In the past few months, a new kind of fixation has taken hold of me. Articles on how women can have it all, cannot have it all, should have it all, should not have it all. All parts of the spectrum have been written, blogged, discussed ad nauseam. As I read each one, I nod along. I see parts of each argument apply to me. By the time I am done reading comments, I am no longer sure that the message I took away from the article and that the rest of the world was debating were the same.
So I did what I do best. Called and spoke to women I knew. Women who are walking the walk. What I found not surprisingly is that each person does what is best for them. Best for them under the circumstances they find themselves. For one, it is about soaking up her children’s childhood. For another it is about holding on to identity and the fiscal freedom. For yet another it is about pursuing her corporate dream. For me it is about swaying back and forth not knowing what I want. There are days I long to stay home. I wish for unharried mornings and a clean home. Then there are days when I feel financially secure and know that I do my bit to contribute to the nest. Other days it is not as cut and dried. I want it but not the way I have it. I look to pull, push, squeeze and tug my idea of what I should be doing over the next decade into shape and realize all the edges don’t line up.
Then, on days like today when news of a colleague who was in an accident reach me. I pause and realize I do not have to plan the rest of my life. Just plod on. One step in front of the other. Take one day at a time and do the best I can. Staying home or working is secondary. If I can stop what I am doing when my Ammu, Pattu or Saathi calls out to me and actually be present in the moment, that is the best gift I can give myself.