Wednesday, April 07, 2010

'Having to'

I have been thinking of this phrase 'have to' and I keep seeing it in a new light. When I think to myself, I have to lose 3 kilos to get back to my earlier shape; does it really really work for me?

If I think Diti has to learn to write neatly and legibly, does it work that way? Or that she has to learn Hindi/Marathi languages in the way that is set? Or that Ananya has to study everyday no matter what?

“Having to’ sounds punishing to my ears. I know that there are certain things that just have to be done like getting out of bed, seeing the kids off to school. preparing the various tiffins,cooking lunch. sorting out clothes, my writing. But when I tell myself I ‘have to’ do them, it creates a stress in me that doesn’t go away until the job is done. And the job I end up doing may be done half heartedly.

Is it that all of these jobs need to be done or am I allowing myself to make a choice. A choice on how I see these tasks and chores. Maybe I don’t need to do all of them together in one mad frenzy. Maybe I can look at them differently. Maybe I don’t need to do them at all within the time I set for myself. Maybe I change the order of the tasks!
Maybe Diti need not learn to write legibly because she has an option of using a computer as well. Maybe she doesn’t need to learn anything in a certain way or a specified time. I don’t wish for her to look at learning anything where it becomes a punishment or a subtle order. I don’t want resentment to creep in somewhere along the way in my children or me, a resentment that removes the joy of the task and makes me complain and grumble a lot.

Doesn’t life find its own rhythm eventually when we look at it differently? When we look at it as making choices and having options rather than simply ‘having to’?