“Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!” This is one of my children’s current favorites. As I prepare to leave tomorrow for a much needed vacation, I am thinking about the importance of fun, laughter, physical activity and pleasure reading. As Americans, we live in a country where work ethic rules, and where being a workaholic is often worn as a badge of honor. I know it’s part fantasy, but I do think about the French and Italians, who seem to weave restorative activities into each day, each week, each year. For many of us play is a reward, not an essential part of life’s rhythm. Add to that the depleting effects of smart phones and technology, I know it can leave me completely strung out. My thinking totally flat-lines. Last week I had forgotten my cellphone on a day trip outside the city. It was amazing! I was so present, so calm, so full of ideas. And guess what. No tragedy occurred while I was gone! Can you believe it.
I’ll share a blog post and a movie I recently watched. The blog post is from Tony Schwartz, a coach who specializes in energy balance “What Happens When You Really Disconnect“. He also references new research by Daniel Goleman that indicates that when we are overloaded, we have less control. The movie is called “Happy” and won several film awards. It’s a documentary about the benefits of physical activity, social support, laughter and spirituality in the quest for resilience and happiness. Interestingly, it talks about the high-octane post-WW II pace of work in Japan, how it became the new normal, and the effect it has had. Big stuff.
Here is my request to you. Will you use these last two weeks of summer to doing a few things on your fun & recreation list? Here are a few from mine:
- Getting together with friends and talking about ideas, events, but not work
- Going for a long bike ride, run, or ski
- Sleeping eight hours for several nights in a row. For real; I have small kids
- Watching pretty much any movie with Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson
- Putting aside a couple of hours to turn everything off and read a non-work related book
- Leaving my phone at home
- Spending a few minutes being thankful for what’s good in my life
Have a great end of summer, and see you in September!