I Am Not Done, I will never be – Bits From Life

 

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03-03-2017:

Be happy. Be smiling. Nothing can go wrong if you stay so. There is nothing for which you can’t find a solution. Whatever happens, you will definitely rise to the occasion then. So why worry unnecessarily now? Go out and have a fabulous day today.

08-03-2017:

Human beings are bound to be uninspired once in a while. I have been going through such a phase for a few weeks now. I have been seeking modes too to scrub free the irksome moss from my mind, but have failed miserably. Today, whether I liked it or not, even if I wanted it or not, I decided to start reading a book on kindle and was absorbed in it to the length that I wasn’t willing to pull myself up from the bed to turn on the lights when it grew dark. Well, that is a good sign, I believe.

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The first account was taken from my diary and was jotted down one morning before I went to the hospital. And the second account was written by me on my Facebook page on the 8th of March.

What does it mean to say that a doctor has had a fabulous day? It could be anything – like treating the patients well, operating a case to perfection would be the ones to fly off from the top of my head, if you had asked me this questions a few days back. When these still remain the best modes to achieve a fulfilling day for me, these days, for the same reason I have made it my word of the year, I concentrate on engaging in beautiful moments with my colleagues and friends too.  

Yet, somewhere, someday a few weeks back, I felt the dark claws of melancholy encroaching me, and that too for no particular reason. I consider despair and hollowness the utmost depressing pair. It hurts when one is devoid of the answer to one’s own heartache. You are left stranded in the dark, alone, lifeless and vapid, when the world moves around you, racy, unstoppable, passionate and most importantly with a purpose. 

I wrote down a few quarter year resolutions for this year in my previous post, which I thought would offer me a purpose. I believe that was the best decision I have made in this year. It did give me a purpose and I exercise whenever I find time and drink gallons of water during the working hours! I have started reading books back to back and right now, I am reading ‘His Bloody project: Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae’ by  Graeme Macrae Burnet,  which is a partly fictitious/ partly documented memoir of a killer which he writes from prison, but imaginatively penned by the novelist. I have only reached a mere 100 pages, but I would already recommend this book to any lover of words. 

Writing this blog post too has a purpose. To ease me out of the vacuum I feel myself trapped in. I am not entirely out of the quagmire, but I feel I could pull myself out of it anytime in the coming days with the effort I am putting into the situation. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that I am sober and alone for a considerable part of the week. Perhaps, I am someone who yearns for a good company most times of the day. Perhaps, I am someone who loves her few moments of solitude, but find it quintessential that I have few hands to clasp on to during the other times. Talking to my dear and near ones over phone does help to some extent, but that is not all. I desire dear ones to return back to at the end of the day, which being in hostel I am not entitled to. 

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Image Courtsey – Here

I have always considered myself an introvert and was proud of the same as long as I could remember. Would a human’s personality change during the course of his/her life? This whole post could merely be my alter ego talking even. Still one fact is bound to remain true. Whether I am with my favourite ones or not, being with other people, sharing talks with them, listening to their stories and telling mine sure lift my spirit and it is definitely something I am going to look forward to for the rest of my life.

Before you leave, help me out here, will you? Have you felt drained for a few days or weeks at a stretch? What do you do then?

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Hey Hello! – Bits From Life

 

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I have been missing from this space for sometime now. It took a short and concerned message from Maniparna at Scattered Thoughts to provide me that firm, definite nudge to return to my blog. I usually end up writing long posts. But this time, I have decided to keep it short. The reasons are many – lack of time being the one that should matter the least. I have plenty of time today to sit down and conjure that perfect blog post. But when the fact remains that I have been avoiding this place, I thought I will mark the much needed come back in a precise manner.

I have had a mixed February. There was one exam, more like a class test, which was due in February last week, for which I have been preparing for around two weeks. I can’t believe I would still make a big deal out of class tests at this age when I am far from being 15 or 20. I love studying when someone puts forward a challenge and whether I am utilising the time for studies or not, my mind would be steered clear of almost anything else during the period. Hence blogging too took a back seat and that affected the flow which I had been carefully maintaining for sometime. 

There are few things I need to tell you with this blog post. One is that I am fighting my anxieties appreciably well these days. I still fret, but I have managed to do productive things too amidst that, which is how I gauge the aberration these days. I am a terribly impatient person by nature and now I have started focussing more on this facet which is something that need to be put to reigns at the earliest because it has started taking a toll on me. Any extra load of work more than what I have anticipated, turns me all grumpy and irked, which inturn affects the quality of my work and taps awake the redundant anxiety otherwise diligently put to sleep. I remember one of my teachers stating during one of those invocations meetings at the start of my house surgeoncy that “no amount of work done would be useless. You will learn something or the other from the extra hour you put into your job.” I have been trying to make myself believe this since then and I find that even though I suceed sometimes, I end failing miserably at other times too. It is natural, I know, but it is time I made a pact with my impatient self.

I discovered recently that such extended moments could even make for great stories – both for my creative self and for my personal being, where I could strike good conversations with my colleagues because of the incident which caught me off guard stealing a few hours from my otherwise well planned life. It would feel irritating in the beginning, but the effort nevertheless would leave you fulfilled and happy in the end. 

‘To engage’ was my word of the year, on which I am working tirelessly. I am adding a few resolutions to this year starting from March. Let these be termed ‘Quarter year Resolutions’, something which simply cannot wait for the year end to be resolved. 

  1. To drink more water
  2. To excercise more
  3. To be more patient
  4. To make each day count
  5. To not be terrified of taking chances
  6. To wake up before 7a.m everyday
  7. To try to begin the day with a smile, no matter what.

So how has been your life all these days? Any new stories to share? Have you added more resolutions to your list too?

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What if? #Bits From Life

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Image Source – here

I never thought I would write on my blog today. I never write on Mondays, mostly because I would already have filled this space on a Sunday, with the Author Talk featuring on my blog on weekends. I am breaking the rule here, for I feel a pressing need to speak my heart out today.

I stay in a hostel, which is a good ten minutes away from the hospital where I am currently pursuing my higher studies. This hospital is at least ten hours away from my home and hence visiting my parents at home has been reduced to a once monthly affair. It so happens that most of the times, when the week arrives when I would be undertaking the journey to my house, something or the other goes wrong, or my days would be stuffed with  chores, leaving me overwhelmed.

This week, I am going home for a purpose and it has to do with the Government job from where I took leave for two years for my course. I have to apply for a particular post, which requires me to be personally available with the properly filled form. The form needs to be signed by the superintendent of the previous institution from where I too leave, which further needs to be countersigned by a higher authority. I am taking leave for one day, as the number of leaves we are entitled to for a year is twenty. The hospital where I need to approach for the procedure is two hours from my house.

When I called up the superior officer asking whether he would be free on Saturday, for I was hoping to complete the procedures then, he told me that he would be free, but emergencies could come up any minute in the form of meetings or so. I was flustered. I am not in a position to take a chance. I need to complete the procedures in a day and I need to return to my hospital for my residency on Sunday itself. It would be highly tedious and depressing a task to return without bringing my goal to fruition. That would force me to take a second trip for the same purpose in another week’s time. Also, the deadline for the procedure is fast approaching and if I am not able to finish it before that, that would mean a terrible loss for me with regard to my professional life.

I talked to my parents and a friend of mine about the matter and they tried to pacify me. I started having a bout of migraine, which further brought down my already distraught self. At the pinnacle of misery, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to take it anymore, the unexpected happened. The vacuum that has been sucking me in for so long was suddenly filled by the warmth of peace. A barrage of questions overpowered me.

What if the suptd is not there when you reach? What if you have to return leaving the job half done? What is the most that could happen? Is the matter really in your hands? Could you control what is about to happen?

Finding an answer to the queries is not easy. But I did come up with an absolute solution to all these questions in that moment of epiphany.

No, the matter is not in my hands. I cannot control what is about to happen in this particular situation. So, what could I do?

Well, I could hunt the suptd down at the place where he is partaking the meeting and make him sign the form! It is definitely not impossible, is it? He is an amiable human being and he would understand the sitation and would take it in the right spirit.

What if that doesn’t happen? Could I do anything about it?

No. I will have to come back another day to finish the procedures.

What if I had to?

It was a necessity and I was pushed into the quagmire against my will. It was a snap of fate and I had to move along with it, given that it was impossible to resolve the problem otherwise. Yes, I will make a second trip if need arises; I made up my mind. There, basked in the rays of serenity, I could come up with answers to the confusing riddle I was in.

The incident made me recollect the many moments in my life when I would be bogged down by the silliest of matters. If the problem at hand needs a surgical intervention, then it needs to be undertaken at any cost. One cannot be cosy and revelling in one’s comfort zone at all times. There would come a time when one is forced to face the harsh circumstances of life.

Sometimes, fretting over not being able to come up with a safe solution is not the right way to tackle life, but owning the courage to drag oneself through the gritty experience is.

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The Word Of The Year -Bits From Life

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The word of the year posts are rampant on the blogosphere these days. I never had a word for the year 2016. I had diligently written down a list of New Year resolutions though for the year 2016, a major portion of which was fulfilled too over the time. Yesterday, as I skimmed through the blog posts I had saved to be savoured at the end of the day with a hot cup of black tea, I realised that many of the posts struck a chord with me, in that they all spoke loud my vagaries, downsides and dilemmas. I realised then that, like the authors of those blogposts, I needed to be determined too. I needed to be more confident in my decisions too. I needed to believe in myself more too.I needed to grow more too.

The epiphany left me awe struck as I explored more the distressing jagged line that connects human beings. We all are struggling one way or the other, aren’t we? We all are aware of that one irksome stub that makes our lives harrowing, yet we are lent helpless most of the times in the fight to overcome that. There are many who succeed, however there are a lot others who fail. They are in a constant war against their own lopsided self. They are the ones who keep fighting, come hell or high water, so that they are bereft of that one annoying facet without which they would be granted a much more peaceful and satisfied life, yet for some reason come across dejections one year after the other? Aren’t they really the ones who deserve the highest accolades for maintaining the grit and agility to keep fighting?

I was thoroughly touched by the gesture and so here I am, with my word of the year, so that I would in some way or the other, play my part in the measures being undertaken in the construction of a much better society. Individuals form a society and the strength of the society undoubtedly resides in the mental and physical health being of the people who form it. Don’t you agree?

I didn’t have to think much to reach a conclusion as to what that word would be. If I remember it correctly, I happened to leave the same as comments on the many blog posts I read last week. My word for the year 2017 would be ‘Engage’ and by engage, I mean productive engagement with myself and with those around me.

As I mentioned in this post, I am a doctor, but I am fraught with anxieties of my own. For most parts of 2016, I struggled with anxiety and it did make my life a deplorable hell. I had devised many ways to combat the disease that gnawed on my peaceful state of mind and one among them was to be mindful. I realised the importance of being present in the now, to engage in the conversations happening seamlessly around me, to engage with myself, to listen to the soothing whispers of the nature, to completely immerse myself in the moment and to imbibe each and every ray of life that is being offered to me, instead of fretting over the unseen, unheard, unknown future unnecessarily.

Right when I decided I would put up this post, I stumbled upon this beautiful article on Pocket, where the author, Greg Mckeown, elaborately details the importance of listening to the other person during conversations and how it would invariably act to strengthen the bond between them. The act of listening also helps us to be present in the now, leaving us deeply engaged in the moment, blocking the germs of anxiety that crawl invigoratively to reach our minds. He also goes on to explain the importance of relishing to the fullest whatever activity that you are performing – be it watching T.V, reading, working or even something as simple as having food or relaxing. 

I pondered deep the many ways I could put the word to use and came up with a small but highly relevant list for myself. I wouldn’t know whether you would seek any benefit from this personal list, but I would be honoured if at least one of you could find this useful in their daily lives.

Here, I am dividing my life into two important halves – The first half that I spend in the company of my friends, family and colleagues and the second half that I spend in solitude. What could I do to engage myself in these two situations?

A.   When with people:

  1. I could engage in productive conversations with them.
  2. I could listen to what they are saying whole-heartedly, with much patience and respond to their conclusions and opinions.
  3. I could put forward questions, that would nourish the conversation and thereby the bond between us more.

All of this could in one way or the other help me in being present in the moment, rather than having a mind that loiters around aimlessly while feigning to be a part of the conversation, which only adds more fuel to the mind vulnerable to stray thoughts and anxiety.

B.    When alone :

  1. Breathing in and out once in an hour goes a long way in calming me down.
  2. Practising yoga and meditation.
  3. I could spend my lone time reading good books
  4. Blogging is a fine stress buster which also helps me in polishing my writing skills.
  5. I was far behind in catching up with my fellow bloggers’ blog post before, but these days, I make it a point to keep aside at least half an hour a day to catch up with my favourite blogs.
  6. I could always edit whatever I have written.
  7. Talking to friends or my family over the phone somehow or the other calms me down, and I find that after a short conversation with them, I am more clear headed and capable of making good decisions.
  8. I could always note down points for my next blog post.
  9. Watching movies and series have been an all time favourite hobby and I could do just that to keep myself engaged.
  10. Last but most importantly, I could study more, as I am pursuing my second course on my area of specialising in the field of medicine.

This list is never complete, I know and there would always be one thing more I could do to achieve my goal in a better way. I would definitely keep my mind open to seek that out along the journey. I might fail miserably along the way too, I am aware, but I hope to rise from the ashes every time and for that I need to be heavily determined.

Before I wind this post up, do share that one word you have decided for the year 2017 that would mould a better person out of you. If you haven’t heard of this yet, think long and heard and find that one portion of yours that is in dire need of sculpturing. Who knows, with this one wise decision, you might even end up entering 2018 as a more rejuvenated version of your present being.  

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My Yoga Journey – Bits From Life

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Image Courtsey – here

It dawned on me one day last week that I never wrote on my yoga journey on this space which I consider my most intimate one. Before I start, let me confess that I am a lazy person by birth. Anything which has to do with sleeping less than seven hours a night makes me grumpy. Therefore the concept of excercising, especially yoga , which requires your stomach to be empty for atleast a few hours before you start doing it and thus is better performed in the early mornings, ought to see me cringing, one might deduce. But, trust me, the experience has been superlative this far, about which I shall explain in the following post. 

The journey with yoga has been a ‘love it- but not quite there’ one for so long as I could remember. My tryst with Yoga started around eight years back (Now don’t jump into a conclusion that I am already a yoga guru considering the looming number) when my mother decided to enroll us both into one, after a revelatory conversation surrounding the matter. Life defining decisions are mostly never made on the spur of a moment. They are almost always reached after much nerve wrecking discussions in my family. I love those moments when my parents settle down in our living room, my father leaning back on the sofa, my mother strolling back and forth (Somehow that has been the norm in our house, although movies and books narrate a contrary picture), with I sitting all perky and focussed somewhere in the middle, my eyes dilated and twinkling.

Once the important decision was made, we joined a class which was conducted every Sunday morning for two hours, for a period of three months or so. The Yoga sir was extremely good, his talks resembling that of a philosopher, his moves that of an experienced yogi, which instantly drew us to the classes. We thoroughly enjoyed each session and managed to learn many of the postures and asanas, baring a few which we were told we could master only with intense practice. He taught us all of them too and asked us to practise them regularly at home.

For once, I was thrilled at the prospect of waking up earlier than usual, changing into my leggings to work out and I never missed the sessions for a few days at a stretch. The good days were not to last long, however. Another part of me that I never mentioned here is about a minor condition regarding my knee joints. The condition is not dire and is not something which seeks complicated treatment modalities. It could very well be kept at bay with the right amount of hamstring exercises, although, I have been warned to not squat purposelessly, to avoid stairs if possible and to not take part in activities which demand active participation of my knee joints, which included dancing.  Now, most of the asanas in yoga include stretching or flexing the knees and that was when the true problem started. I started having acute pain in my knees due to the exaggerated interest in yoga those days and the condition rebounded, which saw me taking medications for a few weeks and resorting to less active works. The days had me say a temporary farewell to my yoga sessions and an almost permanent one to my dancing hobby (I did dance for my brother’s sangeet, to not dance seemed almost impossible a task)

Now fast forward to the present and you see a person wrought with anxiety and stress, sometimes for a reason, but most other times for no reason at all. I have been fighting anxiety for over a year and only recently did I start thinking of resuming my yoga practice as the soothing effect of yoga on the nerves is a secret widely acclaimed. But, what about my knees? Wouldn’t the pain recur? The queries kept pestering me to no end. I had made up my mind regarding turning to yoga to pacify me and so also, to find a solution to the problems that came along was mandatory. I decided to scan the internet for yoga postures that wouldn’t exert additional stress to my knees and voila, I did manage find a few! I decided to perform my hamstring exercise along with the yoga postures, so that any damage thus protracted would be managed then and there itself. These days, with a little push, I find it a refreshing task to wake up a little earlier than usual to engage in my work out session. I try to induce a ten minute meditation routine too into the schedule, which is working wonders, al though at a slow and steady pace.The serenity that I am endowed with following a half hour work out is exemplary and I make sure I savour it to the fullest in the company of a hot cup of black coffee.

I should say, the new habit has definitely calmed my nerves to some extent, a tad more so, I believe, because of the sense of achievement that comes along with it. When there is will, there is bound to be a way, I am forced to conclude. With regard to my dancing routine, I don’t dance now, but I do try out sinewy movements with my body and hands, whenever I find the right tune to do so.

Do you have any such tales to narrate regarding  your work out habits? Do share. And before you go, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a refreshing New Year in advance!

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