Meandering back to the point - the New Year is here, in case you hadn't noticed and a Happy one to you. Things have been a little crazy around here, but a quick round-up in no particular order:
- At the current moment, I've just finished putting one of the twins to bed and young Peanut has just finished practising her piano. It's about 10 p.m. already but when I remembered that I hadn't seen her play, I sent her off to practice for a bit. I've already taught her 'Every day you don't play is a day you're getting worse.' Some people may say I'm too strict about this stuff, but her piano, which she started in Feb of last year, is progressing very well. She just gave her Initial Grade examination, and we're awaiting the results eagerly. Well, I am, she couldn't care less, which is about right for a six year old. In this one matter, I am pretty Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother sorts. She is now sitting next to me reading some Famous Five book about Ghost Trains - her speed-reading amazes Vijay, and she's already read way more books than him. True Story. The progress with her reading and her piano are actually two big highlights of 2013 in the Lal-Sharma household.
- As far as the men in our lives go, they are all doing pretty good. Quick summary:
* Vijay has most of last year blaming his lack of sports shoes for his lack of exercise. Of course, every time we went shoe-shopping, he ended up rejecting all of the 'Options' for various reasons. The good news is that after an agonising ten days of deliberation and checking of Flipkart/Jabong/Myntra, he has finally purchased a pair of shoes that he seems satisfied with, although he says they looked better on the website ( Honey, I'm pretty sure this is shot by some guy whose job it is to make them look really good..you know like those Food shots by what are they called, Food Photologists or whatever). Anyway, now I'm waiting to see when he actually does start the jogging. Will update in 2015 on this.
* Pickle and Papad are now three and a half. They are an absolute riot, and I can't imagine two people who could possibly be having more fun. They are the best of friends and yet of course, they fight over absolutely everything. I'm happy to report that their English is now improving and I get to hear statements like 'Mama, I love you sho much.' This fills my heart with joy, even though the next sentence is an innocent 'Now I can watch da TV?' They are always up to something or the other, often causing the otherwise sedate Peanut to lose it and regress to a 3-year old state herself -and basically, the advantage of having three children is that it's a real party all the time, and play dates are really optional - usually exercised when some poor unsuspecting parent invites all three of them over. I send them out gladly, chuckling to myself, pretty sure the invitation will not be repeated, but determined to enjoy the peace and quiet at home for a while.
- And as for me. Well, a lot has been going on. Firstly, there is the new book, Sorting Out Sid. The book is on pre-order right now (with a fabulous offer so I am really encouraging everyone who intends to pick up a copy not to wait till launch and get it right here at this link quickly.) I'm feeling the excitement all over again, since it's now a year and a half since the launch of Just Married, Please Excuse. In the meantime, this month I've started work on a third book - I'm just going with the flow and trying not to think too much about it, so let's see where that goes
Apart from the writing, I've been doing another couple of things. December was the month where I taught a month-long marketing course for the first time, at Hindustan Times Bridge School of Management. It was an interesting experience, but took up a lot more time than I had anticipated so I'm taking a break from that as of now. I also started teaching Zumba at my local community and have decided to increase from two to three classes a week. That's fun and the best part is that it keeps me fit, and is scheduled in the mornings so it doesn't interfere with other stuff during the day. I continue to support the Happy School, Gurgaon and just had the most brilliant time playing Santa to my Grade 2 students. I wish I could do more, but as of now, the little bit of story-telling I do on Saturdays is all I can manage, and it's been over a year with them so that's good.
I am still in the process of figuring out what to do when I grow up, of course, but for now there's a book launch, the family, another book being written and plenty of other stuff that's going on.
In the meantime, there's a resolution regarding this blog. I've kept this blog going for the last ...wow, 7 years now, November 2006 was when I started. A lot has changed over the years -many of the mommy bloggers I used to read are now Facebook friends; my Link list got really outdated because many bloggers on it stopped blogging regularly. The kind of interaction that used to happen in the comments are no longer happening, even though I know there are hundreds of page views each day. I'm therefore trying to figure out what to do with this space. So here's a special couple of requests to you guys:
- Delurk on this post. Please. Tell me about yourself. And tell me about what you'd like to see more of on this blog in 2014, assuming I manage to blog at least once a week. Is it stuff around married life? Or stories about the kids? Is it stuff around writing and the process of writing? Is it something else that you'd like to know about? Look...while blogging is about self-expression, there's very clearly a motivation to continue writing in a public space if you know what your readers like. So for once, get out of the Facebook-commenting mode and comment here.
- Help me get to the other blogs and bloggers you like. I'm trying to rediscover the community. Leave a link to the blogs you enjoy, and of course, your own. As I said, my earlier circle of bloggers has become a lot less regular - direct me to ones you think I'd like, for whatever reason.
That's it. These are my two requests. And with this, I hope to take my blog in a whole new direction with more regularity and a specific purpose in 2014.
And yes...thanks for sticking around. Let me assure you, there's a lot more to come.
This is me wishing you a Happy, Productive 2014. I hope your plans fructify and your wishes come true.