Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In retrospect

I made myself write a sort of monthly update at the end of February, but somehow the past few months have been such a blur that maybe it's a good idea to think about them as a whole. I'm trying to figure out why I've been on the go so constantly, because it's not like I haven't had my down time. But it has sort of felt like I'm hurtling down a tunnel, towards something I'm not sure how I feel about.

Well, when you put it that way...

Work, for the past several months, has involved a massive project. And the end is in sight. But the end being in sight means things are crazy, stressful, and all sorts of things. When I came into this role last year, I was told by my predecessor one of the most important things for me to do would be managing upwards. And that's been the most useful piece of advice I got from her. My boss tends to... freak out. Which in many ways is a good thing, because I'm the same, but having to calm her down meant I stayed calm. The thing is, that approach worked till about mid-February, when things got so crazy that I wasn't staying calm anymore. So over the past couple of weeks, I've had her looking at me asking "so, are you okay?" and telling me to calm down.

When I was in school, exam time meant I used to invariably, without fail, get stress pains in my shoulder. In later years, that pain showing was my way of finding out I'm stressed about something. There would be big days - job interview, important project milestones - when I would think I'm fine, and then the pain would start and I would think, "there we go". For the past eight weeks, that pain has been in my shoulders pretty much constantly. At times it's also felt like there's a sledgehammer floating over my head, about to fall at any moment. More recently, the subconscious has gone from just a shoulder pain to just really weird dreams.

So given the work situation, the personal front has taken a bit of a backseat. Moving, having the father here, falling sick, and the big trip - they all happened just as work was getting crazy. So once I got back, there hasn't been much time for anything other than work. I've had to force myself to handle things on the home front, be social, or even maintain any kind of online presence. I have to remind myself to look at twitter, tumblr, or even feedly these days. Which makes me a lot more productive at work, but leaves me feeling a little... lost sometimes. I haven't even kept up with the latest movies or music from Bollywood, which as anyone who knows me will tell you is just wrong. But when you're on a 16 hour flight listening to a Bollywood channel where you can't recognize any song other than Punjabi Wedding Song, you know you've been missing out on things.

A friend got engaged a week ago, and as I spoke to him to find out details, and to other mutual friends to figure out if/how we're attending his wedding, I realised I hadn't spoken to any of them since the beginning of the year. And that's ridiculous even by my standards.

And then there's been the World Cup. Given the time differences, I haven't kept up with it as much as I would have liked. Night have been spent dozing on my couch with the TV on, jerking awake every time the decibels went up because a wicket had fallen. And when this is happening in parallel with the aforementioned work project, it all makes for a very exhausted body.

So just last week, I've had two nights of less than two hours of sleep due to cricket heartbreak, two nights of less than four hours of sleep because of friends texting stories just as you're trying to fall sleep, waking up periodically through the night because colleagues who are working through the night are sending updates and you need to know, dammit, and calls scheduled for really early in the morning.

Amidst all of this, there was one other thing. I turned 30 a few weeks ago. I was utterly depressed about this milestone, didn't want to do anything to celebrate, but didn't want to be lame and sit at home either, so it was a relief when a friend decided to organize a dinner on my behalf. Not one person - friend, colleague, relative - let me forget all day just how old I was turning, but it was touching to see how many people bothered to remind me, I suppose. And of course, once you actually get past the milestone, nothing really changes.

So yes, the days have been about work, and the nights have been about cricket, and everything else has fallen by the wayside. But all of that has finally come to a close this weekend. So it's time to pick up the threads of my life, talk to friends more, start taking care of myself a little more, start taking care of my apartment a little more, maybe even tweet a little more.

Let's see how much of that actually happens.

No comments: