I don’t sleep much. It’s a waste of time my mind says. It’s taken over my soul and I feel I am in execution mode, dictated by what it tells me to do. I don’t feel I am governed by just my senses. There are many factors, and I don’t have the time to analyze and evaluate.
And to what end? What will analyzing how I choose to spend my time accomplish? More self-criticism? Admonishment? And another page in my journal of I shoulds…
I am not ignorant. I am not tired. I am not lazy. What I am is astonished at the state of affairs in the world today. Hate, War, Rapes, Murders, Suicides, Stealing, Corruption, Pollution, Plundering of Mother Earth, depleting Oxygen in our atmosphere, increasing Carbon dioxide in the oceans, floods and droughts, rising temperatures, social trolling, crumbling infrastructures. Aggression. Destruction. Apathy. Indifference. And traffic.
I am astonished at myself that I continue to make choices that contribute to the state of affairs that dismay me. The book titled Ecological Intelligence sits prominently among others in my bookshelf and taunts me as it witnesses the decisions I make are anything but. Like the Italian marble for Krish’s bathroom. I didn’t have to search high and low to find it here in Bangalore. There’s a never ending street in the city lined with marble and granite shops on both sides, happily displaying the massive slabs of earths riches, neatly stacked, sliced from the four corners of the world. With experienced salespersons passionately promoting the aesthetic and practical advantages of imported marble. Echoed by my architect. I believe them. And justifiably ignore my responsibility of walking the talk of carbon footprint, a term that is more than a decade old. I come across an article here and there about sustainable materials and ecologically sensitive architects that promote the use of local materials. They are far and few between. And, I can’t afford them.
I am married to my IPhone. At the moment, Amazon, Pinterest, Ebay, Houzz, and WhatsApp get most of my attention. I have a love hate relationship with the curated smiles on Facebook and every now and then, deactivate my profile.
I reminisce about the bygone days when I would walk over to my friends’ homes and ring the bell or shout out their names to get their attention to come outside and play. Chat. Giggle. Walk. Eat street food. Share. And care.
Or the joy of thinking of someone I miss and sitting at my desk overlooking lush green on a sunny Saturday morning, taking the time to select the right stationary, among a wide selection of my most valuable riches – beautiful paper, envelopes and stickers, that would reflect the mood and vibe of that moment and friendship.
Or when I would pick up the home phone and dial the numbers of my favorite family and friends, boldly written on thick cardboard decorated with pretty paper and stickers. And chat and catch up at my heart’s content.
To this day, the activity I enjoy the most is having a conversation.
All of that has been substituted with the touch of my index finger on ‘Like’
The three constants in my life have been reading, writing and music.
But with Unlimited kindle, I want to read ten books at the same time. I don’t remember the last time I read a book cover to cover.
With Apple Music, I’m forever compiling playlists from the 50 million songs available to me. And I’m always torn between just listening to my favorites, or one album and discovering new music.
There is frenetic, frantic frequency that I am vibrating to on autopilot. It has pervaded all aspects of my life, even joyful recreation.
I don’t remember the last time I turned on the TV. Netflix and HBO are my companions at night. And I struggle with the addiction of binge watching.
I am grateful for all of the above. Of being able to choose and have the world at your fingertips. Of comfort. And ease. Of access and google. But there are casualties.
This essay is already too long, so that will be another topic all together.
I struggle with retail therapy. Of needing and wanting comfort, of bottomless pit of sense gratification that does not provide lasting sparks of joy.
Earrings make my heart sing. But when does one reach a point when one is satisfied? When does one reach a stage when it’s enough and the mind does not even generate the thought and feelings associated with ‘I want’. Comfortable long lasting shoes or lovely blank books, natural products for hair and skin, good makeup.
I read the book ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ and then I saw one titled – ‘ I bought the Ferrari the monk sold’. I resist the memory of Brittany’s ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme – More’ or Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’.
Like most Americans, I did a lot of housework as a young professional and a million chores. It kept me fit.
Thanks to my better half, in my forties I have a lot of help. So I must make time to exercise. And pay others to keep fit. And do yoga, Pilates and the gym.
I acknowledge every day. That I am not evolved enough and that I am approaching closer to the sunset years of my life. When I look back at the miles I have travelled, I mostly feel good, satisfied – still, I don’t like that there’s less number of breaths left than taken.
I remember the list of hundred dreams I thought I wanted to fulfil and scoff. I smile at my mind because I know why it prompted me towrite them in a numbered list with conviction.
My mother and I used to sit and chat after she came home after a long hard day, using public transport.
Often I would hear from her that she knew that my home would be beautiful.
My home is beautiful. I have surrounded myself with material things that spark joy.
I was in my thirties and a young mother when I realized that I was the sum of expectations of the culture, world and people around me. Of the books I read, the movies I saw, of the people I respected, of the roles I believed I had to fulfil to the best of my ability, to live a meaningful, value-rich life, of the goals I had defined for myself, the pursuit of which I believed would lead to a comfortable cushion of memories in my sunset years.
I am satisfied. I spread good vibes. And I love people. But I have lived a mostly self-centered life. Helping my family. Which we all do. I know I haven’t given back to the universe what I feel compelled to. I want to do more for people I don’t know. My chosen cause is the ageing population of our world. A lot of effort is made to uplift the lives of children. But the economic and emotional hardships that our ageing society faces is ignored.
So I happily replace the Hundred Dreams list with a shorter untitled list.
One among them is to retreat to the Himalayas often and in company of hearts that beat without frenetic vibrations.
To listen to understand and not reply.
To be revenue generating again.
To help more.
To laugh more.
To love more.
I disagree with Pink Floyd. We do need thought control.