How about we paint the portrait of a normal day?
You wake up and lead your haggard self to freshen up. You brew your tea or coffee, and then you really wake up. You seek joy in scrambling eggs or tidying up the table before you login to your laptop. What follows is whatever leads you a step closer to your passion. It might be your professional career or your classes, the entire endeavour etches purpose to your character and gives something to keep doing.
Let’s be honest, this portrait isn’t any Mona Lisa, but you realize that there is an underlying beauty in carrying out the most mundane life.
But since times immemorial, humanity has had the lingering fixation on productivity for making meaning to their lives.
What counts as productivity? That definition stretches day by day, from specific tangible examples like working on your task before the deadline, preparing for an exam, taking a reading challenge to more qualitative areas like helping others and being kind.
It is obvious that these instances help us engage in fruitful activities that propel our growth. But ever came across a situation where you find yourself lacking in engaging in such activities, an innate pull towards leisure or a minor inability to put your best version upfront?
Back in my school days, something that I looked forward to the most was coming home, throwing my backpack on the sofa, and plugging in to play computer games. It was not that my school sucked spectacularly, but I used to daydream about the car I’m going to buy in one game, the team I’m going to play in another.
Enough said I had the real life to keep up with. Assignments arrived, exams were around the corner and I might have gone a day or two without thinking about my video game masterplan, much more without playing any.
In retrospect, I believe that though that break was necessary to put me on track with my academics, I would have benefited by a day or two of gaming without consequences, to get the much-needed leisure.
You might think that it would get my mind entangled in gaming daydreams again, which is not entirely false. But when you take a break doing something you love, it emanates pleasure and comfort that becomes a breather in between your productive embankments.
As adults, we can reflect on this point with much more perspective. We pass through a period of recurring tasks, with so many tasks directly congruent to being counted as productive, that we fail to appreciate the breathers that we take. We blissfully binge our favourite TV series until the thought of the incoming tasks arises, that we fail to look at what we’re doing is also required. We watch endless Instagram reels of ‘Can we skip to the good part’ but we just keep sticking to feeling good about getting work done.
In all sincerity, you are doing fine. My 14-year-old self would flip out to know that I ace the games that I used to play, that I finally championed above some impossible levels, and that my reality is just fine along the side.
Embrace your lethargy, and you might find out that after all you were brilliantly productive with some.