I do the dishes with the cold water running over my latex gloves, and suddenly, my watch vibrates on my wrist. When I am finally done with this bookend of a chore, I check my watch. It tells me it is time to sleep. I chuckle at our dystopian existence, which I partake in equally as my aversion to it. Then, I say, “no, it is time to write” in the otherwise empty apartment, and my eyes catch my reflection on the balcony door. It stirs a feeling in me, which I would not chalk up to loneliness, but like how a single tree often sits atop a cliff in its solitary glory—akin to that. I came to the desk, and I started writing. There were words I had pondered over since this day was still full of light, but I had not taken anything down, but this thought seemed too good to pass on. It is a habit.
As meticulous as I am, and despite my fondness for lists and calendars, I have realised I am far too in the moment than most people I know. I am far too aware of where—and when, which is more important—I am than most people who talk of mindfulness like they talk of happiness, which is to say they talk a whole lot more than they experience it.
Habits die harder than most people who write books with bold typeface plastered over them would have you believe. Habits die much harder than most things do, and they are built with even more angst. A peddler of these ideas will never admit how difficult they can be for those who struggle, for there lies no gain in doing that. Habits die a stubborn death, like my habit of making others’ problems my own and loving them only because they offered me a puzzle to solve. It died much after the problems fizzled out themselves. It died much after most of those people had departed from my life. Years would pass with me sitting on the couch, thinking of answers to questions that didn’t exist anymore for people who didn’t need them. But it died, eventually.
Perhaps, that is why they peddle the snake oil of modern improvement. If your book stays on their shelf long enough for all entangled threads to come undone, you have a stake in the credit. How? Why now? They ask. And there is your book, eating dust on their shelf and serving you false glory.