today i had a day which can easily be written out of history- if i was writing my autobiography, today would not be mentioned, not even thought of-it was a day which almost convinced me that the descent into becoming a desperate housewife was almost complete. at times like this, of extreme despair what can you do? other than lament your previous life of busyness, however fraught with other issues it was?
i took a page out of a close friend, who’s words of advice still echo in my head. when you’re feeling useless, when you’re feeling at odds, MAKE A LIST! and that’s exactly what i did. i made a list entitled, “A GIANT LIST OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING” i put on it everything could think of-every little thing, every big thing, some things of no consequence except that they have been floating in my head for ages, some things much bigger than you can imagine, just about anything i could think of. i have made similar lists before, and though i have never ticked off everything, i still feel full of purpose for days after making the list and when i wake up i know there is something concrete i CAN do. this fake sense of direction is a huge help on days like today.
i am going to digress for a bit and talk about something else. how inextricably linked work is with our sense of self. if we are working, we feel supreme, we feel we could take on the world, we feel smart, we feel sexy, we feel full of excitement, bring on life, bring on the world, we are ready! take away the work, and suddenly where we stood, stands a lesser version of us, a less shinier person, a doubting thomasina, a plain jane. i know and you know, it cant be about the work. what it probably is about is the agenda-filled life we lead when working. even if some days it’s just checking emails all day and having coffee, the fact that we wake up get ready and either go out to our office, or stay in to our office, we have an agenda and we are busy.
i secretly think its the secretary mentality. when we were growing up we only played at basic typical roles-doctors / nurses / teachers / secretaries. all these roles especially that of the secretary had a sense of accomplishment that was understandable to a 6 year old. you had lists of people to call, papers to file, calls to make, people to meet, things to arrange, a fictional pencil holding the bun in place and life was complete. as we grew up, we associated that level of engagement with being productive, and when we were down and low, that secretary came back and haunted us and made us feel incomplete and a failure. i think today was a secretary haunting day for me.
I was watching boston legal, and after a particularly suggestive exchange between shirley and alan, carl announces, “i love this place.”
Simple, but it really got me thinking. This really should be the mantra we choose to live by. “i love this place”
At work, you find yourself stimulated enough to look forward to every day, you find yourself humming a tune because work is good, could be better, but it’s still very good-“i love this place”
As i write this, i look around at my peaceful apartment, if i crane my neck a bit to the right i can catch a glimpse of the burj, my plants are waving in the wind, i have daal chawal cooking in the kitchen, “i love this place.”
Sometimes on a bad day i find myself doubting my low pace of work, and become almost irrational depressed about it, but then i look at the bigger picture and i do feel i can’t complain. If anyone thinks this is going to be a slap-in-your-face post about how good my life is, it really isn’t. A friend and i have come to the conclusion that aside from really major uncontrollable issues that prop up in life, most things are completely within our control. How we look at them, how we react to them, and how we move on, it’s all up to us. The idea is, if you can’t say “i love this place” then look up close and hard at your life and first fix the things that ARE within your power. Many times, we find ourselves moaning about little complexities and unhappys that we could do something about, but don’t. Start with those, and let the rest figure themselves out. It really can be as simple as a huge list of things to change, and ticking each off slowly.
Your environment dragging you down? Revamp, brighten things up, make yourself feel good even if it’s with small things and then say “i love this place”
Work not satisfying enough? Find a personal project that gives you that super energy kick and look for satisfaction there.
No real traditions you follow? Make some for yourself, even if it’s as silly as your fixed alone time with your mug of tea, or browsing on the net time after the family’s asleep, or lighting a scented candle and sitting in a soft sofa reading a book (note to self: if you don’t have that soft sofa, buy one!) Monthly coffee morning with a friend does wonders, retail therapy, going out specifically to inspire yourself even if it means still coming back to your life and cooking dinner in your usual routine, who says simple daal cant do with a flourish of inspired vibes? If we keep saying to ourselves, what is the purpose of this, what will this achieve, then we are doing a huge disservice to ourselves. Everything we do CANNOT be about constructive addition to our BIG LIFE, it sometimes has to be about adding to that moment only. In that moment don’t wonder needlessly about whether this half hour of self-love with actually improve your work/marriage/life just go with it wholeheartedly and believe in the magic of that moment.
Simplistic and idealistic maybe, but wonderfully easy definitely.
Excite yourself- Get attracted to yourself- Stimulate yourself- Fall in love with yourself. If people around you think you are self-obsessed, so be it. If they think you are indulgent, agree with them vehemently, of course you are. If you wont indulge yourself, who will? Do it all and shout- “i love this place.”