Seems very obvious, doesn’t it? In fact, given that we, the moms of LORM, put these words on a mug, I should have given them more value. Sadly, I’ve become an expert and not putting myself and my sanity first; it’s almost as if I have an insanity wish (it’s like a death wish, but slower and more dangerous.)
I never considered myself to be a workaholic. How could I? I’ve never had the opportunity to work long hours in a 9 to 5. In fact, the reason I decided never do a 9 to 5 (not for anyone else, at the very least) is because, in my short stint at corporate life, I realised that I wanted more from my life, and I’d much rather keep my sanity.
But how easy it is to forget all that once you become a mother or find your passion. And how incredibly unfortunate it is, timing-wise, to have them both happen together. You want to dedicate your life and time to two separate things, but you can’t do one without sacrificing the time you devote to the other. You’re stuck in between two amazing places, and yet, it’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Anyway, a few months ago, I almost decided to choose; to pick one and put the other one on hold, for a while at least. Laddoo starts school next month (wow! Is it almost June already?) and I thought it would be a good idea to take a break from LORM and maybe even social media in general, and have fun with her. I was going to take June and July, both, off too, to focus on myself in the few hours I’d get every day when she’d be at school. And when I’d be all refreshed and start to feel like a normal human again (or as close to a normal human as I can get) I thought LORM and other social media work could resume.
That was the plan.
Of course, that didn’t happen. Maybe I AM a workaholic, maybe I cannot just sit idle. Just because I want to stay home with my child and be the primary caregiver does not mean I don’t want to do other things with my life.
At the beginning of the year, I took on more than I could handle. After taking a break in November and December last year, especially after my trip to Hyderabad to meet Akshaya @andhowdoyoudo and Disha @photostoriesbyd, I came back with renewed enthusiasm and a book full of ideas that we were all going to work on in 2019 and create LORM 2.0.
To be honest, LORM 2.0 sounded great in theory. We all thought we were making LORM and the challenges simpler for me (work-load-wise) and everyone else (shorter durations, fewer rules, etc.) but that wasn’t true because there was so much more I had planned.
LORM’s 2nd Birthday – a big milestone for LORM, was something that got considerable thought. I envisioned a major Jing-bang with loads of planning and logistical work, an actual big party larger than the one I wanted for LORM’s first birthday (that couldn’t happen because Laddoo’s health, as well as mine, didn’t cooperate last year, what with the chicken pox first, and conjunctivitis later). I wanted to see if we could do more with the podcast, I wanted to start the LORM store and put up our own merchandise for sale (that’s been ready and sitting in a box under my dining table since December 28, 2018). I wanted to do something new this summer and then again in the fall. I wanted to go on, non-stop.
And that’s when I realised that I HAD been working on LORM non-stop since April 2017, actually March 2017, since the germ of an idea popped into my head. And in the process, I had burned myself out.
In a conference call with @andhowdoyoudo, @photostoriesbyd, and @ammatoday in early March this year, we all decided that it would be a good idea for me to take a break after the March edition of Bookish Moms and Beyond was done. LORM passwords were going to be changed and my access restricted, and I was going to use the months of April and May to make art, play and read more with my child, meditate, exercise, work on or maybe even finish my book.
I think we all know that DIDN’T happen.
In fact, the stars aligned in such a way that after a long time, a little bit of work came my way and I took it. And then the guilt of letting LORM’s second birthday pass with radio silence on Instagram was slowing eating away at me too.
Long story short, no break happened. Zen was not achieved. Work went on albeit at a much slower pace, which was even more annoying because it was neither here nor there.
But then the Universe has its ways of balancing things out, right? Funny I should mention it like this, because over the past year or so, maybe longer, I have lost faith a little bit. I do believe in the existence of a higher power, but the concept of God as an entity has eluded me. But I digress. That certainly deserves an entire post, but at the moment it seems like a conversation for another time.
Anyway, the last ten days have been tough. It started with what seemed like a simple sore throat and a little bit of body pain for me developed into a full-blown cold that even today, ten days later, hasn’t gotten better. In fact, the symptoms got worse, if possible. On Saturday night, it got so bad that I had pain in my cheekbones as if someone had punched me in the face, and all the teeth in my upper jaw hurt as if they were all decaying. A simple Google search showed me I had something called Maxillary Sinusitis, which was exactly what I needed after making a trip to the hospital with Laddoo who woke up on Wednesday morning with a fever of 104.
Though the fever had significantly reduced the following day, and she was almost better the day after that (Friday), she still needed a 100% of my time and attention, so much so that she wanted me next to her even when she was asleep. And today she’s gotten a really bad cold. So bad that there’s literally snot flying out her nose every time she sneezes.
So today, I made a choice. I consciously took a social media break. I could have posted a few stories. More than a few, maybe. But I chose not to. Because you see, like I said before, the Universe has a way of balancing things out. If I don’t take a break on my own, it will MAKE me. And I’d much rather choose to be away from social media, than… it just seemed like the saner thing to do because, well, Sanity First.