Monday, May 29, 2017

A Letter to My Near-Teen

My dear darling D, 

As you are on the verge of becoming a teenager, I can't help but think about

- The baby that you were, the one who cried the loudest of all the babies in the hospital, but was also the most inquisitive and active one with the loveliest smile when you quietened down. You hated the act of going to sleep, and made me hate it wholeheartedly too, but also gave me a surprise by started to sleep through the night at 7 months. Now, it's the waking up in the mornings that's the problem :).

- The little bundle that was a terror to feed, whom I sang songs to and probably even had to do a dance or two just to get a few spoonfuls into your mouth, is now a completely non-picky eater who's always interested to know what the menu is for the next meal - Not completely sure what I did right there but I'm taking the credit for it ;).

- And the young lady you are turning out to be, taking on challenges and finding some times that you might even enjoy an activity that you weren't too keen on to begin with.

You turn 12 tomorrow.. I can't quite wrap my head around it.. but then I see you in front of me and I have to believe it's happening. My cute little baby has turned into a long-legged teenager, and one with strong opinions ;). You are so different from me in some ways, yet we are also a lot alike I like to think.

- You draw, and love to create something fresh. I can copy a picture (very well, I should add with no humility whatsoever) and the occasional zentangle fascinates me, but ask me to draw a tiger or a human face, for example, and I'm stuck. You on the other hand, seem to effortlessly draw anything from a birthday card to a nature scene for a school project.

- You write.. oh can you write! With the added support of a lovely and encouraging English teacher at school last year, your creative writing has just flourished. You read like crazy, sometimes to the exclusion of things like homework.. but then so did I at your age, so I know your writing talent doesn't stem from just that ;). I am really fascinated by the ideas that come out of your mind. For a recent A-Z challenge that many bloggers took up, you decided that you wanted to give it a try, and I was amazed by the short stories you came up with. 
* Waiting for her to finish the "Z" entry, and then wondering whether I should make that blog public.

- You imagine. Ok, this is probably the part I find toughest to handle as a parent. You do or say something, sometimes impulsively, and then later think about (in great detail) the impact it might have. Or you just worry about something that might probably never happen, because "What If?". I remember similar situations when I was young, but in your case, I think the possible results are like a complete story in your head so somehow bother you more. It is sometimes tough for me to put myself in your place to try and understand, but I try my best. I tell you "Life is not made of What Ifs".. but I'm guessing this is not something that you're going to just accept because I say it, and I hope you will learn, and gently, from experience.

- You share. A LOT. With me and with your Appa.. and it surprises me when you even tell me something that you know I might not approve of. I might sometimes react angrily, but then I immediately realize that it's more important that you come to me with these things. I end every such discussion with "I'm glad you told me.".. and I hope that's the memory that stays with you.. because not having this bond, this communication, with you is just not an option.

Here's wishing you always soar high my darling..
I am super proud of you, my dear "first" baby. Stay funny, stay imaginative, stay creative, stay YOU.

With lots of love,

Monday, March 27, 2017

2017: Fitness and Focus

3 months of 2017 have already gone by, and this post has been lying in my drafts much too long. Much too late for a resolution, but no harm in aiming at April for a fresh start right ;)?

Last year was my year of #fitbyforty and it felt like I got so much closer to my goal of getting fitter. 2017.. well, not so good so far. Too many small niggles with health and a lack of motivation. Every time I have a slip-up or a gap with working out like this, I can feel the stamina getting lower and it doesn't feel good.

We saw an elderly person in a motorized wheelchair the other day, and I had the following conversation with my 8-year-old athlete:

S: Amma, would you like to use one of those when you get old (he thought it would be like a cool new toy I suppose)
Me: (slightly aghast) No darling! I hope I can be walking around all by myself even when I'm quite old.
S: Oh ok (considering this new light thrown on his simple question)

S: So when you're a 100..
Me: 100?! I don't think I want to live that long baby!
S: Of course you must!
Me: But then you'll end up spending all your time looking after me!
S: That's ok. I'll just tell my teammates that I can only run important races, and will spend the rest of my time looking after you.

Me: (Reminding him that he'll be close to 70 by then, but he is sure he'll still be "racing" around then)

I can feel that as I enter my forties, I am having to work a lot harder to retain a decent level of fitness. I know that strength training is even more important now for bone health after this age. While weight has never been a major issue, there are definitely certain fat deposits that I would like to get rid of. I KNOW all this in my head, so I need do-able workout plans for the rest of this year which will help me be consistent.

This is it. I can feel it. My turning point. My Now or Never. If I don't get my act together and make it happen now, the downslide will begin. Bad knees, joints and other aches and pains will take over. I absolutely do not want to go there, and that will have to be motivation enough.

"Focus" is something I am beginning to think of as my Word of the Year. It definitely doesn't feel like "my" word yet, but it needs to be at least by the time the year ends ;). Not just in fitness, but in so many other parts of life too.

  1. For fitness, I'm going to start small. Aim at doing some form of exercise everyday - It maybe even just a 15 min walk on some days, but I need to set that schedule again and then build on it further. 
  2. Daily planning with the Bullet Journal is something that I have been trying for a while, but have not been consistent with. I even tried using the nicest of planners for motivation, but then I didn't have the heart to write in it too much ;). I am beginning to feel that a weekly format will work better for me, though some details might still need to be on a daily level. I am going to restart with this in April and see where it takes me. Maybe that elusive menu planning will finally make it into my life at last ;).
  3. Life just seems to get really busy with regular weekday and weekend activities and I need a reminder to take time out and explore more around Singapore, and of course as always - take more photos as well! Hoping to set a reminder and do something once a month at the very least , and ideally as a family. With school holidays coming up, there's no better time than April to start. Putting it down here is also good for accountability, so let's see how it goes.

Thanks for reading this far! If you have any fitness or planning tips for me based on your experience, do let me know in the comments.