Another New Year



Every new year I see people excited, making plans for the new year’s eve and goals for next year. I was a similar happy camper until my parents passed away. Now, on the last day of the year, first thought that comes to my mind is “Another year they will not be able to see”. In the next thought, I am reminded of my own mortality. The new year is part of my life and my initial thought only applies until I live. It feels a little scary to question ourselves – “Is this going to be the last year of my life?” Then a moment of courage immerges saying “If it is, I want to die with no regrets”.

So, this year I promise myself to have 365 days of happiness. I pledge to,

  1. Be more present in the current moment of life instead of technology.
  2. Concentrate more on positive moments/experiences of life so my brain can recollect them often instead of their evil twin :-).
  3. Improve contact with family and friends.

Not a big list but an important one to remember in this fast paced world.

HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR!

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End of another year


Another year has gone by and a new one is beginning in few hours. The first thing that comes to my mind every year end is that my parents won’t be able to see it. Every new movie that comes out and makes me laugh, touches my heart or just makes me happy, I feel my parents missed seeing that movie. When my daughter says a new word, sings, dances or does anything new, I feel they missed seeing their grand daughter and their daughter (a mom now) grow up. Then, a hard thought hits me – “My time is running out” and my mind goes through a flashback of all the moments that I wasted with negative emotions and energy during the whole year. The thought that follows is that I missed taking care of my health during the year and next year health should be my focus. And that’s how all the new year resolutions start building up. As I go through a list of new year resolutions I try to remember if they were on my list last year but I don’t seem to remember if I made any resolutions for the year that just ended. Finally, I decide not to make any resolutions. 

But, somehow my mind cannot settle for a new year without resolutions. So, this year my resolution is going to be  – “Just relax, be happy, no negativity”. Hopefully, I can make this into a habit and remove it from the list altogether 😄.

What goes through your mind at the end and start of a year?

Connected


A creative mind never sleeps. Every moment, it keeps thinking of ways to capture, create and innovate. A photographer’s mind wants to capture all that their eyes see transforming it into pictures that live forever. A painter takes blank canvas and covers it with breathtaking beauty. An artist is connected to creativity through passion.

  Above picture was taken at the cog railway station in North Conway, NH. I am adding this picture for the daily photo challenge of “Connected” because riding the wooden train with steam engine made me feel connected to travel in 18th century.

Pottery


I can’t seem to recollect how I got into pottery. If I think hard, it was boredom that lead to my search for a hobby class where I could meet people and learn something creative. I used to work from home you see. The memory seems to be coming back as I type this post. Aah yes, it was one of the photography pages on Facebook that got me interested in pottery. A photographer I follow had taken shots of pottery pieces by an upcoming artist and they were gorgeous. So, I googled pottery and found Lincoln Square Pottery Studio in Irving park, IL.

At first I wasn’t sure if I would like pottery. So, I tried two workshops one on hand building and another on wheel throwing. I liked wheel throwing although it’s more hard work and joined the 8 week course on basics of wheel throwing.

As I learnt more and created new pieces of earthenware, I fell in love with pottery and it’s the closest I have come to meditating. The wheel’s circular motion is very soothing. Also, you need to give full attention to molding the piece in front of you. It’s not easy but the whole activity is calming. Of course for some people wheel throwing can be frustrating as a wrong move can ruin all your hard work. But if you work with a tranquil mind the end result is satisfying. You feel like a monk 😊. Well at least I felt like one. Happy and peaceful.

Below are some of my pottery creations,

Unfinished tea glass

Unfinished tea glass

Finished piece

Tea glass

Unfinished Pitcher

Unfinished Pitcher

Pitcher

Pitcher

Hand built Piggy Bank

Hand built Piggy Bank (unfinished)

Piggy bank

Piggy bank

Mortar and Pestal

Mortar and Pestal

Small Pot and Bowl

Small Pot and Bowl

Two Chinese tea cups, two pitcher lids and one  large plate

Two Asian tea cups, two pitcher lids and one large plate

Priorities


We had a Bollywood movie being filmed in Chicago downtown last year. The film was scheduled to shoot for 3-4 months in summer within 5 miles of my apartment. Every day I would think of going to watch the filming at 3pm but would never get up from my home office desk. Eventually, the crew went back home and I was left thinking why I did not go. Upon talking to my brother, he pointed out the primary reason being it was not on my priority list. That was the first time I thought of personal priorities. He was right. Which made me think of other things that I had been neglecting. Like skipping exercise, cleaning the house or postponing laundry etc. Somehow, I never prioritize personal things. But now that I realize the culprit behind not finishing my personal to dos, I try not to procrastinate anymore. Still there are days when I feel lazy to return phone calls or go to the gym. Another fact of life, you can keep on improving. Isn’t it so? 🙂

Surprisingly, one afternoon while I was trying to locate a store, I reached the film set. No shooting was going on, no star cast but I took the picture below.

Set of Dhoom 3 in Chicago downtown

Set of Dhoom 3 in Chicago downtown

The Gateway Arch


I made a work visit to St. Louis this past week. Since, we finished our tasks earlier, we decided to go for site seeing. The first thing you notice while driving towards St. Louis downtown is this giant gate like metallic structure called “The Gateway Arch”. In olden times this was also referred to as the gateway to the west. Standing at the middle of the Arch, admiring it, reminded me of the movie star gate where you cross the gateway & enter a different planet.

Alongside the mighty Mississippi, accompanied by a park, the Arch is a great summer picnic spot. I took the below picture experimenting a shot in the direction of sunlight. Mid day photography is not so bad after all.

Enjoy your weekend!

A Blogger without Inspiration


For almost two weeks, I did not click, think or write. I spent my time with friends, learning to swim, reading, cooking and, of course, working. My mind wandered back to this blog & I started pondering what would be the topic of my next post. To my surprise, I couldn’t think of any. My IT self seemed normal and new ideas kept on flowing. But, what happened to the blogger? She seemed to be sulking, sitting on the corner of a couch. Inspiration had gone poof. Suddenly, a thunderous roar on a mundane day brought forth her curiosity. Seeing the aircraft hovering over the apartment, she unpacked her camera and started clicking. Muse and inspiration had returned to her. She was a happy blogger again :-).

Moral of the story – Do not keep thinking. Start clicking, drawing, writing or whatever it is you do and it will all come back to you.

And if you are in Chicago, do not forget to watch the Air & Water show this weekend. Njoy!