Staying in touch, in the age of nuclear families – A #ThankyouNote

You don’t choose a family, you are born with it! I am not talking about choosing a husband, I am talking about the family that you are born in. Nowadays with nuclear families, we don’t get enough time to know our own first cousins, let alone an extended family! So how do we keep that warmth intact?

I have a pretty decent number of uncles and aunts on both sides of my family, but I was born in a nuclear family as dad had to migrate for his work. So we were too far away from the immediate relatives of both sides of the family. We could only meet them in summer vacations, and that too was usually only 10 days at each place, but I share a great bond with my first cousins and I guess a lot of its credit goes to my parents and uncles and aunts.

A Thankyou Note to family

 

Travel

My parents made sure that we went to our granny’s place every summer. My aunts and uncles co-ordinated their visit to ensure that we kids could meet each other every summer. Now that I am a mom of two, I truly understand the effort that went into ensuring a truly memorable vacation for us. We are talking of an era before the advent of What’s app and mobiles!

Letters

We were introduced to letter writing at a young age. The real romance and beauty of long letters were presented to us, by our parents, who themselves wrote such letters to their parents and families. The blue inland letters carried every detail that an 8 year old could think of – the small mischief, the big tiff, the greatest secret and the occasional salty tears. This tradition continued long after the advent of mobiles. We still have those letters and reading them, still equally sentimental.

Family Albums

Our favourite time-pass was pulling out old family albums and enjoying the entertaining narration that mum gave. This introduced us to a lot of extended family. Even today nothing can beat the flipping of large albums on a sultry afternoon with entertaining tit-bits of information that go with it.

Visiting relatives

I made horrible faces, if I had to visit some long lost cousin of my parents but I had no choice then! It was a rule that we will visit relatives as a family and my parents ensured that it wasn’t more than an hour if we were meeting for the first time. This ensured that I meet a lot of relatives. I love observing people and this was the perfect occasion.

Thanks to the efforts put in by my parents and uncles and aunts, we have a gang of cousins who continue being in touch using the modern communication mediums that we have at our disposal. I truly hope to give a similar environment to my children. A communicating and engaging family is a pillar of strength when life hits you hard.

Linking up with Tina and Amrita for the #AThankYouNote contest all through the month

Celebrating #Thanksgiving – Thank you note to my health #ThankfulThurday

This is the Thanksgiving month! I liked the idea of being thankful for all the good things in our life and praying for overall peace and happiness. Being grateful is important in life. This thanksgiving month I decided to be grateful and thankful for all the good things in life. Things that I might be taking for granted, but are extremely important.

One of the most important things in life that we all are guilty of taking for granted is Health. We are not mindful of how we treat our body, till we have a close call with illness. Sudden and untimely deaths, accidents, seemingly innocuous incidents become life threatening and that’s when we get a wake-up call, but sadly it’s too late by then.

Health is Wealth

Like in every family, a few things were etched on my mind during the growing up years. The most important of them were

  1. Health is your biggest asset. Be grateful to God every day that you have a healthy and fully functioning body. You can move mountains if you are healthy.
  2. Your body is like a temple, be mindful of what you put in it.

These thoughts helped me a great deal as choosing my body over different vices was that much easier. I usually pick healthy food and don’t have any of those usual addictions. What I didn’t realize was how stress and frustration too can take a toll on your health.

That said last week was a revelation to me. I had been to a doctor for some seemingly common issues. After the check-up, doctor was suspicious and made me undergo various tests. She was checking for diabetes.

Though diabetes is not life-threatening, I was worried about the kind of restrictions it would bring about and will I be able to lead a normal life. Those 12 hours were extremely worrisome. Thankfully all was well, and the blame was laid on something absolutely unexpected – Stress!

Stress and expectations too can take a toll on your health and mind. This followed with news of a friend suffering heart-attack and an extremely young associate suffering a major health set-back, and an acquaintance contemplating suicide as they could not manage expectations. All these incidents were a wake-up call to me.

Stress

Stress is the silent killer in today’s world. While stress is something that cannot be completely eliminated from our life, we need to understand the gravity of it and work towards destressing regularly.

Don’t let work get bigger than you. Don’t let someone’s harsh words affect you to the extent that you keep going back in circles around the same event. Love yourself and find time to focus on doing what you love. Learn to shut out negativity and practice meditation.

It is not just important to keep our body fit, but we need to de-clutter our mind too. If you feel stressed talk to someone, if you can’t confide write it down- but don’t be bogged down. As you never know the kind of toll it will take on your life.

Linking up my post with Amrita and Tina for the Thankful Month ThankYou note contest

Tina Basu

House hunting and the journey of our first home


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Buying a home is a dream come true for every middle class family. Just like everyone else, after marriage and shifting from one rented home to other, we decided to look for a house of our own. The first thing to decide was place. We were living in Bangalore then and both of us had our job there, but our parents and extended family was in Pune so we were in two minds about buying a home in Bangalore or Pune. I am a very practical person when it comes to finances and living choices in general. Comfort and proper use of investment is extremely important for me. So I was clear that if I buy a house for investment, then it needs to earn me rent and if not then I should be staying in it and utilizing the invested amount.

Rent v/s Rate of sq.feet

As this was the first house hunting experience for both of us, we discussed this a lot with elders, friends who recently brought homes and online real estate sites. We even compared the average rent received in both the cities. After studying the rent received, expected expenses to be incurred and possible appreciation in the coming years, we decided to buy a house in Bangalore. I know this doesn’t sound very romantic, but this was practical and this experience taught us a lot of things when it comes to house hunting and background information collection.

Location

We were clear that we will be buying a home in our budget, but it also needed to be in a sensible location. We chose a home close to workplace as we wanted minimal commute time. We were also looking to start family, so we wanted a locality that was residential, child-friendly with pre-schools, gardens, basic shopping needs available close by. I like walking, so I wanted to stay away from highways, loud busy streets etc.

Builder Reputation

My parents had to undergo terrible stress and trauma during their home possession. Builder, his dealings and repute hence was extremely important for us. I had seen the pain, the suffering from close quarters and was extra cautious when it came to selecting the builder. We even took a lawyer’s help to cross check the docs before signing the dotted line.

Elders experience, online reads about house-hunting and advice from experts helped us in zeroing in on our dream home. It was a home which was made with a lot of thought, planning and love.

How was your house hunting experience? Had you thought on similar lines?

This was a post written on prompt by Amrita and Tina for Thankful Thursday’s, however I missed the deadline. Posting it for today.

I am participating in the Write Tribe Problogger Challenge this October.