Work, Play, and the Importance of Rest

“Do something you love and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.”

Have you heard this before? or something very much like it?

In our culture the word “work” is becoming stigmatized, so that – if you’re in your ideal career situation “work” should be more like “play.” This isn’t the problem. In fact, by itself, work becoming play is a wonderful thing…as long as it’s not confused with rest.

You might think that if work were as enjoyable as play than there’d be no need for downtime. Work would be fun and fun is downtime right?

Wrong, actually.

The Busy Trap

The body and mind both need rest. Just ask Google.

A friend recently sent me an article that resonated – Tim Kreider’s “The ‘Busy’ Trap.” Kresider describes how people use business to brag about themselves in the form of a complaint, and to reassure themselves about their life choices.

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”

Although I’m not sure I would go that far, I like his main point: business is a choice.

My Last 7.5 Weeks Working 7 Days a Week…

Since the beginning of February 2013, I have worked close to 60 per week and had something scheduled every day. I’ve been working of re-writing my novel, starting this blog, building a twitter presence, taking a yoga instructor’s course, working as an after school tutor, and taking any odd jobs my family could throw at me.

To stay sane I would take an afternoon off here or there, but – until I got an unexpected visit from my girl – I never took a full day off. Then, two weeks ago, my body started breaking down. I got sick. Not terribly sick, but enough of a warning for me to have to take stock.

I decided that I needed to schedule at least one day off per week.

The problem is: I still have something scheduled every day – usually in the middle of the day. At the moment I’m debating between taking Wednesdays or Fridays off. If I do choose Fridays I’ll either have to write my essays early or else move “essay day.” On Wednesday I tutor.

At the moment I’m leaning towards Wednesday.

What do you think? How important is rest to a healthy life, and what do you do to make free time when none seems to be possible?

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  1. I visit people.

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