On Work Life Blend

We all seek to find balance amongst our various responsibilities.
It is easier said than done.

My colleague Anne and I caught up after work hours on Monday. Anne thanked me for always being available to her. I told her this – “Anne, Yep! I am always available to you. Because, you are one of my favorite girls. Moreover, over the years, I have learnt there is no such thing as work life balance for me. There is ONLY work life blend.” Anne agreed with me and appreciated my observation.

I have all kinds of asks of myself and my life. For example, I don’t believe in not showing up to one the boys concert during work hours. I also don’t believe in not working after I get back home because there should be supposedly be clear boundaries between work and life.

Given the contradictory asks that I have of myself and my life, I do what works for me.
I huddle with my colleagues both during and after work hours to make progress on projects.
I start meetings early or leave late during weekdays…whatever works on that day.
I gain permission (by building trust) to reach colleagues when I have to.
I give colleagues permission to call me when they have to.
I routinely pour over work stuff during the weekends.
I want my boss and colleagues to know that I will always rock heaven, deep earth and everything in between to keep moving the ball forward on all my projects…no matter what the odds.

I also show up to most of the boys events….even if it means showing up a few minutes late.
The boys are elated to see me when I rush in to a performance hall or tournament and wave my hand crazily at them.
I want them to know that they are very important to me…and I will always show up to cheer and support them…no matter what the odds.

In my current state of life, given my varying responsibilities, there can’t be clear boundaries between work and life. If I want to be able to be a parent and an employee, I can’t balance…I need to blend.

Think about it. What works for you?

Whether it is work life balance or work life blend…you do what is right for YOU.
It will all work (pun intended) out eventually!

On Wiping your Slate Clean

We are born with a clean slate.
No knowledge of ourselves.
No memories.
No worldly things.
No clutter.
Nothing.

Well mostly…nothing.
According to the Hindu believes, we all go through multiple births and carry our karma forward. But, let us not get into that discussion. Let us save that discussion for another day and time.

Today, let us focus on how we are all born with a clean slate and the subsequent happenings.

After we are born, we are given an identity.
Girl. Boy. Name.
We are told “Here is your hand. Here is your legs. Here is Dada. Here is Amma.”
As we call out Ma or Da…everybody around us rejoices.

We start hoarding memories in the biochemicals in our brain.
Our dear ones around us tell us – “These are your clothes. These are your toys.”

We grow up and put more stuff in our brains…without any garbage cleaning ever.
We start hoarding fat around our bodies.
We don’t purge.

Then, worst of all, we start hoarding things.
Car. House. Stuff in our drawers.

I want you to pause here.
Seriously.
Pause.
Look around yourself.
Look at your house.
Look at your car.
Look at the pantry.
Look at the drawers.
Look at the cabinets.
Look inside yourself.

See the crap?
Do you see it?

We think it is ours.
Stuff..that we can’t take with us anywhere.
Let us assume….an earthquake hit us….a hurricane…can we take this stuff that lies all around us. Or, God forbid, death takes us.

The fancy furniture.
The fancy clothes.
The fancy bags.

Can we take all this stuff?
No. We can’t.

We might not even be able take to our most precious belonging….the people that we love.
We will have to leave everything behind when death overcomes us.

Ma. Dada. Our legs. Our hands.
Everything.

Fire will take us over. Or the Earth.

We will be consumed.
We will be returned to dust.
Star dust.
Where we all started.

I urge you to think about this.
Declutter the clutter.
Around you and inside you.
Wipe the slate clean.

Ambal’s Blog – Start Here

Grandpa’s (also referred to as Thatha) stories and teachings:

On Unchaining Yourself and Breaking Free

On Giving your Word

Somebody’s Fruit

The Mindset to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

Seat of Speculation

Remembering Chandra Patti

How would You React to the Wrong Order Delivered?

Culture. Traditions. Immersion. New Beginnings.

On Finding Peace and Strength

On Death & Survival

The VibHuti – The story behind the white streak on my forehead

Live Near a Place of Worship

My Most Memorable Childhood Experiences are with Thatha

The Starfish Story

Writing:

When I Write

Why do you Write? Part 1 – Paying it Forward

Why do you Write? Part 2 – Finding Meaning

Writing is very Lonely Work

Writing to Heal and Open Up

To risk making a fool of yourself

What can you learn from some of the best writers in history?

Rainbow Stories:

Rainbow Days – On Waiting

Rainbow Days – Meeting the Vet

Rainbow Days – The Dog Ate My Homework

Rainbow Days – Who is walking Who?

Rainbow Days – The Dog Whisperer

Rainbow Days – Smile All Day

Rainbow Days –Unconditional Love

Rainbow Days – A Man is a Dog’s Best Friend?

Rainbow Days – Falling off the Morning Routine Bandwagon

Wonder:

On Flying

Today, I let Wonder Win

Symmetry in Nature – What a Wonder?

Life through a 8 year old’s eyes

The UnReality of Reality – Fascinating Digital Images

Wildy Chasing Wildflowers in Texas Hill Country

Keep Looking for What doesn’t Meet the Eye

Poems:

5 LIFE Changing Poems YOU Should Read

Let me Lead a Purposeful Life

Remember to Forget

Desiderata – Desired Things

Your children are Not Your Children

Dear Human: You’ve got it all Wrong

Yours is the Earth and Everything That’s in It

A time to be born, and a time to die

On Vanity of Human Toil

Time & Moments:

On Time

On Waiting

Embrace‬ ‪the‬ ‪Metaphysical‬

Look at the Sun Rays

All Kind of Miracles Happen. Don’t they?

Experience Moments, One by One

Warm water of the Atlantic Ocean. Met my feet.

The Mindset to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

I would have bet Bolt hands down!

On What you are seeking and How it is seeking you

Thoughts of a Weary Traveler

On Moments that become Meaningless

Right place at the Right time with the Right person

Nostalgia Reminds us that some Beautiful Moments are Past Us

Moments eventually come to an End

Mad Rush through the Grocery Store Aisles

Life:

On Life

When all of Life seems Ablaze

Thoughts of a Weary Traveler

Life through a 8 year old’s eyes

Let me Lead a Purposeful Life

Summer Camp – How to Handle LIFE as it Happens

We are all creatures of our Life Experiences

First Anniversary Celebration of Life

Every Day Life is very Interesting

True Freedom in Life

On Running for the Hills

The Simple Pleasures of Life – Hot Chai

Friends make our Life’s one way Journey Extra Sweet

The Simple Pleasures of Life – Warm Sand

In reality, to live a happy life we need to know and practice very few skills

Isn’t Life about Second Chances?

On walking away from my Chariot

I would have bet Bolt hands down!

Right place at the Right time with the Right person

On Not Forgetting

I tried to hold it together and stay strong at Iris’ memorial. But, I couldn’t. I broke down when her husband Jerry (man of few words) said to Iris -“Honey, Wherever you are, I want you to know I love you. I want you to know I’ll do my very best to take care of the boys and your parents”. Jerry urged us to not take any moment with our loved one for granted.

I brought home some forget-me-not seeds to plant in the backyard. I bet they’ll bloom beautiful in a few months.

Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are”

Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn’t faith believing
All power can’t be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
‘Cause you are mine
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you’re there
A breath away’s not far

To where you are

I know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

On Mortality

I am going to be heading out tomorrow afternoon to a friend’s memorial. Iris died of breast cancer. Iris loved my boys as if they were her own.

When Adi went on robotics tournaments, she was his second mom. She would text me pictures of score boards and Adi driving the robot. She was so proud of him. She cared for Ari in her after school center. She leaves behind her young boys, her loving husband and a whole bunch of people she cared genuinely for and who adore her.

As you can tell, death has wreaked havoc on my life (pun, intended) in the last few months.

To make sense of it all and share my thoughts and pain, I am going to be writing a rather morose series of posts on Life & Death. I’ll understand if you are unable to handle it and don’t want to read on.

If you can handle it, read on….

Ready for it? Ok.

Let us assume you and I found out you one of our loved ones is going to die 24 hours from now, what would we do?

We would drop everything.
Right?
We would rush to them.
We would hold their hand.
We wouldn’t even blink our eye.
We would tell them how much we love them.
We would move heaven and earth to stop, evade or slow the impending 24 hours deadline.

Now, think about it.

I gave a “fake” 24 hour deadline.
But, the truth of the matter is we don’t even know when the deadline is.
But, it is approaching us.

We all believe, falsely, that time is infinite.
How tragically beautiful that belief is?

Time isn’t infinite.
Time is ticking.

For you.
For me.
For our loved ones.
For all of us.

Hear that.

Tick.
Tick.
Tick.

We all know this.
Yet, we make plans.
We make dinner plans.
We make plans for tomorrow.
For next week.
For next month.
For next year.
It sounds ridiculous, does it not?

Well, it is called hope.
Humanity has thrived on hope.

I am not going to end this post, as I typically do, on a positive note.
I am not going to say – Make it all count.