Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Learning to say NO
It's been seven months of my sabbatical so far. So much has happened. Incredible amounts. I've been doing regular round-ups, and I figured one is due. For all I know, this might just be the last one.
- I spent the time that I really wanted to with my grandmother before she passed away earlier this month. I cannot thank life enough for this. I saw her so many times despite the 3 hour back-and-forth ride - by car and sometimes metro.
- My daughter and I have a different level of relationship now - I was finally able to give her the attention she needed to see that she's basically doing okay. She's incredibly talented and a lot more needs to be done to nurture her. But at least there's a basic routine ( fairly flexible, as it needs to be for a 5 year old). I've spent time with her taking her places, just me and her to give us some much needed alone-time.
- The men in my life - Vijay, Pickle and Papad - are all doing well. My husband has *gasp* quit smoking. While zero credit goes to me for this ( oh come on, maybe just a little), he's done an admirable job of ridding himself of an addiction of almost two decades. We're not out of the woods yet, but we're getting there and it's been a great few smoke-free weeks. Pickle and Papad are delightful, fundamentally happy little children, who are showing all of us what brotherhood, companionship and firm friendship are all about. A separate post about that one is due. While I'm not spending that much time with them, I can see how happy they are with each other ( although I'm dealing with a little bit of a cold-shoulder from the Pickl-a right now and have to work on that one).
- So much, so much more clarity about life - particularly about the importance of saying no to people and circumstances that make me feel drained. This one is really important for me - for all my achievement-orientation, I'm basically a person who's had major trouble letting go. So for me, it's started now, really - the process of letting them go - saying no to the activities and relationships that suck up time and energy, without creating any real value. I've made some real mistakes in my relationships, particularly mistaking some people to be whom they are not - and I can see them so clearly now - the last few months have serendipitously created so many circumstances to just dust out so many relationships. Some have shaken off the dust, been refurbished and put back in their place, healthier and happier for it. Some are gone now, at least for the time being- although I believe I haven't slammed the door shut, but gently closed it, trying to feel as much love and gratitude for the persons I knew and loved before the relationship turned all toxic. The point is - who remains are those who energize me ( and vice versa, of course) instead of our draining each other.
While I don't think I'm at a point where I can say with great clarity what direction my career or life will take now, I certainly have tried and rejected some ideas so far. Full time corporate job (there goes a pretty decent corporate career, on hold for now) , full time motherhood (oh please god, no, sorry, thank you, but no) , full time writing ( not at all, sir, that will hopefully always be a happy aside) - none of these feel right for the time being. Finding a happy mix? Yes, that would be ideal, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Yes, there's something else, maybe it'll take a while to find it, maybe it's just around the corner, but I know one thing for sure.
Doing less, cutting out the crap, getting rid of the noise - they're going to provide some amount of free time and space. All the better to figure it out, my dear.
P.S - my father-in-law is teaching me yoga now. He's the grand master of all things yoga-related with years and years of experience. Extremely lucky to have him around.