Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer brings visitors

So the inlaws will be here soon !! This time I am surprisingly calm and peaceful! What has changed? Maybe its the weeks spent in freaking out/getting stressed/fighting with my husband and finally putting it to rest; they want to be sponsored for green card and apply for citizenship, when eligible, so we are talking long term committment here dearies. Maybe its my father constantly reminding me that there is more to life and I have a management degree and should put it to use inside the house too and that I should rise above petty ego issues on who is the better home maker here and focus on my child, my husband, my career and my health and other goals. Maybe its my mother who keeps reminding me to let go of my ego and see how happy one's life can be. Maybe its my determination to not waste the healthy and happy years of my life being bitter and stressed over people who have lived their own life to the fullest and with no responsibilities whatsoever, apart from raising their own children. Maybe its because I have signed up to run for not one but two half marathons and will be busy training; a healthy body does host a healthy mind. Maybe its the beautiful weather outside and my happy smiling baby (Touch wood!) and my husband with restricted ability to display emotions but is deeply in love with me.....Whatever the reason, I am determined not to live my life in unnecessary sorrow..

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What do I do?

So what’s my story……..parents divorced when I was born, my birth father hasn’t seen me ever, has never been in touch. I was adopted into a wonderful family, had a wonderful normal life and have no regrets. Then why, some 30 some years later, am I sad?. I couldn’t have asked for a better father, my adopted father is one of the best people in the world. There was/is no lacking of love and support. But ever since the birth of my baby, the first time I held her, the loving journey of my pregnancy, I cant stop thinking of my birth father and how he could bear to lose out on the opportunity of holding his newborn and how after all these years he still doesn’t seem to care to inquire. I know who he is, makes it worse. It feels like he is within reach, I can contact him but shouldn’t and can’t. I keep asking myself – Would I feel bad if he dies and I have never met him ever in my life? The answer keeps coming back – Yes.

I am a very open person; all through my life I cannot stand unresolved disputes, misunderstandings, unfinished conversations. I need closure from everything. I have never asked my family about why they divorced in the first place. Apart from my birth mother’s constant “You don’t know what I suffered” over the years, (which frankly irritated me so much that I refused to ask her – Please tell me, what is it that you suffered), I have never asked. Maybe that is the starting point – to ask my adopted mother about the divorce. Maybe that might change my need for closure.

Logically I agree that I should let sleeping dogs lie. Its been 30 some years, he is married, has his own family, my birth mother has her family, I have mine, everything is well and good then why stir trouble? Should I just file this thought away and accept the regret of never knowing a part of me? I think everyone has some regrets in life, but aren’t they generally things you wish you could change. And I have advance notice of my regret, maybe that’s why I struggle and think of taking a chance, taking the hard way, wanting to kmow if he would want to know me. What are the cons? I would definitely hurt my birth mother, do I want to do that? Or is it finally what gives me peace, For one thing I am sure that when I am old and tired, I will always regret not asking, not knowing, not meeting. What should I do?

P.S.: Saying things aloud in the virtual world is therapeutic for sure. I feel a bit better already :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

We have one life to live....

This past weekend, we had a young newly married couple over for dinner. Both husband and wife kept referring to me as "Tumhi" (Marathi word to show respect for age). They even referred to my sister in law as Kaku !!! Now my sis in law is just a year younger to me and not a whole lot older to them!! Sigh....side topic on how the hell do they get away with calling someone who might be 7-8 years older to you Aunty but many posts in different blogs have been written on this so I will not ramble on it....

I suddenly realised that one day I was that newly married bride and I had met all these family friends who had been married for 10-12 years and now its reversed. Suddenly I felt like where did time fly!! Its already 10 years since I married P! Its already 2.5 years since I gave birth to R....Its just a reminder to fully enjoy all the quality time you get with your family. I am sure I will get this moment again 10 years since when R will be a teenager and think again - Where did time go?? I love living, I love my life, I love it with all its ups and downs and I am excited to see what the future holds for me.

That brings me to my childhood friend who is struggling with clinical depression; she cannot wait to get old and die. She is already tired of life!! It just reminds me to count my blessings, be grateful and happy that I still have my spirit intact and have the courage and attitude to face life and embrace all its challenges and rewards. I wish it were the same for my friend too. It breaks my heart to see her let life go by like this. One day, she might snap out of this and it will be too late, all the beautiful years of her life might have gone by, sad and boring thanks to herself! :(

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Key to happiness

When I started my blog, it was really to have a place where I could be anonymous and record my thoughts, my experiences and my feelings. I am not by nature a reserved person, I share everything with my parents, my husband, my siblings, my best friends; at the slightest hint of trouble or difficulties, I call upon my support group to vent. Then why this blog? I think I still needed a place to write – without having to explain anything to anyone. Anyways it started off with a simple purpose, slowly I discovered new things like setting stat counters so you could track traffic, different online clubs and groups….For some reason the purpose of having my blog started shifting, I started seeing how many people visit my blog and would be disappointed when few did, started thinking about how do I increase visibility, wanted to join the various online groups, wanted to be a part of this huge population of bloggers……and suddenly the simple purpose started creating stress…..

This reminds me of a parallel situation in my running group; the first few weekends, I was being competitive and tried to run faster and keep up with the group…this led to more injury, disillusionment and stress, running was no longer fun. Last weekend I shed all inhibitions – didn’t care about what the runners would think about me, didn’t care about if the 14-marathon runner mentor who ran at my pace would be bored accompanying me, didn’t care if I was trailing the group and I had fun! and I ran, ran 6 miles at that !

Have decided that this should be the mantra of my life; no matter if it is blogging or running or anything else, once you stop thinking about what others are thinking about you or stop expecting anything from anyone, life becomes much more stress free and enjoyable.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Moving away from society

Man is said to be a social animal, that’s why since ancient times, supposedly men and women have formed tribes and stayed together, hunted together, cooked together and grown together. Fast forward to our modern day where we are so busy, so preoccupied with our own lives, our careers, our kids, our mortgage payments, our vacations; that we barely have time to make new acquaintances, forge new friendships or make time to even smile at that well meaning Aunty from India (who misses India) visiting her son/daughter.

I have found that one’s capacity to make new friends and spend time with friends directly reduces in proportion to the number of years you have stayed away from home (which is always India for me).When one is a blushing new bride from India, staying in an apartment with hubby dearest, having nothing to do but to watch terrible day time soaps and cook wonderful things for hubby and wait for the husband to return from work, that girl looks out of the apartment window and sees another desi playing with her kid in the garden, their eyes meet, they smile and a friendship begins. It would be that simple. Soon they would be watching movies together, swapping recipes, sending over extra portions of special dishes they cook, planning weekend driving trips together…Soon that girl goes to school, gets her Masters degree, begins to comfortably move around in a circle of mixed nationalities, starts going to that expensive hair salon, gets the latest hairstyles, highlights done, manicures, pedicures, buys trendy clothes, gets a job at a Fortune XXX company, they move into a house of their own, have kids – eventually the whole world revolves around self. They live the perfect American dream…while losing touch with their Indian warmth.

Every time I go to India, I admit I do get flustered with the amount of privacy invasion questions asked – How much do you earn? How much does he earn? How much do you spend on your house? When will you have a kid? Etc but as a package deal, with those curious inquisitive questions also come a team of loving friends, family and neighbors who adore your kid as their own, spoil him with gifts and food items, spoil you with offers of entertaining your kid while you go shopping or take a long afternoon nap, come over with your favorite food items, are always ready for long chats on “the days that were”; those happy days of the past.

Every time I board a plane to come back to my adopted home, I am partly relieved to be going back to my routine, going back to a lesser polluted zone, more disciplined way of life but at the same time loneliness already begins to creep in my heart. My parents, my childhood friends, those countless Uncles, Aunts, cousins, friends of friends, neighbors, the neighborhood shopkeeper, the bhaaji wali bai, the maids………I miss every single one of them, I miss their happiness at seeing me, I miss their questions about how I am doing, I miss their concern at me being away from home and managing things on my own, even my bai feels so bad for me that I work all day and then go home and cook and clean on my own without any help ! Each one in their own way provides so much love and affection and a concrete support structure which no matter how many years you stay here cannot provide. The weekend friendships do graduate into stronger bonds as the years go past but because of being so busy with our own lives, we cannot meet/inquire/help more often even though we might wish to. There were those days of the past when there would be one color TV in the building and 25 people would crowd into a small living room to watch a Bollywood blockbuster and now there are these days when there is a huge 64 inch plasma TV with comfortable sofas and easy rest chairs in a huge room and only 2 people to watch it.

I should ask my friends and cousins if they share similar experiences there in India; is the India from my childhood and memories of the past changed now, do they too like me have no time to make friends or entertain or make time to share their life with others? Or is it just my attitude of “Grass is greener on the other side”; no matter what side I am on.

From the eyes of my child

My eyes open, its semi dark in the room but I can make out a sunny day outside the closed blinds. Where is she? I roll next to her and cling to her; "Wake up", I say softly. There is no response…"Wake up wake up, Jojo all done", I say. This amuses my sleeping parents and they both smile in their sleep. I hand my Mommy her glasses as an ultimatum; "Wake up! Lets go downstairs!"

My Mommy wakes up and hugs me tight, then kisses me over and over; not the Purrrr disgustingly wet kisses I blow on her cheeks but soft Muaaah kisses. She says “Good Morning sweetipie”. I love mornings. Daddy tickles me and hugs me. I love lying between them; its quiet and peaceful and fun. Soon the morning routine picks up. Mommy Daddy run around getting ready while I demand Dora. I repeat to make sure Mommy has heard and understood me “Mommy, I wanna watch Dora right here, on this TV”. Mommy switches on the DVD player…..I love to watch Dora….Swiper and Boots are soo cool. I don’t realize when Mommy has changed my clothes. She switches off Dora and carries me into the bathroom and brushes my teeth, combs my unruly hair and sticks a hair pin, matching my outfit, in it. I happily follow her down stairs she puts on my shoes and straps me into the car seat. We drive and drive and then she stops the car and I follow her inside. Suddenly there is chaos, all the girls and boys are shouting, crying, laughing, screaming, crying………I clutch Mommy’s hand. Mommy, don’t leave me here. The girl next to me is crying out for her Mommy….Mommy, she says and wails again. I clutch my Mommy’s hand again. My Mommy is right here with me. Mommy feeds me breakfast. A boy comes in with Mommy, his Mommy leaves, boy cries and cries, Ms J shows pictures to boy. Another girl comes in with Daddy, Daddy leaves, girl cries and cries. My Mommy is right here, I clutch her hand. Mommy and I go into my room, Mommy likes my room, I think I like it too, when my Mommy is here. Ms.J is coming….uh oh why are you picking me up? Mommy is saying “See you soon” Nooo Mommy don’t go, don’t leave me. R cries and cries……….

Have shoes, will run......

I underestimated the power of good running shoes; I had been running in my Nike running shoes which I had bought with my own amateurish logic and had severe aches and pains in my legs after running just 4 miles.

So off I went to an athletic store where they very seriously observed how I walked and then told me how my feet were flat, how they had absolutely no fat on them (now thats something which I wish someone would say about the other parts of my body!), how I needed more padding beneath my foot to make it more comfortable, how when I ran, my legs turned inward (Eww, and I thought I was as graceful as a gazelle :( My feet had never warranted so much attention from an outsider ever in my entire life. (I had felt the same way about my boobs when I had my baby, the time I spent fussing, agonizing, worrying about everything related to my hurty milk spurty dont think much of a body part and then suddenly one day its all about that...anyways I digress so back to my feet..)

So now I have beautiful comfortable socks and shoes (Yes, there are special socks and bras and running wear, forget pulling on an old T shirt and running...) I ran 6 miles this weekend !!! Am still in disbelief over myself and am insanely proud of myself too....Somewhere deeep within, I am beginning to think that I might actually be able to pull off my half marathon !!!

So calling all women, over 30, over 20 pounds overweight and no stamina and no inclination to workout in the past couple of years, if I can do this, you can totally do it too. Get off your computers, go buy some good shoes and start running !!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Self realisation

For all of you out there who think they are in hit and fit condition, please humor me and jog naked for 5 seconds in front of your bathroom mirror, then note the ripples and jiggles and tell me if you dont feel like someone just burst your happy bubble!

I tried it today, the resulting image was like my aunt shooting with a camcorder, everything shaking, my whole body was just this sheet of ripples - EVERY thing jiggled !!!! It was cellulite gone crazy !! Sigh......I need to recruit the lilliputs from Gulliver's travels to stretch and tie back all of my sagging, flabby, jiggling fat and create a smooth lean look :)

(Ok will stop here as my mind wanders into - but what should be done of the extra fat hanging at the back etc etc.....)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thought for the day

Someone somewhere said that "If pain is inevitable, suffering is optional". This saying stuck in my mind, its just awesome.....Goes right in line with my other favorite prayer from Alnon
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference". I try to live my life by this prayer, cuts out a lot of unnecessary stress and pain.....

Now I just need to remind myself of these two sayings all through October