Currently addicted to: Quartz’ Afrobeats mix

I have been listening to this, and only this sound track since I discovered it in the Quartz story on Afro beats. Working, walking, resting, everything – if I’m listening to music, it’s this track.

Wonder if anyone has the list of songs on this track. Also, if anyone has similar/good afrobeats mixes/playlists that they highly recommend, please do share!!

Ensoi.

Not calm. Calm.

Woke up 3 hours after I’d slept. Clothes, pillow cover, bed sheet – all were wet from sweat. Heavy breathing. Heart racing away. Head overflowing with anxiety. No cause, just anxiety.

I usually remember all my dreams. The good ones, the bad ones, and the weird, confusing ones. I didn’t remember anything. The memory was blank. Head was just … black.

Sat up. Took off the duvet. Waited a few minutes to let the heart rate recover. Tried reading something on the phone to distract the head. Nothing worked.

Got up, opened the window, and put my head out into the cool night air. It helped a bit.
Left the window open.

Opened the Calm app. Took a few deep breaths. Then started a sleep story – the Stephen Fry one. Kept the phone on the side table, and lay down on the dry side of the bed.

Heard some of the story – something about lavendar fields in Italy, IIRC. The light breeze from the open window was cooling the room. Slipped my feet inside the duvet.I could hear Stephen Fry softly talking in the distance. I didn’t gather much of what he was saying. I pulled the duvet over my legs and waist.

Next thing I remember is the alarm waking me up at 5:30.

Thank you, Calm. Thank you, cool wind.

 

Walk the dog…

I wake up early, make a coffee, and start working straight away. So, by 9 or 10 AM, I’ve got in 2-3 hours of work, and need a break. The dog and I go for a walk.

We return, we have breakfast, and I head up to work again. He sleeps.

After another couple of hours of focussed work, I’m in need of a break again by noon/1PM. So, unless R has already claimed it, the dog and I go for another walk.

We return, have lunch, and watch TV for a bit. Then I return to work upstairs, and he goes back to doing what he does best – sleep.

By around 6 or 7 in the evening, my head is screaming for a break again. Literally screaming – tinnitus has been getting quite bad lately. So we do whatever helps. A.k.a. the dog and I go for a walk, again.

I have always loved walking. I went for lone walks after fights with parents as a teenager. I enjoyed going for lone walks in Delhi in my early 20s – it helped living so close to Siri fort forest. I loved walking around the campus in Calcutta, and at the sea front in Bombay.

I occasionally enjoy company on my walks. I go for a daily walk with Dad when I’m in Karnal. I also enjoyed walking around with a few friends in Bombay and Calcutta. Once in a while I even enjoy having R come along for a walk.

More often, I prefer to be alone. Walks are my time to let the mind wander, or focus, or rest. Let the mind do what it wants while the legs, the lungs, and the heart get some loosening. After all most of the non-walking time is just the opposite – mind at work, everything else resting. Having company on a walk means the mind has to engage – converse, debate, listen (to remember). Not rest. Not recover.

Walking with Chewie isn’t the same. He doesn’t tax my mind too much, yet keeps my heart entertained. He loves all the tracks – muddy, sandy, gravely, boggy – that I keep exploring. He loves hills as much as I do. He enjoys exploring smells in the woods. He loves rivers and the sea. He enjoys being out and about, likely more than even me.

So, when I hit a mental road block with work, I look at him, and he’s up for it. We go for a walk.

When I’m anxious or tense, he takes me for a walk.

When I need to clear my head, or escape tension in the house, he indulges me with another walk.

I’m grateful to have him, always, on the walk.

Sometimes when I’m deep in work, when it’s -4°C and horizontal rain outside, when my body is still aching from the previous run/ride/swim/yoga, he comes and nudges my arm away from the keyboard with his nose. He wants to go for a walk.

I coddle him, delay him, curse him, plead with him. Then he wins. We go for a walk.

Continue reading Walk the dog…

No group chats

That’s the new rule I’m trying to follow.

People are different. Some like being at the center of the widest possible social circle, others just like to keep up with a big social circle. And some, like me, prefer fewer but deeper social connections.

Group chat, like much of social media, is designed for the first two groups. Not just because they’re the heaviest, most reliable users. But also because number of connections (or followers, friends, or people in groups) is an easy metric to calculate and promote.

Depth of those connections is not such an easy metric to devise. And it is naturally capped. It’s hard to have real deep connections with more than a handful of people.

As I continue to clear the noise in my life, this is one more area where I’m making changes. I want a handful of deep connections, and reduce the noise from the many.  Continue reading No group chats

New experiment: weighted walk

Weighted bag - 5.9kg (and a bit)
Weighted bag – 5.9kg (and a bit)

Started a new experiment today – carrying a weighted bag for daily dog walks.

I walk at least one 45 min walk everyday, usually more. Carrying a small weight is just a minor increment.

Hope is that this will help me build up a bit of strength in shoulders and core.

The original plan was to fill up the bag with books, but it appears these bottles may provide a better load.

Let’s see in two months how it works out.