Musings

Make it right

“I just wanna be happier”

-Lyrics from song “Blue & Grey”, Album “BE’ by BTS

I had a 2 weeks mandatory leave from office (to be taken once a year as per company policy) which ends today. Since I value time off from my office way too much, I tried to live every moment of these 2 weeks. I travelled to Bangalore with my mom to my younger sister’s place as she works there, to spend time with her. We planned a short trip to Mysore and enjoyed it to bits. We also had a grand reunion with all of my maternal cousins and had a house party. More than the party, I just enjoyed the presence of every single member of my extended family whom I met after 2 years and loved spending time with them. When I was younger, we used to visit my maternal ancestral home in Mangalore once a year during summer vacations. Although we never had a full house with all of my cousins during most of these trips, we always had a blast whenever we met. This time too, we cherished all the old childhood memories and just loved the fact that everyone was present in the same room, at the same time after almost 2 years!

In the last 3 days of the vacation, my youngest cousin joined us at my sister’s apartment and we had fun like it was no one’s business. She shares similar personality traits with me and my sister which makes it a blissful experience whenever we spend time with each other. We talked till the middle of the night, shopped till we dropped (well my sister did, she doesn’t particularly enjoy shopping at local stores, ate a lot of JUNK food, laughed our hearts out and had a really GOOD time. I had planned to continue all my good habits such as reading books, meditation, workout, write in my journal on this vacation. I did it the first 3 days and didn’t feel the need to do any of it to be “HAPPY” the rest of the days. I genuinely enjoyed myself on this vacation and was stress free the entire time. I never skip any of these good habits back home because I REALLY need them to keep me SANE and HAPPY. These good habits are my escape from the monotony and stress of my life and that’s the reason I didn’t reach out to them to make me happy on my vacation.

I came back home after having a mind blowing vacation and still had 5 days to go for my leave to end. The next 5 days were spent lazying around, cleaning (tried cleaning my wardrobe and closet partially using the Marie Kondo method), EATING and enjoying every single second of free time that I had earned after living a year full of routine (Wake up > Office > Home > Repeat). It honestly felt amazing to not stress over waking up early, having a specific train to board, reaching office at a specific time, making a to-do list, waiting for lunch time to get out of the office and chill for sometime with my office bestie, get back to work, wait for the day to end, pray that I get a empty seat in the train, reach home starved and fatigued, have dinner while watching random videos on YouTube, finally go to sleep feeling unsettled and unproductive.

By the end of the day, the voices in my head keep questioning me about my life decisions,

  • Where am I heading?
  • Why can’t I do better?
  • What do I really want?
  • Why do I dread going to office?
  • Why do I hate my career path at the moment?
  • Why does office feel like a professional prison?
  • Why did I feel like a free bird (like a prisoner on parole) during my vacation?
  • When will I stop feeling like this?

I try to reason with my mind, find answers to these questions by self introspection without respite and eventually fall asleep. I wake up to a new day feeling optimistic but end up feeling the same way after repeating my monotonous routine.

I’m sure people reading this might find my dilemma trivial. Just find a new job, take a break, quit your job, follow your passion, think deeply about what you like, so on and so forth. I really admire people who LOVE their career. That’s what I am aiming for. Finding a career that doesn’t make you feel like running away from it during weekends and vacations is what I seek. I may seem delusional at the moment but I sincerely hope to find it soon. In the absence of this discovery, I might lead a robotic life, devoid of any emotions, passion and excitement in life and regret how I spent my time on earth by the end of it.

For all those who enjoy your work, I admire you and hope to be like you.

For the ones who feel the same way as me, hang in there. It’ll all make sense soon, just don’t stop trying. Fight hard!

A brand new work week awaits for me. Please send me all the positive energy in this Universe, I really need it tomorrow!

Accomplishments

Fitness Queen 2021

“If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.”

-Fred Devito

In the last week of January, my running group mentor posted about an event called “Fitness Queen” in our group chat. I was quiet intrigued by the details of the event as this is the first time an event like this was supposed to take place in our town. Usually, my first reaction to any challenge is that of anxiety and fear. I am amongst the kind who dive headfirst into any new challenges and learn with the flow. I like to be prepared with everything I do in life. But this challenge was different. I have been working out for over 2 years now and this event was a perfect way to test my level of fitness. I signed up for it right away!

My running group mentor motivated all the women in our group to participate in this event. Her motive was to push us to participate and give our best for the event. She gave us the confidence to aim for a win and kept practice sessions to help us prepare for the event.

We had been given a wide range of exercise/workout types to prepare starting from basic ones such as jumping jacks, skipping, squats, crunches, burpees to difficult ones like pull ups, chin ups and pushups. When I saw the list, I was confident about most of the excercises except pushups, pull ups and chin ups. My arms had zero strenght when it comes to performing a push up and I have been struggling with it ever since I started working out.

The first training session with my running group was kept in the first week of February. It consisted mostly of cardio based activities which I’m comfortable with. My mentor then asked us to try push-ups amd I failed miserably. I couldn’t even perform 1 push-up. I was terribly upset and decided to work on my push up daily from that day onwards. I started with wall pushups and did it daily for over a week till I could safely perform an incline pushup. After a week, I still stumbled while performing a full push up! It was totally demotivating but I decided to keep going. I was happy with my improvement in a week and continued with my practice. The second training sessions consisted of skipping (which I am good at), yoga asanas and ladder drill. I was quiet comfortable with these but what came next shattered my confidence! We were asked to perform push ups (I could do 13 here with a bad posture though!). My incredible group members inspired me beyond measure by performing more than 25 perfect pushups! I was spellbound, I couldn’t believe what I saw! These super humans (who are married, with kids, who handle way too many responsibilies than me!) were INCREDIBLE at push ups! It doesn’t end here! We were asked to do planks next where I gave up afterb 2.20 mins (after a week’s practice!). Some of my superwomen, running group friends pushed through till 5 mins. That day I reaslied I have a LONG way to go in my fitness journey and was extremely motivated to practice harder thereon.

With a month’s practice, I saw good progress in below activities.

Skipping : From 150 skips o 570 skips at one go

Plank : From 1 min to my personal best record of 4 mins

Pushups : From zero to 20 in average form

27th February 2020 (Event day)

The event consisted of 2 rounds, prelimnary and final. I was decent in most of the activities which earned me good points (BMI, Hip to waist ratio, Forward Bend, Squats (47 in one minute), crunches (37 in one minute), shuttle run and sprint). I stumbled in Vrukshasan and lost 20 marks (Honestly, could have performed better in this one, I was negligent!).

I almost lost hope of advancing to the finals as everyone else had done a great job at Vrukshasan. From 17 participants, only 7 were selected to the finals. When they called out the name of finalists, my name didn’t come up in the first 6 slots. I was sad but still prayed to the Universe to grant me this one wish. I wanted to be in the finals! The 7th name was called out and as luck would have it, it was me! The Universe heard me out!

The final round was a circuit drill with started with a 10 step jumps, 1 round of ladder jumps, 10 jumping jacks, shuttle run to 4 different points, flipping a 10-20 kg tyre over a 20 metre stretch, duck jumps over a 20 metre stretch and finally ending with 10 squats!! (Phew!!) The top 3 quickest contestants would be declared as Winner, 1st and 2nd Runner’s up respectively.

I was totally drained after performing the circuit, I overestimated my strengh and underestimated the weight of the tyre. Everyone performed exceptionally well and I was back at my prayers to the Universe to help me win the beautiful trophy!

When the winners of my age category were announced, I waited with bated breath.

The Universe heard me out once again and I was placed 3rd (2nd Runner’s up) in my age category. I was estatic and absolutely delirious on winning the trophy (by now you would have come to know about my obsession with medals, trophies, any accolades for that matter!)

I came back from the event with memories that would last me a lifetime and being extremely happy with my decision to participate in it. I would have lost a great opportunity to challenge myself, work on my shortcomings, understand where I stand amongst my peers and last but not the least, have a great time had I done otherwise!

Moral of the story : Never shy away from trying. There’s nothing to lose, we either WIN or LEARN!

Accomplishments

Monthly recap : February 2021

And it’s the end of second month of 2021 already. The first 2 weeks of this month went quiet well for me. I sort of had an intense argument with my mom in the 3rd week which adversely impacted my mental health thereon. Although we are past that argument, things aren’t back to normal yet. However, this month ended on a fantastic note in the form of my participation in an event. This was definitely one of the BEST decisions in my life and surely one of my biggest highlights this year. (More about this in my detailed blogpost soon.)

Mental health

  • Meditated for 27/28 days. Although quantitatively this looks like a lot, qualitatively my meditation practice has been below average this month. On most days I could only complete a meditation session of 5 mins, there were days when I did a 3 min session too. However, the benefits of constantly practicing meditation have finally started to show. I’m able to handle stress and anxiety comparatively better than I used to, however, I still have a LONG way to go.
  • Journaled/documented my day for 26/28 days. (I’ll be completing the the journal for last 2 days of February today). I’ve been quiet diligent at this activity and it has surely helped me in focusing my attention to the present moment.
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 15/28 days. There has been some improvement in this area. Initially I used to write about random things without feeling any real gratitude towards it. I did it for the sake of doing it. But in the last few days, I intentionally write about things that have actually made me feel happy and grateful for. This has definitely help create a more effective gratitude journaling practice.

Goals for March:- 20 min meditation everyday (maintain my streak on headspace app), practice journaling and gratitude journaling everyday. (Same as last month)

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I participated in a Fitness Competition for women in my town. This event helped me rediscover my strenghts and weaknesses in a way I never imagined. I prepared for this event for the whole month of February and was suprised at the progress in my fitness level just with the help of consistent practice.

Goal for March :- Cross 500 followers on my blog before my birthday on 13th April

Workouts

My focus was on preparing for the fitness event due to which I had skipped many of my weekly HIIT sessions. I was lazy and skipped my running sessions too this month. Mediocre progress in this category as far as routine practice is concerned.

  • 2 long runs in this month
  • Participated in a running event where I stood 6th overall, Saw a dramatic improvement in my pace from 6.30/km to 5.19/km.
  • HIIT workouts twice a week during the weekdays (ranging from 20 to 30 mins)

Goal for March:- Work on increasing strength, toning muscles and improving overall fitness. Lose body fat and have a toned body

Education

Goal for March:- Complete first reading of pending 2 subjects of CFA and 2 online courses

Entertainment

Goal for March:- As I have a 2 week leave from office this month starting next Monday, 5-5-2, complete 5 books, 5 movies and 2 series

March 2021, here I come!