I am reading your posts today about watching bad television, board games, drinking liquor, running the stairs, eating canned pumpkin, sharing fake photos–and it looks like some of you are actually having fun.
While being desperate for a flashlight, or a broken crane on 57th street is no laughing matter, being “stuck” forces you to stop working. Sandy is a reminder that you can’t control the weather, you can only control how you personally manage through the storm.
But today I am not going to bore you with quotes and metaphors. I am only here to remind you to schedule time into your weeks as if you were hiding from a storm.
Many of us are working in creative fields. How we have come to know our “knowledge work” is not that of an assembly line. Getting paid by the hour doesn’t make sense for most of us. We come with histories, intricate spider webs of networks, passion, an ability to make creative connections around problem solving. As knowledge workers when we work our minds too much without play and relaxation, we go into overdrive. It’s not pretty.
Research shows Americans are the hardest working, most unhappy, overweight group. While I actually like living in America–and I don’t want to bash being American–I do think we need to start incorporating more play into our lives–not just when there’s really bad weather.
[I mean no disrespect to those struggling through the storm--and I sincerely hope it passes without too much damage to my former home New York City and the surrounding areas].
Today reminded me of the New York City snow storms I experienced when I lived there. The weather was the only thing that stopped New Yorkers from rushing through the city. I remember if I would walk and stop on the sidewalk for any reason, someone behind me would run into me. It’s a constant flow of traffic. And for a while I loved the excitement. I was also always doing something, and would grab my running shoes and schlep to the gym in my snow boots. I hardly missed a day.
To this day I struggle with sitting still. I am always working, exercising, cooking, reading, taking care of my dog, cleaning up the house….you get the idea. I am always on the go. It takes a lot to tire me out. I wake up early and as soon as my feet hit the ground I’m running.
So this message if for me and for all of you work horses reading this.
Some of you might read this tomorrow or the next day (when you have power back on in your house) whilst rolling your eyes at me and say “Blake, easy for you to say–you’re safe in SF where the only commotion is a World Series riot. Humor me by thinking about your days and how you can incorporate more time for reflection, relaxation and most importantly play.
*exercise that is dancey in nature can be labelled as “play”