Week 2, Day 10, Midweek Malaise

The weekend, as expected, was a worthy nemesis.

It was spent at the grandparents’ (Seeya and Archchi’s). This is great in small doses (without meaning to sound ungrateful), and three consecutive nights had its pluses and minuses. However, as my close friend often states, ‘ooooh, my diamond shoes are too tight!!!!’ So, enough with the complaints; basta.

White carbs and chocolate were consumed, albeit not in a binge-like fashion.

With no opportunity to separate myself from the offspring, working out basically did not work out! Tried to incorporate some exercise into play however; obstacle courses, races and acrobatics in the garden helped us all vent a bit of frustration.

*A learning and amendment to the Lifestyle Change goals (thus keeping them attainable):

‘Work out at least 5 days a week’ instead of ‘every day.’

Monday and Tuesday found me in a continued state of maid-less-ness, in any way or form; the main significance of this is the lonely nights out in the sticks, which means dragging out someone to stay over in case of a night time emergency (usually a grandparent; occasionally a friend)…yet back on schedule:

  • kids at school early
  • worked out
  • healthy eating
  • pets alive and fed (but dogs not washed and cats missing a few clumps of fur here and there…)
  • the garden free of dog poo, and a few dying plants revived
  • a good dose of house cleaning and laundry

This brings us to Wednesday; today. Woke at dawn to prepare snacks and lunches for the kids for a ‘long day’ at school (till 3.00pm instead of 12.30pm); sadly, Ya-Ya woke Squeaks, went back to sleep and left Squeaks awake to keep me company. This generally puts a spoke in things. However, as she was so sleepy, she only managed to put me slightly off course.

The kids, snacks and lunches were dispatched on time with Seeya, as the car was to have its ‘day out’ at the garage (incidentally I’m rather overdue for my own ‘day out’!) with a driver (‘chauffeur’, to those of you from the developed world) ; which it did, along with a SURPRISE!! Break pad change!! For which I had to do an unexpected emergency bank transfer (a rare ‘thank you’ to technology).

This left me more or less to my own devices till the hurricane returned at 3.00pm. So, as it can be expected when there is plenty of time on one’s hands to ‘get everything done’, there was a lot of faffing around. Faffing over breakfast, faffing on the Internet, faffing over working out (which eventually took place two hours later than planned…HOW?!?!); faff, faff, faff, and somehow, the day is gone (it’s kind of like the money…). A distinct drop in the frenzied drive of the last few days.

The live-in maid turned up, more or less on time, but just a day late! Her arrival contributed greatly to (and provided a fair excuse for) the above mentioned faffing and general feeling of gloom.

The poor thing really did suffer a death in the family; the death of her brother.

Here’s a horror story if ever there was one…

A middle aged man of 49 works as an unskilled labourer, loading and unloading a large truck run by his cousin, somewhere in the east of Sri Lanka. He lives there with this cousin and extended family. He is not married, and has no kids of his own, but he is loved and cared for and his cousin is his best friend. He has a decent life. He and his cousin are known fondly in their village, by everyone, including military personnel, local politicians and the clergy of the temple.

However, they suffer that affliction common to so many men and women in Sri Lanka and the world over; the one that tears families apart, destroys livelihoods, and reinforces every existing social indignity; alcoholism. They are known to enjoy a ‘good drink;’ When they are gone for hours on end, the cousin’s mother locates them, and drags them back home, in whatever state they may be in.

That day, she was away.

Being inebriated senseless could be the only reason one would choose to settle for the night, under a massive truck; and that is what the man did. His cousin of similar age and similar inebriation, getting a call-out at 2.00am (this was part of his job – he had to be on-call for work even in the dead of night), does a cursory search for his cousin the loader/unloader, and being unable to find him, sets off on the job by himself. In his state, he only notices the usual bumps in the uneven terrain of his rural village road.

Hours later, as dawn breaks, his cousin’s child finds him. There he lies, the middle aged man of 49; unaroused from his drunken stupor, the life gone out of him, run over by his own cousin, his best friend, by the very truck that provided him his livelihood.

He was my maid’s brother.

She and the rest of the family pressed no charges against the cousin who ran him over. In fact, apart from remorse and sorrow, it does not appear that he has to suffer any consequences at all. Being well loved by all in his village, including the people who matter, and because he has a family to care for, the cousin was merely warned to change his habits.

So, when will he do it again? And this time, will it be one of us who encounters him while driving on the road? What state will he be in? What will his massive truck do to my tiny car?

This sad story is reflective of the state of affairs, where we are right now. Social issue upon social issue; an intricate tunnel-web that seems too sticky to untangle, let alone maneuver through.

As we’re thinking “what a useless waste of life, how irresponsible…what a way to die!”, we should consider that in truth, this could very easily happen to any of us. Maybe not exactly like this, but in ways more befitting to our own lifestyles. The little risks we take, the little shortcuts, the things we say and do in anger, things that could push us over the edge…

So, let’s not go there, let’s try and be different; aspire to be our best selves and embrace the love, care, hugs and opportunities that come our way, every day. Be there for each other positively, uncomplainingly and un-martyr-ishly.

That being said, I had better get to bed, so I can be my best self and not a shrieking maniac in the morning. Trying out a yoga class for the first time, will let you know how it goes, and details if it goes well.

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimmy swimmy swimming…” (Dory, Finding Nemo).

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