Thursday, 2 December 2010

Early Morning

Early in the morning. The sky is dark. Yes, winter is here in Chennai! The sun, which is usually up and blazing by this time, is far away. I have been up for a while now. For a run that got rained out. Actually, I kitted out and stepped out. I hadn't cycled 200 m when it started pouring cats and dogs. Yes, I have run before in this type of rain in Chennai. But not today. The spirit might well be willing, but the flesh, well, just not so much, I am afraid. I got drenched even as I locked my cycle.

No regrets, however. It is amazing how its human nature to overdo everything. At least, its mine. I used to joke saying "I have an addictive personality, its in my genes" - but this is true. Lets sift the facts (at least some of them).

Mum is obsessed with cleanliness. It makes her anxious to be in a place that is messy (dirty is a far cry). Very anxious and crabby. I KNOW she would rather clean than, say, sleep an extra hour. I have known her to be completely exhausted but still doing dishes.

Dad had his own set of irritating idiosyncrasies. Yes, its nice to think about them now and feel all 'OH I miss him' and sad, but frankly, requiring that your towel and undies be ironed at all times is a bit much, isn't it? He would also change his clothes every so often - which is more annoying than it sounds, I don't feel like describing it better though.

Me? Well, I have a set of mind games I play with myself. I feel anxious when I don't exercise for a few days. It took some time to diagnose, but I attribute much of my crabbiness in the initial days of motherhood (by initial I mean of course the first two years!) to an inability to exercise (enough). Not so much about appearance or weight, thankfully, but just a love of sweating it out. I dislike losing control over the homestead. In the sense of finding strange items around the house - especially the kitchen. So the day I return from a trip away is a bit traumatic for me. Nothing to do with cleanliness (which would be my mum's thing). Just that loss of control. I used to stock up everything in the kitchen, make miles of lists, give very detailed instructions to cook & maid for a day long trip to, say, Kalpakkam. I have eased up now. I have learned to let go (a little bit). I don't like to miss meetings at work. I mean, some of the silly meetings that people call, and many feel okay to skip, well, I don't like it. Its a control freak thing I guess, mixed in with a healthy dose of perceived gender bias (I hate to think that people think that because of being a woman I cannot work like them, while recognising that not all guys are idiotic like that and that I am answerable to no one, really). I have found it very hard to give the monster the type of independence she deserves. I know this is not entirely my fault. Babies come out of the womb so very dependent on you that its hard to determine when and how much to let go. But still, I think I have consistently erred on the other side.

Clearly, this is not the entire story. But it is, at least in part. But what I wanted to say today is this: A big lesson learned in 2010 has been to LET GO. To STOP FUSSING. I don't mean that everyone should be like that or that it ought to be YOUR life philosophy. But just for me. The advantage I have is that I don't do regret. I rarely mull over what could-have-would-have-should-have and feel the need for a time machine or a do-over. Rarely. I do rarely fuss in that sense of the word. You know, like a person who likes to have everything just-so. No. I am not like that. But clearly, I have control issues over my own life. But I think I have made progress this year. I am not saying that I have totally given up worrying about all those silly things that constitute my normal package of thoughts (and cause me stress). Its just that somehow my mind feels freer this year, more able to come up with solutions to problems rather than just wallow in them. Also, more willing to accept my own mistakes (the first step to solving a problem is to recognise that you caused it, Kenny).

Its not just the obvious differences between us - tall vs. short; consultant vs. academic; etc., at least for me, he is the balance that is vital to my survival. Whenever I look at those people in really awful shape you see on the streets occasionally - don't know if just starving or drugged out or drunk or just plain sick and no one to look after them (have you heard the song 'He was a friend of mine' by Dylan, if so, like that) - I think thats what would happen to me if I did not have my husband with me, to help me not make mountains out of mole hills....


Choxbox said...

Nice! I really think with kids its the age thing - the older they get the easier it is to let go.

And totally with you re the balancing bit - the other day I looked the man - we were out doing something as mundane as groceries, and this thought popped up - what would I do without this man?

the mad momma said...

first perakath and now you. december brings a lot of introspection doesnt it?

dipali said...

What a wonderful tribute this is, Kenny!!!!!