Why should makeovers only be skin deep? Just like being beautiful means having a beautiful soul too, a makeover too can be about something deeper and intangible. This series of blog posts is all about a makeover which is not just skin deep but has the magic words to reach your soul and help you shine like the star you are! The first blog post in this series is an honest, no holds barred confession. It is about a malady that has plagued me from the time I was in school and it has only grown with age, getting stronger and now it often becomes a full-blown attack.
What does it attack you ask? It attacks my peace of mind, my sense of calm and never lets me live in the moment and enjoy anything! Yes, this blog post is all about the confessions of a microplanner!
Are you someone who runs a list of things to be done the next day before you fall off to sleep and then goes on to dream about the tasks left undone? Are you someone who has lists and post-its stuck on your board and books reminding you of the gigantic mountain of tasks left to be accomplished and the assignments that need to be done, the calls that need to be made, the things you need to order? Are you someone who hates last minute outings and thinks that an unplanned holiday is akin to a nightmare? Are you someone who knows his or her schedule at least a week in advance, who packs a bag with a written list of things that need to be packed lest you forget something, whose thoughts are as neatly compartmentalized as your cupboard and whose study desk has not a single stationary out of place?
The list goes on and the mental to-do list is like a burden that never lightens despite meticulous efforts coz that’s how life is, throwing one challenge after another. Barely a sigh of relief is breathed out of your lips when another insurmountable task come along and this constant need to plan everything, to count for all emergencies and somehow be on top of your game will never let you be at peace. If you also ail from these symptoms then let me say hello to you, my fellow microplanner!
At first, you’ll be proud of meeting deadlines. You’ll be twirling with delight when you know that you are half way through your next assignment while your friends are still scratching their heads about how to finish the current one. Indeed a little planning and working in advance really goes a long way in alleviating your worries but you definitely need to start getting worried when all you think about the whole day is what to do next? In the race to be perfect, achieve everything, be the first to finish something and be ahead of others, it becomes very easy to forget living in the present, taking a deep breath and simply enjoying life. Like a hamster on a wheel , we run to a beat of our own making, never stopping to enjoy a moment with our loved ones or just sitting at the window and staring out at the setting sun, rustling leaves or the glistening sea.
There have been times when days and weeks blur together, months pass by but every day seems just like the next one. It’s hard to pick something new or endearing that took place, because there is no time to appreciate life’s little joys. The mind is always working on over drive, always in the future, sorting out issues, culling out ways to cram more into an already straining schedule.
It’s only when a birthday comes and we turn a year older that we realise that time is flying by and there will always be things that need to be done, duties that need to be fulfilled but the year that has gone by will never come back! Carpe diem- seize the day should be two words that we learn to live by and do every day. Let’s try to stop the sands of time from simply slipping by and let’s learn to live in the moment. Let’s give it a short to milk every moment and know that this moment, this very moment that is here will pass by and will amount to nothing special if we do not stop and be grateful for all that we have.
One of my favourite quotes by a children’s novelist Jerry Spinelli is my antidote to the manic attacks of a microplanner that many times assails me. I have this quote pinned to my study desk board and read it often to remind myself that I need to slow down.
So this is a shout out to every microplanner who is persecuted by sleepless nights and a need to do everything all at once. On the top of your to-do list everyday should be this one item- “Live today. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.”
Besides Spinelli’s wise words, it is also my sister’s insistent chiding of “chill man”,that does the trick. She even quotes from the bible guaranteeing that this quote does the trick for her on the rarest of rare occasions that she panics- ‘Sufficient for today are its own troubles’. Now Kinjal is a complete laidback cat and though it helps to have some cool cucumber type of character in your life, Kinjal often slips into the mode of procrastinator queen and that is another route down hell and a problem that I thankfully never have to deal with. I would like think that we both rub off our respective habits on each other and the result is a more balanced out personality- me learning how to relax and her learning how not to relax way too much.
I have heard that walking also helps to clear the head and calm down but I manage to do it only sometimes. Though I have in no way successfully overcome the microplanner mode, I have at least learnt to how to deal with some of it. I hope that this post helps my fellow microplanners to feel better. Every day I say this to myself- Run a little slower, breathe a little deeper, make the burdens of your head lighter, it’s ok to simply be, after all, it is possible to enjoy life only if we live in the here and now!