How have you been?
Dictionary.com tells me that a virus means an infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.
A small molecule that cannot be even seen by the naked eye, that needs us, humans, to live and multiply, has pushed us inside our homes and have locked us from the outside.
Here are some of my observations from the months spent locked inside the house during the pandemic. I wrote these updates as a personal diary for me to look back into the events later. But then I decided to publish the journal entries for everyone. Of course, not before sprinkling a little bit of humor to the otherwise serious matter. I hope you laugh a bit. And if I upset you unintentionally, please forgive me for I am just a die-hard comic.
Important Life Questions to Ask Yourself
I remember a quote that once said, ask the right questions. Over the years I have realized that questions are much more important than answers. Without asking the right queries we can never hope for the right knowledge.
But it took me a while to even understand what questions I should ask of myself. Some of those doubts were always there in the background, hovering, emphasizing that I didn’t understand life. I had a vague feeling that I was dismaying over things that didn’t matter while ignoring the universal realities that would pull me out of my little problem bubbles. But I wasn’t sure. And I never took out time to pin those deep questions about life, and, hence, could never answer them.
The process of questioning deepened when I started writing and reading full-time. As I had redesigned my life from a corporate cycle of drudgery, I was too eager to question everything and to be better at things. It was like I had found vigor again. The more life changing books I read, the more I understood, and the more life questions I had.
As Franz Kafka once said, “Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.”
The effort continues.
I am putting down some thought-provoking questions that have hitherto found me here. I have followed a natural course and have clubbed thematic questions together.
I have answered all the questions to keep an account of my thoughts on the matter. As you will see, I have some answers, but some of the questions to life still dodge me. You can completely ignore my responses and find your own.
Along with the important questions about life and their answers, I am also putting down the books that have helped me understand the matter.
I plan to update these self reflection questions and answers year-on-year or whenever my understanding changes.
Till then, I present to you the questionnaire of life from my lens.
After struggling for a year, I broke up with the man I had wished to spend the rest of my life with. Then I flew to the other end of the world. In that foreign land, I picked up a million tiny parts of mine and weaved them again. Then I breathed life into that lifeless me. After a year, I returned to the old city and happened to run into him.
I thought I had moved on. And I had. I am with someone else now, and I love my current partner most earnestly.
In the past eight years of my working life, I observed how you do the task at hand is not the only measure of productivity and satisfaction. Your living style, priorities, patience, and certain keystone habits such as discipline, healthy social behavior, hard work decide how good you perform, how well you live your life, and how stable your relationships are.
All these things — lifestyle, priorities, patience, perseverance — could be practiced as daily habits. As Charles Duhigg said in his book The Power of Habits, “More than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.”
Humans live by habits. Here we would focus on dissolving these crucial things into habits and routine to make a daily schedule that works for us.
I have been working from home for ten months now. I have no boss. I write. I freelance. I blog — these three span my earnings, my passion, my work, and my routine. I design my schedule, discipline, deadlines, meetings and calls, and priorities.
I work hard. I have to. I need a lot of energy to write. To write well. I work long hours with intense concentration as I am still learning and my work involves a lot of thinking.
As a writer, I find the solitude essential — I thread my thoughts into any pattern without being disturbed.
A work-from-home routine sounds dreamy, but it doesn’t come easy.
The intent of social media was faster communication, information and opinion sharing, and to connect with people. Soon, social media took over, adding its own nuisances to the ones it had to fix, generating more need for social media — the worst vicious cycle.
Soon is basically 1997 to 2006 — from the world of Six Degrees, a social networking site to Facebook, which needs no description.
Facebook and Twitter bombed the internet in 2006. We have stayed on a data plan, since then.
Once when I was in the sixth grade, I asked my sister to make sandwiches for my school picnic. A string of events occurred, and she declared I was selfish.
I realized I was more interested in getting my work done, rather than the feelings and responses of other people (understanding emotions is a must read). The acknowledgment that I was a bad person and people knew about it was suffocating. I understood that I would be left alone if I did not change.
I consciously tried to become a better person by caring for other people and by showing that I cared.