Fluffy Our Puppy!

We got a newbie in our family…Our Little Cock-A-Chon Puppy who we named Fluffy!

Fluffy was born on the 25th of October 2018. we saw him for the first time on the 21st of November and got him home on the 12th of January 2019! ūüėä

So well it has only been 3 weeks but an interesting ride already! He is a smart little puppy and we are trying really hard to be consistent smart parents!’

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Blogging Personas

When I was thinking about writing more often as a part of my new year resolutions and using writing as the tool to center myself…I wondered what is interesting, unique and relate-able¬† in my life to write about?

One of the blogs that I follow is of this lady Lakshmi Iyer. It is a personal blog but super interesting because it is about an Indian living in the USA adopting and parenting racially different children..now that  is a perspective worth recording!

So what is my unique life perspective worth writing about ?

I am so many different people in one…. I don’t have a multiple personality disorder but it is just that i wear so many different hats and act in different personas…

I am the girl next door…with my aspirations, fears, experiences which is what this current blog is about…

I am a new fur-baby mommy…yeah we just got a cutie little puppy home last week!:-)

I am an IT consultant…trying to make sense out of the new technology trends…..

So should I create multiple blogs for my multiple personas?

In addition to “The Shilpszzz Speaks”!? Should I have another one called “FurBabyMommy” for my new role as a puppy mommy and¬† “New IT Girl” for all the stuff I do at work?

Shilpszz Speaks is just for family friends and random strangers who find it by chance and get engaged by the writing…

“FurBabyMommy” would be something i would like to share on Facebook and other social media channels like twitter& snapchat…..

NewITGirl could potentially be posted on LinkedIn…

So yes in some sense each blog would have a different target audience and purpose.. but will I have enough to write about in each of my personas? Are the personas really unique? Are the readers for each of these personas different?

What do you think dear readers….should i have different blogs or just this one?

I don’t really know!

‘A writers job is to write and purpose is to be read’¬† Bottom line START writing…..

So I think for now…I will stick to this one blog and add #hashtags for #furbabymommy and #NewITGirl and see if I generate enough content for these streams of my life to have their own blog!

Let me know what you think my dear readers….

Cheers!

S

 

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New Year Resolutions

New Year was on vacation in India and it was one hectic fun trip so did not have time to do any reflections and plans for the coming year till I got back to the peace and quite of Seattle.

When I started reflecting… there were soo many things I wanted to ‘resolve’ to do that I was overwhelmed just thinking about . I then decided to just make a laundry list which came to about 15 odd things ūüėź which was almost a non starter cause forget doing all those things you won’t even remember what all you resolved to doing your list is too long!

Anyways … I did not give up grouped and simplified my resolutions to bite sized digestible chunks so at least I have the first step sorted…

So here is my simplified list of resolutions for 2019.

1. Physical: Clean Decluttered Living space , Less Screen time, Eat Healthy and Exercise

2. Mental: Write- Write-Write and learn new things for work and fun ..read random things .. learn a new skill .. create your business plan etc all with the purpose of writing which will help to consolidate all the learning.

3. Emotional: Take time out to connect with people .. family .. friends.. colleagues.. customers.

All this on the foundation of ‘non toxic’ and ‘structured’ communication.

I think I have written a post on structured communication.. will write one on ‘non toxic’ communication as well to help clear my thoughts on the topic but that is for another time!

So here my friends are my 2019 resolutions! The best way to stick to your new year resolutions is to make monthly resolutions and then weekly resolutions which align to the larger picture.

Wish me luck!

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Communication Skills..

I used to be a great communicator and the weird part is over time I think i have become worse.

Now I don’t know if that is because now I know better now and I see good communicators around me or I have simply become worse given I am in a new country?

Well new country should not really be an issue, I have now been here for 5 years and I grew up with English as my primary language so I guess it is something else…so what could that be? Accent? Hmm..maybe to some extent but I think the major issue is structure and that maybe leads from lack of clarity of though.

Now how do I work on improving that?

Couple of tips to self which i think would help my dear blog readers as well..

  1. Think before you speak: Well yes..formulate your thoughts¬† but not too much…if you think too much there is a tendency to either not speak or have that nasty judgy voice talking in the background while you speak.
  2. Practice: Now practice can be of three types:
    1. Structured Reading: You need to read to have ideas and content to talk about. Structured reading is reading with a purpose and recalling & rephrasing what you read at least in your head
    2. Structured Writing: Writing helps to structure your thoughts and organize your mind.
    3. Structured Talking: And if you read, write and think before you talk, i am hoping structured talking would come as a by product.

You need practice and you have to put yourself out there to talk, read & write. When i was younger I would grab any opportunity to go out and talk and now I avoid every opportunity and when i do get pushed into talking the judgy voice in my head is always telling me how i did not sound right! Does that happen to any of you’ll?

I think i have become very scattered and distracted with all the technology around me.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe technology is awesome…you have so many options to read, write talk to people across the world but you have to use it wisely or it can be a disaster. While writing this little piece which took me about 30 mins, i must have picked up my phone at least 10 times to scan if I have any mail…that is almost every 2- 3 mins i broke the flow of my though process. I don’t even want to admit the hours I have spent watching TV this week and pretending to multitask, which I could have use to grow the structure neurons in my brain .

I believe i am born to do more…born to communicate better..born to make a difference…born to write…born to inspire people and I am wasting my time…drifting away…..waiting TV…scrolling Facebook…checking mail…

I have no one but myself to blame which means I have only myself to fix which is empowering!

Wish me luck in my journey…and I wish you the very best in yours!

Love

S

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Hormones are for Real

I feel horrible…kind of sad… little bid depressed ..snappy …irritable.. angry like everyone in the world is out to get me….

But I know that is not true… the world is not out to get me but what I am feeling real….So what is going on?

Well my very educated guess… hormones!

While I see it logically… but yet I hate the feeling..ūüėź it does not feel good. Why do women have all these hormones the PMS and the fluctuations that mess with your head? Life is not fair … hmm now is that me talking or my out of sync hormones

I empathize with the people who are in a depression … they must feel so horrible to feel sad without any real reason.

So what do I do? Well I am trying to come out and exercise to get some good hormones going but sitting in the badminton court waiting for my next game is not really helping ūüėźūüėź.

Ciao… till we meet again

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Story-Telling

What words would you normally relate¬† to ‘storytelling’? My initial reaction…Kids? Fairy tales? Bedtime stories?Movies? Books?

I don’t know about you but at-least I would not really relate ‘stories’ or ‘story-telling’ with the corporate world…yes I would use phrases like ‘so what is your story-line in the deck‘¬† but at-least to me that was not ‘story’ in the fun nice engaging sense but more like ‘ what is the logical structure of the presentation‘ or something on those lines!

For those of you who have been following my blog, you would know that  I joined a new company a couple of months back Accenture  and I have been pretty impressed with the firm overall in my time here so far

I think one of the things which differentiates¬† Accenture from other firms is the emphasis on storytelling across the board…people are encouraged to tell engaging stories about themselves, to create a story about their personal brand and in turn create powerful compelling stories for their customers. Wonderful story-telling¬† is not only to left to marketing teams but something that everyone is encouraged to do in their own personal way about themselves, the work they do, their passions and the lives they live outside work.

I came across an interesting term at Accenture ‘Weekend Language‘¬† which essentially means how we speak to our friends and families on the weekends without all the corporate jargon….can we bring that to work and¬† continue to use ‘weekend language‘¬†¬†on Monday morning? And stop using¬† big words which we may or may not understand the meeting of and actually ask for clarifications when others fall back on the comfort of using¬† jargon to sound smart?

Accenture actually has¬† learning boards and classroom sessions and recommended books¬† on storytelling…:-) I have not had a chance to attend a classroom session but hear it is two days well spent it you get to it!

A recommended book on this topic on one of the learning boards¬† is ” Made to Stick” by Chip & Dan Heath which I have not read/heard completely but the parts I did before my library copy expired¬† were pretty compelling.¬† I should actually ask for it again and share some anecdotes from it on my blog!

Anyways, the trigger to my post today was this other book i was listening to while walking¬† which had this phrase that caught my attention¬†Compelling & Simple are the Power Couple of Storytelling‘¬†which I though was an interesting and it lead me to think about Accenture and all their focus on storytelling etc etc etc and how I need to polish my skills to get sharper at telling stories and how writing would potentially helps me to get better and how I have not written a blog post for sometime and how writing makes me happy etc etc etc…:-) and that my friends was the story behind the genesis of this post today on story-telling! ūüėČ Not sure if it was either Compelling or Simple…but I will get there!

Cheers!

S

PS: If any of you end up picking up the book ‘Made to Stick’ or apply for a job to Accenture cause it sounds like a good company…maybe my story was Compelling & Simple ūüôā

PPS: Do leave me a comment either ways!¬† ūüėČ

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Focus…

If you read my blog post yesterday….I promised to get back to you on how my day goes with an attempt to focus on one thing at a time…Boy it is not easy especially with a hyper distracted mind of mine!

As soon as I got done blogging, I went to start getting lunch ready. My normal tendency in cooking is to get 4 things going together cause I believe it gets things done faster. I know this book i read some time back..(the name of which i cannot remember and I forgot to try an look it up after writing the blog yesterday and i cannot do that know because I have to focus and not give in to being distracted) said multitasking actually makes you slower..i am not sure if i agree to that in the context of cooking but I will continue to explore and update you my dear readers.

Gosh…did you notice my scattered train to though!!?? Anyways back to yesterday when i decided to ‘focus’ . Luckily for me I had already done with most of the cooking all i had to do is set things up and cut salad. I gave cutting cucumber all my attention and completed the task with the throwing of the skin and keeping condiments back in place before i move to the next chore¬† of setting up lunch. So how was the experience…well on a physical level I did not cut my hand which I always do while pealing and cutting cucumber mash for this particular type of salad and so all our knives in the kitchen are kind of blunt so I mostly¬† have nips instead of cuts.¬† I think it can be kind of meditative doing just one task at a time, I heard the birds chirping outside which I may have otherwise missed and more importantly i was not hassled.

And then honestly for the rest of the day i kind of forgot I had to focus one task but also I don’t think we did much after lunch…went for a long walk..went to the Museum of POP, went out for dinner so no tasks really!

Overall I think focusing on one task at a time for easy tasks which do not need too much concentration  like cooking, chopping veggies etc can be meditative and make you feel less hassled but i believe it will overall slow you down. For tasks which require brain power like writing, reading to understand something new, creating a presentation focus is necessarily to get it done well and you will speed up in completing the task.

Maybe focus comes easy to some people but it needs conscious effort for me! Do share your idea’s and expediences on how you tame the monkey mind of focus at the task at hand!

Cheers!

S

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Do More with Life…

I feel I am not doing enough……and yet I am so very busy…

Busy really? What am I so ‘busy’ with? Busy work? I am always constantly doing things and I am so tired but what is the real purpose of what i am doing? What am I really achieving?

My to-do lists are never ending…..so i have kind of stopped making lists and they are all in my head….which maybe is worse because they jump up at me at odd hours when I cannot really do anything about it..my house is in a mess even though most of the times the only person I have to clean up after is myself…I cannot even imagine what it would be like if I had kids in the house i had to clean up after..I keep jumping from one task to the other cause there is so much to do…..

Hmmm….. maybe THAT is the crux of the issue…..I keep jumping from one-task to the¬† other without getting anything done!

I am so distracted…even while sitting for 15 mins to write this post…I want to check my phone, I want to stir the food I set up to cook…I want to google to figure what book i read which spoke about focus..I want to go an amazon and order the grill which is in my list…i want to open the package that has come home and try the steamer…i was to go to the bedroom to investigate the strange sound i just heard….i want to eat my oats….my mind is constantly buzzing…..and this is not even a workday where you have e-mails/phones/pings/adhoc meetings all added to the mix!

Gosh….I ‘think’ maybe I am¬† just busy and tired thinking…:-(…

There was a book i was¬† read sometime back about how multi-tasking makes you less efficient because you loose time & focus every-time you switch and how people who think they are very good at multitasking are actually the worst at it and I always believed I am super good at multi-tasking…maybe I am not…..maybe I need to re-think focus and work on it building my will power to not get distracted…I guess if I practice I will get better.

So I guess my mantra for today….’FOCUS’…do one thing at a time! Why just today and not the whole week or the whole month? Well baby steps…start with today…with this task of blogging that I am doing…..and keep extending it to every next task…every day…every week!

Btw…It took a lot of will power to not pick up my phone and try and find the name of the book and order it again from the library !

Will let you know how my focus day went today…wish me luck!

Cheers!

S

PS:  Do tell me if you tend to get distracted and scattered and if you have strategies to help you focus

 

 

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Workout..

Well….fact of the matter is that I have put on weight…have a flabby tummy more than I have ever had before and overall my fitness levels are super low. One part of me wants to be fitter…the other part says who cares….why be fitter…who wants to live a long life…just chill and eat ghee and cheese, cake drink…watch TV…if you want to be outdoors…just sit by the lake and lead a good life…why exercise!?

The who-cares aspect has been the stronger voice for many reasons which i will not get into this post today because this post is about workout and the voice inside me which says…get fitter!

Our 18 year old step son was visiting…yeah…my husband has a kiddo from his previous marriage who just turned 18 so I have an 18 YEAR OLD STEP SON… ūüėČ I am just getting used to saying it aloud cause I have issues with ‘Step’¬†as it reminds me of cruel ‘step mom’¬†fairy tales like ‘Cinderella’… ‘Hansel and Gretel’ etc ¬†and I am most¬†definitely ¬†not like that and wow….18….is an adult…¬†I don’t think i am old enough to have an 18 year old kiddo…well…maybe I am…so it is kind of weird to say it out loud…but I am practicing!

So back to the point on this post…..Our 18 year old stepson was visiting & while we encouraged him to go run , exercise and be fit both his dad and I were turning to be couch potatoes who just spoke about wanting to exercise but don’t have the time with ‘work’ and other important¬† similar ‘excuses’ so he introduced us to this mobile app called the ‘home workout’ and that is what this post was suppose to be about before I got distracted!

I started using it a couple of days back and looks promising…the excuses ¬†on i don’t have ‘time’ to ‘go’ and exercise are kind of out of the window…so lets see how this goes!

I have started the full body challenge on the app..currently finished 2 workouts…lets see how the month goes!

Check out the app and tell me what you think and I will keep you updated on my progress on this blog!

Cheers!

S

(https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/home-workout-no-equipments/id1313192037?mt=8)

 

 

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Work-Life Balance …Gender ?

I am a firm believer of Work-Life Balance…I like my job but it is just one part of my life not the only thing,¬† I really believe family comes first and touch wood over the last 15 years of working I have been able to maintain that balance.¬† Now maybe I have been able to successfully maintain the work-life balance because my family has not been very¬† demanding, I don’t have small children who really need attention and I only have adults like my husband parents siblings cousins who pretty much don’t need me.

My current dilemma  is that while I am proud of my ability to maintain a work-life balance and put my family before work but my current family is only my husband who does not believe in balance and family comes last in his pecking order which is very distressing to me for multiple reasons.

It makes me question my core values…am i right to have work only as one part of my life? Should I be putting more into work? The answer is a very clear no…work cannot be the only thing in my life…there so so much more to my time here on earth…but what?

My second core belief for the last 37 years of my life has been¬† about putting family first….if the ‘family’ ( read husband!;-)¬†) does not put you and your priorities first…is it still the right thing to do? Is it foolish? is it putting more into the relationship than you get back? Are you ‘suppose’ to even measure relationships? Are women¬† just ‘suppose’ to put more in a relationship? Why should women put more in a relationship ? Women are equally competent…earn as much¬† if not more in the outside world….drive…manage the finances…pay the bills….do everything that men¬† do…and do it better….then why is still not an equal relationship? It just does not seem right. This is my internal conflict.

I have grown up with mixed messages…

I was taught as a girl I¬† could¬† do anything, study anything and succeed in any career that I choose, travel the world if I wanted and my parents would support me. There was never any discrimination between me and my younger brother in the access to resources¬† and we both did not really’ have’ to work around the house so gender did not really play a role and we were equals.

But what we ‘saw‘ was different….

My mother was a working mom and worked as a banker just like my dad as we were growing up. She was independent, made her own money and she was a rock star at work but she was still expected to do all the house work….my dad never lifted a finger to help. She gave up on her promotion because that would mean a transfer outside Mumbai but my dad never had any of these constrains and was free to take a role out side the city….why?¬† Is that fair? I can bet my life that my mom overall had a higher earning potential than my Dad if she put her career first….but she did not…family always came first and this is something she choose and is very happy about.

These are subtle messages that have been embedded in my sub-conscious mind which cause a conflict till date….

What are my values? What is important to me? What is the right thing to do? As an adult now how do i reconcile the duality of what I was told and what I saw growing up? Would having a child just solve my dilemma because then I will have ‘family’ that ‘needs’ me to make them a priority? Is that really the answer or just an escape from dealing with the duality?

It is easy to blame the husband for not acting like an ‘equal’ partner but i think i share equal¬† responsibility because somewhere deep inside I ‘believe’ I need to do more and put in more in the relationship and put family first…but why? More importantly how do I change my deep rooted beliefs which will then definitely¬† change the balance of the relationship. If I don’t put family first and I don’t want to put work first then what comes first? Hobbies? Passions? So what are my hobbies and passions? That is a very loaded question which sadly¬† I don’t know the answer to but I hope to find out soon enough…

Cheers

S

 

 

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