Take a break
I was reminded of something rather important today. You see, I had made plans to meet up with a friend of mine for lunch Friday, her birthday had recently passed, and I took the opportunity to offer to buy her lunch and get to spend some time catching up.
Now, that’s not anything earth-shattering, but it was an hour of spending time with a friend, having a few laughs, and just generally enjoying ourselves. I was reminded that all too often in our lives, especially in the midst of a long healing journey, we forget to take a break. We go from work to home, some of us to school, some of us to our kid’s activities, some to therapy, some to volunteer work, that takes up more and more of our time, forgetting that sometimes the best healing is done in those times when you’re not focused on it.
I can remember, quite a few years ago, when after spending almost a year unemployed, in debt and still on anti-depressants, I was trying my darndest to piece together my life. I spent about $50 signing up to play in a roller hockey league. Now, many people saw me spending this money so soon after I started working again as sort of wasteful, and maybe in a financial sense it was, but the extra $50 put toward paying off debt wasn’t really going to change much of anything. On the other hand, knowing that one night during the week I was going to get some exercise, which was good for me, as well as do something that was a fun break from the intensity of dealing with everything else, helped me tremendously. When it came time to go to work, or do any of the million other little things I was dealing with at the time, I could do it with a fresh perspective because I was getting to take a break.
This week has been an especially intense one. There are a great many things weighing on my mind, some I’ve talked about here, some I’m not at liberty to talk about here yet, some I never will be able to. I can’t tell you how much better I feel about those things because I get to take a break every now and again. Sharing a few laughs with a friend as I did today, or my wife, which I get to do frequently, is a great way to let those things go for a little while and fight off mild depression.
On the day this entry was written, I had gone away for the weekend from London to Manchester, and the first day after getting over the 3hr train ride was spent just relaxing and catching up with the friend who moved there – I only explored the city with his friends the next day.
It was the second time I’d seen him in the flesh in the three years since the move, so we did have a day’s worth of news to exchange! In the course of the weekend I disclosed to him and he listened, it was great.
I didn’t return to work until the following Thursday and so had peace and quiet at home (like I do again on Good Friday when I’m posting this comment). So yes, there is more to life than work and if you need time off from the job to have a life, then do it. Also, never work your birthday, it’s just depressing.