Stories have always fascinated me. Mysteries, time travel, encoded messages, treasure hunts, lost worlds, new galaxies had me fixated from a very young age. There was wonder in all the bedtime stories, story books lend to us in the library period, stories told by ‘mai’ – read “grandmother”; stories told by our elders accompanying us when we travelled back home from school in crowded BEST buses of Mumbai. However difficult the day was, these stories gave respite and hope for a better tomorrow.
With time life got better but busier, the hustle got harder and somewhere in between, all the wonder was lost. The pandemic and new reality of working long hours, disruption of work life balance made the struggle a practical reality. I came to realize that with the growing demands of our attention on all that comes with change, it is pivotal that we make our well-being a priority and for that I had to make a conscious choice of giving myself a couple of minutes daily for my well-being and my interests. I desperately wanted to break this monotony so I went back to reading, however instead of finding delight I was exasperated as I could not even finish a chapter a day. At first I thought I lost the knack of it, or that the time I was utilising for reading I could have done an extra chore or started working on another project. However I felt the eagerness of finding solace and could not resist the desire of novelty for the yet to be tapped imagination and the comfort of getting lost in the world of books. So I tried again, even if that was reading just one page every day to be in the company of my books without compromising on any chores or missing out on any projects. To read a page daily was the tiniest and easiest micro step I undertook to regain the balance and return to the world of books. Within few days I was able to increase the pace and before i knew it i was reading one chapter daily, accomplishing this without any compromises and while completing my projects and achieving my daily deliverables at work and doing the household chores.
Well while I am yet to achieve my target of finishing one book per week, what did this tiny step of starting small from reading one page a day do for me you might think, apart from the joy and wonder of the story – I felt less stressed out, my sleep pattern improved and in all I felt more relaxed which made me perform better at work.