Saturday, February 16, 2013

Floating lessons... and a giveaway

I’m coming out of a plateau period.
Since October 2012, I’ve found that my life has lost some of its lustre. It’s been difficult to acknowledge because I try to base my everyday functioning on gratitude. I pray – when I do -- to give thanks, not to ask for something.
I have had to re-evaluate my life.
I’ve thought a long time about why I’ve been unable to blog, unable to work up enthusiasm for things that would otherwise stimulate me... I’ve thought of some possible reasons – and I share them because I know of other people around me who also feel the same ennui.
This is my advice to myself: it may work – adapted – for you.
Don’t be bogged down by what you love
I’ve always loved travel writing. I found it easy in Femina to express my absolute wonder at the places I visited. In fact, that wonder hasn’t gone away – I am still totally awed by each new place I visit, and, whether it is good or bad, I’m always, always grateful for the opportunity to actually be there. But the writing has become more difficult – till I do it. In October 2012, I had five stories to deliver. Just now, I have two; I wrote three for the intervening issues, and travelled and wrote a last-minute one as well.
And I can breathe again.
The important thing is to know what works for you. In the LPMI team, we have last-minute writers and writers who must put down all the emotion, the drama, before it fades from the mind. I am one of the latter, and I had allowed myself to forget that.
Know your emotional triggers
Kevin likes atmospheric lighting, I like tube lights – I know, I’m unsophisticated like that. The darkness of winter depresses me; I hate that the evening closes in so early. I hate leaving the brightness of the office to make that journey home in the dark. I’m fine once I get home – or to where people are alive and bright. My friends know that we have mental illness in my family. In fact, mental illness is a given in places like Mangalore where once families prided themselves on marrying only into certain other families. It means that we all have a tendency to depression. I acknowledge that, I recognise the triggers. Darkness is one of them.
There is nothing for it – if you’re like me, we just need to stay in the light, and move swiftly through the dark patches, both of the evening/night and our emotional life.
Stay disciplined
Discipline, as a word and concept, is not so hot these days. Somehow, it’s been wrongly imbued with the mundaneness of routine. In fact, discipline allows us to indulge in spontaneity. Getting what must be done out of the way means that you can do what you want with the rest of your day/ week/ month. Planning for and actually writing this blog allows me to free my mind – and in the process, get new ideas for what I want to put out there.
Be kind to yourself
Everyone has the right to give 80 per cent sometimes. So, this has been my 60 per cent period – but perhaps I owe it to myself. I’ve had health issues, I was bogged down by unwritten articles that were working themselves out in my subconscious, I was too tired to sleep properly (or honestly, found a book or a television programme too interesting)... I expected too much of myself. It happens.
Sometimes, all we can do is stay afloat. Nothing wrong with that.
During a particularly bad time, my beloved pal Christabel sent me this little note by an inspirational speaker:
“Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott.
“Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.
“On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. ‘Guess what, Mom?’ he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me: ’I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.’”
There is a time in everyone’s life to stand on the sidelines.
Live with it. It may pass, it may not.
It is still a blessing.
Long post, I know. Thank you for your patience.
Because even the most cynical of us need reminding sometimes, I have three giveaways of this poster I found on
Drop me a line in the comment box below if you’d like to be in the drawing for one.


  1. Hey Prima, wonderful thoughts... I totally identify with this state of 60% but probably cant articulate it as beautifully as you have..
    The catch is to be AWARE of the state & make sure we are out of it soon..

  2. Hey Reenna,
    Thank you for the comment.
    Yes, I think self-awareness is the key.
    And allowing our friends to help us get out of the funk!

  3. Prima, it's understandable that you sometimes get bogged down by your work and deadlines! I'd say not many people are as lucky as you - you get to do what you really love doing for a living and that is a real blessing!

    Also, depression is a strange thing....sometimes I get it without a reason! I feel a little low at certain times-immediately after Christmas and into the new year, that's the most depressing part of the year for me! Once February comes, I start feeling happier.

    Also, the number of times I've cried at my own funeral (while imagining it) is not funny! Wonder if anybody else is as strange as I am.

  4. Hey Prima,

    Lovely thoughts and expressed so well as always. Most often I forget being kind to myself and when I do feel very guilty... Like you mentioned staying disciplined also helps a great deal... hugs, Viv


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