When there is so much happening in life, it’s hard to decide what one should write about. I thought I will write about my travels, all three trips of the past five month. Then I thought I’d write about the new family and give them an introduction here. I felt myself settling for the pros and cons of married life. And finally when I decided on the topic, I chose my parents. You dint see that coming did you? :)
You see, this whole marriage thing has made me look at my parents differently. Now I don’t just look at them as ma and pa. I look at them as two vastly different individuals, with hugely different backgrounds, tastes, aspirations, who came together and did a fabulous job of the marriage business. It’s a whole new dimension to them.
Marriage is a complex thing. Once you enter it you realise it’s nothing but work. Its work mixed with a good measure of sacrifice, adjustment and an endless list of household chores. Don’t forget to add a bundle of new and unexpected emotions to that. Of course people tell you this, but that’s gyan. Your experience is your very own.
I appreciate things my parents did together as a unit now. It could be that one of them put more effort into one aspect or at one time and on other occasions the other took the lion’s share. But point to focus on is that they functioned beautifully as a unit. One thing I’ve realised is that marriage isn’t office. You can’t say this is beyond your KRA. You do what it takes (or more) and it may or may not be what you thought you’d be doing when you signed up for marriage. You do it irrespective. That’s because it’s a long term thing. No one will appraise you after one financial year. Your rewards will come later, much later, but they will be well worth the effort and wait.
Some of the things I think the parents did well together.
- Dividing up and managing the household duties. The house ran perfectly. It wasn’t the prettiest or the biggest one on the block, but it functioned well, it was organised and it was always clean.
- Managing the budget on salaries lower than what we are used to now-a-days. Everything that was necessary got done. Nothing essential was ever sacrifices or missed. Of course that meant they didn’t do a lot of things they wanted, but it never got mentioned around the house.
- Fulfilling family duties. Many of them were boring, uninteresting, took too much from them, I now understand that now, but they got done in spite of all that.
- Parenting and doing the gazillion things it demands. Never a “I am too tired” or a “ I am too busy” .
- Keeping the disagreements and arguments limited.
- Facing the challenges together. It’s a long life and each of us gets our own share of tests and trails. The parents have addressed each of them together, acting as a united front. On a public forum like this, it’s not possible to share further details, but it should be sufficient to say some of their challenges were so difficult that even today when I am older than they were then and have more resources at my disposal, I don’t think I’d be able to deal with them.
- Keeping the faith under all life situations.
- Balancing the personal and professional lives and doing an honest job of both. Linked to that is earning honestly and spending wisely.
- Living together yet pursuing their individual passions. Building balsam wood aeroplanes & reading Reader’s Digest while reclining for my father and exploring spirituality & nature & traveling for my mother.
With each day, I understand you better, dear parents. And with the understanding comes appreciation. While you give me a well-chartered path to walk on, you also give me a lofty example to live up to.