Writing and the Contemplative Life


After a long, punishing summer season, the rainy season is finally here. I woke up to the sound of the patter of raindrops on our rooftop and with the cat comfortably curled up at the foot of our bed, sighing contentedly. It was so cold that for a moment, I thought my husband had turned the airconditioning unit on while I was sleeping. 

After eating lunch, I made a mug of hot chocolate spiked with a bit of Colombian coffee, and went in my office to read. I always enjoy Mondays because it’s the least hectic day of the week for me most of the time. It’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re busy with work. It seems that for many years I’ve lost sight of what a good work-life balance meant. Back in those days when I was still working in call centers, life was all about work and trying to get enough sleep to stave off the physical and emotional exhaustion. I had absolutely no time for my daily Bible reading, much less for any kind of hobby. The longer it dragged on, the more tolerant I became of it on the surface while I withered inside.

On a whim, my husband bought me my first DSLR, and after that I bought my first film cameras and I realized that it was then that my humdrum, seemingly endless daily routine was broken. I began to want a different kind of life. A life that had room for contemplation and creative endeavors. I started keeping a journal again, I revived my interest in sketching, and took as many photowalks as I could. I resigned from the call center industry, took jobs that paid less but weren’t soul-sucking by comparison and I realized that I work better when I’m also happier. It’s been six years since and I’ve never looked back.

Life is too short to spend in a job that demands all of my energy. It’s too short to be so unhappy with what you’re doing.

These days, I carve out time for contemplation and writing. I write mostly for myself and not for others to read, but it really helped me a lot. I feel like I’ve entered into a different season of my life that is quieter and more meaningful. I’ve started to wean myself of my social media activities too, so much of it is noise and clutter, and not everyone on people’s friends lists are really “friends”.

Writing has become such a joy and respite that I cannot recommend it enough. Taking it slow, thinking about what to write and how to express it–I feel these are precious moments that anyone can benefit from.

A contemplative life allows you to take stock of how you’re living. Taking the time to write allows you to explore the practical things that you can do to improve your happiness. The struggle of day to day living is such that you barely even notice it burning you up inside until you’re all spent or helplessly unhappy.

Writing and contemplation also helps you document certain times and aspects of your life that you’ll want to come back to at a later point. There are so many little lessons to learn every day, but we don’t pick them up or appreciate them until they’re needed.

We all need to start somewhere, I suppose. Logging out of Facebook today is a good start. Take out your favorite pen and notebook, write the date and time, and write your first sentence. 🙂


Doodle here...

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