Frenzy

On our last day, a few hours before we were to leave Munnar, I hurried up the hill on the left. It strikes me now as a typically Christian scene. Christianity is a religion in a rush. Look at the world created in seven days. Even on a symbolic level, that’s creation in a frenzy. To one born in a religion where the battle for a single soul can be a relay race run over many centuries, with innumerable generations passing along the baton, the quick resolution of Christianity has a dizzying effect. If Hinduism flows placidly like the Ganges, then Christianity bustles like Toronto at rush hour. It is a religion as swift as a swallow, as urgent as an ambulance. It turns on a dime, expresses itself in the instant. In a moment you are lost or saved. Christianity stretches back through the ages, but in essence it exists only at one time: right now.

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

Right now, I’m super present to how I’m pulling myself in two directions.

On the one hand, I seem to push myself to always be doing something.

Work right now is a bit crazy. For a couple weeks, my team has been doing a lot of overtime as we draw close to a project deadline. I was really hoping today was going to be the last day of overtime, but it looks like it’s going to carry on at least throughout the week.

I have my bouncy ball jars as an indicator of some of my goals sitting in my living room. Whenever I take a break from work, I’ve been trying to get those jars under control. I say under control because progress stopped for a while when I had my migraine. Fortunately my running jar is completely under control again–I somehow managed to pull off almost 60km last week. But now my workout jar is getting out of control. There’s always something more to do.

Then I just have my to-do list in general that I always try to keep my eye on. It’s not everyday I’m making good progress on that, either. Like, right now looking at my kitchen, I’ve got a bunch of boxes sitting on the counters, clean dishes that need to be put away, and dirty dishes that need to be loaded into the dishwasher. It’s very visible that there’s always something else to be done.

And on the other hand, I want to allow myself to slow down and be with things as they are.

Something I’ve noticed recently is that during meditation, my mind has been darting all over the place recently. It’s not even related to the things I have to do that I mentioned above. I’m just catching myself day-dreaming more often right now. I suspect it’s just a symptom of my mind having too much going on right now.

Sleep has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. Usually in the early afternoon, I start to get really sleepy. When I’m at work, I try to take a gym break around that time because doing something physical keeps me awake. Now that I’m working from home, I’m still keeping the same pattern. I try to work towards my goals–whether it be going for a run or working out–instead of taking a break to catch up on sleep. Though, I’m really torn on whether it would be better to just sleep.

Recharging has been difficult without sports. I suspect it’s because with sports, I don’t have the freedom for my mind to wander on so many things. So I wonder if continuing meditation will help (if my mind doesn’t continue racing as it does)? Or I wonder if I just need some do nothing time? Or reading time? In any case, I really should experiment to figure out recharging. I think it’s gonna be a while before I can use my old tactics.

Today I’m grateful for:

  • My family is safe and healthy. Instant messaging allows us to stay in touch throughout the week, and once a week we have a video call where we catch up and do something like play online games or watch a movie.
  • A bunch of things I ordered online about a month ago all arrived yesterday and today. I got a bunch of stuff that should make working out more easier, relaxing at home more comfortable, and eating semi-healthy more convenient.
  • I’ve been having some good catch up with friends through online hang outs and book clubs. A lot of these people I haven’t talked to in many years, and a lot of the conversations I haven’t had since university.
  • Despite COVID-19, I’m still working and we’re still allowed to go outside for exercise and shopping. When I was on a run, I was thinking about how grateful I am that COVID-19 didn’t hit when I was finishing up my schooling (especially if this happened during my thesis) and that we don’t have to deal with anything like the Hong Kong protests or social distancing protests at this time.

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