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(I’m proud and love my hard discipline, the rituals I have infused in my daily routine, for a retired and tired soul. I go through my day with a few workouts, substantial paces of walking followed by meditation.

Rain or shine I have devised a schedule of physical appetite wherein I sweat a good deal. I reconnect to the person I’m within, my balance, and my creative tracts and to buy peace with all my emotions.)

One night a friend of mine barged in uninvited; sat sipping the coffee I have offered as he adjusted himself comfortably in the sofa. I expected he would leave; I have many things to attend to. A call is due any time from my daughter, I found myself eyeing at the phone should I notice a missed call. But he seemed in no mood to push out, besides, stayed put engrossed watching TV.

Right, I said, is there anything urgent to explain the visit at this hour.

I know you are living alone, sort of felt seeing you once, just don’t mind my questioning, ‘how do you spend your day’, aren’t you bored”, finally sensing my discomfort he left, hardly spoke anything while in the two hours engaged with the TV.

After he left, his question lingered longer despite the triviality in it, ‘how do you spend the day?’ a small voice kept kicking refusing to die down. Perhaps, it never occurred, I never wondered myself, by any silly reason, ‘how I have come this far, in two years, retired, spending time, living alone.’ I felt genuinely surprised, how I have tied up working in quietness for two years after passing away of my wife.

Why I’m not sure but the query evidently rattled me. Lying back, an hour for the midnight to march in, before the angel of sleep would claim me, I ran through a hazy sequence of my daily routine. It’s a simple but a happy routine. Within the loose fence of twenty-four hours, I wouldn’t drift aimlessly, wouldn’t let the dirty mind doze off seeking lazy idling. I bundle up my spirits into an easy to perform packets: of reading, not reading, writing, not writing, learning, and talking, dreaming, sulking, brooding, walking, and meditating. Hibernating, often, I’m left to feed on the flesh of my depressive bones.

Possibly, you may find me peppy amid some purposeful efforts or evading doing nothing, when I’m at a low tide.

Whatever the day I set the alarm as early as five-thirty, but, I don’t jump out of bed, instead, lay quiet. You see. There is a lure of laziness wanting me to curl tight, slap the eyes shut for an extra allowance of sleep. I’m alone, no compulsions to lunge for work, and urgencies to tense me down, no deadlines to exhaust myself to rush, emotional dimness to rattle about. I see my day like on a trampoline – once I’m on it, I’m free as a bird to jump in any which way I want.   

Early morning I keep gaping at such unregulated, unfettered stretches of blank spells waiting to be briefed how I would take care of them.

Whatever the gloomy moods, exigencies pressing on the day wouldn’t prevent the Bruno, my thirteen-year-old Pomeranian, to wriggle, to roll on the floor making that hissing noises, circling around itself: a signal I have to guess, “I can’t hold it, take me out, it’s the morning purgatorial rush.” 

Bruno, against my laziness, drags me onto the rooftop, a blast of cool air hits on my face, for a moment I ignore him, attempt to take in a lungful of freshness and just barge into the warm shafts of sunshine diffused on the terrace. I notice fluid energy upping in the body. This is how my daily routine kicks off, it isn’t crowded but at the end of the day, I enjoy a few prideful moments of working on something worthwhile never allowing a damping dull minute.   

I’m proud and love my hard discipline, the rituals I have infused in my daily routine, for a retired and tired soul. I go through my day with a few workouts, substantial paces of walking followed by meditation. Rain or shine I have devised a schedule of physical appetite wherein I sweat for myself. I trusted it primed up the mornings to reconnect to the person I’m within, my balance, and my creative tracts and to buy peace with all my emotions.

Before I’m called for breaking my fasting, I would allot twenty minutes of deep breathing and focused meditation to help me heighten my self-reflection, augment my self-control. The healthful regimen would guide my self-esteem to be the best, to be good as much I decide to be.  

Seen that everything would fall in line in the morning as I get ready to consider all the matters that are worthwhile and important, I turn on the sweet vibrations of music that gently hums its way down my body, and provides a lyrical massage to mind and allows some intense moments.

Precisely at eight-thirty I arrange myself comfortably facing the white blank page and cursor pulsing as if baiting to compose the words, my passions, sentiments, reflections and reminiscences of the days with my wife.

I’m a huge grumbler of time. I get upset when oodles of time unused left to melt into thin air uselessly, unproductively. It’s my habit to horde as many minutes as I can, I selfishly refuse to waste the first hours of the day, they are mine and mine’s alone. Having settled in a workable mode I hear a subdued buzz. It’s my cell phone.

Early mornings I shut myself from all the distractions that surely impede the calmness, with which I wish to start the day, but my daughter is an exception and a call from her is, in many ways, I love to receive.

My daughter, who lives in the US, is a replica of my character – bold, independent, and candid. She wants so much to be her own, with all my experience I wanted to help her. Hearing from her these days, I felt she needs her mother’s strong shoulders to lean upon. A few days back I detected a hint of despair when she said, ‘I miss mom, and the thought scares me that she wasn’t there when I needed her the most’. I hope my daughter finds strength in the cheering conversations wherein I try to comfort her.

Keeping away the phone, after listening to my daughter’s rueful confessions, I find my emotional domain totally down; it is so overwhelming I couldn’t concentrate on my writing work at hand; my stiff face couldn’t rejig but stare at the white space on the monitor.

It’s an hour and a half after my generous breakfast, I try for an effective poise, beyond my stiff eyes gawking at the keyboard, and I haven’t punched a single sentence.

I look distressed, acknowledging the helplessness, I say to myself, ‘the fact that I hardly able to drive my efforts to neither reading nor writing I’m terribly failing not doing any worthwhile effort.’

The nagging feeling is all over me.

At these times, the truth is, I’m directed by a small a conciliatory voice from inside that sweetens up my frame of mind. It helps me to smile giving me the required enthusiasm when I get wedged in these jammed sentiments. 

A few minutes later, I feel jacked up with a brief pause and plunge into short reading sessions after realizing as I suffer the stifling mood swings; I know it’s impossible to write anything sensible. 

What I could do next?

I open a book which meant to enlighten me on how to tackle the nuances about the craft I’m passionate about, to find myself fluent: the writing expertise. It’s peculiarly titled, ‘Writing down the Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg.

It is an authoritative guide map that whenever I’m lost, staring at the blank space of zero motivation, and in self- denial, ‘do I see myself capable of jotting down one sensible sentence’.

The book is a bible in my lap: it exclaims,

to muster the courage, to trust my mind and place one word after the other on the page.”

I pour over pages, the inspiring paragraphs leap out from the text, thrum the right strings inside me, to tune mentally right, feel confident enough, get into the trance of seeking peace, finding my voice and become intimate with memories and start romancing the keyboard.

I watch and see how everything connects, how I contact my thoughts and lay them down on paper,’ the book directs me. 

Barely twenty minutes have gone by I face a spasm of blankness, I know my concentration levels are miserably low, one moment I keenly pour out my ideas, the next I’m off wondering about a hurting event happened long ago. I could feel the sheer lack of grit to sit and commit anything worthwhile for longer periods. I find many times my capriciousness driving me nuts, depleting any sense of holding the thrill of positive confidence. I badly wanted to get into long spells of creative indulgence but I don’t know how to rein in my fragile attention skills.

I keep thinking, ‘how I’m letting the day slip by?’ It’s the worst thing I want to say it to myself. How do I wish I could carry a strong grip over my silly and playful brain to allow focus on my apprenticeship in the art of writing?

I’m never embarrassed to admit, I have an urge to fill the days with creative activity, pages with sensible writing, visualize relatable memories and duly chronicled, but my mental wherewithals are inappropriately nominal.  

But I’m blessed with a mightier twin at the far end of my meek mind, which is invincible but ready to bring down any walls of inertia I confront every day. It’s the trust and belief system, the adventure I chose as my mission of life that alerts to align my brain and soul. It hikes up the inner motivation to work for me, sharpen my skills to enjoy productive days, be comfortable in what I do, love what I’m, and live a healthy life. And never let go of the fact: close to my heartbeat lie the best interests of my son, my daughter and the memories of my wife.

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