August is my birthday month and I look forward to it with much anticipation. In my head I believe that August must turn out perfect. But the August of 2018 proved to be a mixed bag of surprises. Some great, and some not so great. There were challenges galore, but the month was also dotted with exceptional blessings.
2018 has been a year of challenges, new lessons learned and some brilliant achievements. August resonated with all these characters.
Yes, a rendezvous with the Mum in My Daughter’s Mum, Natasha Badhwar was the cherry on my birthday cake. I finally managed to meet my name sake Natasha Badhwar, author, columnist and super Mum; this August, after several jinxed attempts.
Spent a precious evening imbibing some powerful life lessons at her workshop. These included lessons in self-love, self empathy, facing ones fears squarely in the eye, writing them out and amalgamating our creative desires with our fears.
As this soulful Saturday evening unfolded, we cooled our heels a little more, and lent our ears to Natasha’s precious nuggets of wisdom on writing and life.
Natasha’s words resonated and like how. Met some lovely friends at the event and returned home all gung-ho. What a great start to the month, I say!
The DH and I took a trip to our favourite South India. A tryst with a hundred-fifty year old coffee plantation, Balur, at Chikmagalur followed by a very rainy vacation at Coorg. Our stop-over back and forth at Banglore was splendid redefined. Catch up with some very dear friends, watching Mamma Mia Here We Come Again that I totally loved, and meeting my lovely blogging partner Esha.
The two days at Balur were surreal; spent walking around the coffee plantation, watching the rains merge with the mountains, bonding with an adorable four-legged girl, digging into sumptuous home-made South Indian fare, sleeping at odd hours and catching up on our reading. The place had a certain fairy tale like charm.
Coorg on the other hand was way too wet and rainy. We managed to get away from Coorg on time, as just after we left the floods lashed Madikeri. We cut short our stay by a day and left for Bangalore. Though the DH wasn’t very happy with my decision and felt I was playing spoil sport. I had also dissuaded him from taking a trek in the wet weather. I’m grateful better sense prevailed upon me and we left on time.
My health took a bit of a lashing this August, for some weird odd-reason; soon after we returned from our vacation. My sinus flared back with vengeance after two long years and I was nursing a headache for over two weeks. And also an infection of sorts. I took two courses of antibiotics. A wrong decision totally and I felt completely washed out thereafter. Started getting car sick, dizzy and felt sleepy and weak all the time. Thankfully around my birthday things started getting better, and I got my much-needed pick me up.
My work-out routine took a total back seat, though I did sign up for Yoga, but the niggling knee pain came back to haunt me. I’ve started physiotherapy finally this September, after procrastinating for more than a year and a half, since I hurt my knee from a fall while cycling. I’m hoping I can get back to my fitness regime soonest. Yes, I’m feeling better. No headaches and infection. But let’s hope my physiotherapist gives me a thumbs up to work out soon. Meanwhile, some reiki, chakra healing and salt baths also helped me regain my energy. Thanks to a friend, Nisha who sent reiki for two days and helped me get back on track. I also did self-healing and chakra healing. A reminder that I should use my reiki knowledge and do my healing regularly, not when things go awry.
My brother’s health suffered this month too and we got a bit of a scare. We spent three stressful days at the hospital running a battery of tests. But thanks to my Buddhist practise, I challenged to chant and negate the obstacle. My prayer group, Connect Ticket also supported us by praying for him. He is on the mend now after being given a diagnosis. Taking his medicines, eating a lot more healthier and living life king size, like he always does. Amen to his good health!
The birthday was delicious to say the least. My girlie gang, Preeti and Rohina took me out for a pre-birthday walk and breakfast. They errr! “surprised” me at midnight (as if I wasn’t expecting them!) with balloons, cake, and gifts and we sat yapping till the wee hours of the morning. Birthday lunch was with my precious family. My Father dear Father flew in a day before, to bring in my D-day. My brother was also in town and we spent a beautiful afternoon amidst laughter, bonhomie and sumptuous food. I dug into my favourite eel on rice, and liberal doses of sushi.
My twenty year old girl baked me a lovely lemon drizzle cake and the ten year-old got me a beautiful rose plant and made a pretty card. Got some great gifts too, including two bags, books and lots of love and innumerable messages and calls from near and dear ones.
The DH made it special by always being there. Though I got a tad over ambitious and decided to host a little party for three couples at home. I was in the kitchen most of the time and was totally knackered at the end of the bash. It had been a hectic few days before the birthday with the hospital visits and a few late nights thrown in. And I need my eight hours of sleep, without which I’m a zombie. But that said, it was a birthday that I am truly grateful for.
Festival with The Family:
Rakshbandhan day was heart-warming; spent at my in-laws place in Noida, with sister-in-law, cousins, my father, the DH, and the girls and oh! how could I forget our two furry girls as well.
Ma-in-law had put together a drool worthy spread. It was a splendid afternoon bonding, laughing and cherishing the beautiful moments of togetherness.
This August the ten-year-old found these green-horned caterpillars in our Gardenia plant and took them in. She watched them grow into big fat caterpillars, followed by their pupae stage and then they eventually emerged out of their cocoon, as beautiful green moth. I’m so glad that even though we live in a city, we live in the midst of a verdant, lush locale. So thankful that the ten-year old gets to indulge in these nature learning exercises. She even took in a few tadpoles, but then later released them. She also brought home a few wood caterpillars that actually look like twigs. I’d never seen these before. Such fascinating creations! Only by our Mother Earth, I tell you.
More recently we upgraded our fish bowl to a feet long aquarium. It homes four tiger fish, six neon tetras and one crocodile fish. The ten-year-old spends her time feeding them and watching them grow. She tells me one of the tetras is having babies soon.
August was indeed a fascinating month peppered with many blessings, challenges, yet life’s valuable lessons and gifts. I’m so grateful to have lived through these treasured moments of the month.
Till we meet again for the September Gratitude Circle, Adios Amigos! Have a stunning September.