Weirdly enough, 28 Days of February taught me much more than 30 or 31 days of a normal month teach me. Here’s my short-listed list of what I learnt this month.
- It is okay to have a bad day, but it is not okay to wallow in it.
You know those days that are just horrible from the get go. Yes, those days that just keep getting worse and worse as the day progresses until all you want to do is go home, curl up on your bed and go to sleep. All of us somehow seem to have those days. Sometimes it is self-inflicted, I must admit. But, many times it is also situation-based and we seem to have no control over it. The coffee that spilt down my shirt or the delayed train that made me late for my meeting, are some things that I couldn’t have predicted or changed, but, little did I know that I did have a remote to change the channel even after certain circumstances threatened to make it a bad one.
I could change it to the happy channel by going out for a long walk or run that would make me feel good about myself. I could change it to the warm channel by setting up a hangout with my friends to talk it out and drown away the blues. I could change it to the content channel by having a cup of my favourite coffee and going to my happy place in the process. I could change it to the passion channel by focusing on what I love and tuning everything else out.
I could do anything that I wanted to change the plot of the show, the story or the entire channel. But, for that to happen, I had to get myself off the floor of my self-pity and victim mentality and emerge ready to take on the world once again.
- Take advantage of days off
I love my holidays and weekends as much as the next person. But, to be honest, the feeling of dread that envelopes me on my last day away from reality, I would much rather avoid. Furthermore, the mountain of chores, work, projects etc that bury me for the next few days after I am back is again something that I would be very happy to not have to deal with. Give me a peaceful holiday and an even more peaceful return to reality. But, that never happens.
This time, I vowed it would be different. I decided that for a person who has a reasonable amount of weekends without any specific priorities and who does go off on a trip every once in a while, I need to make my days off productive as well. Yes, I always take my reading with me and try to get that in most times. Yes, I do carry some writing projects because I like writing when I am relaxed. But, I mostly avoid taking mind-using, focus-requiring, and thinking-power-needing jobs along with me on my days off. I take the lighter things, the ones that need just a few of my brain cells and I give my brain a much-deserved chutti, or so I believe.
But, I found that if I took the tough tasks, the tasks that actually required me to sign off, focus and not be distracted, the tasks that got lost in my routine hurried-burried normal life, the elephant on my shoulder would feel lighter and I would feel so much more accomplished. I realized that my days off were in fact the best days to tackle those tasks because there was nothing else vying for my attention and I could attack them with a viciousness that I never knew was possible and lo and behold, they were done. I could go back feeling lighter rather than loaded, still enjoy my day or days off because who needs to do nothing all day anyway and my first few days back to reality were bliss. It was the best of both worlds, and I had finally found the balance. Yay me!!
- Be ambitious
I am the Queen of doing what is required of me. I will pass exams that I have to give. I will learn what I am asked to learn. I will work at what is given to me. I will do anything that I have to and I will do it well but, other than that, I have very rarely taken the first step and tried to do something that I was not expected to do, told to do, asked to do or forced to do, either by people or circumstances. I may be hard working and I may excel at whatever I decide to do and put my heart and soul into, but I also know that I will not intentionally take up that something on my own accord for the sake of reaching a goal.
But, last month I was challenged to become more ambitious, not in the way the world knows it, but in the way I understand it. I understand it as action instead of complacency. I understand it as being proactive to prepare myself for the future. I understand it as enhancing my strengths and being aware of my weaknesses. I understand it as working in line with my purpose. I understand it as following my passions. I understand it as making time for what interests me. I understand it as learning as much as I can in the shortest while possible.
So, I decided to do the things that I probably would not have taken up unless required to. I am going to challenge myself like I have never before. Life has always challenged me, I have been privileged that way and that will probably not end anytime soon. But, it is time that I myself, without the pressure of the external, learn to challenge myself and be ambitious.