How To Travel With Kids

During summer break, our family traveled around US, and India for 2 months. With 2 young kids, we learned a lot about traveling and adjusted as needed. Most time kids loved outdoors and new places but still needed some what familiar routine. Our younger one was traveling outside US first time, so I was bit apprehensive but in end kids adjusted much better than us. 🙂 Who knew?

Traveling With Kids: Tips for Tired Parents

Here are some lessons I learned during our long long trip and I am hoping our next one will be much smoother.

1. Keep all Kids Legal Document with you

If you are traveling by air line, make sure you have either birth certificate for domestic travel and Passport of international travel. In some cases, parents have been asked to show some legal documentation such as birth certificate for even infant. It is always good to have extra precaution to carry legal document to be on safe side.

If you have passport, make sure it is current. If country you visit, need a visa you will need to get those for yourself and kids too.

2. Keep Travel Itinerary light

We learned this hard way, when we decided to travel for months with visiting many places we thought kids may enjoy. Surely, kids would have loved it all, but young kids need break and free time in between so plan for it. Keep one big site seeing or little 2 things to see and do daily. Keep enough time for possible naps, relaxing play time and restroom breaks.

3. Carry small carry on suitcases with toys and books

Carry a small carry one suitcase or back pack just with kids small toys and books. We also carried crayons, coloring books and small easy crafts that can be done on go. It sure helped. In addition, we carried Dora and Diego DVDs or back up to see on Zenguy’s laptop when boredom hit with what they already played with.

4. Carry extra snacks, juice, Diapers and wipes

You never know what emergency may come during travel, so I always pack extra kids favorite snacks, juice boxes, diapers, wipes and extra change of clothes in carry on bags. It is also good idea to carry kids medicine and over the counter Tylenol just in case needed. When one is driving during road trip you may stop and buy things but it is hard to do when you traveling in plane or train so carrying extra is always better for parents, it was for us.

5. Bring Car seat or stroller for young ones

Most infant car seats and some toddler car seat will fit in airplane seat so bring it. You child will nap better and his or her neck will be rested on car seat better compared to regular seat on plane. You can use stroller at the airport before boarding and you can check in stroller at the boarding gate and pick it up when coming out. It will help you keep small sleeping child safe and secure in his stroller. Use heavy duty, umbrella stroller suitable for traveling. If you have a small infant check out 10 tips for flying with Baby for useful tips.

6. Take turn and Use help

Luckily both of our kids were fine and on very good behavior but surely seat next to us, kid kept on crying making it hard for parents. As a parent we were sympathetic and offered our help for a bit. If you are traveling with a spouse, use his or her help. Take turn for sleeping, eating or taking care of kids. I am double lucky as Zenguy helped me out a lot and kids were good on plane as long they as they had something to do and someone to talk to. If you are traveling alone with kids, ask help from air hostess or friendly person sitting next to you for little bit to give you a break.

Some little kids may cry during take off and landing as their ear hurt, so you may want to give them a sippy cup with milk, juice or pacifier, or even breast feed during those time to ease of pressure of those little ears.

7. Keep flexible

Having low expection and being flexible will keep traveling much smoother on you. Do not compare your crying child to easy sleeping child in seat behind you. Or do not expect you 3 year to travel as same as your infant, sibling may travel and have different temparament. Keep low expection and change as needed. Sometimes letting go of being in control and surrendering to reality of parenting may be a good thing.


While our airline traveling was much smoother, we did plan too many activities once we landed. Kids did not get enough rest as they needed and we all got sick and it was surely not fun looking for doctors and medical stores in new strange places but we became flexible and adjusted our plans as needed and still managed to survive and have fun in process. Next time, we will do short traveling and little less site seeing to make trip even more fun. Read How to travel with Children for more ideas.

How about you? What is your best travel tips with kids or as a single or married couple?

Image source:

How To Stay On Track For Your Goals

Image source:

This is a edited re-post from my earlier blog post.

Have you set your goal? Once you have set the goal how do you achieve it? Finding ways to support your goals and making sure how do you stay on track to get to your desired road to your final goal destination.

Sometimes it is easy to get of the track and get of the path. Sometimes life comes in between, you know unexpected events or daily life things get in a way. I know I have been off goal track a few times, and I am sure I am not the only one who has gotten off the track.  The key is to get back on track to your goal as soon as possible.

Having clear goals with set of steps to achieve them surely will help. It seems simple and easy. But it is true, if we want to take control of where our life is going, we have to stop doing what is not working and start doing things you have been postponing for some day later.

Take a look at your life right now. Is where you want it to be? Can you change, improve it? What is your true personal value and what you want to be and do in your life? Knowing what you want and your values is big step.

Easy Ways How to Stay On Track

1. Be clear and know your core personal values and prioritize them.

Doing this step is important so that you will not do things outside of core values or ethics.

2. Look at your life to see what is working and what can be changed.

3. Set Clear and measurable goals based on previous steps.

4. Make sure your goals are balanced in life. Such as, do not set only money related goal and forget health or relationships. Make sure you have health, wealth and relationship with your final goal.

5. Follow or get mentor. Having a couch or mentor can help you clear your doubts and helps you keep in direction you supposed to go. Mentor can be a expert, a friend, a relative or hired expert. One does not have to spend lot of money to get right mentor.

6. Be with people who have similar goals. It has been said, we do get influenced by friends and family we usually hang out with, so be with right kind of people and with positive attitude.  If you can not find right people to hang out, join a community, organization or forum of similar minded people to reinforce the goal and its road to get there.

7.  Tell other people about your goal, write it down to make sure you are held accountable for your actions. It will keep you on track.

8. When things are getting off the track, ask yourself what is working and what is going right and do not focus on negatives. Making small changes towards goals will have gain you self esteem and motivation to keep going until you get to your goal.


Sometimes life happens, we may get off the track of our goal. Having clear goals, mentor, a friend who held you accountable will steer you back to your road to your goals and back to track.


Life Reflections and Life Lessons

Many of us, look back to reflect on life. I tend to do that a lot, as I am always seeing where I am going and where I have been. Life has not been easy for many of us, new curve balls keeps coming and we have to make small adjustment along the life to keep going. Life sometimes gives us lot of lemons and does not seem fair but if we truly look at it small miracles are happening all around us, we just need to be aware of them and appreciate them.
It is often easier to see bad parts compared to good ones, as we tend to think them as either fluke or we constantly want to improve and better ourselves or our life to the best that might be never ending process. I want to say before you stop and see what is missing in the life, do make an effort to see what is working, what is going well for you. Looking in to positives of life can surely bring new perspective in life that simply is powerful and refreshing.

Life Lessons by Dalai Lama

I  like reading Dalai Lama and other inspirational writers, here are some quotes by Dalai Lama and Life reflections and life lessons: Some of them are quotes from Instructions of Life by Dalai Lama, the instructions are inspirational indeed so I am sharing here.

  • “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”- Dalai Lama
  • “Human beings by nature want happiness and do not want suffering. With that feeling everyone tries to achieve happiness and tries to get rid of suffering, and everyone has the basic right to do this. In this way, all here are the same, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Easterner or Westerner, believer or non-believer, and within believers whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on. Basically, from the viewpoint of real human value we are all the same.” — the Dalai Lama
  • “Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.” – Dalai Lama
  • Follow the three Rs:
    ~ Respect for self
    ~ Respect for others
    ~ Responsibility for all your actions.” : Dalai Lama
  • “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” — the Dalai Lama
  • “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” – Dalai Lama
  • “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.”- Dalai Lama
  • “Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” — the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama : Instructions for Life Video

My Life Lessons Learned

As I reflect on good, bad and ugly of our lives, I am trying to see ray of hope in everything and not be focusing on only negatives that makes me lose sleep over some of the silly thing. I hope you do the same, it is not about making money killing or being popular. Just being content with what I have today is something I wish I can see and cherish it.

Here are some of the life lessons I am learned and learning more now;

  1. Money is not the main thing: Let me first say this, having enough money to buy basic necessity such as food, clothes, regular bills, shelter and medicine is VERY important. Beyond it, it is all extra. Money and things money can buy will make us happy temporarily but it is not sustainable.
  2. Stop comparing: This has been a huge for me, I tend to measure my success and happiness (wrongly) by comparing myself to others. For example, I sometimes feel jealous of people who can write quality articles fast, or someone who has more motivation, or someone who has beautiful skin. By comparing, only person I am making unhappy is me. I have come to realize that I am not going to be queen bee all the time. Sometimes there are people who are better and that is okay with me.
  3. Taking care of my health: When I was teen, I did not take good care of my eating and sleeping habits. I slept late, woke up late. I even ate cold pizza for breakfast and drank too much soda as I thought it was cool. I put on too much make up and wore really high heel sandals that made my feet aches even now. As I am growing mature (I think) further I am realizing how silly I was and who was I trying to impress then? I wished I had taken better care of my health but I have already started a few years ago and improving every day.
  4. Hug people you love today: Do not wait. I had waited and gotten busy with my life and one day I lost my grandmother and soon my grandfather too and I really never got a chance to tell them what they meant to me and how much I loved them. Do not wait, give a hug and tell someone you love them today.
  5. Treat others the way you want to be treated: One of my college professor said that once as he was talking to students and it has stayed in my mind and my goal since that day. I like to think I am treating others like how I want to be treated and that makes me more humble and compassionate even when I am not in agreement with the person.
  6. Do not chase success: While success can mean different to different people, often time success is associated with how much money someone is making or has made. I was one of these person who chased success and it was not easy. Now I try to teach kindergarten and cook in my kitchen, watch movies to have simple joy in my life. While, I am not saying I am successful or happy always but the pressure and stress is lot less right now.

Other Good Read:

Life Lesson I wished I had Learned Earlier

Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living

Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter

What are your life lessons that you reflect upon?

Healing Tree: Page For You

As a blogger, I get to write and be on my “soap box” any time, here is a chance for all my readers to have place shine, place to heal, share prayer, a message, anything as long as it is not spammy. I am not on any social media, so this is my way of connecting with my readers. You do not need be a blogger to write there, you can be yourself at Healing Tree and share about you, yourself there.

Why Healing Tree?

Tree of  Life has been played important part in mythology, some religion and culture aspects. Trees symbolize different outlooks and parts of life. Human beings, observing the growth and death of trees, the elasticity of their branches, the sensitivity and the annual decay and revival of their foliage, see them as powerful symbols of growth, decay and resurrection. Trees have been known to give people shade from heat, wood for building fire, or making houses and furniture. Trees also give flowers, fruits and has medicinal property which is used in Aryuveda, alternative and many modern medicine has basic roots from Trees and plants.

Healing Tree: How Indian Trees Help with Modern Medicine

According to wikipedia, trees have played important role in religion and places like, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Druidism, Paganism Burma, Africa, Europe and Germany. There is also mythical stories about trees, such as Tales of Two Brothers, from ancient Egypt.

  • Apple tree symbolism- magic, youth, beauty, happiness
  • Ash tree symbolism – sacrifice, sensitivity and higher awareness
  • Aspen tree symbolism- determination, overcoming fears and doubts
  • Beech tree symbolism- tolerance, past knowledge, softens over criticism
  • Birch tree symbolism- new beginnings, cleansing of past, vision quests
  • Cedar tree symbolism- healing, cleansing, protection
  • Cherry tree symbolism – death and rebirth, new awakenings
  • Cypress tree symbolism – understanding the role of sacrifice
  • Elder tree symbolism- birth and death, fairy realm
  • Elm tree symbolism- strength of will, intuition
  • Hazel tree symbolism- hidden wisdom, dousing, divination
  • Heather tree symbolism- healing from within, immortality, initiation
  • Holly tree symbolism- protection, overcoming of anger, spiritual warrior
  • Maple tree symbolism- balance, promise, practicality
  • Palm tree symbolism- peace and opportunity
  • Pine tree symbolism – creativity, life, longevity, immortality
  • Willow tree symbolism- magic, healing, inner vision, dreams

The Healing Tree – Relaxing Piano Music

We as human go through many development and setbacks in life, in my mind healing tree page is supposed to be helping us heal from our hurt, our struggles and overcome obstacles to lead a happier and much peaceful life, hopefully. It will be a place to share our healing, prayers, your site, and about you. Hope you can come and join there.

Please visit and make your wishes known: Healing Tree

Image source: livingmemorialproject

Help Fight Child Hunger: Make Others Happy

Many will think hunger happens only in poor nations such as India, Africa or other small nations. They may not realize that in Country like US, the same problem exists but hidden from everyday life from people. People who American people in Television, Movies or any media may not realize that there are children and women going hungry in US currently.

Earlier, I used to feel that there was no hunger problem here in US, since I have grown up, I have come to realize that how misguided this picture was. While, people generally seemed richer here, Americans have problems just like any other country folks. There are many of us in US, constantly on diet program to lose weight from our unhealthy eating. While, we would hardly see any poor people or pan handlers in our daily life, there is hidden America that we do not see that often unless you are part of it. There are so many poor people in USA that they do not know where their next meal is coming from. Sad thing about it, many of them family with little kids who deserves to not go hungry and cared for as their parents probably would have go to low pay job just to survive. While there are churches, temple and other charitable organization helps but it is little and problem is too big and could use many hands from many people like us.

I hesitated to write about this topic before, as reality or truth is never pretty and quite harsh. However, I believe that if we truly want to be happy, we should want people around us to be happy.

  • Why? Happiness is contagious, more happy people in world, world would be happy.
  • Hungry people can not be happy, we all need our basic need met such as food, clean water, shelter, clothes, and caring and love in order to be happy and content.

We all know and may even help other kids (and we should) to Africa, Asia and Other poor to developing nations but do we know we have hungry kids in our own backyard?

Child Does not Have to Go Hungry

What does it like to feel hungry? Many of us are very lucky to have never find that harsh truth in life. Unfortunately many people in world adults, men and women are going hungry in Asia, Africa and other nation. Many of those who go hungry are children. The sad fact is many of them are in wealthy nation of ours in, USA.

There are many organizations are helping but it is not enough. Hunger and poverty are increasing at alarming rate in last 50 years compared to ever before.

According to site;

925 million people are hungry.

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That’s one child every five seconds.

That fact alone will make you want to sit up and do something about it. No innocent child have to be hungry or unloved. Every little bit we can do can make a difference. It is like a ripple effect.

Hunger In America:

  • We live in the world’s wealthiest nation USA, yet 13% of us are living in poor condition and are going hungry.
  • One in four children live in homes that have problem having enough money to feed themselves. That is over 15 million American Children. That is shocking fact!
  • As we do not see these children in our daily life, we can not know the dire situation they must live in.

There are nutrition and other helpful programs to help but it is not enough and many children are going hungry.

Here are some Hunger Facts:

  • Nearly 14 million children are estimated to be served by Feeding America, over 3 million of which are ages 5 and under.
  • According to the USDA, over 17 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2009.
  • 20% or more of the child population in 16 states and D.C. are living in food insecure households. The states of Arkansas (24.4 percent) and Texas (24.3 percent) have the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.(Cook, John, Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2006-2008.
  • 14.6% of U.S. households struggle to put enough food on the table. More than 49 million Americans—including 16.7 million children—live in these households.
    Source: Household Food Security in the United States, 2008 . U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November 2009. (Table 1A, Table 1B)
  • Nearly one in four children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, one in three children is at risk of hunger.
    Source: Household Food Security in the United States, 2008 . U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November 2009. (Table 1B, Table 6).

Food Spending

  • Low-income households already spend a greater share of their income on food. Food accounts for 17.1 percent of spending for households making less than $10,000 per year compared to the U.S. average of 12.6 percent.
    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2006.

Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Check out this video below for more information:

Closing Thoughts:

We can get rid of poverty if we all helped and not wasted food. Many people can blame this crisis in growing population around the world and say that there is not enough food for everyone. But many experts do not think it is to be truth.  As Gandhiji  said, “There is enough food for everybody but not enough for everyone’s greed”.

We are wasting so much food here, places such as costco and some restaurant throw away food instead of donating it to homeless folks or shelters who could use it. We also waste lot of personal food at home or eat unhealthy. Most of farms are growing corn that is fed to cattle for making meat. We are sure not living sustainable living and draining our earth’s natural resources into profit and waste.

What can we do?

I think most people are kind hearted and would help this cause, only if they knew how and where to help. Here are a few ways we can start it off.

  1. Check out for local homeless shelter or homeless hanging out area and donate some non-perishable food to them.
  2. We do not have wait until Christmas, charity begins at home, when we are ready.
  3. If you see anyone around you, who might have lost a job, or had major health issues, help them with food and other things as you provide.
  4. Just because we do not see poor people, does not mean they do not exist, seek them out and help.
  5. Before we judge any poor people for being lazy, dirty; give them compassion, care and help. I am sure there are a few people who might take advantage of the situation but 99% are hard working people if they only had a chance.
  6. Many people can use, freshly cooked meals, old blankets, old stuffed toys, donate cars and so on so they can try to get back to their feet.
  7. Donate to organization who are helping child hunger, shelter and also look for people to help directly as many organization have budget limit and they may have turn away few folks.
  8. Many churches or temple give out food to people or check it out and share with them.
  9. Donate little money you could afford to either people in need or organizations.
  10. Be kind and thankful for what we have and able to help. There are always people who have more than us and there are people who have less than us, let’s help who have less than us.

Organizations to check out:

Child Hunger in America

United Nations on Hunger

Find local Homeless Shelters in US:

Worldwide Child Hunger Issues

World Hunger Facts: (Thanks Adrian for the Link Suggestion)

If you still on fence about helping, take a look at some of the images of hungery children around the world, and help. I do not make anything from this except from feeling good for doing the right thing and following my heart.

Thank you for Taking time to read this and making small change to change world in to a happier place!

Car-Free or Car Owner? : Finding A Happy Middle Ground

There has been lot of discussion about going car free and its benefits. Many of people are interested in being minimalist and saving environment are saying that going car free is one of the best way to do it. I agree, being car free is good thing for saving money, saving environment and also getting healthier (be able to walk more). However, It may not be possible for many of us, to go car free for various reasons as follows:

Possible Reasons for not being Car-Free

  1. Lack of near by public transportation
  2. There might be public transit, but it may take 2-3 connection to go to your destination.
  3. It might take an hour or longer to commute one way
  4. Public transit is not available at times you want to travel
  5. You have kids and mega stuff that kids seems to be having
  6. You want the freedom of coming and going at time you please, aka not waiting
  7. It might not be safe to travel in some area alone at certain times.
  8. It is inconvenient

While above seem like an excuses the some, it could be as real issues to others. I know I have been there and I am not car free myself right now. So why I am writing about being car-free?

I am actually want to share that there are more than Black and White in every issues, there are lot of Grey areas and being car-free or owning car has Grey areas too and simply we do not have to pick sides. We can still save money and our environment at the same time, weather you own a car or are car-free.

My college Life Experience

I used to take bus and local train to my college, even though I had to make 1 connection and it took 1.15 minutes one way to get to college it was helpful. My younger brother and I shared one car so we had one but we rarely used it and mostly for urgent trips.

Some benefits of using public Transportation:

  1. You do not have to worry about traffic or getting stuck.
  2. You can read, listen to music while sitting in bus/train
  3. You can do your homework/ check balancing / knit
  4. Some of us can take a good hour nap (if your trip lasted long)
  5. You can chat up with fellow travelers and make friendship (I know someone who got married this way)
  6. You can relax without worrying about direction finding
  7. You will always have fixed time to go and come
  8. You can always leave boring gathering, saying you have go as bus times are fixed
  9. You can save money on car buying, insurance and gas filling prices
  10. You might be more relaxed and be not part of road rage that some people go through.

I enjoyed using public transportation during my high school and college years and some times I actually walked to my destination (if the place was within a few miles). I actually got some fresh air and got some exercise at the same time.

During my single phase and working phase I had a car but I still shared rides with friends and occasionally rode public transportation.

Life as a family with 2 young kids

Right now, I find almost hard to be car free with 2 kids. I actually heard and know of moms in similar situation using bus just fine. They have their stroller, kids and small bag and off they go. I have tried it once, I was so exhausted and almost in tears. My kindergartner was super excited and asking question and my 1 year old was running around to the being dangerous. I guess I am one of these mom, who is not so organized or my kids are bit active.

And as a homeschooler, we often have park days, co-op classes and various field trips planned, some are close by, some are bit far. So it is not so practical for us to be car free right now. I am going to try again after a few years when kids are bit older to see if we can do it. Only time will tell.

How to have Middle ground and happy Compromise to car-free or car owning

While we are not car free right now and not going to be in near future, we still can do a few things to find a middle ground. Middle ground to save our earth and our money as well. Maybe many of you are in similar situation as me and are wondering if you can do this? Sure, here are some ways I have found that might be helpful.

  1. Combine errands together and drive a few times
  2. Instead of bigger car, drive smaller car
  3. Drive Hybrid, if possible
  4. If you have grocery store near by walk to it, instead of driving
  5. Share rides with other people, go in group
  6. Drive to local things and only occasionally to far places
  7. Do oil change and services to your car, prevention is always better then costly repair
  8. Buy used (good and certified) car/van
  9. Share a car between spouses/family if possible
  10. Maintain your car, air pressure, tire change (see 7)
  11. Walk to near by park, instead of driving
  12. Drive at normal and steady speed to improve your milege and less gas filling
  13. Fill gas early in morning See reason
  14. Be careful and safe driver
  15. Combine your insurance with other car and rental/home insurance to get best price.

I am sure there are many ways, we can own car and still be green and environment friendly. Even if we use a car, we can have days in a month or year when we can go car-free and be kind to our mother earth. Try it. Check out the videos around the world about car free day below.

Car Free Day: London

Car Free Day: 2001 Canada

Bicycle Mass Day: San Francisco

Other Resources to learn more about Car Free Life Style

1. How to Live Well Without Owning a Car.

How to Live without a Car book is Written by Chris Balish and sells for about $9.90 at Amazon. According its publisher, this is what they had to say:”The first practical, accessible, and sensible guide to living in North America without owning a car. • Exposes the true costs of car ownership and shows how getting rid of your car can simplify your life and put you on the road to financial freedom. • Packed with realistic, economical alternatives to owning a car, including chapters on carsharing, carpooling, and even car-free dating. • Includes more than 100 real-world tips, strategies, and success stories from people who are happily car-free or “car-lite,” from cities to suburbs. • According to a 2004 American Automobile Association study, the average American spends $8,410 per year (roughly $700 per month) to own a vehicle.”

2. Pedestrian Zone: By Beta Publishing

This book is called “Pedestrian Zone” and edited by Lambert M. Surhone ,Miriam T. Timpledon and Susan F. Marseken by Beta Publishing. Here is what they have from publisher:

“High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Pedestrian zones (also known as auto-free zones and car-free zones) are areas of a city or town in which automobile traffic is prohibited. They are instituted by communities who feel that it is desirable to have areas not dominated by the automobile. Converting a street or an area to car-free use is called pedestrianisation. Auto-free zones have a great variety of attitudes or rules towards human powered vehicles such as bicycles, inline skates, skateboards and kick scooters. Some have a total ban on anything with wheels, others ban certain categories, others segregate the human-powered wheels from foot traffic, and others still have no rules at all. Many of the Middle Eastern examples have no wheeled traffic, but use donkeys for freight transport.”

More resource:

Tammy Strobel from Rowdy Kittens has a good collection and ebook selection on being car free.

You can check outCarFree USA’s blog about living car free lifestyle.

There is another blog called On the level, which has a good information about being Car Free.

Your turn: I would like to hear your suggestions and tips. What works for you and why?

Image: Paul /

Starting Off New Year With Trials and Errors

Now, I am sure this is not the title of post you expect to read on any blog. But there is nothing about me is typical and way I blog here. Let’s look at my life resume in short summery, shall we?

  • Quitting my 6 figure income to be home with family and do volunteer work
  • Decide to home school
  • We do attachment parenting with kids
  • Life long vegetarian who is unsuccessfully trying to go Vegan for 7 months (can not give up yogurt yet)
  • Blogging with passion and not with success plan in mind
  • Not being on twitter, Facebook or other social media (lack of time, see #2 and #3)
  • Hardly promoting my blog, have done only 3 guest posts and 2 online magazine contributions.
  • Releasing free ebook without any knowledge of creating a digital product, other than telling a few friends, no marketing for it.I think it went well.
  • Saying no to many promotional books and products and potential revenue just because I do not believe in products.
  • Spending a lot on site and making 0.44 cents in my blogging life. Yes, I am shocked as well! 🙂
  • Living life with no significant income last year (with me at home and Zenguy without a project for awhile)
  • Making friends online with other blogger and commenter, many cool people actually.
  • Living and practicing really what I write about such as being content and happy. (Some days are better)
  • Being thankful for many good things happening around me and other people.
  • Gaining wisdom to know that I do not know much in life.
  • Relearning from my own history, that, best things in life are not things and people.

What are my goals and resolutions going forward in 2011?

I always think that is it is good to have planning and organization skills in order to be productive and successful. While I do have my planner book and general to do list, I really do not have any resolutions for past few years. It is okay to be unproductive sometimes, we could all use some down time from all productive stuff that we usually do.

Every year, I used to make same resolutions like many other well meaning people such as eating better, saving money, spending time with family,  get out debt,  help others more and so on. You know what, like 88% people I was already breaking my resolution goals and it was not fun getting off the wagon. So, now what do I do? I do not make new year resolutions so therefor, no chance of failing!  However, I have rough goal plan that are specific.

  • I want to talk to one stranger (real or online life) and make a friend.
  • I want to count to ten before responding to someone whose point of view is different than mine.
  • I really want to think money is not root of evil, I have been avoiding it past few years. I am all for giving but taking things I have such a hard time. I wish to have a little income to sustain our already simple and frugal lifestyle.
  • Make time to read classic books and educational books.
  • I am also addicted to blog reading and internet, I have told R last year, sorry, mommy is busy blogging. I generally spend 1 hour to 3 hours on each post to create mediocre posts. In addition to it takes time to go through comments, spams and emails from heart and mind blog. R was simply happy this Christmas when I was off the laptop and actually spend quality time with him. I want to balance it better.
  • I have been so busy playing a blogger, teacher, friend (online and offline), daughter, sister, sister in law, daughter in law that I have forgotten to give any time to myself and Marriage, I want to change that this year.
  • I want to really go on  good laid back vacation with family. Maybe one day I can convince my relative to do a big reunion type of outing, if everyone’s schedule met.
  • Provide more values to my family and on my blog. Doing my best without expecting (This is toughie)
  • Just have fun. What if I do not achieve any of this? I will be still me. It is okay to fail, as long as I tried my best. You should do the same.
  • It is okay to cry and feel down. But when I am done wallowing in my own sorrow, I want to get up and improve upon whatever was bothering me.
  • My last goal is to “Live and let other live”. I sometimes think when we love and dictate how one should live, we are suffocating them with love. So, let others be. Be supportive, even if I do not get the why they do things certain way.

I have learned a lot in year 2010 and there are many things to still learn. Here are some of the reasons, I am starting off 2011, new year with trials and errors and changing course of action as needed, if needed.

Hope I survive! and I hope all of your survive and thrive.

Other Important note; My friend Evelyn from Healthier you have just released a free ebook, 10 important keys to become healthier. Please go and download it for free, it is timely as many of us want to start off new year becoming healthier. While you are check out Evelyn’s blog, as she has wonderful tips on healthy living as well as blogging topics too.


Life balance: 6 Critical areas

Many times, we often are busy with many non important and non-urgent tasks and life gets out of balance. If we focus on following six areas, we can be balanced. All of these six areas need attention in order for our life to be in balance. One can be healthy, wealthy but yet lonely,that will not be a true balanced life, you get the picture.

1. Money:
Money is one of the biggest issue we all face, if it is ignored, it can destroy happiness and harmony in any relationship, including one with yourself. Did you know, many married couple or family members fight about money and it is #1 cause for divorces. Not to mention sleepless nights and constant worries that will wreak all other aspects of one’s life. Best way to deal with this issue is to spend less then you earn, pay off debts via snowball and automate your financial life, so you will need to spend little time maintaining it and more time enjoying it.

2. Health:
Some one has said ” True wealth is health”, which is so true. We will realize it only after being sick often that how easy we had it and how we abused our bodies by eating unhealthy and not exercising. Health problems can make us feel miserable, cut our social and financial life short. It is good to spend little time cooking, eating healthy food, drinking water and exercising your body and staying right weight. Doing little changes everyday will have a major impact on your health, slow and steady wins the health race too.

3. Family time:
If this list was based on priorities, it will be at the top. If we are so busy making money and exercising but not spending enough time with family, our life will be out of balance. At the death bed, no one wishes that they had made more money, or worked long hours. All of us want to be loved and tell loved one that we love and care for them. Make a effort to spend time with your spouse, kids, mother, father, siblings, and in-laws and friends. You will be glad you did.

4. Religious/ Spiritual:
Prayers do wonder for most of when we are down, worried and do not know where to turn. One does not need to be religious for a prayer, being spiritual also helps. When we are down, a simple prayer to a god from a heart does us so good. Mahatma Gandhi has said “There has never been a time when God has not answered my prayers”. Even if we do not have conviction like Gandhi, being spiritual helps tremendously when we are drowning in worries. Even when the problem does not go away, big burden on your heart might be lifted and that is a good reason to pray for most of us.

5. Knowledge/Learning:
One does not need to keep learning from PhD, Masters and other degrees to keep learning. For many people who are working, they keep learning, new tools, software, technology to help them get better at their professional career. However, even for people are unemployed or work from home, stay at home like myself, there are many ways to keep learning and gain new knowledge.

Learning can be simple as learning cook, or sew or garden. Learning how to save money, invest, how to be a better parent, reading various books on topics you might be interested in. Learning about other countries, culture also counts. As long as we are constantly learning, we feel part of society, part of contributing member of family.

6. Social:
We human are social creature. Solitude helps us focus what we want in our life from time to time, however, we need social contacts from family, friends to talk our feelings, hear others perspective and live among others. Too much social and not enough inward focus will leave this area out of balance.

Stephen Covey has once said, we play many roles and fulfilling each roles will help us achieve balance we seek. For example, my role is as a daughter, wife, mother, friend, woman and home CFO (basically bills payer), if I ignore any of the role long enough, my life would be uncomfortably out of balance.

I believe, if any of us followed these 6 critical area of our lives, our lives would be happier and smoother and in balance. Do you agree? How do you balance your life? Would you like to add any suggestions that would help?