Getting back to work after a break

Hello all…It’s been a while. A lot has happened and I’m still struggling to find my bearings in Bangalore. Good news (or bad I’m not sure at this point) I’ve started working again. This time it’s a writing job! ( I know!!considering I like to write, this does sound like an interesting turn of events).

I’ve joined a content management company and my work involves reading text books on a varied range of subjects from psychology to religion to management. Language training sessions are great and begin to throw light on punctuations – some choose not to show up on certain occasions and while others show up where they are not invited  and subject-verbs can sometimes ‘disagree’. It’s a process I hear and I’m getting there…

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If any of you are wondering how it feels getting back into the work force after a break. The experience has had its ups and downs…Well, let me explain, I’ve been –

The Samurai and the Emotional wreck: I can tell you now that the experience wasn’t easy and wasn’t very difficult either. That said, I cried like a baby on my  first day. Saying bye to my darling princess was not easy in the least. Even while I sat in the training room where we were filling out forms and finishing up the joining formalities I kept thinking about lil Ems back home.Thank God she was in safe hands and her safety and well-being were not a problem. I always thought I was a very practical sort of person who would do what needed to be done without feeling any emotion like a Japanese Samurai – Nishi the Bushi (Bushi means Japanese Samurai and yes, I realise that sounds very odd with my name and the rhyme just makes it worse) but let me tell you I was Nishi the Mushy on my first day at work. One of my colleagues said she thought I had my b**** face on that day and that I looked kind of intimidating but the truth was, I was feeling bad having left little Ems behind. Don’t worry it’s been a month now and we’ve both adjusted to the new schedule.

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The Debutante and the Elderly matron: Yea so I don’t know if you guys remember I celebrated my 30th birthday here on my blog two years back and it was a nice day. I dreaded the three zero but as it turns out nothing actually changed and things only got better- emotionally I felt mature and in control, I grew more accepting of myself and the way I looked, I felt healthier and more energetic that I did in my twenties…so life was in fact getting better. But here I was at the workplace starting at the bottom with a bunch of twenty somethings. So when I finally got to talk to the cute guy in office and he asked me in a voice interspersed with equal doses of curiosity and innocence how old I was…In my mind I was like..

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…in the end however, I remember squirming and with every ounce of my being trying hard to be honest and finally I voiced my truth- I’m thirty one. Hell, when my nephew asked me how old I was when I blew the candles on my cake this birthday I acted all “caszh’ and told him that I was  ‘forever twenty one’ (the name of the store I bought the dress I was wearing or my age he can go figure) but seriously folks – if I have to be very honest age don’t matter.

The Zen master and the Drama queen: There have been several occasions in my one month of working that I’ve vacillated from being completely in control of my emotions and feelings to when I’ve totally blown my fuse. When my friend at office, lets call her Sally, called me a drama queen after witnessing my numerous meltdowns at the bank while setting up my account and at the office, it made me think and reflect…Maybe I was overreacting, maybe it’s not right to expect people to behave in a certain way when perhaps they were never taught those values in the first place. Lack of professionalism, self-centredness and a blatant disregard for others have become a trademark of majority of the youth in India today. I know I sound very preachy and judgemental at this point but I sincerely yearn for those old school values of chivalry and sincerity…Yes, Mister please explain to these kind folks what I mean…

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When you start something new and after you’ve taken a break, you tend to compare things to how it used to be and how it was. I consider myself fortunate however to have had the opportunity to experience these things and though it does get a little emotionally draining at times there is always an adjustment phase when you are trying to learn and adapt to the new surroundings and new ways of life. How have you all been?

 

5 Tips to Blogging

In 5 months it will be 4 years since I started this blog – The Showcase. All I wanted when I started blogging was to dust the cobwebs off my mind at a time when I was sure I actually had crickets residing in my brain 😀 and to write about random things when I felt like it. The truth however, is I’ve gotten so much more. Okay, I think I just sounded like an infomercial right there, but let me explain…

I’ve met some very cool people, learned a lot about them and about myself; I think more clearly, and I’m  more mindful about my place and purpose in this world…Sound too fanciful? but it’s true! If any of you, my dear blogger friends  have felt the same way, please drop me a few lines in the comments…

Today with blogging being free/affordable there are millions of blogs and bloggers out there – On every subject under the sun. And then there are many bloggers who have, if you go through their blogs, written their heart out but have very scanty readership. As time goes by and their following does not go up proportionally they just decide to quit and shut down their blogs. If you are just starting off in the blogging game I’m sure you would’ve read umpteen articles on how to set up your blog and on SEO and how to tag your blog posts so that your posts show up on searches and you can draw more traffic into your blog.

Here are my 5 tips on how you can survive and succeed in the world of blogging without the dreaded burn out and to be the person of influence you were born to be.

  1. Write what you love  – A blog can be a great place to showcase your talents or to show the world what it is you are passionate about. Even if you are not an expert at what it is you love, the blog becomes an excellent platform where you learn more about the things  or areas that interest you. I for one find it difficult to zero in on one particular topic to write about, but its always nice to have a theme associated with your blog. Be it Fashion, Technology, Prose or Poetry because that way you attract like minded readers and persons who are interested in what you put forward and may even help you progress to the next level.socnet-07.gif (576×469)
  2. Network – No matter what you write about and how passionate and wonderful you feel about your writing if you have no one reading your blog even after you’ve chosen the right host and platform to present your work, it could feel like landing a gig at the Carnegie hall and playing to an empty audience. So in the infancy of your blog put the word out there about your blog and reach out to fellow bloggers. Collaborations are a great way to make your presence felt in the blogosphere.6a00e5521e0b2e883301538f8882da970b-800wi (800×239)
  3. Use proper tags– Tags are key words that will give readers an idea as to what your blog post is about. Tags are like labelling the jars in your pantry or for all you guys – your CD collection… Just makes those things more easier to locate. So for a blogger that means people who are looking for information on related content drop by and read your blog and therefore more traffic.such-a-pretty-label-cartoon-cjmadden.gif (467×547)
  4. Put out quality content – Check your facts and be authentic. Don’t approximate too often and never assume; as the saying goes – Assuming something is making an Ass of U and Me. Use original photographs or if you choose to borrow give proper credit and make your posts pop! Research shows, colored visuals increased people’s willingness to read a post by 80% (Source: blog.hubspot.com).cartoon6666.png (480×360)
  5. Show up and be accountable – I know I’m guilty of taking long breaks in between posts, but its always nice to set a schedule. Plan your posts ahead, draft them and set them for auto publish on days you can’t be in front of the computer.

Stay happy and keep blogging!!

Monday Rambles – Hardly gone just rambling on

If you read the title and felt it didn’t make any sense – it doesn’t! :). I know its been a while since I’ve (virtually) chatted with you all, mommy hood just seems to take up all my time these days.Despite all my good intentions to enroll Ems in preschool last year it didn’t happen. The pre school here requires that she be fully potty trained and I am proud to say WE’VE finally achieved the feat of going to the potty unassisted and she starts school next month!

She’s a good child no doubt about that. She’s not very fussy and listens to what I say, but you know as a mum you always wonder if you are actually doing enough and being over critical of your ‘mothering skills’. So I got the workbooks and the flashcards and the three line books to prepare her for the wonderful world of learning and growing up ahead of her.

She’s picking up and loves singing the Alphabet song and counting from 1-20 (with a few number jumbled up between 11 and 20) But trust me – teaching a child is no easy feat! I always thought of myself as a very patient person but I guess I proved myself wrong. I yelled, threw tantrums, had a ‘Pity Party’ (did you see that song by Melanie Martinez from The Voice? ) cried and then realized my approach was all wrong.

I had to be the PARENT instead of the BIG BABY I had turned into and set the example. I calmed down and stopped the pushing and the nagging and then things just started falling in place. Maybe a series on my experiences as a mom later.

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Hope you are all having a great summer! Have a great week guys!