Pause: The Case for Taking a Break, More Often
“almost everything will work again if you unplug it for few minutes…including you.” __________ Anne Lamott
Most of us are occupied most of the time, doing whatever we can do to march ahead or to keep up with something that is constantly in motion(developing, progressing, evolving, growing — whatever you like to call it), in short, we are always in a rush. The deadly combination of the Globalization and the advent of the internet has turned our world into a giant monstrous machine with infinite interconnected moving parts, each moving at a pace, that we can’t keep up with one part without missing action at another part.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought most parts of this giant machine to a screeching halt. Suddenly, we were forced to lock ourselves in closed spaces, and we started to freak out because this experience was novel and by any stretch of the imagination a deviation from our perception of what is normal. This pandemic though gruesome and devastating bought us some time to reflect on the way we live but we screwed up cause we have forgotten how to take a real break and spend some quality time with ourselves and our families.
We are living in times where we are perpetually bombarded with information from all sides and most of this information is either irrelevant or an unnecessary distraction. Not a minute goes by when we are not made aware of its arrival through notifications on our smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness bands. And in this process, we have developed the fear of missing out and we can’t help but keep staring at our smartphones, all the time. Most of us find it difficult to go to sleep these days because we live in an environment that is hostile to sleep and where sleep is regarded as an unnecessary bout of unconsciousness that makes us come to a halt for some time. But we love to hate everything that makes us come to a halt, to slow down, even if it is in our best interest and the rationale behind this is that we are chasing the ghost of growth and development, and none of us can afford to stop, even momentarily.
We are participating in a race with no finishing line. Everyone is trying to outrun the participant standing next to him and it seems the only way to win this race is to keep outrunning as many participants as you can until there is no one left to outrun you. Just imagine a participant pausing for a moment in this race, it seems to be a foolish thing to do because everyone else around you is moving forward and soon you will be the only one left behind if you don’t get up immediately and start running as fast as you can. But how long will you keep running like this way without collapsing and how much time it is going to take you to outrun everyone else and what if you don’t have that much time to live, in the first place.
Ask yourself, is this race worth running? Why are we participating in this madness of getting ahead of each other? Isn’t it time to take a pause and reflect on the way we are living this life? When was the last time we put ourselves up for review?
It is easy to underestimate the simplicity and profundity of this message, yet we need to hear it. For you own sake and for the sake of those who care about you, take a break, more often.