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Can you take care of yourself?


couple of years ago, I had a comfortable life. An unsatisfactory job that paid for my bills, a considerably good lifestyle, and a 'Maid'. Williams, she did all my home chores, cooked food, brought breakfast and tea, to the table! My maid had actually made my life easier! I used to lovingly introduce her to my friends as my 'Maid of Honour'. I never had to run errands or take care of anything. She handed me a list of items every month. My job was to provide the money to suffice the purpose. Voila! I almost had a wife!

In short, I was not taking care of myself. I was paying someone to take care of me. I was co-dependent on her. The horrific days when she didn't show up, the house seemed hit by a mini-tornado. The piled-up load of unwashed utensils and clothes awaited her sight. The rare moments when I had a shaky will to cook a meal, the aggressive marketing of food apps left no stone to kill it! All that said, life was still pretty good. 

Search for Bigger Things:

One day my geyser broke down. Williams started heating the water on the gas burner. Naturally, the need to fix the geyser became redundant and life continued to be good!

But of course, life needs to be not just good, but exciting too! So one fine day, I had a sudden whim of quitting my job. My alter ego, my motivator (Biggie) keeps whispering to me to pursue ‘Bigger Things’. So, once a year it convinces me to go unemployed and broke, to find if those ‘Bigger Things’ exist.

Well! the unemployed phase has its downsides too. The easily affordable luxuries, start burdening your shoulders now. (spondylosis in my case). This called for an excruciating decision, 'laying off my maid.' So, with a heavy heart, I sent Williams on a sabbatical. I assured her that she can resume when I conquer my whims. Weeks went by, and I was still seeking those 'Bigger Things.' (No surprise there, it's an annual event!)

Moments with your Conscience:

With no one to heat the water on the burner, I put bathing on the back burner. It became an arduous task, that required determination and effort. I finally decided to get an electrician and what happened next was a bolt from the blue. Five minutes, and it was fixed! I was startled!

In the aftermath of this incident, I was mindlessly preparing tea. I heard a voice, "I would like biscuits with tea", I looked up and it was my second alter ego, my philosopher (Philie). It threw a hard-hitting question at me just when I was dipping the biscuit in the tea.

"Why exactly did you take four months for something that required five minutes? This isn't procrastination. This is loitering your destiny, forsaking your life! It’s a lack of self-care, decision-making, leading to a lack of action." By now, the biscuit had drowned, melted, and become one with the tea. I was quick to throw some questions right back. "Is this why I am not able to grow in life? Could have I saved precious years by taking simple decisions on time?" Biggie too joined us, it looked at Philie, smirked, and said, " And I am expecting ‘Bigger Things’ from her." They both chuckled and left...

The Broke Yet Not Woke Phase:

Of course, it was time for an awakening. Time for self-realization, enlightenment, and an array of life-changing decisions! Oh wait, this is not a movie. So, I went back to my careless life. Gradually my unemployment fell in love with me and decided to extend its stay (over 7 months). On the other hand, my savings felt betrayed and started swiping left and right at strangers.

I came up with unbelievable excuses to avoid dinner outings with friends. The food apps by now added email marketing (with emotional captions). Google AdSense made sure to not let me breathe without looking at sultry, cheese-dripping food images, even while working. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep after having Maggi! 

Finally, the Journey Begins...:

There came a point where Biggie and Philie got so emotional that they started cooking right away. Without ingredients! They mixed up leftovers from the fridge. Made interesting sandwiches and a variety of khichdis, eventually adulting to Chapati-bhaji. Difficult, but still doable.

The mammoth task was the house chores. Cleaning utensils, washing clothes, scrubbing the toilet, dusting the house! It took me a week to start regularly washing the utensils and using them as little as possible. My brother offered to gift me a phone, but I smartly traded the offer with a washing machine. Clothes, sheets, blankets, linens, and every possible fabric around me were fresh.

As days passed by, I saw myself cleaning parts of the house that I never knew existed. I de-cluttered the wardrobe and junk lying around. Organizing our surroundings works wonders for mental health. No wonder, Philie was rejoicing! Well, Biggie was not behind! It pushed me to give interviews, watch motivational videos and movies. Get self-help books and plan better.

It’s great to have someone take care of all your needs. I did enjoy the comfort of someone taking care. But, taking care of myself was more satisfying!

The succeeding months involved simple decisions. I was exercising, taking brisk walks, and practicing meditation. I was working on balancing my mental health, with positive self-talk. I gifted myself a karaoke mic, as I am a gifted bathroom singer! I cheered up myself with ample green plants in the house. I resumed journaling and tickled my love for poetry!

I haven’t miraculously got all life answers or attained salvation. That process is ongoing. I still get bogged down in the past traumas. There are some depressing moments but several strong moments too which assure me that I can rise above the storm. Albeit, I am alone, doing things all by myself, I know I can take care of myself. I try to keep myself motivated, productive, and strong. There's peace, self-assurance, that yeah, if nobody, I am always there to take care of myself, always!





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