Why I Am Taking A Long-term Break From My Job

When my schedule is more than one-third full, I find it easier to give and receive guidance that way. The benefit to my family is significant: we are now much more capable of coping with any unforeseen problems the future might throw our way.

It’s very important to me that we keep this in mind. In a nutshell, a person’s “job” is a small part of who that person is. That part is why we are, to a certain extent, interchangeable. In my experience, being the kind of person who keeps his nose to the grindstone is important to us. It’s what we do. It’s what matters most. So much of our day, every day, comes from this sense of “doing” and from the necessity to perform.

I was recently asked “What happens if we’re in a bad, bad situation?” The answer is, “We figure out how best to do things that make us feel like we’re getting on with things.” This is not something that happens if we stay busy, busy, busy. This is something that happens when we don’t feel like being busy . . . well, we can figure out what we’re doing instead. (It might not be a completely satisfactory answer, but I’m certainly not being mean or dismissive. I’ve simply found that people who try to help you do something different, who try to be supportive when you need it most, usually turn out pretty well.)

But I can’t say the same thing I can say about many “workaholics” who, even while they’re working, can’t stand their jobs. It’s easy to “fall asleep” and do nothing, because there isn’t much time left, so you tend to just sleep, and then try to figure out how to keep feeling like you’re doing something. You feel overwhelmed, like “things just don’t come up” or “you need to stay focused” or “you have to stay alert.” You feel like you might be doing it right, but that’s not the real truth.

The real truth is that you’ve been trying to distract yourself from your issues by doing something else, which is what your problem is in the first place. Trying to be busy while you have a problem doesn’t work, because you’re distracted . . . and that distracts you from dealing with your problems.

This is not what you need to hear. This is not reality. You have a problem of which you feel you are not worthy, and that is your reality. Your problem does not “come up” because you are not doing your real job. It comes up because you can’t seem to deal well with the real problems in your life, which is why you are not doing your actual job. Your “job” is not to “keep your nose to the grindstone” (I know, I know–I know what a weird term that is–but that’s the way it is).

When you do some “self-care” and you do get out of work, you’ll realize that your job is not to get you through these rough patches (even with a hard time staying focused and taking action). Your job is to deal with these rough patches by: 1) making progress toward the goals you’ve set in place while you’re in work; 2) making progress toward your future goals through your work (for example this book, writing, improving your relationship, etc.)–and 3) talking with you about your problems or how “normal” things happen. (If your boss, bossing spouse, family members, or friends are not doing these things, it could tell you something very interesting about them.”) Even if it’s true that you “don’t have any free time”–even if it’s true that “it’s not so easy to make decisions after work”–you will still have the same goals as you always have, just with slightly more clarity.