I should take a break

Taking a break is really difficult. A short break is often easy enough if you’re comfortable simply ignoring everything… for 10 minutes. But if you really want to take a real break, the difficulty escalates rapidly. I recently spent a long weekend camping a short, walkable distance from the beach. Each of the three full beach sitting days I tried to lengthen the stretches of time I literally sat in a beach chair without getting up. By the third day I was feigning agitated exasperation, and making jokes like, “That’s it! Today I’m getting serious about holding my chain down in the sand. No more standing up for me!” But in reality, I was bumping up against bodily functions, sun exposure (even under a magnificent umbrella), and peer pressure from my beach pals warning me of deep vein thrombosis. (I hope you never know what that is.)

I’m only half kidding. Everyone talks about taking a day off from work, and about looking forward to the holidays (for family and experiences, sure— but we all mean for the break we pretend we’ll get, but never do.) We even have a dedicated word, staycation (a word so legit it even passes my spell–checker) for suggesting some days we’re taking but not even going anywhere, just because we need a break. Our phones ring, our apps go bee-BOOP! and it’s ping! notification this, and ding! notification that. And an email arrives, and the dog needs walking, and the children need this, and the housemate that…

The hard work is actually prioritizing, pruning and putting one’s life in order. The impossible work is getting sufficient duration, and premium quality, sleep.

Taking a break isn’t lazy – learning to recharge is a skill that will allow you to enjoy a more creative, sustainable life.

~ Alex Soojung-Kim Pang from, https://psyche.co/guides/how-to-rest-well-and-enjoy-a-more-creative-sustainable-life


What’s that? How long did I manage to sit in the chair? On day three I managed a transcendental 5-and-one-half hours of literal sitting, toes in the sand. And I was on a roll, no where near needing to arise, having perfectly judged my fluid consumption, sweating, and kidney function up to then. I was foiled by my beach mates forcing me out of the chair (and at least part way into the ocean.) Which, all things considered, was very nice of them.