Day 020 – Here’s to drinking!

I couldn’t really think of a title but I had a drink today and I am quite happy about that and so that’s that. I started watching this show called ‘Only Murders in the Building’ and I am surprised at how good it is! I am only halfway through and had to force myself to stop but I am so curious to know what happens next. I think I had read a lukewarm review when it had first released and so hadn’t watched it. In a way I’m glad that I didn’t have to wait for one episode per week, it’s kind of nice to know that the rest of the episodes are just sitting there and waiting for me to get back to them.

In other news, the book I am reading, ‘No One is Talking about This’ is getting weirder and weirder. I have no idea where it’s going but it keeps throwing these profound nuggets of wisdom every now and then, completely out of nowhere. I think that might just be the point. If the book doesn’t explain itself by the end of it, then I will have to read lots and lots of reviews to understand it. But I feel like it’ll be worth it.

I am also looking forward to the final book of the Jack West series by Mathew Reilly which is supposed to release tomorrow. Of course as usual I have to read a recap of the previous 6 books before I start this one because it is impossible to remember all the details of the his insanely intricate plots.

Until next time, Cheers!

Day 019 – A Great Hair Week

I have curly hair and the bane of my existence is how to manage it. For the longest time, I had given up on it completely but in the last few years, I have learnt so much. I recently discovered that I am not done with my learning though. There is so much research out there and so many techniques to try that I think it’ll always be a work in progress. But for today I am just going to celebrate the fact that I’m having a great hair week and that I had a great hair wash today. I have binged on reviews and tutorials a lot today, and I have no energy left over to write more. So until next time, Cheers!

Day 018 – It’s a Hard Day’s Night

I am having a hard time getting through the day today. Feels like just going through the motions with absolutely no to point to it. I know it’s an exaggeration. I know I’m probably being too dramatic but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels existential. I’m listening to the soundtrack from Hamilton which usually pumps me up. Let’s hope it works tonight. I have so many things in so many lists that I could be doing (some of them more interesting than others) but I don’t feel like doing any of them. I started watching a movie which seems very interesting but I lost patience in 15 minutes. I don’t want to read my book. I don’t want to go to sleep yet. I almost feel like having a crying jag but I have no idea why.

Is this it? Is this all there is to life? You get through somehow, never knowing for sure if you’re doing okay or not? Just go through life feeling anxious about stupid little things. I am currently feeling anxious about the orange that has been sitting on my desk for the last 2 days; and the fact that I don’t take enough notes about the things that I read so how will I ever remember the things that are important; and whether my hair is getting worse by the day or not; and what will it take for me to be really content with my life so that I can work towards being happy. A friend of mine once joked that my anxiety and I probably talk to each other a lot. She’s not wrong. It feels like there are two different people in my head constantly arguing with each other, and I suspect that the one that is winning should really be the one that is losing.

I wonder if anyone has the answers to any of these questions or do we all carefully construct palaces of illusions to help us make sense of our own tiny little lives. Maybe I should have pursued a degree in architecture. Or philosophy.

That’s it for now.

Day 017 – Sleepy Day

Do you ever have one of those days when you just can’t fall asleep no matter what you do? You toss and turn and try to think of happy thoughts. You almost decide to listed to a podcast or read a book but then you tell yourself you’ll fall asleep any minute but then hours go by and still you haven’t fallen asleep. And then you fall asleep suddenly with no warning, in the morning you have no idea of when you actually fell asleep. Well thanks to Fitbit I actually do know when I fell asleep: 4 am. It has been a struggle to get through the day but it is over now and I cannot wait to go to sleep.

I read an interesting investigative report today and liked the writing so much that I went looking for more writing by the same author. I found this excellent piece which says so much and gave me a lot to think about. It’s one of the things I’ll be thinking more about this year.

I finished watching Hawkeye today and loved it. It is very well done and quite funny. I know there will be people who hate the end credits musical number but I loved it. The song was so well written and I guess we need a little silliness in our lives every now and then.

Until next time, Cheers!

Day 016 – Hump Day

Today felt like the hump day of the month. Two weeks have gone by and two full weeks to go. Adulting feels especially hard today. I just want to run away and not have to worry about insurance premiums, SIPs, provident funds or any of those things. It also does not help help that the long weekend is winding down and it’s back to work tomorrow. I’m going to lose myself in the book I’ve started today and hopefully forget about my own problems for a while.

The only good thing today was the dinner that I made for myself. Green peas and pesto soup with a ham and cheese sandwich.

Green Peas and Pesto Soup with Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Day 015 – The Secret

I’ll let you in on a secret. This daily journaling endeavour of mine is equal parts pseudo therapy and writing practice. For a while now I have been getting the feeling that writing copious emails and to do lists at work aren’t really about ‘writing’. My first clue was that they bring me absolutely no joy, in fact, trying to get it just right so that it hits the right notes and does not offend anyone but at the same time gets the intended response frequently leaves me feeling exhausted. There is no creativity in it, no flights of fancy allowed; just cold, hard words put across in the most economical way stripped of all meaning and context. To add insult to injury, work takes up so much mental energy that I have almost none left over afterwards to devote to anything else and end up in binge-watching limbo. I know I won’t be able to change anything overnight and so for now it’s this creaky and hesitating start where I force myself to spit out something, anything at the end of each day and hopefully help scrape off the rust. I know if I tell myself I’ll write every day and publish once a week so that it becomes a cohesive and well written post, I will end up not doing it. Instead, aiming this gun to my head seems to be working so far.

I am pondering this today because I caught up on a gigantic backlog of reading today. I usually read all my newsletter subscriptions and saved articles over the weekend but I have neglected them for almost a month now. I couldn’t get through everything of course but I got through a lot. And reading all those beautiful essays just made me want to hurry up and get there myself. Happily a lot of the year end posts were about books to read and I now have a bulging list of varied recommendations which is good because I set myself a 50 book challenge for the year. I usually hate the idea of such a formulaic and arbitrary way of governing my reading life but once again it’s the proverbial gun to my head which keeps reminding me that I would be better off reading than watching TV. I have picked my next book: No One is Talking About This and I have also logged 2 finished books of the year in my Goodreads account which I have apparently last used in 2020 when I must have thought I’ll get a lot of reading done during the lockdown. Today’s reading quota however has been completely exhausted by all the long reads: New Year Resolutions from 1942, commonplace books, psychology of picking baby names, decoding JK Rowlings behaviour, busting the myth of Goop and too many more to list.

Today was also productive for my personal finances, but that part felt like a full day’s work and I needed a walk afterwards to clear my head. Just like my reading backlog I also had a huge personal email backlog. I have almost managed to clear them all except 4 which of course are personal finance related. I have promised myself I will get to them tomorrow which means after this weekend I will be fully caught up and back to my pretty decent weekly schedule of reading articles, clearing emails and doing pesky online chores (which never seem to end do they?). One of the other things I think I shall do this year is to stop hoarding things for the weekend. I tend to do that for both good and bad things and that can make my weekend quite exhausting. Of course, sometimes the pile of things to do feels so daunting that I don’t end up doing anything at all and just spend the weekend however I like. This does not solve the problem and just makes the pile that much larger for the next weekend. This year, I will do something about this.

I thought I had watched enough hair care videos yesterday to last me a lifetime but somehow managed to squeeze in a few more today. But I am done now and have banned myself from that channel for the foreseeable future while I work on practicing some of the things that I have learnt. I think that is it for today unless I have actively forgotten any part of my day. Until next time, Cheers!

Day 014 – It’s all about the HAIR!

It has been one of those days when it simultaneously feels like the day flew by and that it lasted forever. Since the holiday today felt like such a bonus, I decided it was a good idea to dive into hair research all over again. I go down this rabbit hole periodically and every time I think there is not much more left for me to learn, I end up learning something new. Today’s learnings were quite eye opening and I cannot wait to put them into practice. In fact, even as I write this, I am trying our a hair refresh technique for the first time. Keeping fingers crossed to see great results in the morning.

I finished reading ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney today. I would have finished it last night if it hadn’t been for the need to sleep but I’m glad I was full awake and alert for the ending which I read over breakfast and my cup of coffee. My issue with the previous book of hers that I read was perfectly addressed in this one. The ending was satisfyingly unsatisfactory. There was only a semblance of closure; I didn’t know whether the characters were going to ever get a happily ever after; I didn’t know whether they would fall into their old and frankly toxic patterns; I couldn’t even be sure if this was the ending of the book (I checked and my Kindle assured me that I had indeed finished 100% of the book). The only thing I did know for sure was that these characters had grown and it was an uphill climb and that I cheered them on, every step of the way and felt their frustrations at every setback. I think I liked not knowing exactly how things turned out for them. I am not going to sit around imagining their lives ahead but if the thought of them ever pops into my head, I may indulge myself for a few minutes (or hours). With this I am putting a self imposed ban on reading Sally Rooney for now. I am so tempted to binge read all her books, short stories and essays but I get the feeling that I would soon become jaded if I did. This style is probably best read at intervals. It’s funny though that I can read all of Jane Austen’s books one after the other and not have this feeling. I might actually revisit her soon.

We made koraishutir kochuri once again today. That makes it twice this month. I feel like we go overboard with good things sometimes but at this moment when I am so happy with my meal, it is hard to feel too much regret. In our defense, green peas are in season so if not now, then when would we indulge ourselves? Also coming up this weekend will be a green peas soup. Let’s see how that turns out.

The least memorable item of the day was watching ‘Eternals’. I am very very glad I did not risk the theatre for this film. I have already forgotten most of what I have seen unfold during the movie and I have absolutely no curiosity about the sequel. I don’t think I have ever felt this way about a Marvel movie. I don’t even feel too aggrieved about it. I am just accepting it and moving on.

Keeping my fingers crossed for a productive weekend ahead. Cheers!

Day 013 – Hawkeye

I am really pleased to say that I resisted the urge to watch this show while it was airing and now I can watch it over the long weekend without having to wait agonizing weeks for episodes. I wish I could have done the same for Loki but unfortunately I couldn’t and so paid the price in suffering. I am a bit disappointed that it is only 6 episodes but I’ll take what I can get. While browsing Disney+, I also discovered that ‘The Eternals’ is available now! This has been the only Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that I have not watched in theatres and I am about to discover this weekend whether I should be glad or sad about that.

In other news, I had completely lost track of the fact that tomorrow is the first holiday of the year for me! And it’s a Friday! Feels like a Happy New Year present from the universe. I have already started making the most of it and I will continue to do so for the next 3 days I hope! I am going to go back to episode 2 of Hawkeye now. Cheers!

Day 012 – Why I Like Psychological Thrillers

Today I thought I’d get to the bottom of why I like psychological thrillers so much. Disclaimer: I don’t succeed. I think the first one I watched was the TV show ‘Lost’ and it was the perfect example of the genre. I was so fascinated that I completely lost my head and lost track of the time to binge watch the first 2 seasons. I didn’t even know what binge watching was back then. I had borrowed the episodes from a friend burned onto DVDs and I was so enthralled that I hardly noticed the episodes melting into one another. Cut to present day and OTT platforms are now feeding my addiction by constantly telling me about shows and movies I might like based on what I have seen. It’s a vicious cycle. I have never figured out what attracts me to them through.

It could be an escape mechanism, that helps me get as far away from ordinary life as possible. It could be an inability to understand motivations – my own and others – that keeps me searching for clues elsewhere. It could be fulfilling a secret fantasy to try and solve mysteries myself. It could be a way for me to experience drama second-hand which I desperately avoid in real life. In a way I am glad I don’t know. I like that there is a bit of a mystery about why I like mysteries 🙂

Until next time, Cheers!

Day 011 – I Stole an Hour Today

Technically, I started work an hour earlier today and so ended my workday an hour earlier as well. But I still felt like I had stolen an extra magical hour. I have always wondered idly if it would make a difference having some free time before starting work or after. I usually go for the hour before work because it lets me linger over breakfast, coffee and some reading before I dive into the day. But I am surprised at just how much of a difference it made to have my workday end while it was still daylight. I went for a walk earlier, I ate dinner even earlier than usual and I had the rest of the evening to relax. Even the few personal chores didn’t seem like a big deal. And once I wrap up this post, I will settle in with my book and read until I fall asleep. I can hardly believe it myself.

Until a few months ago, I did not think this was a possibility. It wasn’t just making time that I found difficult; I couldn’t seem to switch my brain from work to non-work. So even when I told myself all the things I could do with my time after work, I would never be able to summon up the energy after my workday. Maybe my motivation wasn’t strong enough then but now it is and I find myself able to reach the goal I have been setting myself: of finishing up work at a specified time and then switching off completely until the next day. It didn’t help that the mentors in my early years have all modelled the sort of behaviour which seems to put work at the centre of life. I am still responsible for having followed that path unquestioningly. It took me more than 10 years to properly think about it and question my attitude. Previously, I have had bouts of impulsive slacking off work or taking unplanned breaks but they were all akin to a child acting out instead of addressing the problem at it’s root. I wish I had reached here sooner but I think this is exactly the path I needed to take to get here. Even now, I can’t say I have it all sorted. I am tenuously balancing on a beam, quite convinced I will fall at any time. I hope to build my confidence to keep balancing and more importantly to rise again if I fall.

On that note, I bid adieu.

Just Because…