Gratitude List

#Gratitude: Adjusting to a new normal has become the normal

” Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” – Morticia Addams

I cannot even recall what day is it of the lock down; its been almost two months of it, I guess. While March felt like a shorter month due to the lock down, April stretched on into nothingness endlessly. I have been very listless and bored this entire month. No amount of pep talk pushed me to stay consistent with a workout routine, read books or even stay online. Last week of April saw plenty of messages and calls from friends asking if I was okay? My online presence sure is strong as most blamed my lack of tweets/insta posts for cause of worry. I can just say that I am superbly grateful for the concern and being in the thoughts of so many friends.

I guess that’s what has prompted me to be back at my desk to write out a Gratitude post for a not so normal April. And just like that all the good intentions went out of the window and this post stayed put in the drafts tray.

Dusting my blog now that June is here and will combine April and May gratitude into one post. But I am warning you that its going to be mostly about some kitchen endeavors and a whole lot of binge watching movies 🙂

I have attempted to find my silver lining in these cloud filled months. But will apologize in advance for the self pity that I have been indulging in these days.

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Gratitude- April 2020 - normal- lock down- grateful

I have been suffering from the heat and a lethargy of the mind all of April & May. I was so low on motivation to do anything other than lie in bed and watch the Gulmohars swirl down from the trees outside my window. But on the normal side, I let myself be and didn’t feel guilty or berate myself over it. I noticed parrots binging on the Gulmohars and ended up clicking them one day.

So much of me has suffered in this period. I burnt most of my plants to death as I couldn’t be bothered to water them. I was just so grateful that I had given away more than 50% of my planters in February in a fit of de-cluttering my balconies. Haven’t planted anything new since two months now but I have been enjoying the curry leaves from the balcony and am grateful to this hardy plant for putting up with my moodiness.

I ended up eating a tonne of junk as cooking was something that defied me daily. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I am missing ordering out. But I did manage a few home cooked foods and even made crackers, namkeen, cake and other stuff to ensure I don’t eat store bought junk much. I also ended up saving so much money in these past two months as I haven’t been ordering out at all. Made me realize just how extravagant I have been with money and health in past years.

” Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Aesop

Not wanting to step out for groceries, led to a whole lot of fresh food being wasted as I over bought stuff and it perished. Temperatures here had touched 46 degrees Celsius, rendering the poor air-conditioner ineffective like anything. Then I realized that I had a roof over my head with cool air in the room and cooler water in the fridge, even as people died on the roads to get home. And all the heartache melted into my new normal.

Thanks to the lock down, I was not able to step out for my walks and within a month I was back to a flabby self. You cannot imagine the loathing on that account. I tried to be motivated by so many of my wonderful blogger friends who were posting such amazing updates and pics of their fitness regime. Finally I took charge and signed up for yoga sessions on Zoom and though haven’t been regular; am happy to note that my body is back to feeling pretty normal now.

” This is a wonderful day. I have never seen it before.” – Maya Angelou

My reading slumped to nil as I just couldn’t be bothered to pick a book. I tried listening to books on Audible, but that too was a disaster. I managed to find some interesting content on Netflix  which kept me glued to the idiot box. So will heartily recommend these movies to make you smile, feel mushy and enjoy the humorous bits.

  • Woman in Gold is a gorgeous tale from the World War era about how the Nazis stole/violated precious art pieces owned by the Jews. This one is based out of Austria and tells of a true tale of how a survivor fights for her family legacy to be back with her. Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds are amazing in this.
  • Our Souls at Night is a sweet tale of elderly love between Jane Fonda n Robert Redford who are neighbors and decide to sleep together ( in the strictest sense ) to cure the loneliness that hits them at night.
  • The Fundamentals of Caring turned out to be such a sweet n hilarious comedy about a very sensitive topic of being a caregiver Brilliantly enacted.
  •  Reese Witherspoon in ” Home Again” is about a newly separated 40 yr old mom of two moves back home only to find herself enmeshed in a romance with a 27 yr old who along with his younger brother and friend, ends up being her house guests. 
  • Rewrite starring Hugh Grant n Marissa Tomei is an easy breezy watch A faded jaded hollywood writer takes to teaching a class in an obscure university where he picks up his class based on their looks Witty, warm and very real.
  • Watched Five Flights Up staring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton – a soft gentle tale of mature love with some awesome reminders thrown in.

” Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. ” – Zig Ziglar

All the mental lethargy meant that I stopped writing and the blog was ignored for all this time. On the bright side, I found out that my blog has been selected to be featured in the list of Best Indian Blogs for the year 2020. I think this is three years in a row that this streak has continued and I am so grateful for this.

I have been loathing the housework and it has simply overwhelmed my lethargic self. If you step into my home, you will see what I mean by it. I used to be such a neatness freak but without the help, am coping very badly on this front. Finally managed to get the Gala long handle mop machine and am now attempting to clean the house on alternate days. I have been keeping in touch with my maid weekly and been paying her monthly salary, despite her protests.

“I love those who can smile in trouble…”― Leonardo da Vinci

Am slowly but steadily on the mend and am focusing on getting back onto the healthy eating, sleeping and reading bits. I have picked up a new book to read from my TBR and have also engaged in a bookish play in Instagram as initiated by a fellow blogger. Hoping this will motivate me to be more active on social media and keep me hooked to take new pictures daily.

This new normal is here to stay and we need to re-align our priorities with the present situation. The lock down was a test of our patience and the opening up is the test of our strengths now. Hopefully common sense will prevail and we will get used to all the restrictions and restraints for our own good.

How have you been coping in this lock down? What have been your challenges? What are your tricks and tips? I would love to hear about it all from your guys; so feel free to share them with me.

Joining up with Vidya for the Gratitude Circle Linky


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You can catch my previous Gratitude post here

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18 thoughts on “#Gratitude: Adjusting to a new normal has become the normal

  1. Ah Shalz, I’m sorry it’s been tough. I think the one day at a time, one thing at a time approach is the best we can do in these times. My first month was just focussed on work and watching Netflix. Exercise then became a priority, then reading, and writing only came back in the last month. Be kind to yourself x Always here for a chat too

    1. I can totally understand that it can get tough. And it’s ok to just not feel 100 percent all the time. These are different times, something most of us has never gone through. But like always, we will see better times too. Enjoy your movies. Glad you took up yoga sessions. Exercise and yoga are really helping me to not feel overwhelmed all the time. Big hugs and love to you.

      1. Thanks for stopping by Raji- it’s amazing how connected it makes me feel, just to read a comment on my blog. We haven’t met but I can feel the love and am grateful for the friendship.

        Yes we shall overcome and when this is over, we will talk about it like we do about the Great Depression.

        I think not venturing out has made me feel abnormal and the days are just blurring away. Lost count of how many birthdays I forgot in past three months.

        Yoga was good for me too and now I have to get back to it as that was a one month class I had joined but didn’t enjoy it as much. So not signed up again and am looking at other options now.

    2. Thanks so much Sanchie-I love our little chat sessions on WA. Its awesome to be connected, especially in these times. I am trying to take it one day at a time only. Otherwise I would seriously just go mad!! I am trying to bring back one thing at a time in my schedule and stick to them. Hugs XOXO

  2. Where are the pictures of those parrots? Insta? I think staying in all the time is sometimes making us feel that we are doing a lot and sometimes that we are not doing enough. I’m sure all of us are doing everything in its bestest possible way, Shalini. The situation is a little upsetting.
    Kudos on the new yoga class. Don’t force it. Give it time. You will find your flow. Things will be better soon. I, too, gained weight, though I was doing my yoga sessions and walk. I have no idea what’s happening. Maybe, my anemia is kicking in again. Have to go for a blood test. But considering how reckless many out there are, I am not risking going to a clinic at this point of time.
    Those are great recommendations, but only half of them are available in the US. 🙂
    Take care, Shalz! It’s okay to take a break. You should see my house and the things I think at times. All I have is a faith that universe will take care of us. 🙂 <3

    1. Thanks so much Vini – I think I am back on track as I have had the energy to rant 😉

      Honestly this cooped up inside feeling is indeed verg jarring. No ways can it be called a vacation at all.

      I still haven’t called the maid and will probably hang in there for another month before taking the call. Though I am just hating the housework and am so fed up of it. This is when I am a single person. Wonder how families are coping up with this.

      I hope you do get to watch some of these movies – they took my mind off so much and have such awesome actors in them. Simply told but brilliantly enacted movies.

      The parrots are on Twitter and am tagging you on that tweet. Take care

  3. Dearest Shalz, oh how you were missed! <3

    First of all, calm down. There is no need for you to do everything or anything. This is a pandemic, there is unrest and uncertainty everywhere. All we can do is survive. Eating junk, not working out, not cleaning, not reading and whatever is it that helps us do it we should! Don't feel guilty about it at all.

    I've slowly got used to the new normal. What is bothering me now is the racism in the world and the natural disasters coming one after the other.

    I hope at least some things settle down soon.

    Lots of love! <3

    1. First of all a huge virtual hug to you for so much love Somz – you are one of those peeps in my life for whom I sing the song ” tera mujhse hai pehley ka nata koi” Muaaaah !!!

      I hear you about the guilt and just simply coping and trust me that’s what it’s boiled down for me now

      I think I needed the time out and now am a little back on the track with two fresh posts on the blog, yoga practice and back to cooking regularly- just need to get my sleep cycle back now

      THnaks for the support, it’s much needed and valued

  4. Firstly, let me show solidarity in the aspect of ‘loathing housework’. We are in the same boat sister. I am also immensely missing ‘ordering out’ especially my evening dose of ‘panipuri’. I am sorry about the plants, but my plants are also not in good shape either. I am so grateful for the Netflix list. If I get time, will surely watch them. Take care, good days are coming soon. Hang on tight.

    1. Thanks Balaka – this means a lot to me. I am very grateful for all the positive messages I got on this post. It’s good to know I am not alone with this feeling.

      I hope you do get to watch them all as they are all pretty good and we’re a great time pass too.

      Hopefully saner times will return soon and bring loads of panipuri with them 🙂

  5. I hear you, Shalini. It wasn’t an easy time. You were not alone in the dumps in the early part of the lockdown. If I were to be close to you, I would have hugged you and shed bucket loads of tears. Yet, I cannot since the need for social distancing has not disappeared. The heat in the 46 degrees will render anyone lethargic, not wanting to do anything. Many a time, gratitude comes from the smallest of things like it was the spotting of parrots in the Gulmohar tree for you. Your collage of the dishes are mouth-watering especially the poori-chana-halwa. I am so pathetic at cooking that all I can do is dream about them. From your Netflix recommendations, I have seen Our Souls at Night (I read the book after watching the movie. It was good too. There are variattions between the book and the movie.) and Home Alone. I couldn’t find the movies Rewrite and Watched Five Flights up on Netflix. I have a Netflix recommendation for you if you like – Unorthodox. It is a story of struggle of a 19-year-old Jewish girl in an arranged marriage set-up and the orthodox ways of her small community in New York City. The best part is there are only 4 episodes. I wish you a lot of good wishes for the coming month.

    1. Thanks Anu. I am so grateful for all the love friends have sent my way on this post. I would have loved to hug you too but yeah the social distancing means we can’t. Not yet anyways.

      Thanks for the recco, I will check it out as it sounds interesting.

      The heat is now turned into liquid one as its humid and muggy. Waiting desperately for the rains to come now.

      Hugs and love to you Anu and wish you some happy times ahead. Loving your crochet work a lot

  6. How I’ve missed you! You had me worried during those first few days and then i felt really silly for freaking out. Don’t please feel guilty about anything at all. We’re all trying to cope and have different ways to do that. I’m with you in disliking housework which has grown like crazy with everyone at home.
    I am glad you’re getting back on track. Glad to hear of your exercise routine. I’ve begun to follow some YouTube Videos for a walk/dance programme and that’s working well for me.
    Hope to hear more from you Shalz.

    1. Thanks so much Tulika. I am actually glad you checked in on me-it sort of shook me out of my stupor a bit. Sorry baout freaking you out buddy but I am happy to have a friend like you to worry about me 🙂

      I am totally with you one the housework and other stuff. Somehow this being cooped up inside is not seeming like a vacation at all.

      I salut you for getting into a fitness regime – I am finding it so difficult to push myself and need every ounce of motivation now.

  7. You had me grinning through your post – I have also felt lethargic. I am sorry you guys had such a lousy heat wave – and here we were, complaining about the summer. Staying indoors – one day blends into another. I’ve often felt disoriented wondering what day it was. Good to see all the goodies in your pin image. Yep – I know all about the over buying and then feeling overwhelmed about storing it all and then, consuming it all properly. Our power cuts made a mess of our schedules.
    I love how you’re managing the current situation. Sending you love and hugs – do take care.
    Loved the quotes throughout the post. Thanks for being part of the gratitude circle, Shalini.

    1. I am happy to hear my post made you smile Vidya. You said it right -the days are just merging into one another and I have lost track of days and dates all along.
      The heat had been killer and now it’s muggy and humid-waiting for the rains as we are due to be hit by the monsoons. Hopefully then I will plant some veggies that I have been meaning too.
      Writing the gratitude post has become such an essential part of my blogging journey. I feel so lost without it and can’t thank you enough for initiating something so wonderful.

      Loving all the hugs and love and sending some right back at you Vidya.

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