Reclaiming life

This post won the 'Life Changing Device' contest on Blogadda. Got a Philips MP 3 Player for this one. Yay! The contest was judged by Kunal Sheth. You can read the other award winning entries here.

Since I started working I’ve changed cities pretty regularly. Each time I’ve looked forward to the move with great excitement. Setting up a brand new house while we stayed at the hotel was always fun. I would take a short break then start job hunting – new job, new friends, new beginnings.

However this time when the husband announced our time at Mumbai was up I had a sinking feeling. Setting up the house would be a nightmare with two four-year-olds getting underfoot. There was to be no job since I’d turned a stay-at-home-mom. We’d been in Mumbai since the kids were born and now I was to going to lose my entire support system – my friends who’d seen me through the toughest times and my trustee maid. I was leaving behind my whole world.

Just as I’d feared, the move was traumatic. The first month went by in a whirl of carpenters and plumbers. I struggled with a house that refused to run smoothly, maids who didn’t cooperate and kids who were … well.. busy being kids. And, I had no friends. The city was not new to me.. yet all my old friends were working. My mommy world didn’t connect with their media world.

Writing used to be my way to unwind and I’d started blogging right after the twins were born. The blog was for me.. just me. However, in this new house our study was at one end of the house and I couldn’t leave the kids and disappear for some ‘me’ time. The one pleasure of my life became inaccessible. It couldn’t get worse, I thought.

Alone, depressed and overworked I was nearing break point.

Some time back we had subscribed to a holiday package (which BTW we’ve never used thanks to the workaholic husband). Along with that package we got a complimentary laptop. My husband suggested I make use of it. I’m really not a technology freak. I figure out just about enough to keep myself going. The comp was an old friend but a laptop…? Desperation drew me to that dust-ridden carton in the loft. The laptop was out. I struggled to work without a mouse and surprisingly within days I was comfortable. Soon I found myself reveling in the freedom of the laptop and a wifi connection. They accompanied me to the kids’ room, the balcony, the dining table, the living room… wherever the kids chose to play. I was writing.... furiously.

Picture courtesy Google Images
That was the first step. Then I began to connect with other mothers. I found Parul who had a book to her credit despite a four-year-old and a baby (now she has two, books, I mean), Mad Momma and Rohini, also moms with two kids each who held full time jobs and surprise surprise there was momofrs who had twins just like me. They were in their terrible twos and she was a working mom. There was Y who has a young daughter followed by twins.. gasp. Could it get any tougher?

They all generously opened the doors of their hearts and their homes to me through their blogs. It felt like family. I could talk about my son’s tantrums and my daughter’s homework issues without fear of being judged. Oh I know they weren’t reading my blog but I was reading their’s and when I wrote I felt I was talking to them all… like I had ‘friends’ out there. They had the same issues, unruly kids and absconding maids included. And they talked about much more.. book reviews, films, family functions, issues, impressions. They were out there doing it all. Maybe I could too.

And then I discovered blog directories. For the first time I entered a contest and found myself attempting to write something NOT to do with my kids in a long time – a first since I quit my job. That was the icing on the cake. Then I actually won the contest .. talk about the cherry on the icing.

Coincidentally around the same time a few of my articles/stories were selected for various publications and I was actually paid for them.. hah. I was on a roll.. damn I AM on a roll. I have more virtual friends than real ones. I’m not sure that’s healthy but at least they’ve kept me sane.

My laptop and the wifi, that’s where it all started, that’s how I reclaimed my life.

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