Renew

It’s a strange feeling, to have one’s life change drastically while simultaneously feeling like it’s at a standstill. Ajay’s arrival has been nothing short of amazing, but in many ways it has also been the perfect excuse to stop focusing on some of my personal goals.Things like writing (for myself), painting and drawing, working on my children’s book concepts, working out, they have all taken a back seat because I do these tasks best when alone, and there isn’t much alone time lately as you can imagine. Any free time when the kids are at school and the baby is asleep, I devote to working on my freelance gigs or napping or doing chores. This was not the original intent of working for myself.

But since our beach trip I have felt a new sense of renewal and a strong feeling to reorganize my schedule to also devote time to myself. And if you ever find yourself in a similar position and need inspiration on just how to get going, there is nothing like a trip to the library. Yesterday, Ajay and I spent some quality time there and came home with so many good books.

I haven’t cared for cooking in like a year (basically since I got pregnant with Ajay) but now I am finally getting a hankering for trying new recipes and making dinner a family experience, rather than just a task to get done! I am especially excited to try something from Jack’s Wife Freda which is where we ate during the last ladies trip to NY. Also, The Pollan Family Table, seems like a no-brainer.

I also picked up some travel books now that Ajay is getting bigger and sturdier. Call me crazy but I feel a little depressed when I don’t have a trip to look forward to. I am determined to find a vacation spot before the end of the year that is not terribly cold, less than 11 hours in an airplane, and won’t break the bank now that there are more of us! Fall is the start of low season in many European cities so I am hopeful to hit the jackpot. If you have any recommendations, I am all ears!

Another thing that I want to revamp is a workout schedule. I thought I would be good about using fitness videos at home while the baby is asleep, but I am craving workouts that get me out of the house and around other people. So I made a trip to the local Y which in addition to group exercises also seems to have an amazing child care center. I can’t wait to get back in shape. I was telling some friends the other day that it is easy to ignore fitness when I’ve had no problem losing the baby weight. BUT, my body feels like jello. I want to be toned again and needless to say I can’t wait to get started.

I have also been thinking about how I can increase accountability about personal writing. Then an idea struck when I was looking through Asha’s end of year artwork and file from school. She apparently had kept a journal throughout the year. It is full of colorful doodles, drawings, her attempt at writing words. It’s so perfect that I want her to continue adding to that book. It also made me think back to my old boss who has two young boys. He and his wife Terri have instilled a habit of writing one page a day in a journal before the boys’ bedtime. I didn’t think much about it back then, but now it seems like an amazing habit to instill in me and my kids! Asha is good at holding me accountable so I’ve got my new writing buddy!

My friend Emily recently told me about the podcast, Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love). It’s as if Elizabeth woke up one day and said, how can I help Chika be productive! I love it! One of the things she said recently that has resonated with me on so many levels, is how some people with good ideas get so involved in learning and researching, that implementation takes a back seat. That is me ya’ll! I feel like I spend so much time reading about self-publishing, and printing, and all that other stuff, that I am more overwhelmed than excited about my original idea of the children’s books. So it’s time to snap out of it and do rather than just think.

Today being September 1st, a brand new month with a  brand new beginning, I am ready to start implementing these ideas. I can’t wait to keep you posted. Please hold me accountable and when you see me, ask me how I am doing with these goals.

I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day!

 

 

 

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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