Posted in Adult Life, Challenges, Growth, Learning, Love, Patience, Society

Finding joy in house chores

When living in urban-India, if you do not have 2 or more maids working in your household, then you’re probably having financial issues – This is the general Delhi-mindset. Working woman, working in corporate, have kids at home, you ought to have a cook and a cleaning help. Sometimes, a full-time help taking care of the kids and general dusting. This has become a social norm.

I’ve belonged to the same category, ever since I started living separately from my parents.

But, recently, I moved into my new home. As fate would have it, my cook bailed out, and I didn’t get anyone for dusting either. Now, let me tell you, it all was only a phone call away. I just need to call the society guard and I would have a queue of maids ready to take the job at my doorstep. Somehow, my intuition kept telling me otherwise and I did not make the call.

It’s been two months now since my cook had to leave urgently for her hometown. And, I’ve been cooking ever since. Preparing two meals, sometimes three, every day, is no easy task. There were days when I returned home so exhausted, I didn’t have the energy to even prepare rotis. (The veggies I cook in the morning itself.)

And, cooking is not all that’s to be done at home. Clothes, general cleaning, stocking up your house, dusting, the list is long. Plus, the unpacking of the boxes in shifting. I can keep writing and will never finish.

So, why did I do it?

1. In a new house, unless you work yourself in the kitchen, you can never get it set the way you want. You need to use it to make it functional.

2. With a cook taking care of my kitchen for almost 2yrs now, I wanted to take control of my kitchen again. See if doing things myself made any difference.

3. The cook was very good. I wanted to wait for her than let a stranger enter my house and teach her.

So, that’s how the two months of cooking, cleaning, owning my house started.

And, as unbelievable as it sounds, even to me, I’ve enjoyed this. The feeling of contributing to the general care of your house is amazing. To see your child say ‘yummy’ to food you cooked, you have another level of satisfaction. To see your husband’s appetite go up, you know this is making a difference. The wastage in my kitchen has significantly reduced. The general hygiene that I can take care of, no employee can. Cleaning the glass doors and see them gleam, to find your body toning just with that physical exercise, you are surprised! It shouldn’t, but it does.

Today, I and Anay cleaned all our house glass-doors. I’m tired and exhausted. The job wasn’t completely perfect either. We need some improvements in the steps we took. But, the whole activity was satisfying and enjoyable beyond measure. To see your child learning that not everything needs to be outsourced and house work can be done yourself, its deeply satisfying. Reminds me of how I used to see my Mom and Dad do stuff. Nothing was what they couldn’t do.

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue this. My exercise and yoga has stopped because my time is all taken now. The time I and Tarun spent walking, talking, is now gone taking care of the house. So, probably I’ll need to get the maid back.

But, I enjoyed this. I hope I’m able to find a balance.

Love,

Hope

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Posted in Adult Life, Ambitions, Challenges, Uncategorized

Hurt, tired, but not broken yet

Dear Diary,

I feel a void. I feel noise. I feel chaos. I fee change. Everything is in turmoil and yet nothing is really changing physically.

I recently bought a house. Finally. After years and years of waiting, hunting, looking, and re-looking, we finally finalized on one and ‘settled’. The house is everything that I ever wished for. And more. 🙂

But, keeping the house beautiful, well, that’s another story. Some other day.

Life at work is beyond hectic. And, work-load is not the only thing that keeps it busy. There’s so much drama and happenings, I’ve started to wonder if I’ve become a real-life version of some TV series, like Suits. Pretty much, every week, there’s some news, some thing that happens which needs discussion, cajoling people, handling people’s drama, worrying about people leaving, worrying about hiring, worrying about working, worrying about not working at all. It seems life is a roller coaster even without much happening.

On the outside, there’s nothing really changing. But, I feel myself changing. With each episode of conflict or upheaval, I find myself getting distanced from people.

I thrive in people, I enjoy conversations and discussions. But now, it seems I need to stay away from people. And discussions. The less you talk, the lesser the chance of anyone lying to you. Of you realizing that somebody broke your trust. Of learning that you thought you were respected but actually, they don’t think so highly of you, after all. On the contrary, they perhaps think of you as a naive wannabe. People around me share secrets with each other. They practically share details which they shouldn’t be sharing with anyone at work, at all. And, they share it with people casually. Without any promises of keep-it-to-yourself. But, I am in no such circles. I have no one coming to me with their secrets. Probably, it’s a two-way street and since I don’t hand-out such details, no one comes to me with them either. But, I feel a breach of trust there too.

Am I being too emotional and expecting a little too much from people. Am I even cut out for the role I’ve taken?

I find the job making changes to me. My persona, my values, my limits. I wanted that, yes. But, am I ready to take in all changes? I’m not sure. Sometimes, when I look at people ahead of me, in this path that I’ve chosen, I don’t really like the samples. I don’t want to become any one of them. But, something tells me, no one is same, even after taking the same path. So, perhaps, I’ll create something new. I’ll make some different choices. But, will I be able to do a good job of it? Will I be a better example by the time I finish, or would I have created another sample of what-not-to-become?

Only one way to find out.

– Hope

 

Posted in Adult Life, Ambitions, Challenges, Fake, Growth, Hatred, Jealousy, Love, Philosophy, Self-growth, Society

Why hatred is expensive but love comes cheap

Becoming a Manager is one thing but living the life of a Manager is not easy. In India, where if you want to grow in your career, you’ve no choice but to become a Manager, this becomes even tougher. You don’t have the luxury of following your passion. The Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ plays a major role in deciding how your career and future will shape up. And, if survival needs you to become a Manager, then so you shall be.

I was never forced into Management, I wanted it. I dreamt of it. And now, when I’m living the life, I realise – everything comes with a price tag.

So, I interact with people and deal with ego-clashes, mean attitudes, backstabs – all in a span of the day. And it seems to be getting to me. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night feeling depressed about the guy who didn’t join. Or, the guy who did¡ Sometimes, sleeping becomes an issue. You remember all the things people said. You remember all things you tried to do for the team member who decided to ditch you, when it was finally seeming to be working out. And now when you’ve become an adult, you no longer have the blessing of ignorance. You can actually differentiate between people who’re actually nice to you and those who’re smiling to your faces but snickering at you behind your back. That gets to you too.

For how long do you keep telling yourself that it’s only job and it doesn’t matter. How long do you give people the benefit of doubt. For how long you accept that everyone is fallible and everyone is gullible? There comes a time when the mind shrieks – “What about me?”

You seek revenge. You feel like doing tit for tat. You feel like being as mean to people as they have been to you. Show them you’re not a door mat! Show them you’re not the fool they can take for a ride every time. You won’t be used anymore! Now, I’ll use and throw!

And, it makes you sleepless even further. Your heart is hurting with all the anger and your mind is busy plotting ideas on how to get back to that bitch/moron. The sleepless nights now turn into days of mulling and conniving. And, you see evil everywhere.

Bahh!

And then, realisation strikes! You are wasting so much time on a person who deserved not even an iota of your time or energy any further. You burnt and boiled your blood. You wasted all those minutes thinking of doing something that’ll perhaps have no or little impact on the person. All the time that you could have enjoyed with your work or your loved ones or enjoying the beauty around you, you wasted on hatred.

And I remember my own words from the past – ” Hatred is a two way sword. The harder you push into the other person, the more it tears your own soul”.

Singing the song – “Where is the time to hate, there is so little time to love!”

-Hope

Posted in Adult Life, Ambitions, Challenges, Dreams, Growth, Love, Personal, Philosophy, Self-growth, Uncategorized

3 Cheers to a Wow Life!

Dear Diary,

A lot has happened and a lot is playing since we last talked. My brother got married. I’m probably making a home for myself. I got what I wanted at work. It seems like I’m building my life the way I wanted. Or, perhaps, life is leading me in a certain direction.
Marriage of a sibling grows you up in unimaginable ways. You’re partly an adult in the same genre as your parents. You’re supposed to make/partake decisions that only your parents worried about. But now, with you married and all, you have some ideas or opinions to contribute. With parents ageing, you’re expected to be on top of things far more than they ever had been. Yet, you catch yourself short from becoming one of the bickering, meddling kinds.
I can say, after all has happened, that my brother’s wedding was a milestone in my life and it changed me. In lot of aspects. It brought me a sense of responsibility. And, I did well.
While it was on, the career progress was on a major fast track. So, it meant juggling too many balls at the same time. But man! Did I enjoy it or what!? Not all is finished, but I feel a certain lull in my life. I realized I like the chaos and ball-juggling 😀
Leaves me no time to think.
As I stand back and look at my life, I go like – Wow! Where I was, what I was and where have I reached! It’s surreal. It’s amazing. My 10-yr old self who felt so unsure and incapable, I can say ‘Hi-Five’. It’s been a wow journey so far. And, if I have it my way, I have a long long way to go and my heart is set.
Love,
Hope
Posted in Challenges, Dreams, Self-growth, Uncategorized

A giant leap of faith

Dear Diary,

You may remember (thankfully, you always do, unlike husbands!) about my List of 30 and my Dream No 16. Well Well! The post is about that.

After having dabbled in my career for 11 yrs now, I had almost lost hope of pursuing this any more. I had almost reached to the point where a dream seems like a silly idea any more and you trash it.

So, recently, our company started an IDP process – Individual Development Plan.

Under this program, the manager extends an IDP form to his best employees. This is an endeavor to make people feel cared for, and to know (secretly) if they are interested in quitting 😉

Well! I believe the idea is pretty novel. And, there are very few workplaces who like to invest any time or thought into what ’employees’ want. So, I think I’m deeply impressed by my company AND by the management for following up on this diligently.

So, with the IDP, I was forced to acknowledge, reconsider and reopen my now-closed-pandora-box of dreams. And, I realized there’s nothing else I would like to try more than ‘this’.

And, that’s what I wrote in my IDP.

I am still unable to believe that I actually took the first step here, in this direction, and shared my crazy-sounding dream with my Manager. This may cost me all that I have built so far. And what I have built, is a lot for a lot of people out there. It’s perhaps the most settled and most-sought after position in my career graph currently.

But then, what’s life if not for an adventure. And, if you really want it, you gotta jump without the rope.

So, here I am, taking my big giant leap of faith. And, striving for my dreams.

Wish me luck! O Dear God, please please please be with me.

-Hope

Posted in Adult Life, Challenges, Depressiom, Philosophy

Of life and second chances

The say life doesn’t give you second chances. They also say life is harsh and is a constant battle. 

I find the first adage kind of impossible to be true if second was true.

What happens when you are unable to succeed? What happens when you wanted to get something, like a dream or a goal, and you didn’t /couldn’t achieve it? In some cases, there’s a feeling of failure. Sometimes there is a regret of not trying (hard enough). Sometimes you’re so, soo done that there is nothing more you want to try or dream for. 

But. But, even after that, even after the hardest blow, life doesn’t say that you cannot try again!? ‘You’ feel that the window of opportunity you had to achieve the goal is lost. ‘You’ feel that you cannot go any further. ‘You’ think that it doesnt get any worse than this. But, life doesn’t let you stop. Life doesn’t let you quit. So, from what I see, life is not really letting you give up. Life is brutal that it doesn’t give up on you. No matter how badly bruised you are, you have no choice but to pick up your battered soul and ‘move on’. 

So, on the contrary, life is all about second, third , fourth, or infinite chances.  It’s about making as many mistakes as you want, as many as you can. It is about living with the consequences of those mistakes too. But, it is about remembering that nothing is more important in life than life itself. Live, Breath, Do, Wish. And stop thinking. Stop worrying about the what-if because life will anyways move on. It’s all in your mind – the good, the bad, the right, the wrong, the guilt,  the regret, the hurt.

As I tread through the murky waters of depression, I realize, most of our emotions are nothing but mind games.  Nothing is really wrong with my life. From the outside, it’s a picture-perfect kodak life. But, my mind tells me otherwise. It plays havoc with my emotions to make me feel like a maniac, a loser. It makes me believe that this one material possession, this title defines my identity. It makes me go nuts about losing things which have no significance in my life and thus, should have no significance in my decisions. But, they do. They weigh heavy.

Because life doesn’t stop and the weights of regrets are heavy. 


Posted in Challenges, Personal, Philosophy, Self-growth, somethin bout God n me, Uncategorized

Of rocky times and reflections

Dear Diary,

Can I say life has never been more indecisive for me . I would like to believe, rather I do believe, that something amazing is about to happen but it’s taking a little more time. But, what if I’m wrong? What if, this is the reality and it is to stay that way? What if it continues this way till it breaks me? Is there anything which breaks a person? Truly, completely, shattering? I think sudden incidents can do that but gradual dismal life..? I think it only makes you bitter and perennially sad. That is where this seems to be heading – perennial sadness.

I remember being in such a phase before. It was when I was living with my in-laws. I know it was a state of depression. Had I visited a doctor, he would have put me on pills. Or, maybe not! Maybe, I am just a self-absorbed snob who gives too much importance to one’s feelings and state of being. Maybe nothing is actually wrong but I’m an old lady who keeps feigning sickness to get some more attention.

Sigh!

Another dilemma. Another inconclusive chain of thoughts.

In the meanwhile, I reflect and find some interesting observations:

1. There are five senses of the body – Brain(Mind/Thoughts), Eyes(Vision), Ears(Listen), Nose(Smell) and Skin(Touch). Gita tells us one must learn to control the senses than the other way round. One must not be a slave to the senses (which I totally am). Did you notice that the mind is part of those senses, but heart is not?

Often one is in a dilemma because mind and heart are at cross-ends. Most often heart is where we want to go but mind tells us otherwise. Are the scriptures trying to tell us something here?

2. Most of the idols at old places – like Vaishno Mata Mandir, or Shiva temple at Amarnath, or Hanuman murti at Marghat wale baba mandir at Kashmere Gate, or Khatu Shyam ji, Rajasthan, and many more. They all are almost a stone with eyes/hands/nose etc sketched on them. Basically, in their original form, they are just stones.

Can we say that initial forms of God were actually stone. So, basically, man originally believed that if he put a stone and ‘believed’ that his God almighty lives in it, it will be so. The stone will have the power to do miracles in his life somehow. And, it did. It must have because that’s why we have so many people visiting this place because the faith gave results. So, long before, Hinduism fell to the hands of idol-worship, it was actually a religion of faith. Where the faith was more powerful than the figurine being worshipped. It was the idea, the thought and the belief that some power is bigger than me, and if I call out to that power each day, it will help me solve my problems.

I wish we could go back to that form of worship again. It would resolve so many conflicts the world faces today.

-Hope