Opinion – It was love at first write

When I first saw her, I felt this explosion of passion in my chest. The pounding of my heart from that initial chest rash made me realize that this time was something more than just attraction – it was something much bigger. I had to know her better.

Now, being an extremely shy person, I hated to the point of abhorring when strangers approached me. Therefore, I was afraid that by approaching her, I would put her off, but I had to touch her. That moment, when I first held her, I knew I was in love.

A line from Margaret Atwood’s poem sprang from my lips: “I would like to be the air that inhabits you only for a moment; I would like to be so unnoticed and so necessary”.

Few people will have such an extreme reaction when finding a calligraphy pen at a stationery store, but I have always loved pens, especially fountain pens. And since I bought this new pen, I’ve written so much that I’ve already had to go out and get another bottle of ink.

I even have plans now; when I have a few days off, I find a quiet corner somewhere and spend time writing something… anything. It can be letters to friends, or just memories, but I have this mad desire to write things in cursive.

And having this burning desire to get away from it all, I was not surprised to learn recently how important it is to take time off and go on vacation, and how not taking time off can be dangerous for the back.

René Dubos once suggested that “what goes on in a man’s mind is always reflected in the illnesses of his body” – and these days it is so evident that stress-related illnesses are on the rise.

Stress causes our blood vessels to constrict, leading to increased blood pressure and faster heart rate, and that’s bad news no matter how you look at it.

However, just like people who know they need to quit smoking because it’s bad for them and couch potatoes who know they need to exercise because it will be good for them, so stress know they have to do something about the stress, but they are so addicted to what motivates them that they keep doing what damages them.

Apparently, the level of happiness of people who take vacations is significantly higher than that of non-vacationers. But curiously, studies have shown that the level of happiness among vacationers is higher before the vacation than after. Apparently, being able to tell yourself on a particularly stressful day that “at least I have my vacation coming up” greatly reduces people’s stress and boosts their joy.

It seems that having something to look forward to – a reason to get up in the morning – has a significant impact on one’s well-being.

Last week I learned that even something as simple as having a new pen increases my joy. I woke up excited to practice handwriting exercises or write in my journal or write a letter to a friend.

The anticipation of having something to do – something I love – made a huge difference in my mornings and later in my days.

Is it also a coincidence that when I write I’m happy and I’m not holding my cell phone? In the study I mentioned earlier, researchers found that those who didn’t really enjoy their vacations were those who constantly checked their phones — often for work-related issues.

Those who claim to be addicted to their work should learn the simple pleasures of disconnecting from it for a few days. For those who are away during this Easter holiday period, make the most of it. For those who aren’t, let’s start planning for December!

2022-04-08 Reverend Jan Scholtz


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