Its been quite some time since I updated my blog. The last couple of months were very hectic with personal and professional commitments and we did not even realize that it has been a year since we moved back. The last year has gone by in a jiffy what with our move back to India, settling the kids in school, family gatherings, weddings, worries due to parents falling sick, moving to our new place as homeowners, finally having that “Yes, I finally have my feet firmly in one place” feeling………add job commitments, job searches and changes that needed a bit of soul searching on my part, it actually seemed like Guru & I were constantly on the run. Amidst all this, Guru & I did not get time to catch up with each other, yes,we did update each other on daily happenings with a lot of interruptions (and believe me it was a lot, its like the kids had a parents-in-conversation sensor within them, anytime we even opened our mouths to talk, they would promptly ask for either of us or will have something to tell along the lines of a world-emergency) but not the real spending time with each other w/o any interruptions. We both were in need of a break and We finally got a breather in the form of a short getaway to Coorg.
The title merely reflects the changes in me from when I left the kids @ my mom’s to the Coorg trip itself to when I met them again!!! READ ON, you will see!!
With the kids at my parents the 2nd week of May, Guru & I headed to south of Coorg to a small, scenic, picturesque village just by Kerala border called Srimangala to a place called Bethel Home Stay. It is not your run-of-the mill resort types that can be found AnyCity, India but an unique home stay or should I stay nature stay that gives you a one-of-a kind experience. I am not going to delve into the details of how gr8 Bethel Home Stay is or go on and on about the hospitality and personal attention of Rakesh, the owner of Bethel and his staff, cos that will take up a whole post by itself:)
Imagine waking up not to the shrill sound of an alarm clock but to the sweet chirps and tweets of 100+ bird species. Imagine hearing elephants trumpet or even hearing a vulture’s cry from within your hut or. Imagine being able to breathe air that is at its purest. Imagine not doing anything, no emails to check, no phone calls to attend, no FB updates (hehe), no demands whatsoever, just stretch out your legs and gaze into the clear sky which will become cloudy the next second……..Imagine all this and much more…………..this short yet much needed trip gave us time to catch up with each other. Of course catching up for us meant enjoying the peace and quiet that we lack in our lives. It was also a different experience for us to do things spontaneously w/o having to plan for meals or bedtime restrictions or taking a drive w/o playing mediator to the kids and their fights. And both of us being nature freaks, we loved every minute we spent with only the basic necessities.
For me, this trip gave an opportunity to realign and reassess my priorities and to do a personal checks and balances. Every now and then, I take the time to look back, do some self evaluation of my experiences and how it affected my actions, priorities and goals, both personally and professionally. I also try to identify the good things and not-so-good things that I received from those experiences and try to become a better person. Most of these self-eval exercises where done during bedtime after a day of hard work but this trip to Coorg gave me the opportunity to do some soul searching in broad daylight amidst lush green landscape in God’s own backyard. I came out of Coorg feeling good about the decisions I made on my professional and personal front.
As a welcome bonus to this trip, not only were we able to appreciate that peace and quiet (READ: absence of Vidyuth & Vishruth), we were also able to appreciate/realize how overrated that peace and quiet is w/o the very beings that disrupted it:))
We got a renewed sense of appreciation for the boys and started realizing how much our lives and theirs revolve around each other. Recounting a phone conversation here:
Me(on the phone with the kids): Vishruth, I love you a lot!
Vishruth: amma, me love u and miss u!!
Me: Vidyuth, I love you a lot!
Vidyuth: Amma, I love you too…..pauses….amma, i love you more than you love me!!
Me: Speechless and grateful beyond words for such wonderful kids and glad for being their MOM!!
When I met them after a week, I was amazed and touched by how much they missed us and the different ways in which they showed their love and longing to us. As much as we enjoyed this time alone and also recommend it to everyone, we have also realized that life takes a complete turn once these little beings called kids come into our lives. Two key realizations I took from this soul-searching trip:
1. Quantity of Time spent together does not necessarily mean Quality Time: Marriage and keeping it alive doesn’t have to come through trips or vacations w/o kids, it can also be done through simple gestures that can somehow put a spark in our otherwise mundane day-to-day life. Life esp. married life is what you make out of it. This is what Guru & I have observed about our relationship this past 9 years, ” when we behave like friends, our marriage seems to be going fine, we listen to each other w/o our egos coming in between but it is only when we act like a husband/wife when we actually fight”. Egos in a relationship esp. where you have to live with them will only destroy it but mutual trust and respect to your partner will go a long way in keeping your relationship alive.
2. Parenting is a lot like labor pain, you hate the pain but will definitely do it again cos you cherish the experience:” As the years go by, I realize how everything has started revolving around the boys, right from career decisions, choices to personal choices. Each morning I wake up happy that I have another chance to enrich their lives while praying not to screw up like I did yesterday. I have to explain repeatedly why veggies are good for them and why junk food has to be in moderation. I also try to stop them from watching too much TV because my parents drilled into my head that it would rot the brain. Each day I worry about what they may hear, see, experience, and, most importantly, remember. I see on a daily basis the impact of effective marketing on them, right from the bournvita bottle to cheerios/chocos to advertisements, clothes and books. My kids are absorbing hundreds of messages daily and I am learning everyday that I should learn to pick my battles where I do look out for them while allowing them to make their mistakes and learning from their experiences. While I cannot control each and every single thing in their lives (and I don’t want to), I do want them to appreciate all the good in their lives while understanding that there are others out there w/o the basic necessities. I want them to identify right from wrong and grow into fair individuals who value ethics, honesty, sincerity, trust and hardwork. If I have done this, then I have done my job as a parent