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Beware “Total Work”

Do any of these sound familiar?

I’m taking a week off (from work)

I’m leaving work early (from work)

I’m shutting down for the weekend (from work)

I’ll be back in ten days (to work)

If any of that sounds like you, it sounds like your definition of life is a function of your work. The built in frame of reference is I do “not work” so that I can then work . . . better, faster, more productively.

A “horizontal” view of time defines you as your work. Anything not that is good to the extent that it supports the work and bad to the extent it doesn’t. It is a life of “total work.”

The alternative is a more “vertical” view of time. Now I’m doing this. Now I’m doing that. In this context, leisure and recreation are not in service of work but in the service of me. They are reflections for no other reason. They are prayer, art, craft, going for a walk, or hitting a ball for no reason other than the joy of doing them.

We need less horizontal and more vertical.