DEALING WITH PROBLEMS

Problems are inevitable. Everyone has to go through problems in their lifetime. Sometimes the problems are difficult enough to make us feel giving up what we are doing. We feel nothing is going right and therefore ‘I should quit’. But is that really a solution? 

Well, there is only one solution and that is to never lose hope. However one can avoid problems to some extent. Though one or another problem might keep raising its head, one can do a few things to keep problems away or deal with them. 

So what can do? Well, here are the tips:

  • Working rather than building expectations: Humans can never stop building expectations. Even if they don’t work they will have huge expectations. There is actually no problem with this but the problem arises when our expectations aren’t fulfilled. This can put us into stress, anxiety and may give birth to unexpected problems. So if you want to avoid any problems, work for it. That will surely help you.
  • Doing self-analysis: We know what we are capable of. Before getting into any work, make sure you analyze your capacity. The work that you might think is easy can be tougher and therefore you need to be prepared for that. Self-analysis will help you to avoid problems that you may incur while doing any work.
  • Thinking about the consequences: Whatever work you do, you must think of its consequences. As it has been said, ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. Therefore one must think before acting.
  • Seeking help when needed: We need help at different stages of life. So one must not keep things to themselves when in need of help. It is good to ask for help. When you seek help, you will be able to tackle some of the problems.
  • Saying ‘no’ when needed: Saying no can be rude but sometimes it is good to say no. Especially when you are unable to fulfill somebody’s need. For example, if you have important work at home and if your colleagues ask you for dinner, then it is better to say a polite no. As you need to be at your home. If not, you will be inviting problems. 

Well to solve problems one needs to think rationally and working accordingly. But if you think the situation is baffling and you can’t divide your attention then it is better to prefer the one with the highest priority. This is indeed the best ways to deal with problems

HOW NOT TO PROCRASTINATE AND DEAL WITH TIME

black and white photo of clocks
Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

Strengths – We all are born with one or the other strength- all we need to do is discover it and nurture it for your betterment.

In my childhood, I was the laziest person I could say. People underestimated my own strengths which they neglected. When I started my job, again it was crucial for me to manage my time to handle everything from a job to home. Time swept by and it was time for much more responsibilities. This is when I realized I need to find time for many more things to do. With two kids, I was literally hanging on the minute hand of the clock to manage my time. At times I even wondered if I could grab much more time – but 24hours remained just 24 hours with no more or no less.

It was time – that I wanted to manage and yes I found ways to handle it in a much more effective way.  Here I am sharing with you the tips that have worked out and helping me do my things correctly.

  1. Do not panic: Most of us tend to lose time, panic a lot. Panicking is not the key to managing. Hence it is important not to panic even when we are unable to manage. Usually the times I ended up panicking, I lost track of everything I was doing and had to begin everything from scratch.
  2. Be Prepared: As the famous saying “Time and tide wait for no man ” – It is important to engrain in our thoughts that nothing waits for us. Hence it is important to harness ourselves before the tide arrives. Like if you are planning to cook something in the morning for kids lunch boxes, pre-plan everything like cutting vegetables or grating or keeping things ready that can save your time. Mornings can be quite tricky at times and trust me I have gone through all the worst part before I arrived at the good one.
  3. Let go:  Keep in mind that you cannot control time. Learn to flow with it, which is the best way to handle time. At times we might lose the grip of it, then learn to let it go. One way you won’t repent over the loss of that time and then get back to your tasks or routine.
  4. Plan Plan and Plan: This is the only thing that helps you manage your time. Like usually when it is Sunday, I can always choose to take a rest and chill, but most of the time I choose to plan my things for the week like preparing the batter for the whole week, that will make my breakfast planning instant- otherwise I end up browsing quick recipes. Even all the washing clothes and arranging the week’s uniforms for my kids are also planned ahead. I guess most parents do it.
  5. Be an early person: Nothing keeps you organized than being early, which gives you plenty of options to change your plans. Sometimes, I plan things and at times, I am left with no option to do it but try something else in its place. In such cases to buy time, it is important that we are quite ahead of the time.
  6. Multitasking: This is something that I feel buys me much more time to relax. Whenever I am in the kitchen cooking, I put the clothes to wash in the machine and once I am done with my kitchen work, I will be done with washing too. In this way, I get much more time to spend with my family or find some “Me -time “. It might not be easy to multi-task at times, but yes it’s worth trying. 
  7. Take rest, when exhausted: A break is much more needed for anyone. Do not strain yourself, but ensure you do things correctly. Most of us take up all the things together and then finally end up doing nothing. Hence it is important to find time and take proper breaks at regular intervals.

Tips might not work all the time, but there is always a way to nurture it into your lifestyle. I included these in my lifestyle and customized them according to my needs. All this comes with lots of patience and practice. It might not look easy at first, but gradually we become accustomed to it as a habit.

Try not to procrastinate on your tasks, which will lead you to deal with a bulk of it later.

So these are some tips, o f a busy working mother, of two kids, who have to manage time like a pro. I might not be a pro, but I do my best to be one.

So folks – Never lose hope, just gear on!!!

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR TEENAGER

It has been long said that teenage is a phase of stress and turmoil. Skip a few generations back. When one transitioned from childhood into adolescence and then into adulthood, was scarcely demarcated. It just happened! That’s all that was known. Also, with lack of technological advancements and a dearth of understanding into the human psyche at various phases, there wasn’t any specific attention devoted to different stages of development, except for infancy.

However, the situation is different today. Each individual is more aware of his/her rights, self-esteem and choices. Speaking of today’s teenagers – they are way smarter and well-informed than many of us can think of.

So then, how do parents and caregivers handle teenagers?

1. Your teen may be better informed, but you remain the boss. Do not pass on control into your teen’s hands. How then should you retain control? While parents need to encourage their teens to participate in important decisions involving their own lives and that of the family, they need to reserve the final word for themselves. This is how your teenager would learn to have a say while accepting parental authority. Also, make sure that parents voice the same tone before teens, irrespective of their differences so that your smart teen doesn’t get the space to play games.

2. Do not give in to emotional blackmailing. This is something that needs to be nipped in the bud at childhood, when your child throws tantrums and makes you dance to his/her music. However, teenage emotional blackmailing is a bit different. That’s because teens don’t simply sulk when things are not done their way. They can resort to quite disturbing tactics – like refusing to eat for days together, refusing to go to school/college, getting into disruptive activities with friends, playing ear-blasting music, threatening to commit suicide, and the like. While all these are alarming, none of these should bring you down to your knees. Most importantly, do not lose your emotional balance. Take care that you do not slip into bouts of depression, panic attacks or spells of anxiety, because some teens can be quite a handful and drive you crazy!

3. Always keep communication lines open. Teenagers do not run to parents to get their shirts buttoned or to get their shoe laces tied or to get their tears wiped after hurting their elbows at play, as they did as children. With age and development, they become self-reliant in many aspects of their lives. This is something parents need to accept. However, this does not mean that it’s time for parents to start fading away from the lives of their children. Your children remain your children even when they go on to have children of their own. What is to be understood is that, you need to give your teen the space s/he needs and yet be open for all types of conversations at all times. Do not get antagonistic if your teen shares with you about a boyfriend or girlfriend or confesses a blunder that s/he has committed or asks you questions about sex. If you do so, you will shut a doorway into your teen’s life and cause outsiders to actively intrude in. Respond wisely and calmly.

4. Be role models. While no one is and can be perfect while in this mortal life, it is of utmost importance that parents model a family that they would want their teen to have in future. If your teen sees you drink, then your endless sermons on ‘Don’t drink’ would serve no purpose. If your teenage boy sees his father speaking roughly to his mother or resorting to physical abuse, these traits get unconsciously implanted into his psyche and are likely to surface in later years when he gets married. If your teenage girl sees her mother spending money thoughtlessly, she doesn’t learn to manage money wisely. Be the person that you want your teen to be in thoughts, speech and action. 

5. Commit your teenager into God’s care. Though I am writing this point at the last, I won’t frame it as ‘last but not the least’. Rather, I would put it as ‘first and foremost’. Yes, first and foremost put your teen into God’s hands daily. You cannot be with your teen everywhere all the time. You cannot be a nagging parent prescribing dos and don’ts always. Your teen will commit his/her share of mistakes and will have to face certain consequences which you may find hard to bear. But then, experience is a strong teacher! You need to permit your teen to develop a certain sense of independence and responsibility as s/he grows. You need to have your teen be a person of good character, sound personality and wise choices. And so, you need to commit your teen into the hands of Him who has given him/her life and breath. God alone can mould people from the inside out. He is more concerned about your teen than you. So, each moment commit your teen into God’s hands – for protection, for health, for strength to resist temptations, for studies and career and for prudent choices. You’ll see how He would work wonders!

Accept the fact that your teen is not like you and may not necessarily become like you. S/he is an individual in his/her own right. Maybe you transitioned smoothly across life’s varying phases, while your teen wrecks havoc each day. Look for reasons, but do not blame yourself without reason. Look for ways to manoeuvre yourself and your teen wisely while keeping your calm.

While handling each teenager requires specific strategies that may be case-specific, what I have enlisted in this article entails certain general points that apply to all teens. An equation to sum up: HANDLING TEENAGERS = LOVE + DISCIPLINE + REASONING

Hope this ‘how-to’ article comes of help to parents in this ‘how-to’ week in Candles Online!

VALENTINE’S DAY OF MY DREAMS

Since Valentine’s Day is round the corner I would like to first narrate a petty romantic incident from my life.  Hope you all enjoy reading this:

I am hopelessly romantic (yet another revelation from my side about myself 😀) constantly fed on celluloid romance. My idea of Valentine’s Day – Roses, Chocolates, Candle light dinner and everything that make our movies a “Magnum Opus” and runs an entire industry called Bollywood 😀.

My dream of a perfect Valentine’s Day never materialised till that day.  Year – 2012, 14th February, entire day passed and it was turning out to be any other day. Around 8 PM I got a call from a delivery man asking for the directions for the address that left me calculating permutations and combinations.

Who it could be?”, “What it could be”,Why after all?” Numerous questions lingering on in my mind.  My father was waiting outside to receive the delivery and he was pretty much asking me the same questions that were bothering me since the time I got that call. To add to the confusion, suspicion, tension and irritation that delivery man was taking a lifetime to understand the directions.

It was almost half an hour before he finally reached to handover the gift. That was for me and the letter read “With Love” and it had beautiful red roses and chocolates. So it was a perfect Valentine’s Day for me. Not for the roses but for the fact that it made me smile from ear to ear (if only you could see me now, I am blushing 😊 at mere mention of that incident).

Well, I forgot to tell you all that it was my husband who did send those roses to surprise me (not during courtship period, married in 2009😂). I was surprised because never in life before that day I have been pampered “that” way and  we are poles apart when it comes our idea of romance and love. He rarely mouths his feelings and love is beyond roses and candle light dinners for him. His definition – love is about providing a secured life for your loved ones, with and after you (it’s not an advertisement for a life insurance company for God sake 😀, but his firm belief). But I must say I have my fair share of gifts though 😉.

With yet another Valentine’s Day round the corner I wish to be surprised yet again.  Nevertheless Valentine’s Day is just an excuse out of our busy schedules but love doesn’t need a calendar.  And my idea of Love is not limited to this date, for sure.

Then why so much pomp created around that particular day of a particular month? Obviously no one knows the history associated but for many its just an occasion to multiply their businesses, for many its an opportunity to hog some limelight opposing this way of celebration of Love because they feel it’s not a part of their culture (destruction isn’t either, they should know) and they take love as a social taboo, for many as I told earlier a time to rejuvenate their otherwise dull run to the mill lives.  

What is Love exactly? Love isn’t just about a relationship between two people of opposite sex. It’s Romance we are talking about which is just a fragment of Love. Love is a much deeper emotion to be explained plainly. Every positive human emotion – Respect, benevolence, care, compassion…. They are all facets of love because only a heart where love dwells can exhibit such feelings. A barren heart can not.

Why do we need LOVE? Let’s take few instances. If a person cannot LOVE his family he can’t impart good values because of his indifference towards it; if a person cannot LOVE mother nature he would be unfazed by the drastic changes in environment which we term as pollution; if a person cannot LOVE his country he would be unfaithful in discharging duties towards the country be it casting a vote or paying taxes. To conclude LOVE is a prerequisite for a healthy society and a beautiful world. Just the way saplings nurtured with love develops into a beautiful garden families nurtured with love paves way for a society enlightened and awakened and such robust societies lay foundation for ethically strong nations which could eventually give a better world for our future generations. More importantly “To Love” is the underlying message from God delivered to us through various scriptures.

But sadly we are still stuck among shallow ideologies that equate love with romance.  Love is omnipresent – just see it with LOVE.

 

HOW DISCERNING CAN WE BE IN MATTERS OF LOVE

Love is a beautiful emotion.

Do people want love? Yes, they do!

Do people need love? An even more emphatic, yes!

Love is an important need of every human being. Abraham Maslow once propounded a theory in psychology called, ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. According to Maslow, the third level of needs are those of Love and Belongingness.

Of the different relationships in which love is expressed and desired, heterosexual love is a natural human need which develops within an individual with age and maturity. It is a need,because we are created male and female and are made to cherish the love of a person of the opposite gender. It is not simply the kicking hormones within, but a host of neurotransmitters and other chemical secretions within the body that cumulatively contribute to this emotion called love.

So yes, anyone who gets simply carried away by those bouncy hormones within, may get to satisfy his/her sexual urge, but may still be devoid of that fulfilling emotion – love.

In many conservative cultures of the world, love and marriage are diffused concepts – love before marriage is not easily accepted, while love after marriage is not something worth aspiring for.

A few years back, I was witness to a young lady’s distress after marriage. She had been the darling daughter of her parents. But, was wedded to a man who neither loved nor cared for her. When the matter was out before both the families, the mother-in-law of the lady reportedly said that a woman has to wait for seven births to experience the love of her husband. So she has no right to complain, but to fulfill all her duties and responsibilities.

Is it unjust to desire for love? No, since it is an innate need put within all human beings by the Creator.

Love is an emotion much deeper and purer than the human heart can fathom. It is a well spring in a parched land. It is a fountain of life. It is a lusturous overgrowth under an evergreen canopy. It is an emotion which cannot be described in words, but needs to be felt in the heart.

But sadly, many-a-times it is so camouflaged under the garb of lust and infatuation that it diminishes the true essence of the emotion. At other times, relationships seem so mechanical that there is no space for love to spring up in them.

Love is definitely not a taboo. But, extracautious vigilant parents and family members see it as a taboo. If explained, expressed and exemplified in the right way, there is no worry as to why the beauty of love cannot be witnessed.

Society doesn’t approve of the public display of love before and out of marriage – which no doubt, should not be approved. But, why do married couple irrespective of age hesitate to express their love to their spouses when in public – when they have all the liberty to do so? (By this, I do not mean explicit acts of sexual nature) Why is no one bothered to make amends when love is lost in a marriage, but quick to point out fingers to a male and female walking together without marriage?

Points to ponder on!

I FELL IN LOVE!

I, being a mother of a three year old, and a crazy lover of animated movies, have been watching quite a lot of them recently. One day, we we’re watching a movie named, “The Christmas Carol”. There was a scene in that movie, where the main character, Mr. Scrooge, and his nephew, we’re shown having an argument. They both didn’t seem to agree with each other. None of their views or thoughts matched. There Mr. Scrooge asked, ” Why did you get married?”. His nephew answered, ” because I fell in love”. Then, Mr. Scrooge repeated it, but in a different way saying, “Because, you, FELL, in love!” . It really got me thinking. Love is such a beautiful thing to feel and behold. Then why, do we say we fell in love?

Looking back into the Indian history, we really have a rich culture where every kind of feelings and sentiments were celebrated. Poetry, prose pieces and stories have all expressed love, in many different ways. So, why is that now, in this 21st century, has love become a taboo? Love jihads, arresting couples on Valentine’s day, burning or breaking love related items in shops on Valentine’s day, being murdered for loving someone, etc. This is, what is going on in this present era. Why? Why does love needs justification? Why does love needs to be restricted? Why does love need boundaries? It’s an awesome, subtle and a warm feeling. It might be over-rated at times, but is the most innocent feeling ever.

Being human, we all have Love, deeply embedded in us. It just comes out when we meet someone, who according to us, is perfect for us, to love and be with. Talking about it basically, teenagers or the persons who come across the feeling of love for the first time, often mistake infatuation for love. Well, that’s where the trouble begins. Even I, have been through similar situations in my life. My infatuation did lead me into a lot of trouble, little shame and starting a new life all together. I had a very strong infatuation towards my best friend, after he declared his love for me. Been from different backgrounds in regards to our beliefs, I told him not to push this feelings further, as it would be difficult for both our families to accept it. But he insisted.

Years went by, I told people very close to me about him, as I felt I was getting serious about him. But, I remember hiding my feelings, in front of my elder relatives, seniors, teachers, warden. The reason was, they would think me to be bad, and of low character. Now, that’s is how rigid this society has been. Because I loved someone of the opposite gender in “that” way, I have a bad moral. Society plays a good role in here. They spread rumors, shame the girl and not the guy, bring her to a point where she let’s go of him, settling for something she doesn’t even want. Something, she would have to like first and then love.
Not my story though. My parents, were worried about my friendship and love, but they had kept that situation in their prayers. Later I found out he was cheating on me, and we broke off. Eventually, to love again and got married to the one I fell in love with (of course to a different guy). 😉

My immediate family is all about love. My parents had a love marriage. At my in laws, everybody, starting from my grandparents in law to us, have have a love marriage. Hence, when I see the hatred over this beautiful feeling called love, it pains me. Love being treated as a taboo, is the most outrageous thing, which this world is entertaining. I do pray, that people should see, feel and practice love as it is meant to be and not treat it as a bad thing or stupid thing or not to be entertained thing. Love is not disgraceful. Let us not see and practice it that way. Let’s not question a pure feeling and reason it with cruelty. We should always deal with love as we would deal with our other feelings. This would only make our world a better place to live in.

“BREATHING THE AIR OF CHOICE HAS NEVER BEEN AN OPTION!” – A TEEN’S VOICE

It aptly goes well with the Indian society that as long as there are curtains over the actions, everything is acceptable. However a mammoth cloud of problems burst when the veil is lifted. While we tag Love as a ‘societal taboo’, it somehow becomes overrated! Even the natural liking for someone dies when the society’s frame of perception steps in. Very few relationships have the power to go against the prescribed will and create their own beautiful love stories. Well I really admire those!

Anyways unfortunately due to this taboo issue, once I was caught in the dilemma of expression of love. Since childhood, my mom always projected such a picture of the opposite gender that every acquaintance with a male seemed a self invited distraction to my well going nerdy lifestyle. Thus I was always very careful and conscious enough not to give wrong signals to anyone, I interacted with.

But as it is said that love sees no time or person, it just happens naturally and so I got swayed impetuously in someone’s awe just after I finished my schooling. Well I have to mention the phrase ‘after schooling’ for then there were less of restrictions and ties that give me a little freedom to indulge in an affair.

Almost a year of my great friendship with that guy had passed when I felt the need to express my feelings for him. However my inner turmoil never allowed me to do so. While being brought up according to the society’s saying that what we like might not be always what is right, I started doubting my own feelings for that guy. Moreover, also I didn’t allow him to take a step forward which made things worse and complicated in our case. Just because of the wrong fear created by the society in me that relationships at a very young age are a kind of sin and symbolic of immaturity, my behavior towards that guy became awkward leading to endless misunderstandings. Finally and sadly all of this led to an unwanted break up!

So this is what happens when society creates a hype over young relationships and looks at it with a wrong perception. The unsaid words and unexpressed feelings always remain buried deep in the heart and continue to create pain if one is not strong enough to ignore the conventional thinking of the society and break such a stereotype frame!

Thus the lesson that I realize now in my life is that love can never be a taboo! Each one of us have a right to live life and understand its ways in our own style and fashion and so therefore if in this process we end up falling on love, then what’s wrong in it?