“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~ Eddie Cantor
Did you know there are people in the world who spend at least one day a week goofing off? Just flat-out not doing a damn thing that has anything to do with work of any kind. I know. I’m shocked, too. And by shocked, I mean envious.
We wear our work schedule on our sleeves as a source of pride. And certainly dedication and determination are prized qualities of character. I’d go so far as to call them skills. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about an article I read on CNN.com that discusses the idea of a Stop Day, as in hold everything, stop the presses, close up shop, and spend the day loafing around with your pooch. Or going for a run. Or seeing friends. Anything that is the opposite of what work means for you. I’m rather in love with the concept. It makes me giggle like a school girl.
For thousands of years, the world continued to turn while every week most of the planet’s population took one day to rest and rejuvenate. No. Work. Allowed. Violations of Stop Day were punishable by death. Okay, not really but seriously, there was no way you were getting to Heaven if you violated Stop Day. Don’t even bother showing up at the Pearly Gates. Workaholics need not apply and Saint Peter is the bouncer. You don’t want to mess with him.
Somewhere along the way, we shunned organized religion. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but folks we threw the baby out with the bath water. On days when people went to their Church, Temple, Mosque, or holy coffee shop to reflect and pray for sunnier days ahead, they took time off. For one day, their minds stopped racing and they just spent time in the company of loved ones. Or no one. They did what they wanted to do. They thought about their time – past, present, and future – and how it had been and should be used going forward.
Being someone who loves to be busy and who honestly loves work, the idea of a Stop Day made me sit straight-up, crinkle my nose, and, as I’m wont to do, ask “who the hell has time for Stop Day”? And that’s the point. I do. We all do. It’s a matter of priorities. And if our priority is to be the very best version of ourselves, then we better make time to take time lest we spend our days exhausted, worn out, and bitter.
I’m not sure if I can take a day every single week to completely stop work of any kind. I’m building a business, running a nonprofit, and working on several personal projects. But, despite my better judgement, perhaps a day off a week is just what I need to make a break-thru. Maybe all the running around, the constant pursuit, is doing more harm than good.
Look, I’m not saying that now I’ve seen the light and I will forever hold one day every week for the rest of my life as Stop Day. But I’ll commit to giving it a try to see how I feel once I experience it. I’m a little worried that this will quickly become an addiction, much like my undying love for frozen thin mint cookies. But, what the hell. You only live once.
Next Saturday, March 9th, I’m taking a break from it all. Everything that looks, feels, and smells like work will just have to hold its horses and wait this one out. Want to join me and give yourself a break, too? You deserve it.