It took me a while to comprehend, and a lot longer to put in perspective.
It seems like it’s been a lifetime that I have done anything that “I” liked. I cook food that the kids would eat without a fuss and we go to restaurants that they like. Most times, I sit in front of the TV, and watch whatever the family’s watching. More often than not, I just walk away with my book and hide until they are done with TV. We go on vacations that A thinks of….which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy them. But it isn’t quite the same as doing “what I like”. After all, I am a firm believer in the saying, “Do what you love or Love what you do”. I think I don’t mind taking the back seat. So I don't know what bothered me when I couldn’t think of an answer.to that simple, direct question;
Early on in our marriage, I remember dragging A to a PhilHarmonic concert. Around the same time, he took me to a Zakir Hussain concert. The experiences were ….interesting, to say the least. He yawned the whole time, and slouched, sighed and annoyed the heck out of me. I tried going to the movies with him – a few of those popular Bollywood ones – he laughed till he cried and fell off his chair, clapped his hands and had an insanely entertaining time. I sat and fidgeted and wondered why I had to endure that 3h torture when I could have done something more productive (like reading a book!) Over time, we both gave up; never having found a middle ground for our likes.
When the kids were little, I would take them to a park or library. We made up stories, watched the ants and generally, lived a slow life. I liked that. I liked reading silly stories to them, making up things like tooth fairies and elves. They accepted what they heard, and even though in my heart I knew my stories weren’t true, I liked to see them believe and dream. Now, even Baby P is at an age where that wonder is replaced by cynicism. We live under the dark cloud of homework and activities, without a moment to breathe, rushing from the time we wake up to when we go to bed. “I am too busy – I only get to stay home on Saturdays”, Baby P complains every time we rush out of the home for our after-school activities. Maybe it is time for the kids to do what they like, without the maddening clock ticking away in their heads.
Like- doing nothing when I feel like it, even when there’s 3 loads of laundry and a full load of dishes staring at me….
Or buying that lavender-scented bar soap for myself; instead of the sickly sweet-scented body wash that Anya likes….
Or finally picking up the diary that A bought me for Christmas; with a hand-written note asking me to start writing again….
It’s probably the time to be "Doing the things I love"; rather than Loving the things I do….Isn't that the difference between Being Happy and Finding Happy?