#lessonsOfLife – Time zones

Date: 05/09/2019, Thursday

Venue: Seattle, WA, USA

8:22 AM – A Whatsapp message pops up on one of the groups. It is an article about the time zones of life. I am sure you all must have read it too. The first thing that came to my already messed up mind was ‘how situational!’

4:23 PM – In the middle of an almost ridiculous conversation the question “What do you think about time zones?” was slipped.
Had she read my Whatsapp messages? Or was this a universal concept?
You don’t think of concepts like these when everything is hunky-dory. You never reflect upon life when you’re happy – because you are too busy basking in it’s glory. It is when your yard work has not been done properly do you worry about the value proposition of your grass.

I did not know how to answer that question. Time zones – okay – yes – maybe – just a way of saying focus on improving your gardening skills and appreciate the blades of your grass rather than envying someone else’s. Makes sense. And that is probably a constructive sentiment and emotion to have. Two people from different walks of life had spoken about the same concept in a day. Time to think. My clouded mind (and I did not even have to consume an adult beverage for my mind to be in that state) started gathering the scattered thoughts on the bus ride back home.

I am a woman of science. Yes – vampires, witches, psychics, philosophy intrigue me. But… show me some proof if you want me on board. Yes, I like the concept of the green grass and time zones –

The grass is greener when you water it.

The grass is greener on the other side because well.. it is fake.

My favorite –
I am too busy smoking my grass to notice that yours is greener.

But the bottom line is –
I am too busy working on my own grass to notice yours is greener.

They say patience is the key (lol). They say things happen when they have to. They (loosely) use the term “meant to be” at equal intervals. But i still don’t get it. Perhaps these are multiple concepts intertwined into one and so it shall take some time for me to grasp. Meanwhile let’s decide to do the following –

  • seek help to improve gardening skills
  • water your grass every day
  • know that watering the grass every day may not translate into a greener grass instantly. It is not Maggie noodles.
  • talk to people in the same boat
  • appreciate the blades of your grass
  • respect the present by living in it
  • be grateful that you even have a yard and keep yourself too busy to notice anyone else’s

Let me know how it goes.

Everything that happened today…

Date: 01/24/2019

7:10 AM – Leaves home for work. Realizes that the downtown is busy even at 7 am. Unearthly hour really.

7:17 AM – *Walks to the farthest orca card reader* and *Taps orca card* The last 2 weeks at work have been good. I, somehow, believe it is because I accidentally started tapping my Orca card at the farthest orca card reader. Stupid as it may sound to you, I think it’s working. After a long haul of ‘I don’t know what’s going on!’ I deserve good days.

Yes, I have a master’s degree and I may be agnostic but I still believe in superstitions. Having written about it, I think it’s sad really but…Oh well!

7:20 AM – *Boards the train.* I walk up to my usual section. I realize I like routine. I am completely fine doing the same thing over and over again as long as it comforts me. I have a system – that is yet to fail me. *Finds a seat* *Opens Whatsapp* *Responds to messages* I distinctly feel my feelings shift as I sift through the messages.

I quickly realize that I have conveniently forgotten my eye drops today. Today of all days when I needed it the most. I aim to leave work at 4 PM.

7:45 AM – *reaches work* IMMA got this! Texts all friends to let them know I’ve reached way before they woke up. Earth calls me a ‘loser’. Well, she is not entirely wrong.

8:30 AM – The day hasn’t even started yet and I am half done. I AM GOOD!

9:00 AM – Is it too soon to lunch?

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM – Small wins. Half way there. Long way to go but I am on my way.

10:30 AM – *sends a text to C* “Want to move lunch to 11 instead? I am hungry AF.” No response.

10:35 AM – Walks up to C’s desk to convince her to lunch earlier. No luck there.


11:00 AM – *Goes to the kitchen* *Starts peeling a banana* I see someone heating their lunch – chicken thighs. I compliment her on the good looking thigh and she acknowledges. Meanwhile, I peeled my banana and dolled it up with honey.

Could this moment be any more suggestive?

11:30 AM – I meet C for lunch. It was a casual lunch. It’s been difficult to catch up with her lately. She has been one of my closest friends ever since I’ve started working here. She knows all of my best-kept secrets. She is one of the people I can never afford to fight with because of the best-kept secrets.

12:10 PM – I walk late into a ‘lunch and learn’. The attendance is painfully low but it is well attended by the powerhouse of the company. The who’s who nod and acknowledge the speaker. It takes me 5 minutes to ramp up and make sense of what is going on in the room. I make a mental note of things I had to do that day instead.

Eyes feel dry. Nothing can be done there.

12:22 PM – Suddenly, the speaker announces a game with prizes at the end. No prize for guessing what the prizes are. I realize my disinterest in competing and the coffee. Both. And it was premium coffee.

12:28 PM – Someone gets up from their seat. The entire row of powerhouses turned their heads to look at them. Maybe someone secretly judged them for leaving early? But they had to be someone to have made that kind of impact. I’ve never seen them. Bigwig spotted fo sho!

12:30 PM – I decide to get up and get going – secretly. I say hi to one of my acquaintances on the way out. It is tough to make sure that the door does not make a noise when you leave. I like to be discreet.

12:36 PM – Work time. Realizes how minute details are. Retail is in Detail, baby.

I start an excel sheet to list the people I need to send emails too today. The list is basically a list of people I would never had the chance to interact with if not for this project. Today is the day.

I realize that most of the work I do is so impactful; I do so much more than I could ever think about; to think of what my horizon is… is crazy.

You know how you have a “dream job”? Well… this isn’t my dream job. This is a job that I could have never dreamt about because I never knew something like this even existed; leave alone happen to me.

Shoot me if I take my job for granted.

1:14 PM – I am neck deep in work. I realize music has stopped working for me. Music distracts me these days. Distractions cannot be afforded. This has never happened before.

My mentor stops by to check in on me. I realize I have more work than I can accomplish. We take the divide and conquer approach and decide to circle back during the Earnings call at 2 PM.

1:20 PM – I get up to take a break and shoot an espresso shot.

The most important decision of the day is to be made as I stand here – 1 espresso shot or 2 espresso shots/long shot or as is/extra hot shot or as is. For future reference, It’s one shot, extra hot and always long. I really don’t know what a long shot is and how it affects the flavor profile and/or strength of the coffee. But, it works for me.

I add whipping milk and drink it in one go.

This drink has quickly become my favorite because of its ability to do away with sleep. This drink was suggested to me as a coping mechanism during my jet lag days. It quickly replaced all other drinks.

2:03 PM – I enter the conference room to listen in to the Earnings call. Surprisingly, I was one of the first ones. I take my seat and continue working.

The seats soon start filling in.

2:10 PM – I look at my mentor and signal her to check her email.

The email has been worked upon for several days and today is the day it should go out.

My eyes still feel dry. I am worried for my eyesight. I blink a little more frequently to see clearer. I decide not to look at the big screen that casts the Earnings Call presentation. I continue looking into my screen.

2:58 PM – Everyone comments that the presentation has been short this quarter on their way out of the conference room. I continue typing frantically. It’s not to show off but merely an attempt to finish work. I wish to be on track for leaving work at 4 PM. I know this will never happen but wishful thinking.

3:05 PM – I walk the corridors with my laptop, diary, phone, water bottle and a hanging wired mouse. Yes, I still use the wired mouse. It’s easier to pick it up in case it falls.

Shouldn’t I focus on not performing actions that can result in my mouse falling on the ground when I walk? Well, I could change my gait, leave a few minutes earlier for my meetings and not walk hastily… but all those things require me to change a lot from within… and I don’t think I have that in me.

3:07 PM – Desperate measures to send out the emails. I try to work with headphones again but today music does not help me focus. Work is too important to be messed up. I check the emails, leaders and attachments multiple times before sending them out.

I seem to have conquered the dry eyes syndrome. In my brain, I calculate the time between now and the time I can actually use my eye drops.

4:30 PM – I look out of the pit of my screens to see everyone gone for the day. I still have some work to finish. Wishful thinking! Hah!

4:45 PM – I send one final email. It’s done. I feel content to have sent out those emails. It’s an everyday job for many people I work with. But in my role, I would have never gotten this opportunity if not for this project.

Life is all about opportunities and grabbing them. This is one I may/may not regret. I feel lucky. I feel grateful. I quickly send one ‘thank you’ note to my mentor as a response to one of the emails we exchanged earlier in the day. I felt grateful for the opportunity.

4:55 PM – I pack my bags, wear my jacket and leave. I run into my mentor on my way out. I thank her in person for the opportunity and hug her. I am sure she judged me on that. But I am just so happy. I know my day might not mean much to anyone else except me… but I am genuinely happy.

5:45 PM – I am home. The day is over. Time to change into sweats, eat a lot and West Wing it.

Every day is different. Every moment of every day evokes different feelings. It’s difficult to keep a track. But it definitely helps to note what works for you and what doesn’t. I have tried to make mental notes of things that stress me out and tried to weed them out of my schedule.

Take care of yourself. It’s okay to have a routine and overdo it maybe – as long as you aren’t hurting anyone and yourself. Love yourself and be happy.