A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Picking up the pieces

Posted by Pepper on January 4, 2016

We decided to restructure our company sometime in early October. By restructuring, I mean bringing in some new management, reconstituting the share holdings and stakes and bringing in new investors. We (my dad and I) were still going to continue being a part of it for a while. We would still hold majority of the stakes, but we wanted to bring in new people in the board of directors for a variety of reasons.

My dad’s younger brother who lives in the Bay Area has been generous enough to help us in the reconstituting. He has worked in the Silicon Valley for over 30 years and has some good solid experience in this area. We have regular conference calls with him to discuss company matters and jointly make decisions.

Anyway, I had been wading through the usual hectic work life, waiting to get a break. Mint and I had planned to take a break in the last week of December. It made perfect sense. It was the holiday season. Work would be slow in most places. He had some leave he could use. All along, I was looking forward to a slower pace starting from mid December. And then one day in early November, my uncle emailed me saying he would be arriving in India around mid December. He would be there till the end of the month. The sole objective of his two week trip was to aid the reconstituting process. He requested me to keep myself fully available every day of his trip.

Of course, I should have been thankful to him for giving us his time, instead, the timing of his trip made me cringe and cry. The December break was something I was looking forward to so much. To have it all snatched away at the end moment was breaking my heart.

Anyway, I got busy making preparations for his upcoming trip. We wanted to ensure we utilized his time as effectively as possible. So prior to his arrival, I had a big list of things to organize, appointments to schedule, papers and company resolutions to keep handy and other miscellaneous arrangements to be made. All this over and above my regular work. It was highly exhausting but I kept reminding myself that it was a phase and it would pass soon.

Sometime around this time, I began to ignore the seemingly ‘less important’ things in my life. Work was too demanding. I told myself I would do a thorough clean up of the house later. It was okay to dump my used clothes in a corner for now. It was okay to postpone social engagements. It was okay to allow the leftovers in the fridge to pile and not plan any meals efficiently. Books couldn’t be read. Workouts couldn’t be aimed for. Blogging wasn’t even in the picture. Is it a surprise that my last post of the year was on December 5h? It was okay, I told myself. Let me get done with this highly intense phase at work. I would reclaim my life once this was over.

If I thought the time before my uncle’s visit was hectic, let me just say I was completely unprepared for what was in store after he arrived. Every single day was packed with meetings. And not meetings that permit you to zone out. But intense, grueling, tiresome meetings that lasted for hours on end. We were pitching, debating, discussing, analysing, brain storming, drawing new plans and constantly using up every bit of our energy. We met tax auditors, potential investors, company secretaries, planners and everyone else possible. Sometimes we would break for lunch only past 4 in the evening. Most of my meals consisted of crap available from the nearest fast food restaurant. We would get home only past 10 or 11 on most days. Saturdays included.

I was beginning to resent this mad pace. I understood my uncle had limited time and he was here to help. I knew we should try and complete as much as we can to make his visit as productive as possible. But what we were doing didn’t seem like a sane approach. I felt like I was using every ounce of my mental bandwidth. Being occupied with work was one thing. But being occupied with work that forced you to brain storm every minute of the day was something else. I began to get cranky about the timing of my uncle’s visit again. Did I have to lose out on all the Christmas cheer? Did I have to be so caught up in work as we neared the end of the year? Didn’t I deserve holidays at this time like the rest of the world?

And then as suddenly as it had begun, the madness came to an end. I couldn’t be happier that the madness ended just as the new year began. Of course, I still have a high volume of work and a long list of action items to complete. But having said that, I began to see a semblance of my old life as soon as my uncle left. No more back to back meetings. I could pick my own pace now.

It’s been a few days now. I’ve been giving my mind some rest. Very slowly, I am beginning to pick up the pieces  of my life that I had left far behind. I managed to meet my friends. And I am going to tidy up the house soon. Who would’ve thought tidying up the house could be therapeutic? I’ve taken a semi break today (yes, on a Monday), and I sat myself down with a big bag of peas to shell. And just when I was in the midst of it, I realised how wonderful it felt to be doing something as mind numbing as shelling peas. How good it is to not have to apply yourself, strategize and use your brain every minute. How good it is to just be!

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12 Responses to “Picking up the pieces”

  1. Bikramjit said

    Good luck Pepper…

  2. […] Source: Picking up the pieces […]

  3. Big hugs to you Pepper! Sometimes you just need the most mundane tasks to relax. Here’s to a happy and peaceful new year! 🙂

  4. I can totally relate to this post. My work life is crazy and it has been so for the past 4 years now. Working on weekends has become a routine of sorts and having on call random meetings on even Saturdays has become the norm of my life. I was going extremely crazy and thought I would lose my mind soon. That’s when I discovered that no matter how bad the situation is, even if it means the sky is falling on your head, to turn your mind off from all madness and do mind numbing things like shelling peas or folding clothes or clearing up the book shelf especially on a weekday is extremely therapeutic and gives u that little extra fuel to go on for some more time, until that next break is needed.

  5. senora said

    Maybe now you guys can take the holiday you had looked forward to back in December 🙂

  6. My Era said

    You are an inspiration Pepper, analyzing life so beautifully, so methodically, that it encourages me to seek answers with whatever I do with my set of 24 hours.
    I am glad you could take a semi break today, get time to be free and relax just the way we all need to from time to time 🙂

  7. Pepper the more I read you, the more of a roller coaster your life seems 🙂
    Wishing you and yours a lovely 2016 and hopefully you enjoy the ride to the fullest!

  8. Hey, best and congrats for the restructure of the company. I’ve realized that the break is a priority when we live such a frenetic life.
    Cheerz Pepper.

  9. ferret said

    As i was wrapping up my day, thinking what a busy day i’d had; i read this!! This just blew my mind Pepper, it was so inspiring! For how much you accomplished, and how much energy you pulled out of your reserves that you probably didn’t even realize existed. You’re amazing, seriously! Thank you for writing this.

  10. Arathi said

    When I see people mowing the lawn in office.. I have a similar feeling..
    I think sometimes.. wouldn’t it be nice.. if all I had to do was mowing the lawn 🙂

    But then I know 2 days of that work, and I would be envious of some other work or no work

    Yes.. once in a while, doing something, which doesn’t need your full attention, works like magic

  11. Deepa said

    Oh pepper, your story struck a chord. I am always running to get things done, at home, with kids, with my husband, with my team at work place. Yesterday, at 3 PM, the house was quiet, the spouse was napping, kids were watching a movie downstairs. I just made myself a cup of chai and sat in my sun room and it was bliss. The sun rays were directly falling on me, the warm feeling that enveloped me was something I could live with forever, reminded me of the charpai days we experienced when Dad was posted in UP. Sometimes, it is good to just be, fully agree!

  12. Jo said

    Hugs Pepper.. Now that it’s over, hope you will be able to get some time off to catch up with those little big things 🙂

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