“Wow, you’ve lost weight,” texted a friend, after seeing a recent picture I had posted. “Slim legs,” said another one. “Special diet?” asked a third.
I laugh to myself. I remember all those comfortable days back in Ivory Coast when I had two maids at my beck and call. How much I paid a gym, how many times I tried to cut back on sweets and how many hours I walked after my baby was born- all to lose the excess weight that seemed to love my body.
And then I came to Canada.
Clothes I had thought I would never fit in again, became comfortable for me.
The whole new wardrobe of a larger size that I had eventually purchased, suddenly started to seem loose.
My tummy started flattening, my legs seemed shapelier than ever, my face lost all the plumpness of the last few years.
Are you wondering if it is something in the air of Canada?
Oh no, it is the lifestyle.
What does an average day look like for me? 7am and I wake up running- no not going out for a run, but running to get breakfast made, running to get my son ready for preschool, running to drop him off at school.
9am. I barely grab breakfast and then there is office work to be done, meals to be cooked, utensils to be washed, toys lying all over the floor to be cleared. I rush in for a bath and it is time to get my toddler home.
12 noon. We enter the house huffing and puffing- and it is time to go into the kitchen again. His lunch, our lunch, aata, roti, utensils, dirty counters… phew.
2pm. I’m exhausted, but my little one is pumped with energy. Gone are those precious afternoon naps. He wants to play, run, jump, read books, go out for walks.
4pm. It is time for his snack. I also need to throw the laundry into the washing machine, boil eggs for the next morning, soak the beans that will be cooked the next day and start getting dinner ready for everyone else.
5.30pm. The energetic toddler is now starting to droop and with the fatigue comes his tantrums. He is ready to cry at the drop of a hat. Lots of love, hugs, talks, dinner and mollycoddling later, we finally head in for his bedtime routine.
7pm. We have just solved a few puzzles, read a few books and turned off the lights. While he drifts off to sleep, I am tempted to follow suit. But I can’t. As soon as his breathing turns deep, I rush out back to the kitchen. Left overs need to go in the fridge, dustbins need to be emptied, counters need to be wiped clean, the plants need to be watered and the house needs to be wound up.
9pm. I’d love to curl up with a book. But. The clothes have just come out of the dryer and need to be folded and reached to their respective places. I’d love to write a blog. But. My left over office work needs to be completed. I’d love to… oh my gosh! What time does Walmart close? 10pm! Thank God! We need bread and milk and eggs for the next morning. Where are my car keys?
And off I go…
Don’t mistake me. I love it! I’ve never been so alive. I’ve never been so independent. And I’ve never been so tired!
Yet, I won’t exchange it for anything in the world.
Because. I love that when I have some time, I can go out for a walk and not worry that someone will mug me or molest me. I love that the air my son and I breathe is clean and pure and fresh. I love that people smile at me when I cross them on the road or see them at the store. I love that I can be self-employed and people don’t judge me here. I love my house, and the backyard and the neighbourhood I live in.
Yes, I’m exhausted, but I’m slimmer, fitter and happier than ever before!
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.