issue #150 - the one about seasons
Today is an incredibly sad one for millions of Americans. I want to take a moment to offer my condolences and love to those who lost someone or had their lives changed on this day 21 years ago. May we never forget, and may we also pursue a peaceful world where everyone can live in safety, dignity, and be able to thrive.
The week after Labor Day always feels a bit chaotic, especially after having school-age kids. And this week especially felt like that.
Both of my kids are back in school (and for the first time, at the same school!). Fall events are back in full swing, and my parents generously treated us to a day at the US Open to catch the quarterfinal matches on Wednesday. And in all that, there’s work to get done - meetings to schedule, emails to send (so many e-mails), work to actually do, projects to write and shoot.
It was a chaotic week - and an extremely fun week. And as I sit on my couch on Saturday afternoon - still in my glasses and pajamas, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the TV for my kids and sipping a cup of tea - I’m simultaneously looking forward to all the plans I have this fall and yearning for the slowness of summer.
This shift of seasons go beyond the weather. I’m also shifting from an off-season from speaking and events. I thoroughly enjoyed a slow summer where I was spending much more time with my family, taking my workouts and sleep and nutrition up a level, and enjoying much more leisure time to read and craft and do what I pleased.
Fall is very much an on-season for me when it comes to work - more meetings and work travels, speaking engagements ramping up (I’m doing a workshop at the Women In Impact Summit on Tuesday and presenting an award at the She’s The First Power Party on Thursday - please join if you are able). And while my sleep is a non-negotiable, my workouts and meditations will have to be shorter and I’m investing in more ready-to-eat meals (Splendid Spoon, I love you) to sustain myself.
This concept of off-season/on-season is one that I learned from my brilliant friend Komal, and it brings a sense of control as I review my overflowing calendar and inboxes. Lower impact workouts and Bharathanatyam adavas feel right for me. So do nourishing soups and cups of tea, and adding Equilibria drink drops to a club soda and bitters instead of accepting a glass of wine or a cocktail. I opt to read via audiobooks when running around the city or doing chores, and I’ve been re-reading old favorites in the evenings instead of making my way through my TBR pile.
I think we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to hit the ground running at 100 miles per hour when September hits amidst getting kids settled back in school, the influx of events and meetings and catch ups with friends, and preparing for the holidays that will be here before we know it.
This is your permission slip to stop holding yourself to an arbitrary standard, to ditch the traditions or things that don’t bring you or your family any joy, to focus on the time spent together on the ones you do enjoy. This is your permission slip to ask yourself what you are feeling drawn to in this moment, and to give yourself some time to do just that.
This is your fall. Whether it’s an on-season or off-season for you, carve out time to fill your own cup and savor it before you handle everyone else’s priorities and expectations.
What I Read This Week
Space Series by Sara Hudson - I was in the mood for some spicy space reads, and immediately tapped to this beloved series that never fails to make me happy. The series follows astronauts and NASA engineers and physicians and their unexpected journeys to a happily ever after, and it is the perfect comfort read to enjoy after busy days (though I will warn you, they may keep you up past your bedtime because they’re just that good). For my Kindle Unlimited girlies, you can get the 4 books and novella in this series with this single download.
Top #5SmartReads Of The Week
Your Questions, Answered
Feeling so complex about queens death. They ruined generations and the livelihood of ancestors.
I feel you. And it’s quite normal to be feeling a number of feelings, and some can be conflicting. That’s what makes us human and I’m not going to judge anyone for processing today however they have to.
This tweet sums up some of my feelings better than I could say, and I posted some more thoughts about it on Instagram:
Have you ever hired a decorator? How would you find one? (I’m in Boston)
Yes! Brett Helsham Designs designed our home here in NY and if we ever get a place in Bucks County, I’m hiring Design Manifest the second we close.
My friend Lee runs Havenly which is an amazing service to offer design services at a variety of budgets. You can also check out Apartment Therapy or Rue Magazine tours of homes in Boston and see who is credited as the designer and meet with them to see if you styles and budget are a fit!
Do you prefer WFH or in-person office?
I’ve been working remotely for most of my professional life and love working from home! I’m counting down until The Riveter Co launches spaces in NYC (pretty pease strike a partnership with Arthouse Hotel so I can stay in my neighborhood!) to have a local place to work from or take meetings.
I have to confess that I don’t spend much time downtown and tend to go to the same spots over and over, but can vouch for all of these!
Your family is going to voice yourselves in a family cartoon. What animal are you all portrayed as?
With Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling Trinity series on my mind (you must read it, it’s amazing!), this is something I’ve definitely thought a lot about. I’m certain we would be some species of monkey!
Where do you shop for traditional wedding outfits for your hubby?
If I had to get new formal Indian clothes for my husband, I’d call up Bijal Vohra from Stylush Couture and have her design us something!
Best affordable work bag?
Here are my favorites! The Quince tote is incredible quality at under $100, and has a nice structure to it that pairs beautifully with work clothes.
Local staycation ideas for a kid free weekend?
I’m a broken record about how much I love Glenmere Mansion- we go every year and it’s truly our happy place and it’s just an hour outside of NYC!
Troutbeck, Buttermilk Falls (the rooms are dated, but the property is great) are other beautiful options a short drive from the city. But if you wanted to stay in the city, I’d get a room at Conrad New York Downtown, eat at all the amazing downtown spots, and go for lots of walks up and down the river.
If you could travel internationally to learn more about a culture/place- where would you go?
I want to visit Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. There’s so much I don’t know about the wider South Asain experiences and I’m feeling very drawn to learning more about my culture and our culture as a whole.
An action figure is being made of you. What 3 accessories are included?
A crossbody bag
Grabbing early drinks at Bemelman’s… where do I eat after??
Here are some of my favorites:
The Mark ( I love their fancy hot dogs, but they’re only available at lunch - FYI)
Do you feel there is nepotism in the South Asain blog world? Getting insta famous via IMM (Indian Matchmaking)
I think there’s a pretty well-defined playbook of reality show > influencer path that The Bachelor really established.
And while there are perks of the near-instant fame that being on a show can give you, there are a lot of downsides too - trolling to a traumatic level and having to leave social media, terrible press or simply wrong TikToks about you that your future kids can Google about you one day, bad editing to make you look like a villain, etc.
So while the rapid fame may seem unfair (and it is!), there is a trade off that comes with it that most of these folks won’t bring up but I’ve seen them deal with and it makes me grateful to not have that level of spotlight on me.
Hi! Do you have reeks for a quick weeknight dinner before a Broadway show?
Los Tocos No.1 is my go-to for a really quick bite right in the theater district, but I would give yourself a little more time and venture down to Hudson Yards NYC for an early dinner at Zou Zous NYC (take the 7 back to Times Square) or visit Gotham West Market and give yourself time to walk the few avenue blocks east.
Is there a book genre that tells the tales of kickass career women and their lives?
I feel like my life’s mission is to write this genre and I may or may not have outlined a book to follow WE’RE SPEAKING!
Would you take a 10 year old girl to see Six the Musical?
Absolutely! I took Rho to see it when he was 6 and he loved it!
Idea for celebrating daughter’s 4th birthday? Due with #3 around same time so no party.
Is there a show or an experience you can treat her to in your town? For us, there’s a local theater that has children’s performances on the weekends and we treated Rho to one of them before Rhaki was born!
Whatever you do, it will be great and she’s a lucky daughter to have you as her mom.
Are we leaving a better future for out kids? I struggle. Want to believe but action required. Ugh.
I think we are raising our kids with a better grasp of reality of like than we were raised with, and in that sense I think it’s better because they won’t be as blindsided as we have been.
Having children is the most optimistic thing you can do, and it has also kicked my butt into taking small actions of citizenship and philanthropy every day because I know that I’m doing it for my kids (and if they choose to have them, their kids).
Gift ideas for FMIL who has done so much for upcoming wedding!
That is so kind!
I personally love jewelry, and would gift her a personalize piece from Haverhill Collection with HER birthstones to celebrate and honor her- I love the Rosecliff small circle necklace, or the Grand 1 set! Code hitha15 will get you 15% off.
But more than anything, finding a healthy and good rhythm of visits and spending time together (the two of you and as a wider family) is the best gift you can give. The wedding is just beginning of your lives not just as a couple, but as a bigger family.
Have a wonderful week!