Social media and our imperfect lives.

Social media and our imperfect lives.

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram or Facebook and gazed wistfully at the exquisite images people share, and wished secretly those were yours, that, that was your Life, your story? Come on, you can tell me. I won’t judge you, I promise.  I, too, have felt that way, to be frank. Yes, I did!  I am human.

Thankfully, though, those were fleeting moments and I returned to my world, my Life, and sent a “Thank you” heavenwards for whatever I had received–good, bad, ugly. For it may have been the ‘good’ that filled my life with joy, but it was the ‘ugly’ that taught me precious lessons, helped me grow as a person and realise the true meaning of Life!

So, yes, all of us do wish–knowingly or unknowingly, at some time or the other, when Life is full of shit–that our Life was like the others’–picture perfect.  But, when we do so, hardly ever do we dwell on the fact that Life is never picture perfect. Life, as in Real Life, is not what we see in those pictures people share. It is the ‘filters’ in our phones that make it perfect, for the world to gawk at and covet.

Real life is something that most of us seldom share with the world. Real life is just different; it’s all about stuff going wrong, family feuds, marriages collapsing, illnesses, loss of a job, misbehaved kids and utter chaos. Real Life is  bad hair days with grumpy moods and tearful eyes, all behind closed doors.

Real life is burnt food, spoilt drawings, poor writing, evil thoughts and ugly brawls with loved ones. Something almost none of us share about on social media, or in our blogs. That won’t get us any Likes, will it? On the contrary, that will expose the ugly underbelly of the world we live in, so it’s best kept secret!

Couple months back, I shared a post on hubby’s bi polar episode on my blog. The outpouring of love and respect I received for having shared such personal matter in public made me wish I hadn’t shared it, at all! That was really not what I wanted. People wondered how I could share such details of my life so “boldly”. They gushed about how “brave” I was to write about a dear one’s illness for the world to read about.

The thought that came to my mind as I read all the comments was, I shared the story because that was Life! There are so many others battling the illness and living in despair over all that goes wrong, but with no one to talk to, or lend a shoulder to cry on. I know, because, once upon a time, I used to be that person, hiding the facts of my life from friends and family, and at the same time craving to hear a story similar to mine, craving to feel less left-out.

I feel, it is only because we fear sharing our truth with the world, that the images we see on the screen and the stories we hear of others leave us wincing, discontented with what we have been dealt with. Don’t you think?

Each one of us on this planet has been handed a Life that is way different than the others, but at the same time, a lot similar than we care to know. Each one of us is sailing in the same leaky, shaky boat that threatens to capsize and sink to the bottom if we were to lose control even for a second. But, rarely do we admit the condition of our boat to the others.

Do you know what that results in? A deep and haunting fear that our Life is imperfect, full of shit, while those others out there, have been gifted the best kind of lives, ever. The kind of depression that gives rise to, can be tough to push out of our system, leaving us disturbed and tortured.

Why not put an end to it all? Why not accept that, yes, our Life is not what you see in these pictures on the social media, neither are our stories the “happy stories” we talk about. Why not also share some of the imperfect moments of our life with the world? No, not to gain sympathy, or applause for having handled it all with elan, but so that someone out there suffering from misery at seeing all the so-called “happiness” around, would feel less miserable.

So that there would be lesser sad souls around cursing their fates and wishing for better ones. So that there would be lesser discontentment and more understanding within people’s hearts. And, so that there would be more of love and care and less of hatred and disgust.

We all are a little broken from within. Let’s show our scars, too, once in a while. it will only make us more human, don’t you think?

What do you think? Can you share your imperfect moments with the world so that someone out there felt less lonely?

Do share your thoughts with me. Feel free!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

CAN WE SHARE OUR IMPERFECTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

 

Interesting blog posts from the blogosphere.

Interesting blog posts from the blogosphere.

 

This month, I came across some really awesome posts–forgive the “awesome”, it’s really so un-writer-ly! But, yes, these posts just clicked with me from the word go! Considering we have a million bloggers around us, and that we read a lot of very well articulated posts, there are some that just resonate with us, isn’t it? Some that have us nodding along in agreement with every word; some that bring a lump to our throat and some that leave us rolling with laughter.

The posts I read were on varied themes, but I decided to choose 5 that revolved around relationships and were reflective in nature. And, they came in all hues. One is hilarious, and one transported me back to when my MIL was around. One is about my favourite creature and their guardian angels,  and one about parenting. Oh, and one about siblings–something I am sure most of us have reflected over at some point in our lives.

Beginning with the very first one, and my favourite, was this post by my friend, Balaka Basu. Her take on marriages, her ideas about this so-called institution and what it actually stands for. Do read it. I laughed till my tummy hurt!

Oh, by the way, Balaka is also a published author of a collection of short stories, ‘Golden Rainbow’. I still have to read it, but I am sure it must be one enthralling read. You will know if you read her posts for the A to Z 2018 blogging challenge!

There’s nothing romantic about marriage

Ramya Abhinand is another dear friend whose blog I love visiting. Her book reviews have taught me a lot as have the real-life snippets she shares on her blog. She comes across as a really simple, easy going and down-to-earth soul.

This post by Ramya brought back memories from the time my mom-in-law was around. The kind of ideas society has for widows can be heartbreaking for those poor souls. Nary a thought goes out to them as they are expected to follow the norms and learn to walk alone  on the remaining journey of their lives. And, to have to bow down to the rules set by the society…my heart goes out to them.

Jasmine flowers for south Indian Mom

I came across, ‘The BiPolar Writer Blog‘, on WordPress some time back. James Edgar Skye writes about his battle with the mood disorder–something that I can relate to in a way because of hubby’s similar situation.

This particular post resonated with me because, often times, during my youth, I would get compared to my cousins, most of whom had chosen the engineering and the medical stream. I being an Arts student would often get ridiculed–a matter that disturbs me to this day.

Comparing siblings or children on the basis of their academic choices or professions leads to a lot of hurt feelings–a fact that most adults are quite unaware of. The self-esteem gets injured, because, frankly, we all crave for those few words of praise for our work from our family, isn’t it? And, when we don’t see that coming, and find ourselves being compared, instead, to the others “fairing better” in Life, it can sure lead to a lot of heartache.

Compared to my siblings

Shilpa Garg is the twin I never had. The number of similarities we share is mind-boggling! I haven’t met her in the real world, but I am sure we will get along like a house on fire when we do!

This post by Shilpa, where she shares this heartwarming story about a couple who have done not many will even think of doing, is a post for the ‘We are the world blogfest’, where bloggers share stories of real-life heroes from the world over in order to spread some positivity in a world that can be so full of darkness.

Do read this post. It’s a favourite because it is about my favourite animal.

They came, adopted and stayed for the strays.

Nabanita Dhar blogs about parenting and feminism. I love the forthrightness with which she packs a punch through her feminist posts. And, running parallel to that no-nonsense attitude is the warmth that exudes through her posts on parenting.

This post by her on yelling not being the right thing to do struck a chord. There are times I yell at my nephew, which leaves him wondering what the fuss is all about! But, then, I make up for it with a hug and promise myself not to repeat it, only to yell some day, after all!

Why moms yell.

So, these are the 5 posts I loved reading the most! I hope you enjoy reading them, too. Do let me know if you do!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

Like it, Pin it.

Stories on love and relationships from around the world.

 

 

 

What’s your dream day?

What’s your dream day?

Last week, as I was going through some topics I could blog about, I came across this one: Your dream day. And, almost instantly, I was transported to my dreamland – a place I visit on an everyday basis, dreaming about this or that. But, most of all, dreaming about how a perfect day in my Life should be.

Of course, perfectionism and Life don’t see eye to eye, for Life has Her own set of idiosyncrasies that make sure nothing that She does makes perfect sense. Still, we humans are born with this gift of imagining, of visualising, and we use it to imagine things that often are utopian.

Despite knowing that that’s not how Life functions, I, too, have an image of how I would like my days to be. No, not every day will go as imagined, but even if some of the days do, how magical that would be!

Just thinking about it – waking up at 6, fresh as a lily after an 8 hour-long sleep – is enough for me to yearn for those 8 magical hours when I sleep with not a care in the world! No sound, no thought keeps me awake and I waken to the sparrow’s chirp, not an alarm!

An hour-long Yoga session follows, which leaves me feeling fresher, still, and my joints and muscles feeling revitalised. (Psst…I haven’t indulged in my favourite exercise regimen in months!!!  Ergo the need to wake up fresh so that I can exercise.) 

Did you know that working out after a disturbed sleep gives you zero benefits? If you are a fitness freak (like yours truly), but  haven’t been able to sleep well, if you wake up feeling dull, lethargic, then it’s best to postpone your workout for the next day, or on the day you wake up fresh. And, because of all that’s been happening in Life since the past few months, I haven’t been able to get my beauty sleep, and have put my Yoga sessions on hold.

So, yes, sleep, for me, is of utmost importance, and thus my dream day would begin with me waking up after a restful 8 hours of zzzzz!

After Yoga, comes my King-sized breakfast, or breakfasts. Will do a post on that sometime soon. Well, being on the thinner side, I need two breakfasts in a day, and most of the times, I manage just one, which makes me cranky by mid-morning. So, a double breakfast consisting of my favourite breakfast menu, prepared by someone else features next on the list. Who wouldn’t love to laze on the couch while the breakfast gets cooked? All you need to do is eat!

A long, leisurely shower is something I dream of everyday. But…there are chores to complete, food to be cooked, posts to be read and written. So, the spa-cum-shower is a definite yes to a perfect day!

Reading some really outstanding blog posts, writing posts with ideas just jumping out of my mind, and writing brilliantly–now that’s something we all would love, isn’t it? Writer’s Block does tease me from afar, at times, as does ennui, and pushing these two out of my way is a dream, really. Well, most of the times.

And, oh, before I forget, typing without errors, remembering the keys, especially the r, t, u, v, and s on the keyboard wears me out, so I’d like to put that down in my dream day list, too. The 40s do that to you, you know? Waiting for this storm to pass and get my memory back!

The most important part of my dream day would be having the pleasure of meeting my besties, whom I haven’t met in ages. One of them lives an hour from my place, the other lives in the US of A, and meeting these girls is something that needs careful planning.

Meeting them without making any plans, spending hours just chatting and eating and laughing our lungs out–ah, bliss! The kind of bliss I haven’t experienced in a long time. A few hour-long phone calls with dear cousins and other close friends thrown in for good measure, would add to the dreamy quotient!

A home-cooked dinner with hubby, or by hubby, would be the perfect finale for my dream day. The guy’s busy working, as they all are, and seldom do we find the time to talk. At least this way, the damned loneliness that I find rather disturbing these days will be kept at bay.

So, that’s my dream day. There are a few other things I would love to add to my list, but for now, I will be happy to have these come true.

How about you? What’s your dream day like? Do share, I would love to know! Or, if there’s something I could do for you, do let me know. We all deserve at least one perfect day…in a month (Tee-hee!), don’t we?

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

Days when everything happens the way you wish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to do after turning 40.

Things to do after turning 40.

Last week, I celebrated my 45th birthday. It feels strange–this realisation that I completed 45 years, considering I don’t feel 45. In a few years’ time (if I happen to stick around that long) I will be 50! Find that hard to believe, too.

However, it does feel wonderful being 45, thanks to the maturity and the wisdom that come along with it! Going through the highs and lows of Life, learning from every pain, every wound through the years transforms us. It adds to our personality. A dear friend stated that she “Enjoys adding years!”

Well, so do I!

I thought of doing a post titled, ’45 things I learned at 45′, or something of the sort, but listing 45 things felt tedious. And, it would have made too long a list for anyone to read! So, I am just jotting down stuff that has started making sense to me; stuff that made me aware about Life and Her weird ways; stuff I need to learn about and inculcate in myself in order to stay sane through it all. No apologies for overusing the word, ‘stuff’.

1. That’s number one on my to-do list– BEING UNAPOLOGETIC. I realised that living the past so many years wondering if I was hurting sentiments, or living as per others’ expectations had gotten me nowhere, so it’s high time I changed! I need to speak what comes to my mind, irrespective of what others think. Not that I intend to hurt others’ feelings, but then, things staying bottled up hurts me more!

2. Shit happens. When you least expect it. And, the shitty phase can last for quite a while.

But, it all ends some day, for nothing is permanent. So, all you can–and should–do, is go with the flow, and never, ever, ask “WHY ME?” We never ask, “Why am I so happy?”, do we? Cliche, I know, but true!

3. Treasure people. Your tribe–the ones who rally around in your time of crisis, the ones who know something’s wrong just by looking into your eyes or from the tone of your voice and pull you out of the abyss you find yourself in–treasure them. They are your guardian angels. And, they are who make your Life beautiful.

And, please, please, share your troubles, your anxieties, your fears with them. Or, listen to what they have to say when they are in need. You never know what a patient ear and a shoulder to lean on can do. Well, it sure can save a Life!

4. Stop taking yourself for granted. YOU MATTER. Period. And, have faith in yourself. Remember that line from Tumhari Sulu– “Main kar sakti hai.”? You, too, can do it. Yes, you can!

5. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Everyone’s ageing, honey. That’s Life! The fine lines that increase by the day, the silver in the hair, the aches in the joints, the mood swings. All of it. This is the stuff that makes you human!

6..Remember one thing, and remember it always: You are beautiful inside out. For it’s what’s within that matters more and reflects on your face. Be proud of the fact that the face that peeps at you from the mirror is 100% genuine, not one that’s been “worked upon”, you get me? And, smile. It adds to your face value. Another cliche, eh?

7. It takes around 21 days to form a habit. Kick a bad one and find a new one to develop that will enrich your Life in some way.

8. Get off your butt, walk around. DO NOT sit for long. Take a short ‘walking’ break every 45 minutes.

9. Put the darn phone away. Spend lesser time on social media (read, virtual world), and more time in the real world to find true peace of mind. Unless you are a blogger, of course! 

10. Learn to enjoy your own company. As stifling as that may seem, at times, it’s better than depending upon others for your happiness.

That’s all for now. These are just some of the things I keep reminding myself to practice every day, to the best of my ability. I do forget stuff, but then, it comes with the ‘territory’ – I am perimenopausal!

If you’d you like to add to this list, go right ahead!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

Every phase in our Life teaches us lessons and makes us mature, wise and a whole lot chilled out!

 

 

Why do you write? #writebravely

Why do you write? #writebravely

 

I began blogging four years ago. Then, I was unsure about not just my writing capabilities, but also about what I would write about. Being a homemaker who did not socialise, at all, or step out to study the world as it went about its day, I was at a loss for ideas for my posts. But, I realised that although I could not personally step outdoors much,  my mind could definitely travel the world, nay, the entire Universe, so I would surely have much to write about!

Over the years, writing became a hobby. Sharing thoughts that people could relate to felt exhilarating. But, there was something that kept getting in the way of my writing transforming from being just a hobby to becoming my passion. Eventually, it did, though.

Now I write because it is not just a way to give release to my creativity, but to make me feel alive.  It’s a gratifying experience, actually.  Maybe, moving to, ‘Metanoia’, did the trick!

The blogosphere feels like a Wonderland, really. You come up with a topic to write about;  stringing together words that  best express your thoughts, you work on your post with a passion and obsession that you find invigorating. Then,  after careful consideration and a whole lot of editing, you hit Publish.

Out goes your post, into the world for all to read. And, just when you aren’t thinking much about it, you receive a comment from an unknown reader, where they talk about how much they could relate to your post.

How they, too, felt the same in a situation you found yourself in, and how they emerged out of a difficult period that left them overwhelmed, just the way you did. And,  at that moment,  those words get imprinted in your heart and you feel you did something right! That’s when you realise, with a new-found confidence, that you are going in the right direction.

I admit, there are moments when I yearn to find myself rubbing shoulders with award-winning bloggers; have  hundreds of followers craving to lap up the words I type here, on my blog, and leave behind flattering remarks on my posts. But, I stop myself and divert my mind to the happiness I get from just writing, and I am back on terra firma.

My mind no longer in the clouds, I realise what joy there is in simply writing. A cathartic experience coupled with a release for my creative urge is what I gain from this exercise.

Why then should I even wish for something else, something so superficial, it is only going to give me happiness but for a few moments? Awards are definitely going to encourage me and my morale, but the rewards I receive from the act of writing are far more precious to me.

And, therefore I write.

Why do you write?

Love,

SHILPA..

                                         

Why do you do what you do?

The Writetribe Problogger Blogging Challenge has been a great experience. Being a twice-a-week writing  challenge, it was not only doable, but also inspirational. In that, I not just worked on my writing, but also could visit some really brilliant bloggers I haven’t read, up until now. There were fiction as well as non-fiction posts that left their impression on me and taught me so much!

Thank you, Corinne, for this opportunity! Looking forward to the next blogging challenge! 🙂

Linking this post to The Writetribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge.

#writebravely       #writetribeproblogger

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