Hope | Not Wonderwoman

Firefighting Mode – Chapter 5

Struggle often makes one examine one’s life and MM did this too as she had reached rock bottom. Lack of sleep and years of putting her need for rest last had affected her health and this created more struggle.

She was living with endometriosis by now. A painful condition with heavy period bleeding and pain, as well as non-period spotting and pain. With large ovarian cysts and when it progresses too far untreated, adhesions which stick to organs. Endometriosis is medicated with hormones when standard pain medication is ineffective and pain disrupts daily life. She found this was a mostly pain-free existence, but with side-effects from the hormone medication. Side-effects that can that can be beaten down and subdued to some extent, with rest, exercise and healthy eating habits. But then, if she’d had that to begin with, she probably wouldn’t have had health problems.

Adequate rest, exercise and healthy eating habits are the biggest factor that affect health in general, and health issues related to the reproductive system in women in particular. These are topics doctors don’t often talk about with patient families and that are not discussed openly and in a constructive way, in society.

MM was a product of her social and cultural system, a woman who did not know that there could be a win-win situation in families despite them choosing to follow traditional gender roles. Still, she had freedom’s that some other Indian women might not have.

One. She lived in a nuclear family so change within her home didn’t disrupt the lives of elders in their family. If managed QUIETLY!!

Two. Her husband had escaped the unhealthy bonds that tie some men to their mother’s apron strings and make them involve their families in every decision. His mother had followed customs that usually did this, but her own ideas had taken root and weakened the influence of old ways I think. And this failure was actually her biggest success.

Living in a nuclear family gave MM’s husband a freedom that she herself did not yet have. Because the legacy of her families traditions on housework, were now her way of doing things. And in keeping with their traditions, she’d also adopted the ways of her in-laws so that her husband felt comfortable. And many of these ways, their joint inheritance, were fashioned unfortunately to make the already challenging job of running a home really difficult.

MM was at a turning point now. Where one hits rock bottom and discovers there’s only one way to go. And that’s upward.


Not Wonderwoman
The world will not end if we put up our feet
for 20 minutes each day.
The world will not end if we eat left overs
more than once in a way.

The world will not end if we go meet our friends
and we're not there to serve you your lunch.
It's these breaks we take and the time we make
that help us get time before it's too late.

Cos often,
We don't get house help that works independently
or a good care-giver when someone is ill.
We always need to keep an eye
and there's never a day that passes by
when we can sit and take time with our cup of chai.

We'd like to blame you but you're not the problem
the problems lies within.
It's a fight with ourselves. To let go and accept
that we're not . . . Wonderwoman.

The End


I invite you to read all chapters of Firefighting Mode and think about the kind of society we create when we leave the busy unmoderated, and let it take over our lives.

Published by Anitaelise

Anitaelise teaches piano lessons at Anitaelise Piano Studio and writes poetry and essays at The Relaxed Housekeeper.

2 thoughts on “Hope | Not Wonderwoman

  1. So true that women often create their own prisons. We feel extreme guilt if we take time for ourselves. I decided early in my marriage that I needed to nurture my creativity or I would become a worn out bitter woman. I’m very happy and I continue in retirement to enjoy the hobbies I took up when reason would indicate I should only focus on my family. I believe they are happier and more well adjusted adults because I was able to realize my dreams!

    Liked by 1 person

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