Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Musings Of An Idle Mind

A-musing is about to turn a year older. So I thought, why not start the "terrible twos" with my very first post. This is where I started from........

Winners never quit and quitters never win!!! Fifteen days into my semi retirement on a leisurely Thursday morning, this garish larger than life poster jolted me out of my reverie.

Am I a quitter? I pondered. For those who came in late, I recently semi quit my job. Too scared to actually quit I have taken a six month hiatus. Like a dress rehearsal before the real thing?

After twelve years of a clockwork precise life I finally started asking myself a few relevant and irrelevant questions. Introspecting is never an elevating experience. You end up feeling “more lost” “more confused” Was I working for the moolah? Creative satisfaction? The sheen of earning wears off too soon and my creative satisfaction was far in between. Blessed are those who love their jobs. Even I went through this phase. Of meeting and overcoming challenges, of battles won and lost. There was a point in life I actually used to think teaching is the best job in the world. But after a decade of doing almost the same thing everyday, monotony began to set in. Gone was the excitement, anticipation of a new day.

For a few years I actually worked for the sake of my sarees. Ok, confession time! I love buying sarees and have quite a collection. Couldn’t bear the thought of them collecting dust in some forlorn cupboard. And in this day and age who wears sarees for just a casual outing? If you do, people stare at you as if you just landed from Mars.

I worked for the sake of my friends, for the fear of losing company, for the sake of fitness (running up and down the stairs, running after students, running away from work, it all helped), for the joy of holidays (only after darkness do you appreciate light).

Basically for all the wrong reasons.

Meanwhile I raved, ranted (that’s when a husband comes handy), tossed , cribbed and finally mustered enough courage and put in papers. The weeks that followed were a pain! In the restroom, walking down the corridors, standing under the sun doing canteen duty (yes there exists such a duty), teaching, not teaching I was counseled. Basically everyone thought I was out of my mind. Very few could relate to “I want to live my life my way” logic.

The last three months of my notice period passed in a daze. And when you know you won’t be doing this stuff for quite a while or maybe never, you do it with a rare fervor. I made cumulative registers in triplicate, wrote interesting accounts of my teaching plans complete with illustrations, made report cards, gave long lectures to students who had managed the unimaginable feat of securing 18%, taught or at least tried to teach students who were busy day dreaming of “Splitsvilla”. I was a woman on a mission. Eyes shining bright, smile playing my lips I made even more lists, checked even more papers, filled registers in red, blue and black ink. Now that I look back it almost seems surreal.

And….one not so fine, balmy morning I woke up to the last day in school. Switched off the alarm for good. In school of course there were some emotional farewells. Got to hear quite a few “lucky you”, “God is this your last day??? No wonder you look so happy”. With a light heart and slight trepidation I bid adieu to my life of 12 years.

Nearly three weeks later I am introspecting again. Hard to get rid of this pesky habit of mine.

Am I enjoying spending time with myself? Do I miss the humdrum? Breathless mornings, tired afternoons? At least not for now..but I will later ..maybe not.. who knows !

All I know is “time is not my enemy anymore but a friend”. The day stretches lazily before me and I can finally watch the Sex and the City DVDs which have been lying unopened in the shelf for the last 5 years. I can calmly handle a household calamity, listen to Trisha chatter nonstop. Greet the husband with a smiling face and not ply him with my sob stories of the day. Not sounding like the liberated woman of the 21st century, am I?

I do not know how long my honeymoon period will last. I recently met a woman who started working after 22 years of being a homemaker. She was glowing and loving every minute of this new experience. As they say, a change is always for the better.

So am I a quitter?? Yes, I quit only to embrace a life less lived, a path less trodden.

99 comments:

  1. Purba I rarely like any blog writings but yours was really good ...and i kind of like your frank style of expressing.I am myself much of a brooder and introspect constantly to be lost more as u said so eloquently ....keep writing ;-)

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  2. This was my first blog and is special to me. Introspecting is good isn't it?? You discover the good, the bad , the ugly :)

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  3. Purba I appreciate your thought proces.
    I share similar views in terms of career & life.
    3.5 years with GE Capitals in Gurgaon, Designation of a Team Leader at the age of 24 life was scheduled to move on a challenging management journey.5 years down the line I would have been a Senior Manager with a 6 figure monthly salary,but I stopped and introspected-is this what I want to be..??
    3 months of deep self-analysis and realization,then I called it shots.Friends told me to rethink , colleagues said it is a golden opportunioty do not lose it..but deep down was a sense of satisfaction that my step is a well thought concious decision.It has been more than a year since I left my job and the city of Gurgaon.Sometimes mind deviates and I am angry on myself that I should not have left the job,but majority of the times I know that it was a wise decision and I experienced certain hard realities of life in the past 1 year and have become more mature and serious towards life, and confident of one thing-SUCCESS COMES TO THE KNIGHTS.
    Robert Frost once said-:
    The Woods are lovely, dark & deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Untethered from the rat race...so many stories to be told. People who refuse to conform, break away, introspect, act upon it and emerge stronger. Always be true to yourself.

    Wishing you all the best for your future.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Purba - your post reminded me of two movies.

    Jerry McGuire
    About Schmidt.

    In case your busy schedule has not permitted , must watch.

    Quitting a job for the right reasons is very important.Wrongs will always circle back and frustrations will creep in quicker than you can imagine.

    the degree of frustration in someone's life is inversely proportional to the degree of clarity about the objective. The more one is clear,lesser is the frustration and vice versa.

    Instead of a knee jerk, it is easier to gradually ease into laze.

    You could take up a part time job, say 9-12, and slowly in a year or two, ease out of it. that way, you will not hit boredom with a thud.

    So, you see, if you are in bliss right now, make sure,you have a back up bliss ready.
    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very sane "Gyan".

    It's been nearly six months now, wrote this post sometime in October. Yet to hit boredom :) Looking at life with a clarity that I lacked earlier.

    A clockwork precise life which leaves hardly any space to breathe leave alone think , somewhere down the line you stop asking yourself relevant, irrelevant questions.

    Backup Bliss is a good suggestion.
    Wish life was so uncomplicated with a neatly etched out "if then else" flowchart".

    ReplyDelete
  7. 4.5 out of 6 months now - that's 75%. How is it now? And if all goes well, maybe you can write a movie script based on your experiences eh?

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  8. hey, didn't knw this abt u. No, u r not a quitter. You made a decision and decisiveness is better any day.

    One more thing, I also wear lovely cotton sarees to work, and just love them (of course along with kajal and silver ear rings!!) sometimes i also feel, what if i was not working, where would i wear them?!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kaushik...I can write a script based on my experiences at work. And it will be one helluva funny movie.

    Tanu..And my lovingly collected sarees haven't seen the light of the day in months. Guess they are missing the limelight :)

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  10. I know how bad it feels dear! No worries, u can wear it to ur kids PTM! I do that! and I always stand out of the crowd!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was written close to a year ago.

    Is it time to say "Phew! What a journey!"

    ReplyDelete
  12. Have you now fully quit? Or In it again?

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  13. No, I didn't join back. I took to blogging instead :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, its been almost 2 years when you wrote this. Thanks for the reference. Lemme know how was the transition will you ?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Manu...A lot of appreciation from complete strangers, a little fame (a few of my articles got published), a sense of contentment that mere words can't express.

    But you have to constantly push yourself and remain focussed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. बहुत ही उम्दा लिखा है आपने ......

    ReplyDelete
  17. so this is how it all began :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote to share my happiness :)

      Delete
  18. nice one. i know for sure that many would like to do what u have done including me given a chance. but its also true that i have to do it on my own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I consider myself lucky that I could call it quits and follow my heart's calling.

      Delete
  19. Must be difficult taking the decision to change your life from how it has been for 12 years.but.i guess you also are a great example of how change is for the better.this is a good lesson for me as I tend to cling on to the way things are before change.it makes me run in the opposite direction!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Change is the hardest thing to accept and may not always be for the best. But at least you claim, I have no regrets :)

      Delete
  20. Purba, one enjoys life doing things where the heart is! So I can absolutely relate to what you say!My wife too took to teaching the kindergarten when she can teach in college once our daughter went to college:)I am sure for your brilliant writing you have more avenues open after your voluntary retirement from the present work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When your job starts changing you as a person, you know it's time to leave. I am glad that all that negativity is just a memory now.

      Delete
  21. definitely not a quitter you. in fact, i admire your courage in having taken that step towards liberating yourself and taking time to introspect. definitely not a bad habit. but you gotta ask, do you miss your job? the craziness of it all? if not,well- you've got your answer!

    happy bloggiversary dear amazon woman!
    u r amazing,and don't you forget it!

    cheers =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The husband's persistence that I leave, contributed to my act of bravado :)
      When I was about to resign, I was sure I would miss the madness. Two years down the line - I am happier, busier and haven't missed my job even for a second.

      Delete
  22. Wow, I didn't know you were a teacher Purba...no wonder the amazing comfort with expressions*sly compliment to all in our fraternity*

    I am glad you don't miss it and enjoy what you do now...I've been not-enjoying my own teaching status since Seeya but not been able to quit. The fears of what if I get bored, what if there is no money to splurge, what about the years of work done in terms of notes and the biggest what-if: what will I do with my time...kinda keeps me baffled!

    I love you for your strength and the way you carry yourself just about everywhere and in everything..and posts like these which prove it:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you will never be able to guess what I taught, in a million years!!!!

      And Suruchi, just follow your heart. Believe me, you will never regret it.

      Delete
  23. Introspection is always good...even though sometimes it adds to the confusion. Congrats on being a terrific TWO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more we think, the more confused we get. That's why I prefer being impulsive. I can always regret at leisure :D

      Delete
  24. And here you are a True winner <3 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happiness is such an elusive bitch :p

      Delete
  25. I think u r more happy with ur blogging now
    best wishes

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  26. That was written with a clear heart, light as a bird! I am happy that you started blogging. And I am happy you reclaimed your life. You have come a long way in little time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a fulfilling journey so far Uma. And thanks to my blog, I have connected with such wonderful people.

      Delete
  27. Hii Purba di,
    Glad I dropped in after a long time and that too to read your very first post as a blogger, Really, I must say that your writing didn't lack the punch even then and it just got "harder" with time.
    Yeah, i am very much for change. Just as in my case, I have recently joined my job( which has kept me away from blogs and blogging for all these while) and in fact loving all the hard work and hectic schedules that I am being put through.
    And by the way, I am of the opinion that a woman is no less of a worker being a house-wife. It's just a matter of personal choice rather than an issue of ability or liberalization.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Prosejeet, you must be on cloud nine!

      I come from a family of strong women. It is from them I draw inspiration :)

      Delete
  28. To do what you love is a gift. I am happy you took the plunge.

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  29. Purba,

    So true. A time comes when we all look for a change. Some are lucky to find it sooner than others. I maintain that teaching is not only a important but noble profession too. One needs to be a dedicated teacher rather than just looking at it as a vocation. A teacher understands and guides students rather than just rattle out lessons. You seem to have done a good job at it. One can always take up something to own heart for well being of society.

    Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not all teachers are noble and not all students are respectful. Commercialisation has taken over everything including education.

      Delete
  30. Sometimes to win we need to quit and go for a fresh start.Unlearn and banish the theories which had forced us to follow the path which was never ours.Listening to one's mind, giving a fresh look to one's life and taking a new course is often challenging and full of compromises to the habitual life.Cheers to you for having done it so successfully!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this process of unlearning has been so liberating, Arnab.

      Delete
  31. Beautiful!

    Decisions taken with complete conviction and later no plans to regret over each moment but to live it by, makes it all worthwhile.
    And as I can see from your blogs and all, you live a Rocking Life!
    Role model sorts!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe! the first year was the honeymoon period. I was delirious with joy. Now I am back to my old ways and courting stress with a vengeance :))

      Delete
  32. It takes a lot of courage to stir things up in life. A lot of us are bored by the monotony in our work and like to follow our heart and dreams. But we fear to take the path less trodden as the stability that the present offers us prevents us from entering into an unknown but more exciting future.

    You have done that exceptionally well and that itself makes you a winner. (Not to mention the fact that your writing has been doing wonders) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was lucky that I had a family that supported me.

      Delete
  33. Congrats on completing two years!! Keep on a-musing!!

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  34. First of all congrats on your two years. I started reading you regularly a bit late, but I am hooked now :). Life is all about choices, and you are the only one who decides whether the one you've made is fulfilling. I've lived by that mantra. I took a sabbatical right in the start of my career (after 3 years of working) after kids. I just started working again 4 years back, around the same time I started blogging. And, I've been expanding the scope of my work yet keeping my evenings free for kids. I really loved my Marketing, brand management stuff. I did not react when people said a homemaker after being an MBA? I don't react much when they say how you manage two boys, one dog, one husband and writing and marketing commitments. So, we take the path that fulfills us. And, yes family support is crucial. And, it is wonderful that you did what you are enjoying. And you are right about saris, the other day I went to the mall on my Anniversary dressed in a trendy sari. Almost everyone turned to look at me :). It amused me no end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't you a Superwoman!
      There's so much one can fit in a day. It's just a matter of prioritising :)

      And I feel sad that an elegant garment like the sari, is dying a slow death.

      Delete
  35. If one wants to be happy, should do what he or she likes to do most and you are doing the same.
    Keep doing,all the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we all know what's best for us, yet we dither.

      Delete
  36. oh! my god.....i can relate to evrything...i have had gone through all the phases(even the working for wardrobe phase)....and now im on the phase of about to semi quit!!.....

    and like you...i want to enjoy life...live more ....and i do hope...this is gonna be a good change!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I thought an ennui was more of a mid-life crisis! Welcome to the club :)

      Delete
  37. If only i had a penny for every bong blogger i came across.. I would be a millionare...

    Nice post... I have an opinion on whole of your situation.

    If staying at home looking after your family is the only thing you've quit working that"s a wise decision if you were only just another woman. I find you more than just a woman, you're a teacher, an economist, a blogger .. an opiniated indian. You can do more than just looking after your family. I see a great passsion in you. Hope you contribute more to our society, after a much deserved break. :)

    Apologies if i came rude at any part above.

    Fatso.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't have to apologize :)
      But I have not taken a break. In fact I have become busier, happier and keep myself engaged in meaningful pursuits.

      Delete
  38. Thank God you put in the papers, else the world wouldn't have heard about such a wonderful writer. You are and will always be an achiever Purba -- as a teacher, a blogger, a person, a friend...Am I glad to have you as my friend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And to think I would never have met you had I continued with my job!

      Delete
  39. I think I have read this first blog of urs :)..Good you quit ur job n started writing this blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have! am I impressed with myself :P

      Delete
  40. All I can say is that I'm a person who threw up a lucrative job at the age of 41 seeing nothing ahead. I wanted a change, that's all what I knew. I'm glad I did what I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good that we are questioning our choices and doing a re-think. Money is not everything. I am glad, a few of us realize that.

      Delete
  41. One thing I grasped from this post is that, we readers are in for treats more often hereafter. ;)
    After being a housewife and having all the time for myself, I worked as a teacher for two years and fell in love with the job. I don't think there is something out there which can make me more happy. I am now working hard on getting my graduate degree so that I can start working full time. There you have the two extremes of life. Now need to get back to my studies ... Life is funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Farila - your never die spirit is an inspiration for all of us. You have conquered all your setbacks like a tigress.

      You go girl!

      Delete
  42. you know i need to put my sob story too here now :).. I came to uk and did what every indian does yepp 7 days a week, and if you get overtime My name use to be the first one on the list , the money ws good who would want to say no to 100-150 pounds a day.. did that for 4 years.. earned a lot of money .. butthen did not have time to spend it ..

    My dad use to get angry when i told him doing this or that , he would say when will i go and enjoy what i earn .. so one fine day i gave up everything .. :) its only mon to fri and NO overtimes whatsoever..

    more happier getting to do a lot and getting to see the world tooo...

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed...with mastercard you can buy luxuries but not happiness :)

      So glad you set your priorities right.

      Delete
  43. You never fail to bring a smile on my face :)!! You were a teacher!!!! My mom too was /is!! :) Ha ha ..children can be so annoying and adorable right!! You must be missing them a little that is if you were teaching the smaller ones.

    My mom used to be the most loved and most feared teacher of her school,LOL! She even used to catch kids aged 7-10 writing love letters to the cute girls sitting adjacent them. Some real notorious ones wrote love letters to MOM!! LOL.Dad and me used to have a hearty laugh reading all that!! :)

    AWESOME AWESOME post, as always. :)Simply enjoy reading all your went-down-the-memory-lane posts!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a delightful story waiting to be told. So when are you writing it?

      Delete
    2. Sometime soon :) Sometimes that chord has to be struck.Like you just did :)

      Delete
  44. Congrats, it's great to be able to live the life you dreamed of. Not everyone has that luxury. You conveyed the sentiments of my latest post! :-)

    Only problem is, you'll probably have a lot of evil eyes cast upon you now... :-P

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think it's a brilliant idea - and you can always go back if you realize that's what you'd prefer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noooo...I don't want to go back!

      Delete
  46. This is your first post! Fantastic.

    From other comments here and my personal experience, I see how things go on a similar track for many people. I myself quit software career to be a freelancer (and a blogger). Now I am in the process of taking up a job to teach science at high school! Similar track but opposite directions :-)
    As you said, Change is the only constant thing in this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teaching can be a very rewarding experience. As a teacher you have always have to keep yourself well-informed. You get to interact with young minds, inspire them and can even change the course of their lives.

      Our kids deserve good teachers.

      Delete
  47. Break does a lot of healing good when you decide you want it. I talk my experience!
    Cheers,
    Sush

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...a break can be very rejuvenating :)

      Delete
  48. Congratulations on turning two. I am also an Ex teacher so can relate to almost everything. I think it requires a lot of thinking and guts to give up a full fledged job. Yet many women do that, whatever may be the reason.

    This is your first post....well written no doubt. But i think you have come a long way with your posts. And as one reader said, you can always go back/ opt for part time. The choice is yours.

    And sarees.... yes, people do give u looks if you are wearing them on a casual occasion. So, for me it is mostly for celebration times.

    All the best for the thir year :)

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  49. May your blog get wittier and more popular with age :P

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  50. Well done Purba! May you keep writing more....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't ever wish to stop :) Thank you for your kind wishes.

      Delete
  51. loved your post purba...so entertaining..let me confess i too am a quitter...i start a venture full steam..it goes on for some time & then whoosh it goes -i want change...thank God it does not apply to family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our breed thrives on challenges :)

      Delete
  52. Dear Purba, few comments on your post. First, congratulations! We all have had times and moments of confusion. Sometimes we feel stagnant and blocked, thus after a point of time we feel confused and feel valueless because we know we are working for money, nothing else. Over the last few years, I have been reading this trend in newspapers and magazines that people are gutful enough to quit their well paid jobs and jumping into something they love. I think, the earlier this phase is, the better for you. We need time and maturity to know ourselves truly and to find out what are you made of. This makes us human. Once again, congratulations. I wish you all the best for your future endeavors.

    Divya Bhaskar
    MyGrahak.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's after I published the post, did I realize that I was not alone. It is heartening to note that money is no longer the motivation. So many youngsters an who have left lucrative jobs to follow their heart. I salute their spirit.

      Delete
  53. Welcome to the club Purba ..

    its been more than a month i quit my job and it feels like living a dream !!!

    i do not regret for any decision i made and live life every moment .. i've actually found the zen of living good, living for myself !!!

    all the best wishes to you and live every moment ma'm !!!

    regards
    rahul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Err Rahul..I wrote this post two years back. Rather I should welcome you to the club!

      Delete
    2. oooooops .. sorry ma'm .. my bad :P

      Delete
  54. again...the perfect Purba-esque writing..i love it!

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  55. Purba, as someone once said ' change is like two weeks at the seaside', but then i am feeling real proud of my blogger buddy. I guess all of us who toil 9-5 (or thereabout jobs) secretly dream of waking up one day and doing what you have done.... but rarely does one get the courage.... hats off to you my friend...
    may the sun shine on your mornings... :-)

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  56. .

    -Good piece of informatio

    ReplyDelete
  57. So how does it feel now, a few years down the line? I quit last year. When I asked for a hiatus of sorts, all my HR would grant me was 3 months, which honestly wasn't enough. I have had my withdrawal symptoms, (still have them some times) but a phrase you used summed it up for me.. i worked for all the wrong reasons. Not sure where this will take me, but I think I am prepared for wherever it does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I started doing so many things that I had never time for when I was working outside from home - I made more friends, started doing a lot of "me things" and started writing.. I'm less stressed and more at peace with myself :-)

      Delete

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