“My children, my family, and my husband’s needs count above everything for me. I am the one who holds my family together. If I do not organize, de-clutter, clean-up, wash-dishes, mop kitchen counters, there is frustrated bickering between family members. It is my job to keep peace, keep it neat-n-nice, it’s all about my family love, I am the backbone gluing everyone together”. Wiping wet hands Sundari rushed to catch up with the deadlines for many poetry contests, writing prompts, story submissions she submerged herself in.
Rina weighed salmon on scales, made herself a calorie-optimal meal, leaving spilled-spices, groceries on counters and kitchen table along with perishable leftovers in her rush.
“Why do you move my things around? How many times have I talked of boundaries and to not touch MY stuff? You have so much of your own hoard that you need to shed, take care of that”. Annoyed daughter Rina hurriedly grabbed her gym-leggings from the dryer, dumping the rest on her earlier pile of laundry-mountain on the family room sofa for days. Her friend was waiting, as they were heading to the gym.
“You are a hoarder and do not throw away anything, I will throw away what I want. It’s my money”, asserted Rina who earns from part-time job to support fun-times, outings, and entertainment with friends.
“It is not about “your money or my money” but about NOT wasting money. If we can recycle, save, or reuse let’s do it. If you are donating them, let me look through your bags and pick out tagged or good outfits that either I or cousins can use. When groceries, food, or Starbucks, Dunkin-Donut coffee are not in use, let us know so someone may use what we want” Sundari lamented with anxiety, wastage did not sit well with her.
Sundari, a quintessential people-pleaser, recalls the golden period with parents when her voluntary, loving support to parents made her feel very happily useful. She looked forward to being there for till it slowly changed as siblings married, and traces of rivalry for praise, credit, acknowledgements reared head.
Sundari figured, “disengaging and distancing, while doing best for others aids self-preservation, sanity, stability, peace for well-being. After all if my cup is not full how do I fill yours? I-me-myself-mine can be selfish, self-centered, or obsessive at a point. The flip side is “self-love”, “self-care” where one’s happy stable “joie-de-vivre” contribute to making surroundings happier, starting with one’s own”.
Sundari has started garnering accolades, acknowledgements, awards. A byproduct of writers group networking is support from strangers. “Slowly yet surely it is comfortable to be wrapped up in self-pursuits and well-deserved Philautia”, smiled Sundari losing herself in next storyline and possible NY Times and Amazon’s Best Sellers lists in months ahead.
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