How procrastination saved my life

I have blamed many of my misgivings on procrastination. I have shamelessly named my habit of vacillating, responsible for every failure in my life, every incomplete project. Never, ever I stopped to sit back and wonder, the one habit that made me, me could have a good side to it as well.

But, today is different. Yesterday morning, during workout, I was going through a list of the things I was feeling grateful for. I do a lot of analyzing and thinking during workouts. Mainly to keep my mind away from the workout that lets me keep going without feeling tired too early and secondly, I try to use up that hour doing stuff I rarely get time for later in the day. Anyway I digress.

Realization of the fact that I love my own company, dawned on me in my teens. It was an age when I understood that my mum (whom I have always longed to be my best friend) could never be on the same page as me in anything in life. We are so poles apart that us agreeing on one thing happens only when one of us chooses to stay quiet for the sake of peace or any other important reason.

Since I had noted this very early in my life, I have also learnt to scoot around, without hurting her, letting her have her way while doing what I like my way. Sounds confusing? It actually was for a very long time. But, in my second innings ( that is after my divorce) of living with her full time, I have somehow mastered this art.

Coming back to the main topic I was writing about. Procrastination.

Wait a second, wasn’t what I had been doing above already an example of how easily I lose focus of task at hand and then go on doing things that are satisfying but aren’t fruitful or productive in any way? Oh yes, I dilly-dally so quickly & efficiently, that my efficiency makes me wonder if someone like myself put the ‘pro’ in procrastination.

I have to come to understand that this habit of switching my worrier mind to pleasurable tasks at whim has played a key role in keeping me alive. This is exactly where I differ from my mum. You will never see her procrastinate. She is so focused in life, about all she wants that she could put to shame a magnifying lens in focusing the sun-rays to burn a piece of paper. Not the best analogy though, but you get the drift. Right?

Not being able to procrastinate, makes my mum’s worrier mind (that’s where I have inherited mine from) stay focused on things bothering her endlessly and she lets them burn her inside slowly but surely.

The outcome?

Her blood pressure levels stay at 180-200 (systolic) to 100-110 (diastolic) despite highest order medications.

Diabetes is more on the uncontrolled side (with sugar levels persistently on the higher side of the range) despite regular checks and dose monitoring of her medications.

I am in no way saying that worry is the only cause of those scary medical reports. No. It has a long list of reasons, including her dietary habits and lifestyle. But, worrying ad infinitum, not talking it out is the prime reason.

On the other hand is yours truly. I used to be a self-obsessed worrier (maybe I am quite a bit of it even today) who enjoyed the heartburn, panic and crazy palpitations worrying would give me. You know, its like a habit, where you feel uncomfortable when you are all sorted and at peace if you have been worrying like a maniac most part of your life.

But, procrastination makes me different. I can never focus on one thing & stay put at it (unless it has dire consequences). I will drift away to replaying incidents I have read about, switching on the flashback mode of my mind to recap the memories or at whim jump on my feet, head to the kitchen and try to re-invent a classic recipe and spend hours doing so.

This habit puts me at the disadvantage of forever chasing deadlines (mind you, I seldom have missed any though) but I lead a rather interesting, colorful life where creativity exists in full bloom, all seasons.

I have cursed my habit of idling a zillion times, but lately I have seen how beautifully it has kept me off my worries, indulging and pursuing hobbies ( now that I get time for it) I have always loved and lead a more content life than I otherwise would have.

I am in noway trying to advocate my habit of loafing at a time when I could be doing something more useful. However, I am being grateful for the beneficial flip side of this forever looked down upon habit. It does help our known (or unknown) creative side flourish helping the over-taxed brain relax and recharge to face life with renewed zest.

Ever since I have understood this aspect of my personality, I have come to love myself more than before. It has helped me accept my flawed side better. It has revealed to me the reason why I have always been so in love with my own company, that when life left me all on my own, it didn’t freak me out even once.

The song on my mind: Zehnaseeb ~ Hasee toh Phasee



Bringing life on track

I have had a totally messed up year, where I had no clue what was happening, what lay ahead and how time went past.

The only thing I could feel was being caught in mid-waters of a sea of negativity, pain and hurt. Struggling to swim across,but failing miserably. No, I haven’t yet managed to reach the shore but I have started to see land, though far away.

I initially thought of listing the top issues in my life. I was taken back by the sheer number of the issues I am trying to tackle at any given point of time. So the idea was dumped with the same speed it rose.

One fine day a couple of months ago, when I had a spare minute I decided to put everything aside and give myself a second look.

I was aghast to note that I had suddenly (cause I had not taken any note of it in the past two years) started looking old, sick, depressed, unkempt and overall sad. I was taken aback by my image because everyday when I visit Pari’s school to drop and pick her, I have seen other mothers look way younger, prettier and happier than I ever do.

Not impressed by the findings, I decided to get working on reclaiming myself, wiping off the dust of neglect from myself. It was a tedious task given the depressed state I have been in lately, but i am glad I made a conscious effort to stir up my life.

The work has just started and I am slowly adding tasks to my to-do list of reclaiming myself but the results have been quite encouraging.

A simple change in my lifestyle like sleeping just an hour more than what I have sleeping for years now (4-5 hours daily) has taken care of my dark circles. All disappeared in 15 days flat. Sleeping better has done wonders to my skin, that feels humanly soft as compared to a rag that it had started feeling in the past year or so.

A switch of my face cream has made me look my age again in two months. No, it’s not the miracle of the cream (that’s why I am not mentioning which one it is). It’s the little extra care I have started taking to keep my face clean and regularly moisturize it that has brought about the change.

My health is one of the most neglected areas of my life lately and today I took my first baby step to change it. It sounds ridiculous, that an adrenaline junkie like me who loves the adrenaline rush after a workout, more than most things in life hasn’t had the time / motivation/ mood to workout in the past one year.

It felt like eternity, but finally I worked out today.

It has been a humongous task re-building life, my identity, my self-esteem from scratch after the massive blows life has been giving me repeatedly. But, today, I feel a tiny surge of peace fill me as I write that I have been trying hard to get my life on track and slowly results are beginning to show.

It’s a train of thoughts that’ll need to be continued for a long series of posts to capture all that has been going on in my life that I have missed on recording in this blog. But, I will pick up the loose ends and tie them up in due course of time.

Despite being depressed from a very long time, love for life is the only thing that has kept me trying hard to come back stronger. I am not giving up. Never. And yes, I will be back to rant more.

The song on my mind : Tum ho pass mere ~ Rockstar 

Why does pain exist?

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life. – Krishnamurti

I am sure you will agree with me that nature created everything, you, me, plants, flowers, animals, birds and everything else in the universe with a purpose.

In that case, even pain and sufferings exist for a reason. The important thing about pain is that at the time of suffering, we fail to understand, or rather lose power of analysis of the underlying cause of misery. Our full attention is on freeing ourselves from the painful situation.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been spending my free time pondering over the possible importance of nature creating pain and sufferings for the living beings.

  • Were they meant to be the punishments of our wrong doings?
  • Were they designed to frighten us of the possible consequences of our deeds?
  • Were they made to help us realise the contrast of happy times and bad times (just like the night helps us appreciate the importance of day-time)?
  • Or, were they created to give us a hint, a clue to get into the realm of deep thought and see the unseen reality of everything happening around us?
  • Or, was pain created as a reality-check of our friends, family, relatives and even neighbours at times.

Though all these possibilities appear to be true in perspective from time to time, giving things a deeper thought; I came up with yet another revelation.

Pain and sufferings come our way not because the supreme power wanted us to suffer or be punished, but as a stumbling block to point us in the direction we have not been paying heed to despite the hints that we were missing on an important point.

We are sometimes so engrossed in our lives that we fail to take note of some of the warning signs, life sends our way. That’s when, nature decides to pinch us hard or steps on our toes to seek our attention.

Pain is amongst the strongest stimuli /emotion known to living beings. It’s intensity and impact is not just lasting, but also seeks an instantaneous response from the subject in question.

I have come to feel that nature had one more intention behind creating this emotion ~ a way to help us realize our hidden/unexplored strengths. Something, I have personally experienced from time to time.

In the current phase of my life, this realization has come to me as a startling revelation helping me face life differently than I was, say a year ago. Physical (not just the pain experienced by the body), emotional, spiritual, financial and every other aspect. Pain  & losses exist in a wide variety of forms and magnitude. But, a better understanding sure makes it bearable and keeps me hopeful of a better day tomorrow.

What’s your take?

The song on my mind: Rahi manwa dukh ki chinta ~ Dosti