Brownness

Sprinkles of Love & Long Friendships

Another weekend passed and as we edge into September, its startling to think that 2022 is around the corner. Another weeknd to count my blessings, another weekend to notice how much love I am surrounded by, and another weekend to give my best to loved ones in their new ventures (from a new baby to school in London). The weekend started as a boys night out then into an impromptu poker night, and Saturday was a beautiful sprinkle for my sister in law as she prepares for her 9th month. The day turned into night as friends and family came over to our place, and we continued for hours.

Yet there is another train of thought as I get closer to the milestone of turning 50 in January. My friday conversation revolved around what I wanted to do, and truthfully beyond being with loved ones, nothing came to mind. Sure a big party sounds great, a destination event even better, but I also some part of me just wants it to be another birthday that I pass and hopefully keep growing in all areas of my life. As each weekend passes, and I get closer to that, I cannot help celebrate the fact that loved ones matter, not just the blood kind, but the ones who make you feel heard, respected and loved.

I spent most of the weekend, laughing, eating and drinking(of course) and revelling in the joy of being able to do so many thing different things with different people. The weekend ended with a tinge of sadness as my 19 year old niece goes across the pond to start university. As much as I mercilessly tease her, my love for her only grows. Its a nice feeling to still hang around a 3 year old niece and then say goodbye to an adult one who still reminds you of when she was 3.

A truly great way to live life.

Brownness

Friends and the Meaning of Sisterhood

Off The Hook!

Last Friday, I got invited to spend time with some people from Crossfit. It was a bit surreal to hang out as I normally see these people at just one place and usually in workout clothes, and as the night progressed and more crossfitters joined, it felt like a high energy workout except we got to eat and drink at the same time.

I also realized that some of my best vacations came with these people, while the circle in my crossfit grew from mere acquaintances to friendship. It’s hard to believe that even now I am blessed to get more like minded, kind, generous, and overall just fun to be with people. It makes me look forward to a future for more gatherings, trying new things and getting to know people better. Its funny when you make a place a home, you also get a chance to add to your family.

Speaking of Family, yesterday was Raksha Bandhan, an Indian festival that celebrates a relationship between brothers and sisters in which sisters tie a string to act as an amulet to protect their brothers, and brothers promise to take care of their sisters. My wrist became covered with 8 of these amulets and it hit me that I have more responsibility that I sometimes take for granted. In our culture, there is no word for cousins and thus we consider them to be siblings as well, but truth to be told, my cousins and family also form the backbone of my social relationships.

At first, I thought I had not much of a weekend to look forward to, but really I got 2 chances to be around dear friends and family as well as the chance to laugh, love, hug, kiss loved ones. So not just time passing, but events to remember and cherish.

Happy Monday!

Brownness

A Beautiful Weekend

This past weekend, we got the opportunity to have my niece spend the weekend with us. It was truly life changing in a way as spending more than 48 hours straight with a beautiful, high energy, positive human being was life affirming. Zara not just is curious, kind and present, but she is loving, quick to say thank you and I love you and always ready to play which meant engaging with her in dialogue.

Watching this tiny human in action, it hit me how much just being present and being around a loving human can sustain you. Now, one of the perks I had was that Zara is all about my wife which meant I got more breaks, yet I still got to enjoy them in observation. It’s amazing to have someone fill up a room with their personality.

Then of course we also had the fun time and while she outlasted us in energy, I couldn’t stop thanking Crossfit and my running habit for giving me the endurance to hang with her her. It was easy to remain grateful to have this person for so long, and saying goodby to her was tougher than normal because we got to experience the best good mornings with her.

I also can’t help smiling each time I remember when she saw me, and said I looked handsome. My back straightened up more, and my smile got wider. An unsolicited compliment from a three year old is definitely an ego booster. Funny, how spending time with someone so little can prove to be so large. I have to end by saying thank you to the parents for giving us this treasure and for trusting us to shined by her personality.

Brownness

A Weekend of Friends

group of people
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This past weekend, I was privileged to be hang out with dear friends the on Saturday and Sunday, and I could not help being grateful to have so many people I could laugh with, share stories and just feel good all around. I also got to do something I have never done before: Golf. While I was as bad as I thought I would be, what made it special was spending time with 3 other great guys who I know will be in my life for a long time to go.

And then there are the surprising new group of people who I have worked out with for over 4 years, and who I have had amazing vacations, and I see feel my circle widening, growing larger with love, caring and activities. They got me doing things I haven’t done in a while or ever (taking tequila shots and golf), but the camaraderie is what really kept the party going.

As silly as it seems, I thought I was done meeting people who I could connect with and be in my life for a long. Instead of subtracting, I am adding, even multiplying and I cannot help looking forward to the life ahead with so many people in it. It tells me that there is so much more out there as long I am willing to stay open, be present and keep saying yes to things that make me uncomfortable!

Brownness

July (By the Numbers)

pen calendar to do checklist
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I was already coming up with excuses to not post this month as I was not 100% in any of my habits in July. I discounted the fact that I took a 10 day vacation and it’s okay to not have perfection or follow through when you take time to rest and recover. Yet the guilt and judgment reside in me that I should have done something anything during those days in New York. Again the ego heading of DOING showed up instead of just BEING and so I counted. I got to be with family and friends.I got to create memories. I got to sleep in, to eat food that I desired, to have long meandering conversations, I got to dance my ass off.

So taking all that in, I still did pretty well in some areas of my helps. The closest to 100% was meditation for which I am quite proud of. I now see it as something ingrained, a part of me. There are days I don’t remember but really I manage to do it almost day. According to my Headspace APP. I am currently on a 202 day streak and that means I actually was 100% in one habit in July so ignore what I said in first paragraph (sorry!) I also did pretty well in journaling, another essential self care activity that weights on me when I miss a few days. Even in New York, I managed to sneak in a few days. Obviously, the other activity that really worked was reading since I had plenty of time to do that.

I also managed a 2 week detox from drinking and even now I am averaging 2 drinks for the weekend. I know when I am a mindful I eat and drink less. It’s when I stop paying attention that I consume more so my intention is keep being mindful. Overall. I am happy with my month once I accepted that taking breaks and just being is more important than checking off a habit. I know that when I become too goal oriented, I become less present to what’s more important, so that is the continual journey for me, to stay present, to be mindful and finally to be grateful for what I do have.

Happy Monday!

Brownness

Alone Time

woman in white long sleeve shirt sitting on bed
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Recovering from anything prolonged has become quite important to me. When I dive into something and I am not recovered fully, I am guaranteeing burnout as well as not being present or being in integrity. This includes vacations. As strange as that sounds, I now see that while I am quite social, and love to engage, at some point, I need some me time that requires self-care. It could mean just reading or mindlessly channel surfing or starting a random project like selling the rest of my graphic novels. The key part is me just being.

I admit I am not good at asking for that time, and I know that will set me up for future failure, but this past weekend ended up my alone time in which I read, wrote a bit, watched two bad movies (The New Mutants and Space Jam 2), detoxed (haven’t drank since being back from New York) and went to bed before midnight on Friday and Saturday. As much as I was tempted to be out with friends, I also know that the coming month promises to be hectic and I am ending this month with a bang with my 10th wedding anniversary.

Being task oriented and also being someone who likes to be in integrity, I now have elaborate rituals for me-time which support me to perform at better levels in all areas of my life. Yet it is a delicate balance, and as I learn more about by body through my Whoop, I realize rest and recovery are essential for my health. Yet there is my insistent need to do more, and I struggle to subtract and keep adding. And there is the rub. My need for alone time grows because I don’t ‘allow myself to just be.

I know that is a disservice to the ones close to m when I don’t communicate my intentions or struggles and so I get to work on being present and open. It took alone time to figure that out, and now I get to be an adult and share with them.