“The end of labor is to gain leisure.”-Aristotle
About 3 years back, I bought a book called “Word Power Made Easy” with the intention of improving my vocabulary in English language. It was a thick bright red book loaded with information that I desperately wanted to read. Everyday, I came back home tired from work and the moment I lay my eyes on the book, my mind convinced me to push the task to next day. The weekends were spent meeting friends, going out or doing absolutely nothing on most days as I was worn out during the weekday. One fine day, I thought to myself, “Enough is enough!I I’ll carry this book with me to work and read it whenever I find time!”. That’s how the book found it’s space in my office bag. I diligently carried it to work with the intention of reading it during the office commute. But that day never came. The only progress I made with the book were a few pages in the beginning. Other than that it ended up increasing the weight of my office bag. I had to remove it from my bag eventually and place it back on my bookshelf, where it lay gathering dust on it’s cover.
Last year as soon as the lock down was announced and I started working from home, I decided to do something everyday that wouldn’t have been possible due to the usual office routine. That’s when I was reunited with this book. I did one session everyday throughout the lock down. It gave me immense pleasure to learn about the origins of each word in the English language as read the book each day with the curiosity of a child. I stopped the practice as soon as I was called back to work. I could have still continued it, as it barely took 30 mins of my daily time but I discontinued it as now my mind was filled with anxiety about office work, commute, future and every other thing under the sun.
Yesterday, I saw the book again and couldn’t help but feel nostalgic about the endless free time I had during the lock down. I ended up doing a session even after the hectic day at work. During the lock down, I didn’t have to wake up early just because I had a train to board to office, I had my breakfast in peace rather than quickly gulping a glass of milk before I rushed out of my home as I was running late for work, I didn’t have to worry about not getting a seat in the train, I could take mini breaks from work whenever I wanted and could watch shows or read a book just to break the monotony. Aah, I could go on. I felt like a free bird during away from office during the lock down. Now I feel trapped by the force of routine life that I’m required to follow each day! Isn’t our career supposed to give us an identity, make us financially independent and make us happy? I have achieved the first two milestones long back but I’m yet to find a way to make my career a source of my happiness!