Sitting at home unable to even move due to extreme weakness and body aches and the added cold and fever. Blessing in disguise? I believe so!
A firm believer in whatever happens, happens for a reason, immediately after being notified by the doctor that I had to take 3 more days of complete bed rest in addition to the almost 5 days I had already called in sick at work for, I decided that there must be a reason for my illness. I tried to find the elusive silver lining to make myself feel productive and not like I was wasting another week when it was already close to the ending of yet another year.
The last month of each year completely freaks me out because I always feel as if I have achieved nothing that year. So, I try to do things that make me feel I have lived a worthwhile life at least in that last month but this time my prolonged illness was putting quite a damper on my last month of fruitful living in 2015.
So I thought and thought and while I lay awake at night unable to sleep I was bombarded by so many thoughts of how to improve my life and the lives of others. I got ideas for creative projects, topics for my weekly columns, revelations about bad habits that were holding me back and visions of things I could do in the next year.
As I lay back and continued to get one thought after the other, idea after idea of what I could do, I couldn’t conceal my excitement. I took out my phone and noted all I had thought and went back to that land of ‘magic’ waiting for another revelation.
Simultaneously, I also wondered why my head seemed clearer than ever and my thoughts more coherent that night. After much internal deliberation, I attributed it to the lack of Internet connectivity and mindless net surfing, no television and no distractions shifting from one job at hand to the other.
My entire day had been an oasis of calm and quiet as I read, slept, sipped on hot liquids, ate , read some more and worked on some formatting work on my laptop. There was no Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or BuzzFeed. There was no trying to switch between different kinds of work and reading and studying and chores. There was no multi-tasking and no distractions. There was no to-do list that I needed to rush through.
When I was eating I was not thinking of what to do next. While I was reading I was not feeling guilty of not finishing that bit of work I still had to complete. When I was tired, I slept. When I was hungry, I ate. When I needed mental stimulation, I read. When I thought of something, I wrote. I focused on one task at a time and enjoyed the moment like I had not done in a while.
It was a detox of sorts that enabled me to be able to have clear coherent thoughts and marvelous ideas without spending that much time thinking. The stillness, the silence, and the living in the moment enabled me to live life more thoroughly and as it turns out, that made me more productive.
We hear it everywhere. Savor the moment. Live intentionally. Focus on the task in front of you. Distractions are time suckers. Multi-tasking doesn’t always work. But, there are always so many things to do. Experimenting with living in the moment is kinda dangerous for a person with an overflowing to-do list. Living in the moment should be left for adventurous holidays or soul searching trips. But, it took my body literally not supporting me to realize that it’s just not talk.
I needed to be reminded that being still is not wasted time, that sitting quietly is not time lost, that focusing on one thing at a time is not inefficient. If I wanted to do a lot in life, I couldn’t just rush from one thing to the other, always trying to catch up without enjoying the process. It’s not only the destination, it’s the journey too.
It took me a draining viral fever and a 10 day long stint at home to get that seared into my brain. Hope you get there sooner!