Brownness

17 & 4

This week I hit the milestone of 17 miles, the most I have ever run, and yet I couldn’t help feeling let down. After  4 hours of nonstop running, the best I could do was 17?!  That’s the problem sometimes with motivation and self-talk. I can overlook how far I have come and get caught up how far I have to go. With each mile that I got done, as I walked the one minute after, I kept thinking that oh crap I will be lucky if I finish the LA marathon in 6 hours (which is now only 4 weeks away.) And it was easy to forget this was a bucket list item.  It doesn’t matter what time I do it in. The goal is to finish,

Now a month away, the LA Marathon seems so close by, and I wonder if I am ready. If my just running outside, doing crossfit, doing recovery and resting my body will matter when I hit the course for the first time. Already, I am worried about getting there on time, and what will I do if the course ends up being more difficult than I imagined.

On and on the thoughts pore on as I ran, and part of me felt despair until it hit me that at 48 I was doing things that my 18 year old self would have never dared. I am pushing my body to do things that I didn’t think possible, and instead of worrying about the race, I needed to prepare as best as I could, and then enjoy it. I have heard that from so many runners, but old habits die hard.

Yet the playlist moves me, the feet keep going, mile after mile, and I know at the end of the day no matter what happens March 8, I have already won over the old Sanjay. And at the end, that’s all that mattered anyway.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Change

It’s only when I change something drastically that I begin to notice to things that I used to take for granted. Things that were part of my daily routine fall by the wayside when there are a new set of things to deal with. It can be upsetting, disorienting and makes me want to go back to the status quo.  Yet I also know if I am always comfortable, always know what to expect, always can count on people, things, events and my environment, I am not growing. But I still have to say, change sometimes sucks. But it must in order for me to be a new version. Letting go of the old me takes getting used to, but it is also what got me to do crossfit, go into private practice, attempt to run a marathon, volunteer, mentor others, move to a new place.

Each time, there was a fear that change was just too hard, too much, too many things needed to be done in this new environment, but that is the way to be a new person. Massive change requires massive discomfort.  I have to admit that there are so many times not change feels more appealing, warmer and the cocoon of knowing what to expect allows me to get sharper at things I am practicing. But I also know that I can use that as an excuse to not disrupt my life sometimes. Change for change’s sake used to mean boredom or me avoiding/denying.

But I cannot forget that I survived a stroke and brain surgery, and that I am less family members, and all that just pushes me to be a better version of me. I cannot forget that yes its nice to be able to count on a regulated life, but I also know that regret would drive me crazy if I did not keep pushing myself. I know my father and aunt always assumed the best in me, and each day I live is a blessing that I cannot take for granted.  So I push. I change. I get uncomfortable. But I change. And at the end, that’s all that matters.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Tears

It’s not easy for me to see others cry openly. A discomfort at first, but more like envy as they allow their emotions to burst out rather than bury them deeper inside where they can ferment, and change the person you are. It’s also not easy to be present when others express their emotions, to listen without judgment. To just be. Listen. Engage. These are the things I have gotten better at over the years, but it’s still hard to let the tears out.

So much has already been said. I won’t pretend to be a huge fan. I am also not gonna lie that in those earlier moments of hearing the news, I went to my own loss. As when I heard about Papa, I was out walking the dog, and then again yesterday, and I let the tears come, surprisingly. But seeing others collapse has taught me that in this moment, it’s not about me. It’s about just being there for them. To hear the stories, to remember with them when they saw one of the greatest players do what he did best. And just grieve with them. Hold them. Let them bring it out. No judgment. No questioning.  Just be there to wipe the tears, hear their pain, and hold them tight. It’s what others did for me when I lost someone.

It’s what we need to do as human beings when others are in pain. We get to be there for them. To make sure the tears run out, that they feel supported and safe, but most of all, they get to feel heard.  We hear this over and over. We only live once, but as one of the cartoons said no, we die once but we live every day. We get to express gratitude for all the day we do get, and I hope the ones in my life know how much they are loved, and I will be always be there to wipe their tears away.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

My Books

I decided to make this year, the year of the declutter. I figured it would be easy to get rid of papers, clothes and other knick knacks that rolled around my house, but I never considered my books. I have always liked the idea of a library, and have proudly added books as often as weekly. Yet, it hit me that I consistently had a pile of books that I never got to, and then they got moved to my library which then meant instead of the library representing what I had read, it resembled closer to the idea what I was wished to read.

I figured it would be easy, but as I began to sift through the books, I began sorting out which ones I would keep and which ones I would sell or donate.  A simple task became hard simply because I could not let go. For example, my graphic novels I absolutely did not wish to let go of them, but then when I really thought about it, it hit me I couldn’t remember the last time I had open the books up. In fact, a big minority of them were still wrapped up, and I had not given them a second glance in ages. Instead, they sat on those shelves just so I could say I had a great library. But why? What was the point?

And so in a fell swoop, I collected them in three boxes and within 48 hours sold them to a dear friend who wants to impart our love of Comics to his children. To me, that alone is worth doing. Then I packed up all the others. But even then, I still kept some. My collection of Indian authors I had read throughout the years. I hope to give that to my family as part of my legacy. I am quite proud of those books as emboldened me to keep writing as an Indian, but more so as someone who is in love with words still.

I am lighter, but not empty, and for now, thats more than enough. Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Accountability

With almost two weeks logged into 2020, it feels like the month will be over soon.  I have made a lot of progress in terms of setting up the right accountability measures to feed my vision, but there is a nagging feeling that perhaps I don’t have all the right tools. That feeling has always been there, and it hits me that it shows up in all areas of my life. I am continually looking for ways to be more effective and efficient, but that type of focus also can make my life narrow. It is why I need feedback from others to know if I am on the right path.

One of the things I am proud of is my willingness to listen and act on feedback from my wife, family, mentors, and colleagues. I see that I often have to be a lot more clearer when I explain my vision to others, and a lot of assumptions are either unclear even to me or not making sense to others. When others look at me with confusion or ask me to explain why I want to do things a certain way, it invites me to look at my ideas in a new way. Do I listen and agree with all feedback? Of course not, but when people ask me questions that forces me to be accountable to my proposed goals.

Last year, there were goals that I kept declaring, yet I was unable (or unwilling) to complete them which led my accountability team to ask me if those goals were as important I said that they were to me. Same for tools. My constant search for new tools to support me meant letting go of older ones, but more often than not. I didn’t give them the time and attention needed to make them effective which ultimately defeated my initial purpose: to keep moving forward.

So the word of 2020 is Accountability and that will be my main tool to get me to my goals and vision!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

2020

It still feels surreal to write that year down. It reminds me the way I felt when I wrote 1990 (my year of high school graduation), and then 2000 (year I began working at Ziba Music). A thrill of the unknown, of possibility, of transformation. I begin 2020 as a practicing attorney (something Papa always wanted for me), and it feels a bit surreal that I now look forward to going to court rather than dread it. I never imagined that I would WANT to train for a marathon and soon a triathlon. That is not the life I had in mind when I was 18 and 28.

As I near 48, it hits me that much of my life would have sounded foreign to the high school me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am glad that some parts of me remain. My desire to do better, to write, to keep growing, to be in service, but I also relish that so much of my insecurity and lack of self worth has dissipated (not completely). I never thought I would be in the position to mentor others when I myself relied so heavily on others to get me to this point in my life. Yet, it makes so much sense. To do what others have done for me over the years.

I start this decade looking forward to being unrecognizable to my 48 year old self, and a total stranger to my colleagues when I go for my 30 year high school reunion (God, that makes me feel old) later on this year.  I am blessed and grateful to be able to write these words as I know there are so many not here anymore. And that’s another thing that strikes me. I never understood that with age also comes loss. It’s been a hard lesson, but one I know will continue and one that I will have to accept.

So 2020 here you are, and here I am. Let’s make for a great decade!