#67 The Weekly Reading List (w.26)

This week's reading list comes early as I will be away on a short road-trip with my family during the weekend:

Packing Checklist, RevZilla. If I ever have the good fortune to go on a long motorbiking trip (with Mr. Bear, of course), I'll know to refer to this packing checklist to put together the getaway gear (tools, spares and gadgets)!

Sunday Is the Best Day to Decide to Quit Your Job, by Madison Malone Kircher (Medium). Very few people are fully excited about returning to the office at the start of a new week, but there are plenty of levels between “not excited” and “all-consuming dread,” and if the latter is what comes creeping in towards the end of your weekend, it could be a sign of a mismatch between what you’re doing and what would make you feel happy, accomplished, or fulfilled.

Here the writer is saying it’s worth exploring where your own Sunday scaries come from, and to figure out how to address them. For me, I love my work and I get a lot of satisfaction from it, but I do experience Sunday scaries, which I think is mainly due to the fact that I will have to wait for another weekend to roll by before I could play extensively with my books, pencils, colors, and camera again... Having said that, when Monday comes calling, I will do what I do best at work.

In Defense of Dabbling, by Liz Krieger (Medium). The world doesn’t look too kindly on a dabbler. In fact, there’s another, even less positive word for it: dilettante. It’s a word that connotes a blithe carelessness, a flightiness, a lack of seriousness or depth. “Our society is overall a very goal-oriented, competitive culture,” says clinical psychologist Ariane Smith Machín, founder of the Conscious Coaching Collective in Raleigh, North Carolina. “So when we engage in something, we evaluate it in terms of our success, which is usually assessed in what we have achieved.”

In this article, the writer tells the story of her short-lived hobbies and the stuff she's signed up for—classes, lessons, workshops—none of which she thought was a success. She feels a little sheepish whenever she looks at her tap shoes, for example, but the point is, she doesn't regret time and money spent on those pursuits. Which I can totally relate because I'm like that too! The world do need specialists but I'll continue to dabble for as long as I can. This is a great article. Satisfy your curiosity and see where it takes you.

Note-to-self: I want to read a book mentioned in this article, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein.

You Are Doing Something Important When You Aren’t Doing Anything, by Bonnie Tsui (The New York Times). We need to rest, to read, to reconnect. It is the invisible labor that makes creative life possible. The writer is not talking about vacations or weekends, but a more regular practice built into our understanding of what work is. The common view: If you aren’t visibly producing, you aren’t worthy. In this context, taking time to lie dormant feels greedy, even wasteful. And of course there are often financial concerns. My family and friends often ask me, "Don't you have to work? You don't look like you are working." Actually I am and it's exactly what the author is trying to express in this article. Like her, I don't defend myself each time this questioning happens but they will eventually understand how my success is linked to how I spend my time incorporating play in my work.

And finally, Here's Why Time Off Work Actually Improves Your Work and Life, by Darius Foroux (Pocket). “Though some may consider “doing nothing” unproductive, a lack of downtime is bad for our well-being, because idle time allows our default network to make sense of what we’ve recently experienced or learned.” This is an excerpt taken by the writer from physicist Leonard Mlodinow's book, Elastic. Taking time off prevents burning out and from potentially becoming depressed too. Consider the 5 benefits outlined as a consequence of strategically taking time off work throughout the year. After rest comes work.