To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Sunday, October 30, 2011
I have had this question asked often, and am sure everyone asks and gets asked often enough, “what are you doing this weekend?”. Now, perfectly innocent and harmless though it is, I used to feel slightly uncomfortable under its mild scrutiny. People seem to expect one to be “doing something” over the weekend, so one feels slightly pressured to measure up somehow, “oh, I’ll be watching a movie” or “oh, I’ll be going to the mall” or “I’ll be catching up with a friend over lunch”, or sometimes even, like I have heard a few times, “I’ll be doing spring cleaning!” —anything to sound sufficiently occupied and busy and ‘blocked’ I guess!

At one point, I used to feel positively guilty to not have anything to say that may sound like my weekend was actually quite fruitful or exciting, in the way people would relate, especially if the people putting the question were the hyperactive kind, who could be doing any number of things and maybe juggling many at a time, without being the worse for the wear.

Now, what I think is this: What’s wrong with simply “being”, why should one be doing something all the time? What’s wrong with enjoying your own company, why should one be seeking company all the time? What’s wrong with just pottering around the house, picking a book, sharing things with the folks, dozing, eating, walking, thinking—basically, “doing nothing” or “nothing really exciting”. Which brings me closer to the point: Isn’t excitement different for different people? Maybe passive enjoyments like reading give me more pleasure than active enjoyments like hiking — but what’s wrong with that? Why should it mean that I am not taking advantage of my time as someone else who may be out and about does?

I guess I have resigned myself to the fact that you can never really explain things to people if they insist on looking at it through the prism of their own personality. I have stopped trying to fit my reality to better match others' perspectives. I realise I do myself a disservice and subject myself even more unfairly to others’ judgements. Now if someone asks, “So what are you doing this weekend?” and I respond, “nothing in particular”, and if I get a reaction that suggests “boring”, I don’t bother about it because, really, it isn’t—a cup of coffee with mom in the evening, chatting, gossiping, laughing, nibbling on murukkus, dunking khari biscuits, watching the evening fade into the night—need I anything more to make my day worth it? I look forward to these evenings more than anything else… but what do I say when you ask me, “what are you doing?". Small pleasures are the only pleasures we have in this life; looking back, I don’t think I would ever regret not going hiking!