Thursday, November 22, 2012

At peace

A lot of people wondered when I decided to take my 6-month break. A lot of people thought it was drastic; I had passed my Part 1 (though still unbelievable) and had just been confirmed as a UD52 (man, I feel old) so, career-wise, it was chugging on smoothly.

Not many realise that I had been on the verge of quitting altogether. Having had a short break post Part 1, I had a lot of free time to contemplate my life and what it lacked, despite me personally thinking how blessed it has been. I know I didn't need the money, I don't hunger the power nor fame (what fame?) and am only mildly disturbed by the fact that I may be receiving orders from specialists younger than me - one can only embrace aging gracefully, I say.

I started seeing things that needed to be done. They became my priority. At least that's what I thought. So, I talked to my boss and he suggested I take a break rather than quitting altogether. I smiled politely and made the necessary arrangement. At that time, I was sure deferring was only prolonging what was certain in my mind.

I left abruptly and left my good friends there shocked, to say the least. I was touched when they called and asked why. It showed me that they cared. Intermittently during the 6 months, a phonecall or an SMS would come me by, informing me of the latest department gossips and I appreciated that.

I loved being the little housewife - I learnt to sew (and quite well too, if I may say so myself) and set up home. I learnt that I love seeing my plants grow and thrive. I have a red frangipani growing on my front lawn and cannot wait for its first bloom. I realised, that despite being an able cook in the kitchen, that I am a lousy baker. I can throw random stuff into the pot and still come up with something edible but even following a recipe to the tee cannot guarantee me a perfect cupcake.

For once, my laundry stayed folded and ironed in the wardrobe. Abg only had to decide and pick out what to wear for work rather than rummaging through and picking out something decent from the laundry basket.

Of course, a lot of things also became sidetracked. I had wanted to go for cooking classes but became ill on several occasion which left me housebound for weeks at time; and of course the Eid celebrations took a portion of my time off. I enjoyed Ramadhan or perhaps Abg enjoyed it more because now that I am a housewife, I had no excuses for waking up and preparing sahur.

However, despite being all Martha Stewart-y, occasionally life felt it lacked something. I missed my friends. I missed being in the OT. As time went on, I began to look forward to returning.

To tell you the truth, I am seriously excited about going back. I look forward to seeing and talking to my friends and catching up on the latest gossip. I can't wait to be back in OT but I know I would have to reacquaint myself with managing cases now that it has been months since I've seen patients.

Now that our home has been set up, I do feel a little sad about leaving it. Every little thing had at least a tiny bit of thought and memory behind it but I do realise that life is about sacrifices and this is only a minute one.

So, I am glad I took this break. As I told my friend Kumar, it was something that I needed to get out of my system or else I would constantly be feeling uneasy and have 'What if's hanging round my head. I learnt to let go of certain dreams - perhaps some things really are not meant to be - and accept the fact that life is totally fine without it.

I may or even may not complete my training - as far as I know myself, I can be pretty fickle minded - but at least I am at peace with the decisions I made so far and one can't ask for more than that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

We can't save them all


People who know me, know for a fact how much I love cats. I love cats so much that I actually prefer their company rather than a human's (Abg being one of the few exceptions). Cats are so resilient - they don't whine or wail when they are sick and my (fur)kids always know when I am sad or depressed.

I just can't bear seeing strays begging for food, being covered in mange or being kicked by non cat lovers. I always wonder what the cats are feeling: are they hoping the next garbage bin they rummage through will have a morsel for them to eat and not get splashed with hot water for making a mess? Are they wondering if they'd have somewhere warm and dry to sleep at when the rain comes?

Recently, I had gone to visit a relative and had witnessed a road traffic accident. There was a body lying on a police stretcher, all covered up and bloody. Looking at the state of the Hilux, it must have been a bad one. On the way back, we witnessed this horrifying scene of three small kittens who must have rolled out from underneath a moving car and was ran over mercilessly by the other cars. The body of the man left me unmoved (after all, this was a normal scene working in a hospital) but I kept imagining the helpless kittens and still thought of them two days afterwards.

I hate going to markets because instead of looking at the produce, I am often distracted by the stray cats. Some seem pretty healthy and I am happy at least some kinds souls are feeding them. I see tiny kittens playing underneath tables, pawing at bits of string - their eyes crusted, their hip bones showing and their fur matted - and my heart goes out to them. I would look pleadingly at Abg and often he would ignore this silly wife of his; if she had her way, all the cats and kittens would sleep on the bed! I know though that he feels the same way but we also know that we can't save them all.

A few months ago, we were at the weekend market and a car was blocking our exit and as Abg was looking for the driver, I spied a little kitten just sitting with his head down by the drain. Without giving Abg a chance to say anything, I went out and scooped him up and brought him into the car. All throughout the ride home, his head stayed down and didn't make a sound. He barely fit in my palm and looked ill. Tani pulled through, thankfully and will never leave my side if he can help it.

Often I would drop by KTAJ's adoption page and pray for the cats looking for their forever home. At least the kittens are snapped up quite quickly but the adult ones are usually less popular and most of the time would just be re-released to become strays again. I wish I could take them all but I suppose I have to be realistic. If I could take care of ten cats properly, i.e. vaccinate and spay/neuter them and get treatment for whatever illness that comes - then, that is better than having 30 which are ill and mange covered - but that's just my opinion.

Yes, looking at strays can be heartbreaking but sometimes you just have to be strong and let nature make it's natural selection. It may sound cruel but that's how it has been done for all these years. So I look longingly at the small black kitten at the fish stall and tell myself, 'We can't save them all' and despite the heaviness in my heart, walk away.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Need for rant

I don't rant that often on my blog - that's because when I do, I really let loose and no one can make a mistake over who I am angry at.

On top of that, I tend to say things that I regret and once it is laid out there, no amount of deleting will ever really get it out, you know?

I had been in a really bad place recently. Bah, I suppose I can brush it off by saying I am only being human but then, that is the truth. I knew what I felt and did (or did not do) was wrong but I was certain that time would give me the strength to do what was right.

I don't know how a few sentences can make people who read it instantly know what I am really thinking or feeling - and not one bothered to ask me to my face. Just because I don't share what I feel does not give you the fricking right to assume.

Suddenly everyone is an expert at what I should be feeling and how I should act. Haven't it occurred to you that what you see on the surface isn't a representation of what is really happening? Or that all I need is for some time to let it heal?

All I needed was some understanding, patience and above all time - yet no one could give me the benefit of the doubt and give me the things I most needed.

Thanks a lot.

Invincible no more

What is it about youth and how it can make one feel invincible? It does, doesn't it? You feel like you can do anything, stay up all night and still be up for a 5-hour shopping marathon the next day - though in my case, stay awake for 36 hours doing oncall and still able to hold a decent conversation at the end of it.

I was someone who rarely got sick, even as a child. Apparently I ate a lot, but rarely became ill - and as far as I can remember, I would maybe get the sniffles once a year and be out of it after just a couple of days. THIS, despite eating junkfood and not exercising.

Now, with my advancing age, even with eating better (can't say I have improved on the exercising part) - I keep getting hit with one thing or the other: first it was the cough which lasted for 4 ridiculous weeks then of course there was the ongoing knee pain and back pain which comes and goes as it pleases.

I have been down with the worst ear infection for the past few days - it was so bad that I was practically sobbing because of the pain. One night, I actually took two Panadols, one Voltaren and two Celebrex (in other words, a lot) before I could have two hours of pain free sleep.
The world feels like it's shrouded in cotton balls. Everything seems muted. You don't really realise how much you take your five senses for granted till you lose one of it, do you?

Even being home makes you jittery because you know you can't hear it when people come to your door or that you may miss the whistling of the kettle on the stove. All I wanted to do was get myself cooped up in my room and surf the net where it is safe.