I’ve been swinging like a yo-yo ball this week. With my usually buoyant spirit oscillating between highs and lows at pretty high frequency. Without going into the details, I subjected myself to some arduous tasks to prove something to myself. I succeeded, but only partially. I should have felt great. And I did momentarily. But then as soon as I started to look at the moment from a distance, I felt worried. Worried about my restlessness, and its consequences. Worried about the tradeoffs. And worried about the people involved. But to be honest, for a very small moment, I felt validated. And that felt good. I don’t know if I can justify the labor with the momentary reward. But I like doing this to myself. And may be that’s sad.
Ever since the November of 2014 when I started my maternity leave, I have felt, like I need to go back to something. I have spent four and a half years at Google, and yet I feel like this has been a detour. And that I need to go back some where. It is a weird feeling. And it has led to a lot of discomfort. I have constantly felt short changed, and have carried within me some sort of a FOMO. After going through a rather quick, but very exhausting, and yet rewarding self validation exercise, I feel a little different. A little lighter. But also a little confused.
Mid week Randy and Vinay came over for dinner. Sheer coincidence that they were both in town the same day. At first I wondered if there was going to be anything in common, but it ended up being a wonderful evening. Yes, I went overboard with the menu. Goat curry and a spread on a weekday is beyond my stamina levels these days, but it was fun. Between the four of us we had three bottles of wine to help with the exhaustion. Of course we all had a severe hangover the next day. But a part of me was very thrilled. It felt like old times.
It is perf season. This season stresses out a lot of people. I stress about my own perf, and especially now since it has become unpredictable. But I love to read self-assessments, participate in calibration sessions, and representing the caliber, skills, achievements, and some times gaps of my team. It is a lot of work. But it is also a period of reflection for me, and for the team.
At pick up time today, I sat next to teacher Chris and joined the group of kids listening to silly rhymes. She is so good at holding a court of little toddlers and making them laugh. I enjoyed their company, especially the innocent eyes of the little kids and watched Tara play with her friends. Such a delightful scene. And so relaxing. I lost track of time while I was there. Very similar to how I lose track of time when I am at work during the day, or working at night.
That feeling led me to an interesting summary of my current state. I am uber spoilt by the high quality of people I interact with in my personal and professional life. Be it Tara’s teachers, her friends, their parents, my teams, peers and leads at work, our friend circle and of course our relatives. I fear that I am in a protected environment, a bubble, and the world outside might not be as giving, and fun. I also fear breaking this bubble by mistake. I don’t have a good relationship with regret. I don’t forgive easily. Especially not myself. May be I should be more kind to myself. Maybe!
Who knows what next week will bring. But at least I will still be in my bubble, as I deal with it. Until next time…