Drinking to Distraction

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


It’s been two months since my job ended. Since then I have tried to bring the structure of my working life into the vast abyss of my unemployment. Somehow I fill my days with errands and small tasks that must have gone uncompleted when I was working. That and I watch a lot of bad TV. I’ve become mildly obsessed with doing everything right – working out 5 times a week, cooking a variety of nutritious meals, using up all the produce in the fridge before it goes bad, getting the best price on bananas. At the end of the day I’m often not sure what happened. But I feel exhausted.

By filling in the time, I haven’t really been dealing with the…

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  1. I felt uneasy and restless when i retired from 37 years of diplomatic life – there was no financial compulsion to work, yet the uncertainty what next persisted. THEN came retirement and i suddeenly found that i had won the most precious thing that life has to offer – FEE, ENDLESS TIME – much more valuable than say winning a lottery for a million dollars! With this unexpected new found wealth, in the past 10 years of total freedom from anxiety about my next posting (except when they persist in dreams), undesirable bosses etc etc etc and the greater freedom to use this wealth as i please and when i please i have set about doing all the things i dreamed of – rearing budgrigars, breeding rare siamese fighting fish ( to my wife’s horror), recreating a defunct museum in my city ( today the best in India!!), working on sound and light shows at monuments at my city, writing a book on the Hindu scripture the Gita, launching it at a great literary festival in my city(Jaipur) – first edition actually sold out – working on a heritage law for my region, working on a book about my ancestry (yet to be published), writing poetry and now venturing tentatively into the world of blogging. Every morning i wake up looking forward to something new, excited like a kid – with all the time in the world i get the sense im short of it – gives you a sense of how precious it is even in abundance! All my work is gratis – no charge – which makes my joy unrestrained and fulsome – and when those working hecticly, as i used to do in service, ask sceptically of a retired gentleman now 72 – hey how do you pass your time, my reply is sir, im busy without business.

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