• Elita • Nomadic Thunker

Be pauseitive. Be you. Be.

It is the dizzying rapidity of Time that has, for some time now, been provoking me to slow down in every sphere: work, travel as well as in my private life. I have zero ability to control the pace of time but I get to choose to live an intentional life. Right? To be pauseitive and define what that means for me, yes? Easier said than done?

You bet!

prayer flag, hills, tea gardens, Kurseong, West Bengal
I resolved to want to live the pauseitive life at the start of this year. 2/3rds of the year later, I reckon it’s time to take stock

The Antagonist

It’s easy to talk about the slow, intentional life It’s easier to romanticise it, idolise it And it’s easiest to envy it in another Especially when you’re not addressing the plotline’s antagonist — the inner nag that demands productivity

The story of my journey about slowing down is incomplete and inauthentic without any mention of my battles with an inner voice that equated self-worth with everyday productivity i.e. justified being the productivity hamster that did more than run on the wheel; a voice that sounds like this: “How much work did you get done today?”

But it’s real. Call it internalised capitalism or whatever else you find befitting BUT the disease of constant Doing-ness and producing Results is real.

I’ve felt it for way longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve felt it way before I even understood what it was. But I’ve had to feel it a bit too much to finally realise when enough was enough.

And that was my first milestone on this path to a pausetive life, because: In recognising the disease of busy-ness, I began to acknowledge its presence; By acknowledging its presence, I began to accept the reality of what that entails for me

In accepting this reality, I’ve begun reclaiming the life I want for myself by making structural adjustments – i.e. creating from scratch a life that does not require me to be enslaved to the inner nag who demands productivity 24*7, even when it feels like the odds are against me!

stray dogs, streets of India, Pondicherry, French Quarter
I want to grow up and be that brown dog

Initiating the pausetive life

We’re creatures of habit Creatures whose drug is validation I know I have been. But I am a work-in-progress

My antidote to that drug as well as the disease of busy-ness is the pauseitive life

Towards the latter parts of 2018, I caught myself feeling reduced to the proverbial rat in the race. It’d been nearly four years into the freelancing-meets-self-employed life for me and things had begun looking up for me. FINALLY!

Quite naturally, I was addicted to the buzz of this busy-ness – albeit ignorantly – until self-awareness nudged me into acknowledging how I was constantly fatigued – physically and mentally. Here’s the thing about ‘hashtag self-love’ that few have spoken about: “Self-love is the ability to call yourself out on your BS”

To find yourself doing what you thought you didn’t want to be doing AND not know-how in spite of that you got to that very place has to be one of the most disorienting things to happen to a person, methinks

Anyhoo, long story short (mayhaps for that book I hope I write someday), my fatigue was the wake-up call I needed to get on this pauseitive diet. Yeah, I’m slowing down. I didn’t quit the 9-to-6 to be swallowed up by the 24/7.

Plus, the last I checked; I am still a human Being …not a human Doing. I’ve managed to shift gears from mindlessly (and if I may add, recklessly) saying YES to everything and everyone in lieu of honouring my felt need to want to live a more intentioned life, i.e. to be more pauseitive

There is a time to go all-in There is a time to reflect and recalibrate

I took myself out of the rat race four years ago. I am now taking the rat race out of me. If I’m making this sound all too easy, know that this has been work I’ve been doing with myself for two years, at least (if not more). Also, know that this work is work-in-progress even as I type these words.

Read: Self-Care in the Time of Social Media

Assam, Manas National Park, northeast India,
‘the disease of constant Doing-ness and producing Results is real ‘ so I learn from my surroundings when travelling

Slow down some more

Taking the rat race out of me particularly in the context of work has had implications in the world of wanderlust too. For some time now – and despite what my Instagram causes you to believe – I’d begun to miss what Travel used to feel like a few years ago. I’d begun to miss what Travel used to make me feel like ever since I’d stumbled upon solo travel not too long ago in 2012! So what changed for both, the travel industry and me? The collective succumbing to the bug of ‘content-creation’. Hashtag: InfluenCzah

Every long weekend brings it with on our social media platforms an equal number of folks who are wanderlust-ing and an equal number are not. And in those moments, it’s easy to feel “not-so-good” about oneself if you’re not wanderlust-ing! Over a period of time, I’ve also gone through the motions of envy (towards the other) and pity (towards myself) for not travelling enough! At some point, it occurred to me that the “envy/sympathy” game wouldn’t go away until I came up with a definition for my own yardstick of “ENOUGH”, because: I am enough What I do is enough And that doesn’t make anyone less (or more) (Of that much I am pauseitive *wink wink*)

Back to the world of wanderlust, I chose to begin practising being in favour of more-but-slow i.e. travel for longer spells but go at it even slower than my usual style – “at the cost of” travelling to fewer cities/countries annually.

Which is why earlier in March this year I was in Pondicherry AGAIN, three years after I’d travelled there for the first time; Which is also why I was in Mysore through the month of July – something I am yet to “disclose” on social media. This is also why, as much as there are other corners of the globe teasing and tempting me as I scroll through my TL, I keep going back to what “ENOUGH” means for me. So easy it is to get carried away with where other folks are at in our hyperconnected world, that it’s gotten easier to forget how far you yourself have come! In moments like those, I remind myself that no two journeys are ever identical. Looks like being pauseitive definitely works!

Thanks for submitting!