Down time

rain down on window

rain down on window (Photo credit: pennacook)

 

Everyone is busy these days, even kids sometimes. We all have a thousand responsibilities and to-dos on top of the thousand things we personally hope for. We have jobs and chores, but we also have hobbies and interests that we want to work into the schedule. It’s easy to feel as if every minute has fifteen minutes worth of activity we should pack into it. We can forget the need to stop and do nothing occasionally. That down time is valuable too, just not in a way that we can measure by items checked off a to-do list.

 

I have so much I need to do. I have so much more I should do. I’m not doing any of it. I’m sitting in a room with a lot of windows watching the rain and listening to it pounding on the roof. My children are either napping or watching a movie, which they’re only permitted once a month, so I think I should take advantage of the electronic babysitting while I can. Later, I’ll probably wish I had spent this time getting work done, but maybe not. I might just appreciate the better mood and calmer attitude that can come from sitting for an hour listening to the rain.

 

Living to work

English: An artist's depiction of the rat race...

English: An artist’s depiction of the rat race in reference to the work and life balance. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_race Made with following images: http://www.openclipart.org/detail/75385 http://www.openclipart.org/detail/74137 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I think it’s sad that we Americans accept it as a part of life that vacation is basically optional. Many of us who do have vacation don’t use it, either because we get so far behind on work that it’s not worth taking a vacation or because we aren’t secure enough in our jobs to feel like we can or because our employers, while technically offering vacation, make it so hard to use and are so disapproving of us when we do that we don’t. That’s what happened to me when I was in medicine. I was technically allowed vacation, but it was clearly discouraged and then held against us. We have communally given up on work-life balance, even if it is a catch phrase. The less lucky among us don’t even have the option of paid vacation, and we aren’t bothered by that, and sadly enough, those people are largely the same ones that certain better off Americans accuse of freeloading because they need food stamps or medicaid. Despite all our protestations and our stated desire to the contrary, we live to work. Or so it seems to me.

 

No paid vacation? You must be an American – Life Inc..

 

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