Curbing my addictions

We’ve had social media blocked off for us for over a week owing to social unrest and the part companies such as Facebook and WhatsApp played in it by being too easy a platform for extremists to organize themselves.

For someone who had been feeling totally nauseous about being so addicted to facebook for a while, this was somewhat heaven sent. I disagree wholeheartedly with the idea that a government takes it upon themselves to censor communication, but took it as a sign that it was time for me to give it up and I make no apologies for it. Every time my brain needed a distraction even the tiniest one, where one thought halts before another starts, because  some times, thinking is painful, or hard or  because reality sucks, I would just absent mindedly scroll, scroll, scroll. My threshold for any discomfort is now actually paper thin. Why must I put up with myself, when I can scroll through the bottomless pit that is social media?

My brain and my fingers are so used to this by now, for the first two days, I would randomly open the app, like, for no reason, every five minutes. When I caught myself doing this for the upteenth time, I ended up uninstalling the apps.  And have been feeling lighter than I did in years. Is this what it is like to start curbing your addictions?

I’ve been reading as per usual, but I feel my brain using more concentration power to do so. We actually plugged in our TV and watched movies, which hasn’t happened in the past five years! Look, I am even blogging!  I  am pretty sure I even sleep better!

When they uplift the ban, will I be tempted to re-install the app, just to see what’s happening? Facebook used to be how I got my news. I do miss it, but  I do not miss the humblebrags, the keyboard warriors, the vacation pictures, the breakfasts, the drama, the drama, the drama. And working myself up on other people’s account.

Man, I hope I make it through. But I am too old, and I need my sanity and this is a good start to start to stay away from the small screens.

 

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Graduations.

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I sat through two graduation ceremonies this weekend.
 
On Friday evening Charith Peiris got his degree and I couldn’t be more proud. Here is someone who has persevered against all odds, against confusion and heartbreak and turmoil and still overcame himself. Cheers! 
 
On Saturday morning, my four year old nephew Seth graduated out of preschool. I am such an emotional aunt! He was acting a bee at the concert and he had to tell a certain “Billy Bee” that Billy Bee couldn’t come in because he couldn’t buzz like the rest of them. Seth seemed genuinely upset by the lonely Billy Bee and only started dancing and singing with all his being only when the colony accepted they were wrong to shun Billy Bee. Seth doesn’t yet know what life is like, he doesn’t know how hard it can be. But he represents hope and happiness in its purest form and I look to him for courage.
 
I missed my mother more than ever, if that’s even possible but life seems to go on, which somewhat surprises me, even though it shouldn’t. I imagined her sweet sweet laugh seeing Seth dance and I wanted to break down and weep. She lives on, in my heart, the way I can still hear her laugh and see how her face dimples when she smiles. 
 
May we all march on, find the strength to keep doing the things we love, and always have at least one reason that makes us happy to be alive.

Of feeling alone.

I am trying to jot down a thing or two about aloneness.

The way it is intrinsic to life and how we like to pretend it isn’t so. I might be married, happily, I might read and write and work and play with dogs and children but I could also feel extraordinarily alone.

Friday nights at Long Bar helps me forget this fact for a bit. ( I am there about twice a year, therefore, my appreciation is much more intense) I am able to put my hair down and laugh a little. Buying a new dress has no less of an effect. Going some place far away does the same. Loving. Giving. Smiling. Does nothing to ease the awareness that I am completely alone. Surrounded by the work I must finish for my lovely mother, driving my father long distance, walking around our house, sitting on the rooftop with Shadow; watching kites and blue skies. All of this is just distraction, a soothing balm for ‘life’, a temporary solution for a permanent problem.

I’ve come to think that the way I feel about owning things and being in relationships has nothing to do with how alone I feel. It’s not the fault of my husband, nor my family or friends or the books and shoes I own, the poetry I read and the walks I go on or how fulfilling I find my life is that I should feel this emptiness. These things serve an important purpose in my life in that they remind me I need not suffer unduly and that life might even be bearable as long as we pick and choose the distractions that suits us the most but ultimately, here I am and I must deal.

 

 

Contradictions

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So we all agree that some of us are only made of contradictions.

And love and some tea.

Throw in a chocolate cake will ya please.

One of those contradictions I am contemplating on these days is my need to be alone versus my need for people.

I’ve been a lot more alone than usual this past year. We moved to a new country for a while and in my quest to be with ‘my person’, I also found time. A large amount of it.

Circumstances would have it that I was alone a lot , and that was fine for a while.

 

I also found out that my moods vary between needing people and being drained by them whenever I was with them.

While I’ve always been more towards being by myself, now I found that I didn’t want to be by myself too much, nor did I want to be around other people for more than a few hours.

I am of the breed of people who must pour every inch of themselves into their relationships so a few hours with people I like would mean , I am depleted of any energy for myself.

Owing to age and a hard earned capacity for self-preservation, I now pace my time between social interactions, I say no, I don’t go places I do not fancy.

I am also now good at timing, when making plans, I know when I need to be home , in my PJs, with tea and a book, in bed before I have to carry around a headache, feeling completely dull and gloomy.

It’s nice however to be married to someone who recognizes this about me and is usually sympathetic about making plans. Darling is of the breed of people who has zero need for recharging , who can go from one social gathering to another, spend days walking and seeing places without tiring himself out and can also fall asleep in a heartbeat.

But he would nudge me out of the house if I’ve been cooped up inside too long, but he would never drag me around if I was miserable.

I am also a bit spoilt that way.

But contradictions.

Do you suffer from any ?

 

 

A ‘people’ post , yet again

People Watching

Lost Time by Steven Paul .

I am a bit of a people watcher.

Aren’t we a fascinating bunch ? Walking down the road with our jeans falling off our butts, in our layers of make up and high heels , with our smokes and sandwiches, we spit and scratch and swear. We are amazing.

Anyhoo.

I like watching them. I am not like, creepy or anything you know. :/

It’s always ‘over here’ in contrast to ‘back home’ for me. I am endlessly captivated with the way people smile, the way they move and hold themselves, the way they say hello. Everything feels new.

Or, that would be my mind playing tricks on me.

People are fascinating. I like them. ( On the surface I mean, I would prefer not to get to know them, because that would mean complications. 😛 ) So I watch.

We rarely nod to strangers back home and say hello. I mean, I did, I used to talk to strangers whenever the occasion called for it, I do have a vibe that attracts the strangest sort of people to me , that makes them want to talk to me too. But if I mistakenly catch someone’s eye on the street here, people are bound to nod and at least throw a “how are you” or a “you alright” my way.

People are constantly telling me if it’s a beautiful day or a miserable one. They bless me , tell me I am pretty ( I’ll take my compliments where I can get them, I am not fussy, thank you very much. )

On a bright beautiful day last week, a man at the bus stop nodded at me and smiled before he asked if I didn’t think it was a glorious day. I said I sure did.

A boy stopped to shake my hand once and ask for my number and receiving the negative, narrowed his eyes, cocked his head to a side and clutched his heart to say “you are married !!” He walked away in peace.

A lady at the supermarket showed me how to pick the freshest Kale. ( She puts it in the smoothies for her son, makes a spinach and kale sauce with parmesan for pasta )

A girl I encountered yet again at the bus stop was breaking up with someone. “Oh my fuckin’ god , you breaking up with me!?!? ” She half laughed. “At least , have the guts to do it to my fuckin’ face baby.”  She said the word “baby” in the sing song way couples do, only making it seem also like a threat. Should have known you 10 years ago girl friend! I could have used that attitude.

At the MMA academy, I watched the tiniest girl, in her blue karate clothes, climb on to her father’s lap before her classes were to start. She tucked in her feet and her hands and her tiny little head under his chin. He talked to her in low soothing tones, patting her back, chuckling , both of them smiling, I don’t even know what they were saying to each other and from where I was seated, they were all I could see, so I took my constricted heart and my suddenly constricted throat, the sting behind my eyelids and hid behind a laptop and did not dare look up.

*cough* Excuse me.

 

From the graveyards

Sometimes, all I want to do is to put people in little boxes. ( I know, it sounds ridiculous. You can’t go around putting people in boxes , Sachi ! ) But I’ve lived all these years, and it  has taken me all this time to figure out that people aren’t all bad.

Or all good.

Aren’t we made entirely of contradictions? ( Just me? Ok. ) The most confusing of all is how while being utterly good and kind we also have an abundant supply of meanness to reach into whenever we need it.

I’ve seen it people ! I’ve seen it in ME. And I have hated myself because all I’ve ever wanted is to be good and kind and nice.

Behavior truly does breed behavior and the times I wanted to reach into my meanness and pull out some snarkiness was only when I’d been jabbed and provoked and hurt and made to feel small and jealous. So I know what you are thinking. That sounds childish. And it is ! I’ve dealt with my share of sarcasm and hurtful comments in my life, sometimes from the very people I love,  and since of late, I’ve begun to see that just like when I wanted to hurt someone for being hurtful, this bitterness that made these people want to hurt me came from a place where they felt small . Or jealous. Or wanted to feel something that was important to them. Who knows. Can you SEE the vicious cycles that’s starting to get unhealthy?

And boy, do words cut deep!

The biggest struggle in all of this has been about forgiveness. For the longest time, it felt like I couldn’t forgive myself for having all these thoughts. When someone gave me a dig, I took it, and I poisoned it with my own thoughts, and I lay awake at night wondering why, why they said what they said and why they acted how they did. And I still have the hardest time with people who has a knack for back handed compliments, you know where at first you are like oh that’s nice and then bam ! Right in your guts. I felt ugly. How can you live with yourself , I asked myself.

I also continue to have a hard time with snotty uptight people. There are times when you absolutely can not get away and you have to put up with them and they make you feel..basically like crap.

In all of this, my real problems lie with me. While I am not comfortable with The Snots, The Uptights, The Difficults and The Snarks, I am more uncomfortable with myself when I want to react to the way they’ve made me feel. It’s taken me a while to learn my lessons that people are just being people so sift the good from the bad, don’t hang out with them if they make you feel like crap, and for crying out loud, stand up for your self.

but at least now I am here where I know for a fact, if I don’t forgive myself for my thoughts , I am never going to be able to forgive them. Not that they need your forgiveness. But it helps to feel that you are able to, if it came to it.

So here we are.

I’d like to tell you that I’m a better person now, and I know how to deal with difficult people and situations. But I don’t. Experience has proven to be such a difficult thing to master and some days I feel better. Better at composure, nonchalance, wisdom and that much needed frankly-my-dear-ness. There are other days when I want to punch a wall.

Any progress is good progress in my books and progress for me now is the ability to throw my hands in the air, say “Arggghhh” and go make tea .

That’s my rant for the day. Enjoy the show.

 

The Dark Gloomy Days

Dark Days

Dark gloomy days aren’t without its charm.

The trees howl in loneliness.

I close the windows, wrap a blanket around me. Make tea.

And I sit by the window anyhow. Can’t seem to tear myself away from all this..stillness.

I sympathize with the polythene bag, being thrown about aimlessly by the wind.

The sun didn’t come out today.

Not even once.

Dark gloomy days aren’t without its charm.

It’s not like I didn’t love you, you know.

The lifeless trees stand black against the grey clouds outside.

I see cars far away in the street.

People going about their lives. Children in the hall.

I light some candles.

Me, my tea, my book. My feet tucked under my blanket.

We sit in silence.

Dark gloomy days aren’t without its charm.

It’s not like I didn’t love you, you know.