Isolation Diaries #1

isolationI have now completed an entire month of working from home. I dragged myself out of bed, into my workout clothes and placed myself on my yoga mat. Fifteen minutes later, I gave up. I came to terms with the fact that today was going to be yet another less than optimal day and I will have to work on not feeling guilty. With a giant sigh, I placed myself at my dining table also doubling up as my work desk and took a look at the endless to-do list I created for myself last evening.  Two more long sighs later, I crawled back into bed. Could I just scratch today off already?

An hour later when my opened my eyes, the day was still very much around. I tossed around in bed and unable to sleep any longer, swung my legs off. I was caught in a strange space where my brain refused to shut down nor did it agree to function. I do not know about you but in the past week, I witness these days more often than not. After the first few days of pushing my brain against its will to do something useful, I had learnt to give in to stasis. If you think about it, it isn’t all that bad. With every other day of lethargy, I still had three good days every week – more than enough to chalk up some good karma.

After all, in the past one month, I wrote 15 pieces, read one book, delivered one webinar, began two coursera courses, learnt to cook 10 new dishes (including basics such as kadhi, besan chilla and sambhar), skipped for longer than I ever had (150) at a stretch and leant to do half a push-up. And all of this over and above my regular day job. I am impressed with self (no, am not gloating. Ok, maybe a little bit.)

So what do I do on my off days? I spend all day watching random YouTube videos, eat a lot, cook little, wash utensils (unavoidable) and stare for hours at one page of a book. Not bad, eh? If am lucky some of the videos I watch will include a TED talk and my course chapters. If am luckier, my mind will wander and land upon some topics for my next blogpost.

There was a time when my motto in life was – ‘No zero days’. The one thing I have learnt from staying locked at home for a month is that it is ok to have zero days. It is ok to lie around like a walrus and not feel terrible about it for likely when you look back at a longer time duration you would have done some pretty impressive stuff – even if it were just rearranging your bookshelves 12 different ways.

So go on – make the best of the downtime. Chalk up some wins but even if you don’t, it is absolutely ok.


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