I always make space in my wardrobes when I come to visit my parents in summers. I do away with the old stuff so that I don’t waste time in creating space for the new stuff and can just unpack my bags. I don’t do this to save time and avoid fussing over not having enough space in the cupboards. But I do this to give time to myself to settle back emotionally. More than unpacking my suitcases, it’s the emotional baggage which is difficult to unpack. In other words, I come back with lot of things packed in my mind attic and for the first one or two days, I need to direct all my energy in sorting out these things than to think about anything else. The day to day routines which are centered around my maiden family, the aroma of the food cooked by my mom, the familiarity and comfort of the quilts and pillows which have been a partner in many dreams, the fact that my parents are just a shout away, the sense of belonging that comes from the city where I have spent the best days of my childhood, the waves of memories that flood my mind when I pass a friend’s house, all of this awaken so many sleeping cells in my mind. And when I am back, I need to put them away in a corner again. There is a conflict going on. One half of my heart longs to be with them more and the other half loves being back to my home. On one hand I feel the need to be alone with myself but the daily chores, the routine pull me back to the everyday grind. I have to explain, argue, convince myself that this is how life is for a girl after marriage. I have to be content that I at least get to visit my parents every year. There are so many friends who are living in different continents and depend on skype, whatsapp or other such similar technology to keep in touch. Even after 13 years of marriage, whenever I am saying good bye to my parents, it is extremely painful. I wish I never had to do this. I wish to be with them a little longer. The first one or two days, I need all the energy to sort out the memories which I have gathered in my mind, to strain out every positive vibe from all those memories to last me a year, till I can go back to them and refuel myself with what gets drained drop by drop.
This year the transition from being a daughter to a daughter-in-law was much easier because my hubby took us for an exotic holiday to Singapore. So, as soon as I came back from my parents house, he flew all four of us away and the excitement, happiness and twinkle in my kid’s eyes about traveling in an aeroplane kept me away from the sadness of saying bye to my parents. It was an absolutely marvelous way of unwinding and Decluttering the mind attic. We had not taken a vacation in a long time and that made this all the more enjoyable. It was also a digital detox of sorts since we didn’t have international roaming on our phones and would connect to the hotel wifi only during the night. No tabs, no laptops, no tv, no mobile. Just us. The four of us.
I noticed that my son has started reaching my shoulders, I noticed that he is very helpful and responsible. I noticed that he is extremely caring and possessive about his sister. He may get totally annoyed by her irritating antics but he gets worried about her if she is not in sight for even a second. I noticed that he doesn’t mind hugging me in public and I can still kiss him without him feeling embarrassed. I noticed that my daughter gets jealous when I do that. I noticed that my daughter is a total attention seeker. My husband has started greying. I like his salt and pepper look. I noticed that I still like to rest my head on my hubby’s shoulder. I still love to hold his hand and he still gives me a tight squeeze when I do that.
I realised that as painful as it is for me to separate from my parents, I am equally in love with my family. And just as a bird pushes it’s offsprings out of the nest, so that they may begin their journey of life independently, my parents have also set me free to build my own nest, to start my own family. And inspite of them being far away they will always be close to me. When I called them up from Singapore( thanks to free whatsapp calling), I could feel it in their voice that they are happy for me and this is how it’s going to be. And the distance doesn’t matter, really.
Everyone should go for a vacation. Where, doesn’t matter actually. What is important is spending time with each other without gadgets surrounding you. It helps put a lot of things in perspective. It definitely helps in Decluttering the mind, organizing all your thoughts and segregating the positives from the negatives.