Compulsion

Compulsion, compulsion, compulsion! Have you used this word in the recent past. I haven’t. But it started coming up in my mind. There is a compulsion to do a lot of things. And in the process you may prioritize a few incorrectly. You can call it peer pressure or media influence or something else, the rush to do things never ends. In the recent past, I planted 25 trees in my yard (saplings of evergreens and a couple of weeping willows). I made quite a many trip to the local HomeDepot and Lowes. One day, I stopped at the HomeDepot and two of Lowes and yet couldn’t find what I wanted until the last. This summer isn’t the best season to plant trees – people wait till fall. I just had some lean time between projects and thought I will make the most use of it. Thinking about it, I probably have made about ten trips to these stores to get the final 25. This includes trips to return plants I didn’t like and trips to get mulch separately or extra hoses. But this was all fun and a good use of time given that otherwise I might have spent it sitting on the sofa.

Vegetable Sambar

Vegetable Sambar

I did watch the Olympics in the evenings. Michael Phelps certainly inspired me to take up swimming again and I made the most of the pool on my recent visit to Austin. The power you feel developed in your shoulders after a good swim is unbeatable. It sort of develops a compulsion in you to stay fit – such is the power of feeling good.

I also started to cook actively in the past two weeks. It started off with the vegetable rice for the madhura Gaana party. I used a lot of vegetables. It turned out very healthy – though a bit low in salt and spices. A couple of days prior I had made breakfast cereal with granola and nuts with help from the master chef of the house. Then it was vegetable sambar which I loved myself and Chana Dal chutney. I so much liked my sambar that I rated it higher than what my wife makes 🙂 to her amusement. For the sambar, I made the base spice myself starting from scratch – it was quite a bit of learning and fun. This was to the amazement of some friends who are adept at cooking. The chana dal chutney is a favorite of mine and it is great to eat with hot rice and some salt and ghee/oil.

Chana Dal chutney

Chana Dal chutney

All the planting has made my arms feel stronger but also sore. Once you feel stronger or fitter, then you realize what it is like and will want to continue the same, that is compulsion. To continue, I researched local pools but didn’t find any that is inexpensive. The YMCA charges $65 per person per month which I think is ridiculous given many private clubs charge much less. The Plymouth Meeting Community center is the best deal with an all-year round open pool at $55 per month or less if you pay annually for non-residents. I will need to pick this up soon.

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