Reading something fictional one hour a week didn’t sound like it would be that hard or interesting either. It wasn’t challenging but it was revealing for me. I had my sneaking suspicion that I would find something else to do with that one hour each day and by day five that is exactly what happened.
On days one through to four I did read for an hour, usually at around 8 pm. Weeks before I had started reading “Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life” by Francis Mayes. I hadn’t finished this book and didn’t feel like starting on a new novel. When I finish a book I like to absorb what was there and Francis Mayes had a lot to tell me about being a writer and a lot more for me to think about.
That wasn’t the main problem though. The hardest part for me was the sitting and reading for an hour. Not because I don’t like to sit and read – most people would describe me as a bookworm and no-one can deny me the everlasting love I feel for my couch. Some days I feel I could sit there all day. No, the issue was that I can’t stand to be tied down to a task or chore at the moment, whether it be self-inflicted or otherwise, if I don’t really feel drawn to it. I found myself watching the clock to see how long I had been reading for and how much longer I had to go. I couldn’t just get into the flow and enjoy the experience.
This isn’t some recent self-discover, in fact I have been struggling with a sense of obligation about going to work and my strong resistance to it for at least two years. Going to one particular workplace, staying there for a given number of hours, doing the work that others want you to do and repeating the process day after day has become such an absurd concept for me. The very thought of it gives me such a strong physical reaction and I feel like I want to jump out of my skin. This has been building over time and these thoughts have been helped along by reading various personal development and lifestyle design books and blogs. This sensation is reaching boiling point which for me means I’m on the brink of serious personal growth and change.
So all in all, this week’s experiment confirmed for me that I cannot tolerate doing something that I do not feel drawn to and at the moment I feel a need to act on only those pursuits that attract me.
That’s more that I expected to gain from reading a bit of fiction! How about you?