I tried out a reading pause for one week, inspired by Julia Cameron and the Artist’s Way. For me a reading pause concerned anything I read for leisure, for instance newspapers, magazines, social media and online content. What did I do then? I spent time with family and friends, took photos, listened to music, kept a diary, and just sat and pondered.
However, there’s one fundamental thing I must confess. Well actually two. First, my pause was on my holidays in August, and thus it was easier. No work related reading required. Second, I broke my pause deliberately once due to a devastatingly long trip back from holidays and read a book.
Still, I was surprised during my experiment how attached I have become to reading without actually realising what I am reading. For instance, when I come across a magazine or a newspaper I usually end up flipping few pages. I do this instead of thinking what else I could do in that particular place. Like talk to the people around me.
I’m eager to try my pause again this autumn with daily routines, like work reading and e-mail. However, not during teaching as I need to answer student’s questions via e-mail. But off the teaching season it is possible. Any ideas what I could do at work during a reading pause?
My personal human experiment has partly failed. My spouse got a car. I had this eco-romantic view of us leading an environmentally friendlier (urban) life without a car, relying on public transport, carpooling, and rental cars. I know it is possible but apparently not in our family. I am still going to ride the bus. However, when I asked I was told that I would be allowed in the car too. Sarcastic great.
We might give a new home for a cat or two. Or three. Actually, there are four of them needing a new place to stay. How can I say no when we can give a home to a car? Cats are great! No sarcasm. I would be the one taking care of the cat since it would be my pet. Well, most probably two cats. A cat needs company, right?
By the way, I happen to know that cats and cars are not necessarily a very good match. My dear deceased cat detested car rides. Apparently he felt unsure of himself, as his territory was long gone. He used to inform us about his disgust by meowing loudly and vomiting. These unforgettable days might be ahead of me again if the cat is allowed in the car too. Or most probably two cats.
This is an ongoing story of my personal human experiment. I am one among many trying to lead a more sustainable life. For me sustainable everyday life is minimising my consumption and damage to the environment, and maximizing social cohesion and a sense of community. In order lead my life (at least as it is now), I need some income. Thus, I have a job as a researcher. Plus I am rather passionate about understanding our way of living and reporting alternatives.
This story could occur anywhere. It happens that I live with my small family outside the downtown area of Helsinki. From sustainability perspective, it means challenges in transportation. Additionally, I feel my area lacks the communal lifestyle present in some other areas.
Enough of grumbling! Let’s get on with the story.