Hope – a funny thing, enables you to go on when things are at their worst. But also disappoints when you keep clinging on to it but things don’t go your way for a long time. I have often pondered if holding on to hope is worth all the hype. However, the option is to just give up and then.. there is nothing else to do. Perhaps, that’s why I always choose hope in any situation, however hard it is.
This year started out fine and the first half of the year actually had me hoping for better things and a brighter life than 2020. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The tide turned for the worse in May 2021 and the following months were some of the darkest ones I had to endure in life. My husband’s health issues and us being alone in Bangalore with a toddler amidst the pandemic were enough to send our roller coaster out of control and things started spiraling quickly.
With humungous effort and strength, I had to make a few hard decisions. I wouldn’t say that everything is resolved now. If I am honest, I can only say that things are going on. That’s about it. Every day passes by in a haze of habitual activities without any real conviction.
At first glance, I can only look at the negatives:
*Hubby’s health is still a worry.
*Relationship with in-laws at its worst. There was not much to work with and it’s become clear that that bridge is burnt for a long while now.
*My daughter is in a phase where she needs a lot of attention and I doubt if I am giving all the love and attention that she deserves.
*There’s no clarity about when we will be able to return to our place in Bangalore and think about a normal routine.
*I am not sure what to decide about retaining our babysitter without availing her services or to relieve her so that she can make other plans for her stable income.
*I haven’t cooked properly in 2 months. I was finally getting to enjoy cooking but at my mom’s place, things are a lot difficult for me to cook. I don’t want to mess my mom’s kitchen quoting my ways. But it just isn’t comfortable to take interest and cook here. So I just let my mom cook and help her with the other chores.
*My grandmother lives with us here and it is getting more difficult for us to take care of her, with her health and memory issues. She is getting worse with her episodes and it is taking a toll on my mother, who is a primary care-giver for her.
Basically, my usual life is put on pause and the resume button is nowhere near to sight. It might seem like a trivial thing to crib about but for someone who is handling as much as I do, for as long as I have, I don’t think it is trivial.
Despite all this, I try to force my mind back to the present every day. As soon as I wake up, I try to tell myself that it is a new day. It has the possibility to bring a positive change. I tell myself that I can think of something, anything that can improve my mood for the day and get excited about it. I practice mindfulness meditation for a while, do my chores, get immersed in office work (something that distracts me positively from all my other worries), spend as much time as possible with my daughter so that her joy and innocence rubs on me as well. I tell myself that if it is rock bottom, the only way from here is up. If it is not, well, it is bound to hit rock bottom soon and then the only way from there is up. All this shows that I still have hope, even if it is the last smidgen that I managed to scrape for the day.
So here I am, trying to end this post on a positive note, trying to make space for gratitude in a life that seems to be full of things devoid of the same thing. Here goes my gratitude list for the month of August:
*Glad to have met my childhood friend and her kid after 7 long years. We just did not have enough time to catch up.
*Glad that I don’t have to brave Bangalore’s unpredictable weather and be afraid every time someone at home sneezes or coughs.
*Glad that my daughter, oblivious to the problems of being an adult, is enjoying herself at her grandparents’ place. She is enjoying virtual school more than I expected, enjoying time with my parents for a longer time than it usually would be, and getting to taste all of my mom’s delicacies.
*Glad that I was able to go out and dine at a couple of my favorite haunts recently. It made me feel like the world is normal for a brief time.
*Glad for the help that I got during a tough time. It might not be unconditional. It might not be ideal but it is there.
With that gratitude list, I am going to carry hope as a beacon for as long as I can and go in search of my life’s pieces. I hope to make sense of the pieces eventually and put them back together.
Until later 🙂