Caution – Cryptic depressing rant ahead. Read at your own risk.
During our Christmas break, we went to Houston for a couple of days with a friend’s family. Friend, his wife, daughter and his old parents. This daughter of theirs was jumping from one seat to another. We all kept telling her not to but kids sometimes do not understand the whys. Once, while she was doing that, her leg hit the friend’s father’s eye. He was in pain. He couldn’t open his eye for a long time. Even after sleeping for one full night, he found it difficult opening his eyes. So the next morning, the friend dropped the rest of us in a Children’s museum and took his dad to a hospital in Houston. They found that there was a scratch on the other side of the eyelid and prescribed some ointments while placing a patch on the eye. In a couple of days, his eyes became alright and all was well.
This story is not about the eye. It is about how this friend and his family handled the entire situation. No one blamed anyone. They didn’t go into the what-ifs and what-might-have-beens. That aunty (friend’s mom) said ‘looks like something like this was destined to happen. Let’s see what to do next.’ They made sure the kids and us were not affected by this accident. That uncle, although not quite keeping well, made sure he was not a hindrance to the kids who were having a fun time. Even when we suggested that we shorten our trip and go back to Dallas, they did not budge. ‘We came here for the kids to enjoy. It isn’t that big an injury. I can manage’ were the exact words of that uncle.
That day, I learnt a big lesson. I have always been the reverse of this. When there’s a problem, I go into how I could’ve stopped it rather than thinking about how to solve it. If the problem is beyond my control, then I get into the ‘why me’ mode. I generally deny (at least to myself) that the problem exists so that I wouldn’t have to face it head-on. I make a small problem look big and start cribbing about it to all and sundry. When I get sympathy for it, it makes me feel even more depressed. By this time, the problem generally gets depressed with me and vanishes on its own. Well, mostly!
That day I learnt how to be calm in the face of an unforeseen problem. Little did I know that I would be putting to use that lesson so soon.
Yesterday, there was something that came up. I was kind of aware that this might come up but I still kept denying that it will happen. It wasn’t that we did nothing to stop it. We were trying our best to get around this thing but still it came up. When it did, I broke down. I wondered if we could’ve done something better. I did go into my ‘why us’ mode. This morning, I wanted to just be inside the quilt and not come out at all. As if, me not being there will make the problem disappear.
But now, after a couple of hours of overthinking it, I am gradually trying to recover from it. Slowly but surely I am moving towards the ‘acceptance’ stage. I have come to the state of ‘how to sort this out’ from ‘why did I let it happen’. Considering the person that I am, this is real quick turnaround time.
Some day, one day, I will learn to handle any problem, small or big, like that friend’s parents. Some day, I will learn to look at the problem as it is and not with its past baggage. Some day, I will learn to shun the self-pity that I keep bombarding myself with. Some day, I will genuinely realize how privileged I am despite these problems. Yes.. There’s a long way to go but until then, I will keep trying.