I’m going to offer some advice. When in the course of human events, random forces align and for a moment, just a moment, you realize you’ve come to a proverbial stopping point, here’s my advice: Stop.
It doesn’t happen very often in a deadline-driven job. I’ll bet it probably doesn’t happen in other kinds of jobs a lot, either. The hardest thing to do is to recognize the moment when you see it.
I’m back at my desk after a four-day break. Last Wednesday, I realized that some of this week’s paper was in early; some was going to come in late (although things appeared to be under control). Yeah, I could have gotten ahead, on some of my work, but at just that moment in time, I saw the opportunity. So I struck, played hooky Thursday and Friday.
I spent the last four days building a raised-bed garden and a brick patio. I only checked my work e-mail three or four times, and I only checked my voicemail once. Instead, I dug in the dirt, strung stringline, purchased materials and worked my butt off.
On Saturday and Sunday, my family, particularly 16-year-old Danny, got into the act. Even 7-year-old Hunter carried some bricks. It’s a true family project. Not quite finished, maybe a day’s work left.
I can’t really remember when I last spent a better four days—a year ago, at least. As I sit here, now, I actually feel really good, relaxed. Ready to go.
You know, life isn’t just about work. I think our culture is a little crazy where this is concerned. Yeah, we need to work hard, but we also need to realize that we are not our jobs.
And with the nearly 70 degree weather, I’m going crazy to get into the garden. I see the crokuses raising their pretty heads, and “Hey,” my honey calls, “the chives are growing two inches a day.”