Alarm did not go off, your child tells you at the last moment that he has an unfinished homework, your favourite dress is not ironed, your help decides to take an off, you are already late for work, the boss has her own story and you know what that translates to, your period arrives a tad bit early (Oh yeah!) or worse it is late (Gosh!), an additional work comes over your pending list, your kid arrives with a exam date list and portions, your younger one is in a particularly cranky mood (Ya, they have that knack, they really do) and your mother calls you to complain how you don’t give her time.
Finally the day is over, and you retire to your bedroom. You give that puppy look to your husband or the mirror (pick your choice) and say: “I want to go to some place far. Where there is no one. Just me and peace.” (Himalayas is the first choice. I know.)
I have heard this many times and said it many more times. Later I have asked:
Really? Do you really want to go?
Nah, a mortal soul is not meant for finding solace in the Himalayas. You are a part of the circus and finding yourself amidst all this, is well... your agenda.
What would I be without my crazy family, crazier friends and n number of add-ons in my life?
Boring, blah, like the doordarshan intro ad which went round and round till your eyes go all spooky.
I ain’t trading all that for anything. Trust me, even you won’t. The reasons would call for another blog post (Patrons, please remind)
We are running. Running all the time. From the time we are born, we are a product of expectations more and less of nature. We should hold our neck at 3 months, stand at 8, walk at 11. We should sing the rhymes at 3 years, write words at 5, score well throughout, get an enviable education and a more enviable job. Get married at a ‘decent’ age and have kids at a more ‘decent’ age. Take correct decisions, prove people right, raise good children, take care of parents, grow in our career, listen to people if we don’t have careers (Sitting at home…What are you thinking?!) Make money for myself, make money for kids, get them married, help them raise their kids. Woah!!
Sorry, where was I? Literally, Where AM “I”?
I want to say No to my boss. (What will he think?)
I want to not cook something yummy for my kids (Will my kids hate me? Or Will the teacher think how bad I am as a mother?)
I want to wear no make-up today. (Will people think I have been crying?)
I want to go on an expensive trip abroad and see places. (Will my kids’ education suffer?)
I want to earn money, lots of money. (If he can, I can too!)
I want to become the fore-runner of a multi-national organisation. (I want to prove to my friends that I am “the person.”)
I want to learn something new. (People will think I have gone crazy at this age.)
I want to stop wearing kurtas and wear that skirt. (My neighbour will laugh at me.)
What does “I” do?
I do things, because “someone” out there is watching us or judging us.
I always say one thing to myself. When I am 60, will it matter? Most of the time I get my answer. You will too. Ask yourself.
It will matter if your health suffered when you took up more work than usual, or you missed time with your growing kids, or you have so much to tell your grandkids about your younger self, or you have seen exotic places, or have tried something new every year, made lots of friends, or just done what you felt you should do.
I recently saw a video in which real people were giving advice to younger ones. A 47 year old said: Stop thinking about what people are thinking about you. They are not thinking at all. A 72 year old said: It’s never too late to try something new. An 85 year old said: Spend all your money, or else your kids will do it for you. And like my friend said “the epic one” said by a 93 year old: Don’t listen to others. Nobody knows what the hell they are doing!
Change…Change for yourself. Not for someone. Anything done for someone else is temporary. When you do something for yourself, you fall in love with yourself all over again. Go on, be a little selfish. Selfish is not a taboo word. Even cholesterol is good and bad. Ditch the bad selfish and love being the good selfish. Give yourself the due regard it deserves.
At the worst, you will make mistakes, pick wrong choices, and tell yourself: What books don’t teach, mistakes do. Move on.
And people. Well, they talk anyway. Will they matter when you are 60? But you will. Oh BTW, 60 is the new 40. There’s a lot more to go.