I recently tweeted that I spend 3/4th of my life doing stuff that ensures that I am able to do the remaining 1/4th , by which I meant my weekends and vacations. I stood by that statement, quite strongly; till I read this.
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” @SethGodinBlog
Usually, inspirational, motivational quotes put me off completely, so I’m judging those making the quotes, those circulating them, and those who follow them. Especially the people who apparently realize that these generic statements resonate with their life and then try to conclude that whatever fucked up shit is happening with them is meant to be and happens to everyone, and will sort itself out someday, and I’m like SHUT UP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, IT’S NOT GOING AWAY.
Anyway, vent out apart, my point is, I think stuff like that is flaff. However, this quote did what those motivational quotes seem to do to the rest of the world, it resonated with me. And in the same “Oh, he is talking about me” sort of way, only it did not make me feel better about my situation. Instead it said, “Not cool. Nuh-huh. You think you have your life and priorities laid out? Really? Take this.” And I felt very very sorry about myself.
Which brings me back to the fact that I do need to set up my life in general. Considering the audience of the blog I do not think that I need to worry about responses like “What do you want to set up! Everything is so exactly how it should be for you!” I think that at every point in life, I tend to let the most prominent thing takeover beyond how much it should be taking over. And then I lazily amble back into this zone, which is not comfortable, not really nice, but has this big cloud encasing it, labelled “This is my excuse for not doing what I enjoy”. This time, that thing is work.
Work and its issues seem to have taken over my life in such an aggressive manner that I flounder to spot life beyond it. My other love, Twitter, which used to annoy the Dude quite a bit, with my constant scrolling down the timeline, suddenly became a relief for him. As in, ‘Oh you’re checking Twitter, I was worried it was the Blackberry again’. Even little Zo is ok with Mumma checking the white phone, but not the black phone. The blinking red LED has become what it is meant to be, a danger sign.
That being said, I have to admit that I like what I do now. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of pride, and actually makes me realize that I am good at this stuff. However monotonous, however routine, this is stuff that I can manage, pretty well. The downside is I make the stress my cocoon, and refuse to get outside of it and, like it says above, live.
I have stopped working out. So much that I danced around with Zo some days ago for like 10 minutes and all my bones ache at the moment. So much for the 20 minutes of running I did 2 years ago (without stopping, it was a big deal). I have stopped listening to music, which is so strange. Because before phones were allowed on the floor my worry was how I would keep up with my music. And now, I don’t even bother to know what the latest music releases are. I don’t even check out my favorite MTunes HD, though there I assume part of the issue is the love of my television-life MasterChef Australia. And then ofcourse, the blog. I just cannot seem to write. At all. Anything sensible, even remotely. Which also explains why I have been missing all this while.
Then, we went on a vacation last week. A 9 day road trip from Pune to Delhi and back, via Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Udaipur and Baroda, a total of 3600 kilometers. Yes, with Zo. *Pause for applause* It was lovely, like vacations are, by default. There was a lot of time spent on the road (ofcourse), and the times I was not sleeping, or entertaining Zo, there were these phases of solitude, however brief, where I actually stared out of the window with nothing to distract me.
And I spent some of this time contemplating how I could get some order about. I know I can’t change myself when it comes to work, it’s an ingrained thing. I am a chronic worrier. So the next best thing is to keep myself so busy, so busy, that I forget that should be fretting about the number of unread items in my inbox. Atleast when I am not at work. That way, I will be doing stuff I should be doing instead of feeling sorry for myself. And that way, I wouldn’t have to go on a vacation every time to make sense of things.
It is easier said than done, I know. But I think giving it a shot is necessary. And better now than later, when I would still be doing the same thing, perhaps after another road-trip which again gives me time to think. And whenever I find myself deviating from this optimistic plan of making the most of everything, I will close my eyes and refer back to my happy place – with the long winding roads, the sound of the wheels on the tar, the sunset at a distance, music in the background, and the breeze in my hair.
Like a shot straight out of Instagram. #nofilters