What are we taking off and where from – when we take time off?

What are we taking off and where from – when we take time off?

An acquaintance recently shared this with me (and quite a few other people) – something a valued friend, teacher and mentor had once said to her that ended up changing her whole life:

“The irresponsibility has to be replaced with a life of consistency and
thus a true responsibility.”

Serge Benhayon as verbally communicated in the UK

This got me pondering on whether we can ever take time off. Are consistency and true responsibility a good match for taking time off? And if we do, what does that actually mean and what is then most likely lesser as a result of having had something taken off it? How does this equation work? What happens to it, the bit that has been taken off, and where does the (sur)plus go?

Let’s say I feel stressed, so I take time off from caring for and about me. I buy some snacks even though I am not hungry and what I am eating does not truly agree with me and where I am at. It has a high (albeit natural!!!) sugar content and it makes me racy and a bit unfocussed.

When I am racy and a bit unfocussed, I make mistakes.

When I make mistakes, I have to spend time undoing/correcting/doing all over again what I had already done.

So on the plus side we now have a body that is racy (actually, not so great) as a result of having taken time off. On the minus side, we have mistakes and the need to do things again to correct them.

Dodgy, yes? And all for a snack! Was it really worth it? Might it be a lose/lose situation?

Let’s try another example – I am stressed again and on this occasion I take time off work. Two days in fact. And I get paid for it because I’m entitled to sick leave, great!

So I stay home and spend two days in my pyjamas, watch my favourite TV shows and a couple of movies, plus eat more and sleep more than I normally would.

How do I feel when going back to work? Deeply rested, equipped with new insights about why I got so stressed? Perhaps some sound techniques to catch and nip in the bud a similar scenario next time? Maybe not …

I took time away from work and a supportive work rhythm and just let everything go. What could be on the minus side of taking time off in the form of two days off work, hmmmm… still not feeling so great. So, is there really a plus?

Now don’t grab the wrong end of the stick here – if we need leave from work, we do, and our systems support that unless you are in casual employment. But what have we taken off and from where?

A third example, if that’s okay.

Let’s say I’ve been given some exercises and advice for my posture because of my sore lower back. I’m normally pretty good with following instructions and aware of my posture at work, in the car, etc.

One weekend I get it into my head that I need a break from all this exercise stuff, I need some time off and so I slouch on the couch and watch a movie. The next morning, I have a sore back, call in sick at work and make another appointment with the physio.

On the minus side I have taken time off from caring for my back and on the plus side I now have pain and discomfort and need to seek professional help, spending money I had earmarked for something else.

Another lose/lose situation?

To cut a long story short – could we treat the expression ‘taking time off’ with more awareness and not as an ‘anything goes, letting our hair down’ kind of looseness that doesn’t support anybody and least of all ourselves?

How about truly looking after and caring for ourselves in a way that respects the body, treasures it and knows that it is our body that takes us everywhere, to work, back home, out into the physical world at large. We are never not with our body, even when we sleep – so does it really pay to disregard it, let alone trash it?

Furthermore, can we really take time off when it is all one life, one’s life? We might like to segment life into many different boxes, as in work, family, leisure, community, charity, relationships, family, etc. But is that even possible, is a segmented life true?

We take ourselves everywhere we go, we move this body of ours even if we are slouching in a chair – so what can we take off, where do we take it off, what is left and where does the bit that has been taken off go?

It’s worth pondering.

Filed under

Work life balanceWork stress

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