Good morning! I hope your day is starting off well.
My wife and I had dinner with an old friend last night who was in town for just a couple of days. It’s always nice catching up, especially outside of work where the conversation can go to pretty much anything but work. And maybe a couple of things about work you wouldn’t say inside the office. It happens. But we mostly talked about vacations and grandkids. Fun stuff.
I had a manager several years ago who had a simple rule when we all went out to lunch – we can talk about anything except the job. If anybody violated that rule, she’d call them down quickly. “Excuse me … were you taking about work?” It was just a friendly reminder that this was our time to socialize. Whatever is going on at work would still be there when we got back.
It’s important to get away sometimes, whether it’s work or family or even our favorite hobbies. You have to take a breather and focus on something else for a while, even if that “focus” is on nothing at all. Just taking in the world around you without any expectation for what happens next. It’s not only relaxing, it’s energizing. Few things can recharge our batteries like a little solitude.
And solitude doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be alone – just that you’re away from the bustle of everyday life. It means you’re enjoying something other than the routine. It means you’ve left all the cares of the world behind and you’re just enjoying the moment.
I’m the kind of person who loves to be around other people. I have the option to work from home, but I choose not to. When I’m at work, I’m focused on work. And I have the chance to not only chat with people through text messaging, but to stop by their desk and share a more personal moment. A few seconds is all it takes. I just like people.
On the other hand, I also like being alone sometimes. When I was on the road doing comedy, I had hours each day driving to the next show, and that was my private time to think, reflect on life, and write new jokes. Sure, by the end of the day I was craving a crowd, but that’s all part of it. And then after the show, I went back to the hotel and into my world of solitude until the next show.
It’s all about balance. Too much solitude can lead to withdrawal, and too much bustle can lead to burnout. I have a friend who is one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever met. She was asking me about Stephen King’s book on writing, and I had to be honest – I’ve never read it. She was shocked. “You’re a writer and you’ve never read that book?” I know. It’s almost a requirement of the job.
But when you sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day, writing technical manuals for other people to read, and then come home and write something more personal for a different audience, your eyes get tired of looking at words. Woodworking was my thing back then, and I when I needed a break from it all, I went downstairs to my shop.
I do read a little more now, mostly motivational books. At the end of a long day, I need that reminder that I have the power to accomplish great things. If you’re not getting your shot of positivity each day, I highly recommend it. Even fifteen minutes of reading will make a difference. Because, when you’re reading, no matter what it is, the outside world ceases to exist.
We all need that breather from time to time. Whether it’s dinner with a friend, driving through the country with your significant other, sitting by a river and watching boats go by, or just curling up on the sofa with a good book, we all need that escape. Even if it only lasts a short while, it makes a huge difference.
So, give yourself a little time to just enjoy whatever is happening at the moment. Schedule that time if you must and follow through. There will be times when you have to interrupt your plans, but don’t let everyone else’s whims become your priorities. Save some of that time for yourself. You’ve earned it. And even more importantly, you need it.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved