Dream diary

SS, my first proper crush, appeared in a dream last night.

In the dream, I was travelling to Bombay and we ended up standing next to each other at the baggage belts1. We both faintly recognised each other, started talking, and then remembered fully. She didn’t like me much, for good reason, by the time we lost touch last time. So she was surprised to still be talking to me after she remembered who I was. I met her husband and her kids too. I think there were 2 or 3 kids, all nearly S’ age2. That was all there was… just a brief, friendly meeting at the airport. Yet, it was really, really nice to have met her after more than two decades3. I’ve been quite happy since :)

I tried looking her up on Google, but she doesn’t seem to have a public searchable profile. So, there’s no chance of actually reaching out to her and saying hello.

Continue reading Dream diary

Phoenix rises in autumn

I hadn’t seen anyone from my old triathlon club—Pheonix Triathlon—in over six months. In the last week, I ran into three of them! The cooler weather and beautiful autumn colours must have drawn the Phoenixes out of hibernation (aka the gym :) )

Chewie and I met Kate Fargus last Sunday at the far end of Sandy lane. I didn’t recognise her, but she called out to say hello to Chewie. It took me a few minutes (after I left her) to remember her first name. I only remembered her last name after Koldo helped me out later in the week.

Saw Graham French on Wednesday as he flew down the hill while we were running uphill on the trail home from Sandy lane. He lives in my part of town, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see him running our trails.

We met Koldo Loidi, one of the friendliest Phoenixers, on our backyard gravel path during Friday’s run. It was about 5°C and he was running in a thin tee and shorts; I was clad in my new full-sleeve running jacket. He admired Chewie, and suggested catching up in town sometime. It was his 50th birthday that day, and he seemed to be enjoying it out on the beautiful trails.

Hope to catch some more of the friendlier Phoenixers out on the trails as I increase the miles over winter.

On giving a fuck

I did a taster read of Mark Manson’s book on not giving a fuck. In the first chapter he goes on about how people give too many fucks and become overwhelmed and unhappy, or give no fucks and become uncaring assholes.

I thought about it on Chewie’s morning walk.

Sure there are people who fall in one of those two catagories—too many fucks given and not enough fucks given. But I don’t think most people fall in either of these. Most people give just the right the amount of fucks that they can afford/handle.

The problem isn’t with how many fucks we give, but what do we give a fuck about.

Often the choice is between giving a fuck about things/people that are

  • important but hard to satisfy, and
  • easy to satisfy but peripheral

In such a choice, easy wins most times. And that’s what causes the unhappiness.

As an individual choice, giving a fuck for something easy results in an easy win, and provides a nice emotional boost. But when the life becomes full of too many easy wins, and none of the important ones, that’s when the trouble starts. That’s when the heart starts hating even the wins. That’s what leads to the unhappiness.

[ Perhaps the book will move on to this distinction. After all I’ve just rushed through the first chapter for now :) ]

Continue reading On giving a fuck

Letting go..

There’s no trying new things without letting some things go.

There’s no new life, if there’s no death.

There’s no bandwidth to explore new books, genres, TV shows, people, if we’re not ready to abandon the ones that turn stale, or we grow out of, or finished.

Bandwidth is finite. Cognitivo capacity is finite. Time is finite.

A core constraint on growing, changing, exploring, is our reluctance to let go of some of what we have and are.

Create space by letting some mediocre stuff go. Then fill it with something new, untested, unusual. If it fits, great. If it doesn’t, chuck it and try again. Something new, untested, unusual.

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

Be a pal, not a dick.

I don’t need sympathy or special consideration because, ultimately, who cares? You hate me, and I hate me, too. We are on the same team. I guess what I’m saying is that maybe we could all just mind our own fucking business for once, and that when you can actually see a person’s scars, maybe be a pal and don’t pick at them.

Samantha Irby, in ‘We are never meeting in real life’

Languages that I …

… want my imaginary kids to learn.

English
French/German
Hindi
Mandarin
Spanish
Arabic
German/French
Swahili
Punjabi
Tamil

In a globalising, automating world, a personal connect – the soft skills – will rise in value. There are few better ways to enhance your value, and the value of your experience than know the language of the people1.

Continue reading Languages that I …