Thursday, June 19, 2008

Issues with Time

I was speaking to a friend yesterday and conversation generally revolved around how our lives have changed (she is a friend from college days) and how the nature of things which demand our attention have changed over time.

Earlier, life was all about attending college, tuitions, some work (at dad's office) and meeting up with friends.

Somewhere down the line, things have gotten slightly more complicated.
Me being me, I started categorising the various 'lives' that we need to lead. These could primarily be broken-up into five categories:

1. Work life

This portion, obviously, starts dominating a majority of our hours that we are awake for (in some cases, also our sleeping hours; in fact, I have been regularly dreaming about work the last couple of months). We slowly gravitate towards becoming the major bread-earning member of the family and phrases such as 'CTC', 'in-hand salary' and the works start being repeated. Hushed conversations about people switching jobs and who is in who's good books are also part of the daily rigmarole.

2. Social life

Weekends (and hurriedly organised week-night dinners) are for friends. These occassions keep us in touch with 'the good ol' days' stories and also stop the grapevine from dying a natural death. Stories abound of corporate snakes-and-ladders here too.

3. Love life / Married life

Not everybody is stupid: some stay single. The other group, however, needs to spend some time attending to 'sweetheart' issues as well. As relationships mature, the following cascade of comments make an appearance:
"We need to spend quality time together in order to know where we're going" --> "Where ARE we going????" --> "We need to spend more time together with the family"

4. Family life

We also need to keep our parents happy. No matter how different we've grown up to become since the time they held our hands and taught us how to walk, we need to be there and understand their needs in their ageing years. Which means that we need to spend more time with them than we were previously bluffing ourselves into believing. Clearly, they should be getting very good quality attention time, even if the amount of time gets sacrificed because of work-related issues.

5. Personal life

~exhales loudly~

And if we can finally find time out for ourselves, only then can we do some amount of introspection and think in what direction OUR lives are really going. Only then can we ask ourselves those niggling, uncomfortable questions that we know we have been putting away. Or even if nothing else, this is the only time when we have nobody, and I repeat, NOBODY around us and can then hope to R-E-L-A-X in every sense of the word. Ironically, although this is the time we need in order to do well in our other aspects of our life, THIS is the one which we keep postponing all the time.

Don't believe me? Ok, try this. When was the last time you sat down in a chair or lay down on a bed and:

a. did NOT have the TV on
b. did NOT have a song playing on the radio / laptop / computer
c. were NOT thinking about the slow speed of the movie you were downloading
d. were NOT waiting for a phone call which you dreaded or which you just wanted to get through with
e. were NOT making a mental list of things that you wanted to do/buy

When was the last time you just breathed in deeply and with a contented smile said to yourself "Ok! I have lots of things happening around me...some good...others not so good... but all in all, I think I'm doing the best I can...and if not, here's how I plan to do the best that I can..." and then proceed to have a meaningful conversation with the one person who matters the most in your life....YOU !!!

When was the last time ???

Author's suggestion: Start writing a diary, my friend, and find some time for yourself.


Shekhar said...

Motee's comment:

ahem! "(and hurriedly organised week-night dinners)" : u will still be coaxed, dragged and blackmailed into these!!! :D

and as for "When was the last time you just breathed in deeply and with a contented smile said to yourself......." twas day before yesterday! :) and its a great feeling!

Arpz said...

my categories are :

work life, work life, work life, work life and more work life.

but yeah, there is this five minute period when I just enjoy/ loathe being myself, depending on what I want to do. hmmm, not bad on that case :D
(why does your word verification me me write - ishkwkt - ishq wicket?! :P hilariously hilarious :D)

trash-u said...

:) well i m deep in the bed.. drooling over the hot maggii.. wondering why nestle shouldnt be bestowed by noble prize (saving millions from dyin of hunger)
lifes heaven.. with a dairlymill bar nearby.

Shekhar said...

@motee: :))

@arpz: You know what they say about too much of anything being a bad thing.

trash-u: Tu toh sudharne se rahaa! :P

wanderlust... said...

Raman Sir took our history and geography classes in school. he played very good guitar and had very good music sense. once, after school hours in an extra class, he asked us "have you ever heard sound of silence?" we all nodded negative. he asked us to switch off the fans, shut our flapping books, sit in any comfortable position and keep silent. there was absolutely no sound. about 30 seconds later everyone started smiling of excitement. for next 2 minutes each listened the soothing sound of silence.
i still do it as a 'must to-do'

Anonymous said...

I liked this post.