Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Art of Detachment

Almost a year ago, on a flight from Maldives to New Delhi, I surprisingly found myself sitting next to my ex-colleague who looked seemingly pleasant carrying her two year old son. We had an exciting exchange of ‘who is where and doing what’, shared a few details of what we have been doing over the past five years and how life has changed for both of us. After an hour of conversation, I reached for my book signaling the 'let’s take a break from talking and do something productive with time' kind of look. But she failed to take the hint. Instead of winding down gracefully, she went on telling me how her life is evolving around her baby, how she has been managing everything on her own and remains so busy that she can’t even answer phone calls. The monologue lasted for the entire journey and gave the co-passengers headache for a day.

So strong was her wave of ‘I should tell everything’ that she cleared her mind with a pressure. There were times when I tried to stop her but she kept cutting me short, so I just let her continue. Till now I can’t forget her stressed face.

Sometimes we get consumed by our work (taking care of home in this case) so much that we simply forget there is life after that. We are not the only ones living, working, having children, maintaining a standard of living. Countless people have done that before and will keep on doing all the work they can patiently. For most of us, life has become a compilation of activities and when we find that rare window of undivided attention, the opportunity is grabbed instantly to tell what all we have been doing.

Attaching ourselves to the work brings ego (I did right; you should have done it that way, why should I always suffer?) and hinders our self-growth. Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you are describing what you do, always stay honest. Remind yourself that your identity is bigger than your work, take time to refresh your mind frequently and stay healthy by doing exercise. 

In short - speak less; practice the art of detachment more.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful writing.

Althea said...

Yeah! I know how painful it is to sit next to people who just can't stop. I pity those who don't know when to stop.


Natasha said...

I had an experience too when my old classmate just didn't know when to stop? ?I tried to pretend sleeping as well but she decided to ignore the signs and continue her blabbering.It was the more painful journey for me.