Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life is a roller coaster ride

Its ups and downs, ups and downs...and then you suddenly realise someone would gladly trade your downs - they are super ups for them compared to their downs - you get what I mean.

I have two fibroids nestled in the walls of my uterus - my gynecologist pretty much said that we cant do anything about it, it is a tendency, they will come, cause pain and then go and all we can do right now is monitor. It is genetic and my birth mom and her mom both have had uterus removal operations at some point of time and I am destined that way too from my tendency to create fibroids :) So painful periods is what I am going through right now..

R hates her new school. She has always been a difficult child with transitions. Everyday its something different - the first day, some boy sat next to her on the bus and told her as she was Indian and he didnt like Indians, he didnt want to sit by her and just because he had no choice, he was. The next day another boy said the corn in her lunch box smelt like someone had farted and she quietly closed the lid and didnt eat a bite. The third day the same boy asked to see her stinky lunch and then spit in it, so once again the lunch box came home uneaten. Poor child! Despite all this she is happy and then breaks down and then happy again and I keep watching her unable to figure out if she is having a bad day or a good one.

P hates his work, he graduated in one thing, did his Masters in another, worked in a similar field, went back and got his MBA in a third, switched fields again and is unhappy now. Has been unhappy for the past six years and makes excuses to change his situation. I miss my husband - the one who was confident and happy. I see him now and he always seems to be overwhelmed and steps away from saying - everything sucks. I had a fight with him last night and he immediately went into "I cant make my parents happy, I cant make my sister happy, I cant make you happy, I hate my job, I wont get another job"....sighh...

There is a mountain of dishes in the sink and loads of laundry to put away. All I want to do is win the lottery and go away somewhere - be free of all responsibilities and routines.

Then when its midnight and I am crying in self pity over my petty issues, I meet a friend who is bravely facing real ones and it is like a slap to reality. Her husband is fighting blood cancer and she is one of the strongest most positive people I know. No one can guess from her FB posts of what she is going through.

And then I say another prayer to thank God for giving me petty issues to fret over and promise myself tomorrow will be better and go to sleep.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cheers to a good visit

Yay!! My in laws left today. And no this Yay is not for them leaving but more for “We had a good visit without any big drama”. I definitely do not take sole credit for this, they also came half way to meet this goal. Especially my mother in law.

My father in law is very picky about his food, he wants it to be done a certain way, with certain ingredients etc. Many times what’s available for everyone is not good for him. In prior visits, it was me who would listen to his special instructions and get annoyed but not be able to say anything. Then I did the smart thing and transferred responsibility to my husband. He is their son after all and even if he displays annoyance or argues, it won’t cause as much pain as a single word spoken by a daughter in law. Then this visit, my mother in law coached my father in law that he was to make his own food if he didn’t agree with the common meal. And that he did, and it took away so much of the stress. Either he made his own things or my mother in law did it, according to his specification.

Then there was my resolve to not expect any appreciation from her or to ignore obvious instructions. I did not cook anything for the whole time they were here. We had a cooking Aunty come over on Sundays who prepared the weekly meals. It once again made my life easier. With two young kids, a full time demanding job and a pretty busy social life, I really have no time to cook and then to face critique for my cooking. I did miss cooking and that is one thing I have to get past for future successful visits. How not to feel bad for critique offered and stories of my sister in law’s fab cooking and not to expect anything for my own efforts? It is something I need to work on.But for the most part, it was a good visit and I am so relieved.

What had made it work is for my husband to have stepped it up. He was more involved in taking care of both his mother and his wife; in prior visits, he had dumped the whole relationship thing on me alone and stayed away, what also worked was a fervent wish for both my mother in law and me to make it work – I could see her desire for having a harmonious relationship too, what works in small ways is also to hear my parents speak well of my in laws and to give me another side – the in laws side, the older parents side of thinking about situations and what also worked was the fact that I am super busy with work and family. I am also making time to read spiritual works and attend Sunday school. To keep an open mind and to be less judgmental and more forgiving and to focus on the right things. To let go of the bad and focus on the good.

They will come back next year for my sister in law’s delivery and will stay with her for six months. Baby steps to creating harmony. Am I ready to move in with them forever – hell No, this was a month and a half and it went well, but I will take anything to help build a stronger future.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Imperfect perfection

I am happy to announce that I have finally reached a comfort setting with my mother in law. They are both also making a stepped up attempt to help out this visit. Both my girls can stay home for a month and enjoy their summer time off as my in laws agreed to watch them and spend time with them. For my part I make sure food has been cooked and they are not burdened with other chores and can only play with both girls all day, which sometimes is a big job in itself. I still continue to ignore my mother in law’s obvious advice – an example: keep wet clothes separate from the dry ones otherwise everything will get dirty (when changing my girls at the beach) (I have been married for 13 years and we have taken countless beach vacations and I am by nature very organized and handy). I do realize that it’s her inherent nature; she just has to give advice all the time. I don’t think that she even stops to think about the nature of the advice and her audience. It pops in her head and out her mouth. And I ignore, don’t even respond but carry on to other things. We have found our comfort setting and I am so grateful for it.

As I grow older, I have also realized that one shouldn’t insist on any perfection. Is anything perfect in life? Every seemingly perfect image has some adjustment. So this is perfect for me – my kids are happy, my in laws seem happy and I am happy and at peace and by default due to all this, my husband is happy. What more do I want?

My birth father has stopped being in touch. I am sure he is extremely busy and hasn’t gotten to his email. But he has a phone and my numbers and can easily afford international calls. But I have grudgingly accepted the truth – I do not matter to him. I matter to him when he is free and has free time on his hands. He will not put me on his priority list of people while I have put him right up there next to my parents. Time to reshuffle the priority listing. Again is this a perfect ending? No. But I will take it. I got to know my birth father, I appreciate my adopted one a zillion times more, I know God is watching out for me every step of my way, I cannot express my gratitude enough for blessing me with such fantabulous parents. I stand strong today because of their arms which have held me up.

Things are super hectic at work with looming deadlines. At home, both girls are home and a nephew is going to visit for a week. Between work and home and making sure everyone on both fronts are happy, the stress gets to me some days. But I am actively reminding myself of how blessed I am and shake it off and go about doing the things that need to be done with a smile.

One of my friends is due with her first child any day. And she got the worst news that any child would dread to ever hear – her mother passed away. You always need your mother but you need her critically at critical moments in life. I feel that having a child is one of those. I knew she is scared and had kept saying that she wouldn’t be able to do it without her mother and now she has no choice. Life is so cruel. This friend also lost her young brother in an accident. I sat at my desk, tears streaming down my cheeks, in shock. I don’t know why some people have to face so much injustice and so much cruelty in life.

It also brought a renewed round of gratitude and realization for how blessed I am. Whatever little annoying attributes my mother in law has, one thing is for sure;she loves all of us whole heartedly. And she is my husband’s mother and they love each other. Only for that everything else is acceptable.

Hug your kids, your spouse, your significant other, your parents, your siblings, your best friends, even your colleagues, your mailman, your nosy neighbors – be grateful, stay blessed.