Saturday, November 13, 2010

Change...why am i so terrified of it?

Its saturday and i woke up at 7! I havent woken up before 8 in a few weeks now, we've been watching the telly and sleeping past 2 a.m...fourth day in a row i am up early. I severed a longish relationship a few days ago. My househelp D. She was acting up, not taking what i said seriously and so i felt it was time to start over. I dont think she agonised over it as much as i did. I pondered over it, wondered if i was being too harsh, thought of her useless non earning husband and her two school going kids and waited almost 8 months. but i could see each time she did something that pissed me off, that i was one step closer to letting her go.

D worked with me for 4 years, which is rare in the part of town where i live. Maids and drivers hop about from building to building every other month with the promise of 200 bucks more....She was pretty much in sync with how i ran the house and tho excruciatingly slow and sometimes slack with work, she was trustworthy. When we went out of town, she'd have the keys to the house to water the plants etc. 

So this takes me back to why i resisted firing her even when i felt that was needed. I was terrified of not getting someone else, the comfort of having someone who knew exactly how i like things to be done and the training! The security of having a known system that works... frustratingly at times, but functional for the most part. 

I always think of myself as someone who likes to adjust, who works around what i have, even if it means it is less than 100% perfect. I am very cautious about trying not to upset the apple cart. I believe i am wary and scared of change. I like to go with the flow....

But if i look back, i think i sweat the small stuff... returning a pack of bad quality stuff to the grocer, getting back some deposit that i paid and didnt get service for, letting the autowallah overcharge me because i am just grateful to get home etc....

In the stuff that is bigger, like work and career and life plans, i have just taken leaps of faith. Let's see.... I've moved to places to study and work where i didnt know anyone but for a few classmates, i've moved jobs without having another one in hand simply because i knew the current one wasn't feeling right, I've bought an apartment on impulse ( i saw just one, and finalised it in 2 hours), hell i even dated (and married) a guy with no regard to my "must have" checklist!

I mean, how many people do you know, who said in the retention interviews..." i want some time off to find myself...i dont know what i will do, but i am sure i wont work an office job" or someone who says "i love the french doors opening onto the balcony! lets buy this house!" or encouraged K to quit working  so he could write his book at a time when I too wasnt working and said we'd manage fine....

I dont think i did too badly then....its the mundane stuff that i want on auto pilot...I like to have a schedule and a routine for mundane stuff... i hate wasting time especially in housework even if i am doing nothing else.... the only stuff i enjoy is cooking and arranging the sooner i could outsource all of that, the better....I've seen amma agonise over things which i think are silly... like paying a little extra to get a job done...and get worked up over the maid not coming in... i simply call in a replacement...and the world wont come to a standstill if the dishes arent done one day.

I know people who wait half the day for the maid or the plumber or the electrician to come in and fix something...and everything else is on standby till these people show up and get the work done. I would get tired of waiting and get cranky and that is not a good thing (ask K). I know households who dont have a routine or a schedule and everything is on a daily decision basis... i'd go crazy if it was like that... i like regularity....there are some things which are a total drain of time if they need daily supervision. that would tire me... maybe that's why i didnt want to upset the apple cart of the house...

So anyways, i called for a replacement, i interviewed 4 and picked far no complaints...i'd feel like a miserable failure if i cant get my househelp to do things the way I wanted! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

drawing the line

how much should you get involved in another person's life? your parents, kids, siblings, friends? where do you draw the line? how do you decide how much is too much? offlate these questions have been in my head....a friend shares something with you and you want to say something....should you express yourself honestly or shut up and just appreciate even if those complimentary thoughts are not yours? if you are really close, should you say exactly what you feel/ mean or worry that the friend will be hurt? Lately i feel everyone including myself has become very touchy about everything. 

where are the rules when people have different opinions on careers and religion and expenses and relationships? I feel stifled and cant seem to say stuff without the thought at the back of my head that i would be hurting someone...or coming across as judgemental (when i am not). 

I've gotten into situations where i have had very strong opinions...and after i have said something, i am consumed by the anxiety of having hurt the other people in the conversation....and if i havent said anything, i've felt so restless, i've had to meditate.... its not been a good situation to be in....

I recently read this book called crucial conversations... it presents a step by step process to make a conversation work when it turns could be with your spouse, parent, work situation and anywhere else that a conversation becomes crucial.... at work we've found this model very useful and have designed a program around it.... I am trying to use the model and i can tell you its helped me.