Good Morning World: Does it get any better?

Have you ever felt that you just don’t have enough time? Enough time to do the things you have to do on a day-to-day basis? Have you ever felt that life is just one long schedule that leaves you with very little space to stop and breathe once in a while? That it’s all just about to fall apart?

Well, in case you have felt that way, this one is for you.

Some time ago, I met this guy and he asked me: “Do you ever feel that you always need to depend on someone else?”

Well, I just looked at him and waited.

“Like you never have any answers and you always need to have a friend or family member or someone, anyone, around to help you through the day?”

I continued to look at him. This was shaping up like one of those deep, really deep, moments when I was required to say something profound; but my mind was blank.

“I feel like that very often,” he said finally with a long sigh.

That kind of woke me up. Heck, I feel that all the time. So I told him: “Actually, I have that kind of a day almost every day.”

“Really? What do you do then?”

“I am not too sure. I think I try to get by not thinking about it too much.”

“How’s that possible? It affects my work, my interactions… everything.”

“That’s why I try not to think about it.”

“Does it get any better?”

I thought about that one carefully. I know a lot of people who seem to breeze through life with very little tension or doubts. I am not one of those people. And whenever I feel that I am on top of things, and that life is smooth, something comes along and I am back to square one.

“It does get better, but that’s because you remember that you have been through this before and that you came out of it.”

“Like how? Will I always have to depend on others for answers?”

“I don’t know.” I didn’t want to think this conversation through. I had too much work and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through the day. But that’s precisely what he was asking: Will it be better tomorrow?

“I suppose it depends on why you are going to others in the first place.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning, if you are hoping others will make your decision for you then you will keep looking for answers from others. On the other hand, if you are looking only for a different perspective, then you will eventually stop depending on others in crisis situations.”

“Hmmm.”

That conversation ended on that note; but it continued in my head in a different vein.

Frankly, I go through life in waves – there are these ups and then there are these downs. Most often, the downs are longer – very much against wave theory. Or so it seems to me.

The pressure at work and on the personal front builds up and builds up and builds up till I start thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life, whether I really want to be in this place right now, whether late nights and early mornings are worth it and so on. Usually, such thoughts occur when the pressure is really high and you are stretched way beyond your limits. And that’s more or less the kind of work life most people I know have these days. The week is one long night and then there is the weekend when we want to party and unwind or sleep it off. And then it’s Monday again.

This kind of a lifestyle does not give us much time to think about how to nurture relationships, how to find time for friends and family and for our personal needs. Everything but work goes on the back burner till things come to a head. And when things come to a head, work is still a pressure cooker, so that’s when you start thinking: Does this get any better? What am I doing here? Why can’t people understand the pressures I work under? When will I ever get to a stage when I can just do the things I want to? When will I get a job where I do what I love most?

There’s this commercial on television for an SUV which is built around the same concept. I think the ad goes something like:

I always wanted to quit on Monday morning.

I always wanted to swim with the whales.

I always wanted to do something or the other…. and then it goes on to say: Reclaim your life.

Now that ad touches a chord with me. It touches a chord because it reflects a reality of the urban lifestyle. The world that we live in is increasingly driven by schedules and deadlines. We are living in a service-oriented society, and that means service-on-demand 24/7. And this is a lifestyle that is here to stay for a long time to come.

So does it get better? Yep, it does. But you have to choose not to run the race, any race. You have to choose when to let work and personal life merge, and when to separate work life from personal life. You have to choose to make time for yourself and your loved ones. And you have to stop being afraid that the world will pass you by while you are taking a day off or switching off early.

Good Morning World. Some times we gotta think about the big things our own selves. Else we may end up having a virus do it for us.

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