I survived the R2I. Its been 3 months now. There were days it was crazy and other days it was not so bad. There were a handful of awesome days. But none of that has to do with moving back to India- if it were left to me and me alone, I think I would be fine- of course all the things that frustrate one at first about India would still frustrate me- the lack of efficiency, the lack of accountability, the daily struggles, lack of systems- but I got used to most of it really quick . I then find that my husband will probably never be ok with it. Given a chance, he would want to leave India the first opportunity we got. To each his own, but that kind of unhappiness is not easy to deal with. Nor is the realization that your happiness is so inextricably linked to anothers. I think I have had the biggest trouble coming to terms with that.
I started working a month after I got here. The job search was also interesting. My interviews went well and my talks were well-received everywhere I interviewed. Offers took their time coming, and I took the first offer I got - essentially because I could no longer sit at home and do nothing. Now I have 10 - hour long work days and 2 hour long commutes. I enjoy my job for most - the exposure, the responsibility (group leader in a small sized co.) and all of that- but I hate that I have to pay such a huge price for it with my personal life. I work 2 Saturdays too. So that leaves me no time to spend with my husband. Having spent 2 yrs in the long-distance, I was looking forward to returning to India and living a normal life and doing fun stuff together. Instead we have my FIL to look after, cannot plan out of town trips unless we take him with us, and essentially I feel like we have gone from long distance to leading the life married people lead after several years of marriage- totally skipping that in between newly married freshness. Sometimes I even feel like our LDR was more fulfilling in its own ways. Given that most of the causes for this are out of our control (work hours, commute time, FIL) it is all the more maddening and disheartening.
On the bright side, I do think we have brought a huge improvement to my FILs quality of life by moving back and living with him. I am very very happy that we are able to do that. I feel very proud of us and very conscious of the sacrifice we have made to be able to do this, because it is not one bit easy. Every time I feel excessively down I draw strength from the fact that we have helped him live a better life in his present condition.
In the early days after we moved back, my FIL was quite appreciative of the changes we have effected in his life. Now he has lapsed into a phase where he feels restricted (he can not continue with the same freedom and ease here in the new apartment as he would in his old) and as if we have locked him down. I guess the novelty wore off soon, and also a lot of it is just an outcome of his condition- it will be given to bitterness and frustration and all of that. We will have to learn to let it not bother us. We would benefit by slowly getting him to learn some of the things that can enable his independence to some extent, and we are doing that- but it demands a lot of patience and we cannot always do it. So we have managed to teach him to go down for a walk, using the stairs, and the building watchman ensures he gets back into the lift and makes his way home. So he at least gets to have his walk everyday. Us sleeping in on a sunday means he would be sitting up, aimlessly, waiting for us to wake up because he is unable to work the door and take the milk to make his coffee. Its small things like that, that make me feel terribly frustrated at times.
B and I do enjoy some of the fun parts of married life such as shopping for house stuff, buying our first car together, etc. So that has been fun. I have his unfaltering support in my professional life. Being new to the corporate world, Id run every one of my office life issues by him and he taught me how to deal with stuff. I can readily commit to out of town assignments and he will pack my bags while I am frantically working on my powerpoints until the last minute. He took the day off when I was sick to be able to tend to me. He has dinner heated up and ready when I come home tired after office every day. We have a nice maid who cooks our meals, and is nice and considerate with my FIL. We never have to worry about cooking and dishes- a huge and welcome change from our lives in the U.S.
But life easily slips into a routine and theres little we seem to be able to do to fix that. Perhaps all life does get routine at some point, its a question of me realizing it and coming to terms with it. My close friends tell me to give it time. I just keep hoping that in that process, this doesnt become our life. Let us see.
I miss the outlet that blogging gave me. It feels good to come here and vent.