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On tackling life when it’s a tightrope walk

I have not blogged as often as I would like to lately and it certainly is not for lack of things I want to express! The truth is that I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. It’s that point that I reach every now and then, when I have been piling stuff onto my plate…all good stuff that I really want to do and really enjoy and some not-so-good routine stuff that I need to do…but when I reach the point when the plate is overflowing and the panic attack begins, that is not a nice place to be.

At time like this, when the panic attack is at its vicious worst and I still have to maintain an exterior of normalcy as well as keep up the tempo in all the good stuff I have taken up, there are two options.

1- Strike! Withdraw, take a forced break, breathe deep and come back with renewed vigour.

2- Attack! Renew social connections. Call on the connections of the heart, all my friends who really know me. Talk to them, interact, laugh, cry and let the stress seep out of me.

This second option, strangely, works for me much better that taking a break while trying hard not to hyperventilate! All this interaction stuff can be done in this age of technology without taking even a moment’s break from the list of tasks. Getting positive reinforcement from people raises my motivation levels higher and the energy needed to push myself more is then easier to generate.

In the same spirit, I attack my blog with renewed passion. I cannot let go this…which has become so much a part of me. Which helps me connect to people I don’t yet know, that larger energy circle that I shall reach out to in the future.

Of course, there are some things that I end up compromising on. The gym, for instance has taken the back seat these past few days. I’m working on setting that back on track as well….

Can women have it all? Who can? Aug 19, 2012

“Can a woman have it all?”
It is a statement that infuriates me no end. Can anyone have it all? No, right? So it’s a stupid question. Yet, the perception is that love, riches, power and fame, in no particular order, constitutes ‘all’. That love can be substituted by sex and happiness, whatever that elusive thing is, plays no part in this construction further muddies the myth of ‘having it all’ for me.
It upsets me that the rhetoric around compromise is assumed to apply more for women than men. Is not life a negotiation of compromises and priorities for each one of us? Is it not about recognising opportunities and choosing which ones to take and which to let go?
At certain points in their lives, men and women feel their disappointments bitterly. At others, they feel let down, either by themselves or by others. In this, perhaps men are wont to take responsibility more often for their losses, while women might tend to blame it on others. That goes with the territory of patriarchy that we accept around us, especially when we question if women can have it all!
I wouldn’t want it all. I couldn’t handle it, I’m sure!

Self-reflection day: Whither am I going? Aug 5, 2012

There are some days when I have an acute sense of incompleteness. Abstract questions torment me. What is the purpose of my life? At what point am I right now? Where am I going from here?

Today is one of those days and while I know this isn’t exactly something to blog about…seeing as precious few read my blog on a weekend, I’m going ahead anyway.

I always grew up with a sense (misplaced, perhaps) that I am special, that I would go on to do big things, achieve greatness of some sort. My parents were instrumental, in part, in giving me that idea. They always appreciated my efforts at whatever I did and genuinely believed I was talented.

Unfortunately, my adult life has not followed through in that way. At some point, my confidence sagged (probably in that hallowed institution called SPA), I have spent precious energy exploring possibilities and today I have become some sort to Jack of many trades and Master of none at all.

Today, this was brought home to me by a discussion at my kathak guru’s home. A fellow student was describing the long arduous process of getting her son a music guru, and she was ecstatic about her success, profusely thanking our dance guru for her advise and assistance. Now the same music guru had been recommended to me as well months ago, but something, part lack of confidence, part doubts about how much time I would be able to devote, had stopped from acting on the mission. The short conversation sent me into a deeply reflective mode. Why did I not call him? Why do I not seek to devote my energies to stuff that I am good at, am interested in? I know I have an immensely emotional connection with music, to the point that it scares me. What stops me from facing that challenge head on and why do I keep procrastinating, pushing forward the day I will have to take the inevitable call to commit my time to music?

It says a lot, this set of questions I have described above, about my peculiar and utterly disappointing trait of running away from important stuff. This and my supreme lack of focus are responsible for my sense of underachievement, even as I live a happy, reasonably fulfilled life. As I inch towards my 40s and many other things in life fall in place, this self-journey is starting to take center-stage in my head. I see this happening to others around me as well, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle slowly fitting together. I cannot run away from my needs for very long and I will have to find ways to do all of the things I passionately want to do. I cannot push the pursuit of music to another day, another week, another time. I need to do it now, in the proper way, with the right guidance, or remain guilty of its neglect.

I know that now and I am trying to resolve to address this soon. This piece isn’t about seeking attention or soliciting advice, but it is about sharing the kind of crazy reflective processes the mind can be grappling with, even as you trawl a mall on a Sunday afternoon, watch your kid eat ice cream and have completely inane, though delightful, conversations with friends!

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