Embracing The Idle Moments

Sunday, October 11, 2020


The first thing I did when I woke up today was look over the nearest window in my room to check how the weather was. There was no sunlight peering through the blinds, so it was easy for me to imagine the overcast skies outside. No sun? Maybe I can still try to go out for a walk for as long as it's--- "It's drizzling outside," my mom interrupted my thoughts as she entered to greet me a good morning. "In case you were wondering." 

Good (rainy) morning, indeed. Since it was drizzling, I resorted to doing my morning exercise inside the house, no problem. It had been my routine though, that every weekend, I would go out for a brisk walk exercise. Not only was I able to sweat and move around, but going out allowed me a change of scenery, a chance to observe the outside world and how others start their day. But perhaps just not this weekend, and that's okay, I am a flexible and agile human bean who does not get very upset when things don't go my way -- this seems to be the theme for this entire year, and maybe I am getting better at this.

My exercise started with 15 minutes on my stationary bike, but for today I added another 10 because I did not sweat so much. No pain, no gain; I increased the intensity and biked even faster. Sweat started to drop from my forehead 5 minutes into the additional 10. I then proceeded to doing pilates and arm exercises, which allowed me to target areas I aim to tone. 

I finished by 8AM. I then prepared my breakfast, opened my laptop, and I started listening to some songs from my playlist such as:


I once again check in with my thoughts. I do this often, but only now did it become my constant habit and named practice, since I listened to a Mindfulness podcast, and in which I noted down the importance of-- "noticing the experience and accepting it as it is." 

During the start of the year, I was engrossed with doing so much, always thinking of the next thing to do, but now I have found so much comfort in simply doing nothing. In fact, I believe we need those moments wherein we just stare at the ceiling, or close our eyes. To be properly bored, if you will. It is in these idle moments where I'm able to take the much needed step back and rearrange puzzle pieces in my head to somehow form some clarity. 

I needed it especially in the previous weeks, wherein work became overwhelmingly busy. With just a few months left into this year, we've been ramping up our recruiting efforts. Interviews to schedule, reports to create, and events to manage, all of these filled my days. Speed is important with recruiting, or else we risk losing candidates to other competing firms. But no worries, I somehow thrive in these situations because I'm able to flex my organization and prioritization muscles; I choose to see it this way. In these times, it is best to be strategic and not succumb to overwhelm. ; - ) 

But of course I admit I am not perfect; I have my moments of overthinking with work. I think it really is just in the global nature of what I do, I support Japan and culture plays a very big role in how I communicate, how I make decisions, and how I collaborate. Sometimes when I think I should have done something differently, it becomes all that I think about to the point that it amazes me how one (seemingly!) bad thing outweighs all the many good things I was able to do in the day. 

Realizing and accepting how easy it is to be consumed with one thing that didn't go so well made me want to become more aware of my tendency to think this way, and then to shift this kind of mindset into a more agile and productive one. We have to be careful with our thoughts, because it consumes our energy. The more we narrow down to one worrisome thought, the more tired we become. 

And so I decided whenever this happens, I must take the step back (stare at the ceiling or close eyes or do something else) and think intentionally of all the good things accomplished. Then I pick myself up, I come back to that one worrisome thought with an openness to think beyond it and of thoughts on what possible next steps I can consider taking. At the end of the day, we should ask ourselves if this one thing is worth our energy or losing sleep over. 
 




So for today's honest thought: it's already Sunday, and it feels like the weekend is quickly slipping away again, much like the previous ones. So after writing this, I will close my laptop. After sharing this entry on social media, I will disconnect from my phone. I will do my share of living, and I will do my best to cherish every moment of this lovely rainy Sunday.

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Art featured here is from my Art Instagram! Are we following each other yet? I'm currently making art everyday in October through CatCreature's prompt: #artwithdoubts . I certainly have days when I doubt what I make, but I share it out to the world anyway because nothing needs to be perfect and it is great to make things for the sheer pleasure of it. I have also met so much kindred souls through this prompt, and I'm grateful. 

Let's cherish our Sunday, dear reader.


16 comments

  1. I used to beat myself up whenever I mess up something (and sometimes I still do it, especially when it that something meant so much to me), but I learned somehow, over the years, that bad things happen and there's nothing we could have done to avoid that. We just have to let things take its course. And by thinking this way, I am able to let go of the negative things easier than before.

    Really love reading your entries, Anna. Have a great rest of the day!

    xx, Renee Alexis
    renalexis.com

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    1. Acceptance and moving forward is definitely important; letting things flow and happen as they should can be a challenge especially at work but I'm learning every single day.. and I find comfort in that :") Thank you Renee, for your time on here! Hope your weekend has been great ~

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  2. "We have to be careful with our thoughts, because it consumes our energy." This is such an important thing for us to remember. I think it's also good that you create art (good or bad) for the sake of creating! I've been trying to do the same.

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    1. Indeed, our emotions impact us in many ways.. so best to be mindful!!
      Most of my time is now spent on making art, and it has honestly given so much color (literally in a way) to my life :)

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  3. sometimes i just sit in silence and listen to the ambient sounds in the atmosphere. even when i'm in the car or on a walk, no radio, no podcast, just me and my thoughts. it's great sometimes, but it can also send me into a spiral. i agree it's good to have some sort of task directing your focus like gardening, writing, exercising.

    beautiful post, Anna. your morning sounds like thee perfect moment of me-time.

    Xx http://theactivespirit.com/

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    1. It truly helps when there's an activity that helps to relax (or excite, if it's exercise!) me.. but I also have learned how it's also really great to just sit in silence with my thoughts and not feel guilty about it ! Thank you for your kind words Disa, and I hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

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  4. We all need that idle time to reflect and just be alone with our thoughts. Embracing idleness is actually very helpful for our mental wellbeing. Sometimes we need a break from all the distractions and just live life. This is how it should actually always be, I guess because we are living in an era where productivity and efficiency are so glorified we somehow lose the value of just, you know, living life one day at a time!

    In another note, I love your art Anna! They are always so full of life! 💕

    Ann | http://annchoi.me

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    1. I agree with you, we've been so consumed with always just thinking forward and always being on the go.. I think this season has really taught us to pause, reflect, and check on ourselves. And it's so true what you say, we must live life one day at a time :") Thank you so much Ann, it brings me joy to know you like my art!! Will keep making and sharing them out into the world :)

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  5. I really love this post, Anna! I'm the same and always used to try to do too much. It was only recently when I realised it's kind of nice to be bored from time to time, and it's still something I'm trying to embrace more :)

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    1. Let us continue learning to embrace it together ! I never really knew how to be bored until now, and it's a big relief to be fine with it. Thank you so much Mani, hope you're having a lovely weekend :")

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  6. I am looking forward to our weather cooling down here. It is great that you could move around and enjoy the great outdoors. It is harder these days with the pandemic and everything. Great job with the workout! Sometimes, it is okay to just take a step aside and take things slow. I had so much planned for 2020 that kind of went to waste. totally agree with your thoughts. Love the art!!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

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    1. Thanks Nancy! I've been very consistent with the workout and with making art, so I think that's one of the wins for this year.. definitely harder to go out nowadays, but just really have to be extra careful!! Take care always ~

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  7. I think it might be tempting to look back on this year as one of wasted potentials, heartache, chaos and uncertainty however this year has also taught us to slow down, savor the moment, practice self-care, think about others before ourselves and to make much needed changes in our lives and the lives of others. Great job with the changes you made!

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    1. I totally agree with you, Kirsten. Lots of gloomy days, but still many things to be thankful for, and lots of lessons to be learned indeed. :") thank you so much for your time with me on here!

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  8. Oh my, this is such a relaxing and comforting post, literally just what I need atm! I've just been so busy with uni work lately and although I try my best to, sometimes I still forget to pause and breathe. Thank you for sharing, Anna ❤️

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    1. Thank you so much Chia, I wish you all the best with your uni work :) super important to take breaks and rest, it is just as important as the time spent on our work. Have a lovely day today ~

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