I am a Stay At Home Mom and now because of the lockdown, I have a Stay At Home Family. One of the joys of a SAHM is when the husband leaves for office and the child leaves for school. This is the time when she can put her feet up and do nothing. Well, that is not happening any time soon, is it? So, how am I coping? Like everyone else, I am trying to cope with the storm(s) in my teacup in my own way.
The Pandemic has been an eye-opener of sorts. Not only has it revealed to us the frailty of the human condition, but the tenuous ties of relationships. Like after a storm, it has brought up to the surface, emotional shipwrecks buried deep in the bottom. It has cleared the undergrowth to reveal things that were hiding in plain sight. 2020 has certainly been a year of revelation. One of the things that this year has revealed to me is my relationship with Time. I have gone through many different kinds of relationship with Time and I am none the wiser.
Best Friends Forever
Like all BFFs, Time and I have laughed and joked around, and shared secrets. But we have also had our share of fall-outs. In fact, come to think of it, we have had more fall-outs than I can count. It is safe to say that we have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes we decide never to speak to each other again. But then on a slow, quiet morning when I can have my cup of tea in relative peace; we hug and make up –Time and I.
Guilty as charged. I have tried to control Time, schedule everything and put Time in slots and to be honest, Time has complied; till it is all on paper. But the moment I have tried to act on our proposed plan of action, Time has turned the Devil and enticed me with a delicious distraction and taken me away from what I had planned to do. Time, I have realised; after dustbins have been filled with crumpled pieces of ‘daily routine’ and ‘family schedule’; refuses to be tamed.
Parent and Child
I have been the parent and Time has been the child. I have mollycoddled Time and given it treats (by occasionally pencilling in ‘do nothing’) but like Dennis the Menace, it always escapes me and I lose track. I mope around because so much needed to be done and I just can’t find that feral child. I lose it constantly. It is always interested in playing a game of hide and go seek.
Time and I, we are a married couple. We have accepted each other, warts and all. We sometimes have massive rows and sometimes, we get along just fine. I don’t control Time and I am much happier for it. I just try and get by on most days. Romance is still there but not the hearts and chocolates and staring into each other’s eyes and whispering sweet nothings kind of romance. Ours is a more mature relationship. I have accepted that Time is not to be regimented and Time has realised that I keep my promises and I get things done. Time and I — we are still at loggerheads and we are still in love.
I do not believe that one can ‘manage’ Time. At least, that is not how it works for me. We give each other a lot of breathing space. I still struggle with trying to bring some order. I still struggle to embrace the chaos. I still struggle to accept that whenever I have things worked out perfectly; and as a perfectionist, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this; there will always be a spanner in the works. In fact, I struggle with letting go. I wish everything would work like clockwork but I also know that nothing truly does.
At the end of the day, that’s all that matters, doesn’t it? You pull an all-nighter and meet deadlines. You give slow down time and luxuriate when you need some pampering. You sometimes run the marathon and sometimes just do a few push-ups. I have given up on trying to play catch-up with Time. Time will keep moving and if we are to have a semblance of a meaningful relationship, so must I. Time only wants me to keep moving, even when I am standing still. But most times, like Alice, it takes all the running I can do, just to stay in the same place.