My eyes opened automatically. Time to go. No excuses, sleep already a stranger like a lover who skips out before the girl figures it out. None of the normal rationalizations of why I should sleep in appear. I look at the clock. 4:58am. I never imagined that would be me. My father has called me an “ooloo” [owl] all my life due to my penchant for staying up late. But nowadays, 10pm rolls around and my body starts calling for the bed. When you are working on all aspects of your life, and are on a path of self-discovery and betterment, time is not on your side. The excuses of why I “can’t” dissolve, and why I “can” become the norm. It used to be I was up late to get things done, but really that meant that I got to them later and later. It also wasn’t efficient. Getting up earlier allows me to work on so many more things, and as the mind flags down at the end of the day, I know that I laid out everything inside me. I can also spend the evenings with my wife being present and the anxiety of future things to do dissipates, no longer part of my ongoing stress. I am getting shit done, and that’s all that matters.
To be sure, there are days when the bed is so warm, and my body so tired that getting up from there alone is a task that I am not up for. So I fall back, and you know what? That’s OK. I am learning to know my body. To assess my limits. Some days I just don’t feel like dealing with all that’s on my plate. A plate that I greedily filled up. That’s OK as well. It’s part of getting to know myself. There are days I wish I was an owl again, but really my plate can get bigger, and it will be. The owl may be no longer be my symbol, but it is still a symbol of wisdom.
On Friday the 13th, I attended a funeral and a birthday. It was surreal to say the least. While we mourned a father’s friend, I couldn’t help be glad I got to see him in his final moments. I put aside the busyness of the world, and was just there, allowing my wife and to be one of the last ones to see him besides his family. It struck me that nothing else matters when death is around the corner. I know he was surrounded by loved ones, and I hoped our presence conveyed our love for that family. It didn’t feel enough, but it was more than nothing. At the end, that’s all that matters.
That night, I attended my nieces 20th birthday, who also asked me to be her manager, and it hit me that I held her in my arms when she was born. I only wanted the best for her, and the love I felt for her so strong and potent that it caused me to choke up. Suddenly, this became a summary of what I wanted my life to be. To be reminded that there was more to the day-to-day. more to things we wish we had or the fights we get into. There’s more to me. More to just getting past the days, the hurt. the meaningless tasks and goals we fill up our time with. More to all of us. There’s life and death. Because once that occurs, we have a choice. We either move forward, stay still or leave with regret.
What are you going to choose?
A gloom sits outside my bay window. A gray sky blankets the waking day. Hear and there, I hear muffled chirps of birds as if telling the day to wake up. It is an amazing Monday! The kind where nothing can hold the shine inside me as I reflect upon the weekend. It began on Friday when my beautiful niece performed at her first official gig. As I sat there enthralled to her beautiful voice, I couldn’t help get teary eyed as I remembered holding her in my hands, playing with her endlessly, teaching her to say “Boys are Bad.” The little girl whose hugs and kisses always melted me is now a woman, and I could not feel prouder. With each number, she grew up in front of me (I even tried to ignore that most of her songs were about heartbreak), and it hit me that not only did I just witness an extraordinary friday, I got to see my niece as an adult.
A sunny Saturday. The kind where the sun peeks in through the windows inviting you to wake up. 7am. Part of me wanted to lay back, but then again it was that voice that always told me to keep sleeping, to do it another time, to just sleep in since it ‘s Saturday. And then suddenly the sleep disappeared. Another voice. Get. Up. Now. Oh. What. The. Fuck. Go. For. It. Anyway. And so I did. I went running, and the other voice got tinier and tinier. Then the best part of Saturday came. Brunch with my beautiful wife at Old Vine in Irvine. I wish I told her how beautiful she looked. Her bright eyes glowed in the sun. I marveled at the fact that she woke up looking great. I wished I told her my running stream of thoughts. But still it was a great saturday.
Then came Sunday. I finished the first draft of a personal essay (new records for finishing 5000 words). I ended up working for a bit at Topanga, but it also gave me an opportunity to connect with a great friend. Lately, I see opportunities where before life looked like obstacles. I ended my weekend with Load Out for MITT where I got to experience other’s energy and help as I knew how. So today’s gray morning gets to see my shine. Today, I get to be me. Today, I look for more opportunities. Happy Monday!
Woke up at 730 am even though I woke up every few hours with the anxiety of an early interview as well as thoughts of what my life had become. Tossed and turned, each time closing my eyes then reaching for the phone only to discover only fifteen minutes had passed. Torture. I really wanted to get up and write first thing in the morning, but then the dog crawled up on to me. Bella knew I had a long day so didn’t want me to make her walk the first sacrifice of the day. So off we went, me doing my prayers and her sniffing and pausing every so few seconds to straddle over dried dog shit ever so carefully so she could make it shitty all over again. And then I had to meditate because that was a carefully crafted morning ritual then flossed (so far doing well on the New Years Resolution), then getting ready. A quick kiss to my wife and off I went. A sudden craving for Starbucks and after all that I barely manage to get to work at 9:01am. And then as I sit here, it hit me. I didn’t do the one thing that I think about every single day which is work on my writing.
My Nanowrimo novel patiently waits in my library. The 50,001 words know or hope that I will get to them. So far I am on page 9 of 25o. The revision is going excruciating slow. Then I also remember committing to a family friend that I would submit a short story that I revised by end of the month because that’s the one step I have never taken. So the lost time keeps building up. I lose time constantly, and it’s filled with regrets of things I should have said or done. A very important relationship in my life hangs precariously closing to shutting down because we cannot seem to find the time to figure things out. And so the time passes, and with each moment I feel a little less sure of myself, a little more lost, and then finally filled with regret.
I hope I do better tomorrow.
Still seems strange to say that. We are in the future, yet in some ways it just feels like another mundane monday. On this 19th day of the new year, I am sure some have already given up or others are going forward. I made some resolutions, and while I am holding strong on some, there are others that I have not started on yet. I promised myself a year of giving more, improving my handwriting, being more present in the important relationships in my life, and a few others. Some resolutions remained the same: Keep working out (now on to 6th week of crossfit), keep writing (editing my novel), keep my loved ones close (succeeded at some and failing at others). The theme in all of these resolutions is to be a better me. Will I fail?absolutely. Have I failed? You betcha. But will I give up? Hell fucking no. Each is a lesson that there is a better Sanjay out there. There are times I fail to see it, and other times others remind me. I am surrounded by people who will not let me wallow in grief or be less than the person they know I can be. It can be empowering, but also intimidating. It can sometimes feel overwhelming, to the point I wonder sometimes what others see in me. Yet with each fall, I get back up (cue Rocky Music).
I write this in my writing room, made possible by the beliefs of others. My wife, for actually providing all the tools to make it a writing room, my family for allowing me to get to know words, and my friends for reading them. It’s a humbling feeling to have so many who help me move forward even when I stumble constantly. I do wish I fell less, and it’s why these resolutions have become more and more important. I am no longer content just going going through life, dreaming. I want to make it a real life.
So this year, less talk, more doing. Less material goods, more giving. Less promises, and more achieving. Wish me luck. I am gonna need it. ;)
Another week ends, and the end of 2014 is around the bend. Thoughts of what I started out with now resonate with what I actually ended up doing. I now realize that I need to set more goals, more ways to help others, more ways to write, more ways to be better than the Sanjay the year before. I experimented with various things this year, but one of the most fulfilling ended up being when I took a fast from Facebook. I realized that it represented my life in a way where I spent too much criticizing others or how they could live their life better when, in fact, the only person that matters is what I do with myself. So I think slowly I am going to disengage from social media where the conversations are all on the surface. Everyone has an opinion, and that’s great for them, but for me, personally, I want to see what I can contribute to this world as opposed to what I can take from it. Yet it’s also addictive. I catch myself constantly checking what others are saying. Grimacing at some (most of the posts), as well as enjoying others. I am like a rat doping myself continually on the pleasure centers, foregoing nourishment and mental health.
Yes, that, too is a an opinion, but one I don’t need to share with others constantly. I see a “holier than thou” attitude in myself that I don’t care for. I took this journey for myself so I can be better for the people who are important to me. That does not include what I feel others should be feeling or thinking. It’s hard not to get caught up with that when you begin checking as frequently as I have. So I think I will begin working on that. It is a will power thing. I find myself with a lot of excuses as to why I cannot do another fast so for now, I think I will do what I did last time which was delete the app from my phone.
Wish me luck. Lets see how long I can last :)
It’s been almost a month since I last blogged. In that time, I managed to write 50,000 words, enough to be considered a winner for Nanowrimo, grow a moustache for Movember and raise almost $600 and completed my first month at crossfit. I also managed to reach my fastest 10K ever (1 hour, 11 minutes and 11 seconds) where at the end I seriously felt like throwing up. For you non math majors. that’s an average of 11 minutes and 27 seconds, nowhere near Hussain Bolt, but for someone like me, a great milestone. Someone marvelled at all the things I am doing, and my first instinct was to tell them about my wife’s patience and secondly about Zen Habits, the Sea Change Program, but then it also hit me. It is my unwillingness to just be comfortable. I mean what’s the point if I am not growing, not learning, not doing something with my time, energy and money? Don’t get me wrong, I am also constantly failing, and as Leo says that’s part of habits. That’s part of life, the learning process. If we don’t fall down, how else can we learn to get back up.
Are there days I feel lazy? All the freaking time.
Do I give up? More often than I care to admit.
Do I struggle at working out? I have to finish a crossfit class where I actually got through the Workout of the Day.
So these past four days, I just slept in and rested and just did nothing. And as much as I felt recharged, I also felt anxious. I am not content. The next step is getting that first novel draft edited, do some charitable work that allows me to use my talents (if I have any) to help others, and get my weight down to the ideal of 210 pounds. Also, all along to spend time with my wife that is meaningful and lets her know that she means the world to me. I know my ambition and lack of communication are a lethal combination sometimes in how I inform my wife of my goals. I am sure its frustrating for those close to me to not know what’s going on in my head, but trust me it’s all geared towards me being the best me I can be.
Hang on tight, its gonna be a wild ride.