Thursday, November 12, 2020

Unlocked! And Happy Diwali!

 Throughout this 'special' year one of the few terms we all used frequently were quarantine, lockdown, virus, sanitising etc etc. With just two months to go until the end of this year, our household has had enough, we have unlocked a part of our lives and are working towards a semblance of normalcy. Yes this crap has gone on for too long!

Yes we are still being careful, no gatherings at home, no going to crowded spaces and being sensible in general but WHOA we are so done sitting at home and doing nothing! 

All this year I have contemplated the impact of this isolation on adults and kids alike. There is NO comparison! Obviously kids have had it worse than us adults. In the beginning all they heard were these scary words thrown around in conversations about the virus and they had to comprehend and make sense of it in their tiny little minds. 



It came to a point where my younger son actually started saying things like 'we'll do this when the pandemic is over', 'we'll travel there after the pandemic is over' and it broke my heart into a million pieces every time he would come up with something new he would do after all this was over. That's when I realised we had better do whatever best we can given the situation because WHAT IF?

The crisis has been on for 11 months now and it doesn't look like it's ending any time soon. It's draining the heck out of us mentally and emotionally. Not good at all. BUT on the plus side - we have got ourselves more time as a unit of 4. Yes we're tearing each other's hair out (for real sometimes) and annoying each other a lot but eventually we are learning as we go! 

All this e-learning and work from home means that we are constantly stepping on each others toes but it also is true that we are learning to manoeuvre our way around it. 

We're doing good, we are trying to see the positives on most days. On the other days, we just socially distance from each other at home. HAHAH! 

On that note - HAPPY DIWALI, from us to you!! Enjoy, light diyas and EAT!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Paper Collaging for everyone


Earlier in August, I took a huge step forward and launched my very own Paper craft course on Udemy! 
If you have a passion for craft, that's all you need to be a part of this course. Using just 3 basic materials, alongside me, you will learn how to make beautiful journal/scrapbook pages, by effectively using just what you probably have lying around at home. 

This course is also designed as a parent and child activity, something that younger kids can join in too. 


You can view and purchase the course at the below link! If you have any questions, please email me at artsyurmi@gmail.com


These collages can be used for cardmaking / journalling / cover designing! Some examples are as below:





It is a self paced course, can be purchased by anyone around the world and you can work on it on your own schedule! You also receive a certificate at the end of the course!! 


You can watch the video below to learn more!!


Course overview:
How to create individual flowers, leaves and stems - by hand!
How you can layer them together in a collage
Learn how you can present your creations!! 


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mid year Musings

Yeah, Mid-Year indeed. No, I'm not going to say where did the time go because I sure know where it went. We spent it all at home.

How have all of you been - and how are you transitioning into the new normal?

I wrote my previous blog post at the beginning of lockdown. Ever since, nothing much has really changed - our days have been effectively tunnelling into our nights. In the beginning it was really difficult to get used to e-learning but then we started actually looking forward to it.  I can't actually believe we completed one entire term using e-learning. Kudos to the teachers who jumped onto the bandwagon just like us, without prior notice!!


Anyway, our academic year has ended and the school holidays have begun in full earnest. Here everyone is allowed to move out albeit with masks and social distancing etc but we have still not gone anywhere. Unless the UAE becomes covid-free, I don't think I'll be comfortable going out comfortably. The lockdown has eased and the economy has opened up - so it's a wait and watch situation.

It's again a matter of perspective. How we will emerge at the end of this lockdown period, totally depends on us. I can see that this pandemic has turned some people into insensitive monsters - we're all going through the same thing, and some people actually have it so much worse with job losses, homes gone etc. Why is it so difficult to be kind??

Of course, I don't judge those who want to step out - It's truly a gamble. Not everyone who goes out will get Covid. Not everyone who gets Covid will die. It's all about how much risk we're willing to take.

Meanwhile, we surge ahead. Kids have found renewed interest in helping around the house. Yes, they really miss the social interaction but on the plus side they are learning to tolerate each other :D It's also blazing hot and humid outside so spending time outdoors is not comfortable.

We have a grand two months ahead of us and I don't really have a plan. Right now, we are just busy getting our extra snoozes which we didn't get during the school term - guess, it's ok to take it slow!

What we want to do with our time and what we end up doing are two very different things :D but hopefully we'll get through this like we have so far!!






Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Once upon a 'quar'-an-time

My God. Oh My God.

It is the last day today, of the first quarter of 2020. As of today, we have been in lockdown here in Abu Dhabi for around 3 weeks.

It is the small things that we never see coming, that can hit us the hardest, isn't it? I am looking now at a photo on my wall in the living room, clicked on the first day of this year. On that day we did not know anything about the stormy 2020 times that lay ahead of us, or these uncertainties.

In January and February, our life went on as routine as ever - something that we always took for granted as time zoomed from one day to another. The kids' schooling, their extra curricular activities, trips to the supermarket, my alone time, our family time - it seemed mundane then!

In the background we were always reading news about the coronavirus affecting Wuhan and before we knew it, the virus was at our doorstep and our government had issued notices for everything to shut down - schools, malls, shops, activities.

It is time now to segue into a new normal. What was normal then is not allowed now. I never thought we'll need permits to leave our house during the day time but it has happened. The weather is so amazing here in March, it is the one last month we cling on to because as soon as April arrives, the heat arrives too. But in the new scheme of things - we can't. We're making the most of chilling on the balcony though!

Every dark and stormy cloud has a silver lining and for us, we definitely have more time together now that we are all home. The kids have to log in to their e-learning for the first half of the day but the second half is time to chill. Life has definitely quietened down and we are quite grateful for it.

If you're reading this and if you're feeling any anxiety due to the lockdown - find a reason to smile today. Start a gratitude journal, rediscover hobbies. Move your focus away from the coronavirus and trust me, you'll feel a lot better. I know it's easier said than done but try.

We're all in this together - let's hold hands and take a deep breath!! This too shall pass!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

2020: A year of Affirmations and Empowerment

Hello folks! I only wrote three posts on my blog last year and I'm not really proud of that! I have committed to writing more this year and hopefully I can follow through :)

How have you guys been? My life has been on the fast track with the freshly minted teenager in the house who was a tot when I started this blog. And following in his footsteps is a cutie patootie who wants to be the boss of the house, talks nonstop and doesn't let me focus! Ha!

In our house we literally live by the clock and that's what keeps us all sane - routines, organisation and a bit of pre-planning wherever possible.

Plans for 2020

For 2020, I want it to be a year of affirmations and empowerment for me personally. I am already on that path since a few years now and it has changed me in many ways. I no longer seek validation for my decisions or my way of living life and I lead my life in a way that suits me and what I believe in.

I repeat affirmations to myself on a daily basis and I think everyone should do this for themselves. Be your own cheerleader - you owe it to yourself!

Tell yourself you can do it! On many days I need help even to get through my day because I can so easily sink into the quicksand of laziness and languor. On those days I need to literally push myself up hour by hour and set tasks for the day - it is perfectly okay to have such days and perfectly okay to end up doing nothing either. Recognize that it is normal and don't go against the flow.

It is always nice to step back and review what you really want from your life and January is a very good month for you to plan accordingly so that you have something to reflect upon at the end of the year.

Personal goals are very underrated but they are the most important of all. You are accountable to only yourself and that's what makes it special as it is your goal, set by you and for you.

I wish you all a beautiful 2020, and hope you guys have a peaceful, prosperous and healthy year!


Sunday, May 26, 2019

One step at a time

It's officially the middle of the year, and time for reflection. 2019 has been filled with mixed emotions for us so far. We welcomed babies in the extended family, we lost beloved ones. Also said hello to new opportunities, opened some hidden doors and distanced myself from a few 'friends turned acquaintances'.


What I truly believe in , is one step at a time.

I have never been the one to rush and now I understand the meaning of keeping things flexible all the more. I'm no longer in a rush to prove myself, justify my decisions or portray a certain image to the world or to someone.

Holding myself accountable for the decisions I make, has really helped me think about what decisions I am making in the first place. It has helped me understand the larger picture and I am able to shove the more trivial bits aside, matters that I used to previously obsess about.

Half a decade ago, I was very keen to please everyone around me whether they cared for me or no. I used to make time for people who wouldn't spend a second of their day thinking about me. And to add to it, I used to be upset if those people didn't reciprocate my emotions and I would think it's because I was lacking in some way. In short, I was ridiculously clingy and it didn't do me any good.

On the other hand, as a giver, there are people who I used to hold long conversations with, and it suddenly dwindled to just a random monosyllabic hi, to zilch. Yes, nothing at all. No replies or responses received.

We have to understand we are 'enough'.


I now consciously steer clear of people who intentionally start 'discussions' that very evidently cross the line, or those people who dole out free advice when they weren't asked for it in the first place. These conversations give off red signals in our consciousness from the word 'Go' but somehow we are conditioned to believe we deserve to hear what such people say to us.


By the way karma has no menu. You get what you deserve - be it exceptional love and luck or the reverse.



I wish you all a beautiful second half of 2019, and hope you all get what you've been waiting for. Maybe the key to it is hidden just where you haven't been looking :)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Expectations

What are the expectations you have from yourself in general? Have you ever thought about it? If not, do give it a thought now. No, I don't want to know what society expects from you. Or what your family expects from you or your kids. No. It's kind of irrelevant. 

For a minute, remove everyone else from your mind. Yes, those chattering noises that overcrowd even your silent moments and prevent you from thinking about yourself. Now think that what is it that you want from your life? Remember life is very finite and if you have to put your foot down and make some changes, today is the day and now is the moment. 

I read a lot online and also have really deep conversations with my friends and what I have realized is that people are too occupied with fulfilling expectations of people around themselves that they fail to understand if this is really making them happy or no.

To be honest, no one will really care about your happiness. No sir. If you are waiting for that day, you can wait for the rest of your life. No one will ever ask you that important question so it's time you ask yourself - ARE YOU HAPPY?

See, I understand that many people especially women are brainwashed and mentally conditioned to such an extent that they have tied the family's happiness with their own. Undoubtedly, we all have our duties towards our family, children, parents, inlaws whatever. Not saying it's not important. The question again is priorities. Where do you put yourself in this hierarchy? 

Coming back to the expectations - do you expect that you should fall in line with what others are doing or does being a leader excite you? What are you passionate about? What invigorates you? 

Get there. Do it. Feel it. Never ever too late. Begin today! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hello 2019 !! Who's perfect?

I'm still here!! Wishing all of you a very happy and healthy 2019!

If you're reading this post, thank you so much for being a part of my blogger audience and thank you for your support and love always!

I'm not going to give excuses for why I didn't write even a single post in the last 6 months - but all I can say is that living life in the fast lane has taught me so much.

The best part is that happenings in my life always give me opportunities to learn and I'm so grateful for that! I have learned to approach life with utmost positivity and to have absolutely no expectations when it comes to people or situations that are not in my control.

My older one started secondary school (gasp!!) and everything is so new for him. He's getting a good grip on academics and also enjoys his creative pursuits so much. I love this guy for how chilled out he can be, sometimes way too chilled for his own good though HAHAHAHA.

As always I love observing people and quite often I seem to note the presence of these 'perfectionists'. The ones who claim that they are perfect with this and that. And pray where did they gain this notion from? Either (a) it's self created or (b) people around them keep calling them perfect.

Well, to break the bubble - there is nothing that's 'perfect'. Some people are organised and some thrive in chaos. Some have OCDs and some come alive when there's disorder around them. The important part is respect.

It's ok to not agree on a single point with someone, yet treat them with respect.
It's ok to never see eye to eye on any topic with someone, yet show them respect.
It's alright if someone isn't as perfect as we think they should be, because perfection is a perception.

Some people perceive themselves to be a version of  'perfect' and somehow get so absorbed into proving that to the world that they cannot see how insensitive it is making them.

I live in the UAE and the government has announced this year to be the Year of Tolerance. I so love this, because that's what our society needs more of. We need more people respecting each other the way they each are. To identify what makes us unique. To come together and celebrate differences.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

D is for Disappointment

Folks, it's been a while.

Half a year flew past, eh? I see and mentally note so much on a daily basis and this is something I've been meaning to write about for a long time.

I see way too many parents these days rushing to cushion their child's life from every angle. So much so that the child does not know what's disappointment, or does not know how to react to rejection or the word 'NO'. Yes, this is happening for real.


Now. I'm all for happy childhoods. Every child deserves a happy and secure environment where they are free to be themselves. Free to be the cheekiest, corniest, craziest version of themselves.

At the outset, I'll be honest. I'm not super perfect mom. Quite far from it by the way.

Yes, my children know how it feels to NOT get their way all the time. They are in multiple scenarios even at home on a weekly or a monthly basis where they realize that a mild level of rejection or disappointment is normal.

Don't fight your child's battles for them. Let them figure out their little strategies for themselves. They'll thank you for it later.

Accountability is the other thing.

Mommies and daddies - make your child accountable for their daily chores or decisions. For example: In our home, my children know to look at their timetable and ensure their PE kit or swimming kit is packed the previous night. Yes, even my 6 year old.

They do realize that if they forget their kit due to laziness then mom i.e Me,  is not going to get into emergency mode and go rushing home to pick and deliver the kit in question.

One main reason why they should learn the basics of accountability is because we parents won't be around to help them forever. And such children who are mollycoddled at home, do end up floundering when thrown into the big bad ocean by themselves because they don't have these basic life skills.

Today's responsible child is tomorrow's sorted adult.

Let your child face life's little situations at a tender age. If possible, share stories with them about children who are not from privileged backgrounds and who have to take life in their stride everyday. Let them understand the value of working hard for something and then receiving the rewards.

It's our duty as parents to empower our children by giving them opportunities to develop basic soft skills, and not decapacitate them by doing everything for them.





Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Staying Afloat

Yup, you read that right. No this post is nothing to do with water or swimming. Ok, I'll be honest. It is is about swimming, but maybe in the context of life. 

Let's face it, noone's life is perfect :) 

I have a couple of friends who are currently going through a physically and emotionally difficult journey in their lives and we share our thoughts with each other on an almost daily basis. The subject for this blog post struck me as I was writing my thoughts in a way that I could be a source of support and light to them. 

We all have ups and downs in our journey of life and on some days it feels like there are more downs. Somehow, everything seems to be going wrong; be it relationships, work, life, kids etc. Sometimes even health? 

I feel like it's then that we have to take a step back and think. It's important to focus on what really kept us going in this journey so far. In the case of relationships, it's imperative to focus on the happy moments and think of them often during those low moments. 

Image result for happiness jar
(Image courtesy Google Images)

This is a wonderful idea shared by many on social media. If maintained regularly, this pretty little happiness jar concept helps us analyse and understand our emotions - and in turn it helps us value what we have rather than worrying about whatever may be out of our control.

Each time you feel like giving up - tell yourself that you won't. Vocal reaffirmations are very powerful !! Remember that there are ALWAYS reasons to stay afloat. Some reasons may be really small to you but they are important. 

Think about what got you through your journey AND what helped you reach this point.Write your thoughts down or draw to express your feelings.

And finally, remember that you are not alone. Find an outlet for your feelings, speak to friends, listen to music and BELIEVE in the power of finding a solution. 


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Empathy and Being Real

Happy 2018 to all reading this post - May only the best come your way this year!

This post is linked to what I wrote previously on Acceptance.

Being empathetic is really important in this day and age. There is just too much hate in the world right now. What if we tried to treat others the way we'd like to be treated ourselves? What if we only said to others what we'd love to hear being said to us? The world would transform. It's like I always like to say : Every Drop Makes An Ocean.


Last year was a revelation of sorts. Without getting into details - it suffices to say that I evolved as a person in the year that went past.

We all learn everyday. Some lessons are taught to us nicely and some we learn the hard way. Sometimes drawing a line verbally or physically is necessary. Sometimes crossing over a fragile line to give the other person a hug is also equally important - more so when you realise they were literally craving for it.

Something I also learned last year was to let go of expectations. Here it's important to note that I had a lot of unrealistic expectations from myself. I'm not the first mom to multitask and I'll not be the last. Women in the previous generations had it harder because blah blah - but that does not take away from the fact that in this day and age, it's quite tough to present the balancing act. I learned to do only as much as I could handle and take some time to rest. It did wonders for my mood and self-esteem.

And coming to the topic of social media. Yes I'm on social media now more than I ever was. I like observing people and trends. Hands down, I have more respect for people who portray their real selves on social media because it takes guts to do so.

Be real. Show real emotions. Say what you mean and mean what you say (they're both different by the way).

On that note, I'll sign off !







Unlocked! And Happy Diwali!

 Throughout this 'special' year one of the few terms we all used frequently were quarantine, lockdown, virus, sanitising etc etc. Wi...