The same routine day on day- “9-10 hours spent at work, the same meetings, emails, escalations, month ends for those in Finance, the drudgery of a daily job. The same politics, year end appraisals, bonus and hike which more often seem measly.” The rut of this daily life can sometimes be overwhelming.
I am passionate about my career which is evident from the various articles I write. When I end my day which is usually 10pm or later, on most days I feel a sense of satisfaction with how I spent the day, added value at work, learnt something new, challenged status quo, did something for Diversity and Inclusion at the workplace. I love my weekends and holidays without a doubt ,but I also feel if I went on too long a holiday without having anything worthwhile to do, life would be really boring. Its like this routine of going to work 5 days a week, coming home satiated with my day and falling into bed tired but with a sense of fulfilment is what keeps me going. I have noticed that on days I feel melancholic due to something that happened at home or with my blogging or friends. once I go to work, start my computer and the day progresses, memories of the the things that were haunting me slowly fade away. By end of the day its parked somewhere in a distant corner of my mind and it doesn’t bother me. Plus goes without saying that the perks of making your money are far too many.
But off late, I have been having these questions which make me queasy. I have always been a very focusses, committed person at work and plan my work and execute accordingly. I am also outspoken and good at articulating my thoughts. But a few events at the workplace in the past 2 months have been bothering me. I find myself slipping at times and pondering over my career and future at work.
Now this is not a very healthy sign especially for someone like me who has rarely taken her work home. Once I come back home to my little bundle of joy, my writing, my little world, I find that I can easily put my work life behind. But these worries and discontent over a few things at work have been bothering me. While I still continue to like what I do, something has changed and its not a change for the better.
Thats when I looked around and realised there are many like me. Shall I term it as “mid life crisis” or would that ring alarm bells? Life can get monotonous- wake up early, the mad rush to send kids to school, the stress at work, no time for oneself, friends who once were an integral part of our life slowly disperse as each one is sucked into their routine. This can leave one fatigued, mentally.
The fact that no one can make you feel better but yourself is something that made me realise I have to change things in order to lead a content and fulfilled life. There are things at the workplace beyond the realm of my control – placing too much reliance on something to work out to my benefit might not always be a wise thing knowing that this is not within my scope. Do the best and leave the rest. Don’t be overly optimistic towards a certain outcome, as long as you enjoy what you are doing, things are good.
One thing that I realised is learning something new- a new skill, a sport or a fitness regimen transforms the way we look at life. I was always afraid of swimming. I had learnt swimming when I was in college but couldn’t master it and I never tried again. I used to get into the pool but only play in the water- I always wished I could swim.
This year in April, a known person in our apartment volunteered to coach others in swimming. I signed up and it was quite an adventurous journey. From learning to breathe under water to swimming the whole length of the big sized pool with a swimming board, our coach was a tough taskmaster. I faced some tough times as I failed several times to cover the length of the pool, I ran out of breath or I could kick no longer. But over a period of time I could do it. I slowly learnt to leave the board and swim. Monsoons started and I couldn’t practice more and gain expertise but it gave me a sense of contentment. I went to a resort recently and my joy knew no bounds when I could get into the pool and swim this time.
I also started going to the gym , upon my mom’s insistence. She is the one who had started working out and though the idea of exercising in a closed room made me nauseas, I decided to give it a try. Within a week or so I started liking what I do. The treadmill, cross trainer, weights, I liked challenging myself and pushing myself harder, a little bit each time. While I havent noticed any significant change in my weight, the feel good factor it has given me is what keeps me motivated. My brother gifted me with a cool blue tooth speaker and I just cannot stop putting it on and playing my favourite songs as I work out.
I have always stayed away from sports for no particular reason. I have preferred reading in my spare time. I was always very conscious of losing a game or playing like a loser. I felt people would mock at me if I did not play well and its this feeling that kept me away from any games or sports. I never looked at the fun element, the thrill of just enjoying the game or sport and give a damn about what people around are thinking. For that matter, would they even think? It was just a mental blockage.
But a fortnight back during one of my trips to Karjat, on a whim I suddenly started playing badminton. My mom loves this game and has tried to persuade me in the past to play a few days in the morning when my daughter is at school. But when I looked at the other people playing so professionally on the court, the same old thoughts started nagging me. Well I hardly know to play, save a few days in college when I played with my brother. But I gathered some courage and picked up the racket. Though I serve terribly and I had quite a few missed shots, I realised I was enjoying the game I was sweaty in the end but a wide grin on my face made up for that. I have been indulging in this game twice a week after that and its been good fun. It takes off my mind from other things and after a game I have a sense of euphoria which lasts for a long time. It makes me feel happy that I had a fantastic start to the day, I indulged in some physical activity, got to breathe in some fresh air and the sweat trickling down my body felt like such a healthy sign of taking care of my physical well being.
These few things that I took up recently have been quite an experience- like every new thing I was nervous, I was happy staying in my cocoon and reading or writing blogs, browsing the net but I am glad I decided to walk that extra mile. I summed up courage and stepped into the unknown. The next big challenge for me is learning how to drive a car, this is something that gets my heart racing and palms sweaty but I am going ahead in December. Wish me luck.
Life can get boring but as I discovered its upto us and entirely upto us to make a choice-to complain and sink deeper into the drudgery or find ways to stay happy. Its not that difficult. And oh yes I finally decided to take the Netflix Plan which I was evading for long. Some guilty pleasures are worthwhile!