If you’ve read a few of my posts, you’ll probably see that I sometimes use my dogs as examples of good health. It’s not because they are healthier than the people I know–though they may be; it’s because they lead such simple lives, in contrast to most humans I know.
Well, about 6 weeks ago I was rushing around (as usual) trying to get more tasks completed in less time than possible when I noticed that my dogs were doing their usual…nothing. Laying on the couch looking sleepy, even though they had done virtually nothing all day. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t that be nice.” Wouldn’t it be nice to just sleep, laze around, stretch, get up to eat, maybe play a bit, take a short walk, go back to sleep, get up to eat, etc…
Don’t get me wrong, I actually love to be busy! But sometimes it can get overwhelming and you wish you could just stop, but at the same time there’s still lots to be done!
I realized that there’s something wrong if a person can’t take just one day to do nothing. Like a dog. Or a cat. So, I looked at my calendar, picked a day weeks in advance and slotted that as my first “Dog Day”. Leading up to that day, I completed the tasks that I knew were vital. I told those around me that I would be doing nothing that day. I planned out what I meant by “nothing”. For me that meant: NO work. I could read. Boy, was I looking forward to reading just for fun–again, no work readings. I could watch movies. I could go for a walk. I could take a nap. I could go to yoga (after all, my dogs do exercise and play). I could even cook. But I could not turn on my computer. I could not use my iPhone or iPad for any work at all.
Those who know me doubted I would be able to do it. Could I avoid working? Could I avoid turning on my computer?! Could I avoid all emails?! I questioned my ability to succeed at this and I even considered making Dog Day into a half day to ease myself into this idea. But as the day approached, I started to get super excited about the idea of a full day off. Like a real holiday!
On that first inaugral Dog Day I got up, ate, went to yoga, finished off a fiction novel I had started almost 8 months previous but never completed, watched a movie (Men Who Stare At Goats–great movie!), read another whole book (!), cooked a new meal with my husband (yummy Tofu and Banana Curry–so easy), and watched another movie (King’s Speech–long, but interesting).
It was EASY! And it was great!
Not only did I enjoy the day, but I also discovered that I have even more energy for my days of work. I am very fortunate to love what I do. But even still, it’s important to have days off–completely off–to rejuvenate.
So, I’ve already chosen my next Dog Day, planned out, of course, weeks in advance so I can prepare. My goal is to have a Dog Day every 4-6 weeks. If you have trouble shutting down the work mind, I challenge you to try scheduling a Dog Day as well (or Cat Day, if you prefer). Tell me all about it!