Saturday, September 24, 2011

Girlfriend time

Sadhana calls it ‘girlfriend time’; I call it ‘revival time’.

The business of living an adult life, raising a family is such a heavy duty personal investment mission for a typical woman that she is soon running out of physiological battery charge. In the daily grind to keep a growing family on track, healthy and cared for, her own nutrition, emotional well-being and self-esteem pretty much get swept under the day's agenda. She has this commitment to her husband, the children and society around her. It is as though all her growing up years were preparation towards the discharging of these responsibilities, in complete exclusion to herself. The first to arise and the last to get to bed, it is a ceaseless drive.

What then is the secret switch that keeps this dynamo ticking? Love for the family, yes. Could it be an appreciation of the man’s loyalty, maybe? Or that personally defined bar for an ideal family, it is feasible. With some of us, the conditioning is so deep that we just have to be the perfect superwoman. A well run home, accomplished children, personal grooming, an amicable footing with the relations-in-law and that hundred per cent support to the husband. It is a tall order for any being, leave alone a creature that gets little acknowledgement, appreciation or back thumping from any close quarter, not even from her biological family often times.

Hers therefore is to serve and sigh. Hers is not to question why.There can then be only one logical conclusion to this one sided story and that is ‘therapy’. Retail therapy, food therapy, drug therapy, sleep therapy….one can take a pick. Although they all work, they suffer from a sustainability deficit and associated side-effects. 

There is one cure however that is free of these virulent overtones. It is ‘girlfriend time’. Women understand to a great degree what it is like to be each other. They are quick to recognize pain caused by that dismissive indifference in dear husband’s tone, the furious glint in a teenage daughter’s eyes, and the demanding ways of a pubescent boy. They can watch and listen and observe without judging. Having juggled half their lives themselves, they will make time to step in at critical junctures. In their company, it is possible to let the guard down and share and compare notes. They see that most times, the need is merely of an empathetic ear and a sympathetic smile !

From these shared stories, comes strength and that much needed revival and renewal. One invariably comes away from these emotional loofah sessions with the scrubbed feeling of being OK.

‘Girlfriend time’ is the oxygen mask you need to pull over your nose when life’s barometer goes asthmatic. 

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