Tag Archives: work life

The Happiness Project | Day 30

From six to thirty: it’s a bigggggggggggggg jump! Yes, I am talking about the missing 24-odd days of blogging in The Happiness Project.

I know I promised to write every single day in May, and I failed miserably at it. I have also not been uploading any videos on my YouTube channel. There is a reason behind this: generating content is difficult. Especially, when you are also trying to live your life at the same time. Not everyday you’d have stuff that you can talk about to an audience. And I am the sort of person who does not like to pour out content just for the sake of it.

Living the twenties is hard, especially if you are on your own, out of a relationship and living far away from family and suck at forming and maintaining friendships. An interesting bit I found about myself: even though I want to be around people (because being lonely sucks), I also love silence a lot. I like thinking by myself, and recording my thoughts in a diary. If I go out for two weekends straight, I find myself craving just being at home, having to do nothing other than chill out. That’s me!

As I was writing this, I revisited the first post in this series. The idea was to reconnect with the younger self of mine, who was more curious about things. I could not complete much of the things that I had listed down in that post, like growing plants and reading new books. But I definitely have started with a few things. There is no routine to anything yet, but I did make an effort to start.

For example, I got one of my previous teammates to come over at my place last weekend and help me with learning swimming. We also made cheesecake that evening, and it ended up being absolutely amazing. I also made an effort to go to a music school for guitar lessons. I did not really find the place worth joining at this point in time, but I did try doing something about learning an instrument.

I also started reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Is everything hanging out without me? I am making very slow progress, but I am at least getting somewhere.

Another interesting turn of events at work: I moved to a new project and am leading it. The last time I was really putting efforts in leading a team was around this time last year, and that time I was just pushed into the role because there was no one else to do the same thing. However, this year, I am a year older and have seen lot more stuff at work, and while I can’t say I am completely ready for the job, at least I have a few goals that I want to achieve in this role, and I trying my best to consciously work towards them.

So, as the clock strikes midnight and we step into brand new June of 2018, am I any happier? Well, definitely yes! Much more than I was when I began journaling this. Of course, not everything is perfect. I am feeling a bit weak physically this past week, and I am also waking up in the middle of the night every single day and am unable to fall asleep for an hour or two, and it scares me that the insomniac phase from the beginning of this year is returning again, but guess what? I try to not let that affect me. Yes, I would give anything to wake up earlier and get a lot more work done, but this is how it is. Maybe, something will change and my body clock with become right again. Maybe not. But I have to stay on top of my life.

So, what did I really learn in the past month?: Sometimes, breaking promises is good. Sometimes, letting yourself do what you feel like is good, even if they do not align to your goals. But in the other times, consciously trying to make 0.01% change towards your goals can lead to 10% increase in happiness. Okay, that’s a random number – but you get the point!

Thanks for being part of my journey! If you have been with me in this Happiness Project, I hope this concluding post makes up for the lack of the promised posts. Write to me in the Comments section – I love hearing from you guys!

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

A big part of grown up life is about taking decisions. Starting from what to cook for dinner, whether or not to buy the phone you have always wanted to, whether to move to a new place, when to say no, how to talk and convince people and so on.

Some of these decisions are easy to make, while others are more complicated. As, I grow I also understand the biases that I have. For example, as a person, I have never been the kind who likes to ‘advertise’. But every day at work, I am told, verbally and non-verbally, that I need to be able to sell what I am producing – in my case, my analysis. I need to be able to own the impact I create and say it out loud in front of the client. Well, like I said, I was never that person. My problem with advertising was, is, more often than not, people end up packaging lies as niceties and win brownie points. I am someone who likes white more than grey, which is why I struggle to polish the impact we might have created and presented it in a way that it is a big deal.

But I am at a point in my career where I need to take a decision: whether to take the leap and let go of my inhibition that stops me from being an efficient salesperson or hold on to the misplaced ideals that have become the biases that drive me.

When I was a schoolgirl, I was looking towards a future which looked hopeful. In that future, I could have been anyone: a doctor, a storyteller, a pilot, a painter. In that future, I would have been someone who a lot of people would know and respect. In that future, people around me would be proud of me.

But now that I am living that future, I am not who I thought I would be. My popularity is much more limited than many people of my age. At this point, I don’t know if the people around me really respect me. Or if they even like the person that I am.

Yes, perhaps the aim is not to be liked by everyone. But sometimes, it matters what the people immediately around you make of you. What can you do to make these people happy? Who can you be that will bring a smile to people’s faces? Because no matter how much we say ‘I live for myself’, we are social animals who thrive amongst others.

Everyday, I find myself in two minds while taking decisions. Does it get any easier? I hope so.

Until later,

 

Laughter is the best medicine

The last two weeks had been crazy at work – I had been returning late everyday. This week things are starting to look better.

Here is what I ensured to make sure we start leaving on time:

  • Setting right expectations with onsites – pushing back on deliverables that I do not foresee team completing without stretching
  • Trying to plan the day better

I realize that it is a continuous learning process and mistakes will happen. There will be days where we have to stretch, but things will get better as well. We just need to keep faith in ourselves.

The other thing that really keeps me going is the kind of fun environment we have at work. We are all mostly of the same age, so there is a open camaraderie. We are constantly cracking jokes, making fun of each other over silly things and laughing it out. Due to this, even during the most trying times, we can stay cool.

Tell me about some hard times you faced at work. What did you do to make things better?

When the Bengali awakens…

In September-October Bengali houses are dusted, broomed, cleaned. Clothes in cupboards are put in the sun. They get warm through the day and in the afternoon, the lady of the house brings them inside from the terrace, fold them neatly and put them back in the cupboard. Same treatment to the blankets and cushions.

The weather outside is warm, the sky is blue after the monsoons. White specks of clouds float all over the sky. If you go farther into the countryside, by the river, you would see kash flowers in all their glory, swaying their heads in the riverside breeze. Durga puja is coming.

This would by second Durga Puja away from home since I came to Bangalore. Needless to say, Durga Puja signify times of great celebration to the Bengali mind. When I was in Bengal, my awareness and appreciation of Bengali culture was minimal. Now, I remember the smallest rituals my parents maintained.

On Diwali, my mother would have us get jackfruit leaves. On the jackfruit leaves, earthen lamps were lit with oil and wick. Every Diwali evening, my brother would light tiny electric lamps in wires, and I would set candles throughout our balcony. This time I would go home just after Diwali. The air would be full with a chill. The houses in my neighbourhood would still sport the little lamps – remnants of Diwali celebration.

Life in Bangalore is different. You wake up. If it’s  a weekday, you get ready for office. You go to work, take calls, do the daily chore, come home jaded, either have dinner or do something on your phone and then sleep. On a weekend, you don’t go to office, but go somewhere else, see some movie, cook something nice and go to sleep. I wish I could break the routine. That’s something I liked about last week. I was sick with fever, had trouble getting up and had to take leave. It felt good to be home on a weekday, when the house was silent. I dreaded the time when everyone would be back and the house would be chirping again.

A lonely September afternoon is a very personal thing. You can simply watch the trees from the balcony, watch the squirrels play in the trees, read a book and watch at the vast blue sky. Not a worry in life.

Wish I could add some meaning in my life – do something different.

Life@Bangalore

So it’s been two months since I came to Bangalore. The fear and insecurities that I had before stepping foot in this city were palpable in my blog-posts. Looking back upon those days, reviewing what I had been feeling at the time, I find that so far I have been quite lucky.

My biggest worry was how to find a proper place to stay. I had had enough of staying at paying guest accommodation in college days. But I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to afford a flat here either. Thankfully, the very day I came here I found someone who offered me a room in the flat where she was moving. So, one problem was solved.

Bangalore, I heard, is an expensive city. Coming from West Bengal, it especially feels that way. Having lived here for two months and constantly checking with my mother the grocery bills, I am convinced that Bangalore is not as expensive as people make it out to be. Sure, the transport cost if high. But thankfully, I live near office, so commuting cost is saved.

Speaking of travelling: I had always wanted to see places. But since coming, I haven’t had a chance to see much of where I am. First and foremost reason is I don’t know much people around to go out with yet. Second is, I  work from 9 AM to past 9 PM. But guess I must strive to explore the city in the coming days.

There were days in college and post-college when no day was any different from the other. Each day looked, smelled and felt the same. Having just joined work life, I already learnt to appreciate the importance of weekends, and realized why Friday nights feel like festivals. Not that I have been partying hard, but not having that constraint to wake up at 7 AM in the morning is so relaxing!

The best outcome of being so far from home and working at a place called Mu Sigma is, you are pushed to your most extreme limits. So, in the end, if you do come out unscathed by circumstances, you are stronger, you are better, and you are someone who you’re proud to be. Talking about pride, it’s 10 PM and I must go cook something for myself – whatever little I cook has been appreciated time and again by my flatmates, that is one more thing that excites me about life@Bangalore!

Have you ever lived in a city other than your hometown? How was the first dates with the new city like, when both you and the city were testing each other? Share with me in the Comments.

P.S: My ebook, Bound by Life, is available for free download from 9th December through 13th December on Amazon. So, if you haven’t already downloaded it, do it NOW!

 

The Coffee Convert

I am neither a coffee nor a tea person. So far I have been happy to be so, because I have seen so many people (including my mom) complain of headaches if they do not get that cup of morning or evening tea. But I might be a convert soon!

Today was my second day at office and one of the coolest things about the place, according to a few colleagues, is the free coffee and tea from the vending machine. Coffee is available in three flavours (I think) there; espresso and latte being two. My first cup today was an espresso. Actually, I had meant to press the button for latte but somehow ended up pressing the one next to it. My bad!

Espresso was officially my first coffee, during the early days of college. One of my then-roommates had taken me to City Centre 1 and treated me to an Espresso. I had pretty much decided to give up trying coffee after I tasted that thing. My pretty taste buds don’t like bitter (just like my ears!).

It took a few dates with the cold coffee at Cafe Coffee Day to revive my romance with caffeine (Did you know that cold coffee has less caffeine than the hot brew?). I have been a fan of cold coffee since the third year of college, I suppose, but not to the extent to have coffee everyday (I might have been, if it was not so expensive at CCD!).

Anyways, as I took the first sip today, my mouth instantly revolted. I was like, who likes this bitter drink anyway? If you’re an espresso fan, feel free to talk about your love here. I’m so curious to know how possibly someone can love that thing.

The second cup of coffee was the ever-sweet, milky latte. I sipped it slowly with the straw, savouring every drop. I’d have had some more cups, but then I won’t be far from getting that coffee-craving-headache, would I? I so don’t want to end up like my mom.

Seems like work life has started playing its charms on me! I might be, in a few days, officially, a coffee convert.

How long have you been taking tea/coffee? Was there any specific time period when you started taking them?  Do you get a headache if you don’t get that cup of tea? Jump into the discussion! Leave me a comment below.