How are you coping?

Is it me or does it feel like this year keeps giving? I am sure we have had tough years before. We have dealt with it, many of us have moved on. I used coping mechanism to deal with my personal sadness. While going through a difficult time, I told myself time is the best healer. My feeling at this moment is intense, but with time the intensity will fade. I simply need to continue to live on through the time.

Compounded with global pandemic, other concerns are making life unpleasant. I can say with certain amount of confidence that many of you are in similar situation as me. How are you dealing with the time that we going through right now? What is helping?

I wrote two light hearted blogs back to back and realized, while writing them, that I was happy. They were silly ones about my 2 kids, however, reliving the memory of simple domestic story and writing them down was somewhat joyful.

Writing has been immensely therapeutic at this time. This blog was created in 2011. I was prolific and regular about writing something new. However, as the kids grew up, my materials for blog post dried up. I only had so many stories to tell. When the pandemic started and Sage died, I opened up this blog site again and started putting down my thoughts. It was a release. It helped.

What helps you cope?

Teen 2.0

I am attending a training for my work. It, sometimes, is waking me up at night. The work is not difficult, it is simply intense. Yet as I turn on the computer, all I want to do is write blogs. So, instead of working on Young Adult’s readers advisory, I am writing a blog about it.

Me: Sahana, I am going to interview you for one of my classes.

Dying pterodactyl groan accompanied with a word I understand: Why???

Me: Because you are a teen and I need to interview a teen who reads and uses the library. You fit the bill.

Sahana: Yes, but I am not your average teen. I will give you deep answers.

Me: How are you not an average teen? What is an average teen anyway?

Sahana: I am just better than your average teen. I have maturity, common sense and lucid moments. Your average teen does not have those.

Me: Do you think you also suffer from the sin of hubris?

Sahana: Nope, I just say it straight. It is what it is. I am not an average teen. I am Teen 2.0. You know? The upgraded version!

My sweet little teen did not realize how very ‘teenagerish’ she sounded in that entire conversation! I was making marinara sauce in the kitchen for dinner. I did not even feel the burn of an errant spot of hot sauce on my hand, I was chuckling so hard. Silently, of course!


Mama thought for a year.

This blog happened because of my daughter’s unwavering faith in my ability to write. She started telling me I should write a book.

“Mom, you should really think about writing a book! I think you will be really good at it!” She said.

“I am not creative enough to write a book! Also I have no time to think!” This was my standard reply.

“Then write a blog. I am telling you, you will be good!” She insisted.

“What is a blog?” I asked. To be fair to her, Sahana did try to hide her surprise at my ignorance, she explained a blog post to me with utmost patience and didn’t roll her eyes once.

Ok, ok, I will think about it!”

The conversation generally ended there till she brought it up again. She did plant a seed in my head which started growing. But what would I write about, I thought. My life wasn’t exciting at all. A regular, everyday woman, trying to raise two little humans to the best of her ability. Not creative, not a terrific observer, not a philosopher, not a deep thinker by any means, what would I write about? I read some sites on how to write a blog. One said to write about something that I am passionate about. I wasn’t really passionate about anything. It was discouraging. Nothing in my life was worth writing about till Ryan said something really, really funny one day. I thought I could write about my children. They make me smile with their words and gestures, maybe some of the things they say will make others smile too. I decided to write a blog on their every day lives, their comments, their growing up. I meant it to be like an online journal of sorts, which I hoped, they will read when they grew up. And maybe share a laugh with me at the memory, since that is all I will be left with ¬†once they fly¬†the nest.

But I am lackadaisical in everything. So although the good intention of starting a blog was germinating in my head, it didn’t really grow shoots. The plan wasn’t implemented right away.

Then life threw a curve ball.

I got a phone call that turned my smooth, planned out life upside down. Someone very dear to me was diagnosed with the emperor of maladies. It is interesting how one clearly remembers the moment when one gets a devastating news out of the blue. I distinctly remember the glare of the white neon light when my phone rang and I answered. I was sitting at the children’s swim practice, talking to two other mothers when the call came. I remember hearing the sad, resigned tone of my loved one – and the news. My heart stopped beating for a split second and I distinctly remember the cold, gnawing, raw feeling of fear in my stomach. I mumbled ‘Excuse me’ to my company and walked out in the hall for better reception. I heard the news calmly while my head was exploding with ‘WHY? ¬†WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? I THOUGHT I WAS INVINCIBLE? IS THIS A JOKE? IS THIS REALLY REALLY HAPPENING TO ME?” The reality of the situation didn’t sink in immediately, I was in a daze.

The phone call ended. I remember walking ¬†back and sitting down with a numb feeling. I remember trying to come to terms with the dreaded C word. The word ‘cancer’ played in my head, again and again. The word ‘cancer’ has such a definitive ring to it – a strong word, a harsh word, a dangerous word. A word that can appear in your life all of a sudden and can potentially turn your life upside down, can actually rip it apart. I gathered the children after their practice, bundled them in the car and headed home, ‘cancer’ still playing in my head. I remember each minute of that evening, down to the minute detail.

Then the research started. I read up¬†as much as I could ¬†focusing on how worse it could have been but wasn’t. I started counting ¬†on my fingers what were the positives – the early detection, the survival rate, the necessary treatment.¬†I clung to the positives and held on to them for dear life. I couldn’t turn off my thoughts at night and during one of those sleepless nights, I stumbled on to I needed something fluffy and light and cheerful. I needed balance. I needed the innocence of my children to balance the sadness and harsh reality that I was living.¬†I wrote my first post.

Here we go.

My first step in the blogging world. See if it works. Wow! It did! Hmmmmm! What now? What do I write about? While researching how to write a blog, I read one should blog about something that one is passionate about! Where do my passions lie? That’s a tough one. Once upon a time, I was passionate about a few things, acting, traveling, writing. Then I fell in love, got married, had children. And my passions went hibernating. But this blog is not about self pity! Oh jeez, I lost myself after the kids came. No siree! Loved every minute. Well, you know what I mean. Didn’t really love, love every minute!! That’s stretching it. Didn’t really love the sleepless nights, the temper tantrums, the dirty diapers in the middle of the night etc etc etc. But did love the dimpled cheeks and the chubby thighs. Loved the different stages of growing up and the innocent questions, loved the cuddles and the belly laughs.

Oh dear! This always happens. I frequently get carried away when I start talking about the kiddos. Oh well! This blog, like many other mommy blogs, is probably going to be about the different things my children do to make me laugh. I don’t know why anybody would want to read them or be interested in them. They would be my online journal kind of a thing.

Time to sign off. Warmth of my bed beckons. As long as I can publish this I am set. First time and all.

As I read this post I relived the emotions that were going through me – despondence, anger, depression, fear. I see none of that in this. It is a bubbly, cheerful, happy post – a perfect veneer for my troubled soul. I needed it desperately. The dates of my early blogs show that I probably wrote something each day – as a release, as an attempt to crawl back to happy, cancer free times of my life, as a desperate attempt to hold on to normalcy.

After some tumultuous months of treatment, my loved one was declared cancer free. But I owed it to whatmamathinks for keeping me anchored during that troubled time along with the constant support of some dear friends.

I kept on writing after that. Who knew I had so many stories to tell. I looked forward to writing – in my very ordinary way, about my very ordinary life. And some of you read the musings. Some of you were kind enough to like them and leave comments on them. I thank each and every one of you who visit this blog from time to time and indulge me by reading what I write. I am someone who writes just for the sake of writing, I will never publish, never explain myself beyond what I have written. These are some snippets of my life, my memories, my thoughts, my insight into issues that are important to me.

I often think I will write something deep and thoughtful, something philosophical, something really radical. But that is not who I am; I am not a thinker, I am a mere observer, I can only narrate what has happened, I can infer some. I can learn some and write about what I have learned. I know I can’t change the world with my writing, but if I can bring a smile to your lips with any of my posts, I am happy.