L for Life (with an introvert) #AtoZChallenge


When I was young I had a picture of the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. It wasn’t tall, dark and handsome but someone with a sense of humor, outgoing, fun with a lot of friends and an active social life. I laugh when I think of it now. Because I am married to someone quite the opposite and I wouldn’t want to change it at any cost.

I heard on the radio recently a team trying to help a girl trying to make a decision. Why? Because she is in a relationship with a guy who is awesome, great, amazing but only to her. He isn’t a fan of social interactions. While he struggles to accept invitations, she is anxious as to how people will perceive him. If he will make an impression, what if he doesn’t talk , what if they don’t like him. etc. I was able to relate only too much with this lady. So she was seriously contemplating on if she wants to go ahead with this relationship. Not because of love, because she was concerned if he was going to feel hurt or if their relationship might suffer in the coming years. My heart went out for this girl because I completely understood what she was going through.

...but that doesn't mean they hate everyone.

The truth is I didn’t realize it until I was quite deep in the relationship. We bonded, spoke for hours, have pulled all-nighters just talking on the phone, he had a great sense of humor, extremely wise and knew the right things to say to a girl. As we grew closer I got to know the “dark side” as I call it. I realized he is a charmer with people he likes to spend time with, which at that time was just me (and also how much energy was sucked out of him to interact just with me).

I am an ambivert with more extrovert traits. And I love people. I like talking, spending time, introduce myself to strangers, know shopkeepers by their first name, keep finding ways to engage myself with more people. And here I have someone who has to be coaxed to interact with anyone other than the bare minimum. I used to be so anxious and doubtful as the woman on the radio. Worry about making impressions, what my friends or family would think of him. I did face awkward questions of how different he was from me. But what amazed me was he didn’t care about what anyone thought.

I also realized I didn’t really have (or understand) my introverted friends. So being my boyfriend as I observed more I was also as insensitive as many others. Questioning his solitude and silence. And so confused over how he can be happy being alone while I cribbed about it every chance I got. How staying home, quiet and low-key was better than going on a trip with friends. How someone can be rude and read at a restaurant instead of talking to the person right in front of him. Until I started reading more and discussing more about it.

We have grown to love and accept each other as who we are. I love being the center of attention and point of contact for everyone in both our lives while he is happy to be low-key and in the background with minimal interactions. I think we both have days where I am PO’ed because I hardly see him even though we live in the same house and he has a wife who is over-stimulated and active and talks more than he could handle and accepts invitations for social gatherings on his behalf (which he definitely isn’t happy about) but we are learning to live with each other 🙂

Do let me know your experiences and thoughts on this topic 🙂

It just means that getting to know them takes time.

J for Jewelry-Making #AtoZChallenge

A hobby I had learnt a couple of years ago and that I decided to pursue yet again with time in my hands now. Jewelry making or beading in my case is a very soothing hobby that taps your creative side. It involves thought, precision, and focus and can be compared to meditation. And in the end, if done right you will have beautiful jewelry to go with your outfits and immense satisfaction of having done something productive.

Continue Reading

I for Instant Pot #AtoZChallenge

I am back with my Kitchen references. Instant Pot – have you heard of it? I myself did only a few months ago. And little did I realize that is the rage now.

Instant Pot is the latest 3rd Generation Programmable Pressure Cooker designed by Canadians with the objectives of being Safe, Convenient and Dependable. It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces9saves lot of space too!) nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion.

Like many many others​ I absolutely LOVEE it! For a brand new person haviyher own kitchen, I had my concerns and the top most were Pressure Cooker and Frying oil. I am not a big fan of both. Instant Pot is a boon for someone like me because it is an electric rice cooker, crockpot, slow cooker, steamer all rolled into one. It is an electronic pressure cooker. When we set up our new apartment this is the only other electronic kitchen gadget we bought other than the coffee maker and it is definitely worth it (saves lot of space too!!) 

Indian cooking involves a lot of high-pressure cooking and absent-mindedness is not something you can have when you cook. Safety is always a concern but more so with pressure cookers, atleast for me.

Other than the safety aspect I love how well things are cooked in a short period of time. Incase of stove top cooking I have to keep watching and have had days where something is under-cooked or over-cooked, I have not had that happen with Instant Pot – all you need to do is research the proper cooking times and set it.

So here you go, my endorsement and a sole post dedicated to Instant Pot, do look it up and let me know of your questions or thoughts in the comments.

G for God? #AtoZChallenge

If you have been following my blog you might remember my posts on being agnostic and my thoughts on how I would want to connect the culture and traditions in my life (On traditions to carry forward..), in a way that makes sense in the present day. When we moved in together, one of the things I noticed was people around us questioning more about our faith and the display of it. Though I was taken aback by how the questions were so direct, I also realized this isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Shouldn’t one’s faith be personal and weren’t we all taught to be secular and inclusive regardless of one’s beliefs or the lack of it?

As I continue to celebrate and create traditions in my own home, I am sure I will write more. Below is a picture of one of the first things I added in my home that represents our culture. The famous Ganesh – Elephant God.

I have been trying to buy from local artists. This one was done by someone local and who was sweet enough to paint in any color I wanted. I feel like this is already bringing in some positive vibes at home 🙂 

F for Fiction #AtoZChallenge

Some fiction (kind of)  for the day!

“What do you want to do?” he asked.

They were newly-wed and she had recently moved in with him to a new city. They were having a conversation about her future plans.

“Hmmm… the boots in my closet” she replied, deep in thought.

“Huh? What?” She could see him taken aback and look at her confused.

“I just realized that every boot in there is mine.”

“Yeah..I can’t wear them.” 

No, I mean they were bought by me.”

“Yeah… some were probably impulse buys too.”

She had realized that every boot in there was part of her retail therapy. On days when loneliness or bad mood hit her, she would fight it by buying boots. She was far from being sucked into consumerism but boots …

Ah! Boots were her weakness. 

Those boots also signified her financial freedom and independent decision making that she immensely enjoyed for many years now. She had the same independence even now, but self-respect stopped her from making any purchases for pleasure from another person’s earnings, even though it was her beloved husband.

“So… what have you decided?” he asked.

“I am going to explore the new city and find work as soon as possible” she replied, looking at her boots.

E for Equanimity #AtoZChallenge

Equanimity – Such a beautiful word and definition. This is one of my favorite words at this time and a way of life I hope for. I first got familiarized with this word in my yoga class. My yoga guru would pray for us to attain equanimity at the end of every class. Happiness, contentment used to be my words and not equanimity. Over time I have realized happiness is not my word. 

Happiness isn’t as good as what we think and probably not what we should be chasing. Life isn’t filled with happy moments. We rather need to develop an attitude to deal with what life throws at us. A friend of mine once told me how something happened in her life, which gave her immense happiness that she didn’t know how to handle it. She ended up quietening down, isolated herself from everyone for a few hours  and that made a huge impact on her life. That is when she reached her “equanimity” moment. I have read the same about people dealing similarly with grief. 

In the last few months I have increasingly been conscious about this. Any change in life has it’s effects. The same is with uprooting yourself to be with your loved one. As much as it gave me happiness, I have also had moments of uncertainty, sadness, anger, self-doubt, expectation from the other person ( “I moved for you”) moments, loneliness in the new place etc. As you read my posts or you follow me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/zanyajan) you can observe how I have been overcoming and dealing with this change and these emotions. 

So this is a work in progress and I hope to be mindful about dealing with various moments of life. 

Let me know your take on it 🙂 
 

D for Dosa #AtoZChallenge

D

As you can guess.. FOOD is going to play a major role in this challenge. As I assume for many stay-at-home spouses I spend a considerable amount of time cooking as opposed to five months ago where I never had to cook (I had a nice Indian lady who cooked and provided food every week..sigh!). Anyway.. one of the dishes I make on a regular basis is DOSA, rice & lentil pancake made from fermented batter. Continue Reading