Perfection is for Gods!

I read this line in a magazine and felt so relieved! If Perfection is for Gods, then I need not be perfect. I don’t have to strive hard to be a perfect mom, daughter, wife or a daughter-in-law. There is no need for me to work my butt off to publish the perfect post. I’m only a human, after all. I make mistakes. All the time. And Perfection is for Gods, right?

That thought freed me. Now I can focus on simply Showing up and Doing the Work, and giving it my all, instead of worrying over the enormity of what lies ahead, how hard the task is or how it needs to be perfect (or almost-perfect) before it is put out for the world to see (and praise or criticize).

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Perfectionism can be demotivating. If I don’t have something really good to share, then I simply turn my back to my blog; If I expect to be praised all the time I cook something, then I’ll never try to be innovative in my kitchen; If I expect Medha to score very well in her exams, then I’ll scare her from trying something on her own and from making mistakes.

Mistakes are good. Making mistakes help us to learn and grow. Our Mistakes, our weaknesses make us human. As I read in the same article, “Let your weaknesses show. It is as titillating and attractive as showing a bit of your slip”- How beautiful and apt is that! Mistakes tell us what we are doing differently and what can be tried next to get the desired result. We only need to recognize that what we’ve been doing so far will not help us get to where we want to go. And we need to change course. Or, even better, sometimes  those same “mistakes” might lead us to an unexpected, but a surprising new destination.

I was one of those perfectionists myself (Not sure I’m completely over it yet)- Not doing a thing or trying something different because I couldn’t see the perfect end result before I began;  Not happy with what I’d make or write because I was too obsessed with being good enough or authentic enough. I’d compare myself with others way above me and fall short in my own eyes. I’d snip my ‘art’ right at its bud! It left me feeling miserable.

But not anymore. Now I tell myself (over and over again) that it is just me, Manasa, a mere mortal, who is just one of the many that come and go on this big, beautiful Earth created by God. It doesn’t matter if I sew the worst-fitted dress or write the most boring blog post  (like, I’m probably doing right now! Thank you, if you’re still reading this!:)) or do the ugliest painting ever. I’m sure I will. And it doesn’t matter one bit.

So… Make I will. Write I will. Sew I will. And do everything else that speaks to my heart. Every Single Day. 

It doesn’t mean I’ll have to do a shoddy job or a mediocre art just for the sake of doing. I’ll do the best I can with the resources I have. I’ll do it with love (to God and towards myself). I’ll let the Higher Power guide me. I’ll let my intuition pave my way. I’ll plunge into the darkness even if I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. And someday I might strike Gold, But most days, it is just going to be work, work and work. And guess what, I love this “Work”. If what you’re doing is something you’ve always wanted to do, like me, then you’ll feel pleasure in the “Doing” itself.

So I’ll keep on doing. Keep on going. And enjoying all along the way. I’m no Perfectionist. I’m not Perfect. I’m just a human. I’m  only a Doer.

Love you loads for being so patient with my rambling!

Manasa.

Weekly update #1

Start of school

Medha is ready to start school and I’m pretty excited!  We bought her text- and note- books and she kept telling me how excited she is about school and her new books. We are both eagerly awaiting the start of a new phase in her life and I am so looking forward to teaching her (after learning… I will be re-learning with her!) from that bundle of knowledge.

 

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As I spread her books on the floor to have their picture taken, Medha kept kissing them! Sooooo like me….

All the parents of future Dipsites (DPS students are called so.) were invited to attend an Orientation ceremony. And we were asked to arrange childcare for our kids. We understood why. The program ran an hour and a half and it was full of talks given by teachers about the school, its rules, their mission, safety policies etc.. I was bowled over by their “Parents as partners in progress” concept.They couldn’t stress more how much our kids imitate us and learn from us and what we can do to become good role models. Living in the US I had learnt this concept by watching how other moms interacted with their kids but to hear teachers in India emphasizing this was a real eye-opener of how far India has traveled from the days of corporal punishment and rote learning at school.

I was relieved to hear that it was OK for Medha to start nursery without prior understanding of letters and numbers. Having been to a playschool in the US, Medha at 4 isn’t capable of writing letters or counting numbers like kids in India do. There, she just played and sang and danced and talked and crafted. Playschools here in India are mini-schools where education is placed importance over free-play. Thus I was worried about her not having had a head start. Now I know she will be fine. She might lag her friends at school but eventually she will get there. By the way, my little girl will have learnt reading and writing capital and small letters, numbers and 2-letter words by the end of this academic year! Fantastic eh? And scary too!

Project 29 Update

I cleaned up my inbox, bringing the total number of emails down from over 3000 to about 300. Phew! There were too many forwards and promotional mails that I hadn’t even bothered to open and read. Also, there were a ton of mails from friends and family which I’d read but would not read again. So I simply deleted them all- one by one- Click. Delete. Click. Delete.

Now I have separate folders for mails from the online classes I joined and the creativity blogs I subscribed to. That way I can reach them whenever I need to without having to rummage through my inbox.

I finished reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone”. A book about a new beginning (of a life at Hogwarts school) and adventure ( saving the sorcerer’s stone from the vicious hold of Lord Voldemort). What a book to read as I begin my own new life and adventure in India! It went well with the cloudy weather we’ve been experiencing here in Hyderabad.

A lost phone

I lost my phone recently. But I’m not missing it much. In fact I’m loving the fact that I’ve become more productive since the moment it abandoned me. I’m not spending all my time checking mails, whatsapp messages and facebook updates. All that free time at hand means I’m tearing through the Harry Potter series and working to organize and decorate my new home.

Down with fever

Madhav was down with fever. The doctor at Rainbow Hospital diagnosed it as Pharyngitis, an airborne infection of the throat. A couple of days with fever was enough for the doctor to warrant a prescription of antibiotics to my year old. In the US it had been hard to squeeze a prescription out of our pediatrician. He believed our bodies, even teeny tiny ones, were equipped with defense mechanism to fight diseases (He did advocate administering vaccinations, thank god!) and antibiotics were considered a last resort. I kinda like that idea but I also like that relief is easily available here. It would’ve been hard to watch our baby fight his disease without the aid of an antibiotic.

Now everyone at home is glad Madhav is back to his usual, cheerful, bunny-teeth showing self.

My Ideal Day.

One Productivity exercise I read about in many blogs and find truly fascinating is to jot down how I want my Ideal day to be, right from the moment I wake up to the time I fall asleep, and work to make each day come as close to this as possible. Since I’m very fond of experiments that claim to improve my life with nothing more than a piece of paper, a pen and a bit of discipline, I decided to try it and came up with a list.

Here it goes:

  •  Wake up at 5 am
  • Braindump- clear my mind off past troubles and future worries onto my journal; Record my kids’ activities in their journals. Sip a steaming cup of Tea while doing the above activities.
  • Cook while the kids are still sleeping.
  • Morning walk along with my husband. Grab a phone or camera before heading out, to capture the rising sun and his dramatic splash of sunlight on the greenery that surrounds us.
  • Breakfast time. Peruse lessons from Onward and Upward class instead of watching Barney and Friends or Elmo’s World with Medha while feeding her.
  • Project time with Medha
  • Build/ Sustain relationships through phone calls/emails.
  • Lunch.
  • Publish a post while the kids are napping.
  • A brief nap to restore my physical and mental energy so that I can make the best of the rest of the day.
  • Play with Medha and Madhav at the park.
  • Dinner
  • Storytime for my kids.
  • Reading for pleasure.
  • Off to bed at 10pm.

Well, most days don’t look like this. The day after a rough night waking up a couple of times to feed my baby doesn’t start early. I wake up groggy. And if my day doesn’t begin well it doesn’t go well.

All the things that bring me pleasure like journaling, blogging gets pushed to the backburner. The only activities I end up doing will be the basic, survival stuff like cooking, feeding and keeping the kids busy (Yes! It’s super-difficult when I’m not myself!). And I haven’t included the other 101 chores that crop up and fight for my attention like shopping for diapers, heading to the ATM, etc. Some days my kids don’t sleep long enough or eat fast enough to leave me with ample time for writing and reading. But the above list of things that make up my ideal day is far better than having none at all.

This is a sort of blueprint for how I want to live my day, everyday. When I stick to it I’m very productive. I’m well aware that there will be days when I’m unable to accomplish half the things mentioned in the list like when I’m traveling or attending another boring party. My job is to make such less-than-ideal days few and far between because I thrive only when I’m disciplined.