enjoy your week-end, really

waterWhat is it always with this Thursday/Friday frenzy before a long week-end? The pace picks up frenetically, everyone seems to need something very urgently before close of business on Friday, nothing can wait until after the week-end - as if we were closing shop for the next three weeks.   But in light of the fact that we are back on Tuesday morning it's really quite absurd. Many things can wait, and how is a three-day week-end so different from the regular two-day week-end anyhow? In this country - and in Hong Kong, where I lived for a bit, as well - many people feel guilty about taking time off. Culturally, virtue is seen in working long hours (even if they are not all so productive), slaving (or looking as if) away for the bottom line, bowing to the Grand Poobah of profitability and money, and fearing job loss otherwise. Many European countries give between four and six weeks vacation (on top of the many religious holidays and sick leave), and their economies are doing just fine.

photo courtesy petergreenberg.com

We need time off to clear our head, to sleep in, to get out of the métro-boulot-dodo routine (French for the never ending subway-work-sleep grind), pursue our hobbies, spend time with family and friends. Time off refreshes us, it balances us, it puts things into perspective. Lack of sleep and too much stress shorten our lifespan.  Without playtime life is dull and drudgery.

Time off is a necessity in order to perform optimally and creatively, it's not frivolous luxury. Enjoy your week-end and don't feel guilty about your time off.

photo courtesy Ivanausloos