All set for any emergency?

How well are you set for emergencies? Husband thinks that I am always ready to think of the worst. He says I jump every time the phone rings, that I am totally paranoid.

Paranoid or not, I cannot step out of house without my phone.. Nor can I go to sleep without the phone beside me. How on earth did I survive those years before mobiles? Or even landlines for that matter.. Clearly, my paranoia has grown over the years..

I never step out without my wallet with me. Husband on the other hand, is known for forgetting his. It has happened more than once that he has gone out, and realized at the checkout that he has forgotten his wallet at home. Normally, I am there to rescue him. Once, right after Poohi was born, we went for a walk and had planned to pick up a few essentials from a nearby supermarket. We got everything and stood in the queue, only to reach the checkout and realize that neither of us had our wallets. Now this was just a few of weeks after my delivery. I was not supposed to do any thing that exerted me. My mum had decreed that hauling my handbag was hard work 🙂 So I was without my handbag, husband had no money on him, and I was already exhausted after the walk. We had no option but for me to wait there while husband rushed home to get his wallet.. And yes, those days we did not have a car either! That was probably one of the only times we ended up like this – without any money. Husband, as I said, is still unfazed about walking around without his wallet, cards or money. I am the other extreme. I feel extremely uncomfortable. I might not have cash, but I always have cards and my phone. Husband is not bothered about the phone either. His phone’s primary use is to browse the internet. Calling up people or receiving calls are much lower in priority 🙂

Once chatting to a friend, I was jolted out of my complacence. She said she kept a couple of hundred pounds with her at all time! My jaw-dropped! There would be days when I could only find pennies in my purse.. And husband is of no help either. Goodness! Here I was, thinking that I was all set for emegencies, only to realize that I wasn’t! Money was added to my emergency kit. Now I always have cash as well 🙂 Can’t take chances, you see! Not 200 pounds –  I would be scared to walk around with that much on me – but something for sure.

Is it a wonder that you can find just about everything in my handbag? Everything except the one thing that I need at that moment 🙂

So tell me, are you all set for emergencies? And what do you consider your must-haves?

‘Tis the season of giving.

There is something about Christmas time that I really like. The whole atmosphere changes. The bleak winter evenings light up with Christmas trees peeping out of every house.The malls and shopping centres buzzing with activity. There is a feeling of anticipation, excitement in the air.

Every year, this time is spent shopping. Shopping to go to India. Most of our India trips used to be around this time, Christmas  being one of the less busy times of the year, when it came to work. Hours are spent in selecting the right gifts for people. I just love that bit. I love finding the right gift for all my near and dear ones. It gives one so much joy, doesn’t it? When one chances across the perfect gift for a person. Sometimes,  I end up shopping for far too many things. Sometimes, I would not get that elusive gift until one day before we travel. I love the whole gifting process. Selecting the gift, wrapping it up – I actually love gift wrapping – some people think that I need my head examined, but I really do like it 🙂 Daughter, seems to have caught the bug too – she loves wrapping gifts as much as I do 🙂 Although, I have to say, that her ‘help’  does  rather hampers my wrapping style 🙂

This year, since our yearly trip has been postponed to July-August, I miss that shopping bit. Even the chocolate shopping used to be so much fun. There are so many varieties of chocolates and sweets that you get only around Christmas time.  Just as I was taking it easy and missing shopping for gifts, I was reminded that I needed to buy Christmas cards and gifts for Poohi’s classmates and friends in the nursery and teachers! Poohi had not been well for the last 2 weeks and it had completely slipped my mind. So on a week, when I had loads of work pending, I had to go and do some Christmas shopping too.  Writing out cards and wrapping up gifts, express speed, so that they are ready for school tomorrow – not my cup of tea, but the joy that it gave my daughter, made it all worth it.

Today’s experience just reminded me of how the gift shopping might actually be stressful for a lot of people. Especially when there are expectations tagged to the gifts. When the expectations might exceed a person’s capabilities. Or when people are disappointed by the gifts given by a person and do not even try to mask it. Or when the person receiving it, feels overwhelmed by the gifts he receives. A joyous time could just be marred by undercurrents of unhappiness, resentment and disappointment.

Which is probably why, the best gifts are not the ones bought with money, but those give from the heart. A kind word, a little help when most needed, a thoughtful gesture, a shoulder to cry on, any time of the year, might give far, far more happiness than the most expensive of gifts given during the season of giving.