My wife ordered a new pack of green tea (with honey and lemon) the other day. I asked her if that meant we had finished the earlier 100 sachets. Before lockdown was introduced we never used to have this green tea (with honey and lemon). In fact, I used to hate green tea. I hated green tea to the extent every time I put myself in a situation to have that green tea, I remember that Les Brown line “if somebody said life is easy, they lied!” Such was my disdain with green tea.
After my walk in the morning, I was keeping my running shoes inside the shoe rack. I wore my slippers and shared with my wife, ” I have forgotten how my office shoe looks like!” The coming week will mark the 100th day of India first imposing a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Today is our 28th day of Unlock 1.0 after 68 days of lockdown. They say “don’t master disappointment and comfort zone, master change.” So I looked back and wondered what had changed in these 100 days.
Did I make my days count?
Before Lockdown three things were missing in my life: As I used to travel family conversations were limited to only weekends; I hated green tea and I hated unloading the dishwasher. I was addicted to seeing TV randomly that too the 9 PM news. I liked reading books but I felt I didn’t have a system of reading books on an ongoing basis.
I learned that we have to make time with family. So it started with having all the meals together. It started with Breakfast and Lunch. So for breakfast, it was always my favorite black coffee. To set out to change things, I believed you should be in a high energy state and coffee was the drink that I needed to put me in that state. Sipping coffee and having nice conversations with my daughters and wife was awe-inspiring. I lived by that code by Justin Chen Headley, ” Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.”
Then one day something changed. Every time I opened that drawer in my kitchen I saw that container with Green tea. I used to tell my wife how did we buy these many sachets. Were we out of our minds? She said we had bought it as we wanted to try it but we didn’t like the taste and so we moved on to coffee. Charles J. Sykes said, “Life is not fair; get used to it.”
I wanted to Re-imagine sunk cost fallacy. I was listening to podcasts in these 100 days, reading papers regularly, and also was browsing diligently to get inspirations for change on a daily basis. Every now and then I saw a pattern. That was the use of these two-letter “RE“. Nandan Nilekani’s article on Reimagining education was the one that caught my attention. One of the sales conferences had Respond, Reflect, Reimagine, and Rebound. I decided to re-imagine breakfast and replaced black coffee with green tea.
A year back, we were planning to attend my niece’s graduation in the US. A few weeks back we saw a video capturing her drive through the school campus and her taking a photo with her Principal’s cutout. Things have moved from physical graduation to Virtual graduation ceremony. That was a great example of Reimagination.
Closer home I have seen how classrooms are getting reimagined. I recollected how my mother made tea and woke me up. It was so hot that you could not go back to sleep. I would spring up from my bed. Today when I made tea for my elder daughter who had to attend her online classes from 7 AM, she will spring up, do her morning chores and wear the earphone and then carry that device to the kitchen and pick up the tea. In fact, students hold the classroom in their palms and ears. Chip and chair concept has been modified for education to chip, ear, and everywhere. So I also decided to Reimagine and Repurpose my day to day routines and build a loop. after all humans are adaptionists.
I replaced my morning tea with coffee. While the coffee is being prepared, I reached for the dishwasher door and opened it, and started unloading the utensils. I had to initially time it, hear speeches parallelly just to get to the other side which was to have that nice coffee and read a book. It was a classic example of a habit loop trigger which was about the reward to routine to cue.
In a contactless world of 100 days, I had to put in boundless energy every day to keep it in a full circle. In this case, the cue was to read books on writing and other areas in the morning. Figured out a loop for having green tea and conversations with family. I decided to skip the TV.
Every day morning I wake up and smell the coffee. Drinking green tea with my wife and kids was pragmatic, having once in a while wine without TV and book was romantic, and the next day when I reach out to take the wine glass from the dishwasher it was automatic.
I will REcount these 100 days for REimagining my routines and creating time to REflect and REbound.