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I know some people who trudge through work so that they can get to the weekends and play… For me though, I play so that I can work. I need energy, I need to be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking, I need to be able to see things from different perspectives, problem solve, work with people, work on my own inner development…be proactive rather than reactive, try be kind, try be innovative. And to do this I need to be able to reset my mind, reset my attitude, sweat a little, laugh…in other words, play. Without that I’d get stuck, frustrated, make too much of small setback, lose focus…
Finding your rhythm… If you’ve hit a bump in your work-life and you’re trouble, maybe even spiritual trouble, or feel off balance the first thing I’d try is getting enough sleep. Get 10 hours of sleep for a few days in a row. Stop being greedy with your time in the evenings and go to bed early (instead of insisting on getting up late – there’s more than one way to get more sleep). Then take a day off to go play: something fun that doesn’t involve watching tv…and doesn’t involve spending lots of money, do something simple and recreational. Play music, paint a picture, write a movie script… If you can’t take a whole day to play, take a few hours in the middle of the week – or an hour during the day. Work up your secret (play) identity where you are no longer [insert job title here] and no longer [insert family role or relationship status here] – but you are the Jeremy Lin of your building’s basketball court, or the Derek Jeter of your softball league…or the Terrence Malick of your home videos…even if it’s only in your mind.
All this might feel like a waste of time: that’s okay. In a way that’s true. God didn’t create the world because he needed something, but simply because creating is what He’s all about. And you’re made in His image, so there’s a part of you that needs to do things and make things, make them good, for no reason… We should honor those things – don’t despise them.
Then go pray. Thank God for both work and play. Rediscover the fact that He’s on your side… even though we might suffer sometimes. And rediscover what it means to work: to do stuff that DOES matter, do it with excellence and care (when our skills are up to the task). Learn to work wholeheartedly without your ego getting in the way. Then go and play so that you can reset your mind when it comes to work.