Mark had a day off recently. He told me the week before that he was taking the day, and I let him know I wouldn’t be taking the day off with him. I told him I had to work. I had a full schedule and things needed to get done.
When I woke up, even though he knew I was planning to work, he invited me to take a walk around one of our favorite lakes. I should have stayed home and worked. I should have written a blog post. I should have caught up on some accounting. I should have mopped the floors. I should have cleaned up my inbox.
Instead I took a walk around the lake.
One of my girlfriends recently started a new job. She’s been struggling with putting life before work. She cares about her work and really loves her job and the people she works with, but like other jobs she’s had before, her commitment to her work has a way of taking over the special moments she looks forward to in her life. This is a little reminder for her, and for you, and for me to remember what matters. Even though I left the corporate world years ago, I still catch myself trying to put in the hours, or thinking that if I do more, I will be more satisfied. It never works.
When I think about all the times I worked instead of seeing the first snow of the season, or the times I was checking voice mail, or email instead of listening to my daughter tell me about her day, I remember that regret doesn’t come from letting the housework slide, playing hookey, or turning off the phone.
When was the last time you …
- Took a long lunch, or left work early to surprise your kid at school?
- Left your phone at home on date night, or when meeting up with friends?
- Rescheduled all of your appointments so you could curl up with a good book?
- Folded up your to-do list and said, “It can wait”?
When was the last time you took a walk around the lake?