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Learning to Value Your Leisure

Make sensible choices about what is best ignored versus what merits your attention

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A fine Sunday in October is as good a time as any to consider your predisposition toward leisure. As a concept, for many career professionals, leisure is on the rocks. Surely, it no longer means total hours minus work hours. True leisure time — enjoying a rewarding activity free from work and civic issues and from preoccupation with either of them — is difficult for many to achieve.

Why Leisure Time Gets Pinched

When the shift between a pressure-filled activity and true leisure time is abrupt, the quality of your leisure is likely to suffer. Is your leisure squeezed between frenzied activities? Strains of the workweek tend to make individuals place great emphasis on their weekends and other days off. They hope to relax, but the pressure is enormous, and often they can’t rest even when they’ve got the hours to do so.

Pressured individuals feel guilty both doing too much and doing too little. The often ask, “Could I have done more?” “Should I have done otherwise?” Even when blessed with leisure, they might not be free to enjoy it.

Parents in general, are often concerned about how much time they spend with their kids. Spouses feel guilty about periods spent away from each other. Pressed and frazzled by the onslaught of responsibilities, more couples are finding it exhausting to have to “be” with one another — to converse, empathize and respond.

The Consequences

In this 24/7 world, a cultural inability to relax dogs us and negates many benefits leisure traditionally provided. This, in turn, impacts the quality of our work. Even as more labor-saving and enhanced communication technologies are introduced, and our output and efficiency rises, our expectations directly increase. We become less satisfied with ourselves for not doing more.

The feeling of no breathing space can quickly pervade all aspects of your life, diminish your happiness and eliminate any joie de vivre. The cycle can get vicious. Lacking a balance between work and play, responsibility and respite, “getting things done” becomes the end-all. You start to function like a human doing instead of a human being. You begin to link successfully executing the items on your growing “to do” list with feelings of worthiness.

As the list keeps growing longer, the lingering sense of more to do infiltrates your sense of harmony and self-acceptance.

How to Cope

Recognize that everything on your “to-do” list, even at work, is undertaken at your option. You are not your tasks, they don’t define you and they don’t constrain you.

On a deeply felt personal level, recognize that from now on you will be subjected to an ever-increasing number of items competing for your attention. You cannot handle everything, nor is making the attempt desirable.

Recognize, with the clarity of death, that life is finite; you can no longer wistfully intake the daily deluge and expect to achieve balance. You cannot submissively yield to the din and settle for living your life in what’s left over after each day’s onslaught.

Make sensible choices about what is best ignored and what merits your attention.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Elections

Will You Take Action to Assure GOP Victory on November 5?

Every single person voting Republican needs to decide now, how they will lend support to the cause

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In less than 17 weeks, the GOP will take back the White House, and hopefully the Senate and House, and begin to restore America. Or, we’ll face a gargantuan nightmare that will all but seal the fate of this nation. Do not be fooled by Joe Biden’s defiance of those calling for him to withdraw. Any Democrat challenger will be a danger to us because the DEMOCRATS WILL CHEAT IN UNPRECEDENTED WAYS.

Time is of the essence. While being informed is wonderful, taking action is paramount. What exactly will you do to ensure that we achieve victory? It is no longer sufficient to be a concerned bystander.

No End to the Left’s Destruction

Every day when you log on to news sites, you are flabbergasted by the degree to which the radical Left continues to impose its civilization destroying policies, programs, and activities on the rest of us. There is no end game for the Left, no bottom, and no limits to their mass insanity.

Most recently, we have learned of a professional couple who was greeted at 6 a.m. by armed FBI agents banging on their door to arrest them for having the temerity of stepping into the Capitol on January 6, for 12 minutes, ushered in by Capitol guards. We have witnessed the unending persecution and prosecution of Donald Trump over non-crimes that have been concocted in unison and are part of an overall strategy emanating from the White House.

We have witnessed corrupt district attorneys, corrupt prosecutors, and a corrupt press. Donald Trump is merely the bellwether. All other Republican politicians will be fair game from here on out, and if we lose the election in November, with little or no recourse. One by one, the maniacal Left will quash dissent in ways that perhaps we currently cannot imagine.

The Left is Maniacal

The logical outcome to having the Left predominate in all areas of society is a totalitarian regime. Don’t discount this scenario. As Leftists ultimately do everywhere, they demand compliance. Thought control is their desired form of servitude. For those who do not comply, execution is not out of the question. Like radical Islam, we’re dealing with a malevolent genie that has escaped bottle, has no intention of ever subsiding, and wants everyone to either totally capitulate, or be imprisoned, deported, or terminated.

There will be no effective way to dismantle the maniacal leftist machine if Joe Biden is re-elected, he continues to be the puppet of Obama and far Leftists, and the border continues to be flooded with illegals — until Democrats have congressional representation that steadfastly insures a permanent majority. At that juncture, they will pack the Supreme Court. They will end the Electoral College. They will ramp up gender dysphoria opportunities wherever they might lie.

They will continue to show poor judgment and ridiculous weakness on the world stage. They will kowtow to China on a wide spectrum of issues. They will embolden our enemies to the point where such enemies are ready to pick apart America. This is not hyperbole and is all too likely.

Nothing here is beyond the bounds of possibility and with each passing week becomes more likely for the distant if not foreseeable future. In a sentence, we simply must win in November. No alternative will suffice.

All of Us

All of which leads to the point that every single person voting Republican needs to decide now, how they will lend support to the cause. In what ways will you participate? How will you volunteer, where, when and for what duration? Will you donate money? Who will you influence to vote GOP?

How will you support your candidates locally, regionally, and nationally? How are you going to impact others? It would not be sufficient to say, “I was busy,” or “I felt we had an overwhelming majority.” This approach is gambling with the future of our nation, the future of our communities, and the future of our families.

If we are to win by an overwhelming majority, let us each assure one another that we did everything we could to make sure that that is the result. To do less is to simply take a child-like approach to what is perhaps the most eventful year since 1776, 1812, 1861, 1941, 1968, and 2001. There will be no palatable tomorrow if we lose in November.

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Life

Taking a Wrong Turn and Staying Safe

It is no time for equivocation when the issue is your safety and your life

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You take a wrong turn in the city, perhaps missing the desired exit ramp and you end up on a street with which you are totally unfamiliar. Old, abandoned warehouses and litter abound. People hanging around on corners don’t seem to have much to do.

Positioned for Caution

You consult your GPS as to how to get out of this neighborhood. All indications are that at best it will take a couple minutes, with some complex turns and twists. So, what do you do while you’re in your car?

Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you at stop lights or stop signs. You need to have sufficient room to hit the gas pedal in case you have to vamoose in a hurry. Especially while you’re stopped at a red light, stay ever alert. Continually check your rear-view mirror and your side mirrors to ensure that no one is approaching you.

Carjacking is not uncommon and, even with your windows closed, a crowbar can smash them in seconds. In any case, if someone does approach you, be prepared to speed away.

May I be of Service?

If you happen to be on the street, out of your car, at a gas station or retail store, be especially weary. If someone approaches you and, in a reasonably pleasant voice, says something such as, “How are you today?” be prepared to take off in a hurry.

Suppose it’s too late, and the ‘cordial’ greeter is merely a few yards away. In a loud voice yell out, “I have nothing to do with you,” or any other phrase that you think will draw the attention of others and perhaps startle the nearby greeter. If you’re a woman, it is okay to scream and shout.

If you need to stop at a gas station or some retail establishment and people are hanging around, it’s best to keep moving. Drive to another location where no one is lingering. In this day and age, nearly everyone is busy. When you see people with nothing to do, the odds are that they want something from you – it could be money or could be worse.

Generally speaking, people with responsibilities do not gather together in groups outside of retail establishments, alongside walks, or the streets. So, you want to avoid such situations all together.

Action Jackson

The upshot is you need to get back on the route you had originally sought. You don’t want to linger in an unfamiliar, strange, or suspicious neighborhood. You will stand out like a sore thumb. The regulars know when someone is lost or disconcerted and the malingerers among them will move into action.

Sorry if this sounds like it’s rather a stringent approach to urban affairs, but this is your safety and your life. It is no time for equivocation.

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