The Hustle Culture

What is it that you are after? Are you taking care of yourself while you reach it? Why are you pretending to love your work? Will you be satisfied after you reach your goal, or by then you will need more? What is your definition for being successful?

So many questions, only one answer ­– the only thing waiting at the finish line is BURNOUT.

One of the biggest traps of this hustle culture is chasing what others deem “right.” What exactly is hustle culture? In short and clear words, it is more money to make, a bigger title, a higher promotion, etc. But what about, when you have achieved your goals? By then, you are extremely overwhelmed. By the time to reach the milestone, you are already unsatisfied and want more, most of the times because someone else has it.

Social media has played a very important role in promoting the toxic hustle culture. And why blame only social media, this kind of toxic behaviour has been infused into many families since childhood by comparisons. Mr. Sharma’s son got an A in his exams; you too have to study hard to get better. Mrs. Shah’s daughter came first in the race; you have to come first in the next.

Grind, hustle, work hard, etc. words like these have been glorified. Suddenly, talent has become secondary and success depends on long working hours. Time off is seen as laziness. If you are not hustling, you are failing. So damn toxic L

Always ON lifestyle with eventually lead to burnout and depression.

What has anyone got from this hustle culture? Ill health, stress, depression, anxiety, broken relationships, greed, etc. is what you get from nonstop grinding and hustling. Hustle culture started from toxic family behaviours and then it got its boost from social media. Even in my previous post I have mentioned how social media is being misused. The truth is, someone posted a picture of sitting in a lavish restaurant, but is struggling to pay utility bills. Someone posted a picture of living in a huge house or buying a big car, but is actually in debt. Someone posted a picture of a branded watch, but is actually a copy. And the list goes on.

But what do we do? We feel sad seeing all these posts and compare our present situation with theirs. We put in more hours to work to earn that extra money neglecting our health and relations. Only to show others that if they can do it, then even we can. The moment we take a break, people guilt trip us into thinking that we are lazy and we will not reach our goals if we rest.

Allow me to give you a fresh example of what a BIG LIE social media is. The gym that I go for workout, offers members a free a trial before paying for membership. One day when I was working out, I seen a woman come in along with a friend, used all the machines to exercise while her friend was recording her videos, and never showed her face at the gym again. Moral of the story, she used the free trail only to remove videos to post on social media. Do you get my point now!

Hustle culture thrives on stress, fear, guilt and shame. But we forget that an exhausted mind won’t be able to function. Hustle culture glorifies overworking as a badge of honour.  

STOP celebrating this toxic culture and take timely breaks. Do not compare your stage 1 to someone’s stage 3. Learn to be happy and satisfied in what you have while working to reach your goals. Slow down. Take it easy. Life is short. Life is fragile. Don’t bother about what people will say if you have rest days. Don’t take calls if you are exhausted. Eat slowly. Exercise. Have a lazy day once a week. Play with your dog. Get 8 hours sleep. Love the life you have while you are healthy, because in true terms, health is wealth.

Give rest to your mind body often. Because if you get carried away in this toxic hustle culture, your mind and body will automatically take rest, and that will not be an appropriate time for you.

I am possessive over my dogs

While dogs have evolved to be generally socializing animals, anybody who has owned dogs understands that pet parents do indeed develop a little possessiveness over their dogs. Humans are unpredictable; follow their own ideas and cultures. But when it comes to being a loving pet parent, we do tend to get possessive over our dogs.

We have all read about dogs being possessive over their owners. But in this post, I am going to talk about how I am possessive over Junior.

I love very hard and deep. Be it loving my siblings, parents, romantic partner or my dogs. I am protective in nature, but for Casper and Junior I am very possessive. I do not like it when they play more with other people (I am stupid I know).

Casper and Junior are very friendly dogs. They have never bitten anyone or even shown aggression. When people meet my dogs, they immediately fall in love with them. And that’s when my jealousy kicks in. I keep thinking, “No, you cannot love my dogs so much. Only I have the rights to love them a lot.”   

It’s been 12 years since I got my first dog (Casper) home. Ever since, I have learnt a lot from them. Especially what humanity means. Out of those 12 years, 10 years I have lived by myself with my dogs. Within no time I got very close to them, and also very possessive.

Though I love it when my parents and siblings pamper my dogs; but anyone else who over showers love and attention on my dogs, I get my guards on.

My dogs love meeting people and playing. I never stop them or dog friendly people to come home and have a good time. But because of my possessive and protective nature, I am always around and looking upon my dogs.

Sometimes, when I see someone offering treats to my dogs, but they place it on the floor; I immediately pick it up and feed my dogs the treats from my hands. If someone is forcing me to let them feed my dogs a bite from their plate, I lie to them saying my dogs will throw up. Even when a friend is clicking too many pictures with my dogs, I tell them that my dogs are tired and need to sleep.

Many a times when I see a friend getting over friendly with my dogs and my dogs reciprocating, I lie to them that it’s my dogs’ bedtime and they need to go. Please be informed, I do let my dogs play with people and other dogs, but after sometime, remove some excuse and take my dogs away. Jealousy is not the only reason, but sometimes my dogs get over exerted in excitement and my friends don’t understand that, so I have to lie to my friends and go away with my dogs.

One time, we had some friends come over. All of them were understanding and decent except one. He always had a habit to create trouble and act over smart. Since he is a part of the group; I couldn’t tell him to not come at my house. But as soon as he came, I warned him to stay away from my dogs or not irritate them. After an hour or so, this guy got into his old rubbish self and tried making Casper drink beer. Since I was on alert, I immediately got up and placed a tight slap across his face. Yes the evening didn’t end well, but I cannot tolerate anyone misbehaving with my dogs’ inspite of being warned.

I am Casper and Junior’s mother. Only I have the rights to call them mine. When I had a boyfriend, and he would claim to call my dogs as his, I had even told him that he can love them and care for them, but Casper and Junior are only mine…..hahahaha!

I don’t know if I am the only one who is so possessive about her dogs, but I don’t think my possessiveness will ever change. My dogs are my world. My life rotates around them. And I wouldn’t like anyone who spent 10-12 days or 2-3 hours with my dogs claim to love my dogs or my dogs loving them more.

Homesick

Homesick, because I no longer know where home is.

As I sit in the comfort of my house, a strange and inexplicable pang drains me that I had never felt before. Rainy days are most often known to contribute to depression, sadness and anxiety. A storm is brewing that provokes anxious feelings and making room for fear.

I am one of those lucky ones who always have people around to talk to and who understand. Above all, I have Junior by my side at all times.

But some days, I do not feel like talking to anyone. Even when I am at home, I sometimes feel like I am in some foreign land. There is no feeling quite as lonely as feeling homesick. Staring blankly at the wall, numbing myself because I am falling into the gray vortex of hopelessness!

It starts off with getting irritated on little things, then proceeds to anger, and eventually getting numb and anxious. As if the road ahead of me has disappeared and I don’t know where I stand anymore. It feels like someone hit me on the head and I lost my memory. Physically I am at home, but mentally, I am lost. I feel hopeless, sad, frustrated and tired. Moreover, dejected! I am trying to control my future which is not in my hands. A feeling of not doing and being enough.

I am not new to this feeling. I have felt like this a few times before. So I am not scared that I will dwell into this for too long. But I am homesick, not for a place, not for a person, just a feeling of fear of the future. I am homesick for a time that has not even arrived. I am homesick for a fantasy.

Thankfully, this feeling doesn’t last long. It is a combination of rainy days + evening + some continues bad days which I am completely aware of. And I also know this feeling won’t go away till tomorrow morning, when the sun is shining bright and I am in new spirits with a positive hope for the future.

So what am I going to do right now while I am feeling homesick? I am writing this post to feel a little light. In a way, I am journaling. I am will make myself a hot cup of Ginger Tea and then relax on the couch while Junior sleeps on my lap, simultaneously letting my thoughts flow and not force to stop them.

Even though this is one of the worse feelings, I remind myself that I am human and I am capable of feeling a lot of things. Till then, let me know even if you have a feeling of homesickness sometimes and how do you deal with it?

What it’s like to have Dogs

I used to wonder what it would be like to have someone miss you while you took a dump…….hahaha! Well, I do not have to wonder anymore.

Once you get a dog into your life and house, then there is no turning back for another 10 years atleast. Having a dog is the most wonderfully frustrating, life-altering thing that can happen to you. You have a companion who literally worships the ground you walk on. In short, having a dog is WONDERFUL!

  • You will never eat your food alone. He/she will always be there staring at your mouth. Sometimes even grabbing it.
  • When you get back home, your dog will welcome you with his/her awesome dance and lots of lickies.
  • You will find dog hair everywhere. On your clothes, in your food plate, on your bed, even in your hair.
  • You will never feel lonely ever again. Dogs are the best companions.
  • You will never do anything alone. Your dog will follow you everywhere, in the kitchen, in the washroom, in the balcony, etc.
  • You will learn parenthood once you get a dog. They are just like small children who never grow up.
  • Most of the days, your dog will be the only reason you get out of bed. You have to feed them, take them for a walk, etc.
  • Your life will be centered on them.
  • You will start seeing the world through their eyes.
  • You will have the best days of your life, as well as some of the worst days.
  • You become more physically active than before.

While there are many many good things that come with dogs, let’s not forget, there are a few unfavourable things as well.

  • Dogs are money suckers. You have to spend on their food, medicals, well being, etc.
  • They are energy suckers as well. While they are puppies and young, they have a lot of energy. And it is our responsibility to burn their energy.
  • Whether you are ill or healthy, you have to cater to your dog at all times.
  • You are restricted to go out whenever you want. You have to adjust your outings as per your dog’s schedule.
  • But the worst, while they bring in a lot of happiness, when they leave, your heart is brutally wounded which NEVER heals.

Having a dog means having someone who loves you even if you are ugly. They don’t care whether you are rich or poor. They will happily eat what you feed them. They will wait for hours for you to return home and welcome you with the same excitement every single day. They make you feel special every single minute of the day. You are loaded with unconditional love and loyalty. Never will there be a better friend than a dog.

What it’s like having a dog? Dogs are there for you even when humans fail to be there for each other. You will have a bodyguard for life. They will protect you always. Dogs make you laugh, and even listen to you as if they understand everything you say. It’s incredible just how much support an animal can bring to your life. Dogs are love sponges. Having a dog means, 10 years of your life filled with happiness, some mess and lots of cuddles and kisses. Dogs make your house a home.

Adulthood

Those were the days when we used to wait to be adults, thinking we can do our own things without asking permission from our parents. No restrictions, live life to the fullest, party, dating, etc. were all the things on our mind believing adult life is the best.

It turns out; adulating is a lot harder than it looks. You know, I am genuinely scared of all the things we have to do as adults. Finding jobs, finding love, finding out whether the love we have found is perfect for us, having good social media accounts, clicking pictures rather than living in the moment, etc. are some of the everyday things that are way too real than what we see in the movies.

Into the bargain, taking our parents to the hospitals, dealing with death, heartbreaks, trauma, loss and agony are the worse things we have to deal with. We always forget that as we are growing, our parents are also becoming old. After a period of time, we start losing our loved ones every year. The ones whom we used to admire when we were small kids and fantasy to have a life like them.

Besides all of this, we often have to take major or big decisions like getting married or not, having children or no, joining a company or no, resigning from a job, buying a house, etc. This is the time we realise we were better off as kids only. The only decision we had to take that time was to choose the colour of the dress or water bottle.

Doing things for love, or doing things out of love, we are always dreading ourselves. Every single day we are living in fight or flight mode. Never finding anything good enough! Are we living life to the fullest or just living?

And then, sometimes everything hits you all at once. You lose a relationship, suddenly change jobs, old friends leave, bills are due and savings have drained due to a pandemic or some illness or wrong investment, and you have to deal with all this on your own. It’s up one day and down the next. You have it all together on Monday, and by Thursday you do not have a god damn clue. Adulthood is realizing life is one big wave and all we can do is flow, grow and adapt.

It’s only sometimes when we see others going through the same things, we realize how despite being different from one another, there is something in the universe that holds us all together. And that for us, on some days, is enough to lean on.

I am not sure how many times life challenges us, but if there is one thing I have learnt, it’s that in the face of fear, bravery emerges. Let’s rest our minds knowing that what will be, will be. We don’t need to over think the how and when. Let’s be at ease by trusting and allowing ourselves to breathe through the uncertainty knowing that things will eventually become clear. Because this is what our adults did when were kids. Because true adulthood is understanding that the only constant in life is change.

No one else has the time to look out for us. They are busy looking out for themselves. So save money, eat healthy, and get good enough sleep. No one else is going to make sure we are those things. You are the captain of your own ship. Sail it through the waves. And for God’s sake, please do not compare your life with others, whether through social media, friend circle, family, or any other source. By all means, remember – we are all dealing with the same devil, but at different levels.

Reasons to Stay Alive

Life is precious of all the treasures. Let’s come to a state where living itself becomes a state of joy!

The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness is not good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?  And after the Pandemic, things have shattered us up to such limit, that repairing it will take years.            

I always believe, human race runs on only 2 sentiments, i.e. Fear and Greed. You make someone worry about aging; they will run to buy an anti-aging cream. You scare someone about the harmful effects of a particular food; they will immediately run to buy organics. You influence someone about some benefits of an investment scheme; they will put in their entire savings in the greed of getting back more. You tell someone you are an expert in predicting the future and their future looks weak, but you have solutions to it; that person will be immediately driven by fear and greed.

In the era of smart phones and social media, people are worried about missing out on something. Everyone feels comparing their selves to others, where they feel they are left behind. And when we fail to cope with or handle all the pressures, we feel it’s best to end it all. The best way to deal with life’s pressure is to remain calm, in any situation. To be calm becomes a kind of a revolutionary act. To be happy with our own non-upgraded existence and to be happy with our own messy human selves would be the best remedy.

There is no exact definition of normal. It differs from person to person, situation to situation. Wherever you are, at any moment, and you feel like you are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames, pause for a moment and look around. Can you smell the fresh brewing coffee? Can you see the beautiful flowers blooming? Can you see a smile on some stranger’s face? Or even the clouds outside your window? You see, there is something beautiful in the simplest things. It is us who make everything complicated.

There are some very simple reasons to stay alive. Even when everything has come crushing down, there is always a reason to live.

  • You still have to listen to some beautiful songs
  • And the uncontrollable laughs with your siblings or friends
  • How about trying out some tasty food
  • Or let’s just read a new book
  • And there are many goals to achieve yet
  • Let’s just Netflix and Chill
  • Travelling to the countries you always wanted to go
  • Listening to the sound of the rain
  • Grandparents/parents massaging your head
  • Meeting the love of your life
  • Wearing that dress for a special occasion you have been waiting for
  • Or let’s just make some nice Tea/Coffee
  • Beat of all, play with your dog and see him/her getting old and be with them

You see, life is simple and the joys of life lie in the things that we already have. Aim high, but do not fear living in the present. Have dreams, but do not get distracted from reality. There are times when nothing is going right. No matter what you do, you feel the whole world is against you. No solutions in the horizon to solve your problems. Even then, there are millions of reasons to live. In such situations, stay calm and patient. And repeat to yourself that your situation will change. It does not rain forever.

Above all, live for yourself. Depression and Anxiety are story tellers. Don’t believe everything you think. Most of the times, the gravity of the situation is 1%, and the remaining 99% is created in the head out of fear, greed or ego. Let loose for some time. Sleep over it. Wake up, make yourself some Tea/Coffee and analyse your situation and your surroundings.

Life had punched me in the face back to back in the past 10 years. I had tried giving up on life 10 years ago. One simple act prevented me from taking that step and ever since, I have never thought of ending my life. Since then, I have always found a reason to live and enjoy the moments. And when my situation is very bad, even then my dog’s mere presence is my reason to live.

Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. You are in a hurry. So calm down and take your time. Hang in there if you can. Life is always worth it. Three in the morning is never the time to try and sort out your life. Once the storm is over, you won’t even remember how you made it through. You are alone, I am alone. Yet we are together. Everyone is struggling in some or the other way. We are made of flesh, but also of stars. If your life is hell; keeping walking. Why would you want to stay in hell! You were there before, and now you know the way out. Don’t give up or give in. Calmly walk through it.