What’s being dormant? It’s not being active, it’s being alive but not growing, rather lying in a deep slumber or sleep like a grizzly bear in hibernation.
I started working as a software engineer in 2011. My office was located 40kms from my house, a distance that requires you travel for close to 1.5 hours each direction in a city like Bengaluru which is notorious for its traffic jams. Over the next three and a half years, I would wake up at 8 in the morning after a not so good sleep of 7 hours, take shower and leave home by 9 taking the office shuttle to reach office only by 1030 or 11, sit there at my desk till 8.15 taking a couple of short breaks and one break for lunch lasting half an hour. I’d then take the shuttle back home spending 1.5 hours in the bus, have dinner after reaching home at 10-1030 pm and sleep by 1 am. Although it might look like I was active throughout, being all busy with work and travel, I was actually dormant for close to 23 hours in a day.
Sleep for 7 hours, sit in the bus for 3-4 hours, on the toilet seat for half an hour, at office desk for 9 hours, at the dinner table for half hour and so on. I was effectively like a dormant volcano. And the volcano inside me did burst in the form of a disease called fibromyalgia rendering my body in a hapless state. Every single muscle would pain at the slightest feather touch. The body couldn’t even manage to generate enough energy to run the factory. During weekends, I had no choice but to hibernate, browsing internet on my cellphone while lying down on the sofa.
My weight shot up from 62 kilos in 2011 to 88 kilos in 2015. Stairs frightened me, any resolve I’d make to lose weight would stay right inside my brain. My brain was too lazy to ask my legs to move.
“Wiggle your big toe” says Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill, sitting in the truck, pushing her toes to move with in 12 hours. It took a whole eight months for me to move my bum off the sofa. It’s only after I changed my routine and changed my mindset towards life that I was able to get out of my inertial state.
I changed my company to cut down on the travel time, then changed food habits, controlled my appetite, pizza and other junk food was replaced by healthier greens, coke was replaced by water, cut down smoking and alcohol, started playing badminton, started using public transport.
Today, I don’t dread climbing any number of stairs, I don’t mind walking 10 kms in a day, I have enough energy to take care of my small garden on the terrace and then head to play badminton on a Saturday evening. I take phone calls in the office standing, I don’t sit in the meeting rooms. It’s almost as if my bum now wants to find time to rest. That’s the thing about inertia as observed by Newton – You’re either in a state of rest or in constant motion unless an external force acts on you.
Dormancy in life is like a physical object mentioned by Newton. You’re permanently dormant in life unless you commit yourself to change that state, which kind of makes it not permanent. Contradicting, really.