I wonder if I am the only person who on a Sunday night has a ton of regrets for having wasted an entire weekend doing nothing constructive. Just me? Every Friday night I plan to clean less, fuss less, grumble with the parents about making the house dirty less, Netflix less (we can entirely discount the chill bit of the Netflix and chill because those of you who have read my blog know that there is 0 chill in my life. Pun intended) read more, relax more, speak to the friends more and actually learn a life skill like cooking more. Come Sunday and I have done none of those things. I have cleaned, scrubbed and dusted and sadly enjoyed every minute of it. I have not made an attempt to light the stove and have watched a ton of rubbish on Netflix and listened to Chris Young’s Getting you home one too many times. Sunday’s have gotten a bit more interesting lately and on Saturday evening I also vow to the friends that I will make an attempt to appear friendlier and less potentially cloistered nun like. On Sunday afternoons, messages are sent to the friends confirming that I have done none of those things along with the justification that ‘it was the black t-shirt again, girls. There is a whole spectrum of physical colours but one seems to only have 1 t-shirt in a non-colour.’ So aside from a dust free house, very clean loos and a growing problem with the black-brown combination, not much has been accomplished over the weekend.
And so on this Sunday night, after dinner I start to feast on the existential crisis for dessert. Is my job fulfilling enough? Does it challenge me? Will I be leaving the world a bit better by the work I’m doing? There’s a resounding no in my head as I typed that. Like most people, I always think I’m meant to do more- make a difference in some way. Any way. Thoughts are free and cheap so I push the idealism aside and hang on to the job because I like what gets credited to my bank account each month. And thus the cycle of want never ceases. I rationalize it this way- what am I good at aside from this job? What is my core competency? Is it art? Unfortunately I did not inherit my mother’s art genes or at least I haven’t attempted holding a brush so I’ll never know. Is it teaching? Probably not. Snotty, screechy, whiny kids for 8 hours a day for 6 days a week for 40 weeks a year? Bleeghhh. I’ll pass. Is it writing? I could do that but then again I am the least imaginative person I know. Unless someone is willing to publish volumes about my mother and/or religion. Is it music? Now that’s a passion but then again 600,000 other people also have the same passion. I fancy the idea of leading the simple life, cutting back to the basics, having just what I need. The problem with this is that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In my head, I can make do with just enough clothes so that I don’t have to repeat the same outfit in the same month. In reality, I have way more than I need. My head embraced minimalism in a big way. I regularly delete unwanted emails, messages, photos, videos, clothes and people from my life. But can I get by with the bare minimum? This time the father will say a resounding no. I also need to keep the non-AIDS/Ebola/Cancer curing job because I have discovered the thrill of travel. Now I’m not one of those ‘I’d rather have more stamps in my passport than things in my house’ kind of people i.e. I can’t sit on a mat wearing clothes from GoodWill with a rolled up pair of trousers for a pillow just so that I can backpack across Europe. Ergo, tech job is required.
There is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson which I love and today I’m going to use that as context for this post-
To laugh often and much; – Check. Probably too often and too much and a lot of times at all things and times inappropriate
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;- Check. The children part I’m not sure about because I do not have those around me. Ever. But I do work with and are friends with some very intelligent people. Then there is the mother and while I don’t know if she respects me, I’d like to believe that she at the minimum has affection for me
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;- Check. Although I wish the parents and friends were not so honest with their critique.
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;- Check and check. I appreciate beauty every Sunday. I’m not a fan of facial hair but I have risen above. If seeking out the nice looking face beneath the fluff is not finding the best in others I don’t know what is.
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;- Uncheck. There is no child. The garden is my father’s/Ramu’s doing and I don’t think this blog qualifies as redemption of anything.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded- I know of people who can say this with absolute certainty-my mother for instance (surprise surprise that I would call her out) has made numerous people’s lives easier, my father by way of his work has helped the disadvantaged. So this is going to be a huge uncheck for me. But the goal is to love greatly, live gently and detach gracefully. For now, that’s going to have to suffice as success.