I played hooky yesterday.
Yes, I took a whole day off work.
Now this may not seem like a very big deal, but for me this is huge.
You see, I suffer from a rare affliction known as workaholism. My wife views this as a disease. I see it as a source of pleasure.
I love going to work.
Gimalle, my wife, tells me that, to the best of her memory, this is only the third time I have taken a whole day off work in the past 17 years other than on those few occasions when she has ordered me off work and forced me to leave the country in order to take a vacation.
Gimalle has been at home all week and, as this is a long weekend with Monday being a civic holiday, she has been suggesting that I live dangerously and take Friday off so as to have a four day weekend.
Four days off work? I could feel the anxiety building up. I began experiencing early withdrawal.
By 2pm on Thursday all three people with whom I had scheduled meetings for Friday had called to reschedule robbing me of any argument I could present to Gimalle as to why I could not take the day off.
On Thursday evening we attended the retirement party of a good friend and client. This man, after 30+ years of dedicated and excellent service, had chosen to move on to a new phase in his life and retire from his existing position. At the retirement function I had an opportunity to talk with him and he told me that he and his wife would soon be leaving on a month-long vacation before returning home in time for him to begin a new career.
I asked him how he had stayed so passionate, committed and motivated for all those years and his reply surprised me.
He told me that, as hard as he worked, and as many hours as he devoted to his job, he always made sure to take time off for himself.
He explained that that “me time” enabled him to recharge and re-energize so that he was always able to return to work with the same enthusiasm he had brought to his first day on the job.
A compelling argument and one that made me realize the importance of taking some some “me time.”
When we got home I announced to Gimalle that I would be taking Friday off.
And I did.
And, to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We spent the day together doing absolutely nothing. We went to move in the afternoon marking the first time in my entire life I have gone to a daytime movie on a weekday.
We saw a movie called “Neighborhood Watch” which surely will win an Oscar next year for the worst movie ever made.
And I enjoyed every minute of it.
I felt like a kid doing something he knows he shouldn’t be doing and doing it anyway because he knows he can get away with it.
We came home from the movie, hung out at home for a while and went out for dinner and just enjoyed a day that was absolutely stimulating and invigorating by its sheer nothingness.
And for the first time in my life I realized the importance of “me time.”
For years I have encouraged my clients to do this. They needed to. I didn’t.
But yesterday changed me. It was fun and exciting.
And I want to do it again.
Oh, I still love my job and I still love going to work and I still love all the fascinating people my job brings me in contact with but I did make a decision yesterday.
I so enjoyed my day off that I resolved to do it again sometime in the next three years.
Old habits sure die hard, don’t they?
Till we read again.
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