It’s been a very interesting year so far and it’s not even halfway through. I’ve learnt more about myself and my relationships in the last 4 and a half months than I have in many years put together.

At times, I wonder if age has something to do with it or if it’s experience. Other times, I believe in just going with the flow and not analysing things too much. Clearly, this post isn’t one of those times.

2019 began as the year of ‘depth’ for me. And I am not sure if it has something to do with attracting what you believe or if the universe actually conspires to make things happen, but everything that has happened this year has worked towards that feeling of ‘depth.’

Let’s take reading as an example. I  have taken up and vowed to finish 50 books for this year’s Goodreads Challenge. Why? I honestly don’t know. At some level, I wanted to get back to reading for its own sake and for the joy it gave me. At another level, I suppose I wanted to set a quantifiable goal and see it through.

Well, you’d be interested to know that I am 10 books behind schedule. But here’s the best part: I am NOT worried. And it’s crazy because I was SUCH an over-achiever that if I didn’t get that ability to cross it off my list, I’d have gone bonkers.

Instead, I did precisely what my word for the year intended: read each of the 7 books in 2019 (so far) with immense depth. The last time I took this long to read 7 books was. . . never! I was known for zipping through 3 books a week. You’d think I absorbed nothing, but actually the opposite is true. I had the memory and grasping power of an elephant and could recall complete passages from books without blinking an eye.

That was then. This is now.

I took over a month to finish the latest book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear.

And I took that much time because I didn’t want to zip through the book. Does that sound crazy? I mean, I love page-turners as much as the next person but some books don’t lend themselves to that.

In fact, I even tried reading another book to keep me company while I was reading this one, but nope. I found myself coming back again to finish this one first. Is that what a calling feels like?

With age (and possibly more distractions than are good for the soul), I have come back to enjoy the time I have to read. Here’s something  else you can put on record about me: I HATE Multitasking.

I cannot read/blog/social media hop/socialise with family all at once. It’s impossible. More than that, I’ve lost the taste for being everywhere at once. It gives you a nice heady rush, I agree. But it takes away from the pleasure of living in the moment.

Slowly. Deeply. Gratefully.

With a few more weeks left before I get back from my vacation, I am savouring these moments of quietude and reflection. In doing so, it is my fervent wish that I carry back that reflection to be an integral part of my existence and work, even when I resume my routine.

For, if we learn nothing from our time off, what is the value of a vacation?

 

9 thoughts on “Learning to Live Slowly

  1. I know exactly what you are saying. Being a very Type A Goal Oriented Person myself, it used to really bother me if I couldn’t cross of a particular task/goal that I set for myself. And would do my best to chase it down, even if sometimes it led me in the wrong direction.

    Now, age (more than anything else) has taught me the value of slowing down, reflecting, re-evaluating and then moving forward.

    Also, 50 Books is a great goal, but I feel like even if you don’t reach anywhere close, you would have read more than what you read over the past few years, and with more mindfulness, which is more fulfilling than chasing down any number target. Don’t you think so?

  2. Everytime I hop in here to your blog you make me rethink whatever is happening in my life. I love this topic, while I am not sold on ‘deep’ yet but I totally understand what you are driving at. Maybe someday I will too, but right now I am good trying to be everywhere at once. Even though it is exasperating sometimes, it works well for the moment.

  3. Always love reading a post on this blog of yours. I agree – some books need to be savoured – fiction or nonfiction. I set goals but really don’t stress out about reaching them with regards to reading. And I’m with you about multitasking – I think honestly, multitasking these days appears to have become doing everything in a half-arsed way whereas if we devote our attention to one thing at a time, we are more likely to get things done more efficiently. Interestingly, last week, I was going through a massive mood slump and decided to stop using my phone too much for a few days – I went off grid mostly, turned it to grayscale and purely used it for music or occasionally to respond to text messages. And it was great. I read more in the evenings with just music in the background. I need to do this more often.

  4. I am reading a post on this blog of yours after quite some time, Shy. And, it feels so good reading all that goes through your mind!
    As you wonder if it’s age that makes you think more clearly,well, that’s how it’s been with me, too. It’s age and the resultant maturity that has made me look at Life with more clarity and understanding. And, depth is the perfect word to express this understanding.
    Enjoy your vacation and return home refreshed and rejuvenated. Vacations are so necessary….especially ones where you get time to reflect upon stuff and learn where you are and how you can change things to live a better life. 🙂

  5. Enjoy the vacation and enjoy the time that you have to savour things. It really is nice to mindfully go about our chores and enjoy everything that we do. Admittedly it is not easy and sometimes not feasible as well. But definitely something to aspire for. Have added the book to my TBR.

    1. Yeah I’d planned a book a week and actually managed it till book 6. But then I had a lull of about 2 months when I hardly read anything and then came across book 7, that I mention in this post. Fell in love with it and enjoyed every page thoroughly. Thanks, Jaish. 3 weeks to go before reality hits 😀

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