Of Life and Living

The other day, I was wondering about how our days are run on a certain sense of rhythm that baffles, shocks and despairs by turns. A few fleeting light-hearted moments do come flashing by, once in a while. Below the surface of our routine lives, lies the undercurrent of the unpredictability of our very existence.

Our petty worries are replaced by the larger questions of survival now. With great calm, we pull out our best clothes and our favourite perfumes from the closet, to savour them and enjoy the fleeting moments, because tomorrow could be treacherously elusive. Who knows what awaits us the next day? Or the next week?

It is hard to predict how each day will pan out, or what news will flow in and from which corner and how it will impact our state of mind on any given day. There is a dark cloud that looms large above our heads, the one we dread to look up and see, lest we attract its’ attention on our own little world, that sits delicately perched, on a weak branch, swaying in the wind that might suddenly swell up and unsettle us in a minute. Living in the shadow of that fear haunting us all the time is exhausting, but that is where most of us find ourselves these days.

The one thing I dread these days is phone calls. I fear calling people I haven’t spoken to, in a long time. The very thought of connecting with people that I earlier looked forward to, now fills me with dread. You never know what’s the state of their lives and what has happened in the interim, between the last time you touched base and now. The last time I messaged a dear friend of mine who had suddenly gone quiet, I had no inkling of the tragedy that had befallen her because she had chosen to go into a shell as a way of coping with her loss after she lost her husband to Covid.

Some days, you just need to remind yourself to go on, despite whatever is happening. Because life has to be lived forwards. So, you remind yourself to do your duty. Walk on the path ahead of you. Put your best foot forward and march along. Irrespectove of grey skies, rain or shine, life has to be lived forwards.

So, I focus on my work and my chores that take up most of my time these days. For me, moving away from social media and reading instead has helped in drawing in the peace and calm that I need now. I am deeply grateful for the wisdom they bring me, and how they teach me to accept the transient nature of life and breathe away thoughts that would otherwise drown me in deep overwhelm.

Writing is a rarity, but I am now trying to turn it into a regular habit, once again, as it was, in the past. But I have to say, more than anything, it’s my daily workout that tops the list of hacks that I depend on, to restore sanity now. I’ve been regularly exercising 6 days a week since the beginning of March and I can vouch for the fact that there cannot be a better antidote to anxiety than this.

In the same strain, I must also tell you that I do have days, when I find myself a completely different person, feeling inspired, eager to try out new things, with absolutely no sense of doom and gloom. Well, that is, as long as another bad news creeps in and seeps into my soul once again.

It turns out that life is more like a see-saw ride, if I may say so.

In between the ups and the downs, we must remind our heart and nerve and sinew to go on.


Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—along with VinithaShilpa and Anamika.


6 thoughts

  1. I have been messaging my school friends from whom I haven’t heard in a while. It’s with a dread I have been doing it, but I thought no matter the situation this is the time we need to be there for each other. If everything is fine, that’s a good news for me and them. I am crossing my fingers for good news or boring news even.
    Writing is a therapeutic activity. But some days I find myself in a spot where words can’t reach me. So I write whenever I can. These days my writing stopped making sense to me. 🙂
    We will keep doing our load of work, hoping for the best. And at this point of time that is exactly what we should be doing. Worrying isn’t going to help anyone. Hugs, Esha. May the next calls bring good news to you and your family! 💖

  2. Precisely how we all are living our lives these days! Somedays, I feel so hopeful, some days, the fear creeps back and anxiety taunts me from every corner. But, as you said, we can only move forward. No looking back. Also, no going too ahead of ourselves, for we know not what lies ahead.

  3. I understand exactly what you’re saying, Esha. There are days when I dread picking up the phone too.
    It’s like we just have to put one foot in front of the other and continue doing our ‘work’ – whatever that may be! Hugs.

  4. I agree with you Esha. That’s how our life has changed and like you I dread calls or message for we can never know about grief and loss. I wish you all the strength in coping with the tough calls.

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