Now that I look back, it’s almost like I had inadvertently flipped on the Autopilot and Fast Forward switch for life over the last few months. I know blaming the crazy workload is the easiest way out but in this case it really was a case of suffering from a mountain of work that had buried me under mudslide after mudslide on a daily basis (using the drowning with work cliché is out of fashion these days you see). I had absolutely nothing to differentiate a Tuesday from a Thursday and most weekends were spent clearing up the backlog of work and trying to make up for the sleep that was lost over the week. Exhaustion was my ever constant companion. Before I knew it, I was back in office on Monday morning and writing the long list of the day's activities on my board which most people walking by considered to be my monthly tasks, seeing as they did only that much work over 3 - 4 weeks and yet still get paid 3 - 4 times what I am.
What all this meant was that my book collection has grown but the number of books that I have read remains stationary. The last thing you want to do after spending 14+ hours in front of your laptop is straining your eyes and doing even more reading. The initial rapid progress that I made with my guitar work slowed down to a sloths pace (using the snail pace cliché is out of fashion these days you see) despite having a pretty large number of YouTube tutorials of songs which I like. I missed out on a trekking adventure of a lifetime & a Goan wedding that was a must attend event. Being ambitious and all (not really) I wasn’t satisfied with trying to write & publish one successful book so I went ahead and started working on two of them several months ago. I haven’t opened the draft of either soon to be best seller since mid-February. I couldn’t even meet friends of mine who had come down to Bangalore for a couple of days on account of my preposterous amount of work and have received a ton of abuse for that as well. My riding was limited to the daily office run only. The icing on the cake is that I didn’t even have time to check my motoring forums or other blogs that I read (despite frequent threats errr requests). I had well and truly lost my mojo.
I’m not really sure what snapped me out of it. Maybe it’s the news of the impending salary hike which is supposedly so low that it is going to be nowhere proportional to the work that I have done over the last year. Maybe it’s this friend who has lectured me on the issue for such extreme lengths of time with all the finesse of a a rampaging She Hulk (despite her petite build and otherwise docile behaviour) that even a Kevlar grade thick skinned nut like me has seen the error of my ways. Maybe it’s hearing about the 33 year old lady who unfortunately died of a cardiac arrest in our office last week. Maybe it was sitting back and enjoying listening to my favourite ex-roomie as he described his plans of backpacking across the Himalayas this year while my biking trip to the same region remains on cold storage this year as well. Maybe it’s the other 4 reasons I have in my mind. Maybe it’s a combination of all the above. Or maybe I just snapped out of it.
What all this means is that I’m still working quite a bit. Yes, my boss even went so far as to tell me that it looks like I enjoy working while cribbing about it at the same time. But I’m working much smarter these days. I enjoy plonking down with the book - Six Men Who Built the Modern Auto Industry though that will last only for the remaining hundred odd pages. Speaking of books, I do have some new ideas for my soon to be monster best sellers and will start typing away to glory in a day or two. The fingers on my left hand bear the scars of daily guitar playing and a frustrating day of power cuts meant that I ended up composing a song and I’m working towards the lyrics of the same. My social skills are slowly & steadily picking up, long lost friends don’t be surprised to see me calling you soon.
And I stumbled upon a fantastic band Walk off the Earth which is everything I aspire to be somewhere down the road. They are talented, have a ton of creativity and use humour to excellent effect in their videos. They are the best thing I’ve heard since I got introduced to Jack Johnson's music. And even if my Ladakh-Leh trip doesn’t happen this year, I have a feeling that I will end up taking 2 weeks off & disappearing on a solo bike ride after the monsoons.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I'm on the road to reclaiming my life. One day at a time. Maybe it was this video from Walk Off The Earth that helped me snap out of it. Who knows? I’m just glad to be back. Ask yourself - are you also a little box on the hillside?