Why less is more — A chronicle of my day in Paris

I have always been the kind of girl eager to accomplish more, to know everything, to experience new things every day. I always used to think that in the end, success was linked to good organization, to an ability to prioritize items on my to do list. If I was organized, I could do more. That meant I had a plan. I felt secure and confident.

However, last week I was sick. It was no life threatening condition, just one of those illness that leaves you grumpy for more than a week and that brings you down without even realizing it at first. As usual when I’m sick, the days followed each other and I lost little by little all the good habits I had been trying to sustain since September — getting up early, working out, eating healthy… The usual. Even my writing resolution fell a bit apart despite being aware that writing makes me feel better. Yet, I could not bring myself to make an effort which of course made me even angrier at myself. Sounds familiar ?

Well today, here I am : at a café, in Paris, alone. In my company : a book and a notepad with a pen. My day was not planned : I just wandered in the streets of the capital with my mom, ate at the terrace of a small restaurant in Saint Michel. It might sounds pretty simple, but it is not much more than what I did while being sick and home last week. Hey, I feel more alive. That is when I realized sometimes less is more.

This sounds cliché, but after all, why should we pursue each day with a to do list as long as our arm ? Tasks, goals, responsibilities… I am not saying to ditch them all, and all at once. I am just saying that sometimes it is good to go with the flow. Spend time, and I mean really spend time with yourself. Appreciate calmness and being bored. Know yourself, explore your thoughts, learn to wander… You might end up discovering more about yourself than you thought you knew. Those are the kind of moments that usually sparkle my creativity.

I feel like, as a girl, a young student, and soon to be on the job market person, I am too often put under the pressure of higher societal standards. But in the end, I truly believe that it is our duty to realize that we can say “no” or “time to slow down” A burn out can happen way quicker than you think, even if you feel relaxed. Sometimes it is fine to take time to just do nothing, to contemplate.

And here I am, at this terrace without any obligation, feeling as is I am in another time, just writing my thoughts, and contemplating.

Originally published at canvasofthoughts.wordpress.com on August 4, 2016.