… is not easy. As a generation we crave entertainment. Being kept busy. Before you think I am preaching, I have to admit that I am most guilty of this – more so than most. You know how the trolls ask how I get so much done in one day? It’s because I don’t sit still for a minute unless I am writing at my desk. When I moved to Delhi I remember being asked what I was doing on Saturday night. I didn’t understand where the question came from. Was it that they wanted to plan something with me on Saturday night? In small towns, you throw the party on the day of the occasion and you celebrate any night. Saturday night is just another night. But I slowly fell into the ways of a metro and now I have something planned every Saturday night. Also Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
I am up by 6.30 am to get the kids ready for school. I go for a walk and catch up with my friends in the complex. I get back, bathe – wash the bathroom while I am at it, eat breakfast and watch the news while I do that, get to work, go for a shoot if I have to, read in the car, paint my nails while I am reading, doze off, wake up disoriented, rush into the shoot, make some calls while waiting for the person I am interviewing .. you get the picture. And it’s no different when I get back. I make the kids’ tiffin at night, lay out their clothes, do laundry, tidy a shelf of books and all with a facepack on my face and stitching buttons on the OA’s shirts or ripping open the hem and lengthening the Bean’s dress. I wrap up work, shoot off a blog post (without even running a spell check. eeps) and finally sleep at 1.30 am. The OA who gets back from work, switches his laptop off in office and rarely switches it on once home. He watches mindless TV or reads a book, browses through the newspaper and really relaxes and eventually yells at me to stop fidgeting because it is driving him nuts just to watch me walk round and round the house moving plants, changing pictures in photoframes, polishing a piece of silver…
And each day I acknowledge my need to do things all the time. My inability to sit still. And I tell myself that I want to change, but I don’t. With kids these days the problem is similar, they too can’t just sit still – the problem being, they need to be entertained or else you’re harassed with cries of I’m bored. The awkward thing here is that I am neither a working outside home nor a stay at home mom. I am a work from home mom and they’re sitting on my head while I work. Since we’re on the top most floor I conserve electricity by keeping the AC on only in my room in the harsh afternoon heat and keeping the kids in the same room while I work.
It’s not easy. The Bean will want to show me a picture she drew, the Brat will want help with spelling a word in the book he is reading, the Bean will want a marshmallow, the Brat will want cheese. It goes on. And then they want to watch TV if all else fails.
The last few days have been a lesson in patience for them as well as me. I miss the old cool Delhi home and this hothouse keeps us cooped in one room getting on each others’ nerves. I need quiet while I make calls. I need them not to disrupt a chain of thought as I put down the words. Sometimes they pipe up with something just as I am putting my thoughts in order and instead of placing an order for a gas cylinder I call for yoghurt.
It was only a matter of time before I fell apart as I so often tend to do and today I decided yet again to simplify my life. I am letting go… slowly. I’ve signed off most of the yahoo/google/FB groups that I am on. It is one less pile of mail to look at. I have quit one of the two jobs I was holding down and that gives me some more time. There is a pile of papers on my table lying untouched. A pile of mending on a settee. A pile of books on my bedside table, unread. Dust bunnies under the beds I am not disturbing.
And all I did was take the kids to play in the park and watch them. I didn’t get on the phone while I waited, I didn’t plug my iPod into my ears and walk around the park, nothing. Just sat and cultivated my arse. 😀 And before we left home, the Brat was playing with his animals, crawling around the floor talking to them and making up stories. He’s an easy one. The Bean came to me with a request of – Give me something to do. So I did. I gave her a bit of soap, a few mugs of water in a bucket and two little vests. She sat on the bathroom floor and washed them for a good half hour. And then the Brat joined her and they drenched each other. And then they bathed each other.
And I got in a good one and a half hours of work.
Dear God, there is a long summer ahead. Give us the ideas and the strength to get through it without falling back on to the idiot box. And give me the strength to stay offline and not fritter away time. Also, not to fidget. To just sit back and learn to be still.