Monday, March 23, 2009

Was it really a bad day?

Everyone has these really nasty days. There are several reasons for having a nasty day, you get multiple pieces of bad news, you get screamed at by you boss, you have multiple meetings where things don’t click, you mess up your work, your wife/husband/bf/gf calls midway in a conference and you have a fight or maybe something more trivial.. like the attractive colleague at work you’ve been eyeing for some time starts spending time with a better looking male/female colleague. And then everything looks like its out to get you. You imagine you are getting bad vibes from everyone and everything. You snap at your subordinate, you scream at your best friend, and you misbehave with your mentor. And that makes you feel worse because somewhere inside you, you know that you are being nasty with people who are not at fault. And it becomes a vicious circle.

At such times, I always believe in telling myself that its a bad day. Just admitting that, and knowing that I am responsible for and can be in control of making things better makes me feel better.

There is always this one person at work, one insignificant non descript person sitting in some corner of the floor whom I don’t usually talk to. I go and talk to that person. That person never lets me down.. He always talks nicely to me and has an infectious smile. It always makes me feel good talking to him, he never frowns, never snaps. On my bad days when I talk to him I promise myself, that as a person, this is what I want to become some day. The kind of person everyone can talk to, at anytime, anyday, and know that I will make them feel good. I do hope that someday I will be such a person.

Sometimes I open my chat messenger and start talking to whoever is online. And I never talk about myself. I always talk about the other person. I try to understand whats going on in that persons life.. I have a genuine friendship with most people I chat online, and we don’t do PC. And it helps me and soothes me talking to people I know. About anything. Sometimes about things they did the previous weekend. Sometimes about things that are wrong in their life. Sometimes about how they are in love. Its nice to be a listener. It is good karma. It soothes the mind. And it feels good if I can be of any help to someone who needs an ear. And even without realizing it, the other person makes my troubles go away.

And sometimes, I write. I just write without a care in the world. Like now. I write whats on my mind. Without a direction, without any flow, without reason. Without thinking if I will put it on the blog, or whether I will mail it to my best friend. That too helps. I got the same question again today. Why do I blog? Or write. And I had the same answer. It makes me feel good.

I always say that life is like the ocean. It has its crests and it has its trough. The ride is not smooth. But if you stay long enough out there, you get used to it and it doesn’t really bother you. Till suddenly some big wave comes along and you are on the crest. And you love the feeling. Or when you miss the big wave and you are in a trough, a deep one. But the thing to remember is that no trough and no crest lasts for long. And they are intermittent. They follow each other. There is nothing like an eternal high or an eternal low. Some crests are longer than the others, but you never notice those. Some troughs are longer than the others and you always notice those. It doesn’t really matter. Because it shall come to pass. And you shall move on. To different things, usually to better things.

At times when I feel bad, I look back 2 years. And I think about all the things that I felt bad about that time. And I think about how those things didn’t matter. How they seemed so huge then and how they don’t mean a thing to me now. About how much of time and thoughts I wasted feeling bad about something that had no significance in my life. And then I think whether what I am feeling bad about right now will have any significance in my life 2 years from now.. or 6 months from now, or a month from now. Invariably I discover that it doesn’t matter. If you look at the bigger picture there are very few things in life that really matter. And the key to happiness is perhaps realizing those things.

Today I had a new subordinate join my team. I was working late and he came upto me and asked, “I completed my work, can I go home”. It kinda shocked me a little bit. I don’t remember asking that to my manager ever. Actually the last time I ever asked that question was when I got the Indian version of detention and was asked to stay back after school. After working abroad for a year and a half, I hope I have not forgotten how things work in India. If I go back to India, will I have to ask my manager before I leave for home? Or is it dependent on the company and not the country? This new guy was new to the company as well as my team. I don’t think that such culture exists in my firm. But its a scary thought!! I do plan to return to India at some point, and I do plan to work in the Indian work culture. But I so do not want to ask my manager everyday before I leave for home!

I am now much calmer and do not think that this is such a bad day. Hence I will go home, and not snap at people. I can now go back to being a happy Merlin :).

Quote of the day:
“Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words”
Calvin in Calvin & Hobbes

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