A Certain Smugness Of Being

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My call is just about over when a frantic text pops up on my phone. I ignore it and focus on being present, engaged and active. The call ends and I pick the phone up and go for a walk. I walk around my office building, a concrete tower that is older, stark and bereft of character. The area around it though is teeming with life. Is it crickets or cicadas I hear? I wouldn’t know the difference in any case. The chirping is overwhelming. The trail winds up and down in gentle slopes. I walk and talk figuring I might get my daily steps in and amp my active calories spent while at it.

Back at my desk, my watch says I exercised for 11 minutes. I figure two more rounds before the end of the day will do it. I take the stairs each time, reveling that I no longer huff and puff. I am breathing hard but it is mild compared to a couple of years ago when I would stop, catch my breath and walk on. There is a certain smugness when I settle back in my chair, a sense of superiority over myself, over the past me. The physical changes if any are insignificant. Mentally though I feel like a new person. I stand when I can sit. I walk when I can stand. I am watchful of the rest I get. I track my water usage.

All attributes that I consider healthy. It hits me just before lunch that all of this has to do with perception. I perceive things are healthy or good for me or things healthy people do. I take pride in aiming for those previously unattainable goals. Somewhere in the midst of pursuit of health, I find myself smirking, snarking and being smug and it catches me by surprise. It makes me stop in my tracks and evaluate where those feelings are coming from. The past me mocks at the present me.

What goes up shall fall she says. What is lost shall be gained. What is shall not be.

I am humbled. I turn to my lunch chastened.

5 comments

  1. Laksh, it’s very important to walk and stay fit where there are opportunities whether taking the stairs in the face of comfort, the lift particularly when we have a sitting job. An interesting perspective.

  2. I am on my maternity leave now but used to work behind a desk as well. Before that, I worked in a warehouse, all day on my feet, covered in dust and sweat, tired and hot. It was actually much better than the office job. It was giving me a satisfaction every day and a feeling that I atually DID some work.

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