The recession, in a quirky way, brought joy to my life……opened up new possibilities, new thoughts.
I was jobless for a while.
Many fantasies and dreams came to life.
1. Wrote parts of my first novel, and sent it out to dozens of publishers & agents world over…. I received no replies and rejections in equal proportion. But, the process of writing was so satisfying. A long-cherished dream. I now know I can write well, and get published.
2. Started my own company. I still wonder how I did this. I bumped into somebody who had similar thoughts, we gelled, and, lo, registered a company shortly. We tried a few ideas, all of which bombed. But this opened-up new possibilities. It has been a self-revelation. I know I can run for the top spot on the Forbes list, if I want to……at least I know how.
3. Health & fitness. Running has become a part of my life now. Better diet & more time at the gym have given me fantastic results. I am younger than before!
4. Books. I never got enough of these since my school days. I used to devour books by the dozens in high school & college. But work and other distractions slowed me down to a just a couple of books a month. I am a voracious and omnivorous reader. I read everything – novels, history, science, comics, philosophy, business, mags, brochures, in-flight pamphlets on how to save myself when landing on water, advertisements, and so on. And boy, I just gobbled books during these days.
Chuckled with Wodehouse, deeply thought with the likes of Seneca & Marcus Aurelius, re-learnt history of all kinds, re-discovered Ruskin Bond, fell head-over-heels over popular science books…..
5. Friends & family. I understand & appreciate my family better now, simply because I was able to spend more time with them. But, friends have been a mixed bag altogether. So many of my ex-colleagues and friends simply faded away, some of them perhaps recalibrating their opinions about this guy who couldn’t keep his job.
6. Music. I discovered western classical music. I started self-learning the piano. Read books. Actively pursued music of all kinds – orchestra, chamber, solo, instrument. Now, I also appreciate jazz, blues & indian carnatic music better. Its been a real joy.
7. Investing. I have been pursuing value investing for sometime now. This break gave me the time to read, think & analyze better. In investing, more action doesn’t lead to success. Patience & temperament are critical. Scores of pebbles need to be studied to unearth a gem. The likes of Munger, Buffet & Graham have been willing and generous teachers.
8. Goals & interests. I now have a better & clearer idea about what my interests are and how I should lead my life. I had time to think, contemplate. I was more aware about my thinking and myself during the course of daily life, like when reading, watching tv, talking to people, running, commuting etc. I was never more aware of myself before.
I would love to afford and resume this lifestyle.