Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year...New Resolutions!

We didn't do much for New Years this year - we watched the ball drop on the live Times Square broadcast, and then the whole house was asleep by 9:30pm (totally typical of a parenthood curfew!) But we all woke up this morning, to a beautiful clear day and a brand new year. 

One of my favorite New Years Day rituals is putting up a fresh, new calendar. It is so symbolic of a fresh start, with all the days blank and ready to fill in. Another thing I love to do on New Years Day is to write some resolutions/goals for the year. I don't follow them too strictly per se, but I use it as a rough guideline of ongoing goals to keep perspective. My New Years resolutions are mostly a continuation of the list of goals I made after I recovered from Meningitis, plus a few more added. Now that I have regained my strength and practiced a more balanced lifestyle, I hope to participate in all of them with intention.
My New Years resolutions (in no particular order)

- maintain a balanced lifestyle (to not get too overwhelmed)
- go to bed early & wake up early
- read more books
- get back in the kitchen and cook more often / try new recipes
- exercise 2x/week
- go to yoga 1x/week
- keep a household budget with Microsoft Excel
- thoroughly ORGANIZE my apartment (on an OCD level!)
- continue with our date night tradition 1x a week
- keep writing on my bloggy (my labour of love
- potty train Maya (by the end of the year)
- finally finish my Maya photo album (0-18 months) and give to grandparents

My favorite astrologer, Danielle Blackwood has said that today is a Capricorn super-moon which "means that whatever intentions you set today (aka New Year's resolutions) have extra potency and every chance of manifestation" - and her predictions are always soooooooo spot on!


In other news from our Madh-house, my FIL keeps telling me that I must wake up at "FIVE IN THE MORNING" to do all the household work. (He says "FIVE IN THE MORNING" with a very deep, serious voice, whilst shaking his index finger in the air!) As a Westerner, I find absolutely absurd! At first I thought he was joking, but then I realized he was totally serious. I think it is totally unnatural to wake up before the sun even rises. I guess it is a remnant on the expectations of the lady of the house from back in the day, joint-family style, when everything had to be grinded and roasted and toasted with toil! My MIL still does this - around FIL, that is. But little did he know, that when he wasn't here, MIL read her mystery novels until 1am and slept until 9am or later! Oh, the good life...!

My MIL finally taught me how to cook - but she would not let me take pictures! The stars really had to align properly for us to have an actual cooking lesson. Some days, MIL would complete half of the cooking process, and then wanted to give me a lesson - from STEP #5!!! I told her - as a visual learner - that I have to see the entire thing from start to finish, from the absolute first step, which is scooping the dal. It was also difficult for her to teach it to me, since there are no direct measurements. An Indian MIL cooks with a sixth-sense cooking intuition! Luckily, I got all the measuring cups and tablespoons out and we measured everything and I wrote it down. And I finally learned how to use the beloved Indian Hawkins pressure cooker. I thought it was scary at first, because it hisses uncontrollably like a deranged python - the hissing is so loud, I jump every time!

(MIL is looking identical to Grumpy-Cat!)

Since my inlaws are leaving soon, my MIL has had a permanent grumpy-cat look on her face, since she will be missing Maya a lot. I actually showed her the Grumpy Cat videos on YouTube and told her that it is an actual real cat - she thought it was funny. Since then, I have jokingly been referring to my MIL as "grumpy cat", and also husband-ji mother, like son....who has a permanent grumpy look on his face for 95% of the day! It must be his bushy eyebrows and whiskers....Hee hee hee!

Up next, is saying goodbye to my inlaws, and our 8th anniversary vacation...


Dear readers, do you set New Years resolutions? What are some things you'd like to accomplish this year?



  1. It's no secret that committing to resolutions is, in many ways, setting ourselves up for failure. That tipsy promise to jog,diet didn't seem realistic 24 hours after we made it, let alone 365 day. Find some use in making simpler resolutions.

    1. Happy New Year!
      We will see....they say it takes 40 days to develop a habit!

  2. The grumpy cat image was too good! :)
    My new year resolution is to concentrate on 3Ps: pyaar [<3] ; poetry and publishing... :)

  3. Happy New Year Alexandra! Your resolutions are definitely doable. Although not too sure about getting up at 5am to do housework :-p

    1. Happy new year!!!
      Yes, the 5am is what my FIL wants me to do....I said hell no! The earliest I will ever wake up is 7am (and that is only to exercise - not to cook!) LOL!

    2. @alexandra

      What your FIL said is time honored tradition of Indian households. In old bollywood movies, the dutiful DIL is shown waking up the entire household in the morning, with her melodious bhajans (devotional songs). All the family members are shown waking up and gathering up in the pooja room drawn by the melodious voice. Then the DIL distributes the prasad and aarti. This was the pinnacle of the Indian DIL. It meant that that the DIL/girl had good values. She is supposed to get up early, take a bath, do pooja and then start off with the household works. Those were different days.

      The early morning rising is kind of celebrated in our culture. Generations of students are advised by their parents "get up early and study, it is calm and good for concentration". As education is like battle in India, many student warriors get up early and study, trying to crack the elusive IIT. It is said that if you exercise when the rays of the rising sun falls on you, it is very beneficial. That is why the "Surya Namaskar" or sun salutation was invented/or offer water to the rising sun god. However, I can imagine that sun god is not too benevolent in Canda where the nights are longer due to closeness to the arctic circle. Sun may not be be visible at all or you may risk frost bite.

    3. @anonymous
      Yes, on my first trip to India, my MIL would wake up the earliest and take bath, do pooja, do all the cooking for the house, and then go to work all day! It was really beautiful hearing her do the bhajans with her voice - it is like a bird! seems like a lot of work to me! Especially with no help and all...
      Yes, it is very very dark outside - the sun rises at 7am and then sets at 4pm so everyone here is constantly fatigued. For me, it feels unnatural to wake up before the sun rises.
      Even with all the modern appliances like the refrigerator and the microwave - my MIL insists on cooking fresh every day and refuses to give the baby any leftovers!

    4. @alexandra

      Your MIL are from the generation when refrigerators were not common and everything was cooked fresh. It is actually good to cook fresh for the baby, babies are more susceptible early on. Indians actually look at food very differently than westerners. We think in terms of sit down meals, with hot food. We cannot think of food as something to be grabbed on the way. We also think that leftovers become stale overtime even with refrigeration. Perhaps, it comes from our joint family system and rural background where things were obtained fresh and cooked by the family women. Old timers regale the tales of fresh milk, desi ghee and vegetables from their times. Today ofcourse life is become busy and we have adapted. Indians are actually spoilt as far as food is concerned, we have always seen our mothers cook hot meals for us, so many of us do see food as something other than a hot meal. Not to mention, Indian food is cumbersome to cook. You need rice, pulses, vegetables, curd and whole lot of other things. I guess that is probably why Indians are more picky with their food. We have always seen westerners eat one cereal with milk and some meat, single dishes. What do you guys eat for meals. Does it contain many food items like Indian meals?

  4. Congratulation, your blog has won NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2013. Please click the link below for details.


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