Are You Playing Hard Enough?
If you are really dedicated and passionate about your work, you can quite easily enslave yourself to it. Not wanting to miss a single email, text message, or Facebook post, you regularly spend the time you put aside to be with your partner or your friends checking updates and lancing away at a keyboard. Most people would call this an unhealthy obsession. For you it is merely doing your job. You are dedicated to your profession and do not mind putting in the hours to see that all turns out well.
But just as you work hard you should play hard.
Going out drink and picking up random chicks in the club are thrilling, but they do not constitute real play. The kind of play I’m talking about consists of a long and genuine immersion in recreation that relaxes and rejuvenates. This higher form of play means breaking from all routine, all vestiges of your day-to-day life and engaging in leisure that amuses, diverts, and enthralls—in short, that brings real gaiety and gives you a true sense of enjoyment.
You put in the hours to earn the dollars and to advance yourself in your profession. You should also put set aside the time and money to go just as hard at playing. Here are some of things you might do to fulfill this aim.
Get a map of the world. Choose some country you’ve never heard of before. Google it to find out what it offers in the way of sport, scenery, and recreation. You may need to go through a few countries before you find one that takes your fancy. Arrange to take a week or two off and make the necessary reservations in the chosen locale so that you can see and do things that are completely new to you.
Go backpacking through the southern Thailand or scuba diving off the coast of Sardinia or skiing in the Italian Alps. Go alone or bring a date. The point is to dedicate yourself to a period of complete and unbroken enjoyment.
If travel is not your thing or if you are at a critical point in your career that makes a long break impossible, then you should explore the underground sex scene where you live. There is bound to be one if you live in a large city; and they do not all involve BDSM. Swinger culture is no longer limited to out of the way nightclubs and other such places. It is now quite easy to go online and find couples and groups of couples who are interested in meeting new, healthy, good-looking men. Though still out of sight and regulated informally by rules and conventions, swinging is starting to gain some traction as a mainstream recreational activity.
You need not reduce your hours or lower your career ambitions. If you live to work, so be it. But why should you live only to work? If you are not playing hard enough, it is time to get yourself lively and get yourself moving.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.