Another chance at a new week. A week full of possibility. We get so many beginnings yet many of us squander them away. I woke up in a funk today. I wondered what to do instead of knowing immediately like I used to. I am unmoored, and with that mental drift comes uncertainty and sadness. Not knowing is the worst. I’d rather have structure, but as you know life doesn’t work that way. Each day is a choice to get up and fight or just lie there in defeat. Each moment, you get to remind yourself of your purpose and then go for it. Wallowing in misery is not an option. Yet, I admit it can be hard to get up when the world seems to be weighing down on you, or loves ones questioning your motives about everything or losing faith in you completely.
So I breath. Shift. Take another breath. Then plunge right in. Giving up is not an option. Feeling sorry for myself not even on the calendar. Fight, Sanjay, Fight. That’s what’s on my mind. The reasons for my being become clearer. I may not change the world, but I can change my mind and day. And for now, that is enough.
Today, it has been 24 hours since I finished a four-month long training called the Legacy Program (LP). I did not end with relief even though almost every day began with a challenge to my life. I chose LP to redesign my life, and truth be told, I am surprised that it did. I pushed myself in ways I have not in a long time. I chose discomfort as my template rather than being OK with my life. I pushed myself to create new things and go back to an early Sanjay who cared deeply about what was going on in the world and not just himself. I reactivated my passion for life, and the people who are in it. I chose to live life rather than pass time. In the process. I gained a new family of 54 people who did not allow me to falter or make excuses. They held me to the higher standard I declared. They called me up to be the Sanjay they saw in me, the Sanjay I deserve to be, and the Sanjay who make change happen.
It was not without failure, but now I see that as opportunities to learn from not to give up. Each experience taught me of what’s working and what’s not. I am truly blessed to have the wife and loved me who encouraged me to spread my wings, and because of that my family grew. I also grew. I now see so much I can contribute, and while the old me talked about why I couldn’t do something, this graduate now discusses possibilities and how it CAN be done.
The weekend passed in a blink, carrying with it new experiences and memories. Plenty of laughter with the moms and my family. A chance to reconnect and strengthen the bonds, but also to immerse myself in gratitude for the people in my life. I see the next generation and with them the love comes easy, and it heartens me to know that they too get to experience what it means to be amongst people who care about them deeply. Silly conversations to complimenting the food and four dogs took over our attention, yet more than anything else, the time spent together recharged me.
Each time we get together, I am reminded that the connection is not just because we are related or married to each other, but that we genuinely like being around each other. The one thing missing were dear friends, but I resolved to solve the issue soon. Each of these relationships are my way of charging back into things I want to accomplish in my life. It also reminds me why I do the things that I do in my life. Gratitude rules my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After all, if I do not recognize what’s good in my life, then how I can grow? Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Another Monday. Another day to start the week right. Too often, in the past. I have greeted today as something to regret rather than see it as the opportunity it is. Truth be told, each day, each moment can be a new beginning, but something about the beginning of the week makes it a more complete beginning for me. The early morning quiet in my library allows me to ruminate about what I intend to create this week in my life. Not tasks, not just things to do to cross of my list, but real heavy weight things that will impact my future. That option is always there, yet too often I treat it as just another week.
My past experience has shown me how powerful intention can be, but what really stops me is how exhausting it is. No one tells you how living each day with integrity, intention and love takes time, energy and commitment. No one tells you that being worthy requires work. That being right isn’t enough, you have to live, act and breathe it. Otherwise, all you have are dreams. I will be the first one to tell you that I am a day dreamer, but lately fantasy is just not enough. Thinking without action just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I am more than my thoughts. More than “Should’ve”s, “Could’ve”s. More than empty promises. It’s funny how much shit gets done when you put the excuses and stories away. When you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and starting being more than a collection of words.
So yeah, I am happy its Monday. A new Monday. A new chance to be the Sanjay I know I can be. Happy Monday!
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!