About 8 years ago, transitioning from a teenager to a twenty year old, I always wanted to go out and have fun. Eat new types of food, try out new drinks and stay up as late as possible. That was not always possible, mostly due to financial limitations. At that point, I used to observe the relatively older people around me and wonder why they were not doing more exciting things. After all, they had money and freedom of time (or at least that’s what I thought). Why would any red blooded human being not want to spend their money on eating out, drinking more beer and partying till the early hours? Nobody could stop them. It seemed almost bizarre to me, not to make the most of their freedom, and I claimed that I would not be like that when I was older.
But as I’ve grown older and gained more financial independence, I find surprising comfort in doing things that my 20 year old self would have considered rather boring. I no longer feel the urge to party all night or eat street food every day. Whereas I once would have been happy to go on a long drive in the night to have Biryani from a particular restaurant, nowadays I’d rather not battle the traffic and would prefer to have some homemade curd rice with mango pickle. And instead of copious amount of beer, I have learnt the importance of staying hydrated and the value of a glass of a water.
I don’t believe it is a matter of taste or preference. I still do love a solid plate of Biryani and a good beer. I think it’s boredom. After many years of indulgence, I now crave the comfort zone again. Of course, while the occasional indulgence is much appreciated, I would much rather have a simple daily routine. While that may sound dull to the young ones out there, a simple routine is surprisingly hard to achieve these days, given the busy lifestyle and demands of work. Having the time to put up my feet and enjoy a TV show is a luxury. When I have free time, I would much rather like to spend time with my family and build cherished memories, instead of going out and visiting new restaurants.
To me, it’s a sign of growing up and also a sign of having the good luck to try many things in the first two decades of my life. I am glad that my parents gave me the freedom and opportunity to have many experiences in my younger years. While money was a limitation those days, time is the limitation today. And with limited time, it becomes important to curate your life and ensure that you are making the most of every day. Going out and partying once a week as opposed to once a month will not necessarily add value to your life by 4 times. But spending more quality time with loved ones definitely will.
Travel is my way of relaxing. I am innately curious and visiting new places is exciting. I love trying out new cuisines, exploring monuments, and learning about different cultures. But after a couple of weeks of travel, there is nothing more comforting than being able to come back home to familiar faces, eating homecooked food and sleeping on my own bed. My past self had once envied George Clooney’s life in the 2009 movie ‘Up in the Air‘ but my current self pities him. Being constantly on the road, living out of a suitcase and having to endure all sorts of unexpected situations is hardly a model life.
However, having a routine does not translate into losing your creative edge. In fact having a fixed routine nurtures the discipline of creativity and can help you explore new avenues in your work. Even the famous writer Dan Brown has a fixed schedule for writing. Quoting from his interview for the New York Times – “He rises at 4 a.m. each day and prepares a smoothie comprising blueberries, spinach, banana, coconut water, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and this sort of weird protein powder made out of peas. He also makes so-called bulletproof coffee, with butter and coconut oil, which he says changes ‘the way your brain processes the caffeine’ so as to sharpen your mind. His computer is programmed to freeze for 60 seconds each hour, during which time Mr. Brown performs push-ups, situps and anything else he needs to do. Though he stops writing at noon, it’s hard for him to get the stories out of his head.”
With increasing career demands and peer pressure, keeping a cool head is difficult. And that’s where a well developed routine can help. A bit of fitness, some healthy food and time with family/friends will add a sense of stability and happiness in life. Because isn’t that what life is all about in the end?
Currently listening to – I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
Currently reading – Stephen Shore on Why Young Photographers Need to Start with Film
Currently watching – Borderline S02