Friday, December 31, 2010

Learning Plateaus

4 years ago, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do some serious navel-gazing. I went through several assessments, by myself and by those around me. There were personality tests, leadership assessments, skill analyses- the lot. The outcome of all that was what my mother had been saying for two decades-but never mind that. With the help of my coach, I drafted a Development Plan. At the end of 2010, I am still working on it. I still catch myself getting into trouble for doing things I know I should not be doing.

I tried and tried to make bread, concentrating on just two recipes (rustic bread and cinnamon-raisin-oatmeal bread), with variable results every time. This weekend, I will buy some more yeast and add a third one- roasted potato bread. (All by Jeffrey Hamelman, recipes in his book or online at The Fresh Loaf). I expect more unpredictability there.

I am still trying to learn enough English to teach it to a six-year old. We started tenses yesterday, and I realized that I only remember six of the twelve (or is it 9? or 15?).

I intuitively understand the concept of resilience, but cannot define it- and I certainly cannot sound erudite while talking about it. I see vulnerability, but find it tough to assess it without including disclaimers with every phrase.

For the first time in my life, I feel my father's absence. I now see that I have no idea how to do this husband-wife thing. My observations of married people are either dowry reports in the newspaper or the 'how to iron Father's shirts' chapters in my 19th century housekeeping manuals- which makes me as stable as Himalayan geology. Working on it, but I don't think I'll be asking Mian for a stakeholder assessment anytime soon.

My basil died in October due to the cold, my earthworms in November. The mint and garlic are alive. I don’t know how to garden below 15 degrees Celsius. Still feeling my way around northern gardening calendars.

I spoke of two challenges facing me last year. The work challenge I have bowed down in defeat to, the personal challenge is a continuing one.

Cakes, yes. Pies, no. Ensuring equitability, sort of. Basic conversation, no. Thinking before I speak, sometimes. Thinking before I snap, no. Got my work cut out for me.

This has definitely been a Year of Learning. Where learning is a verb, of course. Still working on all that, and thoroughly enjoying the process.

Happy new year.

The photo? my big adventure of the year. Our wedding day dinner..


nadi said...

it's almost midnight
am a little drunk

do not agree with this post.

you do a LOT and you do it well.

the child you teach- i wish there was someone like you to teach me and that they cared as much..

I admire you.

as to the husband-wife thing-
I have seen the way your mian looks at you
you must be doing something right, girl.

Grumpy Granny said...

Happy New Year, dear Chicu. I feel so blessed that we encountered one another this of the highs of 2010!

As for your husband/wife dilemma, I think it is good you have no "pattern" to follow. If you can simply relate to each other as fellow humans on your journey together, without the set "roles" that any society places on couples, then you'll both definitely be ahead of that game.

I wish you all the best for love, bread making and work assessments in 2011. And I highly recommend the Cornmeal Bread recipe in James Beard's "Beard on Bread". For me, it is a "never fail".

Hugs to you!

chicu said...

hey..happy new year to you two!
i see this is one of those posts where i need to clarify things..I DO do a lot of things, but I want to be better..My little student is thriving, but I need to sit and plan every step. My bread is edible, often even serve-to-guests-able, but it needs to be reliable. My mian and the others I love are happy and i am too, but i'd like to erase the prickles off me..This learning is an enjoyable process, a wanting more rather than a having less.
makes sense, i hope

Anonymous said...

we Uttarakhandandi-es tend to react strongly, anxiously because we love reading about all that you do-
yes, it makes sense-
know now that you meant it Positively.
yes, we must keep learning
we must Want to keep learning

twoin1shot said...

I can relate to your basil and worms as I lost both this past year as well. Had seven tomato plants and not one bore fruit.

Since we are "sisters" I will freely offer my advice on the husband-wife thingy. It really is a learn as you go process, kind of like raising children. Keep laughing, smiling, hugging and crying together - even when it is via skype. Take each day at one at a time, learn from the bad times but only remember the good times.

Nadi, I too have seen that "look" and I have seen you Chicu look at him the same way. It is very heart warming and makes one who witnesses it feel like they are in the presence of something very special.

I wish you a very Happy New Year.

Love you!

p.s. That cake was so good.