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.