all work and no play

I can’t think of any of my friends or family who don’t enjoy their time off. The people I tend to surround myself with generally work hard, but play hard, too.

I read this article this morning about a working border collie named Rose that blew me away. Not only is it incredibly well-written (I think), but it’s an interesting commentary on what happens to folks when they only become known for the work they do. Plus, of course, I just love dog stories.

I remember people from high school and college who never went out, who could always be spotted with their nose in a book, and who are probably making beaucoup de money now but I always wonder if they were lonely. I got out of college with decent, if not good grades, and all of my friends got degrees – so they at least passed. But I think it’s more important that we didn’t focus all of our waking hours on work. There’s something to be said for silliness, for playing around, for reveling in laziness for a least a little bit every day.

I feel lucky to have a group of friends that cherishes this ideal as much as I do… sometimes more. I think in the past few years I have become less playful, even if I’ve tried to stay laid-back. (The two aren’t the same, I’ve found.) And becoming less playful can sometimes isolate me. I’ve seen it in other people in our circle of friends, too… when Rachel is studying for her architecture exams and doesn’t go out for a few weekends, when Janette is on the road for a month at a time.

I experienced it big time for myself Tuesday evening when I had to stay a little late at work to finish some travel arrangements that I was having problems with, and came home feeling very draggy. Ryan had been home all day and was excited that I was home, and wanted to go out and do something. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t muster myself up to get out and about, and so we ended up staying home until we made a run to HEB around 9:45ish. In between, we weren’t exactly the most civil of people to one another for a while (hey, it happens to the best of us). I resented that he wouldn’t let me chill out at home and he seemed to resent that I wouldn’t let him play. We both wanted to spend time with one another, we just couldn’t agree on how to do it. So I think that we both ended up enforcing loneliness on one another.

I like the story of Rose the border collie, because it reminds us of what playing does for us. It helps us enjoy life, as well as helping others to enjoy us. Workaholics can be lovable, but they aren’t always fun to hang out with.

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3 responses to “all work and no play

  1. Good post. We all need to get out and play. . .and not just every once in a while, but a little bit every day if we can, just like you said. I will never forget one of Dr. Phil R-J’s chapel services at TLU when he talked about playing and how God wants us to play. It was perfect for the college setting, but I also remember thinking that many outside of college need to hear that, too.

    And sometimes we’re tired and grumpy and just want to do nothing. Which is fine, too. 🙂
    I think resting and playing can be very holy times.

  2. Good article Sarah. I like dog stories too. I never really thought about a dog being a work-a-holic just because I’ve never been around a farm with a work dog like that.

    I do know about work-a-holics though because my mom is one. She is 59 and will probably work until she’s over 65 because that’s what she enjoys. She used to work lots of extra hours too, but luckily her project has slowed down recently. Not only does she work 40 hours a week at least, she also teaches First Place (a Christian weight loss program with Bible Study) two nights a week and volunteers with a local non-profit frequently. She is on the board of this non-profit, so they have meetings at least once a month.

    I think I have work-a-holic tendencies too, but I also saw the balance growing up. My dad was definitely not a work-a-holic. He liked his free time. He read a whole lot, and he liked to watch baseball and golf on TV as well as play golf when he had time. My mom also reads and played golf when I was growing up, but it’s just different for her. I think I can’t be a work-a-holic in my present job, but I have a feeling I may be more of one as a teacher. I have to remember to slow down and do things for myself.

    Paul and I are very much homebodies, but we do like to go out with friends as well. I like just laying around at home watching stuff on our DVR and hanging out together. But, we do go see movies and go out to eat some as well. I know that I have to use my creative tendencies to do stuff for me that will relax me when I’m at home. I have really gotten into scrapbooking and it’s a release for me. I’ve started taking voice lessons again, which is just for me. It’s a creative outlet, which I must have to stay sane!

    Good post. Enjoyed the article and got me thinking.

  3. Sorry for such a long comment.

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