Zen in the time of Covid

July 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

I wrote a decent opinion piece online today at work. Even the editor who put it up said it was a nice piece. Clearly, reclaiming my own workspace, by shaping a small part of our bedroom into one, is helping.

We ate Schezwan rice and Thai curry for lunch and dinner today. Neither of us felt like cooking so decided on the takeout from nearby Beijing Bytes. Bought enough at lunch time to last through dinner as well.

My brother-in-law sent me a link to a piece of music by this young lady called Arya Dhayal. She’s quite talented and has raked in millions of views on Instagram TV, combining her knowledge of Carnatic music with snatches of western Pop music, using what might be an Ukulele, I’m guessing, for accompanyment. Plays it left-handed so that caught the attention of the southpaw me.

Thinking about her now brought to my mind Abraham Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of our needs — and my knowledge of this is very basic Wikepedia level — and how lucky I am to have my basic-to-mid levels of this pyramid already taken care of. How fortunate I am to be able to sit here and blog about my life or make music when I can — whistling and playing the flute are my talents — and share it with others.

And yet, we all hanker after those millions of views. For true self-actualisation, not even a single view is needed, but the disappointment one feels is very real each time one opens up an app like FB or Instagram and doesn’t find that little notification that a new approbation has arrived in the form at least a ‘like’. A ‘comment’ would be great, right?

Does one really need to be on a mountain top on a crisp morning to sing, for instance, knowing that only the birds and other creatures can hear the song and no one else, to find real happiness. Perhaps, on that mountain top, even just a deep breath will do. Locked up in our homes, terrorised by an invisible virus, is it possible to find the same state of zen? Maybe Ms. Dhayal knows the secret to that.

#Zen #music #Aryadhayal #Maslow’shierarchy

The importance of having your own workspace

July 29, 2020 § Leave a comment

One of the abiding pictures that my son might recall about my anxiety and depression, years from now, is of me slumped in my favourite sofa chair, and dozing — at all times of the day. Today I made sure he won’t see me like that ever again. I dragged my work table from the living room to our bedroom, along with my chair and recreated my own workspace. Now when I need to, I can close the bedroom door — for a phone interview, for instance, or if I really badly need it, to put my head down on the table and take a powernap. But no more slouching in the sofa chair and dozing away, paralysed by anxiety.

The table was there in the living room in the first place because of a switch by my son, a couple of days back from another room that was made over to him to be his study and bedroom rolled into one. Now, in our bedroom, it is probably eating a few inches into the floor space my wife uses for her yoga in the evenings, but I’m hoping it will be worth it because it will help me reclaim my work day and in the process help me reclaim my whole day. In fact, today, after many many months, I sat at the table and worked post lunch, which had otherwise become a time for routinely taking a long nap and therefore a source of guilt about not working enough.

In a breakthrough of sorts for me, I got my parents to talk to my son on the phone this evening when I called my father. There’s no rift or anything between us, and they love their grandson very much. But, it has never been easy — more like near impossible — in my family for people to easily reach out to one another, even if just to talk about the small everyday things that happened. Just the opposite in my wife’s family, where everyone talks to everyone all the time and are happy to do so. My wife’s own day isn’t complete without the daily ritual of a decent chat with her mum late in the evening.

As to my parents and son, today, grandparents and grandson spoke for more than I’d expected and and the boy told them about his online school classes, his new-found skill with juggling — they have already seen a video of this — and various other things. My father too said he was happy he spoke with his grandson.

Oh, and I signed up for an introductory course on English literature. On Udemy.

#workspace #anxiety #anxietyanddepression #depression #family

HR, Lego Movie 2 and The Century Trilogy

July 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

The payroll/HR folks have sent me a mail saying parts of my profile in the company database are incomplete and I need to fill them up pronto. I tried, but the system isn’t allowing me to ‘save’ any of the data. Will have to try and talk to the ‘HR business partner’ tomorrow but I despair of sorting this out. My HR contact NEVER takes my calls and only sends me emails or calls me from her end if there is something HR expects me comply with. Expeditiously.

The wife and son are at the end of Lego Movie 2. In fact, they are watching the credits roll, I think. I’m in a different room typing this post. The second interview for my feature went okay as well. Yesterday was the first one. Now I’ve to cobble together a piece based on the two.

It was an okay day until after my walk in the evening and until after my daily call with my father — I began to call him in the evenings after he had a minor health scare recently. Then my wife got very upset about how I never get my parents to talk to our son on the phone. ‘You can’t do it. You just don’t have the guts’. My nephew, who lives in the same town as them, with his mom, my sister, and his dad, a musician/actor/photographer, gets the most of the grandparents.

I’ve been reading Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy. Slowly. I’m into the third part now — titled The Edge of Eternity — and I’ve just stopped at where Beep Dewar decides to stick to Walli, deliberately deciding to deny herself the chance of getting back with Dave. It’s a great read, the trilogy — historical fiction that covers much of 20th century, populating it with colourful fictitous characters, building their stories over generations, juxtaposed with historical events.

A close friend had to rush to hospital recently to help his cousin, whose husband died suddenly from a tumour in the brain. He came back and quarantined himself in a room. He has two children one of whom is my son’s classmate. The boys talk on Google Meet every evening. They miss actually seeing each other physically and playing together. I wonder when our kids will be able to play freely together again.

#HR #Legomovie2 #Thecenturytrilogy #anxiety #anxietyanddepression #depression

New room

July 27, 2020 § Leave a comment

I interviewed a Google Cloud exec today for a story. It went well. 45 minutes. Had been pretty anxious about this and had even talked to the therapist about it on Sunday. Got another one tomorrow and then I’ve to pull the two together as a feature.

We’ve finished dinner. It’s raining, and my wife is watching season 16 of NCIS. She just finished the episode in which we find out Ziva David isn’t dead after all.

My son switched the table in his room and the one in the living room. One of the two bedrooms in our small flat became his room recently and he is still in the phase of being quite excited about it. Yesterday, he moved a small book shelf into his new room and today the table switch happened.

The one that he moved into the living room is more conventional looking, from a furniture shop in Shivajinagar, with a pull out draw and a small cup board below it. The one he moved into the room came from Urban ladder and is more contemporary looking, with two long rectangular dugouts running along the back part of the table top in which one could put knick knacks and so on. There are also with holes through which cables can be run, and we used one to put in a power strip.

Got a surprise call too, from a cousin-in-law who I’m close to. She was calling to check how I was holding up — she knows all about my anxiety and depression. It was good to get her call as my wife, her cousin, likes her too and they had a nice chat as well.

On the whole not a bad day today so far as handling my anxiety went. I also made a nice vegetable stew to eat with wheat parotas for dinner. The wife and son had those, while I finished some left over Mexican rice she had made for lunch. Had half a parota just to taste my stew though. A bad nose allergy was the only downer. Nose was running all day, though it’s better now.

#workfromhome #room #anxiety #anxietyanddepression

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for July, 2020 at Life, while I wait.

%d bloggers like this: