Almost A Normal Weekend

I was desolate when I saw the news on Friday: that the Notorious RBG, one of my heroes and a true legend, had passed away. Things are so uncertain now American friends of mine are starting to panic. I have no idea what the next few months will look like for me, a brown, immigrant woman witnessing the US’ social and political upheaval.

But this weekend brought a breath of fresh air and sunshine. Restaurants and salons have started to open up, and I’m seeing happier faces on the streets. I met up with two sets of friends for food over the weekend, and got my nails done. Being around people I love was wonderful, and reminded me all the amazing aspects of my life I used to love. The weather was sunny and perfect, and the air quality was so good that it was almost hard to remember the wildfires.

As we continue to move forward with this crazy year and a really murky future, I’m grateful I had a lovely weekend of laughter, good food, and loved ones. Oh, and my toenails are now an iridescent, shimmering teal. 🙂

Here’s to hoping there’s hope, here’s to love and laughter. Hope you are all staying safe and well! Much love.

Hello, Fall!

Only a week away, but the season already feels like it’s ended. I wore fall colors today (wine) to celebrate. AQI is 42 and green right now, I’m so grateful, relieved and happy to see that. Sadly, Portland is still in bad shape. Hoping it rains there soon to help.

Feeling peaceful and calm today, despite a hectic and frazzled morning. Hope you are all well!

AQI: 238

I can’t breathe properly, despite my air purifier. I’ve been paying attention to the threshold changes today, and I could really notice the difference from 160 to 238. I thought it was in the red all afternoon (176 when I’d last checked), but during a meeting I started feeling progressively more light headed and tired and mentally foggy. I checked right after, curious, and realized why I was feeling awful: the AQI is 238 right now.

Still feeling calm, which I’m grateful for. Also have amazing family and friends checking in and staying in touch, thank you all so much for staying connected. I’m so grateful for you and I love you.

My second purifier has been shipped, and will hopefully arrive soon. The one I’ve currently got running is maxed out as the air indoors isn’t really holding out.

Okay, I think I’m going to take a nap.

The Day We Lost The Sun, and Imagining Life On Mars

This was the view outside the window at 8 in the morning on a day the weather forecast had said would be warm and sunny.

Apparently, camera filters can’t capture how orange the sky is all over the Bay Area today, but you’ll just have to take our word for it. And there are articles and photos on SF Gate that are really beautiful. It’s 1:26 pm here, and it’s as dark as 6 in the morning or a little past sunset. We haven’t seen the sun all day and the sky started out a weird shade of brown. It has now graduated to brownish orange. Burnt sienna, maybe.

The smoke from all the wildfires have blocked the sun out today hammering home the impact of climate change and environmental damage. Maybe the plan to emigrate to Mars is unnecessary, as we seem to have brought it to our own planet. When I was a teenager, I used to imagine that I would move to Mars someday and establish a utopian, wonderful colony of humans.

I’m trying to appreciate how bizarre the day has been, and my inner teenager gets to pretend the move to Mars actually happened today. The AQI is still high for some weird reason that I’m deeply grateful for, but I’m definitely not opening any windows to let outside air in. Just like I wouldn’t on Mars or in space. 2020 has been such a weird one.

No idea what tomorrow will look like, but I’ve turned my lights off and have opened the blinds just to be able to marvel at the orange brown outside and the strangeness of the smoke-eclipsed sun. What a day.

Hello, Insomnia…

Not the first time I’ve found myself lying awake in bed unable to sleep recently, frustrated beyond measure partly at the negatives in my life, but mostly at not being able to unwind enough to get the sleep and rest I desperately need. This the first period in my life I’ve ever struggled with sleep like this. I’m a light sleeper so noises and lights will wake me up easily, and I need the temperature to be right as well, but I’m usually so tired that I can fall asleep really quickly.

My sense of humor still prevails (which I’m so thankful for!), but I’m still angry at people who continue to cause pain in my immediate life. I picked up Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive For Good, a few years ago. It’s a great book that provides practical, actionable tips on forgiveness as a practice. But, like good communication, forgiveness has to start with a commitment to let things go. 🙂 I’m not ready yet.

I want life to assert balance right now. I want Takers to suffer, and I want karma to slap wrongdoers upside the head. Today, I’m not in the mood for acceptance though that worked really well last week, haha. 🙂 Today, I want to see karma in action against those who crush folks below them without compassion. Today, I want to see people pay for the pain they have caused, both involuntarily and on purpose. Entitled, spoiled, bratty privileged people hurt because of their ignorance and callous lack of awareness, as much as they hurt to preserve their place on the totem pole. I want them to look at reality and understand it, develop a real knowledge and awareness of it. One way to do that is reactions that are equal to their actions. Did you lie to gain your wealth? I want you to lose it all and then some to make sure the point is made. Did you bully, hurt and steal ideas from people to get up the corporate ladder? I want you stuck in limbo for the rest of your life experiencing pain as a direct cause, and I want to see you learn and grow from that pain and realization.

I’ve watched amazing friends and family members suffer a lot unfairly in life. And I’ve watched terrible people make it and achieve their dreams. I’m a proactive, type A person, so part of my anger stems from the fact that I can’t teach anyone to do the “right” thing. I can’t change anyone, their evolution can only be driven by them. The best I can do is pay it forward. I’m lucky for what I have right now, maybe focus my energy on people who have less? I can try and help when I can’t right the wrongs in this world by getting angry. Acceptance and forgiveness are the best route to peace right now when so many things are out of my control.

Life is unfair. There’s no getting around it. But what about balance? Is that something I can hope for? What about accountability and consequences for bad actors?

Hello, calm. Writing helps me process emotions really well, so this was great. I’m yawning, so hopeful I’ll fall asleep as soon as I go back to bed. 🙂

Take care, peeps, hope you are all well. I’m rooting for you.

Happy Wednesday :)

I had a genuinely good day yesterday, and was happy. 🙂 Some of my work projects are winding down, I gave pointed, critical feedback to executives at work about some major work overload issues that were affecting the entire company. My feedback was (at least on the surface) received well, which was a good feeling.

I was also able to provide all the information needed for a new contact at a new branch we’re launching during a call, and could really see how much my knowledge about our product has grown. It was a really good feeling to be able to help them out with every question they had during the call without having to say, “let me get back to you on that one.”

Spent some time relaxing, singing and working on a new song after what felt like ages. Hoping for a peaceful end to the week, and so excited about the 3 day weekend!

Take care, peeps. I hope you are all staying safe and well!

Pathway To Peace Course

A close friend of mine suggested I do a writing course with her called “Pathway to Peace” a few weeks ago. It was a four week course, and this past week was the final week of the course. It was an amazing experience, and I turned a couple of the writing prompts into songs.

The final assignment was writing a sacred letter to your younger self. I had plenty to write, but here were the three most important points I walked away with for my past and future self:

  1. Maintain the belief that you are worthy. Everything in life is a process, and believing in your worth is not something I take for granted. But for me, it is essential and deserves time and effort.
  2. Prioritize your health as being critically important. I learned some tough lessons early, and ignoring what your body needs means you’re too broken to show up for the stuff that matters if you don’t listen. And by then it’s much harder, if even possible, to fix the problem.
  3. Be true to yourself. Cliche, but so true. Trying to force yourself to become someone else version of what’s right for you will leave you feeling empty and drained. I’m really flawed, but I also have good things to offer. If I ignore that completely, everyone will miss out on the good stuff. 🙂

Musings for a Saturday. The air finally cleared later today, and I’m grateful for it. I’m happy I can finally think clearly and don’t have a burning sensation in my throat. 🙂

Gratitude…

I went to get cavities refurbished at my dentist’s today. My dentist and the staff at their office are amazing. It was truly the highlight of my day, and I felt completely relaxed afterward. Weird way to start my two days off, but I was really grateful for the change and their kindness. It was a reminder of how many risks essential workers brave to provide services like health, food, and dental care, and I’m truly thankful for their bravery.

Work is still insane and I’m sad to say I’m working during my days off, but somehow my sense of calm has persisted despite a rushed morning. I’m also really grateful that I got a solid night’s sleep last night, and the air was clean when I walked over to my dental appointment. Small things. 🙂

I’m hoping to get to work on a new song that I finished writing a couple of weeks ago and wrap it up over the next couple of weeks! It’s been some time since I’ve released a new song, so I’m excited to finish it. It’s an interesting one, so requires a different way of thinking. I’m looking forward to pushing myself. 🙂

After the Funeral

“It’s the end of an era,” said Appa (my father) and my aunt separately when I reached out to them after my grandmother’s funeral. It truly feels that way. Today’s funeral was a really elegant and lovely ceremony with heartfelt speeches from my uncles and my aunt in Toronto. My grandparents moved there when I was a little girl because the largest cluster of their children was there. Growing up, they would split their time between my nuclear family, and our family in Canada. Her funeral was attended by people in Canada who were local, and attended virtually by people living across the US, India, and as far away as Australia.

I got to know them both well as a result. I’ve always admired my grandmother’s strong spirit and intelligence, her wit and her charm. It felt desolate and strange to see her shrunken body in the casket during the virtually streamed ceremony without her liveliness, warmth and personality. Hard to imagine they were the same person.

The funeral rites ended as they moved her to the crematorium. And then she was gone. We were left with our memories, tears, sense of loss and regrets. I can feel her spirit, and I know her love is always there for me to remember. But every time I think about it, I choke up and start crying.

I’m truly grateful that I have close family and friends to count on and reach out to right now. I’m really lucky that I have so many good, kind, loving and generous people in my life.

Here’s to the end of the journey of a remarkable woman, who had a very difficult life but persevered with a deep love of life and an amazing sense of humor. I never saw a trace of bitterness for any of the pain she had suffered, and I’m truly inspired by her strength.