Danger – Slippery Slopes

Danger Ahead

Hand wringing isn’t an option, I don’t do that. I am calm, or rather, am pretending to be calm. It has been said that you eventually become what or who you pretend to be, so that’s the hope.

As I stand poised at base camp the week ahead appears like the towering K2 with unpredictable weather and inadequate supplies. I am not the first or the last person in the world facing a difficult week. I hear about the unexpected twists and challenges folks face everyday. They like to tell me what they’re going through, I like to listen, I can’t do much else. Every now and then I yearn for someone who would listen to me, or say just the right things to help me overcome my challenges or difficulties. But I don’t believe such a person exists. Patronizing words of false sympathy or genuine pity or even promises to pray for me rub me very much the wrong way. They are all just words.

Such yearnings however, are fleeting. I don’t dwell on them. Self help is the only thing one can count on. In writing things here I am trying to draw myself a roadmap for the anticipated rocky terrain. So here goes:

Monday – I had the foresight to take the day off. At least I can stay asleep till 7 AM or so. Then I need to attend to the needs of Fudge and take A to school. The house is a complete mess and there are unopened pieces of mail and bills strewn around. I’ll need to clean up and then review the piles of mail. Tomorrow is also rehearsal night – a three hour long rehearsal – 6 – 9 PM. So I need to leave for NYC by 4, with Anoushka. She’ll need earplugs to protect her from the noise levels or else I’ll be tagged as an irresponsible parent. The tricky part is the basement cleaning appointment that I scheduled for 3:30 PM! I knew I had rehearsal, so why did I do this? Tomorrow morning I will need to decide whether I want to tell the band that I won’t show up for rehearsal (I’ll feel awful since only 4 days remain to the show) or I’ll need to call the cleanup guy and tell him to reschedule. I would hate to do that; thanks to Fudge, the current state of the basement is intolerable to me. Maybe the morning light will yield some answers.

Tuesday – I need to make sure I get home exactly at 6:30 PM so that A and I can go home, collect F’s vaccine history and F (in a crate) and take him to PetSmart for training classes. The classes will probably last an hour or so. After that I’ll need to worry about dinner and then I’ll start worrying about F retaining everything he learns in this class. It would mean more training work for me at home and how would I be able to keep up with that if I’m away from home for 12 hours??

Wednesday – Wednesday is the day of our holiday luncheon and the Yankee Swap gift exchange event. Hopefully I would have contributed my $10+ gift to the pile by Wednesday. Wednesday is also rehearsal night, which means I won’t be home till 9:30 or 10 PM. I don’t know anyone who could keep A for that long. So the only alternative is to have her miss school, take her to work with me, have her participate in the official holiday luncheon and then subject her to loud rock music till 8 PM before driving home. I’ll still have dinner to think about after I get back.

Thursday – Hmm…Thursday doesn’t look too bad, except for a promise to meet up with a friend from India around 7:30 PM or so. We were originally supposed to meet on Sunday but then he got busy and Thursday, as you can see, is really the only day I am available.

Friday – Friday is the day of the show. It is our annual function. The first part of the event is speeches and awards and all employees are required to be at the auditorium by 8:45 AM. If I need to drop A off at her daycare center at 6:30 AM then I can’t catch my bus until 7:15 AM and this particular bus will get me to the auditorium by 9:15!! I hate entering things like auditoriums late, every eye turns toward you, speech givers might stop mid-sentence, I’ll never live down the embarrassment. I have been wracking my brains for a solution but can’t think of anyone who would take A at 6 AM and drop her off at school a little later. Maybe it’s my non-existent social skills but I am quite friendless in this regard, have never cultivated a list of reliable, helpful neighbors. I need to work on that (among other things) but I have no alternatives for Friday. I’ll need to swallow my embarrassment about arriving late. Once I get there I’ll spend three hours agonizing about the upcoming stage performance for which I have been rehearsing for the last six weeks. Hope I won’t freeze, hope I won’t appear awkward and stiff and hope I’ll keep the beat.

And believe it or not, these are just the lace and frills that decorate my stressful work week, the week of the year end financial close where I cannot afford a single misstep. My early departure from work is bound to raise several eyebrows this week. My only option would be to raise the eyebrows back at them, accompanied by a shrug that says – “Whaddaya want me to do??”

Oh God! Please give me the strength to get through this week.


  1. The Force shall be with you! Bash on regardless!:)

  2. All the best!ano

  3. Sometimes, the strength lies within – this comes from someone who's actually sensed it and seen it surge when in need. Stay calm, and may the force be with you!Ronj

  4. When a mountaineer looks at the Mt. Everest, it scares him, it is really a formidable task for him, but once he takes up the challenge, without looking down, he wins. So you shall overcome, you can do it. Cheer-up! life is like that.

  5. Pragya,But then you forget what you have written in your Ryze page. "I have faced such circumstances before, and I believe I can do it."That has been a big inspiration for me and here I am returning it to you.:)John

  6. All the bestest for Friday…

  7. And as they say, this too shall pass… and goodness, it did!!!

  8. And as they say, this too shall pass… and goodness, it did!!!

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