Trirrrrriiiiiing……The alarm goes off signalling the arrival of the morning. A reminder that I have to wake up even if I don’t want to. I manage to wake up, freshen up a bit and drive to the park for my walk. While I am still running, my cell makes its presence felt and I am requested to come back home a little early buying a packet of milk ( no no…its not that it happens everyday. Today the milkman did not come ). I obliged. I asked myself – I was free, but was I free ?
Once at home, I glance at my watch and see its a cool 1 hours gap before I have to leave for office. I thought I will take a quick nap of half an hour, get ready and leave. I straightened my legs, closed my eyes and went into my dreams. Then something poked me in between my dream. I realised it’s my inner consciousness asking me to check on time ( may be I slept overtime and its time to get ready ). To my relief it was not. It was just 10 minutes and I had another 20 minutes to rest. But I lost it. My sleep sense goes for a toss and I just keep on changing sides for the next 20 minutes. I asked myself – I was free, but was I free ?
I reach office. Slog like a donkey for 3 straight hours. Then I get a link of a beautiful article by a Harvard professor on ‘making choices’. I thought to read it. I started. As I was finishing the first paragraph, a guilt swept my mind. Am I justifying my office time reading this stuff. No. I was not. So I close it, mark it as favorite and drag it to a folder on my desktop ( having 1000’s of them by now ). I see my diary and prepare myself for the next item on the list. I asked myself – I wanted to be free. But was I free ?
In the evening an old friend calls me. He was in town for a day. We made a plan to catch up next morning on breakfast. It would be fun. We hang up. The next call is from my wife confirming the arrival of her uncle in town who wanted us to be with them next morning. And as I would expect……I was already committed ( courtsey my wife ). I call up my friend and say sorry to cancel the breakfast. I asked myself – was I free ?
Committing myself not to bring work home tonight, somehow I managed to reach home early to spend some quality time with my kids. We decided to play ‘Scrabble’. We started. Soon after, the remote of my television located my hands and I pressed – Channel 537 ( CNBC ). My daughter said ” Dad, you promised you will play with me”. I said – yes yes. just give me a minute. And dozens of them passes. She abandons the game. And I thought – wasn’t watching CNBC like bringing work from office. I tried to shrug this thought off as it was disturbing me to believe that it was true. Then I asked myself – ‘Was I free’.
Sometime I am alone and I feel I am free. But I think, its a fallacy. I have noticed that even during these times while I am physically free, my mind is working. It is making its own plans. Picturing a client meeting that is suppose to happen tomorrow, strategizing a business plan, or thinking how am I going to fire an employee who is becoming a pain in the neck. I ask myself – “Am I free ?.
Freedom from work doesn’t mean we have freedom of time. Not doing anything is sometimes the biggest achievement. But is this so easy. What would I call being free. Being alone ? Free with work ? But am I free in my mind ?
Think again. Is the ‘I’ in the story similar to ‘YOU’.
Have a wish – Have freedom of time.