Ever been rushing around the house like a mad-woman, camera bag in one hand, dolly, blanket, baby bottle, one shoe and a half eaten apple in the other, trying to convince your sweet child that dolly doesn't need her own bear and we really should be going... And then your day off comes (which to schedule and observe is an accomplishment in and of itself if you're a freelancer). A beautiful 1 hour chunk of time to do whatever you want with no interruption and you snuggle up with a book, window open: pure leisure. Five minutes in, your mind starts to think about all the little things that you could be doing. "Think of all the emails and edits you could get done in this hour... but instead you're resting and refreshing your mind? Whose whacky idea was that? I'm surprised you can focus with the dishes in the sink and that laundry really should be going... You lazy BUM!" Those sweet precious moments quickly become a guilt-ridden shaming session of not checking things off of your to-do list.
Perhaps it's the idea that between the hours of 9-5, I feel I should be working. But then I see instagrams from other freelance moms with a full pot of coffee at their computers at 11pm, settling in for a full "day's" work. A tiny voice inside my head tells me that if I'm not working toward something, my time is not well spent.
Somewhere along the lines we've allowed the word leisure to conjure thoughts of laziness. In her book Overwhelmed : Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, Brigid Schulte suggests we take a moment to double check our vocabulary.
Leisure : inspires creativity, offers rest, refreshment, exposure to new things, health.
Lazy is not liking to work at all - doing the bare minimum with apathy about final results. We've glorified a 100-hour work week big fancy prizes (nice things) to show for all our hard work so if we don't clock those hours or have the nice swag, it's easy to say we're not working hard enough.
Schulte also emphasizes the inspires creativity portion of the definition - that leisure time should be enjoyable. Perhaps the benefits from rest and relaxation cannot be measured but they can be felt. More alert, more creative, a rejuvenated passion about the work you're doing and a renewed spirit to share with others.
How can we become more present and not feel like we're lazy bums when we take an afternoon walk or weekday brunch? Breaks are good for the mind, body, soul and creativity.
This weekend be encouraged to rest. And enjoy it. Set aside time to fill up your bucket and allow yourself to savor it. Carve out the time and protect it. Your littles will grow up seeing a healthy example of leisure and feel the benefits from a refreshed, more vibrant version of yourself.