Day 30 of Nablopomo

What happens when you commit to something?
What happens when you follow it through with passion and conviction?
What happens when you write every day?
In short, what happens when you participate in Nablopomo, and reach the end and have a ‘I Did It’ post to write?

A few things happen:

Commitment itself is reward. It is empowering and exhilarating. It is opening the door to potential and inviting your resources in to make it happen.

Once you are determined to see things through, no matter what, paths open up, obstacles dissolve, divine help materializes.

Dreams coupled with preparation lead to magic.

Your craft improves. You get to the place you are going faster. You discover your shortcomings and strengths and that is just so good because you know what to improve and what to capitalize on.

You start dreaming bigger because you could do this, so you could definitively do more.

You are happy and want to shout ‘I Did It’ or modesty resolve to go for higher peaks (depending on your personal disposition).

And as befits any speech, I must end with a note of thanks to my readers, dedicated followers, other excellent writers, my children who insisted on coming down with fever every few days, having birthdays and school concerts so that I was more determined than ever, WordPress mobile apps which made publishing possible in view of erratic internet connections and my tablet for providing the hardware and psychological support. Ah! also my spouse for going on a business tour so that I could feed the children instant noodles and write.

P.S. I am tempted to continue the writing streak, but I spared a thought for my followers who might already be feeling exasperated.

Salad Days

“My salad days. When I was green in judgement: cold in blood.” Said Cleopatra, the words put in her mouth by the bard Shakespeare.

In language, the phrase denotes a time of youthfulness, inexperience and innocence, enthusiasm or even idealism.

So, I thought hard about my own salad days. When was it all? Youth, ages ago, for sure. But as they say, age is just a number and you are as old as you think. I decide to think and act young at all times. Change Facebook status frequently. Upload selfies…

Wait a minute! I am an idealist even now. I believe in equality across socioeconomic backgrounds. I believe in gender equality. I believe in education for all. I believe in…sufficient to say I still believe in lofty ideals and work towards doing my bit. The only difference from my twenties would be a better awareness of reality and of life’s problems.

Enthusiasm, yes! Four months back, I discovered WordPress and was absolutely struck by the ease of creating a platform online. It had been a decade since I had actively done anything related to hardware or software. I was surprised that I did not have to know HTML or write code to create a presence. Leaning how to put up a blog was a Great learning experience that has been an incredible high. Now that I feel settled down in WordPress, I am thirsting for newer challenges.

My inexperience in many many spheres of life make these my best salad days. ‘Green in judgement’, of course I am. I even get the weather talk wrong. Just this morning, I chatted idly with my jumper-knitting, shawl-wrapped neighbour (oldish, in other words, which I am not!) And remarked how the cold weather had been late in arriving this year. To which I was served with a sermon on a dry spell vs rains; the importance of having an early snow and how the local forecast had been calling it the severest winter in a decade.

Innocence! I am nothing if not innocent. Who else would put in a picture of a salad platter in a post for salad days!

image
Salad Platter/CC BY-SA 3.0

Posted in response to the Daily Prompt.

Motherhood

Many years ago, when I was in my mid twenties, I was asked by a friend if I thought Motherhood was highly over rated? I could not even reply to this one, although in the past we had shared an easy banter; a camaderie. I mumbled something and looked away, out of the window of the tiny white car she was driving.

I was confused, so I could not answer. I thought of it as a non-question. Could you choose motherhood? Wasn’t that something that happened or did not happen, as per God’s will? Did we, mere mortals have the right to interfere in nature’s scheme?

Later, when I married and it was time to have kids, we did. I never gave it a second thought. Sure, it was difficult, at first. The tiny ‘bundle of joy’, always crying, never sleeping, not gaining enough weight, requiring vaccinations, medications, countless visits to the paediatricians… most of the time; I felt helpless, even resentful. I was at a loss. How to take care of another life, so entirely dependent on me when I had not even figured out what I myself wanted out of life?

Things got worse before they got better. But the second time was easier. I knew the tribulations enough to even expect them, I was more prepared and I enjoyed the process a little better. Both children are now at a stage when I do not have to constantly tend to their physiological needs. Emotional needs, I know would continue throughout my lifetime

Coming back to my friend; I think of her often these days. She was trying to analyze something that for me was and always will be the wonder of creation. The other day, I was fed up and my mother called. I poured out my frustrations and ineptness and the pointlessness of it all, of meeting the endless demands. And she answered that I am actually participating in the creation and sustenance of life. That is what keeps me going. Indeed, it fills me with joy and a sense of purpose.

This post was written in response to Daily Prompt, a free writing exercise.

Success is counted sweetest, by those who ne’er succeed…

I might like it plain and bland,
but God has other plans on hand,
very spicy is the fare,
no water for me far or near.

I used to have a morbid fear of failure. I would not start anything new. I would plan excellently, covering all contingencies, but execution would have me stumped. As a result, nothing ever got done.

Then, life handed me lots of lemons, one after the other, for a long long time. I had absolutely no choice but to make lemonade. And boy, was it delicious!

Now, I know I have nothing to lose. I have been through the worst. Setbacks and obstacles may come but they would not deter me. Even if I fail, I would have done something; walked a few steps and that is better than not having walked at all.

To quote Emily Dickinson once again,

Success is counted sweetest,
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar,
Requires sorest need.

Daily Prompt

“If failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?