Life’s lessons from retrospection

Life's LessonsA sense of peace has resided within me. I have been feeling it ever since I set foot in India. I don’t know if it was the travel or India or the fact that I am older (and hence wiser?). I realise that things don’t hurt or tick me off as they used to. Being born and growing up in India, I knew what to expect, both from places and people. I had made up my mind to not let things/people bother me. What surprised me most was that it wasn’t at all difficult to do just that. I was more relaxed and much more forgiving. As a result there was almost zero anxiety related to anything, however big it was.

Being back at places I have lived gave me an opportunity to remember old times and on more than one occasion I wished that I should not have let the bridge break. I missed a few people and wished I was more forgiving back then. I realise that things that I thought were huge back then are now of no importance. Most things turn out to be nothing with time. I was obviously too young, too inexperienced and too naive to see it that way. Now that I do, I have decided to not let things matter, no matter how big they seem. With time, we change and heal. I now believe in second chances.

Friends who were extremely close a few years back haven’t seen each other for years now. We lived in the same city but didn’t meet for a long time (before we moved). Now that I made an effort to reconnect and a few responded. We met and we picked up right where we left. It felt nice. I learnt that all relationships take a lot of work and effort to survive and sustain. Effort from both ends.

As I sit, my eyes closed (as I usually do when I want to imagine), I see my life, from as early as I can remember. I see the negative feelings I kept bottled and how they have influenced me as a person. Or, if I’m being honest, hindered me from growing. It now seems like a waste of time and waste of space in my mind. Have I finally learnt to let go?

Life’s lessons in the form of a toddler

I have no idea when the terrible twos are supposed to begin. Baby A is 4 months short of being 3 years old and handling her is proving to be more difficult than I had thought. She is generally an easy child. She understands what I say and follows most of my instructions. Things started changing a couple of weeks back when she started becoming more wilful. She started resisting my instructions and doing things I have asked her to please not do. Now, it has reached a point where I am finding it extremely hard  to not scream my head off at her and lose it completely. Something that I end up doing at times.

Today as she kicked and kicked and kicked her high chair before I served her lunch, despite me asking her not too do so. I had to separate myself from the situation to cool my head enough to be able to see it dispassionately. I had already screamed at her and gave two time outs since morning. I didn’t want it to become a norm that she gets used to. The morning had already taken a toll on me. Now that I am calm enough to think about it, I feel that she too must have been frayed at the edges.

It is very easy to let temper take hold of you and do something that you can later blame on it. But the damage would be done and there would be no way to take back what you have already said or done. I am a staunch believer of seeing things from all angles to arrive at a solution/conclusion as to how to handle the situation or the people involved in it. So I took my own advice and left the room. I’m sure I confused her little mind by not saying anything and disappearing from sight. I just sat there in the living room, watching the sky from the window, breathing deeply and just thinking things out, while she thought I was punishing her and started her crying routine. But I wasn’t done gathering myself.

When I dissected the situation, I understood that it wasn’t her that was sending me off the edge. She did trigger my reaction, however it wasn’t the cause. There are a lot of things going on in my life that aren’t how I want them to be and it upsets me. And I have been doing useless things that would take my mind off those things (one of which is internet). And whenever Baby A does something that I think she shouldn’t, it makes me lose it. And her constant amma* this, amma that accompanied by whining doesn’t help either.

Pretty brilliant, eh? Something that seems like you have no control over, just after a few minutes seems so completely, logically workable. It is not her fault that she is strong-willed. In fact I want her to be strong-willed, in the right way, so that she doesn’t get bogged down later in life. I don’t want her to learn to blindly follow what someone in authority says. So it isn’t fair to ask her to blindly relent to my wishes. It is her right to know why she is being asked to do something, so it is only fair to explain it to her. It isn’t easy. It will never be easy. But it is the right thing to do. I should know better than to exploit my authority as a parent. And to do that, I should first get the irritants out of my life. Those that aren’t letting me see things straight.

Thank you little child, for teaching me something wonderful, something worth learning and something important to remember throughout my life.

I will make changes in my life through this coming week, that I believe would help restoring the health of my mind and body. And it starts with “Disconnect and Detox

I plan to disconnect with internet and social media for a week (to begin with) and detox both physically and mentally. Alongside I also want to cultivate some new habits and break the old ones. Of course, I will be back to tell you how it went.

So wish me luck. And see you around later.

PS: And mums, don’t beat yourself up if you do lose it once in a while. Scream if you must at that time, but always ALWAYS apologize and talk about it when when the both of you are calmer and saner. I bet I will lose it again at-least once in the coming week.  It is going to be alright.

*amma is mom/mum is Kannada

Of missing and things like that

I’ve been missing things a lot these days. A lot of things. Like travel, treks, meeting friends, shopping and suchlike things.  But I’ve felt really bad about one- missing watching Lucia and Gravity (IMAX at that). I still can’t leave the baby with a baby sitter for she is not bottle trained. I didn’t anticipate the need to leave a 2 month old with someone else. So until we start the bottle routine, going out is stalled (for me. Husband goes out all the time).

I also discovered that I get jealous whenever husband goes out to a place where I could’ve joined him. This is a first. I never used to get jealous when he spends time with his friends or goes on all boys treks and travel. Because then I had my own things to do. We girls would bundle ourselves around the city either shopping or window shopping or stuffing our faces with street food. Now that I can’t do any of that. I feel sad and weepy when he leaves. I know he’ll have fun. In fact I want him to have fun. But I still feel bad. I wish he would stay with me. But I’d never say that out loud. Because honestly, if I was him I’d not want to hear that.

Also being missed is the alone time with husband. I don’t feel that we are married or together any-more. It feels more like flat-mates, where I am a single mother. He can’t help much with the baby beside playing with her when she is in the mood. She doesn’t like very much to be rocked by a huge person I assume. So when she cries, it is mommy time, which incidentally is most of the time. So we haven’t talked much in quite sometime. I miss cuddling and daily updates. I co-sleep and the cot isn’t very big to accommodate the three of us and I don’t want to suffocate the poor little thing so the husband is shifted to the other room. Which, he is not complaining about as he gets to watch movies all night long. But we both miss the just-before-sleep talk.

Talking about missing, I miss my old self. Both physically and psychologically. My body has changed forever (about which, again, I have mixed feelings) and I’m more weepy (which I was not at all before). Is this a motherhood thing? Hormones? Some days make me think if I really wanted this. Then I see the tiny face with a toothless grin and I feel overwhelming emotion which I can’t put a name to. I am torn between being myself and being a mother. I wonder if it’ll ever settle down. Perhaps time will be the answer.

In retrospect

Have you ever felt that moment of astonishment, where you suddenly realize that you are not exactly the same person you were a year ago? You see a photograph and wonder how in the world did you end up wearing such a hideous outfit or meetup with friends and remember a party, to find yourself thinking, how would you have gotten so drunk. The scenario might be different but the feeling of strangeness with one’s own self, the old self, creeps into the mind making us wonder. I’m sure most have felt. Some might revel in pride over the past achievements, some might regret doing things they did, others might feel they have actually changed for the better. Or may be something entirely different. It is different to different people.

I have been blogging since 2006. Holy s**t! I know. And I still have the old blog “It’s A Beautiful Life” (in case anybody still remembers). I am not going to delete it any sooner, as I have some very closely held memories of feelings, captured in that. When I am finally ready to let go of all that, I shall let go of the blog too. But for now, it is to stay. Sorry for digression, I do it a lot.
So here I was, reading through the old blog, post by post and trying to remember and feel whatever I felt, when I was writing it. It all started coming back. Not ready to let go then. But that is not what intrigued me. It was the way I wrote, that caught my mind. I almost laughed at how I had actually reflected the styles of the authors I was reading back then. It was childish, but it was something I did subconsciously.

My old blog

A screen shot of my old blog

I am not ashamed that I tried to copy others. I can see that those are the stages of my growth, in my own sense. I feel strangely proud at having tried. Clearly, I wrote for myself, because I found many posts with absolutely no comments. I was writing to vent, so that the angst and anger didn’t eat me up from inside. It is not surprising that many people didn’t find it interesting. As I said, childish stuff. I also found some nice, soulful poetry. It is when I read them, that it struck to me, that I am not doing it anymore. Not with that kind of frequency and brilliance. Where did that emotional, lyrical and dreamy girl go?

As I went through the posts, out of which most were purely venomous, I found that I was blabbering in a majority of them, instead of speaking about something clearly. I realized that instead of making a point I was dragging myself all over the place, confusing myself and others in the process. I guess that one attribute is still there in me. When I have issues and I know I can’t talk about them, I tend to blabber incoherently. Hopefully I won’t do it here.

I also felt that I have grown. Tremendously. I thought I was mature back then. May be I was, in my behavior and outlook. But in my writing, I was completely juvenile. And I am a little taken aback, to see myself now, clearly putting thoughts into words, spending time thinking how I want to articulate a certain thing. Blog, for me, is no more just a place to write my mind, but a place of a purpose. To mend my writing skills, to get feedback and improve. I want to write something of value, if not for others, but to myself. Of course, it will still remain a place where I put my innermost thoughts, now, in a better fashion. Or so I’d like to believe.

I’m sure that someday I will read this and laugh at myself. After all this too is still a baby step. I’m sure there will be a lot of things that I will learn every day from well-known writers, websites and blogs. I am fortunate to have been exposed to so much information and learning. I am hopeful to make use of it and come up with beautiful, thoughtful, hopeful, cheerful (among many other things) write-ups, which might sometimes also be insane, given that I am incurably crazy. That is going to stay with me forever, for I believe insanity is a blessing in disguise.

The circle of life

You laugh, you cry,

You fail, you try,

You fail yet again and,

There’s a dream that you are

Not able to retain.

Lost strength which is

Difficult to regain.

A balance of thoughts

You can hardly maintain.

 

Now and then comes a blow

Strikes in might on your ego.

Now life suddenly is a blur

Down goes the person you were.

 

But at times like these, dark and cold

Remember the saying ages old

The circle of life keeps turning on

Not always will you be down.

 

Now you are down and under,

Its time for patience and pain.

The circle keeps moving and so will you

Happy times will be here again.

 

There will come a time, you’ll be up above

But you’ll not always be there.

Remember,

The circle keeps moving and so will you

You will come down; beware!

-Kanchan