Monday, October 27, 2014

6 weeks unemployed

The job search hasn't gone too well- but I've one solid lead that I'm not yet ready to take the plunge and accept, in the hope that something else will come along. But I also need to remind myself about the limitations of India. And why my ideal job probably won't exist here, so I need to make my peace with that and set the right expectations, and not give up an opportunity because it lacks something that is probably absent in India alltogether.

I've read two good books on women in career- Lean In- the more popular one by Sheryl Sandberg- is OK-ish- inspirational at best, but not much advice that I can translate to my life. Another one by Mrs Moneypenny  - I thought had a lot more practical advice I could use, and well written too.

I have reached the zenith of my patience with my father-in-law and his condition. To be very honest, he doesn't really do anything to bother us. And we have a 24h caregiver for him, so I am not attending to him. But still, I find myself getting irritated, getting tired of dealing with his dementia. Part of it, I think, is because of my innate and self-fulfilling need to fix everything, to make everything right. And when I know here there is nothing one can fix, it makes me frustrated. Part of it is just  my own ageing and reducing patience for repetitive questioning, dealing with an old man a lot more frustrated at his condition and inability to be coherent than we, as caregivers can be. Part of it is the worry about the endlessness of the situation, how are we going to tackle it as it gets worse. And, I think, a teeny part of it is bitterness- that I have invested considerable patience in tackling this situation, I feel like I have no energies left to do something more fulfilling for us- like- for e.g. raising a kid.

I need to detach myself from this situation, and practically have no reason not to, given we are spending so much money on the caregiver, just to give us some peace of mind a break from this.

We have been able to go on several nice trips in the recent past, thanks to the 24h caregiver. And in addition to exploring a new town, taking in the history, enjoying nice hotel rooms, it gives us a much needed break from living with my father-in-law and dealing with him. I have realised that we are really lucky we get to do these, and I also realise how much fun it is traveling with B. We share the same passion for travel, similar interests in what we want to see, what we don't want to do and are open enough to indulge in the other's interest when it is not our preference. Our getaways have always been so much fun to plan and to experience. I think that we should start a scrap book of sorts to store the memories..if not for posterity, then at least for our own sake, to look back to and feel good about lives every time we feel trapped in our situation.

We are thinking a lot about having a kid. It makes sense, as we have reached the now or never age. There's hazaar unsolicited advice from all quarters- has been there since the day we got married. But I wish people gave more practical advice. For e.g. nobody tells you no health insurance provider covers maternity unless you have been with them for at least 2 years!

I'd really like some honest advice from couples who chose to remain childless. Is it really as bad as others make it out to be? We ourselves know of at least one such couple, but it seems like such personal territory that I cannot imagine asking them about it. I once read this article that was very honest, but that is just one data point.

To quote from it:

..And, for the succeeding few years, I gave it all very little thought. I was aware, of course, that my friends were operating for part of their lives on a different planet. That they were building new networks at the school gates, and in the organisations to which their children were attached. But in my job there was never a shortage of places to go, stuff to do, people to meet. And, still in the world of couples, no shortage of social invitations to parties, and other people's family celebrations.
So what nagged at me in my 40s, and subsequently my 50s, was not the sharp ache that so devastates those women who longed for children and couldn't conceive; more a sort of sadness that I hadn't experienced one of the most extraordinary experiences a woman can have. A sadness born more of unsatisfied curiosity than unfulfilled womanhood...

 I myself am unable to identify any more whether I want a kid or not. I don't have fears of unsatisfied curiosity or unfulfilled womanhood. All I see currently is fear of responsibility and resistance towards what I see as another lifelong chore. There was a phase I had baby envy. But I don't even feel that any more.

That said, I do think I would enjoy having and bringing up a kid with my husband. It will give a new meaning to our lives, which now largely revolve around office and F-I-L.

But is that reason enough? And can we handle it, in addition to what we have now, which is only going to get more difficult to deal with? Will I end up sacrificing my career for it- in the times of harder-to-find child care etc.? What if I have complications and end up with a child that needs more than normal care/attention? Will it burn a big hole through our already strained finances?

Like most other decisions, my risk-averseness paralyzes me into choosing the comfort-zone status quo.