Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two roads ....

I read a couple of discussions in the past one or two months about whether a woman is happier being a mother. 

I think this is quite like Frost's two roads diverging in the wood.  You choose one and that makes all the difference. 

Five years ago, if someone had announced that Shruthi is going to be this patient, dedicated mother, who would find tremendous happiness in her child, and would be more than content to chuck a well-paying job to stay at home to nurture her child, and explore other avenues, I would have been the first one to laugh, and I'm sure  95% of the people who knew me would have laughed with me.

But nobody is laughing any more.  And this I got to know only after I had my child.  

What if I had chosen not to have a child?
- Perhaps I would have continued in that same dull job and gotten my brains fried.
- Perhaps I would have discovered that I liked the job after all.
- Perhaps I would have progressed to a people-management role and discovered that it was my forte, and perhaps I would be this top-notch executive by now.
- Perhaps I would have realized that that field is not for me and chucked it anyway to do something else.
- Perhaps I would have found my (once-upon-a-time) dream job that involved travelling all around the world.
- Perhaps I would have been very very sad.
- Perhaps I would have been happier than I am now.


But who can say? The fact is that I chose this road, for reasons I don't remember quite clearly.  And the fact is that I have found happiness and contentment here.

Same with any decision in your life.  This field of education, that field.  This job, that job.  Marrying, not marrying.  Having one child, having multiple children.  I mean, what do you know?  How can you say ahead of time, that Option 1 will be better than Option 2?  Even after you've married Guy X, how can you be sure that you would've been happier with Guy Y?

Perhaps it is all about standing up for yourself, making yourself comfortable, and finding happiness in whatever you are doing, wherever you are. 

So no, I don't think there are no answers to the question - What are the right choices that lead to a person's happiness.

What do you think?


Mangala said...

What are the right choices that lead to a person's happiness?

"Trust thyself - every heart vibrates to that iron string." Being true to yourself, to your heart, your conscience, to the Thing in you that Knows. The thing that you can't fool. And in doing so, being fearless, taking life by the horns like you have nothing to lose.

And then living with how life unfolds without being attached to certain outcomes. To be open, easy, allowing. Accepting. To sit with whatever experience that comes up for that moment without resisting. Being one with life. Appreciating its dance of infinite variety without wanting to grasp or control or direct it according to some mind-generated agenda.

Not completely believing the mind. The what-ifs and if-onlys can drive you crazy if you let them. So letting them come up, but knowing them to be the play of the mind and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I would like to live a life surrounded by people I love and who inturn loves me. I don't want to live in what-ifs. Decisions are made for a reason and its best to get the best out of it all the time.

If I think about what-ifs then all I'm doing is getting my brains fried.

As you have mentioned you may not be with your soulmate or have a dream house or a job. So what...how do you know that you would be happy if you were to have one.Its all one's perception.

Having said that I think staying at home and taking care of your kids and being there for them is the most satisfying job on earth. The happiness you get from it is uncomparable.

Anonymous said...

"There are no accidents in life" (from kungfu panda).. has become one of my favourite now. Any decision we take, though it seems to be an accident / stumbling block initially, makes a lot of sense only few years down the lane :)

A post well written Sruthi :)


Anonymous said...

You are right.

1. Why should happiness and contentment be the goal for our decisions? Can any one particular choice make us completely content? [wouldnt being too content , a bit boring?]

2. Why do people who make one kind of choice need to justify themselves so often? [few posts towards that in your blog]Hope we are not touchy.

3. To make a choice and say " look I am so happy...even though I was ....well paid, qualified " etc etc ... Is there a need to announce "please dont mistake me for a person who couldnt have been anything else."

5. As long as one doesnt remotely sound as if one is preaching or adding value to one's choice.

6. Ofcourse those who made similar choices will send immediate support. Are we looking for those?

It is just a personal choice and each one of us have to take the consequences of the choices we make. That is adulthood.

CC said...

@Anonymous - points 2,3 and 6: Are you just stirring the pot?!! Or are you feeling judged for your choices in life?! I don't think S was justifying to anyone about her choices, she was just blogging about what every human being goes through and her own experiences... I would be surprised if you never questioned your choices, wondered 'what if'. What is wrong in 'announcing' your contentment with life?! She is. And a lot of us are happy for her. I feel sad for you for not being able to appreciate a good post! Oh and by the way...I have rushed for her support and no, my choices haven't been the same as hers. Good luck mate!

Anonymous said...

To appreciate one can critisize...one need not just praise a write up.

Of course I am judged. always. for any choice. even by myself. Isnt everyone? is there a life without regret?

Stirring a pot? well, opinions were asked for by the author. I trust not just praise.

Anonymous said...

CC - just to add .

It is a write up in a public forum . You got a feeling from the write up. Why are you up in arms if I get another kind of feeling? you know, more and more vehement personal support will actually lessen the value of the write up?

I really feel that even though the author says all the correct things, there is an extra need to convince oneself how correct her decisions are. Like waving the flag a bit too enthusiastically.

I get this from the write up. I am sorry you may know the person differently. I dont know the author.

I want the author to know that as a reader I get the above feeling.

This is a honest reaction to the write up. Not the person. and I am not sorry about my reaction.

CC said...

@Anonymous - I am her biggest critic when it comes to the writing but your comment sounds less like its a take on the writing or the style or the technique and more like a take on her actions.

Shruthi said...

Mangala, nicely said.

Anon at 3:57, yes, all in one's perception. And what is important is understanding that you'll never know if a choice is good for you until you take it. And thankfully, life gives us plenty of chances to start over if we are wrong! Staying at home and taking care of kids is great for people who are predisposed to do that. I know tons of ladies who find that the most unpalatable thing ever. And that's fine too. It's all about what makes you happy!

Anu, thanks :) Just another angle to it - Perhaps we tend to try and make the best of the situation, and so in hindsight, it looks like perhaps it was for the best! :)


1) Isn't happiness and contentment the purpose of life? Being content doesn't mean not having any desires. I am content, but I have many wishes, dreams, ideas, plans - some of them might come to fruition, some might not. So what? That doesn't mean I have to be miserable and wait for that thing far, far away to come true until I "become" happy.

For the rest of your points, I think CC has done me great help and answered you beautifully already. You seem to have missed the point of my post.

By the way, I don't know who CC is.

Also, there are many dissenters who mail me and we carry on civil, mature conversations over email. I have tremendous respect for them because they help me view my opinions in a different light, and also because they don't hide behind anonymous identities.

CC, thank you very much. I was just rethinking my writing, wondering whether this piece was so confusing to make somebody go completely off tangent. Your reply put my mind at rest, because you have put your finger perfectly on the point of this post.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for continuing this . But hope you will hear me out one last time.

Shruthi. You made my point in your remarks.

You thought I was "hiding behind anon" but you did not say the same thing to a unknown CC or another anon.
:-) are you not encouraging praise and snubbing the critics?

CC- you made my point too.

My comment sounded different to you than what I claimed. Well, in the same way Shruthi's write up sounds different than her claimed intentions to me.

Definitely I was commenting on her actions but only based on her write up. Which still "sounds" to me as seeking too eagerly some praise, and support.

I really think that the write up should match the intentions and I was hoping that by saying that it sounds different the author would consider that possibility. If you want to attack me sure fine, you can make me stop. But still I would feel the same.

Shruthi said...

Anon, there is a difference between offering an opinion on a writeup anonymously, and attacking the writer anonymously.

And since you have made it clear that you feel i am fishing for compliments, can I request you to discontinue this chain of conversation since it is making no contribution to the topic of the post?

CC said...

@S: I reckon Anon is a disgruntled competitor of yours :) And I very much believe this person knows you... else the attack wouldn't have been so personal.Now that I have identified myself to you over mail and stated it here, I wonder if this Anon will have the courtesy to do the same (not that you would want to hear from him/her!)

Anonymous said...

I don't see what Anon is saying - I thought the very fact that the author is openly acknowledging that her decision may or may not have been the best one means that she was not trying to justify her decisions in the first place! Quite the contrary, in fact...

praneshachar said...

In the present day situation very very few will take the decision like you to leave a job and njoy with your puttachi. But the amount of joy you have got now would have been lost and it would have a great loss for your blog readers who are njoying every bit of your writing. I am one fortunate here. Its simply amazing to see and read and lovely way puttachi analyzes and answers many times. so much of analysis done in background. certainly its Beleyuve siri molekeyalli. just sprouting wonder kid and a great happy mother who makes so many people happy by sharing her rich experince in nurturing child. no words to express. I have njoyed every bit of your writing and just just super three cheers to you and little princess

love sms said...

Currently in a situation that is very very small number puttachi njoy and leave your job and will take the same decision. However, the amount of pleasure you have and it is now, you have lost every bit of your writing njoying your blog readers will be a big loss. Here is the lucky one person. Its amazing to see just how lovely puttachi read the analysis and to answer several times. Too much analysis performed in the background. Certainly Beleyuve siri molekeyalli. Just out of foster kids and children to share her wealth of experince to make many people happy mother sprouting happiness. Words can not express. Njoyed every bit of your writing you just a little two super cheers
love sms

LAK said...

The post was thought provoking, as always---and my two paisa worth is that the decisions we make are who we truly are, at a very deep level.
I also enjoyed the comment chain, even though some of it was a little, umm, judgemental, because that is the point of a blog--to give rise to opinions, and you do that very well!

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