Day Twenty-Five: On Having A Productive 2015

What better time to make a new start than in the new year? At some point in time we have all made resolutions which have been broken within months, weeks and even days on some occasions. But what if 2015 had to be different? Instead of resolutions, I present to you three ideas that could help you have a productive year ahead.

1] The Vision Board

It doesn’t matter if you decide to have a board up on your wall or a website that allows you to have your own board (think Pintrest, DreamItAlive) or even a collage put together on Picasa. Creating a vision board and maintaining it throughout the year gives you some prespective of your dreams and accomplishments.

This week take the time to think of all the things you would like to achieve this year (or month) and have it on the board along with motivation quotes and captions to remind you that you can achieve it.

2] The Happiness Jar

One of the most important things about life is gratitude. And what better way to show your gratitude than by counting your blessings. Kick start 2015 with the happiness jar (or box or bag).

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Every day write one thing that made you happy that day or that you are grateful for, then toss it into the jar. At the end of the year (or month or whenever life seems hopeless) open up your notes to remind yourself of all the blessings you have received.

3] The Education

You are never too old or too young or too dumb or too smart to learn something new. This year take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Not only will this increase your knowledge but also make you a relatively interesting person.

Fellow Quilter. (August 2013)

For the renaissance souls out there, this may become a bit boring. So instead of devoting your time to learn maybe ballroom dancing consider multiple interests like ballroom dancing and quilting. Not only is it more diverse but such combinations are likely to hold your interest for longer.

Whatever you do…. do it with passion. Have fun! 🙂

Day Twenty-Four: New Year Wishes Just For You!

My New Year’s wish for you this 2015 is to stay Forever Young. 

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Day Twenty-Three: I Grew in 20 14

We have one day until we bid adieu to 2014 which the world will remember for the FIFA World Cup, the iPhone 6, Ebola and Robin Williams. These and other trending topics are what the year will be associated with by governments, industries and other organisations. But what would you associate 2014 with? A wedding? A promotion? Coming out of the closet? Maturity? Disappointment?

Today’s Daily Prompt puts forth a simple question, ‘When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?’ It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment because I don’t feel grown up. I still play with play dough and can get high on sugar. I love playing make-belief and sometimes may ask too many questions which adults don’t always approve of (notice how I still say “adults”).But at some level, I did grown up. I may not have grown up in the “obvious possible way” but there were moments which defined me. And so, today I shall highlight my top defining moments of 2014.

Part I: Existence

Well, that is what most of us do. We exist! We wake up, go to school, go to work, come back, follow some routine accepted by society that includes eating, exercise and entertainment and finally at the end of the day we lay our body to rest. We rarely deal with our demons and an internal evaluation or self-feedback is almost unheard of.

I studied and got good grades to the point where I even received a scholarship (something to strike off my bucket list), but even that did not give me the lingering feeling of accomplishment. It felt great for a few hours but the excitement withered away. This is not how I am suppose to live; in fact, this is not even “living”.

Part II: Realization

It is that moment you realize that life sucks if you do not actively make an attempt to savor it. You think of all those missed opportunities, all the routines you aimlessly stuck to and all the moments that could have become memories if only you took a chance.

Mid 2014 was an eye opener which made me realize that life is too short to not do anything about it. Why bother about tomorrow when you have the opportunity to make the very best of today? And with that in mind, I let go of choosing what I liked and decided to try everything I wanted to.

Part III: Experience

That spark! It remains in you when you are happy with being you. It surfaces when you feel proud and accomplished that you took a risk or changed something or did something to impact yourself positively. It is not always an easy feeling but it is a promising sign that you are indeed alive and living as opposed to merely existing.

I experienced life towards the end of the year when I believed that I had what it took to become the person I imagined myself to be. Overcoming my social issues to volunteer in a collection drive for the SPCA was my first hurdle followed by getting a job, and putting myself out there as a confident and intelligent person. It was hard but it was worth it.

After all the explanation it is worth mentioning my key learnings from 2014

1. Believing ‘I can’ which is more important than someone else telling you ‘you can’.

2. Getting out of your comfort zone to try something new; definitely worth the experience.

3. Moving on from Facebook to facing yourself. If you think that line just sounded pathetic, you couldn’t be further away from the truth. If you cannot deal with yourself, you have bigger problems than you can imagine.

4. Solitude.

5. Quieting your mind. Amidst power struggles, society, decisions, expectations, first impressions, we forget to experience the moment and enjoy the ride.

And lastly, to answer today’s Daily Prompt…..

I do not know what growing up is all about. I see grown ups fighting over silly things like “he said she said”. I see them trying to mask their personality and pretend.They complicate life to a level that makes them come across as ‘stupid’. Have I ever felt that way? Perhaps! Would I be classified under that category…. NO!

Then there are smart grown ups who are calm, mature, understanding and concerned. Can I be classified as one of hem? I wish!!! But I am not all that perfect.

That leaves me as an in-betweener. I cannot be called a grown up because I never really did grow and calling me a kid would make me sound rather immature, which I am not.

To conclude, I would like you to picture you 2014 and leave a comment on what impacted you or where you find yourself. Are you an in-betweener?

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/all-grown-up/”>All Grown Up</a>

Day Twenty-Two: Uncovering Talents – The Mini Harmonica

I have been meaning to come up with a list of things I would like to accomplish in 2015. One of them was learning to play a musical instrument which according to me would be a guitar or something similar. But all that was sidelined when I found a mini harmonica that my boyfriend got from work one day. We used to blow into it and pretend to be playing a song.

Today however was different. I googled to see if it was an actual instrument and was surprised to find out that it actually was. It was also an easy one to play and so I decided to learn a tune. I picked When the Saints go Marching in – the Louis Armstrong version. It took me two hours straight but I managed to get out a tune. It would be really cool if you took a moment to listen to it. It is just a few seconds and actually sounds pretty cool.

Now I know this is cool but really crude. I still wanted to share with you the experience because it was so exciting. I promise to get better and have a more polished version available. Thank you so much for tuning in.

Day Twenty-One: The Christmas That Was

Mainstream Christmas festivities have always been synonymous with family and having it any other way would come across as odd, unfortunate and sometimes even unacceptable. But the irony of the season could not be more obvious. How many of us really want to spend Christmas with our extended families which we so painstakingly avoid for the rest of the year?

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A fraction of you may disagree with what I am about to say but the truth is most of us would love the opportunity to celebrate Christmas the way “we” think it ought to be celebrated. That can be anything from a family BBQ to a holiday in Istanbul to a quiet day in bed. However, not everyone of us can live the dream thanks to family commitments and sparing other’s feelings.

But I – after years of dealing with extended families and depressing gatherings – finally got to spend Christmas the way I wanted to and it was indeed the most wonderful time of the year. The morning was sunny and beautiful which enticed me to visit the park with a book and some coffee. After more than an hour of reading I lay in the grass with headphones shoved in my ears.

The warm sun brightened the white cotton clouds and added life to the green grass. The cool breeze got the branches above me to play peek-a-boo with he sun. The birds chirped and the dogs played while I lay in my beautiful grassy bed listening to Michael Bublé telling me to have a Merry Little Christmas. When I began to get hungry, I finally decided to head back home and into the kitchen where I cooked up a delicious tortellini pasta meal.

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To keep the the Christmas atmosphere strong, I decided to watch a Christmas movie followed by some new Christmas songs that I generally did not listen to. I then decided to end the day with stir-fried chicken with bachamel sauce mixed with mushroom, corn and rice. Before crashing in for the night I happened to be browsing the internet in search of articles that spoke about the ways in which people spent Christmas alone. What I found was an interesting list of things to do if you did spend Christmas alone. What was even more interesting was that I actually had done a few things on that list which made me feel quite accomplished.

I sat up reviewing my Christmas Day and it was a good feeling to know that I spent it the way I wanted to. Like I have mentioned previously, Christmas is all about the simplicity. However, mainstream Christmas celebrations are grand, sophisticated and mostly expensive occasions that revolve around materialistic pleasures coupled with the mandatory requirement for fantastic acting skills. My Christmas this time was one that made me realize that the park and all that came along with it was enough to light the Christmas Spirit within me.

To conclude, I would like to say that this Christmas was not just a fun day but also one filled with inspiration and hope. I saw things from a different perspective which has led me to focus on the New Year and new experiences that I can’t wait to be part of.

Day Twenty: My 2014 Christmas Hits

The top six songs that rocked my Christmas in no particular order…..

 1] This reminds me of shopping all the way!!!

2] Pure drunken happiness and laughter….

3] Think lazy afternoon (at home) or romantic evening (at the beach)

4] Oooooo that beautiful Irish accent!

5] This is AN AWESOME MIX!!!!!!

6] Hit PLAY and prance around the house