Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 13, 2004
Taking A Break
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 13, 2004 – As the old saying goes – “Earth to Rosemary, you don’t have to work all the time”. Or perhaps a better one might be “The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree”. In this case the tree would be “the proverbial good old Protestant work ethic”, as expounded by my well-meaning parents, who really did have to work a lot to keep our family finances intact.
I’m guilty of the same behaviour pattern. I work too much and when I’m not working, I think I should be. Not only is it hard for me to relax, but I’ve made ‘work’ my primary focus for so long that it’s really become the mainstay of my life. It’s a given in my business that evening and week-end work are part of the package – but it’s not every evening or all day of each week-end.
There are down times. And where can I be found during those down times? Why – right in front of my computer checking, researching, creating, E-mailing, writing newsletters or saving data of one sort or another. Obviously, my dedication to my business is essential and is appreciated by my wonderful, loyal clients. That being said – even God took a day off!
I actually took a vacation in September of 2000. My previous one was in 1989. Since then, I’ve booked off a couple of weeks a year, but stayed home getting caught up on household chores, renovating or garden puttering. Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with any of those pursuits, in fact, they can be most enjoyable. I have a great sense of accomplishment and I end up with changes to my home that I’m happy with.
However, just as buying more toys will not ensure my personal happiness – doing more things won’t refresh my body or soul. That comes with having a sensible balance in my life between work and play, and taking the time to enjoy personal pursuits. I’m falling way short on all counts.
I’m an expert at the drawing up of a “plan”. Add yet another three ring binder, with five equal dividers, to my life and I’m over the moon. The accomplishment of creating said binder is thrilling. The actual carrying out of the plan within the five equal dividers – well, that’s a whole other story. An my wise mother was fond of saying, “Without stick-to-it-ness, I hae me doots that you’ll be successful”.
Was she ever right. Making a plan is the easiest thing in the world, but the gut-wrenching day to day commitment to carrying out the plan is the killer. Hence the demise of my exercise, vacation, dating, entertaining, nutrition and taking a break plans. What to do?
This exercise of daily writing is bearing fruit. Why? I’m not sure I can answer that. If I could simply translate this bit of inspiration into the other areas of my life. I don’t love or even like, every moment in front of the keyboard. Many days I don’t feel as if I have an intelligent thing to write or the talent to say it well, but I’m here – still trying. If I keep at this long enough perhaps I’ll analyse the imbalances in my life and come up with a solution.
In the meantime, recognizing my need to get away from work and its related stress is a first step. I’m working this week-end, so I’m going to take a break tomorrow and putter around my home in the morning, do a few errands and then enjoy lunch in my garden. Well – that’s the plan anyway!