THE BIGGEST CHANGES IN MY LIFE

As you grow older or younger, as the case may be, you may just slide into the kind of lifestyle and groove that makes people millionaires and above. Or you may just stay afloat in a stagflationary mode till someone comes up with an expensive bailout plan like a bypass surgery or a marriage to a rich widow or er.
In other words, life goes on in a predictable curve till a point there is a brief spasm over which you had, largely, no control, much like an Indian Prime Minister waiting for a Leftist or Casteist nod for a reform. There is the other, organic approach. Here you act like an American President. You confidently make things happen for the best till it is too late for you to realise your mistake and undo what you did.
If a creative and intelligent person could depict this in a graph, this sort of change would resemble your blog stats when you (for example), after years of writing about your interactions with your maid-servant, boss, the lady next door whose brother went to the Obama rally (and such like), suddenly reveal, in one-million, seven hundred thousand and one fifty two colors, a full-frontal photograph of your favorite Senator or religious leader being overly affectionate to a friendly sheep in what he thought was an uninhabited farm.
picture-2
In said graph, EB equals to Eastern Blogger, and WB to Western Blogger. Not an indication of the direction they want the sheep to face, but this is merely an example.

As I was trying to say before I kept interrupting myself, there have been rapid changes in my life in the recent past, and I find myself living a different sort of life. Let me dilate this point (this is not innuendo).

1. I have, after the first hundred-odd days of my misspent youth, become youthful. I now have the energy and the hip to do things like running, climbing, walking and other vigorous physical activities, well away from unsuspecting animals. Workout programs have changed my life, possibly irreversibly.
For one, they have given me that poor, hungry look so favored by camera-toting Western tourists to India. Which takes us to Point Two.

2. I have now realised, after years of rat racing, that even if I were considered to be in the Formula One class, I would still be, at the end of an honest day, a rat. Therefore, in the interests of mice and men, I have opted out of it, and downgraded the importance of money in my life. As long as I earn enough to keep misery and ICICI Bank out of my doorsteps, I am happy. The new master is not money. It is happiness. I will do anything to be happy. Even if it means spending a year’s salary to enjoy a few days in Chile or Spain (neither of these are within my budgets yet- I am waiting for the recession to sink in before I bid to buy their Governments).

3. I have realised how bleak life is without the foolishness fullness of the soul. By this, I do not intend to spiritually eructate. I merely wish to point out that career goals and financial strength are poor replacements for the contentment that comes from the realisation that you have certain inner qualities and virtues that make you good. And poor. To say nothing about how poor and virtuous men, since Biblical times, tend not to get laid. Except for expressions of interest by the odd sheep. Baaah!

4. I have decided to spend more time at home. Not for me any more the constant cries for attention and time. I also find that I get into trouble less if I am at home and being vigorously unproductive, as in blogging. What sort of troubles, did you ask? Well, car dents and scratches, unplanned pregnancies, and anything that makes me look sheepish.

That was about me. Has any paradigm shift occurred in your life of late?

33 responses to “THE BIGGEST CHANGES IN MY LIFE

  1. Wonderful post! And I am happy for you.
    Slowing down, taking the time to exercise and enjoy the good things of life, and spending more time with family – the true way to happiness- they all sound cliche and/ or impossible to the unenlightened souls.
    I think it is difficult concept to understand, let alone act on, for a person who is not yet ready or open to this radical idea.
    It sounds simple, but it is actually difficult to really make the change. But once you do it, you find it IS simple.

  2. Great idea! The only risk is that family members who are not used to seeing too much of you may quickly tire of the new-improved “quality time” and wonder when you’ll go back to longer hours ;)

  3. Bombay wadapav eater

    Rapid changes in my life too! Until mid-August 2007, I worked very hard late hours in the bank and never satisfied with my thankless job and ungrateful boss. Now I work all day long for my dear 14-month-old son who keeps me very busy. I am not financially independent anymore since I don’t earn :( but finally I am a happy soul when I see my son’s smiles and progress!

  4. // I now have the energy and the hip to do things like running, climbing, walking and other vigorous physical activities, well away from unsuspecting animals.// this is a very positive change and I wish I could write something like that.
    About spending more time at home- This change is positive only as long as you are trouble free at home. There are as many chances of getting into trouble at home as outside. Your readers will be happy for sure.

  5. Doc, is this the calm that comes before the storm? :)

  6. Hahaha! Wonderful post. And very sheep oriented. I have nothing against sheep per se – docile creatures and so on, though it occurs to the idle mind that the one big problem with having sex with a sheep, as Rodney Dangerfield aptly put it, is that everytime you want to kiss her, you have to walk around

  7. So the turning point in your life! Great, because it’s positive! Actually even me feel fitter than I was 10 years ago because of I take care of myself better…regular exercise and yoga does wonders! In fact I feel quite proud of myself when I see other people my age who do not bother about themselves! When they envy me, I want to tell them, hey! I work hard for this, I control my diet and exercise and I have happy thoughts! Actually it’s the latter more than anything that’s important and I guess that is why you have made the mental shift in your life.
    But I personally believe that everyone has a happiness index. I mean that events can make you happy or unhappy (peaks and troughs) but the effect wears off and you get back to your natural happiness/unhappiness level, which I feel is inherited, although it can be worked on and improved. Happiness is not external, it’s internal, although I agree that constant attempts to make money can put one in a trough! :)
    I think I have a high happiness level, because nothing makes me unhappy or crabby for more than a few hours, and then it has to be pretty serious! :) I tend to laugh a lot, smile a lot and giggle too! One thing I detest is negativity and I keep miles away from negative people and negative vibes! I can write a much more but I think this is long enough!

  8. Aha, paradigm shifts. Let me think what happened with me recently. When I used to work 60 hours for money, it felt like I had no life. Then I saw my boss doing the same and I thought – wow, will I be 50 and still slog so much? So I quit that job. I still work 60 hours a week but it results into a vacation. Yummy. This lifestyle of looking at a day as nothing but a day, although not sustainable, opens some new perspectives.

  9. It is a good thing to slow down. When we slow down we tend to see a lot more things than when we live life at a fast pace. It is good for us and it also good for the environment as we indirectly consume lesser energy.
    One great man (Actually it is Rajinikanth) said that Happiness and Sadness come and go for few moments, but peace lasts for ever. You can achieve peace only when you slow down to the pace of nature.
    As for me, I have been trying mild exercise and meditation everyday and it has been putting me in great mood. I have been reading a little bit on Zen too. It is quite fascinating.

  10. @ Doc:

    //…I kept interrupting myself…//

    I believe in a medico this condition is called caduceus interruptus?

  11. I’ve become lazy, easy going, forgetful, and slothful, not to mention losing interest in being /eating healthy, doing something constructive with my time ( no not blogging), getting a grip on my life and doing something about it.
    I want a bailout plan to get back on being a mice.
    Any ideas Doc?

  12. “Has any paradigm shift occurred in your life of late?”

    What happens if a dynamic, ever-shifting paradigm does so frequently but regularly enough to be redefined as the paradigm itself? So yes, waiting for a paradigm shift in that sense, so there’s finally a paradigm to begin with. (Ironic that ‘finally’ and ‘begin with’ occur in the same sentence, that too with ‘finally’ preceding, but I digress). Then comes the shift.

    That said, I’m happy for you :)

    -g

  13. Ah, it seems like you have just opted for my kind of life – any way I could wear those boots of your and get your earlier life? It might be fun opening up a few people and peering inside I am sure.
    Seriously, I wish more young people would see the bright side of slowing down and actually having a life other than their jobs.

  14. hmm… very philosohical hun??? :P :P

    and in my life, no shifts as of yet, paradigm or otherwise!! :)

  15. I AM the paradigm :-)

  16. Nomad:
    Once your priorities are things that don’t involve doing things to get rich, you find most things in life very simple!
    Lekhni:
    Family always want you to spend more time at home and bring more money. Like “workout less and burn more fat”!
    Wadapav:
    Good for ya! Working for a bad boss, I hear, is seriously bad for your mind.
    Prerna:
    About spending more time at home- This change is positive only as long as you are trouble free at home. There are as many chances of getting into trouble at home as outside.
    Trust you to say that!
    Rads:
    Doc, is this the calm that comes before the storm?”
    How, just how, did you know that?
    Naren:
    “the one big problem with having sex with a sheep, as Rodney Dangerfield aptly put it, is that everytime you want to kiss her, you have to walk around
    I will take your word for it, as I don’t know Mr. Rod knee Dangle Field myself.
    Nita:
    Stress releases steroid hormones in the body, and them stuff cause belly fat deposition.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Priyank:
    I think your perspective is absolutely unique (in that you travel so much) and needs to be heard at length.
    DB:
    “It is a good thing to slow down”
    Are ya like talkin’ ta me, or ta the sheep?
    Vivek:
    Clever, clever!
    Maami:
    I want a bailout plan to get back on being a mice.
    Maami, have an affair.
    Gauri:
    Great comment!
    Usha:
    I still peep inside the insides, you know. Though I often feel I am better off sitting at home trying to write a book.
    Sakhi:
    Cool, steady and predictable life. Is this not faintly similar to the thoughts of a farm animal that does not get pesky phone calls from an amorous Senator?
    Shefaly:
    Aaaaah! A blog post on such lines, perhaps?

  17. @Usha:

    //I wish more young people would see the bright side of slowing down and actually having a life other than their jobs.//

    Actually, thanks to those young people’s parents bringing them up to believe that life was all about competition, competition and more cut-throat competition, running just to remain where they are, that they are well-opiated against thinking of, dreaming about, or aspiring to a life other than jobs.

    When one has parents who started demolishing a whole global economy, the only thing one is capable of dreaming is to finish the work they started — fast, furiously and with finality.

  18. Wow, Doc! That was an excellent read — inspiring, actually! I think it’s made my day — at the very least! It is always an exceptional occasion when I see a friend — even one with tragically misguided political opinions — succeed not just at money and his job, but at living the Good Life! I am so glad!

  19. Brother Paul:
    Why do I think Point No. Three struck a chord in you?!
    Thanks, seriously!

  20. Doc, you asked about paradigm shifts. Of course, the only paradigm shift I really know about is the one I work — the 9 to 5 paradigm shift. (Tee hee.)

    More seriously, some years ago, I decided to greatly simplify my life. This I was fortunate to accomplish, and either as a result or by coincidence I have never been more happy in my life. You and I share many of the realizations you’ve written about in your post. But here’s something I wonder about — would either one of us really appreciate a simpler life if we had not for some time prior led a more complicated one? I ask because simplicity did not hold much appeal for me when I was in the rat race — not at least until the very end. I suspect I had to go through that sort of life style to get to a point where simplicity held an appeal to me.

  21. Great point, Paul! I would think if you never really lived the high life and advocated poverty or simplicity in life, the world would label you as a loser and a hypocrite.

  22. “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” ~ Bo Derek

    Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
    :) Have a happy life!

  23. That “Rat race” thingy is very important. The day you realize that your life starts moving in the right direction!
    And, in my friend circle I am famous for the SSTWYD concept. They think I am crazy.
    p.s. SSTWYD – Spend some time with yourself day. It happens every month. :)

  24. Reema:
    Thanks for the interesting quotes!
    Amit:
    Nice concept. If only it had a sexier acronym, you would have been famous! :-)

  25. @ Doc:

    One of the “sexy” acronyms that suggests itself for Amit’s “Spend some time with yourself day” lies in the realm of the autoerotic. It can be made euphimistic by dropping the somewhat redundant word ‘some’, making it STWYD, which is easier to pronounce, and can be euphonised by pronouncing the ‘W’ the Welsh way: ‘-oo-‘, as in ‘cook’.

  26. Vivek:
    ‘Stoo-ed ‘rhymes with ‘screwed’. I guess you have a auto-erotic automatic point!

  27. Rdoc:

    You are very quick on the uptake! I guess that’s what the Twist of Word is all about :-)

  28. Carry on!!! I am enjoying this!

  29. Pingback: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A CEMENTED MIND « A Twist of Word and Mind

  30. Its but a while ago, that I too have opted out of the rat race, but unlike you, must sheepishly add that I am beginning to miss the green “buck” :)
    I am spending more time at home and also in activities( running, yoga, talking & laughing to myself, snacking, chatting) that seemed too much of a leisure only sometime ago. But during all this, pangs of guilt return when I feel I haven’t been productive enough. Don’t know when I’ll stop looking at myself as a machine.

  31. Renu:
    Welcome to this blog!
    Looking at yourself is in your hands, I mean eyes!

  32. Wonderful read….miss this blog!
    Sounds like a mid-life crisis and prioritization thing. No matter. As long as you are happier! No such thing of course, but we search for its fleeting incarnations. Bravo to you.

  33. NOYB:
    No need to miss it: subscribe free by email. It is right at the top on the right!

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