Sunny With An Occasional Chance of Rainfall!

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans – John Lennon

Oh what infinite joy is it to live life! And more so when you are finally able to grasp the meaning of what ‘living’ actually constitutes.

Prior to my year long sabbatical, life used to be a series of tasks. I’d diligently make out lists everyday and check back at night. The number of tick marks  being directly proportional to my sense of fulfillment/ accomplishment for the day! Yes, a sad life I now know. However, in self-defense I can say it is easy to get carried away in a world where we are routinely subjected to comparisons, and scoffed at should we fail to make the cut. And being passed over is gut-wrenching to say the least. Hence willingly or not, we all participate in this debilitating  cosmic dance of envy, masques et al.

I always prided myself in being able to stay outside the circle, doing my own thing. I thought I knew what I wanted and had work-life balance mastered to the T. I would gladly dispense my 2 cents worth of advice to anyone who’d care to listen. Little did I know how guilty I was of not practising my own preaching. My standards were astronomically high, my peer group for comparison ridiculous. Needless to say I regularly set myself up for failure or rather what  failure meant as perceived by me. I was always in a state of emotional turmoil because I’d often confuse what I did with what I was. The huge load of activities I strove to fulfill each and every day would leave me in a perpetual state of tiredness, yet I trudged on. Who was I to defy Miss Perfection sitting on my head with a cracking whip! It turned into a vicious circle where I would hardly have time for myself. I slowly lost touch with myself, most friends and the joy of living. A few persistent friends, who knew better would badger me to join them for an occasional dinner or shopping spree and boy did I enjoy those little breaks! But my occluded vision would soon make me feel guilty of having a good time and I would rush to play the role of the perfect wife or perfect co-worker or whatever other role I was trying my hand at.

Zoom in to January 2012. The initial euphoria of seeing my husband after a long time has wore off. I have ample free time at hand to do just what I want except (surprise!) I don’t know what to do. It’s a pitiful state and I bemoan the fact that I  do not have  e-mails to check or presentations to dole out. I mean if I am not working isn’t it such a waste of my time?  How do I prove to the world that I’ve done something to justify my use of oxygen for the day? But gradually, all the jitters, the feelings of incompetence, the almost  pathological need to be doing something at all times disappeared to be replaced by a sense of ever lasting calm, better cooking (!), loads of reading, you know stuff that made me happy…

The eureka moment did not come accompanied with a sonic boom announcing its arrival. No, it was something like “aaah…mmm”. ‘Aaah’ being the moment when realisation dawned on me that I was aware of each and every moment of my life and not merely going through the motion of living. ‘Mmm’ owning to really good coffee! Told you, my cooking’s improved. 😉

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