I normally don’t write posts on this blog on Mondays, but I did want to write one today because it’s been a beautiful Monday morning.

After 2.5 years of moving to our new home, our new clubhouse was inaugurated earlier this month. It was then officially thrown open to the residents to use as of this morning.

Knowing this, I planned my day well in advance. Last night, I decided what I’d wear for my first badminton session in the new club, complete with track pants, matching socks, non-marking shoes and a hair clip to hold my locks in place. I laid it all out on a chair by my bed so I’d be able to pack it as soon as possible in the morning.

I was also keen to try out the new swimming pool so that meant getting my swim gear in place. From the light blue, knee-length suit to my black swimming cap and matching goggles, those went on the chair too.

Knowing that the ladies playing badminton would be there by 8 am, I planned backwards to determine how much time I’d need to prep lunch boxes, make breakfast, do a load of laundry and then head out the door.

Right on cue, at 8.00 am, I headed out the door, energised by the sheer idea of working out again.

Knowing how important it is to stretch before any workout, I spent 15 minutes doing just that.

For the next half hour, I laughed, swung, whooped in joy as the shuttle soared over the net and the racquets swished through the air. The atmosphere was charged with women cheering one another, racing from one end of the court to the other, in an attempt to defeat their opponents. The adrenaline was incredible.

After that, I headed off to spend 30 minutes in the pool, did a few energetic laps and then cooled down by floating on my back in the element I find most comfortable of all.

Image is actually from a trip to Wayanad in 2016, but I have the same suit even today

I share this today because I’d been feeling a niggling sense of seclusion and solitude over the last few months. It’s especially more pronounced when you work from home all the time and the work keeps you glued to the laptop for the better part of the day.

A part of me wondered if I had forgotten to interact with people, play a sport or just be part of a community. In my earlier place, all of these things came very naturally to me, thanks to my groups of friends.

Today, it was a sign that I hadn’t lost it. It was a reminder that living each day can be as joyous or as tedious as we make it out to be.

It was a reminder that I could definitely make time to work out if I chose to do so. That making friends is as simple as showing up and playing a friendly game of badminton.

That going for a swim starts with something as easy as getting everything in place the night before.

The bonus? I had no time to check my laptop or my phone in the morning because I was making sure I finished my chores before heading out to work out.

This way, when I did open my laptop at 10 am, I did it with a profound sense of gratitude as well as readiness to tackle the workday.

There’s another interesting discovery I made. I am comfortable with group sports such as badminton where I have to speak to other people and engage. I am equally comfortable with a solo workout like swimming. Strange? But true.

I am beginning to think it’s part of my introvert personality which kind of spills over to my blog and work too. Blogging, by itself, is a solo activity and I love it wholly. But the engagement, the readers, the audience- those appeal to the side of me that likes to talk to people.

As the week unfolds, this is what I wish for each of you: to find the joy in living each day and to make time for the things that truly, deeply matter. Everything else will naturally fall into place.

14 thoughts on “The Simple Joy in Living Each Day

  1. yayy.. way to go!Thats the way I have been living life for a while, every day counts, every day matters and making sure to do something new or learn some little thing daily…. Btw, am taking baby steps to swimming this year… been a long long dream of mine!! sigh..

  2. So happy to read this, Shailaja. Mostly because yay you started a good form of exercise. 😊 I totally get you when you say how important or is to occasionally go out and meet people. I used to live playing TT much more than badminton earlier. After the knee injury I am still wary. But since I love all other forms of workout, I guess I am okay .

    I love swimming too but this weather is not helping much. And somehow I prefer solitary activities. That’s why I love writing and working from home . But of course, one does desire company occasionally too. I like the good balance that you’ve struck. Keep going. Lots of love .

  3. I love playing badminton, it is one of the best exercises ever! It’s been a while since I played. Swimming has been on my bucket list since, well, all my life. I’m yet to learn it. Maybe, next summer.

    Work is keeping me insanely busy and I barely have time for anything else these days. But finding happiness in small things and living life fully each day is keeping me going and satiated.

    Let’s meet soon babe, so much to catch up on.

  4. Getting ready for an activity is so exciting. It reminded me of the time when I would prepare my attire before my swimming classes. Love that photo of yours.
    Oh tell me about solitude. I so look forward to weekends when atleast I get a chance to see some new faces in the grocery shops πŸ˜› Loved how beautifully you gel with people because group activities demand so much communication. I could never imagine you as an introvert. You have such a bubbly personality.

  5. I’m so happy for you Shy. I felt in place reading this post. Being at home has started to itch me a bit and spending the whole day at home makes me often ponder about my social skills. I’ve always loved swimming and it’s on my bucket list to join soon.

    Your badminton video inspired me and now to see a post about it as part of your day energised me. I am low on activity apart from running behind my toddler. On most days, I’m already tired by the time I put her to sleep. I couldn’t really think of what to do the next day, beyond preparation of meals. That’s the only plan I have. πŸ˜… Workout takes a bit of a shaking for me to start. Though walking has helped so much in the past and once a week now.

    I love the idea of tracking the time backwards and it worked really well for my travel. This is a reminder that I can try it on a daily basis to arrive at a better estimation.

    Such a lovely post again. Hugs Shy. Have a great week ahead😊

  6. Loved how easily your words flow and make for an engaging and interactive read. You are so right about blogging being an occupation that isolates you. You start living, breathing in a virtual world while you lose touch with the real world and its occupants! I am not a lover of exercise in any form but I can appreciate how much better one feels by engaging in it. Good going Shy!

    1. Thanks a ton, Kala πŸ™‚ To be honest, I am not a BIG fan of exercise either. Which is why I switched to a sport, which makes it more fun. You exercise without realising it and the benefits are there before you know it. Win-win, in my book. πŸ™‚

  7. This is absolutely, my thought that working from home makes you seclusive but an outdoor game enhances your survey. Though I go for walk alone but it is still very refreshing.

    1. I agree with the walk too πŸ™‚ I’ve been slacking on walking mainly because when I step out, people want to gossip and I am just clueless on how to gossip, so avoid it altogether. Badminton on the other hand, leaves no room or time for gossip πŸ˜‰

  8. Hugs Shailaja. I’m happy you feel happy and content. The worst bit of working from home is the solitude – it’s also the best bit of course. I’m glad you found friends you could connect with. I hope you can make this a regular feature of your day.
    Since we shifted here I seem to have lost the will to make new friends and keep going back to the old ones, who mercifully aren’t too far away. The unfortunate part is that the daily interaction is lost. It was only for a few minutes everyday but I miss it. You make me want to step out.
    Oh and I love how happy you look in that picture! We have a tiny pool at home but I’ve hardly ever stepped into it except to retrieve things thrown in by the kids. I really should make use of it even though I don’t know swimming. I think I might manage to float on a tube or something.

    1. Thank you, Tulika πŸ™‚ It was the best way to begin my week, I can tell you that. My intention is to play/swim at least 3 to 5 times a week to begin with and then take it up a notch based on stamina levels.

      I also completely relate to the idea of being unable to make new friends in the new place. I take time to warm up to people, but here’s what I recommend.

      Find a sports group – Badminton/TT/ chess- where you guys just meet to play. That’s what helps, I find. You won’t hit it off right away but it will grow on you, which is perfect! Send out a whatsapp message asking if people want to play. That’s what I did and got people to join. Really worked.

      I’m thrilled that the joy shows in the picture. I was grinning so widely today after the workout that even the husband noticed πŸ˜€

      As for swimming, please start now. I swear it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can learn. And even just getting into the pool and walking is fine, to begin with. But do try. It’s my favourite workout πŸ™‚

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