Monday blues


Before I write more, let me say I am not overweight, my BMI is within the normal range for my height and I feel great. Having said that, I weigh the most I have ever weighed in my life. Everytime I see a photo of myself, I think in my head, “Ok, that’s it. I am giving up sugar. From next Monday. ”

I was a skinny child, truly skin and bones. I was a skinny young adult, then a skinny young woman. My husband lovingly called me ‘slender’. He wrote love poems, describing me as ‘lissom’. Nope, I was skinny and not at all graceful. I had the confidence that skinny people have, that no matter what, I will never gain weight. Well, WRONG! Don’t believe it. Metabolism does slow down with age, and skinny body gets lost in small rolls of fat.

Ideally,I would like to lose 6 pounds. That is not a lot and I keep telling myself, I can do it. Easy! All I have to do is give up sugar. Reduce carbohydrate. Spend little longer on the machines at the gym. I will get strong. I will do it all – from next Monday. Mondays, for me, have become the day of failed resolution and eternal hope. In the middle of the week, I pop in that one last piece of chocolate thinking, “Monday! I will not touch sugar from Monday.” Or, “I will surely go to gym from next Monday on.” And when Monday comes, well….

Sometimes, I do start things – good, disciplined things, on Mondays. Like eating more salads and lean meat, cutting out dessert and working out at the gym. I stay with it for a couple of weeks. The weighing machine starts being my friend again. As soon as I see I have dropped a couple of pounds, I get cocky and munch on M & M’s again. I pop in a dessert or two and my body says, “Woman, you will pay for it.” And I do. The whole cycle starts again.

Mondays have become my “New years”. A new day, new possibilities, new me. As Monday rolls on to Tuesday, Wednesday I roll on to my undisciplined self and as I do so, I make the resolution, “No more. From next Monday, I will……”

I will turn over a new leaf. I will! On Monday…

I am a super hero.


I, for once, will put my humility aside, turn a blind eye to all my incapabilities and declare that I am a super hero. There are many of us out there, you know. The ‘super heroness’, however, is relative. There are super duper heroes, there are super duper trouper heroes. I humbly (there is that humility again, which, by the way, I am trying to get rid of) bow in front of them. I am not a super duper hero yet, I am still a super hero. Yes, I still save the day but there is a difference between me and those of the higher ranks. The super duper heroes and the ranks above, save the day brilliantly, and after saving the day they look fantastic, they are energized and raring to go. After I save the day, I look like a wreck, my bed never looks more inviting, all I want to do is crawl into a hole and never come out….till the next morning.

Like most super heroes, I have a side kick. He does all he can to make my life run smoothly. He follows directions beautifully and teaches the two little humans, who live with us, ‘When your mommy says to do something, I jump!’ I don’t think that is helpful as that just irritates the heck out of the little ones, but my side kick believes, one day, they will get the message. The side kick is a wonderful chap who always tells me I am a superhero. But I am skeptical of his opinions because he is biased and he looks at me with these mushy gushy love tinted eyes.

‘Mom, you are a super hero!’ This comment came from one of my harshest critics, my fourteen year old daughter. I just pulled into the parking lot of the facility where my two children train for their swim team. As I unclicked my seatbelt, I heard my daughter’s bewildered voice,’Mom, look, I am covered with red rashes!’ Panic attack!! I put the car in gear and drove to the doctor’s office. I ignore the stern faces and lecture of the receptionist and the nurse ‘we really would like it if you call us first’. I plead to see the physician. They relent, Sahana gets checked, prescribed. I pick up the medicine, bring them home, get them settled. And hear, ‘I don’t feel so good!’ – the much dreaded words. Her temperature shoots up to 102.2! Second round of panic attack, yet calm outside, I administer icepack, ibuprofen, kiss and ‘you will feel better soon, darling!’ Call the doctor’s office, call the side kick, ‘Get home already!’

A couple of hours and a couple of ibuprofen later, the daughter stands next to me while I cook up some dinner. She looks at me cooking and just puts it out there,

‘Mom, you are a super hero!’

‘Haha, why do you say that?’ I ask lightheartedly.

‘Because you are!! You do all this, you take care of us, you drive us around, you write blogs, you act in plays, you go to work. When you make a commitment, you follow through and you do all of this well!’

While I served them dinner, I thought about all I do, despite my procrastination, despite my laziness. I actually don’t give myself enough credit for holding it all together. Not many of us do really. In our rush to live the day, we don’t stop to think how much we are actually getting done, what we are doing right. I, personally, have a tendency of harping on my shortcomings – how much I didn’t get done, how I let the kids down, which ones were bad mommy moments, what could I have done better! There is always room for improvement, sure. But it is equally important for all of us to give ourselves a pat on our backs, once in a while and believe when someone says, ‘Thank you, you are doing a lot for us!’

So I will believe I am a superhero because my daughter thinks so. Self doubt, insecurities, guilt give way to positivism, acknowledgment. I wrote this blog because I know self doubt will creep in, negativity will rear its ugly head. But I will have this moment, written in this blog to drive those ugly ones away. Those words said by my daughter…..maybe because the meds made her feel better and momentary gratitude flushed through her feverish brain.

Uggggh, did I detect self doubt….again??

We walked a walk and talked the talk – a bit early maybe.


Sage (my dog), Ryan (my son) and I went for a walk today and did some serious exchanging of ideas. Sage didn’t share much. He was somewhat preoccupied with the various dog pee smells in each and every tree trunk or light post that we encountered. Ryan and I did most of the talking. Ryan may well be seven years old, he is very wise for his age.

The conversation started with how summer was going;  is Ryan excited about second grade; is mom excited about her new job and such like. Then we moved on to the question of how the first tree was created and whether the trees that we see around us are the descendants of that first tree. Then next topic we discussed was how Sage’s shadow resembled one particular type of wolf, and my young scientist gravely declared that Sage has descended from that particular wolf who has left his shadow with Sage as an inheritance.

We got into serious grounds next – drinking alcohol. Sean and I don’t drink alcohol. I tried it as a youngster, never liked the taste, never felt the need for it in my life. Sean made a conscious choice to stay away from alcohol because he too didn’t feel the need to introduce that poison in his body. In fact, I heard this story on my wedding day from his friends:

“Your husband is a piece of work. He went to a bar in Costa Rica with friends and ordered a glass of milk!!!”

Ryan and Sahana have decided not to drink alcohol as well when they are adults.

On our walk, Ryan asked me if making the choice (of not drinking) was difficult and more importantly is it going to be hard for him when he grows up. Teaching moments, or rather talking moments like these don’t come up often in our hectic schedule. So I put it to good use.

For me, the choice was relatively easy. In the mid eighties India when I was a teenager, drinking was still considered a taboo among the middle class, especially for girls. Most of my girl friends abstained from drinking and the boy friends didn’t expect us to drink anyway, so there was not much peer pressure, or the need to conform. Sean had more of a difficult time growing up in America where drinking alcohol had more acceptance as a social norm. But after the initial ‘Come on man, just one drink’ people respected his choice and left him alone. They also appreciated his voluntary service as their designated driver after parties.

Ryan and Sahana, I believe will have more of a difficult time standing their ground, if they choose to stay away from alcohol, than we had. I say this because in first grade play ground  discussions, little boys and girls have already questioned Ryan about his choice, “You are so funny! Why won’t you ever drink? I have sipped from my parents’ drink, I like it!” I told him he is going to hear more of it as he becomes a teenager. Teenage drinking is a huge problem world wide. And really, what is the harm in one drink? One glass of red wine is even beneficial for health, I often hear. The harm is, one drink often becomes two and then becomes three. His strength of character will be sorely tested when and if he refuses drinks in people will back off and respect his choice if he stands his ground.

I am a firm believer in ‘live and let live’. I have made my choice in my life. I respect other ADULTS’ choice of enjoying their alcoholic beverage as long as they don’t harm others under its influence and don’t get behind the wheels after downing a few. We have spent way too many moments of silence in different sporting activities, in memories of teenagers who lost their lives to drunk driving. I am not going to go into statistics, it is out there right in front of our eyes.

Life is about making choices. My children will make a choice on this when they are at a legal drinking age (I hope). My job, as a parent, is to make sure they are aware of all the ill effects that alcohol has on human body and let them make an informed decision. All I can hope is my children stay away from it.  And if they don’t, then I hope they make good judgments of how much and when to stop. Most importantly, I hope they designate a driver!