Things about VC that I never want to forget #13

Things about VC that I never want to forget #13
VC lives to work. And works to live.

If you’ve read this blog long enough you’ll know that the love of my life is this creature I call VC. AKA the hugsband around here. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you’ll probably also know that the love of his life, is his work.

There are some kinds of people who are driven by a passion to steer their careers in precisely the direction they want to. They know right from the start where they want to be, and they get on with it without wasting any time. VC is one of them. Then there are people like me. We start off wanting one thing and then we change our minds every six months or so. Along the way, we are distracted by books, boys, beaches, baking and the like. And six years down the line we might even decide we’ve had enough, chuck it all and stay at home to explore this world of books, boys, beaches and baking — because well, we still can’t decide what exactly we want from life. Career-wise at least.

Clearly VC isn’t anything like me. Because he lives, breathes and dreams work. Calling him a workaholic is an injustice. Even though I’ve done it before, mocked him for being that way, and even cribbed more often that I’m willing to admit, the truth is he is one of the most passionate people I know.

There aren’t too many others I know who take their work as seriously as VC does. Often forgetting his home, his wife, his family in Bangalore and losing himself to an excel sheet, a campaign, a meeting or whatever it is at hand, VC is all-in, once he commits himself to something. I have always kept work separate from life, never been able to mix the two. So this is something to admire with wide eyed wonder. For VC, work is life. And while I have given him a lot of grief about it in the past, I have grown to accept and now even respect this about him. Because I realise, from my experience as well as that of others around me that it takes a special kind of commitment to be that dedicated and motivated to something outside of yourself.

Most of my inclinations and passions are very rooted in me and my needs. Selfishly so, they are all about me, my satisfaction, my fulfillment, my betterment. And this is probably why I have always considered my work as just something that facilitates the other things in life that give me satisfaction and fulfillment, but never as the thing that can give me that satisfaction. It has never been, and probably will never be, my raison d’etre. For VC, his passion for his work, the commitment he brings to it and the drive he manages to dig out from unknown depths is what makes him who he is.

When he is at work, he is 100% absorbed. I don’t remember the last time I saw him have a bad day that caused him to be less involved or distracted or uninterested. None of the excuses I made so often, having an off day, not feeling all-there and the like, seem to exist in his mind and vocabulary.

He walks and he talks work. Which is why, when I ask him on a Monday what he’d like for lunch in the next few days to follow he says to me, without batting an eyelid, “How about I email you a menu?”

Another time, he bought a new pair of pants that needed altering, he asked me, “Where can I get these edited?”

He even sleeps and dreams work, because there was that one time he woke me up in the middle of the night still half-asleep, nudged me, pointed to my blanket and said, “Can I get a copy of that please?” A story he was also pretty amused about.

Clearly, I should be used to it by now, but imagine my shock when in the midst of a particularly unpleasantly stressful time at work I asked him to spare an hour or two at home to help me crack a few ideas, and he suggested we go out on a date. Over dinner, on scraps of tissue paper, he scrawled out elaborate diagrams and explained the 5-step creative process to help me crack ideas on my own. Our meal was punctuated by pop-questions, hypothetical situations that I had to then work my way around, and mock business problems that I was to have a crack at. Yes, that was his idea of a date.

*eyeroll*

Mostly this is fodder for me to make fun of him. But then there comes a day like today, when he returns home beaming. It’s been 6-8 weeks of non stop brain work. Work that leaves him with few hours and even fewer words to spare. At the end of the day he usually either just goes straight to bed, or chugs a few beers, eats in silence and then goes to bed. So when he comes home smiling, voluntarily shares news from work, I know it is good. I know he’s happy. I know he’s satisfied, and that his head and heart are in the right place.

I realise in that moment that asking VC to work less, is like asking him to live less.

The news is fabulous. So we high-five, I give him a hug.

And then I make him a big fat chocolate cake.

vc

Because some times, even the boy who quietly works his butt off so I don’t have to, and the boy who does it all never expecting anything in return, also deserves some cake.

****

It’s past dinner and his eyes glued to the television as he chomps away at his slice of cake. I’m thinking about my trip away, and I say in passing, “You’re going to be so busy over the next few days, you won’t even know if I’m gone. You’re probably not even going to miss me.”

I’m not expecting a response. And yet, I get one.

“I might miss you. A little.”

****

For always having a solution, working it out and moving forward, VC is the best team-mate and business partner I could have chosen. And there’s more where this story came from.

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23 thoughts on “Things about VC that I never want to forget #13

  1. I thought VC loves working and then loves Apple :P

    This is such a lovely picture, him happy with the slice of chocolate cake (of all things, it is so comforting).. It is come out like a heart, did you make it so? or is it a happy coincidence.. His eyes, they have such a twinkle in them.

    • Actually we were in a big rush to eat the damn cake, and I tried to de-tin it when it was still hot, so it kind of crumbled, came out in a million pieces. So we didnt need to slice it. Just grabbed chunks of cake right out of the tin. COmplete coincidence, the shape :)

  2. Persons who are passionate about, and enjoy their work are in a state of ’24/7 work, 24/7 vacation’.

    VC is lucky, and so are you, that you recognise his passion as passion, not as obsession, even though you may crib about it once in a while!

    • The 24/7 work/vacation state of mind is a truly enviable place to be. Its probably why I rarely hear VC say the typical “oh man, I really need a holiday” — he really doesnt feel burdened by his life/work, that makes him want an escape every now and then.

      I have only recently acknowledged it as a passion, and a facet of his personality. I used to also pass it off as unhealthy workaholic tendencies :P Of course there is a fine line between where he is and going overboard, but I have seen him toe that line very intelligently in the recent past.

      • The passionate ’24/7 work/vacation’ people have the ability to switch at will from work mode to vacation mode and vice versa, unlike workaholics who are always in work mode. Only discerning people can recognize the difference.

  3. “we still can’t decide what exactly we want from life. Career-wise at least.”
    I’ve never understood why we *have* to decide. There’s enough space on the spectrum for people who like things to just … happen, and who are open to lots of random things happening to them.
    Any time somebody asks me “what have you decided upon?”, I say “lots of things”.

    • I think my life at the moment is a pretty good example of “lots of things” and the privilege of not having to decide gives me lots of opportunities to let random things happen to me. So no. We dont have to decide. I was just describing the kind of person I am.

  4. Great post .. Full of Lowe .. But seriously .. I hope he continues to love what he does .. The world needs more people who live their passion .. It gives the rest of us wanderers a hope and a shot at a fuller life

  5. I am so very impressed, both by VC and you. It is absolutely wonderful to be so passionate about what you do.

    You know, I realised Mint is the opposite of VC. He is totally not passionate about a career. To put it simply, he is just not passionate about work. Doesn’t matter what kind it is. He’s a very intelligent person, and he has some good degrees. He makes fairly good money (by my standards). Because of these factors people assume he loves what he does. That is far from the truth.

    He only works because he doesn’t have much choice. I know he would want to give it all up and just stay home. Unfortunately, we can’t afford that right now.

    Your post made me realise how much of a difference it makes to your overall view of life and your inner happiness if you like to work.

    Also, I know I am the kind of a cranky person who would throw a fit if my husband was forever into work. You are amazing to recognize and encourage his passion. I will learn from you :)

    • Some people are able to treat work as work, and do it because it is essential and allows for the rest of life to flourish. Maybe Mint is that kind of person? I think that too is perfectly acceptable. I have never been as passionate about my work as VC is. I am good at what I do, and have sporadic bouts of passion that come and go, but work has never been the central axis of my life. I think it takes all kinds to make the world go round.

      What I find troublesome is being stuck in the middle — hating work with a vengeance, wanting to pull out and do something else, but being scared to commit to finding out what that something else can be. I was stuck there for several years, and the move has been liberating. That said, I wouldn’t have ever been able to do it without VC being the person he is and taking on the responsibility of earning our daily bread almost wholeheartedly.

      PS: I *still* crib when he goes through excessively busy periods of work :P

  6. I hope I can find something that fires me like how work does for VC and your life does for you. I love sitting in front of my computer on the other end of the world reading and getting a sneak peek in to your life. Every time I make something off your cooking blog and my husband asks from where I got the recipe I say “Oh my Goan friend made it!!” and he nods in acknowledgement like he knows you too!

    Which reminds me, you need to update hungryandexcited!! I’ve made that kathrika and curd salad like ten times already! Its just soo good! Your blog is soo good! And so are you! I love you Revathi!

    Okay, I’m getting carried away.

    • But but but I have updated the blog last week. Like four times :) Go check it out.

      Thanks for all the love. I refer to many of you guys and girls as my friends too. And the husband has lost track of which ones are real world and blog friends. In many ways it doesnt even feel very different. So I get your sentiment :)

  7. do you remember that 1 particular photo from the Anejhari trip – VC and PR grinning away on top of Kodachadri? this pic reminded me of that :) nice post!

  8. Pingback: Things about VC that I never want to forget #14 | hAAthi

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