So all looking good so far and I decided to hop into bed for a good night’s sleep, completely unprepared for what was going to happen next. It started with a funny butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling and grew bigger and bigger till I couldn’t sleep for 5 whole hours. I tried everything – watched most of Pulp Fiction on TV (have a question on that later), counted sheep, stared into the darkness and tried to empty my mind but to no avail. In fact, the more I tried to empty my mind, the more reasons I found to panic. Here are some of the thoughts that fed the panic attack and kept the sandman away till 5 in the morning:
- I have only ever worked in the one company. I joined as a management trainee fresh out of MBA school and have spent the last seven years firmly ensconced here. My ideas on how to function in the corporate world have been formed and shaped by this organisation. I know the people here and have made many good friends. I know the written and unwritten codes of conduct. I have a complete understanding of what passes as acceptable, good and excellent performance here. The thought of giving all this up and starting afresh is scary to say the least.
- I definitely plan to add another kid to my family in the not-too-distant future. In my current company, I put in six years of work before going off on maternity leave and I had enough leave accumulated over the years to buffer up my official maternity leave and take a full 6 months off. In a new company, I would not have that luxury and also how would they react if I announced I was pregnant after just working for them for 1-2 years.
- Quitting my current job would also mean losing my company-provided accommodation. We have bought a house but that’s still under construction and is likely to be ready only sometime in August. So we will have to figure out some short-term accommodation in the meantime. What will I do with all my stuff? Will I have to pack up everything, unpack, pack again and unpack again all in the space of three months? Or can we figure out a furnished place available for a short while and keep the majority of our furniture in storage till we finally move into our house?
- Once this worry fest started, there was nothing to stop it and I started worrying about everything that was even remotely worry-worthy in my life. I worried about Ayaan and whether I was doing everything right as far as he was concerned. I worried about a friend’s illness. I worried about the work still to be done in the new house. I even worried whether I worry too much (I would think the answer to that would be an unequivocal yes!)
At 4 in the morning, I just couldn’t take this solitary worrying anymore so Jai was rudely woken up with an elbow in his ribs. His attempts to induce sleep also came to naught. He asked me to imagine the holiday we are planning in Sri Lanka, I worried about whether we would be able to get Ayaan’s passport in time. He told me imagine the same holiday in Goa instead and I worried about whether we would be able to afford a suite so that we can have somewhere to hang out after we put Ayaan to bed at 9. And so on and so forth.
Finally, at 5 a.m., utter exhaustion forced me into an uneasy slumber that lasted till 6.30 a.m., when Ayaan decided it was time to get up. What a night! I really don’t know how I survived through the day today without collapsing….
Now the question about Pulp Fiction, posed to those who might have seen it. I saw most of the movie through a worry-induced and sleep-deprived haze last night and I might have missed a trick or two. There is this scene when Butch (Bruce Willis) goes back to his house to pick up his watch and finds a gun on the kitchen counter. Just seconds later, he hears the flush in the loo and the door opens and out comes Vincent (Travolta) to find a gun staring him in the face. Anyway, Butch shoots Vincent, who is last seen splattered all over the loo, in complete blood-and-gore Tarantino style. And then a few scenes later, you see Vincent back in business completely unharmed as if the shooting bit had never happened. What’s with that? Someone, please to tell…