Of choices

Dear Diary,

Life is back to normal again. After a long time of upheaval and uncertainties, it is where it was, and it seems, the sea is calm, yet again.

Normally, times of upheaval /difficulties usually signify the time of improvement, growth. So far, it usually ended with some significant change in my life – a milestone. This time, however, it hasn’t changed much. Maybe I hit the rock bottom and I am back to the surface, breathing, so that’s a big achievement! Not sure, though.

As I reflect on those times, I do try to gather what I learnt (coz there must be!). The first one and the only one so far, is it was all my choice. The times tested which way I go, and I made my choice. Whether it was about supporting my husband in his venture, or not-leaving my job for my ailing child (who is now fine), or not moving back to my in-laws house because of societal pressure, or about not-giving up when everything seemed to be going wrong at my job. I took a stand. I decided for myself. It didn’t seem so when it was all happening. But, now, I can see that that is how it all went.

As I always say – ‘ There is no right or wrong a choice. It is about what actions you follow it with, which decide whether the choice was wrong or right’.

So, when I did decide to move out of my in-laws house, it was a major decision. A decision which most would term as ‘wrong’, but by working extra-hard towards keeping the relations healthy, happy, I could heal them. I could make the decision right. Now, not only am I happy, they are able to find their happiness in this setup too. It wasn’t easy. Neither for me, nor for them. But, if the intentions are right, and if you value the relations, it does work out. Today, we’re considered a happy unit again (‘us’ and ‘them’ together).

When Anay fell sick, and had to be hospitalized, everyone questioned our decision of moving out. It made sense to keep the child home instead of sending him to the day care and opening him to so many infections. That was a time even my husband thought that it’s the right thing to do, to move back. But, I knew, I had made a choice. And, it was time to make the choice right. So, I decided that we won’t undo what we had done. I decided we will try to make it work by working it out with our offices. And, it seemingly did. It was tough. Both our careers were at stake. But, when you have a baby, you don’t have it to give away to your parents to take care. You take care of your child. And, if you cannot take care of him/her because of your career, then you need to figure out how to make it work. Not brush your hands off the child by handing over the responsibility. Yes, my child requires his grandparents and their love. He needs loads of them. I keep visiting. I let him have his way, a lot of times. But, I don’t want to use it as an excuse to get rid of my responsibility.

Because of this part-time story, my job went into a deep shit. Things went out of hand pretty suddenly. What came as a warning sounded more like a death bell. While moving to a different job was an obvious choice, it would have meant accepting defeat and letting go of all the hard work I had done in my past 4 years at the company. I was ready to move-on in terms of job. I wasn’t ready to leave on bad terms. I didn’t want to leave because I failed at the job I took. I wanted to prove I was worth it. I wanted to prove it was a phase that I went through.

‘And, it does not define me’.

It took a lot of courage, lot of self-introspection and letting go of personal limitations to get over it. It meant facing people head-on. Having arguments of personal level and yet keeping it totally professional. No tears, No emotions. They say, once relations go sour, it is almost impossible to mend them back. This time, I can say, I mended them. I would never be able to forget the scar, but I mended it enough so that I don’t have to run from my current situation. I can work. I can go to a happy place to work. And, if later, I want to switch because I would like to, professionally, then I would. But, for now, there’s no rush.

Well Well! So, that was my last adventure. And, as I see my calm sea again, I wonder and yawn. I wonder what the next adventure would be, and when it would be. Because Life is the only adventure which keeps my adrenaline high.

Hoping for a rocking life ahead! Coz I ain’t done yet! 😉

-Hope

Is it time to hang up my boots?

Dear Diary,

Every evening, when I return from office, I think if I should just accept that I can’t handle it all anymore and I need to accept my priorities. My son is, must be, has to be, my top priority. And, if it requires me to quit my job to give him the best, I should do that. I shouldn’t hesitate. And yet, every morning when I wake up, I look forward to my day. I look forward to going to my work place. I yearn to go to my office. I miss not going there. I relish the work I do. I revere in the glory of importance that I get there. A feeling of achievement. A satisfaction of doing something worthwhile.

I don’t know what to do.

I recently went through a traumatic experience in my life, as a Mother. My son got infected with a rare and dangerous virus. A viral infection, in common language. But, what he went through, and what we went through in the process, is far from a regular viral infection.

I had taken a leave to take care of him because he seemed down with fever and bad stomach. I expected regular dosage to help him (that we had been giving him in previous times). And suddenly, he started shivering. A minute ago, he was talking to me, had just returned from restroom, after relieving himself, and the next minute he says “I’m feeling cold. Please put blanket on me.” I check his fever. It seems normal. Nothing like spiking. I had given him the medicine just a little while ago. I call out to my husband who had gone out to bring ORS solution for him. He rushes in. And, suddenly, the vomitting and water-stools begin. What was a 1-2 times an hour thing turned into 10-12 times in an hour. I tell Tarun to rush him to emergency. Tarun feels he’s just getting dehydrated and we should keep feeding him ORS solution. He expects he’ll get fine. But, he doesn’t. Within 20 mins, we’re rushing to the Emergency. The situation worsens a lot more. One hospital refers us to another, bigger hospital with a PICU. The bigger hospital doctor tells me he needs to be put on Ventilator. His situation is critical. The infection may have reached his brain because of which his brain is not responding.

That was unexplicable. Totally non-understandable. Yes, my son was in a bad situation and he needed help. But, ventilator? Doctor explains that it’s required and urgently required before the situation worsens and it becomes difficult to help the child.

The next 4 days were days of utter tension, anxiety, guilt, gathering contacts to get reference to the doctors, and what not.

Now, my son is back home. I’ve visited 2 more doctors for second and third opinion to understand exactly if a ventilator was required. If the treatment given to him was correct. What can I do to avoid this episode again? Is it because I didn’t take care of my child well?

For everything, the answer is whatever was done was done correct. We took him at the right time otherwise things could have gone ugly. And, there are some rare viruses which do infect and they can be fatal. And, that we should be extremely grateful to God that it left no traces behind on his brain. Neither the virus nor the medicines.

There are days when I can’t avoid reliving the experience. The scenes of me walking in that empty corridor chanting ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, with barely open eyes, almost ready to fall, they keep coming back to me. There are moments when I’m at work and it all comes back to me, and I feel like running back to my son. To touch him and feel that he’s fine.

Now, as per the world, I should just forget it as a bad dream. There’s nothing that I can do about it. But, I need to.

I have decided not to send my child to the daycare anymore. And, for doing that, I have three options. –

  1. Start living with my in-laws, or move to the same society as they are so that they can pick him up and keep him till I return.
  2. Pick Anay from school at 12.00 and go back to home with him. Work morning hours in office and rest of hours from home.
  3. Quit job completely and take care of him.

After facing so much troubles, going to so much length in moving out from my in-laws house, that is not an option I want to explore. Rather than being the easiest option to provide home for Anay and continue with my job, it is not an option I can mentally survive.

Being in manager role, I need to be around in office to do justice to my role. No matter how responsible a team you create, a physical presence makes things smooth. I know this for a fact. Picking Anay at 12.00 means hardly being available in office. I’m not even sure if that’s an option my Manager or my company would allow me.

Quit my job: This is the dangerous option I’m contemplating too much. Tarun says I should try this. Being brought up by a working Mom, I know this option would never be liked by my parents. And also, myself, I would feel incomplete somehow.

Maybe it’s just fear of the unknown. Maybe if I tried quitting and tried my hands at other things, I would succeed there too. I often used to wonder at these big actresses like Karishma Kapoor, Kajol, who quit their careers at their prime. They were at the peak when they left it all. I wondered why they would do that. I stand at the same cross-roads now. And I need to see if I’m worth anything or worth nothing.

Dear God, please show me the way. Help me.

-Hope