Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From The Archives: The Maid’s Quarters: Otherwise Known as My Storage Room for Zen Thinking

In the interest of honesty, I wrote this post back in January. I didn't finish it and completely forgot it for a while. Well, little miss OCD here was organizing her blog folders on the computer and came across this. Enjoy.

Listening to: 2 very rowdy little girls
Mood: Calm

In India, some of the homes and apartments come with a small room and possibly an attached restroom for a live in maid. The maid stays with the family and lives in that small room when she’s not doing her work. I always swore that we would never have a live in maid (my Midwestern guilt is just about killing me for having a maid come during the day!) so our maid’s room is used for storage. I brought along some very sturdy shelves (and boy am I glad I did!) along with the kids dressers. They have all been requisitioned for storage purposes. We don’t need the dressers anymore, as all of the bedrooms come equipped with almirahs, which are like cabinets that take up a full wall. In some ways they are wonderful, in some ways, I miss regular dressers and closets.

Anywho. When we first moved in, I set up all the shelves and dressers in this room to accommodate all of my paranoia that India doesn’t provide anything I’m used to: See hoarding of soap, shampoo and cranberries, along with many other things.  This turned out to be a bunch of crap, except for the cranberries, but none of the stuff I brought along is perishable, so we’ll use it eventually. 

My maid thoughtfully mentioned to me (and no, I’m not being sarcastic here) that she cannot possibly sweep under the beds with the large storage containers with clothes in them under there. She wanted me to move them somewhere else.  This is one of the conundrums with good maids. They have a lot of initiative and often see things that you tend to ignore, but this leads to you having to do things differently than you want. Even so, this usually ends up to be a good thing in the end.

So. Into the storage room the clothes went. Now maybe you know, maybe you don’t, but I love me some organizing. After a very stressful morning involving lots of whining (and not all of it mine) trying to get one child to learn Hindi words and the other child alphabet sounds, I needed a break from the other three occupants of my house, otherwise known as my family. I got some very much needed zen from changing around how things were placed in the storage room. I get some crazy satisfaction from finding the best way to arrange stuff in a constrained space, and I’m really, really good at it. I got some quality quiet time to contemplate as I shifted stuff around and wonder once again what the hell is wrong with me for bringing so much stuff.  My husband has grand plans of returning to the US someday with only our clothes in suitcases. Eh, very, very unlikely, but we’ll see. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the differences between the US and India.  I have some nice pipe dreams about buying a big house in the Midwest with a picket fence. Trust me, they are very nice daydreams, but with our history, we probably won’t settle anywhere long enough to commit to a house. We have property commitment issues. This led me to wondering how long exactly we would be here. Don’t misunderstand me here: I LOVE being in India. It has been one of the most thrilling, amazing and fulfilling experience of my entire life. There are still things that I really miss though. Mostly family and friends, although I have very little hope that I’ll ever be in the same place with the same set of amazing people again. It was difficult for me when I moved around as a kid to make new friends every new place I went. As a 30 year old adult, it’s teeth grittingly frustrating, because friendships are never made overnight. Those are called one night stands. Kidding…

I also wonder if we’ll ever return to India in the future. I know it’s rather ridiculous to contemplate our plans so far into the future, because we never plan beyond next week. But it does make me want to make the absolute most of our time here in case we don’t get back here again.

I’m glad I have a room to sit in and contemplate the bigger things filled with stuff for me to organize.


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