Every day we are weighed down with responsibilities, expectations, and duties. All these thing constantly pull on us, dictating our time, burning our energy, and wearing us down. It’s all part of life. While we should take them seriously, perform or fulfill them to the best of our ability (not for someone else but for yourself), we should also learn to rest, to lay them aside for small periods of time. If not, we will burn out or have a meltdown. Even God rested from his work.
Now, for those who don’t really work hard all the time, this article isn’t for you. You don’t deserve any time off, nor would you appreciate it if you had the opportunity. There comes a sense of pride in a job well done, no matter what it is you do – mother, writer, teacher, soldier, negotiator, lawyer, builder, factory worker, janitor. It doesn’t matter what you do – but how you do it. I wish we could stop comparing one another by title or pay scale and education, and start gauging our values by passion. The most successful people I know are not always the ones who make the most money, but who loves what they do. Their lives are so much richer, fuller, and they are happier. THAT’s what I want.
So, in my pursuit of happiness, which is actually one of my constitutional rights, I’ve learned to say ‘no’ and I’ve learned to have play dates. Sometimes these dates are spent alone, but sometimes they involve others. It really doesn’t matter on that point as long as it is separate from you do on a regular basis. For me, it requires I unplug my computer and don’t even think about looking at my emails. Yes, sure there are emergencies and problems that pop up – that too is life. However, it takes a great discipline to leave all the responsibility behind for just one day… or two tops. The hardest part to leave behind, which is also the most important and will null and void all the rest if it isn’t executed is… leave all the stress, fear, and worry behind too. The problem will still be there – I promise. It’s best if you rest and reenergize so that you will have the strength to tackle that problem.
I can already hear the excuses popping into many of your minds right now, especially the phrase, ‘But you just don’t understand.’ I really do understand.
What is a play date? That’s up to you. For me this past weekend was a culmination of things… I went running, biking, took a few pictures, played my guitar (worked on a new song), played video games (which I haven’t done in forever – and it felt good but also caused me to create a few new expletives – it took me over an hour to figure out how to catch a flying piece of paper and kill a wolf – but I got it… and I rule!!!!), danced while I cleaned (yes, I’m one of those crazy people who actually enjoy cleaning and love the smell of a fresh, clean house), sang out really loud (my neighbors should probably get some earphones) read a bit on Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence, played around with some of my friends online being silly and obnoxious, talked with a friend (a very handsome and witty one at that) who made me laugh for hours, took a nap in the middle of the day, soaked in a long, hot bubble bath, watched a couple funny episodes of Carol Burnett, and cooked some really amazing dishes. But what I didn’t do… was work or worry about work. I ignored my emails – though they often tugged at me. Were there things I could have been working on? Absolutely… there were LOTS of things that would have kept me glued to that computer all weekend. Guess what.. those things are still there , but I’m much more relaxed, which leads to better production. I didn’t worry about my family or my social life, ignored all requests from clubs or friends, or possible dates (I’ve since closed all my online dating profiles – it was just too stressful), screened my phone calls, and haven’t even checked the voice messages (*making note to check those when I’m done with this blog).
To put it simply – I cast off all those things that pressure me on a daily basis and I rested from my labors. I had no obligations to fill, no one to please, and no expectations. It was a really good weekend – play date. Now it’s time to get back to work – and I look forward to the next playdate – maybe I’ll have an actual date for that one. I hope it’s soon, but not too soon because I have like a million things to do and so little time to do them. There are responsibilities and bills to pay.
Till next time,