When my wife suddenly yelled, “Q! Q! Q! Quality!!!!” bouncing up and down in her seat, pointing and giggling with joy, we all erupted in laughter. There we were, a car full of four adults, playing the most competitive hours-long game of “alphabet” you’ve ever seen, presided over by a power-trippy and slightly sadistic eight-year-old girl. For what seemed like an hour, no one could locate a word starting with the letter Q, until that spasmodic moment, and the car shook.
I’ve written about feeling guilty when I stop whatever it is I’m “supposed to be” doing and waste time, instead. It could be burning a few minutes that would be better spent on a task I started this morning. Or maybe it’s taking an entire day or– God forbid– an entire weekend to do something other than work. So stressful. I mean, aren’t weekends made for catching up?
We’ve all been there. Without enough time in the workday or week, work bleeds into everything else. The notion that we can get a greater volume of meaningful work done by extending our hours of work into a near-perpetual work-sleep cycle, with family life and recreation sprinkled in is farcical. It’s not sustainable– not for your health, your family, or even your work.
This weekend, we took an overnight trip to visit a sugar shack restaurant in the mountains of Massachusettes. Friends, food and maple syrup. No agenda, just an easy escape. It was the opposite of work. It was perfect.