30 Things to do in 2016- February update

February was crazy and not just because of Medha’s exams; I was feeling kinda crazy too. I lost my appetite, felt tired most of the time, lost interest in everything that normally excites me; In short, I wasn’t myself! And not being yourself is the worst thing you can be, I tell you. But I got through it, gradually, with help from family; And by giving  myself time and space to heal.

I found that for the duration of working on a hands-on project, like Scrapbooking, I felt sane, relaxed and, even, joyful. Giving my hands something to do and my mind something other than itself to focus on, is the best way to calm my anxieties and get me out of a funk, I realized.

I accomplished quite a few things, despite the dullness. Here’s an update of my “30 things to do in 2016”-

1. Buy a sewing machine
2. Learn basic stitches
3. Sew a summer dress/ skirt for Medha
4. Paint a wall hanging for our hall
5. Scrapbook with Medha of her cousin’s visit This one brought me such joy!
6. Make a photobook with Medha’s pictures.
7. Make a photobook with Madhav’ s pictures
8. Turn the spare room into craft/reading room
9. Post before/after pictures of craft/reading room project.
10. Bake a cake and decorate it with Medha
11. Throw a handmade birthday party at home for Medha and Madhav
12. Read “Big magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert Had saved this one for the end, but HAD to dive into it. I was desperate for some Magic! And boy did I find it!
13. Read a kannada book – this one is taking me forever to finish!
14. Read the photography book Prasad gifted me
15. Complete Spark ecourseFinished this one and mailed Kam, its author, too, to let her know my thoughts. She’s awesome and the course is awesome. It did help me rekindle my lost “Spark”.
16. Complete Onward and Upward ecourse– working on this one now.
17. Have pictures taken with my sister for the blog did you see the new “about us” on the sidebar?
18. Write thank-you letters to the most important people in my life ( I know who they are) this one gave me such joy. I am who I am because of these people and a few others too. I can’t possibly write to each one of you, right? But hey, Thank you!
19. Volunteer at Madhav’s playschool
20. Write to a magazine/ newspaper.
21. Visit a National park read about it here and here.
22. Learn to drape a saree beautifully
23. Watch a play
24. Add 10 new followers to the blog ( to make the count 90) – 3 more to go.
25. Change the blog’s “about” page
26. A weaving project with Medha
27. A plush doll with Medha
28. A garland with Medha
29. Visit a historical monument/palace with the kids
30. 365 days of journaling – Doing it On and Off. But I’ll still consider this Done, if I don’t give up on it completely.

More to go. Wish me luck!

Love,

Manasa.

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Around here (02/2016)

There’s so much going on around here. First and Fearmost (OOPS!) Foremost! –

  • Exams!!!- It feels like it’s MY Final Exam or something! The amount of work that I need to put in- to drag Medha to her table, bribe her with candies and jolly rides if she learns just a bit more, prepare worksheets for her to practice and learn the basics of English grammar or look up Hindi letters and words online so that I don’t forget what I know as I try to teach her! Phew!

I just can’t wait for them to be over!

Check out the syllabus the poor 5 year-olds of her batch need to prepare for-

Syllabus for exam

  • Medha’s Reading Challenge- Remember the resolution I made for my daughter for 2016? About making her read a book each day? It’s been over a month and she has managed to read more than 20 books! They are simple, beginner-level books that have about a line or two in each page and run 10-12 pages long. But we’ve come very VERY far from our days of struggling to recognize letters to being able to decipher complex words through phonics. Phonics! What can I say, this magic word has helped her tremendously! We are at the end of our collection of Bob books- Sight Words for Kindergarten and First Grade readers and we can’t wait to read other books. More about it and her progress in another post.
  • Madhav’s Learning Challenge- Whenever life gets busy, my little one’s learning gets pushed aside! I resolved to teach him one concept(letter/number/color)  a week this year and over a month into our resolution, we’ve covered just 2- letter A and color Red and we are still working on Green. But he enjoyed every bit of the activities we did and the books we read as part of this exercise. And I loved working on kiddo crafts. Such stress-busters! Instead of being too harsh on myself for neglecting his learning, I tell myself (not as often as I should!) that had it not been for the resolution, we wouldn’t have done even the little bit that we did.
  • Blogging Funk!- I’m in a rut right now. I’m not sure what to write, when to write or whether what I write matters at all. It doesn’t mean I’ll give up writing for good! Not anytime soon (I want to continue torturing YOU, my favorite reader!). We all experience this kind of feeling, don’t we?At school, home, in our jobs etc. I’ve gone through this a number of times before. And I have emerged from the dark tunnel unscathed. This time too I will come out stronger and happier. But right now, I’ll just be taking it slow, immersing myself in reading, talking to my loved ones and learning the ropes of blogging.
  • Pomodoro Method– Everyday I set my timer for 25 minutes and just scribble away in my journal. For those 25 minutes I do nothing but write. This activity is helping me get out of my funk, sort through the muddle in my head and straighten myself out. In fact, as I write, I find myself brainstorming ideas for posts I’d like to write in future. Isn’t that great?!
  • Finished Spark E-course– Yay! Another thing crossed off my list! This course helped me a lot (I learnt about Pomodoro technique right here)  as I struggled to get out of my blogging rut. More about it in another post.
  • Farm Fresh Produce- We are receiving a ton of veggies from our farm than we know what to do with them! Our friends and family are happy, of course. Still, I’m thinking I’ll become a vegetable vendor soon.. What say?

Vegetables from the farm

  • Exhaustion!- You must have realized by now that I need to take a break, relax and get some sleep. And that’s what I will do…

I hope you get some rest too. Waiting to meet you at the end of the tunnel…

Love,

Manasa.