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To Do Or Not To Do………..

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, May 16, 2022.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    This snippet is so long you may start with the thought “to read or not to read”. But before you decide that let me hasten to assure you that once you do read, you may not regret it and as for me, I hope that you will not ask me back the 10 minutes you might have spent on this .
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    Just about an hour ago, I had made my way up perhaps a 100 or so steps climb to the top. My feet were swollen or so I think. The pain is excruciating only at the toes though, and I knew I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. I had done a 5 hour hike a couple of days earlier and the pain had started halfway into the hike - one of the hardest we have ever done. My DH had to hold my hand and walk me down slowly one step at a time for about two hours and as soon as I made it to the bottom of the mountain, I had to take my shoes off to find an instant relief – no injury, no blood nothing. Pure relief and almost no pain as long as I did not apply pressure on toes. Mystified but grateful, I avoid my shoes carefully for the next two days. I walk around pressing the three corners of my feet avoiding toes like I mention all the time in yoga I vaguely recall feeling the pain slightly when I went to the gym, wanting to buy news shoes deciding against it the last couple of weeks. I should have simply bought them. But here I am today back in them – the shoes I mean, climbing, hurting, and wondering whatever has gotten into me or even better into my shoes!

    I know what has gotten into me – my DH. I was wavering, I did not want to do this. DH before booking had asked me if I wanted to do it and I had said no; like a million times. I had done this before, and my experience had induced in me a fear that I knew I could not get rid of! He anyways decides to go ahead and buy a ticket for me. His logic being either we lose some money, or you will come away with a once in a lifetime experience. I cannot fight him when he says, “I know you are your mother’s daughter!”. I refuse to read any reviews, watch any videos that both the kids try to show and share to ease my fear. I am firm. I WILL NOT DO IT!

    We are on our way. I am antsy. I am thinking of what the man that we had met on our hike had said. He was a native and when he heard about my fear and hesitation, all he said was “I hope you will not miss experiencing the pride of our place. All you have to do is simply hold your hands behind you and enjoy the view”, demonstrating it. I have visualized this many a time now for the past two days. It seems fun and easy. How hard can that be? I also think of the number of times I have seen billboards and ads in the past few years and had told myself, “If it is that style, I will do it!”. As I think of these, it starts pouring out of nowhere and me being me, ask for a sign – a rainbow!! Easy no? Downpour on a hot bright day, rainbows should be easy! Keeping that in mind, it is not asking too much from the universe, I think! Skies clear up as quickly as they had brought the rain, and I see no rainbow! I am all smiles for I have received my sign. I don’t have to worry anymore. Just as the thought crosses my mind, the truck in front of us as it takes the curve hits a big water puddle and guess what; Yes, you guessed it right – there in that splash is a beautiful, perfect rainbow for just a second and yours truly has it seen it, captured it her mind like a photograph!! I cannot believe it!

    We hit the mountain and the curvy winding road begins. I am sitting down with terror, hanging on to my seat like my life depended on it. I am not happy with my DH’s driving – that’s it! No one of course knows that I have received my sign and it has put me on edge again! Kids in the backseat are giggling as we reach our destination despite the tension they feel in the front seats of the car. As soon as we park and get out, I see it! I hear the swoosh sound. My fear only increases. We stand in line to get the bands on our wrists, and I step out to use the bathroom. When my turn comes up, I simply say, “I have changed my mind” and walk out of the line much to the disappointment of my family. Nope! No one is going to convince me to do this.

    I am at a place where I can take good pictures and even videos. As I wait for my family to return, a young woman comes up to me and asks, “Are you Indian?” and before I answer says, “I am too” and walks away to the side, busy on her phone. I gather she is video calling her parents and is describing her experience showing the place around us on her phone. I hear her say after what she had done yesterday, this was child’s play. And as I continue to watch the nature around me, I suddenly find her next me shoving her phone towards me with a “My dad wants to say hi to the nice Indian lady he saw!” – when she was showing the scenery on her phone to her parents. As much as I was taken aback, I end up talking with complete strangers sitting in their cozy family room answering their questions about me and asking them questions. The girl and I exchange notes on our sky diving experiences and after trying to convince me not to miss this, she moves on. A couple of other people come by – all assuring me that it is not that bad! But the sound above me tells me something else. And fear, who can come in between us and fear, tell me? The grip is tight!

    Finally, I see the pickup truck pull up and my family descend. My daughter goes, “Mom, really after some time I was like, this is so boring! It was that easy”. My son chips in with a “ The drive up the mountain was worse than this!”, staking a claim to his birth right to annoy his dad. My DH takes both my hands and says, “I know you; you will regret not doing this. Please consider” and walks away to pursue other activities with kids. I gingerly make my way up to the counter and ask for my wrist band. I am all suited up. I climb up the stairs with that pain and behind me are a father and daughter duo. The little girl is nervous and excited at the same time. As my turn to get buckled up comes, I turn to the dad and say, “Pray for me!”. I go into a plank position as instructed, I am buckled up to the line above, my feet are lifted off the deck by the guy and then he asks me to let go of my hands, and I say NO! He goes “do it” and I go, “no”. After a few times of going back and forth like this, I hear the little girl go – “You got this” and knowing there is no choice, I let go! Now I am horizontal to the ground, hanging by the hooks to the thin line. I am asked to fold my hands behind me just like the man had mentioned on my hike and zoom…..I am pushed forward. I hear the familiar swoosh sound – only I am making it now.

    The air blowing at my face as I zoom over the forest reminds me of those hand dryers in the bathrooms, you know the ones that makes you think your skin is about to fly off of your hand. The swooshing sound is the only one I hear as I try to get used to the feeling, the feeling of quiet around me. I am simply watching and there is a sense of calmness, and I am taking it all in. I feel like a bundled-up baby, secure in mother nature’s lap! As I watch a stream of water below, I realize I have been thoughtless – just being an observer, you know. For how long? I don't know. I find myself wondering "Is this how birds feel? Just gliding over everything?" Is this the meaning of bird's eye view? Just as I feel I could be in that state of mind forever, I feel an increase in speed, a yellow line appears at a distance and before I know it with a loud thud and a bang, my feet are on the ground! I am giddy with excitement. I cannot believe I almost did not do this. The guy who had pulled me directs me to the next one and I go “I should be on a truck to get back!” and he goes, “No, after that one”. Looking around, I see I can go nowhere else other than to the point the guy had pointed. Resigned but somewhat excited I walk to me next point with my heavy gear, holding up my ropes so as not to trip. I am hooked up again and this time it was a complete letting go…absolutely no resistance.

    After another yellow line and another thud and a bang, I am vertical on the ground again and I climb on to the waiting pickup truck this time and start talking with fellow passengers. A feeling of co-conspiracy, a feeling of we have done this together and what we feel right about now is what is unique to us is prevalent. Of course, we all know we will talk about it later. I am convinced, I can do adventure but alone. Family around me is too much pressure! I sit waiting and there they come, the father and daughter pair! The dad looks at me and goes, “Hey, my prayers are answered. You are alive!”. Laughing my head off at the joke between us, I congratulate the 12-year-old for braving the mile long zipline. My DH was right. I would have regretted not doing.

    After a 10-minute ride, I get off sit down on an empty bench waiting for my family, grateful that they had pushed me. I free my feet from the excruciating pain. I remove the shoes, feel the relief. I am able to think clearly or at least that is what I feel and wondering about my shoes and the pain they are causing me; I decide to put my hands inside and see what’s happening and ………brace for it – I find something soft. I pull it out. It is a thin no show sock that had got tucked away deep inside the shoe. Sheepishly I check the other shoe. Yup, there is one there too! All the pain, no blood, no injury now makes complete sense now. My toes were cushioned by the socks as a good will gesture for taking up their space! I see them at a distance – they are looking at me too. I think they are evaluating me trying to decipher my face for reaction. As they come closer, I am smiling, jumping with joy and say “Can I do it again?” And follow it up with “But there’s something more important” and pull out my socks explaining how they were nestled in there for the past two or three weeks at least. Now we know what has gotten into my shoes! My DH goes – you are such a coqui (the frog, instead of cuckoo)!

    While I can still justify my fear of ziplining and here’s my previous snippet on it if you are interested Taxi service madaaam?, I do think I drove myself crazy with that exacerbated sense of fear, and as for that pain in my feet, well the sock story has become a good example to remind if a pain/situation is self-inflicted or not, in our family
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
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  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Srama,
    Wonderful experience with awe and inspiration.The way you
    have handled ,though with some hesitation ,is interesting to read.
    That is the spirit madam. We can face many such unexpected
    challenges .As we turn back we will be astonished to see ourselves
    turning victorious.Just like making a child walk without support for the first time.
    Kudos to srama.
    jayasala42
     
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    The title rhymes with ”He loves me - He loves me not” - a French game with players plucking flower petal after uttering this phrase. Anyways I viewed the post.

    Being too long a post, I as usual, started reading it from bottom to top. And then I read it for pleasure from top to bottom akin to ascending and descending a steep hill.

    Of course, effort of mine and you is Himalayan or Herculean. An invisible thing can cause extra ordinary squeeze of toes and to realise only that it got stuck deep in your shoes after attaining the zenith.: in life too we ignore hints - small or big - in the genesis but realise it later when pain inflicted turns unbearable.

    But reading last but two paras, I had a virtual vertigo!

    Nice guy at 12 encouraging you to do and redo a million climbs.

    I wonder yoga-body can it be combined with trekking!

    Nice gripping humour-punctuated narration. I enjoyed reading straight and in reverse.

    Regards.
    God Bless.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I read it twice... once on cell phone and now on a computer. I won't ask for time back as it was a delightful read and many surprising twinning recognitions. : ) But, I will ask a possibly stupid question: you went sky diving?

    LOL. I've said the same thing to strangers in line. Along with, "the things a mother's love can make you do" -- during Covid I tried a water sport with my kid as they needed pairs and I didn't want a stranger that close to my kid. I am yet to forget or forgive dad for not volunteering to go with kid. : )

    Coqui from Dora by any chance? : )

    Reminds me of the sock story in my family ... A little one was crying crying crying... everyone tried everything... switch on the fan, off the fan, water, favorite foods, favorite people (grandma), cartoons on TV, all favorite toys, talcum powder applied, vaseline, baby oil... body massaged... removed frock, and finally down to like no clothes... Finally they decided to try giving her a bath. Someone removed her socks and the little one stopped crying one ragged breath at a time. And promptly fell asleep in her birthday suit. : ) The socks that no one thought to remove had been too tight around her ankles. Just for completeness of story: it was not my little one. : )

    I am very glad you took the plunge. : ) What a memory to look back at! I wish I could write so vividly like you have. I would like to write for myself about the time I went cliff jumping. Luckily I have it on video, so still can write maybe. : ) Me gazing down 35 feet at the glistening water wishing I had learned swimming. : ) To jump with that lack in the mind was a, pun intended, blind leap of faith. The hardest to follow instruction was that I would land in the water feet first.

    As always, thank you for the writing, Srama. It is a special feeling to respond to anything you write. It is the 17th of the month.. I am yet to ack. a single FP nomination.. and here I am typing away a wall of text & memories.
     
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  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    My few months old daughter was given a massage bath by a professional Marathi maid and she left the baby still tad wet on a rubber sheet that was just dried flat in sunshine on the balcony side.
    Despite lullabies, and other gimmicks Baby cried non stop. It was Sunday, I was watching helpless. Spouse was busy making her feed ready while maid began clearing sink.

    My son playfully entered the spot, lifted the baby up and pulled the rubber sheet aside. An almost seven inches long upload_2022-5-18_12-30-53.jpeg
    Centipede slithered vigorously and disappeared in lightning speed into a nearby drain hole.
     
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  6. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sabita,
    For doing somethings...we hesitate, feel nervous, fear and do not venture to do and flatly refuse. But someone forces, coax gently and make us take the plunge. In anything the first step is the most difficult one....if we take that first, subsequent ones are easier....in any walk of life. We all need someone to make that step. Your family did that!!! Now, next time to someone you would be the one who coaxes!
    We all enjoyed your skydiving along with you. Me, whose head spins even on a simple merry go round now wants to do sky diving!!!
    First time when we went to Disneyland I did not go on any ride and just went round walking and observing people!
    Syamala
     
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  7. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear JS Ma'm,

    Thank you for your valuable feedback. I could not help but philosophize my whole experience. My mother was a fearless person, I don't recall her worrying for anything and as I grow older, fear sometimes grips me and I wonder how she did it! Unlearning while so important, is not easy at all. I appreciate your perspective so much. Thank you!
     
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  8. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Thyagarajan sir,

    Thank you for your feedback. I find it interesting that you read both forward and backward, first going bottom to top :) Truth be told, once I post here I don't read what I have written - yes that feeling that I could have done a better job grips. So I take heart enjoying the feedbacks I get! Fear is unnecessary but all of us have to learn in our own ways to get over it for that particular instant. As for those socks, they are always a reminder of self inflicted causes though not always. It is a wonderful habit to pause and think about our situations. All along, I was reminded of my mom n dad telling us to look in shoes before putting them on, though for different reasons in India! Thank you for your encouraging feedback as always sir!
     
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    I was in NCC uniform marching ahead.

    Though I had queer feeling in my left foot, yet I went ahead joined the battalion in parade ground.

    There was no break for me to stoop and remove what has gotten into that heavy shoe.

    Finally after some two hours later it was break for breakfast.

    I removed the left foot from shoe. Oh my God ! it was whiteish yellow small baby lizard dead of course. I too remembered then my pa & MA insisting to tap shoe and reverse socks just before wearing!
    Thanks and Regards.
     
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  10. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Rihana,

    First things first. I have to go WAAAT? You have not read my longest ever snippet about sky diving? We need to correct that no? Here is the link to read at leisure Fear of Heights- a 'little' too long a personal story in two parts!

    Now, thank you my twinsie for your feedback. I can't believe you read it twice. I am touched and happy. Water sport? now that is something I have not tried, thanks mostly not being able to swim :) we went to see bioluminescence in the middle of ocean, it was not a peak time and yours truly did not hesitate to say she needs to be with the guide in his kayak, over other children. Oh come on, don't judge me. first they were with parents and second, I don't a single child who is not a swimmer. Now, do forget and forgive your DH and put it in a snippet here! So as you walk around, you hear this constant sound like a bird calling and we were told it was actually a frog!! Beautiful sound!

    Cliff jumping? Respect!! I could not do it in a million years! Nope, not at all. I have given it a lot of thought and still nope, nope, nope!!!! So you must write so that I can live that vicariously.

    I know you will catch up with FP posts. But I am super glad you stopped by to write here. It is always a pleasure to read you. yes, the admiration is mutual. Thank you Ri!
     
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