"A master in the art of living draws no sharp
distinction between his work and his play;
his labor and his leisure; his education and his recreation.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence
through everything he does, leaving others to
determine if he is working or playing. To
himself, it always appears to be both."
- François-René Augustus, Viscount de Chateaubriand
A lovely dear friend sent this to me in her kind response to a flippant remark I made. She is one who subscribes to this quote in a wonderful way, and in reading various news of her fun activities I carelessly asked when she has time to work. Let me confess here as I did to her that I was rightfully put in my place.
More importantly, I was inspired. I had become so engrossed in the details of my own work that I had forgotten to enjoy it. Not forcefully, I might add, as I really do love my work, but had reached a point where that feeling had become interpreted into continuous effort, rather than joy. How could I have forgotten to play? Or, to be exact, when did I start taking myself so seriously?
Environmental activists are always telling us to change just one habit in our daily lives that could make a difference. Such as turning the water off while you brush your teeth, installing a timer on your water boiler, replacing your regular light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs, and so on. I think I’m going to adopt their approach to return some zaniness into my life… and my office. Won’t be introducing whoopee cushions or trick chairs, but going to dig up some of my old desk toys, and maybe, just maybe, introduce a singing break every now and then.
And maybe I should also check out those paintball grounds I’ve been reading about…
But first, I’m hanging that quote on my wall as a little constant reminder.
Additional suggestions are welcome.