Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thoughtful Tuesdays - Gratitude

As we approach the Thankgiving day next week, let's take a moment to think about what this holiday is mostly about.


Thanksgiving started as a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships. Traditionally, it has also been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. The idea of giving thanks is the meaning behind Thanksgiving.

While it is a great idea to take a single day out of the year and get together with your loved ones to be grateful for the rest of the year, don't you think that we would have a much richer and positive life if we took a moment to be grateful each and every day!

I am glad and grateful for everything that is around me. I am grateful to mother nature for the food and water it provides. I am grateful for my family and friends for the joy they bring in my life. I am grateful to live in an independent country and for the people who protect me and my country every single day. I am even grateful for the hardships in my life as I learn and grow from them.

While our lives may have struggles, health issues and hardships and at times it may be difficult to stay positive, let me give you a single strong reason why you should be grateful for everyday. Because the moment you open your eyes each day, you are still alive and that it is a given.

So at the end of each day, before you go to bed, I urge you to take a moment to find just 1-2 things for which you can feel grateful. Not only it will help you stay optimistic and relieve stress during a crisis, it will also keep you healthy in the long run.

Until next time,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chopsticks: Teaching the next gen!

When you teach your son, you teach your son's son. ~The Talmud

Every time I see a pair of chopsticks, I remember my dad... I must have been around 8 or 9 when my dad taught me how to eat food using chopsticks. At that time, it was just something fun to do. I didn't think I would use chopsticks later in life....

But I have used chopsticks more often that I imagined. When I go to a Chinese restaurant, chopsticks are my choice of weapon to attack food. The skill came in especially handy when I went to Shanghai for a week.... so much so that after coming back from Shanghai, using the fork and spoon was a bit odd for the first couple of days.

So I was delighted when a couple months ago, Reya asked me to teach her how to use chopsticks.... Here are a couple pictures of her learning how to eat with chopsticks.

While she had a blast learning the skill, I got a headache.... no! not from teaching Reya, but from Rithik's crying...  Rithik saw Reya using the cute chopsticks and demanded that I give him a pair like that as well and to my horror I realized that I only have one pair... (I got these from Lock & Lock as part of their supporter program for review. They are beautiful and made of steel, but I decided not to buy more since I felt they were a tiny bit heavy for the kids... and we anyways don't use chopsticks at home.)

I persuaded Reya to give the chopsticks to Rithik.... but she flatly refused and I had a crying toddler on my hands who is practicing the art of crying as long as it takes for him to get his goal.... It was tough negotiation but we settled on a pieces of wooden disposable chopsticks that I luckily found in a drawer... and he happily made a mess trying to pick food with them.

But yesterday, I was so surprised when we went to a restaurant in San Francisco with some friends and the Reya managed to eat some food with chopsticks. And to my utter surprise, even Rithik (using 1 chopstick in each hand) picked some food and ate it. I was so proud. But the pride was short lived as they then proceeded to have a chopstick fight, that left me cringing and scared and resulted in me snatching the chopsticks away from them....

Time flies... Yesterday I was learning things from my parents, today I am teaching them to Reya and Rithik...This is life... But the starting quote from Talmud applies... When my father taught me the chopsticks, he in a way taught my kids too...