A 4-day week?

Yeah right. It’s turning out to be 5 days of work done in 4. I’ve been lucky to keep it down to 10 hours each on Tuesday and today – and the great thing is that I’ve been home so I put my 10 hours in by 6:30 pm and there I am; with the rest of the evening free to enjoy without that 90- minute obstacle called the 401. Work’s exhilarating though. We’re are in our last week of development and predictably, the change requests are suddenly flying in. What happened to those ironclad business requirements nailed out in eight(!) iterations back in June? Why are we discovering new requirements now?

But this is what makes my job interesting – challenging every new requirement to ensure sure it’s well-conceived; negotiating with the customer to work out what to accept into scope and what to defer; persuading, cajoling and urging on my architect and developers; and ultimately, keeping the whole wagon from moving falling off the rails (i.e. going over budget and coming in late); we’re tracking 3 days late but that’s because of all the changes…and I’m 40K under right now – but that can change quickly.

I used think I’d pack this in when I turn 55. We should be able to retire comfortably by then and by that time my practice would be reasonably competent and maybe I’d teach. Or maybe we’d just travel, stopping into India for months and a time to chill. It could still happen; 55 is far far away (20 years if you really care to know). But I don’t know anymore. I like what I do, I’m well-paid, and it doesn’t interfere with the growth of my practice – if anything it gives me ample opportunities to develop the other 7 limbs. It’ll depend on how much ‘runway’ Big Blue gives me; if there are still new opportunities to have and things to learn then I’ll keep at it. And as I’ve said before, who know? There’s a good chance my job’ll take me to Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Gurgaon or Mumbai – our five hubs in India.

But I’m not in Bangalore now; I’m in Toronto which is fine. I’ve taken to my adopted homeland; I’ve never been much of a patriot (which comes hard for an English-born Canadian of Indian Descent and Kenyan-born parents who lived in Japan for four years); but I’m proud to be Canadian, and lately, I’ve felt genuinely relieved that we parked ourselves on this side of the 49th parallel when we left England. I have a real empathy and affection for the United States – it just isn’t my country and I’m ok with that.

But back to Yoga: I came to the mat at 6:45 am knowing that I had an 8:30 am conference call so there was an urgency about my efforts and I was determined to focus – and it worked. My mind was better focused. So maybe that’s the start; to be conscious of the need to concentrate at the very beginning – at Samasthiti to literally instruct the mind to be still. It still wandered here and there. Among other things there were thoughts of work, New Orleans, my blog, others Ashtanga blogs – and their authors (if you blog regularly on Ashtangi.net chances are I’ve read your blog frequently). For me though, Alan Little set the standard pretty high; his was the first that I found back in April. I was enthralled and I read his Mysore blog in one sitting. All I could think of for weeks afterwards was going to Mysore.

This afternoon I got out of my chair and did a near-textbook Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. I’m some way off it in the mornings, but this afternoon I was able to bind easily; I wonder if I’ll still have it tomorrow morning. Speaking of which, it’s an early one as I’m going into the office. Neera (my wife) is hitching a ride with my brother who’s making a call on patient downtown; he’s a Chiropractor – which comes in handy (no pun intended) for me. That means, I can work from home and set out for my 11:00 am meeting after rush hour. This will be my new normal for commuting starting next week as Neera goes on maternity for a year (this being a new mother’s entitlement in the welfare state we live in) and I can drive into and out of work when I want – I’ll miss her company but the drive’ll be way shorter. Anyway let’s see if I keep that bind in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana.

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