Balancing Life in 2018


What is it about the ending of a year that makes you think of all the things you want to do and don’t want to do? Why can’t we resolve to get fit or start painting classes somewhere in the middle of the year? After all, isn’t time a continuum? We attribute an end and a beginning to a chunk of minutes and hours and months for our own convenience. But that’s about it.

In the last few days, I found myself wandering over to look at my old blog where I used to post book reviews. I read through a few and realized that I missed reading books and dissecting them in my reviews. I used to remember a book more deeply when I used to write about it but now I am just racing from book to book in a bid to read as many as possible. I feel like a greedy kid dipping my grubby hands into a cookie jar, trying to get all the cookies possible. Well, I always was greedy when it came to books but I think meaningful reading has been eluding me. Many times, this year, I felt like writing a review after I read a book. My fingers practically itched to dance away on the keyboard. But there would always be work or something else that made me put aside the book review. Coming back to it after I had read another 2 books in the interim didn’t make sense, and this circle continued.

Reading books and writing a review is also somehow calming. It’s like meditation. Probably because it made me think. Reflect. Understand. So does photography, in many ways. And running, which I had not pursued with perseverance after a sciatica problem stopped me in my tracks a year ago.

I am not going to make a list of goals for 2018. I think goals should be there everyday and can be achieved at any time during the year. There is only one thing I would wish for my 2018 to have. Balance. SM, yes, I do think about what you tell me. Lead a balanced life, include everyone and everything, she said. Is it really that difficult? The motivation is right there – if you love something you will do it. Here are the things I look forward to including in my life this new year.

Book/movie reviews – no targets. But must write. Book reviews more so because I am not really adept at reviewing movies.

Poetry – I used to have a post called ‘Versedays’ on my old blog every week. It featured a poem that was not particularly popular but was nevertheless beautiful. It helped me discover some wonderful poems and I miss that entire process of hunting for the perfect poem to post.

365 days photo project – Cliched, yes. Easy, hell no. SM, I am taking up your challenge.

Fitness – Work myself back to 10k runs. And maybe, just maybe, fulfill that lingering dream of running a half marathon. Be able to do a few pull ups by the end of the year.

Open my mind to things I wouldn’t do otherwise – Read a science fiction book, take an online course in the basics of chemistry (gulp), watch a superhero movie, make a complicated dish.

Light up my circle of life – Make the people who have wholeheartedly included me in their lives feel more included in mine. Just that. And I would have taken one big step, I think, because that takes awareness, kindness, understanding, and a whole lot of other difficult things. Thank you, SM.

Too many to handle? We have about 16 waking hours a day. A 30 minute workout, 10 minutes to post the POTD, 30 minutes of reading a book, 30 minutes of learning something, 30 minutes of writing (split one review across a few days). That totals just 2 hours and 10 minutes so far. Difficult? I will find out.

That brings me back to the art of balancing. The key to having it all. I hope 2018 makes me an artist of it. I wish you the same.

Ending this post with an apt poem by Hafiz that I love but had forgotten.

All the Hemispheres
Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out
Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.
Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.
Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.
Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.
Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.
All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of

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