For those of you, who might have given a ‘casually-scrolling’ read to my 100 Day of adulting method will have an idea about this piece.
A lot like like my last lab test results, this article is about 160 past its due date.
The week about Discovery,
Your life will surprise you, when you document the everyday mundane chatter.
- You realize the time you waste, pretending to do things, and then the extra time you waste when you actually have to do them. Finally, realizing how little significance it held in your to begin with. Like, sorting socks based on color and size because a popular bestseller said it might, just might spark joy.
- You get immensely close to cracking the code on ‘how-am-I-fat-when-I-eat-so-less’. Dear Diary, I can no longer blame the handyman for the missing Nutella jar.
- You also find out that in the past 60 days you had come up with exceptionally creative excuses to avoid every social function you were invited to. Damn it, thats why I have no actual friends left.
- You start in contemplation and later arrive at a full blown panic attack about how little you do in your life outside — eat,shit,watch repeat.
The week of Audit,
Imagine, if it was a mandate to audit your life at the end of each year and file for a tax return. For each item of action that has led to a positive outcome, you get a refund and for the ones that set you back, you pay a penalty. A balance-sheet of your a year in your life.
How do you think your balance-sheet would look?
Here’s an audit of week of my life:
- On an average, I am awake for about 17 hours a day. I spent around 10 hours at work (including 1 hour of commute time). Now, I am left with 7 pure hours of self discovery & development.
But how true is that?
- 1.5 hours are purely dedicated to social media (Instagram, facebook, reddit etc. aka time spent lurking on other lives and mentally detesting my own)
- 30mins — 60 mins is reading time for me, routinely before falling asleep. I would call it an investment towards myself, had the recent materials not spanned from ‘5-quick-poses-that-gets-you-pregnant-in-a-pop’ to ‘Are-you-really-a-red-hiding-in-a-blue-jacket?’
- 60mins every morning to look somewhat presentable for work and 30 mins every night to retire to somewhat not presentable.
- 2hours — 3 hours every evening dedicated to one of the silent vows in every longterm relationship ‘in-netflix-and-hulu-until-dead-brain-cells-do-us-apart’. (Sorry Prime, we’re not there yet!)
I might not even have an account for the last 1- 2 hours.
This hit me like a lightening strike! If I were to die in a freak accident tomorrow, my tombstone would read, ‘made-over-1000-instagram-stories-in-2-years’.
That month about Health,
The biggest goal for my 100 day plan was to bring back my focus on my health. I expanded my microscopic focus from ‘fit back in size 2’ to ‘feel and look healthy’.
Most New Yorkers are obsessed with different forms of cardio, I am not entirely sure why, but it is rumored to give you a high that grants you to the right to walk faster than everyone else, simultaneously expressing annoyance at slow walkers.
As a true New Yorker, I joined one such high intensity cardio gym.To sum my experience in a sentence it felt like, I was being brutally punished for the cupcake I might have secretly savored for lunch, whilst pretending to enjoy my no-dressing-lettuce salad.
I never got to the part where you get high. I think I ran out of all of my conserved energy during the first 10 mins of warm up and then played catch-up for the next one hour.
But, there was no giving up. Must punish myself twice a week for 60 mins, until it felt normal. It never felt normal. However, I did start to see the delight people got from BDSM.
The month about Peace,
We’re so contained by our everyday drama, that we don’t even stop to ask ourselves,
‘Is this even making me happy?’
This week, I blocked my calendar to go through my old bookmarks and pick something that I had been pushing into the abyss of distant future called tomorrow.
I was eyeing this serene buddhist temple in Upstate New York for a long time. Incidentally that weekend coincided with a national holiday giving me a 5 day access window. Without a blink, I was on the next train to the mountains.
This was probably one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. It was an experience of a lifetime. This place was what I would imagine heaven to be like — beautiful kind people, green hills as far as eyes could see, quiet and serene.
My dorm room was a quiet hike in the forest from the food hall. This place was phone & TV free. I found myself reading, hiking, meditating, eating well and exploring. The Buddhist talks gave me a sense of purpose and made me look beyond regular mundane annoyance of my daily life. I came back to the city and joined their New York city center and still enjoy my weekly meditation practice.
The month about being Real,
Our life is about one endless scroll after another. With each scroll our mind silently registers tiny facts about people that we start believing is true, when we see them multiple times.
I had gotten an invite for a talk, that week. On a usual Wednesday day, I would happily ignore this. But, I am quite fond of this female CEO and her work. I decide to invest in myself, that evening and spend the next three hours attending the talk.
Her talk blew me away. She was a CEO of a beauty brand, but she spoke about how blind we were in this influenced world. From your hair, to what you eat, to what you choose and what you wear and who you adore — do you know how many of those choices are really yours?
First things first. Goodbye boring bland lettuce salad with tofu, you will never be missed! I decided to flaunt my real curls a bit more, each day. I bought my hard cover fantasy novel and read it proudly in the subway and deleted ‘Sci-fi daily’ from my watch list.
The month about Love,
Networking is a good thing, especially for my industry. This week I decided to attend one such networking event after work with a few friends. I indulged in many small talks here and there, but overall the major theme was,
‘Who’s side are you on?’
What drew me most to Buddhism was, how selfless and un-judge-mental their view was about life, love and the universe. I found myself standing in the corner dreading to be a part of ‘Will HongKong ever make it back?’ type of pointless conversation.
Half our world, is at war with each other and the other half is funding either Team A or Team B.
We’re so busy choosing sides that we forget that innocent people who have nothing to do with it all, just like you & me are stuck in this crossfire everyday.
Some relief fund decided to drop a few food bags into a war zone and that fed 300 people for a day, that made news — but the other 25,000 who didn’t make the cut, did not.
When did we forget to love?
Not love A over B, just love.
Because they have a right to live, just like you and me.
Because, not they collectively but they singularly as one human, did not choose any of this.
Because they’re victims of this, as much as you and I could be tomorrow.
The month about Sustenance,
It is easier to do things in sprints and declare victory, but committing to something for the rest of your life takes real courage. That’s why dating seems fun and marriage takes a lot of effort and isn’t for everyone.
My challenge was to find a sustainable way to keep up this lifestyle. I felt like I was in the best phase of my life. But how do I make this last over 100 days?
Keto is a local favorite around here. It seemed like ‘panda-express-once-a-week’ wasn’t going to fly in the long haul. I decided to try something called the ‘Whole30’.
What did it take?
My entire social life! It took immense mental strength to leave the bread behind, skip the pizza on Fridays and pass the cocktails on Saturday nights.
But I was very surprised to see how much extra energy I had in me. I sprung out of bed at 6am without an alarm, made real weekly dinners and had to no longer pretend to really enjoy my yoga classes!
The month about Demise,
I felt like I was in a Vitamin commercial. My meditation & journal practice was on point, I was eating heathy, exercising and my mood had recently experienced a new state called, bliss.
Alas, good things last, till you can make them last! This happy high ended somewhere in the later part of my Australia trip. I gave into ample amount of fish & chips and paused my everyday journal & meditation practice, to make room for enjoyment. Soon enough my old habits creeped in and my mood went back to autopilot mode of regular level of discontent.
By the time I got back, I was uneasy, bloated and emotionally constipated. The jet-lag did not help at all and I felt like I had lost the magic.
I found myself being quite unhappy at my regular routine and knew I needed to go the extra mile to get the magic back
The contemplation, disappointment & planning took a while and before I knew I had run out of my 20s and was 160 days late to writing my adulting article.
Whatever you want it to be! I found a certain kind of happiness when my days had a purpose, apart from the daily humdrum. As I walk into my 30s, I committed to going to go back to living consciously with a purpose. But while we’re still here, I’d like to share three things I learnt over my most accomplished 110 days of this 2019:
- Remember as a child when people asked you ‘Who do you want to be when you grow up?’ Don’t stop asking yourself day every single day!
- Question yourself, ‘who you are’ along with every choice you make.’ It is too noisy out there to lose yourself, hold yourself true and live authentically through who you are.
- Don’t forget to love. This world can be cruel sometimes, but there is enough good to go around.