Last Sunday, I took a recharging day. I attended a viewing for a friend’s father and eked out half an hour of work on my novel, but other than that, I did very little.
Previously, I would have called this a lazy day — which it was — but I would have used the term perjoratively. In doing so, I’d have managed to suck some of the joy out of a day that could otherwise be useful, even if the activities in which I engaged (games on my iPad, social media updates, a nice long nap) were not ostensibly so.
When our electronic devices run for too long, they force us to recharge them. Otherwise, they simply stop working. If we accept that this is the way it works for inanimate objects, why do we not recognize the importance of the same concept when it comes to ourselves?
When we settle in to relax, take time to do “nothing,” or “waste” time doing things we enjoy but that don’t take us ten steps closer to our stated goals, we feel guilty. We make excuses, render rationalizations, and chide ourselves for not being “productive.” Our devices don’t do this. They simply run out of juice and refuse to do anything until we plug them in again.
When it comes to re-charging, why should our smartphones be smarter than we are?
Last Sunday, I decided to give in to my need to recharge — to revel in my day of rest (that is what Sunday is supposed to be, after all). When I finally got to my characters last night, I gave them only half an hour (and promised them more today), but I refused to feel guilty about it.
Why do we find deprivation virtuous? Why do we see multitasking to the max as something to be revered?
I don’t. At least not anymore.
Don’t get me wrong — I love productive days. Unfortunately, it’s taken me more than five decades to recognize something my phone has known all along.
You can’t have productive days unless you take time to recharge.
So, go on. Do it. Take some down time.
Chances are, your body will thank you for it.
Copyright 2019 Lisa Hess