A ray of hope

“Someday all you will have to light your way will be a single ray of hope and that will be enough.”

Kobi Yamada

Day 19/30

Something really good happened today. I can’t give details yet as the process hasn’t been completed yet. I don’t know the outcome yet. I gave my best but I know I was lacking in a lot of different aspects. Honestly, this has been my best experience till date for this process which I have always dreaded. I’m glad I was able to experience it. I really hope and pray that the outcome of this process is positive. For once I took on a challenge thinking of it as a win or learn opportunity and it honestly felt great. I’m really grateful that I got this opportunity. I will share details once the outcome is evident.

On a completely different note, have you ever encountered something that perfectly fits wish? For example, you’ve been waiting to have a certain dish which you have only fantasied about, dreamed of trying it, scrolled through videos of people enjoying the dish and craved to try it one fine day. Imagine your utter disappointment when you finally get a chance to try that dish and realize that it doesn’t taste the way you imagined it to be. You had great hopes of having the experience of a lifetime and you get a BIG FAT DISAPPOINTMENT in return. It’s physically painful. This is just a metaphor for the experience I’ve had recently. I had great hopes from a certain something, the description matched my dream wish list to the tee, everything seemed perfect till I “tried the dish“. Argh, what a big disappointment. I feel so sad that my expectation of having the experience of a lifetime was shattered, just like that! I’m exasperated!

To bring some cheer and hope to my and your life, let me share this amazing thought that I came across recently. It sure did help me feel a lot more powerful and in control of my life. I hope it helps you too. This applies to either gender.

A jolly good day

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”

-Charles Dickens

Day 13/30

It’s my birthday today and I didn’t expect it to go so well. Actually, I had no expectations at all. The only thing I knew was under my control was completing my target of running 13 kms today since my birth date is 13. I knew that if I managed to accomplish this first thing in the morning on my birthday, my day will be sorted.

When the clock struck 12 am on 13th, my best friend and sister called to wish me. My best friend had already sent me my birthday gift 2 days earlier. It’s an amazing pair of mint green sneakers that had been on my wish list for a very long time. My sister gave me a gift that shook me to the very core. I had been eyeing a running watch from a reputed brand for a long time. It was on my wish list and would have been a big achievement for me once I managed to catch hold of it. MY SISTER GIFTED ME THE WATCH! It took me more than a minute to understand what’s going on when I opened the gift and saw the brand name. I absolutely DID NOT expect this.

The day started with a 13 km run, I knew this was totally under my control to set the tone for the day. As soon as I came back, I responded to all the wishes. It honestly MADE my day. Everyone remembered my birthday and made sure to wish me. They poured their wishes and blessings on me and that made me feel extremely grateful and special. Birthdays are really special as we feel like everyone is celebrating the day we were brought to existence and that fills my heart with gratitude.

The secret to happiness is LOW or NO expectations and I couldn’t agree more. I have always felt empty and sad towards the end of my birthdays all these years as I had many unfulfilled expectations. Last year I had an incredible birthday even after being under complete lockdown as I did not expect anything. The same story repeated this year as well yet I had a very blessed birthday. That’s the mantra I’m going to follow all my life.

2 weeks to reality

“Each person deserves a day away, in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

-Maya Angelou

I came to know on Monday that I would have to resume normal office working days starting January 2021. 2020 has been an extraordinary year in all aspects but the biggest gift from this year for me has been the “long break” from my routine life. I was completely burned out due to various events in my life during the beginning of 2020. I desperately sought a long break. I remember having a conversation with my younger sister where I told her that my dire wish was to quit my job, take a year long break and travel the world. I knew at that time owing to my responsibilities at home, quitting my job was not an option. But Universe heard me out and gave me the gift of a lifetime, an “almost” year long break without having to quit my job.

For majority of this year, I have worked from home. We had a complete lockdown of 2.5 months here in India from March 25th to May 31st. I resumed office on 29th June and my office visits in July and August were sporadic, about once a week. The journey was extremely hectic, I spent close to 8 hrs in a bus travelling to and fro from office due to the insane roadways traffic. From September to November, I went to office twice a week which increased by 1 extra day in alternate weeks in the month of December. In all, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time off from the extremely rushed routine life that I had in the pre-covid times.

As my sweet fairy tale comes to an end, I am prepared to take the challenges of a daily hectic routine life once again, starting January 2021. It’s an extremely bittersweet feeling for me to bid adieu to 2020 which has given me much more happiness than I could ask for. I am very well aware that I am one of the few who considers 2020 as a blessing and I’m filled with gratitude towards the Universe for it. I will post a detailed “year in review” on 31st December and make it a tradition on my blog going ahead. Till then, I’ll go back to the blissful last 2 weeks of 2020 and make the most of it.

The ultimate goal

#99/100

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory”

-Rita Mae Brown

I just completed watching the series “The Good Place” on Netflix and I loved most part of it. One of the genres of this show is philosophical fiction and I’m drawn to everything that is connected to philosophy. Few of the dialogues and situations shown in the series were so profound, it blew my mind. The show touched on topics such as existential crisis, happiness, ultimate goal, moral obligation, life and death, sadness, mediocrity, growth and every single topic that raises questions that don’t have a well defined answer attached to it.

Almost every human being feel the emotion of sadness and experience all the negative feelings in life. This is caused as they fear an end to their existence without having the chance to experience everything that life has to offer. However, have you thought of what would happen if all problems and limitations are wiped out from your life? You can fulfill any dream you can possible imagine without having any conditions attached to it. Sounds blissful right? Almost like paradise? Does this seem like the perfect life you wish to live? Turns out, this kind of life isn’t ideal either. Even if you can do whatever you wish to do, once you have gone through all the experiences you’ve possibly imagined, what will you live on for? You might become happiness zombies if there’s absolutely zero inconsistencies in your life. Life can get boring really fast once we stop having a reason to live for.

The struggles, pain, sadness though difficult to experience, give meaning to our life. We find a new purpose, a better goal to aim for, a reason to wake up in the morning each day. Another great thing about human life is the innate desire to become a better version of themselves, every single day. Since we have a finite timeline on earth, we desperately wish to make it extraordinary and try everything possible to do it. If these things are handed out to us on a silver platter, life won’t have any meaning attached to it anymore.

The next time you face a problem, don’t curse yourself into believing that you are being punished for something. You face a problem, analyze your best possible options, try again after each failure and find the solution! Life makes sense because of every single element that makes up for it, the happy moments, sorrows and hardships are equally responsible for making our life truly exceptional.

Fix it up

#88/100

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way” 

-Henry Ford

Our water purifier at home wasn’t working in the right manner for a long time. We got it a few months back but were struggling with it’s inadequate performance ever since. It used to take an unimaginably long time to fill the water tank with it’s extremely slow pace of filtering the water. We were told that it was due to the low water pressure from the source. We tried to make peace with it’s slow pace of working and got used to it. Our patience reached the limit when the speed of filtering the water declined drastically and we completely ran out of drinking water. We called a technician today who fixed up the purifier and now it works like a charm. I couldn’t believe how happy it made me. Everyday when I looked at the water purifier, it gave me this nagging feeling that something isn’t right. Fixing up this particular thing gave me a sense of happiness that I cannot describe in words.

This really got me thinking. Every time I complete a task that has been long due, my heart explodes with happiness. I get a great sense of accomplishment which lights up my day. There’s always some work or task that I procrastinate everyday for various reasons. The task could be complicated, scary, unknown or uninteresting. When I finally get around to attempt it and eventually complete it, it makes me feel immensely fulfilled. I can’t imagine the amount of progress in my life that I could make if I could push myself to attempt such tasks right away instead of taking an eternity to work on them.

Our normal day consists of 90% routine work and 10% new work/tasks that we either procrastinate or tasks that we believe will end up in a “failure” which I certainly don’t wish to experience. Unfortunately I believed hat as long as I continue to work on things that I am aware of, I don’t need to deal with any disappointment or sadness. The secret to a happy and rather remarkable life lies in attempting those tasks which our mind deems impossible. “I can’t lose weight”, “I can’t get a new job” or “I can’t clear this exam” are the first I thoughts I had when I faced the specified situations. I said all of this without trying my best. I was scared to give my best yet remotely consider the situation where I could fail or not get what I desired.

Fixing this small little element of my house today made me wonder about the other elements in my life that aren’t working well. There is a long list of things that could help turn around my life, yet I’m scared to attempt them. Instead, I waste my time and avoid getting out of my comfort zone. Just imagine how our life would be if we truly believed in ourselves and started working on the long pending elements of our life. Starting today, I’ll start paying attention to such tasks and do my best to attempt it right away.

Do I really procrastinate?

#54/100

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake.”

– Francis Bacon

For the longest time I sincerely believed that procrastination = laziness. You have a list of tasks at hand for the day, you know it’s too important to complete them on time, you have plenty of time to strike of each task from your to-do list, yet, you choose to slack! I’ve done it with my studies, while getting ready to go out and majorly with my office work.

For the last 3 days, I have been waking up early to get a good head start on the day and complete my workout before I start my office work. I got the waking up early part right each day, however, every single day I procrastinated till the last minute and had to rush through my workouts and office work. This got me thinking, what really went wrong?

I had a super productive weekend this week. I woke up early both days and completed all my planned work. I even managed to squeeze in a 10 km run on Sunday when my mind tried it’s best to convince me against doing it. On Monday I noticed my energy levels dipping, I was gloomy and it was easier for my mind to convince me to procrastinate.

The point I’m trying to make here is that procrastination is not a state of mind or force of habit. In my case, I tend to procrastinate when I don’t like the task at hand. I’m an introvert by nature, going out to socialize with people can be a nightmare for me sometimes. I always procrastinated when I had to leave my house to attend social events. I don’t like being part of the corporate rate race. That explains my extreme procrastination when it comes to office work. I enjoy reading but studying for an exam makes me anxious and stressed. The fear of not performing well in the exams always overpowered my fear of exams itself. That’s why I always procrastinated on my studies. If I don’t study well, I can blame my lack of preparation for it and be a victim of the situation. On the other hand, I am always punctual on the days of my running events, for my trips or attending a highly anticipated event.

Not every situation in life is going to be as per our wishes. We can be depressed even after manifesting all our goals and achieving the life of our dreams. Life is how you make it. If I hate my current job, I’ll manifest more reasons to hate it. If I work hard on liking what I do, whatever it is, the universe will manifest more reasons for me to find things that I like. It may feel pretentious at first, but to manifest the life of my dreams, I need to pretend that I’m living it in the present. I absolutely couldn’t relate to this advise when I read it in self help books. How can I be happy or find reasons to be happy in a situation that I absolutely despise? Recently I hit rock bottom, I absolutely couldn’t find any reason to be happy in the present or visualize it in future. Being unable to imagine a happy future is the most painful thing one can experience. I got over it by trying to find happiness in the small stuff. As I concentrated on that, I found more reasons to be happy about.

I really need to use this technique at the work place too. I absolutely hate it at present. Starting tomorrow, I’ll try finding reasons that make me happy and fulfilled at my workplace. I’m really excited to see how this experiment turns out. Will I finally be able to be passionate about my work? Only time will tell though I’m optimistic about it!!

The Monday syndrome

Source : Pinterest

#52/100

Ah, my hate for Mondays knows no limits. Ever since I’ve started working in an office, there hasn’t been a single Monday I’ve been elated about. Sunday evenings always brings a sense of gloom in me. I go through an existential crisis every week in anticipation of each Monday. I wasn’t like this during my school days. I don’t remember being sad with the thought of going to school ever. Yes, end of summer vacations did make upset about losing all the free time to do absolutely nothing. But the disappointment in me before the start of each work week is beyond measure.

In my first ever interview for a job, I was asked “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”. I might have answered in the most dumb manner possible as I was clueless at that point but I did mention that I want to be passionate about the work I do, whatever it is. I never had any long term work related goals back then, I don’t have them now. Getting a job and earning money were one of those things that I had to do owing to the financial condition of my family. I wonder how I would have turned out had there been no financial constraints or responsibility on me to earn for the family.

Well, coming back to Mondays, I’m trying to deal with it better. I try to find happiness in small stuff throughout the week than wait for the weekend to make me happy. Yet, it gets to me sometimes. My work isn’t fulfilling, it defies my personality. Maybe because I have this inherent feeling that all the work that I put in is gone into fulfilling someone else’s dreams. I feel limited in my thoughts and ideas. I have to behave in a certain manner, talk in a certain way, work in a fixed patter, there’s no individuality in the work that I do and that just irks me.

I’m trying hard to derive happiness and fulfillment from it. I’m trying hard to be my best, do my best in every situation that I come across. In return, can I dream of experiencing zero Monday morning blues ever?. I wish to have Sunday evenings where I look forward to the week ahead, plan for the stuff to be accomplished during the week, wait excitedly for Mondays to arrive so that I can work on my projects. I can be completely delusional here but a girl can dream. I’m still in the process of figuring out myself. I hope one day I can turn into the person I can be proud of. Someone who knows themselves inside out, is aware of things that connects with their personality and works for a life that consists of everything that makes them happy and fulfilled. Till then, I’ll go back to understanding myself a little better each day.