Going Full Circle: on the virtues of the sloth


Ladies and Gentlemen, I have gone full circle.

This process took 11 months, give or take however many days it took me to put this post together…

The employment that served as an excuse for the rarity of my posts has now been terminated. On my terms I assure you. But the process of one desperate for a job becoming desperate instead for simpler, less wealthy times is fraught with slow creeping discontentment followed by mistimed outbursts culminating in an inward collapse of emotional energy. Perhaps my youth, perhaps my stubborn nature, most likely my inability to commit all played a role in this eventual desertion of a role I did enjoy very much for a time. However, my ultimate philosophy remains that change is good. 

There is a previously unmentioned extension to this rule. Change is good but also gradual. My current stage of life, unmarried, unattached, childless with close family ties and a fat tub of privilege tend to lead to me enjoying change at a slower pace than is usual. Until I reach the later stages of life and accept the responsibilities they have to offer this slowdown tends to result in overthinking, worrying but also a greater focus on the long-term. Often people in their twenties tend to be in rotating states of panic and woe.

To put this into perspective consider the graduate. Education sells itself as the step by step guide to a happy life without inviting you to consider that it may only be an element of it; and a rather standard element at that. Whether you believe it or not studying for 16 years is just the beginning. Fresh graduates beg to differ believing they are out to take the bull by the horns and seize the day. Seize the future even. It’s the start of adulthood. 

But really it’s the start of an altogether new type of learning. One that relies on you having paid attention for the last 16 years on how to learn rather than what to learn. You forge your own curriculum and prepare for the tests employment throws at you. But as with the smart student in class thinking they are beyond what teacher has to say, a certain pretentious frustration sets in. I rather felt, once I first began applying for jobs that I should be further along by now in terms of my career. But the last 11 months have taught me that it’s okay to be slow. Working 6 days a week, barely sleeping and constantly feeling inadequate in every aspect of my overall career plan was not slow.

I don’t particularly hold with notions of seized days and groped bull horns. It’s abrupt and dangerous when you really think about it. I feel rather we should learn to accept that a busy life is not the same as a productive life. Slow days are not lazy days and busy people are not always happy people. Of course I understand people have many things to do. Many things to juggle, but praising oneself for being busy is a consistent pet peeve of mine. The sloth only goes down the tree to take a dump. He doesn’t boast about it later. This is important.

No matter how tense one gets at the prospect of a big black void where their career, riches or happiness should be, it is important to slow down. Not to relax and take a break, but to challenge your thinking and collate your experiences into something that can be further grown.

Essentially, I graduated to the next year. Go me!

Now to figure out when class starts again. Unfortunately that’s up to me now.

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