Is the Fountain Pen the best stress buster yet?
Show me a person who is not suffering from unbearable stress and the resultant bouts of what is being fashionably termed as “lifestyle diseases” and I will show you a liar. For, whether you choose to agree or not, stress, death and taxes are creeping on you, ever ready to spring a surprise. Yes, there are the prescription tables that you swallow as a routine. Some even take a conscientious morning walk. But can they take the load off your head? Can they touch your heart, fill you with bliss? By the way, when was the last time that you did something that you actually liked? Can you remember the last instance when you did something for your own self, something that was aimed to give you selfish pleasure as opposed to all the things that you do because you have to, to earn your keep, for family and friends?
Try writing with a fountain pen. For, it is the best stress buster that you can access without being stressed about the cost.
Oh yes, the scratching of the nib on paper, the flow of the ink giving shape to your thoughts, the leisurely pace of writing that give you time to organise your thoughts, the pleasure of actually holding a writing implement in your hand, the intellectual stimulation – all laud your conscious decision to take it slow, transferring you as it were to some sepia-toned era in the past. Try it, it does wonders to your self-esteem, subconsciously telling you that you are the master of all that you write. See? It is not survey but write.
It is your life, after all. And how you spend your time – feverishly thumping away at a keyboard or taking time to use an eyedropper to fill your fountain pen – is essentially, your choice. Point is, you can take a conscious decision – to seek out the exact shade of ink to complement your writing, the smoothness of the paper you write on, or the kind of nib that best suits your personality and stand out in regal elegance or be just another brick in the digital wall.
Take the break. Buy that fountain pen. Ink it up. And write.
Hopefully, one pen will lead to another. The pleasure will turn to passion. And you too will join a growing tribe of penophiles who have renounced stress on the high alter of nib and ink.
They are people who have cultivated the art of taking a break from whatever they do to earn their bread, in the process filling their lives with eustress (as opposed to common, run of the mill, life threatening stress). They derive intense pleasure in pursuing something the love, even attracting social approval and admiration. Their hobbies – if that is the correct term – help them stave off burnout as it helps them channelise their energies in a positive manner, which in itself, is extremely gratifying from a purely psychological point of view. Believe me when I say it – collecting fountain pens is no mundane occupation, obsession either, it borders on a spiritual quest.
On a much lower plane, such a calling not only helps identify hidden talents and encourages one to explore the inner recesses of the self, but can actually help one improve one’s career. It fosters out of the box creative thinking and aids the process of better maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Oh, and who knows, it may even lead to the opening of a new income stream?
Besides, having a hobby is one post retirement insurance plan that requires no payment of premiums.
Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule every day. Take out your note book and fountain pen and write. Scribble if you don’t feel like writing immediately. Or merely hold the pen in your hand and enjoy its pristine beauty, sensing the tactile smoothness of its being. Empty your mind of everything that is despicable and let your soul cater to its primal urge of communicating.
Try it. Freud would have approved, for there is nothing more cathartic than a pen and ink.