Live Life – Audacious!!

Archive for the ‘Views’ Category

Before/After … and Ever after!

Isn’t it just thrilling to see people working out in the gym? Or when you just look at people who have sculpted themselves into works of fitness art! Or even plates of healthy-looking salads …  and fruit smoothies!

Every cell in my brain suddenly takes it upon itself to push me, boost me, encourage me to get into that shape. And it isn’t as if I have been ignoring the voice of reason. Just last year I took a major leap of faithful action and went from 80 kgs to 62 kgs. I went through the regime of healthy eating, some exercise, and lots of healthy lifestyle choices – proper sleep, more water intake, and following disciplined times of eating to revive my metabolism that had been in a coma since … whenever.

The lifestyle change was anything but easy. It does take a lot of strength and willpower to make a lifestyle change. It also takes a lot of support – All in all, God was being very wise when He gave us family and friends.

And the results were something I loved. The very feeling of being healthy and fit, more energetic, more alert – Oh my, wherever did the painful back and lethargic limbs go! It felt like a whole new bod… person. Yes, the impact is more than just superficial. The personality seems to get an upgrade with several improved features, some new add-ons never known before.

Oh-la-la it felt so grand, Ms. New Me now takes the stand!

More than anything else, I remember how I felt when I was overweight. I remember walking down to the coffee machine at work would mean feeling a heavy load on my back. The newfound agility wasn’t something I was going to lose that easy.

before_after

And then…. It was Christmas. I tried. Heaven knows I tried. I stayed away from Dad’s pot roast, from Ma’s Gajar ka Halwa, from the home-made Shaami Kebabs and even the Christmas Pakwaans.

I managed with a little bit and a bite, but mostly on my strictly balanced diet.

But then came the downfall in the form of a most delicious Christmas cake – home made to boot. One bite, and the diet was … well, sadly, it was no more.

I added hours at the office gym. Yet I tried still, see!

But by the time the New Year was on, all caution had been thrown to the winds to celebrate the season and the family and the good things.

Bad decisions have been made; consequences must be faced.

So, yours truly went up a few kgs again. Not a good feeling. Of course, I was still trying my best to fix it. But … then it was the family – all birthdays lined up one after the other, including my own. Apparently, our idea of being a family was having all birthdays stacked together from cool February to sultry July – seven birthdays in six months, other sundry (and impromptu) celebrations (promotions, increments, new jobs), and a vacation in Thailand!

That did it for me!

Whatever (fat) got cut down in between, found a new start on a birthday – and it didn’t matter whose birthday it was! And the roller-coaster … wait, that’s not the correct example, … the yo-yo was back in motion.

It’s been an up and down ride ever since. I think I must’ve accumulated more information on exercising, fitness, and healthy foods than … (looking for a valid comparable) anyone in my family. I’ve also put it in to practice and so, I know how easier it is said than done

Let’s be honest, it’s a constant battle – the brain stirs up a revolution and gets the body to go with it till … the next day. The brain is just beginning to rile up some energy and the muscles look on incredulously – the ensuing drama is inevitable!

Brain: C’mon! We gotta do it. Just 20 minutes.

Legs: Are you sure? We haven’t got over yesterday’s frenzy.

Brain: But you’ve got it! You can do it!

Arms: Don’t listen to the mad thing; it just stands around, cheering at the stands!

Brain: But it’s yours and you just need to get it back!

Back: Back? Don’t even talk about ‘back’! How would you feel like twisting yourself in to 40 sit-ups and 50 squats!

Oh, how we want our beautiful share, without the labor that gets us there!

I keep telling me – I’ve got it before and I can do it again. Yes, I can. Healthy, clean eating and regular work-outs, and this is much doable. But — It’s just that the ‘buts’ have to be dealt with some lessons I’ve learnt from the process and the journey.

I have come to accept that:

  • Times of social pressures to participate in celebrations will be overwhelming – externally and personally. In all fairness, I must own the weight of wanting a bite of the goodies myself!
  • Life will stress one out and there would be lazy cravings for bunking a workout or that bowl of chocolate ice-cream.
  • Busy schedules will come in the way of shopping for healthy foods, and at times one will have to make do with what’s-in-the-fridge or simply ordering out.
  • There may be more caffeine in the blood stream than water, and more carbs on the plate than proteins – there will be times when I cry ‘I give up!’.

The key words in the whole process of changing to a healthy lifestyle are – commitment and perseverance.

I’m still way, way off from where I used to be last year before the fat-loss. Yet, I am not where I was at the end of it either. I remember both times – before and after – and just like an weight-loss advertisement, it eggs me to go on.

Yeah, assess the weaknesses and plan for them too. Just keep moving and a better way to walk will show up.

We’ve lost our way in storms we met, but lose not hope, just course correct.

TV Actors: Is it all fun?

Somehow, I got thinking about this today. Most of this write-up is just me thinking aloud. Forgive me if you differ.

 

Acting in TV serials looks like it has a lot of pluses. A lot more actors, than is possible in movies, get a chance to display their talent. The actors get a daily or weekly screen presence, depending on the show or the role played. It’s also opened vistas for actors to be versatile in some cases.

 

Seen a lot these days, is that a character is made immensely popular and relatable to the masses – much more than a movie character, which remains larger than life.

 

But is it all good?

 

I feel one of the drawbacks of this is that the character is glorified – but the actor playing it is probably somewhere closeted.

One remembers Parvati, Gopi Bahu, Kokila Ben, Sujal, Suhana, Mihir, …

But till these people were made to appear as themselves in other shows or other mediums – to the masses, they were the characters they played.

It looks good – for some time. However, an actor is greater than the character – they are the players. Yet, in these cases, the actor becomes limited and saturated by the character.

The TV show makers, in order to publicize their show and make the characters relatable to the janta – popularize the character. The person is known by the name of the character they play onscreen.

Usually the names of the actors do not even appear in credits of daily soaps. You get the directors, the writers, the singers, the production houses – but rarely you get the actor names.

Thereafter, whenever you see Gia Manek, you think Gopi Bahu.

Unless one reads an interview or sees them perform elsewhere, one rarely knows Gopi is played by Gia.

These days, via internet, the actors are made popular. However, internet isn’t that prevalent in the smaller cities or villages. Out there, Gopi Bahu is Gopi Bahu.

 

Do they lose their identity as an actor in trying to make an identity for the character?

Is this why a lot of them drop out of their successful innings at will and choose to do something totally different that reverses the ‘image’ they’re stuck with? It made them popular, but to be doing it for the rest of their career has got to be stifling – to the career, to the talent, and to the person.

 

Is that why we see them doing reality shows? Where the real person shows up with their own name? Where details about the real person are made known?

 

Sometimes it is said that a character made the actor popular. I think I differ on that. The character may have been great – but yet, it is a character. The actor is a person, a real living person, with a real life, and real needs. Any person, any artist seeks appreciation – appreciation to the character they play is great; but the person does need to be applauded.

If the actor – along with the story writers, the directors, the so many people who make the character real – didn’t work for it, the character would be just that – a character, some words on a bit of paper.

 

A character – a product of creativity – should never be allowed to stifle creativity.

What you got to lose!?

The old comes to an end and life moves on. People around you move on. You gotta move on too.

At times, it may be tough – but it’s either move on or sit and rot.

It looks a difficult choice – but once you get up, moving on isn’t so bad.

You may wobble for a few steps – but c’mon, you haven’t forgotten how to walk. A few more steps, and it’ll work out.

It seems hard to move out of known surroundings and you feel you might miss it – but keep on going, as the scenery changes, new things will show up, and each might be more interesting than before.

The old may never be replaced – but hey, the new could not be either.

You’ve seen the old – what’ve you got to lose. Get up and check out the new too.

What’s holding you back!? – It’s nothing but your mind, your own thoughts. Everything else is in your favor. Take it!

 

C’mon! Loosen up those arms and legs. Stretch that tired body. Breathe deep, and feel the oxygen rush through your lungs. Gather the hair and pull them back from your face. Stare at the sky and tell it – ‘I’m on!’

Fuel!? Hope. Keep on keeping on….!

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My Jar of Happiness

01.01.2013:

New Year: Welcome 2013.

I wore a skirt (gifted by my lovely sister-in-law) after at least 20 years. After many months of wanting to have one, I got this one for my New Year’s Day trip to church’s morning service. Enjoyed!

01.02.2013:

Back to Office. Had to put in a lot of effort to get back after a vacation – but made it. Glad to succeed 🙂

01.03.2013:
I shared a very good uplifting and encouraging conversation with someone who loves me. I was able to share every feeling and thought and found a lot of support, love and encouragement. A lot of help. It helped me make a fresh beginning, and refresh my viewpoint.

01.04.2013

Two things:

1- Had a nice long conversation with someone who needed my help (at work)

2- Had a nice long conversation with someone whose help I needed (at home)

01.05.2013

Best thing this Saturday? Caught up with sleep 🙂

01.06.2013

Went on a belated Christmas and New Year with one of my closest friends.

01.07.2013

I started to review two TV shows: Madhubala and Pyaar Ka Dard Hai.

Moving on!

2013: I Begin – Again!

Dear 2012,

This is my year letter I address to you, 2012. I thank God for this year.

2012 was a year for me which began with something new, where something dead was brought to life — and where a part of my life was broken away from me forever and was buried for good.

Back in 2005, there were many things that I had begun, dreamed, aspired, hoped for, and taken active steps for. In 2006, they all died. It has taken me 6 long years to bury my dead.

But in 2013, I begin again.

A new relationship began in 2005. In 2006, it died. Only by 2012, I closed the page on that chapter.

But in 2013, I begin again.

I gave up my life in 2006 to take on a new life which was unknown to me, among people and in a place I didn’t know. My life, as I had known it, came to an end.

But in 2013, I begin again.

I made mistakes, lost my way, took an unusually long route back home. But in 2012, I got back home.

But in 2013, I begin again.

2012 saw a lot of what was lost, return to me. 2012 also saw me break free  from chains and bondages that held me, blocked me, and did not let me move.

In 2013, I begin again.

As I broke free, I have begun to regain my strength, retrace my steps to known areas but with more maturity than before, I am seeing ways unseen, unknown, unexpected, and unexplored open before me. I am seeing a new grace of God that fills me with zeal to see, know, get acquainted and explore with all that is new and coming up.

I am weak. I get tired. I make mistakes. I am exhausted. It’s the fatigue of 7 long years of waiting. But now, I breathe free. There is no longer a hook in my back that  pulls me backwards whenever I venture forward. I want to see ahead. I am committed to moving on. I am desperate to make progress.

I’ve been in the stinking rut too long, and I long to spread my wings and fly.

Breaking free isn’t risk-free. But then, there is no progress without a challenge. It excites me and it scares me.

The rut stank and was tiny – but I knew it. The sky is ever-fresh and limitless but I don’t know it. I don’t know the steps, I can’t see much ahead.

And this is where the grace of the Almighty God steps in. He sees. He knows. The ways open up before me. To me, it is a miracle. To Him, a plan unfolding.  All I have to do is depend on Him completely. This, however, is easier said than done. Humans are damaged by too much activity and addicted to its need. If we don’t know it, we feel it won’t work. To depend on someone other than ourselves brings insecurity of the unknown.

And this is where the love of the Almighty God steps in. He knows. He loves. I know so. Therefore, there is no loophole in His plan, because those plans He made, they are meant for me – the one He loves. He would not, He cannot miss any important detail, or overlook my needs, or disregard my desires, or sideline my dreams. These plans are different because they are His; and He made them for me. Because He loves me, I will be okay.

There is something I wrote about two months back on my other blog: (here is a link) He is with me. I read it and it’s a reminder for me of how true and faithful God has been with me. It is only by the love and grace of my God that I live today, and I live victoriously.

I remember the words of a beautiful song, Welcome Home by Shaun Groves; and this is my prayer to the Lord who lives in my heart now.

Take me, make me all You want me to be —
That’s all I’m asking –
All I’m asking…

Welcome to this heart of mine
I’ve buried under prideful vines
Grown to hide the mess I’ve made
Inside of me – come decorate, Lord,
And open up the creaking door
And walk upon the dusty floor –
Scrape away the guilty stains
Until no sin or shame remains
Spread Your love upon the walls,
And occupy the empty halls
Until the man I am has faded –
No more doors are barricaded…

(CHORUS)
Come inside this heart of mine –
It’s not my own –
Make it home…
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own –
Welcome Home…

Take a seat – pull up a chair –
Forgive me for the disrepair
And the souvenirs from floor to ceiling
Gathered on my search for meaning,
And every closet’s filled with clutter –
Messes yet to be discovered –
I’m overwhelmed – I understand
I can’t make this place all that You can…

Come inside this heart of mine –
It’s not my own –
Make it home…
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own –
Welcome Home…

I took this space that You placed in me,
Redecorated in shades of greed,
And I made sure every door stayed locked –
Every window blocked –
And still, You knocked, well…

Come inside this heart of mine –
It’s not my own –
Make it home…
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own –
Welcome Home…

A lot was lost – but lot more is returning to me. I believe – manifold!

2013 – With God’s ever present help, I begin – again!

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Everything is beautiful

Dreams: Lost & Found

During the past (almost) one year, I have said this one statement more times than I can remember:

“Thank you for encouraging me. This means a lot to me, and you have no clue how much.”

Writing – I can easily put that down as my first love. It’s one of the first things I can remember about my life, my childhood that I loved doing. Stories were always a part of my life, whether I was reading them, writing them or imagining them. I grew up with stories as much a part of me as … well, it sounds clichéd, but here it is – as my thoughts.

It was surprising that I never realized how much they were a part of me until I was nearly 22 years old. I don’t remember when becoming a published author became a dream for me.  When I had to choose a career for my life – it looked as though I’d become a programmer, a coder. What did I know! Somehow, my first job as a trainee was that of a technical writer. It looks like a co-incidence, but I don’t think it was. It was more of a well-planned life by God, Who knew better than I did. Before this job, the only writing I ever did was small articles once in a blue moon. I remember there were times when an idea would keep me writing all night and the next morning I had to attend an early lecture at college.

And then, my professional writing career began. It was after a year and a half of professional writing that one day, (really, one day) a story idea hit me. It was more of a first scene of the story where I saw a young man sitting in his home, looking out of his window. I saw him, I saw what he saw, I heard what he thought, I felt what he felt – and so began my first story when I penned down that moment. This was back in 2002. Since then, the story has developed much, the character has too; but that one scene that defined the man to me, has remained the same. I’ve even updated the plot, but that one scene – the first one I ever wrote – is still the same. Even the language edits on it have been rather minor.

That was a strange year. By the end of it, I had started to jot down ideas for at least five stories, and then in the next year, this number went up to 14. I had a hard time trying to balance writing, personal and professional. I was learning – a lot. As time went by, six of the stories that I had been working on started to take shape. My interest took me to look for other writers and editors. I made pen friends with many of them, learnt of them, some of them read my work and helped me learn – it was an exciting journey. I loved my stories, and I loved working on them. They became my dream.

Then, in 2005 something happened that altered my beliefs – not something bad, don’t get me wrong – something very good, in fact, it’s the best thing that happened to me (No, I didn’t fall in love). My priorities became clearer. I gave up writing fiction, however, as a result of that. I did continue to write for my profession, though. But again, all that changed in early 2006. A tragedy (of sorts) struck me, and I gave up all kinds of writing. Actually, I didn’t even have to give up – it just disappeared from my life. Writing was a thing of the past suddenly and whatever I’d written didn’t mean anything to me. In fact, I forgot that I used to write and that it brought me joy. My dream was lost and forgotten.

However, life teaches us in many new ways. Earlier, joy had been a teacher; now, sorrow became one. A new kind of writing began to surface in my life. I wrote songs. I wrote my journal. I wrote my feelings and thoughts. I read the Bible and wrote what I understood. In 2008, I think, I got my first blog where I put these up that were a result of my learning. Surprisingly, whatever I wrote held no grief – instead, there was peace, a calmness, a stillness, a stability, a strength. There was hope, there was love, there was joy of a new kind. There was faith.

It was in 2010 that I was reminded by a close friend that I used to write. The test that life had put upon me was not over. It was strange though that while I was still going through the mess of my life – my dream, my writing was brought back to my notice. It was as though God was breathing life into dead and forgotten desires. I hadn’t written for many years, except for the writing done at work (which was very minimal ever since I’d moved into a management role). I remembered it, I hunted my old files; I found them safe and was overjoyed. I read them again, and could hardly believe that I wrote them once upon a time. But, I found I could not write.

I was teaching other people to write – but I could not write. It seemed years of neglect had switched off my imagination department. I read my stories, tried to get it going – but to no avail. Two of those that had been my favorite didn’t help me much, at all. It seemed I could read and enjoy what I wrote, but that I’d ever complete them, seemed a distant, if not an impossible, task. It was funny – the number and type of attempts I made to get my mind to think up words to write. My mind worked rather well in making my writing mind to work, but I s’pose I didn’t know I was missing a key ingredient – inspiration.

Life is never short of teachers. You know what they say about inspiration coming from anywhere? Well, guess what! In 2011, (my life’s mess still intact) I began watching a TV show – Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? Who would’ve known what was going to follow!? After watching it for about two months – I and my jammed imagination – started getting a nearly daily dose of the key ingredient. In January 2012, I wrote a comment on the facebook page of the show’s director. It was a simple comment. I made a few friends online.

I wouldn’t say I was a fan of the show or the actors – I think I was more tuned into the plot and the characters than anything else about this story. To me, still the only thing that captured me was – the story. The one comment that I put up on the facebook page became a daily review called ‘What I LOVED’ – something that had meant to be a bullet lead-in to a few things I’d liked in a particular January 2012 episode.

I began to write. Daily. What’s more, people read what I wrote. Even more, I got feedback! For a writer, who had lost their dream and forgotten about it – being told day after day that someone somewhere appreciated whatever they wrote – I can’t put it in words what that meant. It was only in October 2012 that I realized that after a 6 year drought, I’d been enjoying an outpouring of words almost every night of the current year. By the time, the show ended (abruptly), I had put in:

  • 1370.31 hours
  • 2036 pages
  • 492012 words

Astounding! Even to me – who had lost all hope to ever write again. And this doesn’t include the writing I did outside the WIL. I started a new blog. I wrote articles on the show and outside the show.

Coming back to where I began this write-up – Yes, my buddies online and whoever read my work and took the time to write back to me, have no clue what it’s meant to me. Here’s a heartfelt thank you to all of them, everywhere. May God bless you and your dreams.

I am currently back to working on my stories. Working on four of them right now – a romance, two dramas, and a fantasy adventure (yes, a fantasy – that’s how much the imagination is overloaded now). There is a romantic comedy I want to resume working on, but maybe in a few weeks or months. I love every part of writing a story: charting the plot; sketching the characters; setting events, sequences, and developments in a timeline; mapping all events to main storyline, actual writing of it, editing it – I love this whole process.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with them; publish them as books, sell them, make movies on them, bury them in my writing desk, post them on a blog, or enjoy them alone – as of now, I am writing and that means a lot to me. My dream has been returned to me. I am yet only fiddling with it. I want to see what I can do with it and how far I can take it.

Let’s see what life brings in the new year.

Risk to Blossom

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

I read this quote on the internet – on someone’s facebook page – and I do agree.

Blossoming is a risk. It calls for a tiny bud to push its limits from the safekeeping sepals and let the delicate petals face the outside. But if it didn’t, we’d have no flowers.

Even the caterpillar – that had itself spun a cocoon around its body for safety – breaks the cocoon open to be let out. Reason? It would never be a butterfly if it didn’t leave the cocoon. We’d have no pretty flitting butterflies.

A bird’s nest is so cozy that baby chicks remain inside unhurt from the forces outside. But then, there is a day when the parent birds would push them down the branch. Why? The bird would never achieve its destiny of flying the skies till it is deliberately dropped from its nest.

 

 

There comes a time when staying in a comfortable zone forever, knowing you’re safe, becomes a restriction. This is for those for whom comfortable safe zones have become stinking ruts. This is for those who are longing, craving, and pining to get out and spread their beautiful, strong wings.

 

Progress demands that one steps out of the place where one is safe into the new and unexplored. It is risky. It is dangerous. But the truth is that only the one stuck in such a rut knows how it is and how much it means to be out of it.

 

They do everything possible to break out of the rut. They are even willing to give up all for the sake of stepping out and being who they are. They lose the fear of insecurity – even though it stares them in the face. They risk losing time and energy in the process. They risk upsetting a lot of people and situations that would’ve remained as cozy and comfortable had they not chosen to step out. They expose themselves to the hurt of finding out who are their true friends and who would part ways at the end of the comfort zone. They choose to step on the ground that only looks solid, but may not be; they never know when it might give in.

 

They give up who they are to become who they can be. They know their priorities – and they take the chance.

 

Some may call it illogical or even stupid. It is hard to be a friend of the person who is a butterfly pushing about to be set free from the safety of the restrictive cocoon. The person seems to change so frequently as they rediscover or reinvent themselves, that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of who they are dealing with. It is hard to understand what they are going through, and why they are doing what they are doing.

 

True love and friendship knows when to hold on and when to let go; when to push and when to pull; when to impose and when to just let them be — till they are done doing what they set out to do.

If you are a butterfly pushing your limits or a friend of someone who is – all the best! May you be blessed with an extra dose of patience, understanding, and love.

Get Serious about FUN!

One of the first things that a baby knows (not learns) how to do is have fun. They are only bothered about food and drink when the tummy growls. They are only bothered about cleaning and changing when someone is attempting to put them through it; on their own, they may not bother. They are only cross when their favorite pet from the household (parent, grandparent) is unavailable. Apart from that babies know how to have fun.

 

Babies come with the FUN pre-installed on them. In fact, FUN is the operating system on which everything else runs. Everything you do with them must be FUN-compatible, else it does not run, and the program is declared defected. You need to be FUN if you want to feed them, play with them, change them, put them to sleep.

 

I have seen babies stare at the ceiling and laugh! I have followed their gaze and wondered what they saw in a plain old white ceiling that amused them SO much. I even asked a particular baby who was having much FUN staring at the ceiling above her crib – are the angels making funny faces at you? (She gave me a weird look and then resumed laughing at the ceiling. I know so because this one is my niece.)

 

When we grow up, we are taught responsibility, which is a wonderful part of growing up. However, by then FUN is something we do post-study, post-work, post-weekdays. It is reserved for the latter part of anything. In fact, fun is a part of celebration that is reserved to happen at the end of whatever task/project we are doing. What’s more, the duration spent in ‘fun’ is WAY LESS than the duration spent in ‘work’!

 

That is strange, though!

 

A baby is first given fun, and then taught responsibility.

Why, as an adult, do we place fun after responsibility?

Was it even intended this way or have we, in our ‘perceived order’ of things, made it so?

 

~*~

 

I was still wondering about this when I was reminded of something very interesting. It had caught my attention before and even then had held it for a considerable time.

 

In Genesis (Bible), the 7 days of creation are listed with events on each day. However, as the day’s activity description ends, there is an observation:

 

‘The evening and the morning were the first day.’

‘The evening and the morning were the second day.’

And so on till the seventh day.

 

The evening and the morning?? Shouldn’t it be the morning and the evening?

 

I researched a little bit and found that, while we start our day with Morning, in that part of the world the first part of the day was Evening. They started their day with fun, relaxation, togetherness with family & friends, rest, and then get onto work when the morning comes.

 

Wow! I thought that was Brilliant! Not just the system – the very way of thinking and approaching each day.

 

 

When we look at religion, the thing we notice usually the first is ‘festivals’. Surely if the Almighty was all about just rules and regulations, then He would not organize feasts and festivals.

 

(In fact, while still researching the ‘evening and morning’ fundamental, I found they used to have dedicated months and weeks meant for just celebration!)

 

 

In my country (India), it is said that in a week of 7 days, Indians have 9 festivals. However, we, with our super wisdom, have mostly so bound festivities that they are more responsibility than fun.

 

~*~

 

We have turned that which was intended to be fun into a responsibility.

Look at little children – They often turn their responsibilities into fun!!

 

Methinks they have a WAY better idea about how to live life. Life isn’t life unless it is enjoyed. Fun isn’t just whiling away the time. It is time for rejuvenation, relaxing, building up, and rest.

 

 

Musings:

 

I once saw this odd order of things – odd from my angle – and said to the Almighty: You know, You are strange!

I reckon He must have smiled and said: I am upright. It is you folk who are skewed, and so is your viewpoint.

 

 

Ah! That explains a lot unexplainables and twisted stuff.

Hmm…

The Grace to Choose the Right Lane

I think it is one of the even-out mechanisms of nature. When one entity attempts to overshadow the other out of turn, nature holds up the progress of that entity, till others catch up.

 

A classic example is a traffic jam. Your lane seems to move at turtle pace. You see the lane 3rd from yours moving comparatively faster. You inch yourself ahead of the car in the next lane, obviously getting irritated glares from the already frustrated drivers, and of course a lot of honking. Yet, you don’t give up. You brave, you! Somehow you manage to get into the lane next to yours. Ah! One more lane and you should be moving on with life, so to speak.

 

You do a repeat telecast of your ill-mannered lane changing tactics and finally, land in the place you want to be. Now, you’ll move. Apparently the driver in front of you, in this new lane, is not enlightened enough. This lane is supposed to move faster than the lane you came from! Why in the world is he not stepping on the gas?

 

The car beside you, in the lane you just came from, moves ahead. You turn to see that in your original lane, the driver behind you not only took your place (obviously), he’s now three cars ahead of you.

 

By moving out of the first lane, you shifted a lot of cars this way and that. Some equations were changed between the lanes and now, surprise! The lane you came from is speeding ahead than the one you’re now stuck in! By some unkind freak of nature, I have now become the cause of unmoving lanes – any lane I am in, does not move.

‘Fuming in frustration’ is a very apt term for this scenario.

 

 

While looking for a personal selfish gain, you unwittingly made life better for a few people. The disturbed drivers may have cursed and honked initially, but then they found that a new space was made and progress took place, but the instigator of progress – the troublemaker who started with a wrong motive – was left behind while others moved on.

 

Ah! Sometimes it works with different radio channels when you’re changing from station to the other and keep catching the songs you’d love to hear only by their last lines!

 

 

Should we be more lane loyal? Or Channel retentive!?

But about those wonderful days when you move to different lane and it actually helps you. Or the one ahead of you moves into a different lane and you end up being the one who shoots three cars ahead worth of the space. Or you just change the channel and they’re just playing the song you love.

 

I have often found an interesting Dominoes effect. If I start off in frustration, I tend to make the wrong choice. Instead of waiting for a couple of more minutes, if I change the lane, I still lose precious time, and consequently energy.

If it works like on the left, logically, it should also work on the right.

 

Just for an experiment – I decided to sit back. I felt, I’d move when the traffic moves. Every lane moves at its own pace. Just me moving to another lane, does not speed up or slow down any lane. The Radio channels have nothing against me. They are not in business to tick me off by playing my songs when I’m not listening to them.

I’m going to sit back and enjoy my day – even in traffic jams!

 

I made a fantastic discovery!

I was often complaining about not having time for myself. Wow! I had time and I didn’t know it. Now, I downloaded songs that I love and podcasts of people I love listening to (Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen) and yup! Traffic Jams were suddenly an awesome place for spending time with me-sweet-self. I would talk to myself – about my day, my family, my work, my team, my hobbies, my shopping list, my plan for the weekend (yes, I finally started to have an actual plan for the weekend rather finding myself in a weekend with things like laundry, arranging wardrobe, cleaning shoes on my list), et al!

 

Even more amazing thing: this time became a time to filter my mind off the ‘office’ material and prepare me for a hearty evening at home with family and friends!

 

This was 3 years back! I think I had the Grace to choose the right lane; only I wasn’t putting the Grace to use. These days more often, I am in the right lane; Why? – I have learnt, whatever lane it is, I am going to be in the right lane – and even if I have to change the lane on the road, I will still remain in the right lane.

 

While I do not find a jam every day, there is one at least 4 times a week – even if a mini one! Not all times am I able to keep me in a happy mood. There are times when I crash-land into old patterns. But hey, who says we can’t bounce back!

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