Goals and Productivity by Dance of Chaos


1       Introduction

 Durgapuja is the biggest festival for a Bengali. Celebrated between the day six to day ten, of the Navratri festivals, Bengalis all over the world, near and far, celebrate this festival. It is not only religious, but the biggest socio-cultural celebration. We would clean our houses, buy new clothes, buy presents for family and friends and those who work for us, get ready for the festival with good thoughts and intentions.

This Durga Puja or Navratri ( for those who celebrate that) I have decided to reset 2020 so far and set some new goals for me.

2         Background

The year 2020 has been a difficult year worldwide. A large part of the world population remained confined in their houses with the lockdown and social distancing enforced to break the chain of pandemic. So many more had to struggle on a daily basis in the economic crisis that has set around the world, the overloaded healthcare structure.

I am one of those lucky few, who could work from home continuously. While fun at first, the constraints of lockdown slowly became clear to me too. This blog has several posts on this topic from me and my guest contributors under the tag “ docLockdownDiary”.

3         Review and Goals

The enforced time at home, meant I could take a long hard look at myself. There are some goals I have set for myself, there are some good things I have done in this time and developed some good habits. I have also given into some not so healthy habits.

Today, on the occasion of Dashami / Dussera, I want to review, restrospect and click reset for myself and try to have a more fruitful life. Feel free to join in and discuss your opinions and goals and what you would like to set for yourself.

3.1         Setting a slower pace

I like to push myself to learn a lot and do as many different things possible. A part of that is the classic fear of missing out (FOMO) and a part is to maximize the time I have, to learn and do more. This led to unnecessary stress last year, strained personal relationships and I fell sick. I am trying to  consciously slow it down. Focus on one topic at a time, take a break from too much of everything. If I am slower in achieving that goal, so be it. If I must pass up some opportunity, so be it. My journey is the one that should count. I should not stress myself to the point that it affects my health.

3.2         Fitness

I have never been a fitness enthusiast, but I also am not a total couch potato. I train in Indian classical dance form Bharatnatyam as a hobby and dance practise has been my biggest source of exercise. An occasional run, some swimming. I was an average health conscious person. In the last half a year, with dance classes closed, swimming closed, I have become very lazy.

I am going to do better on that. As a first step, I have set aside small goal of running and exercise. A part of the small goal is to track weekly instead of daily, which is in tune with setting a slower pace and not stress myself. This also means, there is a better chance of me updating my tracker and having a better overview of my goals.

3.3         Yoga

Yoga to me has been meditative in the last few months. I have been learning Yoga since I was a young child but never really focussed on regular practise. I was always falling off the yoga Wagon. The last few months, I have tried to be regular with my Yoga practise. It has been wonderful. I regret to say, I am not as consistent with the morning practise as I wish I would be, but I am more regular.

I can write pages and pages on my new found commitment to yoga, which I will probably do in a new post in future. Suffice to say, doing Yoga regularly, has not only helped my physical fitness, ( strengthening my core, improving my posture, flexibility, bringing more grace to my dancing), it also gives me a sense of peace. When everything around me seems to go south, I still can retain my calmness and handle everything one by one.

3.4         Shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle

We have only one planet and we all have to do our part to conserve our home for us and for the future. Shifting over to a sustainable lifestyle is a continuous process and I am inspired by so many of my friends and family to do it. No step in this direction is wrong step or too little. We consume less meat than before, eating more vegetables. I garden a lot and we eat a lot home grown produce. I am trying to research into the materials of clothing before I buy. I am gradually switching to a bar soap, bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cups. Small steps. We use less and less plastic these days.

Our mothers have been reusing and recycling old clothes for pillow covers, furniture covers, cleaning clothes when we were growing up. It is good to see these coming back and their efforts being recognised as sustainable.

When we were children, my father used to switch off the lights immediately after we left a room, switch off the fans unless necessary. He used to encourage me to write on both sides of a paper, use it completely. As a child, I did not understand it, we surely could afford it. As an adult, I realise, it is less about money and more about the resources.

I want to finish this section by giving a shout out to some amazing people, friends and strangers I know, over social media and real life who inspired me on my sustainable journey everyday.

 Here is to you : Krupa, Priyanka, Nabanita.

4            Consume Less, Contribute More

Overall I am trying to consume less junk and create more. I am trying to stay in touch with people I care about, even if distance separates us.

Consume less:

  • less time on social media scrolling, staying online, engaging with negativity
  • less binge watching  on TV.
  • less splurging on clothes, bags, shoes, makeup, even stationery
  • Less consuming of processed food and ordering outside.

Contribute more:

  • Spending more time reading, writing on pen and paper.
  • Spending more time with family and friends. Trying to remind myself and connect with those I do not see regularly. I am consciously forcing myself not to retreat in my own cocoon all the time.
  • Organising more, planning more to avoid pressure.
  • Self development – focussing more on writing, choreographing, learning the new skills I wanted to.
  • Preparing more fresh meals at home, especially easy recipes instead of giving into tired ordering.

5         My small Personal Victory

I am so proud of myself for achieving one small goal in my way. It is customary to buy new clothes during Navratri/ Durga Puja and I usually shop till I drop every year. I buy presents a lot as well. This year I have decided not to buy anything. I have enough. Except for some small present for my immediately family, I stuck to my promise. Instead I am trying to give something back.

It is a small personal win, but it is a win all right.

Vanditānghri-yuge Devi ; sarva-saubhāgya-dāyini

Rūpam dehi jayam dehi ; yaśo dehi dvisho jahi |7|

All revere your lotus feet, Oh Goddess, Giver of all that is beautiful. Grant us your Form, grant us victory, grant us welfare, destroy all hostility.

Argala Strotra.

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