Sunday, February 11, 2007

The bearable dullness of being

I think it’s called the nesting urge, and I suspect it sets in at the beginning of pregnancy. It’s a state of mind where you become more inward-looking, more interested in yourself and the little being within, and less concerned with the outside… And it seems to go on endlessly! Two and a half years later, I still feel like I’m under the influence. Old friends who have known me as a free-spirited, restless sort, wonder who died and made me into a fat, contented hausfrau. New friends probably look at me and think, yeah well, she’s like that only… The truth is that right now there is a small funnel, about three feet high, which quietly draws away all my energy, and my interest in plays, parties, movies, and even the in the little nurturing I used to do of myself! Only work is allowed to sneak in now and then.

But the same urge – nesting, protecting one’s young – has also made me a believer in gratitude. If a day doesn’t have any disasters in it – cuts, head-bangs, major illnesses – I’m grateful. If we can throw in an outing or some beetroot-paint fun or some paper mashing, that makes me happy. I’m also aware, suddenly, of how totally privileged we really are. We have a house which (for now at least) the government can't throw us out of overnight, rendering us Homeless; there’s fresh, reasonably clean water for my baby to drink and frolic in; if she’s ill, we can afford good treatment – no one will stick needles into her without our express approval (for what it’s worth); we can afford to buy her clothes, blankets and things to keep her warm; we can feed her good, healthy food; we have access to a good education for her. If a day is dull, if nothing scary happens, that is good!

With such a nest-focussed life, where dull = good, people wonder how I don’t drop off the planet out of boredom. And truth be told, I do feel like skipping off the sphere sometimes, but most days it’s illuminating to sit down and be such a part of someone else’s universe… Soon she’ll be older, bigger, will have friends to meet and worlds to discover on her own. She’ll shrug me off and then I’ll creep back slowly into the open, blinking at the sun, feeling positively Neanderthal and wondering what to do with myself. And perhaps trying to re-discover the spirit I lost. So it goes and so it goes. Looks like all clichés have a grain of truth after all!


SURABHI said...

hey anita, lovely post. i know exactly what yo mean- about the day being full- and so complete. but i also worry- sometimes i think i am slowly and surely becoming dependent on sanah- and the day forming around her. do you feel that? you worry about it? or is it something one needs to flow with for now? because it IS magical. !

The Mad Momma said...

ohmigod... you wrote abt my life... this is what i do all day... nest... and with the second one on the way... nothing is getting easier.. i will have to be thrown out of the linking up to this post because i love the way you have written it.

Space Bar said...

god...fancy meeting you guys here! small world, no?

i move between a restless (and ungrateful) discontent and utter joy. have to do beetroot painting soon. with bhendi!