It’s been a difficult fall, but November was lovely. Nothing materially changed; the pandemic continues, the world still feels strange and I only just managed to get an appointment for a now seemingly necessary booster as more variants were announced this weekend. It was simply the passage of time and a shifting frame of mind that allowed me to think through what I love to do, and who I love to spend time with. The past couple of weeks have been wonderful. I got to celebrate one of my close friends’ birthday, hang out with more close friends, attend a virtual wedding for someone who is an awesome person, and spend the long weekend with my brother who treats me like royalty. All I can say is, thank you to everyone who brought me joy this month. In September, I couldn’t even fathom what joy felt like. I just had to wait and breathe. For folks in the US, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! For everyone else, I hope you enjoyed it anyway. 🙂 Love you all!
Heat, Pressure, Release
I did yoga this afternoon at home, thinking it was in the 80s outside because that’s what the forecast said yesterday. I felt like I need to center my mind to make it feel like a Sunday and just stretch my tense muscles out. Turns out it was about 100 F. No wonder I felt like I’d done a hot yoga class instead.
Last week was a lot in all kinds of ways, but I was able to find a way to assert my boundaries and enjoy what I got out of it. I wrote a polite and constructive but firm email stating that work was starting to feel insane to my boss and the CEO of the company on Tuesday. This lead to a good meeting with them and me then creating a spreadsheet with all my major tasks last week (I really took it to the next level of detail, down to calculating an estimate of how many hours I’d spent on emails). Turns out I’d spent 71 hours working last week, and that’s not counting random calls, chats and requests from clients and colleagues, or reading about the industry and our clients. I’m really hoping this leads to better conversations where the executive team actually takes us seriously when we say we’re overwhelmed and don’t have time for any additional low priority ad hoc requests. I hope it leads to thoughtful discussions around where we can improve how we spend our time so our work feels more meaningful and we have the time to actually have a life outside of our jobs. We are not robots, Silicon Valley. This should be particularly obvious with a pandemic raging, climate change turning weather insane, and just the world being in a state of chaos.
Calmly taking charge of expressing myself was a boon. It released a lot of the angst and tension I’d been feeling, and was a gift for that reason. Every source of frustration is also an opportunity to set your boundaries, express your needs, give the other person the chance to help you or meet you half way, and negotiate. All good things, without getting destructive either with your thoughts or in terms of the way you express anger or frustration. Good for me to remember and try to practice when I can.
Another step towards growth last week for me was trying to re-frame things not working out as opportunities for something else. 🙂 This is a fun one, and I’m usually pretty good at it but there’s been too much external pressure and breakage lately for me to manage right away. This has taken a toll on some of my abilities and strategies to stay resilient, and I’ve had to just sit with the negative emotions and accept them. They are also important, and life has ups and downs.
Some friends of mine wanted to catch up yesterday at a restaurant, for example, but bailed as the conditions were bad in the city and they changed their plans. I was definitely sad I wouldn’t see them at first, but also got to cook a delicious dinner with fresh ingredients, finish my errands without rushing, and work on music in the evening. I actually loved having that time to myself after a crazy week at work. We had planned to catch up again today, but the air quality is terrible in the city. We’re doing a video chat instead, and I’m really grateful this is an option with modern technology. I can’t imagine what this kind of a pandemic would have been like 30 years ago without Zoom/Skype/Google. A second example, today, it was really hot, but I got to do a hot yoga class at home without paying for the studio time nor having to deal with bad feet smells. 🙂
Happy Wednesday :)
I had a genuinely good day yesterday, and was happy. 🙂 Some of my work projects are winding down, I gave pointed, critical feedback to executives at work about some major work overload issues that were affecting the entire company. My feedback was (at least on the surface) received well, which was a good feeling.
I was also able to provide all the information needed for a new contact at a new branch we’re launching during a call, and could really see how much my knowledge about our product has grown. It was a really good feeling to be able to help them out with every question they had during the call without having to say, “let me get back to you on that one.”
Spent some time relaxing, singing and working on a new song after what felt like ages. Hoping for a peaceful end to the week, and so excited about the 3 day weekend!
Take care, peeps. I hope you are all staying safe and well!
I went to get cavities refurbished at my dentist’s today. My dentist and the staff at their office are amazing. It was truly the highlight of my day, and I felt completely relaxed afterward. Weird way to start my two days off, but I was really grateful for the change and their kindness. It was a reminder of how many risks essential workers brave to provide services like health, food, and dental care, and I’m truly thankful for their bravery.
Work is still insane and I’m sad to say I’m working during my days off, but somehow my sense of calm has persisted despite a rushed morning. I’m also really grateful that I got a solid night’s sleep last night, and the air was clean when I walked over to my dental appointment. Small things. 🙂
I’m hoping to get to work on a new song that I finished writing a couple of weeks ago and wrap it up over the next couple of weeks! It’s been some time since I’ve released a new song, so I’m excited to finish it. It’s an interesting one, so requires a different way of thinking. I’m looking forward to pushing myself. 🙂
10K+ Monthly Listeners on Spotify!
Today started off with some really good news: I’ve crossed 10K monthly listeners on Spotify! Was so excited to see that this morning!
A bright spot for me in a tough couple of weeks out here with the massive fires in California. San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area have been covered in smoke for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been hard to breathe or think. Some of us have been feeling really ill from inhaling all the pollution.
Strange times, these. I’m grateful for a break from worrying about the future, not just my own for the next several decades of my life, but the legacy we leave behind for future generations as climate change, environmental damage and social inequities continue be problems for the world.
More to follow on that as the fires continue to rage…
Creative juices flowing
I finished writing a song last week, and after a long time today just sat down to write a brand new song out of nowhere.
This wasn’t planned for the album, but this song had words to say. I think it’s been years since I last did this (“Impossible” may have been the last song where this happened??), but I finished this new song in one sitting and it literally just wrote itself.
Sudden, unexpected tears pouring down my face with the emotional release, and I’m really grateful. It feels cathartic, and peaceful, and the words poured out from a place that’s raw and real.
May peace be with you all this weekend! Love and hugs. 🙂
Peace, finally :)
It’s the end of the week, and a lot of my projects are starting to come to a close. I also found some closure this week, and was at peace today after a long time.
This weekend will be as fun as the new normal can be, with virtual and socially distanced gatherings with loved ones. I’m excited for it, and finally found some energy again.
Grateful for the Good Days
Joe Biden just announced that Kamala Harris is his VP pick. I haven’t felt this much joy in weeks if not months. I’m so grateful for today.
I’ve learned to celebrate every moment I can find that gives me a reprieve from feeling worn down during the pandemic. It’s a skill to work on especially as this is now a longer term prospect that may stretch into next year.
I also finished writing the lyrics for a new song Sunday night…excited to start working on the production for it this week!
After the Funeral
“It’s the end of an era,” said Appa (my father) and my aunt separately when I reached out to them after my grandmother’s funeral. It truly feels that way. Today’s funeral was a really elegant and lovely ceremony with heartfelt speeches from my uncles and my aunt in Toronto. My grandparents moved there when I was a little girl because the largest cluster of their children was there. Growing up, they would split their time between my nuclear family, and our family in Canada. Her funeral was attended by people in Canada who were local, and attended virtually by people living across the US, India, and as far away as Australia.
I got to know them both well as a result. I’ve always admired my grandmother’s strong spirit and intelligence, her wit and her charm. It felt desolate and strange to see her shrunken body in the casket during the virtually streamed ceremony without her liveliness, warmth and personality. Hard to imagine they were the same person.
The funeral rites ended as they moved her to the crematorium. And then she was gone. We were left with our memories, tears, sense of loss and regrets. I can feel her spirit, and I know her love is always there for me to remember. But every time I think about it, I choke up and start crying.
I’m truly grateful that I have close family and friends to count on and reach out to right now. I’m really lucky that I have so many good, kind, loving and generous people in my life.
Here’s to the end of the journey of a remarkable woman, who had a very difficult life but persevered with a deep love of life and an amazing sense of humor. I never saw a trace of bitterness for any of the pain she had suffered, and I’m truly inspired by her strength.