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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Somebody asked me the other day, how long have you been blogging for? 

I am thinking they were trying to suss me out, to see if I have got enough experience to be dishing any kind of advice – much less blogging advice. 

My answer? A couple of months of actual writing – and 3 decades of building up to it

This is my story. 

Totally unimpressive highlights of my life, that have been totally significant to me – in terms of work, life and successes. 

My father was once in charge of a local library, he was actually a Naval officer at that time, and he had the coolest job on the earth. His job description meant that he would visit local stores and select books to be purchased for the library. He would also take his eldest daughter along, to pick all the books she liked for the children’s section. She was about 5 at that time. She also happened to be me! 

This gave rise to a major obsession with books, reading and life long learning. I remember sitting with books piled high and reading well into the night.  

As I got a little older, I started doing what every little girl did. Writing stories, pages and pages of them, which eventually turned into boxes. Not everybody does that? See, I didn’t know that. I wrote, and I wrote … and I never thought of making a big deal out of it. 

I ‘published’ children’s magazines from home and got everybody to read them and give cool testimonials on the back. I still have them. 

I started a library (of everything I owned) from home and kids from places far away – well not that far – came and borrowed books. A budding entrepreneur I was even then. Too bad, once when we were away, my library got broken into and more than half of my precious babies were taken away. I don’t know how long I cried for – then I closed my library. I was barely 13 then, I think.

And I wrote for every school and college magazine who would print my work. 

Two things were very, very important to me.

To learn about things, and to share them with other people, be it through creating own magazines, opening up a library, or writing for the local magazines. 

And then the magical world of web 2.0 was born – and I was hooked – for life

Nobody could drag me away from the online communities, forums and any place with the word ‘interactive’ in it. I was a participator in it all. 

I was lapping it up like my life depended on it. 

I was studying, writing, teaching – both online and in my real world. I did post-graduate studies in Law, Marketing, and Education. All the jobs I held had a teaching and a writing component. I couldn’t do it any other way. 

And all this while I did not think that I had to say something important to people like you and me.

And now I do. 

I have found a place. I love it when kindred spirits come my way and decide to stay.

I am building a community of people who are passionate about life, have a desire and will to succeed at whatever has caught their eye. They are full of integrity, and best of all they want to blog about it all. 

Welcome to my tribe

Here you would not find money hungry people, but people who want to work hard, and ethically to earn their living – and get rich. Whatever being rich means to them.

You would not see people who are all about the gimmicks, and about following the ‘in crowd’ hoping to cash on their successes.

Here are people who want to have a life with a purpose, and live mind fully. 

We all need such a place to hang out. Learn, share, blog

Welcome to WRITING happiness!

I am writing for your success.

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It is after 3 months that I am logging in to my blog. 

Yes, I am alive. 

Yes, I went away for an extended holiday to my homeland. Yes, I went with the full intention of logging in as soon as jet lag wore off. Sadly it didn’t happen for me like that, nothing like that all.  

When you click on anything - except your own blog.

I do not know what happened, except that I was literally in a different world. I was in a world where we have maids doing practically everything for us. We have chauffeurs for our cars, we have tons of help in the kitchen – and for everything else imaginable. And no, one doesn’t have to be a millionaire to have all this. In countries like Pakistan, labour is cheap, and is easily available, and rest of the country reaps the benefits. And then I had actually people to talk to – like living things – my gorgeous family members.

So I got lazy.

And this is an understatement! 

To be honest, I did not feel like writing even though this is one of the things I cannot image not doing – ever. I felt out of groove, out of touch with reality. Surely this few weeks at my mum’s house is not real. I did not want to wake up. It was sooo beautiful.

Needless to say, I got back home, to a world of work and chores and responsibilities – and only person to take care of it all. Me. 

My depression wouldn’t go away. I knew there were things to be taken care of. Even the thought of picking up a book – my most favourite activity in the whole world – sent my spiralling in a pool of tears. I was questioning if there was a purpose to it all. I was so sad. You have probably been there, I am sure this happens to all of us once in a while – one doesn’t need a long overdue wonderful visit from family to go through this. For me, this is all too familiar and it’s a cycle. I have to ride it out or it won’t go away. Mercifully, it does, every single time.

My lonely blog screaming for attention!

Are you still with me? Yes this post is all about me, and it’s most probably really boring as well. What the heck, it’s not like I have a professional blog right? I can choose to be a little self –indulgent eh? Plus, I did not know how else to start. After each exhausting day, I was lying down in bed thinking about what to write. After a long leave of absence, I just couldn’t start writing about ‘how to write a killer post’ or ‘six tips to feel good’ or something like that which I am sure are very worthy topics, but don’t seem like ideal ones to a slightly depressed mind. YAY for slightly!

I was scared to look at my blog, fearing all the fellow bloggers to have given up on me. This is a very scary feeling, its not been long since I have become a ‘blogger’ and its no fun without having supportive, kind fellow bloggers who actually take the time out to read but – comment. Hope you are reading this.

Blogging is hard

So… last night I thought, why not write exactly about how I feel. So, that’s precisely what I have done. Didn’t seem too hard. Now if I can only start participating in other blogs, add new bogs that I haven’t gotten to just yet, go back to researching and learning a hundred things to make my blog ‘better’, and pick up a book … I will be alright.

I am sure there are million other things that one does when one is blogging, but they all escape me right now. I am sure they will come to me in time.

Have you ever taken a break from your blog? Did you find it hard to start again? Do share, as I can so relate right now. And I do need the support.

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Ever wonder why some people get to be so happy? So far, I have established one thing, happiness is somehow tied to simplicity in life .. the simpler your life is, apparently the happier you are going to be.

I like to think that I am a fairly happy person. It might not have been the case just a year ago but in the last year alone, I have managed to rediscover my self. I was able to achieve all of my goals – and more. Through sheer hard work and determination, and with a positive approach to life.

I started my kids in a great school and daycare, got in my Post Grad diploma of Teaching in a highly prestigious university of my choice.

I changed house, bought new furniture along the way and topped it of with a new SUV a few days ago.

I started my blog that got great exposure when my Blogging Tips post made it to freshly pressed – for four days. YAY! I also got great readers and subscribers, who wouldn’t have found me otherwise. I also found great writers and bloggers to learn from. :) I got some work published on the web, a great start in the world of web writing.

I completed two teaching placements and one year (half) of my teaching degree. Phew! It’s hard to believe I actually survived.

After my parents’ visit from overseas, I am going for a holiday of about 6 weeks with my family. YAYYY :) Leaving on Jan 15, so get in your comments early. :)

So yes I have had a very good year. This brought on a sudden burst of inspiration to write something light-hearted on life and happiness, taking a break from blogging and writing advice. Psst .. it helped to read The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It by David Niven as well.

Here goes

My top tips that are helping me to lead a truly happy life.

Have a Purpose and Meaning in your Life

Set goals in your life and make sure they are in perfect harmony with each other. They are life tyres of your car, they must move in the same direction. If they conflict with each other, you will end up being very stressed out and dissatisfied with your life. 

Invest in Friendships

Life without close, meaningful relationships is meaningless.

You do not have to be a social butterfly, however true friends will make you come alive. Take care of your friends and reap the rewards of belonging.

Friendship beats money, hands down. Tell your friends what they mean to you and make their day, as well as yours. Keep your word. 

A happy life

It Hurts to Compare with Unrealistic Standards

Think of those whose examples are worthy but make sure you stay true to yourself. 

Have realistic expectations. You are a person, not a stereotype. Be comfortable in your own skin.

Be grateful that you are fortunate than many. Accept yourself. Believe in yourself – Just not too much.

Ask for help when you need it and share your problems with your mates.

Every relationship is different, don’t compare yours with your friend’s.

Let your goals evolve or you will get seriously hurt. Do the things you are good at. Money is not the end to all problems. 

Turn off the TV

Excessive tv watching takes you away from life. Your partners and kids literally need to shout to be heard. It makes you lazy and makes you take your relationships for granted. Do not take tv’s view of the world, the picture is tainted. 

Be Open to New Experiences

Life-long learning is the key to life long fun. Get a hobby, be it dance, cooking class, new form of exercise or some course at the university; try something new to stay young and fresh. Volunteer your time in your community. Join a group. Have fun. 

If You are Not Sure, Guess Positively

If somebody is being nice, do they have an agenda or are they a nice person? Are you the type of person who stays positive, or assumes the worst? Try banishing this self-defeating habit and see the profound effect on your life. Check  out positivity blog’s 5 powerful questions that can help make 2011 a fantastic year for you.

Be Happy

Develop a Household Routine

If your life is all over the place, you will dread waking up in the morning. You will be harried, rushed and overly stressed trying to manage your average day. Surround yourself with beautiful things and wonderful smells. Enjoy the ordinary. 

Get a Good Night Sleep

Works wonders. Exercise and get physically active. Its nothing like feeling your best throughout the day. 

Keep Your Family Close

Develop shared interests with your loved ones. 

Be Thankful

Pay attention to your life, you might already have that you really need.

Your definition of success has to be your own. Remember to think good, your life is a success based on your judgement only. Keep perspective, maintain integrity.

  2010 was my happiness project, check out Gretchen Rubin’s site for her book in which she documented her year long happiness project. What has made you particularly happy with yourself the past year? Any major goals, any outstanding achievements? Please share. What are your best tips for being happy?

If you want to get the best of books on; writing, blogging, publishing, personal growth, inspiration, women issues and more, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog & keep talking in comments section. Looking forward to knowing you more. Many thanks. :)

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Free Writing Day

My husband wants to know what I want for my birthday. Actually that’s not my husband, my kids want to know so they can get their dad to buy it, even when the birthday has already passed. I have trained my kids well. 

The answer is a bit of a problem.

I am not a stuff person – stuff stresses me out. I believe most things are made to be admired, and NOT to be purchased and taken home. My philosophy is to live with the bare minimum in my house – with the exception of few things. 

I am not a collector. I hate wasting things so I try and buy things that I would actually use. For a girl, I have the bare minimum of clothes, shoes, handbags and cosmetics. This is not a joke. I seriously need to add to my wardrobe. Since I am not working out of the house at the moment, most of my clothes are on the brink of being ripped to shreds. 

I am not a jewellery person, or a toy-purchasing person either – much to chagrin of my kids. 

I am a book person though. My kids’ bookshelf is overflowing with picture books and my next house project is to line the wall behind the dining table with tall bookshelves. These will be eventually filled with photo frames, perfumes, and books of course. This can happen after I replace my dining table first, of which only 3 chairs remain. 

I collected perfumes. I figure these would look really cool on the display. 

So I have thought long and hard about for my next birthday gift. And I have got the perfect answer. I would like my husband to give me a Coupon for a Free Day of Writing – to be used on any day of my choice. 

I have a few ideas how this might happen. 

My most favourite activity - after rearing my kids of course!!

I would like breakfast served in bed, and while I am relaxing, my kids need to get dressed, their lunches packed and they are taken to their respective school/ daycare. Or hubby can take a day off and take the kids somewhere for the day. I write best in my home environment, that’s where I have home court advantage. 

I want a cleaner to come in and do their thing, while I do mine. 

I want to have lunch and snacks available for whenever I feel like eating. 

I want the kids to come home, get changed, have food and be entertained till 5 o clock. After that I am ready to resume mommy duties – whichever ones are left anyway.

On this day, I am not working (writing) 9-7, or even 9 to 6. Although my usual working day comprises of a 16 hours – at minimum – I would like to work from only 9 to 5. I am thoughtful like that. 

And I want this to be a Groundhog Day.

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Dislike! facebook

Somebody commented on a photo of you.

How I abhor this line. Has to be the most hateful message I see in my inbox –ad neuseum. It gives rise to such intense feelings, the ones I did not even think existed in me. Why? Because I have no idea who this somebody is, and that they are not even commenting about me. All this because I made a mistake of tagging myself in a photo.

You like this

I have about 30 odd friends on facebook. Not 300, 30. Needless to say I am not a big user. I was the last one to join, and don’t use any applications. If I wanted to hear what everybody is saying about a photo which I made a mistake of liking /tagging once, I would definitely have many more ‘friends’ added to my list. My facebook would be brimming with people including the ones I knew in grade 5, or even kindergarten. I would have my neighbours in there, and my friends who have now become strangers. I would go around meeting people for the absolute pleasure of adding them to my facebook. Just so I can find out what they are saying about some random thing I liked. So that they can tag me in more photos. Thanks, but I pass.

Once I tagged myself in a photo for a recipe. I am still receiving email messages of who has tried it out, who loved it, who couldn’t stand it. Who tweaked it a bit to create a masterpiece of their own and who took a photo better than the original one. Who fed it to a party of 30 guests and received accolades for it. Pleeeeease, somebody make it stop!

without asking first

The worse thing is, when somebody else – out of the goodness of their hearts – tags me in a photo. The notifications never stop. They over-crowd my inbox and drive me insane. I hit delete like a maniac. Take this! I scream. People, stop tagging others without asking them first. You don’t do this kind of thing to your friends. Does anybody care about their friends on facebook? Some people do, those same people have a page called ‘Please don’t tag me’, guess where – on facebook. These ingenious souls are selling shirts of the same message. 

The purpose of hitting me with this barrage of emails – as to who else on the planet happens to like the the same post – escapes me. Seriously, have I missed something? Is there anything that I can do to stop receiving messages as to who is doing cartwheels simply because I liked something? I am sure not the only one either. Facebook, please give us a dislike button. If the facebook doesn’t shut this notification thing off, I would go back and dislike it, just as a form of a little protest. Now that would definitely come in  handy.

Now this is what I need

UPDATE:  This post was totally meant to be not taken seriously. Just clarifying (and so not being defensive) ..

I do know how to un- tag myself. I don’t want to. I just want don’t the notifications in my email inbox.

Most important bit of info that I forgot to add, I was talking about being tagged in a public group and certainly not on a friend’s photo. I wouldn’t say such rude things if that was the case.

I don’t care about the dislike button.

I am not upset about this at all. Seriously!

Still not being defensive, but  you can see that right?

NOTE TO SELF. Do not post on a crappy Eid Day, especially after having a fight with hubby.

LAST UPDATE:

OOPS. My apologies to facebook, all it needed was a quick uncheck of few buttons to put a stop to it all. Took all of 3 secs to do it. That proves my previous point. Also proves how incompetent I can be. Good riddance.

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My Three Year Old …

Thinks my kitchen pantry is a mini shopping mart. 

TV is a shopping network. I want that car, I want that truck, I want that ice cream … 

Open Sesame

All glass doors open themselves, all you need to do is you step in front. 

iphone is the greatest invention, ever. Its fun to go to app store or you tube and laugh hysterically when his dad gets upset. 

Teaches my dad how to use iphone via Skype. 

Teaches his dad how to use his iphone. 

Thinks all phones have touch screens. 

Generation - iphone

Turns on Wii console and plays games – something I don’t know how to do as yet.

Decides what he wants taken from his older brother to amuse himself. 

Its loads of fun to mess with big brother while he is at the computer.

He is Spider man, or Super man or his current favourite, Iron man. 

Wants a red Ferrari. 

Wants an ipad 

Has fallen asleep once after doing a big poo, on the toilet. 

The world is his oyester.

He is the boss of our house.

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I really admire those people who put up gorgeous food pictures online. The food looks absolutely delish and you just sit there gazing wistfully at your screen, wishing for technology that can make instant access possible. And I admire those people even more who happen to be working mothers – all mothers are working mothers – but the ones with little kids to look after. Still amazing food pics. Totally beyond me.

Tuna & potato kebabs. To finish leftover potatoes

Mango-macademia-chashew-coconut milk-lime creme. :)

Lately, I have been wanting to share recipes of the foods that I have cooked in recent times. That’s a good thing right? Not so much especially when I too am the victim of  “Let’s compare food pics” syndrome. Ever heard of the “Feeing inadequate due to airbrused, digitally skinny, having spent two hours in makeup women” syndrome? (Think magazines.) Well, it’s a little bit like that, except you are judging yourself on your cooking and not your looks. In both cases it ends up stirring feelings of being a complete loser.

Why don’t we realize that these people/chefs do this professionally. (And that’s why I said earlier that I am in awe of mothers who do this as a hobby). This is like – their job. They are trained to cook and present beautifully. Why would even we try to compete with that.

A fine tasting cheesecake

When a dish turns out to be something really good, I should grab my camera and take a few shots, right? Wrong!  When I am about to serve these dishes, its highly likely that my kids are crying out of hunger, and husband out of impatience. There is literally no time to serve it up all pretty and take some nice photos. If I do snap a few quick ones, they look like if a 5 year old has taken them. Or worse, the food has been cooked and plated up by one. The one who will not even go past the first round of Junior Masterchef. So yes, I am never happy with my food pictures and none of  my food pics make it online. 

I am forever waiting for that perfect moment. Like so many other things, that I think I will do, as soon as.. as soon as everything in my life goes according to plan. Stop laughing. How many times have I accepted that I will never have those five minutes? It’s a number that rhymes with hero. 

It’s ludicurous to expect to have 5 more minutes before dinner time when my family can’t even wait for 5 seconds. It’s exactly like there are tons of pics of kids in everyday clothes however hardly any when all of you get dressed to go out. You never seem to have those extra 5 minutes at the end. No extra time to clean up the kitchen if you want to take some photos there, or serve it up in your best plate. No time to actually pretty up the dish itself, I often skip the garnishing when serving food at home. If you are like me, forever needing to feed a starving army of people, you worry about serving food that is edible, not that is presented beautifully.

So I am posting pictures of few things that were an absolute hit with my family. There was gone as soon as I served them and people were screaming for more. Never mind they have bits n pieces which take away from the (?) perfection. I’d rather have the drool factor from my family, they were too busy gobbling it all up to notice anything else. Enjoy. 

Stuffed potato parathas. Bits of it needed less frying.

My kids pasta. When all else fails..

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