an amazing person's dreams unfold right in front of me. The joy bled to everyone close to her and made the entire weekend a constant celebration, even when we weren't in a ceremony. (Indian weddings have a lot of events...I'm talking several days worth.)
By the end, we were exhausted in the best way possible.

The gorgeous bride during her mendhi (henna) ceremony.

Group picture right after the wedding

During the reception

With my college roommates :)