A list for me, and you!

 

December 2016

I love making lists and reading them too! So here is my latest list, in no particular order.

  1. Get outside more: Dog lovers do this every day, rain or shine! Everyone can benefit from being out in the fresh air. I love walking Duke at dusk under a pink and purple sky. On a recent walk the eastern sky was lit up by the moon and the western sky was aglow with the setting sun.
  2. Be more mindful: My close-knit circle of family and friends call mindfulness by another name. They practice the art of meditation. But whatever you call it, set aside some time to be still. Practice going inward and calming the mind. It may be difficult at first, but you’ll notice the difference in your life.
  3. Eat more yogurt (if you aren’t a vegan): In south India, we finish our meal with some homemade yogurt. Yogurt or curd rice was a tasty way to get some protein and beneficial bacteria.
  4. Bring back tea time: The other day I had the joy of sharing a pot of Chai Tea with a group of friends. We munched on savory and sweet goodies and enjoyed an afternoon of camaraderie. When I was growing up in the Blue Mountains or Nilgiris of south India, my sister and I looked forward to our afternoon cup of tea and snack. Most often the snack was just leftover breakfast but once in a while we had a special treat when the cake man came to our house. His visits were rare and delicious. He carried a large tin suitcase filled with small cakes and pastries. My favorites were the tiny iced cakes, topped with the brightest, most unnatural colored icing. My sister and I could never get enough of these sweet treats, but my mother was a cautious shopper and only bought one small cake for each of us. Iced cakes are still my favorite tea time snack. Taking time to have an afternoon cup of tea forces us to slow down. Elaborate tea making and drinking ceremonies are common in many countries. I like to boil tea with a few slices of ginger root or cardamom pods. The boiled tea is mixed with fresh whole milk and served with a dash of coconut palm sugar. This spicy concoction is delicious and invigorating and as my son calls it, “dessert in a cup.”
  5. Read a book or two: When my boys were in elementary school their teachers asked them to keep a reading log and to try to read for at least 20 minutes a day. Luckily, both boys loved reading and the 20 minutes a day was an easy quota to meet. During our recent tea party we also exchanged wrapped books. It was so much fun to unwrap the gift and discover a book that you would never chose for yourself. I received one that may help me tidy up my house. If all goes well and my house is less messy, I’ll blog about it.
  6. Support a local author: Recently I attended a book signing for a local author and came away with three instant and personalized holiday gifts. Most books are under $25 and authors are thrilled to meet you and sign a copy or two. You know what they say? Make an author smile and an angel gets his/her wings. Just kidding. But it does make us happy to hear you are enjoying our work.
  7. Take part in a mini-fast: By skipping one meal you can wake up your taste buds. I had a wise relative who recommended we eat only one meal on Sundays. Studies have shown that fasting for 12-16 hours can help revive our metabolism and help the body cope with a myriad of ills. Don’t do this every day and use commonsense when fasting.
  8. Stretch: Take time for a quick (or long) stretch. This is a great way to start each day.
  9. Take a break from electronics or social media: Whenever I find that I’m spending too much time on my phone or computer, I try to schedule a “media recess.” This break can be anything from 1 hour to 24 hours and perhaps you’ll find the time to read that book or go on that walk!
  10. Your idea here: Send me some of your suggestions and perhaps there will be enough for another blog.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers!

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Blue Mountains, Celebrations, cooking, fasting, grandmother's wisdom, lists, mindfulness, my mother's kitche, reading, tea time, Uncategorized, yoga, stretching

3 responses to “A list for me, and you!

  1. Hasmita

    Great list, Meera! I enjoyed your description of tea time – it is a special time of day for me, too, and I always great when a friend or neighbor asks me to join them for a cup of tea. The cake man reminds me of the Buhari’s man who used to come once a week or so when my grandparents moved to Chennai, and we’d look forward to his cycle bell on Fridays, and look into his big box with eagerness for the cakes and fruit buns, etc.
    The idea of a mini fast is good, too – dinner, being the lightest recommended meal, should be easy to skip once in a while, and give the system some rest.
    Another I’d add to the list is spending time with nature. I always want to do more of it but need to make it more solidly a part of the routine, to get out to the nearby national park once in a couple of months–my daughter and I went early once, and carried sandwiches from home, that we ate there after a long walk, as breakfast – perfect morning.

    • writermeera

      Hi Hasmita,
      Thanks for taking the time to write to me. I love the idea of spending more time in nature. A beach or national park is a great destination. What a wonderful memory you made with your daughter. Perhaps she’ll be blogging about it and you in the coming years. Now I shudder to think what was in those cakes but we had sweets so rarely that his visit was special.
      Take care and have a great New Year!
      Best,
      Meera

  2. Paula Horn

    Hi Meera,
    As you know I have three grandsons who I cherish. It has always been important to me to share special times with them and make memories and one of the special times we share is tea time! It’s not just about the tea, but the joy of preparing to have tea. Getting out pretty tea cups and a tea pot, getting the sugar cubes in the sugar bowl and putting snacks on a pretty plate of their choosing and then finally sitting down to have our tea! I never grew up doing things like this but I’ve learned over the years how important having traditions are especially to children. Now that the I’ve been doing this with the two older boys for several years, now out of the blue without any plan one of them will say, can we have a tea party right now! I always say yes and soon my youngest grandson will join us in our tea time! Reading your blog helped me realize just how important this tea time together is and I hope and pray they continue to enjoy it as they grow up and make it a part of their lives as men, husbands and fathers! It is a special time to share with people you care about and sometimes just by yourself. In this new year at the top of my list is again a reminder that life is short, enjoy the daily moments of life, remind myself to be grateful and appreciate all the blessings I’ve been given! And even though its cold or its hot my 15 month old grandson loves to go outside everyday to play and my little dog wants to go for a walk! So get up and go outside, it is good for the soul and the list goes on and on!
    Happy New Year
    Love, Paula

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