Messages of thanks abound in the world that I inhabit. My facebook feed is filled with them. My children bring home art work featuring turkeys and adorable “I am thankful for …” messages. It is no surprise then that I am reflecting on the things that I am thankful for.
Like most others, I am grateful for the things I take for granted. Food, shelter, family, love and children. However, this year there is something else that has me stopping by the altar that houses my devis and closing my eyes as I say thanks. I find myself filled with an unabiding gratitude for being able to take a break from paid work. While there is no one thing that affords me this luxury, I look back on the years and realize it has been a series of decisions taken that have led me onto this path.
For each day that I spend singing “Wheels on the bus” with Laddu and laughing as she goes “wah, wah, wah”. For each day I get to stand on my front stoop and send my girls off to school. For each day I prop open the door as I see their school bus pass my house and smile as I watch them run toward home. I am grateful. I enjoy watching them eat. I count my blessings that I can take the time to sit with them as they do their homework. Most of all, I enjoy the unharried pace.
Ever since I decided to pursue a dream I have harbored for a long time, I find I now have the time to lock myself up in the study for hours on end after the kids are in bed and pound out 1500 – 2000 words on average. I can do it because I am not stressing about being up early in the morning. I can do it because Saathi rushes upstairs when Laddu wakes an hour into her sleep. I can do it during the day on weekends because Saathi holds the fort, his children gathered around him while I type away.
With each chapter I finish, I am blessed by friends who offer time and feedback every day urging me to develop the characters, to experiment with dialogues, to point out the monotony in narration. I take their advice to heart and fix and prune. When I look at a half finished manuscript in my laptop, I feel pride and I feel gratitude. Irrespective of where this journey ends, I am happy I am on the trail.
So, when the rest of the world I live in gather their friends and family around food. I will be be sitting on the sofa with my little ones and Saathi and raising a toast mentally for the virtual family who have my back.